I’ve written earlier about the advent of Alexa in our lives. Red was in the market for good quality speakers and was considering buying Sonos and then suddenly got his head turned by the cute lil dot that now talks to us in a STRONG American accent and frequently gets our song choices wrong because she doesn’t get us much. And that’s funny because the offspring has his own twangy accent that sounds kind of like Alexa and yet they don’t always communicate correctly.
Properly enunciated crisp diction rings her bells though. Take for example, MLM wanting to hear Ra.One’s Chhammak Chhallo. He yelled out into the general direction of Alexa, “AlexaplaymeChamakChalo” and pat came the reply, “I’m sorry. I am unable to understand you.” El Brato grumbled, “Stupid Alexa” and then yelled out to me, “Ayu…come and tell Alexa the song I want to hear. It’s not listening to me.”
And there I was, speaking to the dot, yet again, telling her to play Chhammak Challo, said with tight lips and no hint of any accent anywhere. And she popped up saying, “Here’s ChamakChalo from VishalShaker”. I swear there was no difference between her and MLM but someone must have a hearing problem somewhere so I’m still running interference for them both and waiting till he asks me to tell her to play ‘Rashke Qamar’. Last time he asked her to play the song she played Paula Abdul’s Rush Rush
For my troubles, I get to hear the dratted song on loop till my brains start to leak out of my ears. *rolls eyes*
I used to like to read Cosmo and Marie Claire and Better Homes&Gardens until I realized that they weren’t reflective of my reality at all. According to Cosmo (and its ilk) life should be all about my body type, where I’m out on weekends at least 2xs a month and be having rip-roaring, toe-curling orgasms and have at least one LBD in my closet.
Whereas for working women and working mothers those things aren’t always viable nor always on our radars either. Even for the SAHMs, there’s so much to be done on a regular basis that while you may not feel like Cinderella, self-grooming can take a backseat and at times you do wonder if the gloss you used to sport has gone for good.
But the difference isn’t in the missing gloss, it’s in the new vision. Things change when you grow older. Midnight marathons of Evil Dead or Police Academy don’t usually provide the fun factor. Going to a lounge can be fun for the first 30 minutes doing shots; but then you do want something cozier, less noisy and wine along with it. Dressing up to go out and eat seems tougher than dressing down to eat at home with the kid you try to get to sit in one place for more than 5 minutes at a time. Add veggies that the kid needs to eat and dinner time is one big negotiation fit for the corporate boardrooms.
And while calling women’s magazines as fluff is making a rather big generalization, it’s genuinely not all that realistic either. Sure, I get to know about couture, keeping fit and having a good time but the underlying glamor that seems to run through it all isn’t what most women’s lives are about.
For most of the working moms I know, and I know quite a few; getting their kids ready and off to school, maybe getting an hour’s worth of physical exercise and also using a hot iron on their hair is a pretty big achievement in the 2 hours you have in the morning. What a lot of these mags do is make us wistful for the life we think is not only possible, but is actually held up to our faces to emulate from. Sure, I’d like to be nicely made up whenever I step out of the house. I would also like be able to do decent eye make-up for a change instead of having lines that resemble a seismogram but is that it?
Having an exotic drink while sitting in Bora-Bora or knowing the right kind of Hermes scarf to pair with a power suit shouldn’t be the zenith of my aspirations. Or should it? But we also do yearn for that little elusive element in our lives. The one that comes with thoughts of lazing back on a tropical island or living in the lap of luxury somewhere, getting all whims and fancies catered to. And for me, most women’s magazines do provide that. Just up to us to choose what to grab and how much. And I’m pretty sure that I’m the wrong demographic for them because all I want to do is grab a book most of the times and curl up somewhere to read! I doubt I’ll be getting a french manicure anything this century.
On one hand you can remember them as the cutest, cuddliest, chubbiest drooly monsters that walked around with a diaper-covered bum. And on the other hand you wish you could sedate them or keep them in suspended animation when they’re getting their best and most annoying bratty groove on.
At the risk of pissing off my husband, who is more predisposed towards liking the offspring and not wanting to punt him over the fence into the neighboring building, let me say that kids are the people who test your patience to the extent you want to chuck everything and join a convent or do a Hansel-Gretel with them and leave them in a forest clearing somewhere…preferably in a galaxy far, far away.
There are some day when praying for divine intervention does no damn good at all and the only thing that helps you get through things are longing glances at the booze cupboard or the promise of a weekend ending and school starting up again.
And kids really can be quite rotten. They are trying on the days they need to be angelic. They mouth off at the time when they need to be mimes and they stay up like owls on the nights you need them in bed and knocked out by 7:30 on the dot!
But if they always did what was expected of them they wouldn’t be kids at all. They’d be flitting about with wings and halos and spotless white clothes. Instead these oompa-loompas have decidedly tarnished halos and the wings which mimic the headless chicken scenario.
I’ve noticed that there’s a strange and inexplicable condition that happens to kids, especially mine over the summer holidays. They become deaf, louder, motor movements mimic being like marionettes with their strings cut or like mini Boomerang videos. Polar opposites but somehow they seem to be able to switch between them effortlessly enough.
The specific keywords that they don’t seem to comprehend are these:
No more (pool time, t.v., iPad, laptop, playing with water…till infinity)
Get out of the pool.
GO. TO. SLEEP!!
Barring that it’s the same ol’ symptoms of childhood+boredom+curiosity all rolled into one delicious little buck-toothed package of silliness!
This is going into the category of a bloglet viz it’ll be brief.
There’s a book my husband bought me once the brat started pre-primary…it’s called How To Talk So Kids Will Listen And Listen So Kids Will Talk.Since the book did not mention anything about how to talk so husbands will listen and stop leaving wet towels all over the place; I decided not to do much about this book reco.
I already knew then and still know how to talk so my kid would listen- dress like a giant lollipop, have Play-Doh in one hand, the t.v. remote in the other and preferably enter riding on a dinosaur!
Maybe then….and maybe Utopia is just around the corner! Pshaw!!
The brat has his little friends. They can be quite a handful from time to time.
One of them came over a little while ago and was practically nose-to-nose with the not-small t.v set. When I asked her to move back a bit, she scooched back barely half an inch. So I asked her to move back a little more and pat came the reply along with little arms akimbo, “if you don’t let me watch t.v. from here, why did you keep the sofa so close to the t.v.?”
After I did my goldfish impression viz mouth opening and closing my mouth wordlessly a few times, I remembered that I was in the role of the responsible parent and told her that it might spoil her eyes if she kept watching television like that, she again answered with a, “no! and glared at the t.v to come and spoil her eyes if it dared!
I don’t think the television will be taking up the dare.
I started my kid out on digital media way too early in life. And I still regret it. But I absolutely CANNOT deny how wonder it has been for me as a mother and how helpful it is when I need more information, especially for my kid.
Today barring the frivolous stuff that he watches ( Spongebob and its ilk) he watches programs which fall firmly in the category of edutainment.
He started out with animated programs like Octonauts, Little Einsteins and is currently hooked on a program which I find very original and instructive without being too goody-goody- Wild Kratts.
The good thing about animation is it keeps things interesting for kids while not making it too stark. Like wild animals being trapped, poached or even tortured. And yet the message behind it is undiluted- respect all forms of life. Even a little worm does some good and even a gigantic whale is vulnerable.
My son has learnt about pangolins, aardvarks, giant squids and speaks of them so enthusiastically that I’m tempted to sit down with him and binge watch the entire series. He also hums tunes from Tchaikovsky,Handel and Grieg without knowing much about the composers but still being moved by their music.
I doubt I’d have been able to broaden his horizons like this on my own. Books help but young kids tend to a mix of learning styles until they end up favoring one style over the other.
Two thumbs up from my side. YouTube, Disney Junior and others stop the television from being the idiotic box in this day and age. So rather than fight the tube, we get the stuff on the tube we want the kids to watch. Easy Peasy!