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Lost In Translation#248

TO had a good time dancing to Shaitaan Ka Saala on New Year’s eve but didn’t know the name of the song. His Hindi being what it is, half the words just escape him entirely! And when he does utter them, they are so far from where they started out that it’s more of a #dafuq moment than a #LOL one.

He asked me for the name of the song so he could tell Alexa to play it. And this is what happened…

TO-“Alexaaa wake up”. Alexa- I am awake. What can I do for you? TO-” Alexa play Sankranti Masala“. Alexa- goes round and round till she gives up the ghost and begins to reboot!!

Hooman-1. Gadget- still rebooting.

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Alexa Mornings…

Red bought an Echo Dot for th house last year. Suffice to say it’s the digital pet. The offspring has bonded with Alexa quite a bit. I keep hearing his voice trilling , “Alexaaaa” on and off right from the time he’s up in the mornings.

Echo Dot has more capabilities that can be tapped into if you’re an US-based user. Lesser so in India. But apparently this year Amazon Music will be making its entry into the Indian market and then this kid will really go wild. Now there’s a Bluetooth sync with my phone and the songs which are saved on a separate song app or on my phone can be played. But we have to be far more hands on. And we’re all about remote management in this house. If we can just park our butts somewhere and just ask for songs to be played, it would be a pretty darn good thing!

This morning the offspring woke to a house with an absent father (courtesy a business trip) and he sat and pouted about missing the parent for a bit. And in an effort to cheer himself up, he turned the house into a dance club, playing Bollywood hits before 6:30 am. All courtesy Alexa.

Where’s the parental settings people? Is that in the next upgrade?

In the meanwhile, Kala Chashma gets looped sun up to sun down just because Alexa can!

Yo!

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Ode To My Oddballs

My family is a bit kooky. And in that we’re perfectly normal I suppose. Since I don’t have a “fly-on-the-wall” access to my friends and neighbors’ homes, am assuming that their kookiness can rival and often outdo mine. Those who are painfully normal, I don’t know what to say…you are clearly the minority amongst us. I don’t know many of you so that clues you into what kind of people I belong with.

Take for example things I say to my kid quite often which others may jiggle their eyebrows at. A statement like, “Put on your pajamas and move your snake off the floor” is very probable and in fact was uttered while I was booting up the laptop.

My 8-year old coming to me and spouting the details of the Serval for durations which seem like eons to me also occur quite frequently. And suddenly phrases like “one’s life flashing before their eyes” don’t seem like such a phrase anymore…you can literally feel your hair and nails growing while the offspring drones on and on about small-big cats and suddenly segues into the Eyelash Viper ;yet another creature you had the pleasure of not knowing anything about till your flesh and blood decided you were pathetically uninformed about the creepy crawly and decided to make things right.

Recently, exactly 2 days ago, the Lord and Master (henceforth referred to as L&M) gave me a Fitbit smart watch. Am sure he was influenced by those unending ads on the telly which try to insidiously get inside your head and tell you to buy jewellery for the woman in your life. If not platinum, then diamonds and if nothing else works, go for the gold! Tis the season of bling after all!

So..Le Fitbit Watch-It monitors my heart rate (always galloping), let’s me know the optimum resting phase (so I don’t keep imitating a slug) and generally nudges me off the posterior so I can get moving in ways designed to help me. The ways I move that don’t help me much are my versions of tangos and weird jerky-dancing which I’m prone to break into as if in the throes of a partial seizure. But then again…Bollywood is in my veins and no dance is risqué enough, no dance is too weird and the more spontaneously you indulge in it, the truer you are to your people!

So this watch,which is waterproof, is helping me define new “health goals”. And yes, those would be sarcastic air quotes had I been speaking out loud. I am now suddenly very aware of not taking the stairs enough…the Fitbit reminds me that half a staircase has been climbed. How does one climb half a staircase anyhow?

I’m reminded that I haven’t had the mandatory 3000 mls of water I need to have on a daily basis along with the optimal amount of sleep I should be having. It’s all fine and dandy and maybe in time I’ll even grow into it, but as of 2 in the morning today when I felt a weird lump behind my back, went into the Princess and the Pea mode…I realized that I was sleeping with the watch on (for sleep monitoring purposes only) and the discomfort was making me thrash around, raising the “resting phase heart rate” to near-awake heart rates, steadily heading towards I’m going to be a solid beeyotch in a few hours if i don’t get some sleep” heart rate

And apropos to nothing; while I type this out the offspring is sitting next to me, still in his pajama tops-no bottoms and making hissing noises with the toy (miniature, thank the Heavens!) black cobra while he peers over my shoulders and takes dainty sips of his chocolate milk.

These are the oddities in my life. Thank goodness for that!

Now excuse me while I get my deep breathing done courtesy Fitbit…Breathe in….Breathe out.

OMMMMMMMMMMM

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Parenting Chronicles

We landed up at my parents’ place for a month (poor them) a few days ago. This was preceded by a mini family vacation to the Northern part of India, a nice, fun wedding, loads of pictures (no surprises there) and some amount of barfing- MLM.

But that’s not the crux of this post. I had another REALIZATION. I write it in caps since it’s no less than an epiphany and one I’ll need to heed in order to make things come together for me at a personal level and my child and the memories we can make together while he grows up and we try to be good parents.

A lot of children are adaptable. Flexible. A lot of kids are rather inflexible and have adjustment issues. My child falls rather squarely in the middle. He adapts and adjusts to brand new situations depending upon his comfort levels and a certain amount of identification with the issue. I guess he looks for that little spark of familiarity and then goes about his own way of learning something.

We had taken a trip to a lovely little city up in the hills, Shimla, and this child was fairly bored out of his skull. Now is it fair to want a proper break for Red and I? Yes! Is it fair to want to expose our child to new experiences? Yes! If it fair if he doesn’t take to them and wants his comfort food wherever we go and be a baby about being carried about and generally being a poopyhead? Sadly…yes. Kinda at least.

Forget the part about kids being creatures of habits. It’s not always about unleashing kids on a theme park that can ensure a successful holiday but taking them to places which require long periods of travel- I defy any parent of kids above 2 to tell me the last time their kid sat calmly on a road trip that extended beyond 2 hours and didn’t fidget or go down the “are we there yet” road!

My child can quite easily let go the gadgets. He sees me taking pictures and wants to emulate. Does a fairly decent job. Hands don’t shake too much. Pictures aren’t too hazy either. But given that it’s an expensive gadget and one that could take a tumble from small little paws, I put aside my dreams of him being a photography prodigy and become the kind of mother who lets him take one picture for his contentment and then promptly repos the camera for good. Well until next time anyway.

He ate what was put in front of him but only if it was familiar. He didn’t care much for the crowd at the events preceding the actual wedding or for the wedding itself. Totally understandable. We lugged around the last love of his life, an inflatable, nearly 4 ft tall T-Rex up and down hilly roads because he hadn’t been able to bring himself to stay away from Mr.Dinosaur. Again understandable. Not appreciated but you can tell when a kid’s in love.

But this holiday was so much more about me and what Red and I wanted to do that we kind of factored in our enjoyment and just brought him along gadgets in tow and thought he’d be able to wing it. At nearly 5 it’s not always viable and we should have known better. The wedding possibly, wasn’t something we could’ve avoided but everywhere else we took him that was aimed at his amusement, he enjoyed. Thoroughly. The boating, spotting ducks, chasing monkeys…all are aces in a child’s book of Fun Things To Do During Summer Vacations.

Sitting still and behaving while his mother chomps down momos in a tiny little restaurant wasn’t something that was designed to please him.

At while at my parents’ I find him bratty and trying on and off but he’s more relaxed. No more travelling to and fro from one place to the other. No more slathering of sunscreen and having caps jammed on his head or posing for pictures near places he doesn’t know, doesn’t care about and sure and hell won’t remember.

He wanted his Play Doh. Wanted to recreate the situations he saw in his cartoons and play with this dinosaur, swing, slide, jump, hop and have his everyday life. The interlude of a family holiday that took him from the plains to the hills and back again in the midst of unknown people whom he doesn’t know; did nothing for him at all.

But that being said, it was good on multiple levels for Red and I and next year we’ll try again but possibly keep it to a place that has more activities designed towards holding the attraction of a little boy. Because let’s be honest, if seeing fish swimming around is what gives him happiness, it’ll be sensible (and that much less stressful) to take him to a park with a pond, or a zoo rather than visit a world-famous pilgrimage place that boasts of a pool of water no child should get near, dip his fingers in or even peer into.

That kind of wasn’t fair. Of them that made the rules or us who made him try to follow it.

Summer holidays are what bring out the kid in everyone…now he’ll get a chance to do exactly what he’s meant to do. Because at the end of the day what a kid really wants is just a dinosaur to play with, isn’t it?

I just hope the rest of us survive till June when his school reopens 🙂