The Child: Lockdown Version

I started this post over a year ago and like many things which come to a grinding halt, so did this one. But it was too funny for me pass up posting it and since things are in a better state than they were a year ago, with the pandemic and its fallout, this post is one that looks back with a smile at a truly difficult time for all of us.

This lockdown has been an experience in more ways than one. Earlier I knew my child viewed me as The Enabler, The Witch, The Taskmaster, The Cuddlebunny at different times depending on his mood but now I’m almost convinced that when he sees me, he sees icons floating all over and all he has to do is just push one for a desired action to occur.

I’m also convinced that his speech has suffered a set back since he tends to bark out single words and use them like sentences. For eg: he’ll see me and say, “FOOD!”. If I stop in my tracks because of the terse and abrupt nature of his communication, he’ll look at me as if my IQ points aren’t what they ought to be and lift his t-shirt and rub his tummy signifying that food needs to provided. If I just want to mess with his head a bit more and act like I’ve still not understood him, he opens his mouth and points towards it and then rubs his tummy. Occasionally he’ll throw in a “DUH” very sotto voce.

These are the various icons I sport: when he needs digital entertainment: sadly most of which need unlocking. Am convinced he sees me like this and in this order!

Oh life…what more will you put me through…

Hey..Don’t Mention It!

Everyone in my family knows how I cling to my coffee. The bros-before-hos kind of a thing but with coffee instead. After a quick siesta a little while ago, I made my usual non-verbal gestures to Red and asked him to make me a cup so I could shake off the afternoon meal from my system and wake up properly.

The oh-so-blissful cup was borne to me regally by TO who gave it to me with the air of having ground the beans himself while making the delicious beverage. When I thanked him, he graciously accepted my gratitude and threw his father a bone by saying,”Oh P helped out a bit too.” 😀

Parenting Bloopers#1

I’ve often mentioned the focus on English language that was given during my education. That I also ended up studying English literature during my undergrads was of no surprise to many.

One of the things we’ve been taught over the years, in appreciation of poetry and prose, is the figures of speech that add that little extra sumthin’ to the written word. It would be fair to say figures of speech figure heavily in my speech. That was an example of a pun just fyi and probably something else but my ever-present brain fog prevents me from figuring out what exactly.

Alrighty, enough of punning…yesterday on our way back from his cricket practice TO exclaimed loudly that his stomach was “fully empty”. My years of being at the beck and call of my education rose to the occasion and I mumbled something about an oxymoron while trying to park between a pillar and another car. It was purely reflexive on my part but I forgot about the ears of a fox that children have when they’re about to get the wrong end of something. Pat came the repartee, “You’re the oxymoron!”

And for a rare moment, I was speechless.

If only my teachers could see me now…

Aftermath of a Movie

We watch one movie as a family every week. We usually do it on Friday nights since it’s a good way to bring in the weekend for TO. And since it’s usually a family movie, we all end up being either parts of “awwww” or “siggghhhs” or just have lots of laugh-out-loud moments.

With TO growing up the focus is moving onto movies which aren’t always in the kiddy genre although this topics are usually not too varying. Just the presentation of it changes from time to time. Last night he chanced upon Pacific Rim after I had nixed all the horror movies as being unsuitable. I had done in thinking about all the what-ifs he gets into when he sees the paranormal stuff apart from the fear which lingers when he sees scary stuff. With Pacific Rim I thought we’re on safe and familiar territory with Kaijus, sea creatures, aliens and people protecting the Earth.

I was W-R-O-N-G. So so so W-R-O-N-G.

He LOVED the movie. He was entertained. Mission accomplished. And then came bedtime. It kind of went like this:

TO– “Ayu, the last one that came out of the Breach…it was that 5 thing right? Me– Yeah, a Category 5 Kaiju (yawns widely). TO: Is there a Category 6 one also (more than a hint of hopefulness in his voice). Me: Baby why don’t YOU draw a Category 6 Kaiju the way you think it should look like TOMORROW. Good night!

TO (even more excitedly): What if that happens…IN REAL LIFE??!! Me: Not going to happen. It was a movie. Got to sleep (does air kisses and none of the kisses connect due to an extremely sleepy mother’s bad hand-eye co-ordination). TO: (wide awake) You don’t know that! It was an INTER-DIMENSIONAL portal Ayu. It could exist!

Me: Look, no portal exists under the Pacific Ocean that will let alien beings from other dimensions come back and attack us. And even if it did, the movie showed us how to defeat them so don’t worry about it. We’re good. TO: I’m not worried! We’re gonna NUKE the suckas! Me: (in my head) DAYUM! That movie choice backfired, didn’t it?”

And the chattering went on till I slept off. I could still hear him going on and going as his voice faded into the distance

(Excerpt taken from one of the seemingly endless conversations between a boy and his mother)

Note to self: NEVER underestimate the power ugly, sea-aliens who spit neon blue acid will have on your child. We’re back to Ninja Turtles.

PS: I also blame the distributors of Deep Blue Sea 2. If your movie was available to stream or rent and not just buy online we’d never back gone to this movie.

Ye Gods…

Gaah! A Pre-Teen Lives In My House

The brat is officially a preteen effective yesterday. He’s also officially a slightly bigger brat than he was before. I was telling Red that it’s as if I gave birth to a Valley Girl instead of a kid living in South India. But am told the rolling eyes, the general disdain for any parental advise and touchiness which goes from 0-100 in a nanosecond, is just a teaser of the years that will follow from next year onwards.

Harking back to my own tweens or teens- there wasn’t much of a differentiator there to be honest. It’s not that I was a model child but when I checked with my mom about the stuff that I did or didn’t do, she simply said that I did what was expected because there wasn’t any other option! And that seems heavenly for me now as a parent.

Our kids have OPTIONS! They shouldn’t. Not much anyhow. In a nutshell; I think keeping them alive, getting medical intervention when they’re unwell and basically making sure they don’t look like hobos looking for handouts is what’s needed. So the access to Netflix and every other kind of OTT, the choice of vacation locations amongst other new fangled expectations is the icing on the supremely expensive, uber rich and delicious cake that parenting the Get Zs has become.

Earlier a cake with a cherry on top was considered having arrived. Now there’s frosting (coloured), cherries, sprinkles (also coloured) and no nuts (allergies) on top of a triple layered chocolate layer which has chocolate ganache and chocolate flavoured butter cream frosting!

But seriously, it’s a mixture of difficulty+absolutely dafuqery parenting kids these days. TO’s taken to grumbling and mumbling snark at us more frequently these days. The ‘tude is crossing newer levels as well and I’m quite sure if these kids are not reigned in, we’ll all be facing a world there the adults have been taken hostage (properly this time around) and the small to mid-sized hoomans are ruling the roost and we’re all basically doing room service 24/7!

The plusses, if there are such things, are that you pretty much know what your kids are feeling. Not thinking, because thinking is all about screen time, games and self-indulgent things which make you want to slap them upside their head! The kids these days express A LOT.

Whether its angst, joy, anxiety, vulnerability..they express things at the drop of a pin. Sometimes while the pin is dropping even. Some more than others and as a parent from a generation where this level and extent of expression was relatively rare and therefore not encouraged much; it can take a lot of doing to have to discipline your child and then have a beady-eyed kid look you straight in the eye (yes, I am *that* short) and tell you that he’s very disappointed with the disciplining process and how it played out.

You try to take the moral higher ground only to have that smh-look leveled at you and before you know it the balance of power that was so firmly in your grasp is now slipping out like an eel and you are grasping desperately in front of a kid who’s poopy diaper you changed not so long ago.

So parents to Gen Z’ers…load up! It’s a bumpy road ahead but give thanks for the night when the imps…I mean our beautiful children sleep like they used to as babies and the remote is finally back in our hands. AMEN!

Conversations At The Break Of Dawn

TO has a last moment-scheduled cricket match; AGAIN. But we’re happy to get up at the butt crack of dawn on our weekend to see our only flesh and blood off for a game with other small humans who will trash talk each other and going by their past record, lose, and come back in a few hours.

My child is unlike me in the morning- viz he’s a vampire about going into the light or having a light turned on anywhere in his vicinity till he deems it fit.

Curtains stay drawn till he give his gracious permission to have light enter our rooms. I am a zombie till caffeine hits my system but barring that I’m almost fresh as a daisy and raring to go. Anyhoo, I had to turn on a smaller light a bit further away from the dining table where he was sitting and it cast some light on the coffee and sugar tins which were on the table for our coffee cuppa.

Titanic Sinking GIFs | Tenor

My bleary-eyed brat took a long look at the shadow cast by the tins on the wall beyond him and we had this conversation:

TO: “Hey Ayu, that looks like the Titanic (referring to the shadow of the tins looking like the ship’s chimneys). Me: Hmm yeah…I can see it too. TO: Boy, that was a lame movie! Me: Really? Why? TO: It’s so boring to crash into an iceberg. Why not crash into Moby Dick or the Livyatan? Me: How is that better? They all die anyhow! TO: Yeah but it’s more fun that way! Crashing into an iceberg…pshw…*grumbles uncharitably towards the Oscar-winnning, massive money-making movie that almost always made our younger selves cry in the end even though you promised yourself it was just a movie and there was no more room on the raft for both Jack and Rose!

A Day In The Life Of A S.A.H.M

Be another/a different kettle of fish | Helendipity

Being a stay at home mom is a different kettle of fish. If kettles full of fish aren’t your thing, feel free to put in a vegetarian or a vegan option if that rings your bell.

37 Stay at home mom problems ideas | mom problems, stay at home mom, mom  humor

I am, for the most part, a Stay At Home Mom. It was a decision that I made pretty willingly. Things also didn’t align in such a manner that I felt confident or comfortable enough to leave TO with any other caregiver or in a creche or daycare and hie off to work.

When the hieing off did happen, the universe conspired to have me be more grounded (the parents grounding the kids kind and not the being practical-kinds) and ultimately I circled back to home and hearth and kept my activities centered around it. The work too is something I’ve been doing while lounging in my pjs so WFH is not only a familiar concept but it’s been a way of life.

Recently TO headed back to school. It was something he was longing for. Me…not so much. I figured if he gets to ride out one whole school year at home and then starts fresh for the new academic year in school, it might be an easier transition but again, universe and child conspired to do things differently so Red and I opted for in-person schooling for TO with some riders in place wrt his and our continued safety.

Wicked Witch Of The West GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

And believe you me, within 2 days of school starting, the whining started too. Not that it ever ended properly; some of us are born whiners and continue to whine till Doomsday hits and even then, we go whining into the Great Unknown.

Barring the first two days of school where the former lump jumped out of bed, brushed, bathed and tackled his morning routine with alacrity, we were back to the “pleasantness” of an early morning routine where the mother dons on the persona of the Wicked Witch of the West and drags an innocent Dorothy, I mean TO, out from the warm comforts of his covers and into the cold, hard, unforgiving world of sunshine, cold bathroom tiles and mandated personal hygiene. I mean what could be worse?! Plenty as my kid puts it…

Top 30 Smell Armpit GIFs | Find the best GIF on Gfycat

Imagine having to bathe every day, like clockwork, before leaving the house. Because unlike over Google Meets, here people can actually smell you. And the fact that they *can* smell you is a cause for concern.

Weird and Strange Hairstyles: Oh My!!! | Hair styles, Bird nest hair, Hair  humor

Imagine having to comb your hair because again, unlike over Google Meets, they can actually see the birds nest you’re lovingly cultivating in that mess on top of your head!

Sound Of Music Lady - going commando feels great!

And the list goes on. Needing clean underwear because going commando is no longer an option or that grunting as a response will no longer be acceptable while answering the roll call…the world is full of a minefield for a kid heading back to school. And the worst of it is probably the uniforms that are collared, starched and make little hoodlums look presentable and not like they got dressed in the dark while suffering from color blindness in the process.

Today the brat got to take a day off from school to participate in a sporting event. I dropped him and his teammates to a location a bit far from home and was navigating my way back with the help of Google Maps when I realised that Ms.Google Maps Voice has a bit of an attitude. She’ll start with a nice even tone when saying “Take the next right” and if that right isn’t taken within a second of the words leaving her automated voice box, the next time she speaks to you it’s with the subtext of “take the right turn already you moron!”

Never a dull moment- that’s the crux of a S.A.H.M’s day!

Wacky Wednesday throwback

I was taking a look at some videos I’d downloaded on the laptop and found this gem…it’s not to be missed. And it’s a perfect example of what kids are all about…

Of Nostalgia and Nosebleeds

Yesterday TO just semi-yelled out, “Oh darnit!” and I peeked out of the kitchen to see that the child had a nosebleed out of the blue! Since we are partial to him retaining his blood inside his body, Red and I rushed to see what the reason was.

The child in question wasn’t terribly worried barring the fact that his chunky mother hovering in front of his face was blocking his view of his laptop and wouldn’t you know it, that’s the time he’d decided that his online classes just couldn’t wait!! Never mind the other times when I’m dragging him out of bed so he can join his classes on time and not be a mini-zombie.

Anyhoo, after the usual “keep your head tilted, clean your nose out, stick this cotton up there, take this icepack” maneuvers, the flesh and blood pronounced himself to be nosebleed-free and fit as a fiddle. That is until I asked him to do some chores while there was a gap in his classes. Suddenly those few drops lost came to haunt him and he felt that he must sit down in an AC-cooled room and  get his strength back a little bit.

Am grinning today while I type this out but trust me, I was anything but jovial yesterday. I’d called my mother in a hurry because I was prone to nosebleeds as a child although under slightly different circumstances and she lingered along Nostalgia Lane for a bit till I rushed her to the point where I had a possible solution in place. But the trip back to the #thetimesthatwere made me look back at things at a different time and place all day long. Maybe I needed a break from chores too, maybe it was from my family or maybe I wanted someone to dunk my feet in bubbling water that had Epsom salt, scented oils while I sat in a chair massager…oh baby!! Wait! What was I saying again?

My brief segue into salon porn aside, I was BADLY nostalgic yesterday. Am nostalgic at the drop of a pin most of the times and this staying inside is bringing out the #throwback vibes emos even more.

Speaking of emos and doing chores around the house, see how an adorable 5 year-old used to help his mother while getting into potentially dangerous situations (what can I say, I have a boy!)-have a looksee here!

For the uninitiated, I am a mother who is TERRIBLY fond of her child, the way he was. I am still getting used to who he is now and while the fondness remains, we may be reaching a GoT-kind of situation where vengeance and clashing swords could very well become the order of the day! Hey, the kid’s got the dragons part down pat, what did you expect?

More nostalgia posts to follow. For now, the Mother of the Dragon 2.0 has to rouse the sleeping cub and get him off to his “meetings”. Ah, the sweet life!

See the source image
Image courtesy: DeviantArt

Ye Gods…

My child is currently anti-clowns. Especially Pennywise. Apparently he snuck a look at the new IT and it creeped him out big time. So Pennywise is the present symbol of everything that’s bad in his freaky little world.

Today after he got back from school he was using me as a trampoline and I made a scary face and did my scary laugh to get him to leave me alone. Apparently I was too successful because he called me Pennywise.

Knowing how he feels about the character, I made my sad face (I have a whole gamut, I’m not like Zoolander) and he immediately rushed to mollify me saying,”Don’t be sad..you’re just like Pennywise…only nice.”

Yeah..just call me Gymbo.