Of Middle Fingers And Snakes

I recently changed my ride from a hatchback to an MUV. When I say recent I mean just a few hours ago.

I was picking up the offspring from school and he was happily frolicking in the backseat, bouncing with joy and making crinkly sounds in the plastic covers that I’d not had a chance to take out as yet. All in all he was a happy camper. And as the case is while he’s camping happily, he asks me a series of ‘Do you know’ questions. Today was no different.

We started with a question trap that I’d inadvertently fallen into when I told him I’d seen a monitor lizard cross the street very close to his school. After interrogating me about the size and the gaping maws and the venom of the said reptile, he gave me a disdainful look when I told him I’d only paused briefly while trying hard not to squish the lizard when it scurried off into the bushes. It, unfortunately, hadn’t stopped long enough to give me its life history and venom potency details.

Then began the story of reptiles and their offspring. We spoke of ovi and viviparous snakes; something I’d rather not have spoken of at all. All while I was enjoying the smell of a new car, listening to songs on brand new speakers…which apparently is the most apt time to speak of baby cobras.

Anyhoo, on special request he agreed to stop talking about king cobra babies hatching and killing grown people and then he threw me for a toss! Here’s how he did it-” Hey Ayu…do you know a boy in the 2nd grade showed someone the middle finger in school and then he got into trouble?!! Have you shown (he said showed but my grammar mode refuses to let me be ungrammarly) the middle finger to anyone?

And this is where you cross the realm from being a good, honest parent into one who lies to their kid because isn’t 8 too young to be flippin’ the bird?! Or talking about it?

I told him piously that NO I hadn’t and what did showing the middle finger mean anyhow? I was told very solemnly that it’s a very bad thing and kids can go to jail for saying it. And that’s when I had to know more about this oh-so taboo word that sent kids to jail. So I did a dramatic,” Oh no…really??!!” And pat came the reply-YES!! It’s worse than saying F***!! I never say F*** because you told me that saying F*** is a bad thing so I never say F***. Ever!!”

I think some days the universe has a smartass mode it activates just to give parents their comeuppance and to prevent them from being smug-knowitalls!

My Temporal Lobe Hurts

I have a great memory for useless trivia. I have a pretty good memory for remembering everything my husband didn’t do but should have.

I also have a pretty strong recall for little things with the help of even vague-ish associative cues et al…but getting to the fag end of my 30s, my (declining) memory for numbers is killing me.

And the person causing bats in my belfry is none other than the offspring. As usual. Sighs.

We keep quite a few things under digital lock and key to keep him from giving into temptation and over indulging viz- iPad, t.v, Kindle, laptop etc but I’ll be damned if that isn’t coming back to bite me on the hieney.

With passwords for the phone, the Wi-Fi, the iPad, the Firestick, certain channels, it gets to a point sometimes when I need to unlock things, I sit with a blank look on my face, desperately searching in the memory banks for some kind of a clue to help me find the elusive #s; and no help is forthcoming. Totally a case of GIGO.

Earlier I had passwords, codes, credit card #s everything memorized and it wasn’t tough to recall them when needed and without too much prompting.

Now, my brain plays a Hot&Cold game with while I sift through data. Of course the process would be easier if I didn’t have a kid draped over my shoulder like a boa (imitating reptile and an accessory both), hissing in my ear, “Do you remember it Y-E-T??!!”

What would be best is if I could keep it unlocked and trust that agreements about t.v. time, play time on iPads were stuck to but that’s a bit unfair to expect from a kid when his parents are binge-watching Criminal Minds or Suits even though its ostensibly done without him being in the know.

But the brat knows us so well, when he sees the last played item on the watch list, he gives me a tsk-tsk look and takes the name of the person who’d have been watching the program and says, ” Someone was watching t.v. after I went to bed!”

I can’t begin to explain how amusing and confusing it is to be chastised by your child in a manner which he’s clearly picked up from you and then having to show your contrition even if you don’t feel the slightest bit contrite!

The things we do set an example for our kids. And while I try and set the aforementioned example, there’s a mini-me tapping his feet impatiently and saying,” Ahem….I’m waiting.”

Ye Gods!

From One Woman To Another

I can’t help but use labels although I don’t always like them. But labels help in identifying things, people or events and Kiran Gandhi’s running the London Marathon while “free-bleeding” has definitely become an “event” on the internet.

Now it might be a knee-jerk reaction to go ‘WTF’ followed by an “ewww” but I wanted to understand her reasons for putting herself through this kind of a discomfort before I started to dish out my personal reactions to the whole thing. And here is where she elaborates further on her decision to run without donning a pad or a tampon.

In a nutshell her reasons seem to be that, the moment topics which aren’t usually aired in general (aka bodily excretions et al) and make people uncomfortable; are touched upon, we all shrink away. This maybe from something which is naturally occurring and can’t or shouldn’t be shoved under the rug.Essentially, our bodies are for our consumption and not anyone else’s. And I quote, “If we don’t own the narrative of our own bodies, somebody else will use it against us,”.

And this is what don’t understand. Had the lady in question been menstruating during the marathon and taken steps to hide that she was, what would have been the set-back to the cause of women in day and age? And when I write ’cause’ I mean everything that women have to face regarding their bodies, appearance, safety et al from the outside world.

The decision to not use a pad or a tampon is a personal one but to bring it to everyone’s notice and attach a label of some kind of intellectual statement to it doesn’t sit well with me at all. Women bleed. Check. They bring eventually forth children as a result of that bleeding. Check. Should people know that a women is bleeding? I honestly don’t know about that.

Should people shun a women and condemn her as being “dirty” during those days? Definitely wrong! Ludicrous in fact. But should a women inconvenience herself, make others awkward around her, ignore hygiene factors all for the sake of making a statement? It seems rather a farfetched thing to do.

Pass out sanitary pads to those who have limited or no access to feminine hygiene products, in the presence of the male members of their family and society if you want to make a statement that would stick and actually jolt people to becoming aware.

Running a race in tight fitting clothing with your menstrual blood staining your body and clothes and being on display for the benefit of others isn’t the kind of role model or any kind of person I’d like to look up to. And it doesn’t do a thing for me personally as a woman.

And it actually made me think what will people think of next. It’s the same thing I thought when I read Germaine Greer’s quote-

  • If you think you are emancipated, you might consider the idea of tasting your own menstrual blood – if it makes you sick, you’ve got a long way to go, baby- The Wicked Womb (p. 57)

I found it distasteful (excuse the pun) and don’t subscribe to it at all. One woman stating what another woman ought to be or do to be considered “liberated” seems to be more along the lines of men trying to “enslave” women with their notions of being barefoot and pregnant all over again.

This man however truly makes a difference.

Funny how gender doesn’t make much of a difference if you’ve got your heart in the right place and your priorities straight!

Nuff said.