Parenting: The Stuff They Never Tell You

I am a semi-helicopter mother and not proud of it. Here are some things I’ve gleaned in the past few years of parenting. I’m not sure how helpful this is but for those contemplating marriage and eventually kids, do read this once. It may give you a different perspective (read abstinence or hardcore contraception) or it may reinforce what you see and hear in front of you everyday anyhow.

So..here we go!

Related image

#1 Having a conversation with anyone else barring your child is like being in a boxing match. It goes like this- you speak 1,2,3 and someone jabs you. You try to regain your balance and speak again 1,2,3 and this time it’s an uppercut.

There are rare conversations that you can have without being interrupted; till you decide to give it up and just focus on the kid. And guess what precious nugget comes your way when you do? It’s quite possibly something along the lines of – (imagine it being spoken in all caps) “You know what? My poop is all orange from all the nachos I ate yesterday!!” And you nod helplessly because you hung up on an overseas call with your BFF to hear about your kid’s bodily function.

Related image

#2 Farts are important. If they stink, how loud they are. If you’ve noticed the abovementioned smell and noise. If you haven’t they’ll probably poop their pants trying to squeeze one out that the whole neighborhood can be proud of.

Related image

#3 You have to watch everything you say. Literally. Imagine becoming a psychotic with visual hallucinations where the words you think materialize in front of your face. You reject a few and allow the rest of them to be uttered. If you don’t, the next time you may be subjected to a bout of , ” Gimme a break or a ” Oh for crying out loud!” from a 1st grader because you cut off digital media or pool access at pre-agreed upon times.

Image result for loving kids meme

#4 Pool times are deadly. The child *never* remembers that staying for too long in the water causes their skin to prune up. When you tell them their time’s up, they mimic dolphins and scoot away from you.

Wading into the pool and dragging them out leads to yells and screams tantamount to child abduction with people looking at you and your offspring in distaste for causing ripples in their recreation or serenity.

Image result for loving kids meme

#5 Some part of the body always hurts during homework or DEEEEP sleep to rival Rip Van Winkle’s comes on in droves and it goes away only when the threat of homework does. And then, the recovery is more miraculous than the walking on water phenomenon! Faster too!

Related image

#6 Waking the child up in the mornings is a drama par excellence. The hands flung over the eyes a la Scarlett O’Hara, the burrowing into the covers like a mole and coiling up smaller and smaller like a worm or a snake makes you gobsmacked! One child going through all these changes in a matter of seconds is nothing short of amazing.

Related image

#7 Say goodbye to your stereo and tv and tablets. The kid rules all and owns all. You don’t come in second. You don’t come in. Period.

Related image

#8 Holiday destinations are decided by where the wild things are. Literally. The continent with the most venomous snakes, biggest crocs makes the cut. Relaxing at a beach? Sure…but can you also see the Inland Taipan or the Tasmanian Devil? No? Then it’s a no-go.

Related image

#9&#10– these two are probably the most annoying IMHO. Your bedroom and your bathroom time are no longer your own. And that’s mystifying because why on earth would someone want to spend so much time talking to you through the bathroom door, wanting to know what you’re doing, when you’re coming out and even going to the extent of shoving their ever-growing drawings of dragons under the door for you to peruse while you’re focused on something entirely different and faar more important.

Related image

They creep you out by looming over you in the weekends; the one time you don’t have to run and bundle them into clothes and catch the school bus. They whisper slowly into your ears, distorting dreams with reality; often shoving tiny fingers up your nose to wake you thoroughly and even body flop on your sleeping, unsuspecting self just to tell you they LOVE YOU. And you feel compelled to reply in kind while you blindly kick out, hoping to connect with that tiny butt and get them the hell out of your sacred sleeping space.

Ah parenting…what a ride!

Image result for loving kids meme

 

Will You Be My Whale?

Outside of the ocean and the ocean parks, Vegas and the other Meccas of gambling probably love the word whales as much as little kids do. Of course the meaning differs but the word whale brings a lot of different things to mind depending upon who is saying it and why.

Associate a woman with a whale and your friends will probably be delivering your eulogy or trying to contact you over a Ouija board one fine rainy night. But there’s loving side to being called a whale. And it can happen like this…imagine one fine day a mother and child are frolicking in the pool. The child is a rambunctious ‘un who takes to the water like an otter and gambols like one too.

He suddenly clings to his mother’s neck and demands a piggyback side all up and down the length of the pool. When his less than thrilled mother asks why, pat comes the reply, “because you’re my whale.” There are very few women who wouldn’t have a brief spell of a body dysmorphic disorder over these words. Especially one who has enough of a body to spare for a few starving people from third world countries.

So the mother tries to put a positive spin on things by saying, “I think I’m more like a dolphin. Don’t you think so? Dolphins are nice.” The child agrees that the dolphins are nice but stoutly (‘cuse the pun!) maintains that the mother is a whale.

When the water around the mother starts to bubble and churn, the child senses some element of danger and asks with a quasi-pouty face, “Will you be my whale?”

The imminent whirlpool ebbs and the newly christened (and no longer smarting) whale gives her cub the desired ride. But a few minutes into the return trip, when the cub just lets go and turns the mom-whale into a floating mattress, the urge to kick a tiny little rump over the horizon surfaces again. Strongly.

But oh that little hopeful face and those wistful words…”will you be my whale”. What mother wouldn’t melt? I almost did. And then I turned up my tail and swam away 🙂

Reblogged: Marking Territory

Everywhere I look, I sit the offspring’s presence prevails.

The jar of Gummybears are usually within hand’s reach although with the child-proof caps it’s still a bit in our control when we want to hand the bears over.

There are clothes clips on the futon, tigers and lions (figures) under the sofa cushions and Play Doh and khakhra crumbs all along the path he’s taken through the house. Very Hansel and Gretel and one can guess who the witch in this story is too 🙂

Point is- kids take over your life in toto! And when they sleep you reclaim it and the house which has their artwork all over the walls instead of the nice designs you and your husband picked out as newlyweds.

But then again they surprise you in the MOST UNEXPECTED manner. After a terribly taxing day when you’ve restrained yourself from leaving them on some unsuspecting person’s doorstep they turn to you and execute a deep bow and say Thank You Very Much Ayu in the cutest manner ever and all’s forgiven till the next transgression.

Damn! Check and mate to the offspring. Mommy’s still figuring out her opening gambit!

Kids: The Beauty Of The Little People

Witnessed two separate instances of candid and unadulterated (excuse the pun) kiddy behavior yesterday. Enjoy reading about them. I enjoyed experiencing them:

Scenario 1:

Last evening at the play area MLM and another little friend of his got into a tiff which seemed to be escalating to epic proportions. Well epic differs from people to people and for 5 year olds, it normally means yelling threats of ‘never seeing the other people again”. EVER!

It all started with silly stuff; the way it does for most kids. It was a matter where one felt the other should apologize and the other didn’t share the sentiments. The person demanding the apology turned into a mini stalker and followed the other potential apologizer around till they gave in. When that tactic fell flat they got right in each others’ faces and shouted they never wanted to see each other again.

After a lot of posturing they each went and plonked their little butts on the SAME merry-go-round, scant inches away from each other and tried very hard to stay miffed and NOT look at each other to see what the other was doing.

A bigger little kid came by and helpfully gave the merry-go-round a spin thinking to see them rise up in joy and go WHEEEE. The exact opposite happened. The warring kids turned on him as one and he was curtly informed that they did not  need his help at all and were perfectly capable of spinning around on their own. The story after that is one that needs no spoiler…they made up. Went dizzy on the merry-go-round and even teamed up against the innocuous big kid and laughed at their heads off. They even walked home together and promises were made of playing together again VERY SOON.

Go figure.

Scenario 2:

MLM was doing his homework and taking breaks in between to tell me how much he wanted to go and play with his little foe turned friend. Another friend’s (mine this time) son came over to run an errand for his mother. Seeing MLM doing his homework he asked exactly the kind of work that had been assigned.When I told him he expressed concern and dismay that a child MLM’s age was laden with the task of cursive writing and horrors…Hindi homework too!

The bigger little boy told me he was introduced to cursive writing in grade school and very seriously wanted to know the name of the school that puts so much pressure on a child smaller than him.

He seemed a bit surprised and slightly down with what he’d seen.

Children, up to a particular age, even with their exposure to adult subterfuge and whatnots are largely very blunt and very expressive. What they see , feel and think the world around them gets to know.

Their approaches to problem solving are ridiculously simple and extremely effective.

Maybe, just maybe…we should take a leaf out of their book when we get frazzled with the vagaries of the world around us.

Just saying.

Embracing the D-Word

One of our first pets is dead. We bought MLM his first goldfish pair exactly two weeks ago. He wasn’t excessively fond of them; am glad about that since I had visions of his using the net or even his hands to want to talk to them or caress them. In fact even when he wanted his toys to become a part of the goldfish bowl world he told me about it first  and I washed the toys carefully and introduced them to their new watery home.

I woke up this morning and went to check on them like I do every day and one of them seemed very sluggish to my sleepy eyes. But he/she wasn’t belly up yet. I thought maybe a change of water would inject some freshness in their lives; literally. But the fish died even before I could transfer it into cleaner waters and eventually hitched a ride on the porcelain express.

But a larger questions looms up now. What do I tell the kid? He will eventually notice after his attention shifts from the Dragons of Berk and the Ultimate Spiderman that either Nemo or Memo (yes, he named them that) is not there anymore.

The last two times when Death came up in everyday conversation I’d waited for him to take the lead and give me some insight into what he’d understood by it. And I just followed suit.

When Littlefoot’s mother died after her fight with the T-Rex, MLM said she was tired and was sleeping and he thought the earthquake that happened separated them for good. Not being able to understand the actual scenario. The rest of the movie kept him so engrossed he didn’t ask about her ever again. Problem solved.

When my husband’s grandmother passed away he sensed something out of the ordinary was up. He was just 4 and 1/2 years old at the time and was eerily still at seeing her dead body when they brought her home and also when we went to pay our last respects. He got a bit agitated when the funeral van took her away for the cremation because unknown people were taking away someone he knew and he didn’t know where they were taking her. But in the months after whenever we’ve visited the house she lived in, he’s always gone into her room but accepted that she’s not going to be there because he doesn’t ask about her anymore.

He’ll be 5 soon. As far as I know he’s still too young to comprehend the concept. Hell, I don’t get it beyond the actual technical parts of it viz heart stopping et al. But of late all his questions have been heavily laced with the ‘whys’ and am not sure what I should tell him once he notices the fish isn’t there?

Am stuck between saying it’s sick (which is true or rather was true) and it’s gone to the doctor and replacing it with a new goldfish or just telling him that it’s gone away without being morbid.

Whatever comes to my mind whenever the question comes up, here’s a look at Nemo and Memo in happier and alive days.

With their temporary roommate- the diver man.

With their temporary roommate- the diver man.

A little tete-a-tete.

A little tete-a-tete.

The daily dose of fishbowl gossip.

The daily dose of fishbowl gossip.

Good Omens

After a morning filled with the usual rigmarole of MLM telling me his school was closed so he could stay home and watch Peacock aka Kung Fu Panda-2, me yelling at him to sit his butt down while I drove him to school for a dental camp…my son picked up two flowers (from the ground…we don’t encourage ouchies for plants) and rather bashfully gave them to me.

Hope it sets the tone for the rest of the day…that it’s nice and mellow and doesn’t involve me donning my other avatar of a firebreathing dragon.

One can hope, can’t one? 🙂

image