Conversations From The Back Seat

TO’ school’s set to reopen come next Monday (does a mini jig of joy). I like my kid being at home provided he doesn’t get into that mode of where he wants me to generate things for him to do and then proceeds to shoot down each and every one of them just because!

Anyhoo, yesterday we drove up to his school in a lovely semi-cloudy weather and got him kitted out for the academic year. On the way there he kept fiddling with my phone and kept changing songs like it was a speed dating event. So I kept a strict no-phone only radio policy for the ride back home. Apparently retro English and Hindi music just don’t cut it with kids who’re growing up listening to DJ Snake and Maroon 5 *rolls eyes* So we decided to chat instead. And when I say “we”, I always mean HE and HE alone.

So there we were, zipping down a good, smooth road and then comes the question, “Did Tony really die?” Now I know who the Tony is but we’re trying to teach the brat to be specific in his talk so I asked him who Tony was. In the meanwhile the radio decides that playing Ecuador would be a great idea! So there’s foot tapping music going on, a finger poking me on my shoulder and talk of some random Tony dying…all in a day’s work. By the time it emerged that Tony was actually Tony Starke and I reminded my child that it was actually a movie and not to take everything too seriously he’d moved onto something else. This is what he moved on to. Our conversation takes me to lala land sometimes…

TO:”Hey Ayu, I want to move to New York.!” ME: Cool baby…it’s a fun place…but why New York though? TO: Because that’s where the radioactive spiders live. DUH!!

Sebastian Whaaaa GIF - Sebastian Whaaaa Maniscalco GIFs ME: Ummm…there are no radioactive spiders. And if you want spiders you can stay in India, why go to New York? TO: BECAUSE.AYU. THAT’S. WHERE THE TALL. BUILDINGS. ARE. DUH! DUH!! ME: Ok…walk me through this. You want to be Spiderman?! TO: DUH! Yeah!! ME: Stop saying DUH it’s annoying. TO: Ok F-I-N-E!! But I want a spider to bite me and swing from tall buildings. New York has tall buildings.

New York Skyline Animation by Kürşat Ünsal | Dribbble ...ME: That’s true…but if you really want to bitten by a spider and turn into Spiderman maybe you should visit your grandfather (My father-in-law who lives in a less urban set-up) and just walk around the gardens there..there’ll be loads of spiders to bite you. [Yes, I did honestly say that to my only child].

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TO: Wonderingly…do they have a science club there though? If I don’t have a science club then I’m just going to get bited and not get superpowers. ME: You should ask your father…he grew up there. Am sure they had science there. TO: But he doesn’t have superpowers…I need radioactive spiders. Do you promise to send me to New York so I can get bit? ME: I promise baby. Be quiet now because there’s too much traffic for me to navigate through. TO: Ok Ayu…you drive, I’ll sit here and think of spiders.

 

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Money-Grubbing Altruism

Woman's face peeking out of a pile of money

It is a theory of mine that depending upon the kind of ride TO is in, his thought process changes accordingly.

I had a flat tire today and had to take an auto rickshaw to get around. I think the abundance of the fresh-polluted air got to him and he came up with such gems that I had to get them out to the unsuspecting world at large.

My child has questions about life and death. Mainly death. He knows it happens but not always why and if there are aspects which predicate it; if I can call it such. So this darling boy asked about certain key family members who are no longer with us and asked how it impacted those left behind and came up with a solution: he would learn magic and bring them back to life so everyone who was left sad by their passing would be happy again. Primarily his father, whose mother had passed away while he was still in his teens.

He then went up the generation ladder and said he would revive his great-grandmother as well because she’d been 97 when she passed and should live to be at least a 100. All noble endeavors. In theory.

Soon after caame the kicker! In this process of reanimating all the dearly departed he’d make a ton of money and then be rich! rich! RICH!!! and buy up all the dueling dinos that we (Red and I) have deemed unnecessarily expensive toys.

And in that instant I went from doing this-

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to this-

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Thankfully the ride ended soon after and apple of my myopic eyes raced home to tell his father about the love he has for his fellow-man and how he wants to bring joy in our lives.

Never a dull day with this one that’s for sure. They *never* tell you these things in those damn parenting books which is why I’m writing my own!

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Don’t Have Kids…

but be around them. Children are Nature’s balm. They may come across as incomprehensible, demanding, whiny brats who you often fantasize about leaving on someone else’s doorstep, but kids have something we end up losing as adults- an ability to laugh at the silliest and simplest of things.

Take a little boy who’s recently become a friend of mine. He’s suffered an irreparable loss. That of a parent. He’s asked all the questions kids do when they don’t really understand death. He’s cried. He’s been sad and am sure he’s looked up quite often when the doorbell’s rung, hoping to see a particular someone. But while adults around him grieve and struggle to let go of their pain, shared and individual, he has his armor on and it’s keeping him safe. And the beauty of it is that it’s intrinsic 

He’s laughed at oranges that rolled off a table and went under a couch, a squishy grape that hit him on the chin while being deseeded, a wobbly banana that could no longer hold its pose and fell down with a splat or the little toy engine that went off the tracks and into the belly of an alligator.

He laughed again when he remembered what seemed like utter and complete silliness to him and seeing him we laughed as well. And felt a little better. Because unalloyed laughter is precious. And rib tickling, clamp-your-hand-over-your-mouth kinda laughter is infectious, uplifting and makes things seem just a little bit better; even on the really tough days.

Thank god for children. Thank god for all they find silly and thank goodness for fruits that’ve stopped being firm. It would seem that there’s plenty to be thankful for at the end of the day after all.

A Blog A Day- Day 4

The offspring has a new love- IPL.

He doesn’t really get the mechanics of cricket barring people throwing a ball and someone trying to hit it or get out trying. Those are my genes at play so he can’t be held responsible.

With IPL, the format is perfect for his attention span and it’s livelier, the unis are more colorful and there are dancing girls etc so what’s not to like eh? He seems to be enamored of Virat Kohli even going to extent of asking me where he lives and where he can meet the ‘Captain of India’ as Kohli’s been dubbed. I think we may have a tiny stalker on our hands soon.

He asks us a thousand questions about who’s playing, who won and who lost etc. He also makes it a point to tell Red and I which team we’re cheering for. Woe betide if we don’t fall in with his plans; a pouty face surfaces and we’re left pacifying him and saying “yes, yes…we’ll cheer for Delhi Daredevils (grumble, mutter-mutter, grumble, grumble)”. He loves the Jio add as well and often leaves his dinner to dance along with the jingle and do a victory lap whenever someone hits a 6 or gets out.

Usually he’s hustled off to bed before any side finishes with their batting due it being a school night. So as soon as I toss his tiny butt out of bed in the mornings, he makes a beeline for the paper to check the sports page, after he gets over his mini-zombie phase. He checks to see if his team has won. If they have then it’s jubilation time. If they haven’t then it’s a sad face till he’s reminded that there’s yet another match about to take place in the night and he can still beat one of us via his team.

Is this the Millennial version of sportsmanship, I wonder…

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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!

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#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.

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#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.

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#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.

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#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.

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#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!

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#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.

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#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.

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#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.

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#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.

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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!

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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!