It’s Probably For The Best….

Life offers up platitudes GALORE. Some are self-generated and the others are ladled out by well-intentioned albeit unoriginal people.

But platitudes, clichés whatever we choose to term them, do serve a purpose. The first time I saw this scene in Victor Victoria, it struck me for a reason I wasn’t able to define or even decipher as a teen. But as an adult there have been times I have replayed it or its paraphrase in my head. There *are* moments in life where clichés seem to tell it like it is. Loud and clear.

For instance, while you were growing up if you thought of yourself as a dynamic, capable, individual who walks the walk and talks and talk and is hugely successful and has all the requisite things that label her as having arrived, well you could say that you were one of the multitude who did so.

What is also true is that you are instead a part of the multitude who are the housewives who bake, fuss about the laundry and the kind of fabric softener you need to use, which kind of flour is higher in fiber for your kids and how your husband needs a hot meal when he gets home. You have turned into a Betty Crocker of sorts and aspiring for Martha Stewartness.

You search for the man of house’s socks and wonder if you have enough baking soda to take that weird odor in your fridge away or if you should use some vanilla-soaked cotton balls instead.

And if by chance, one day, when you wake up and realize that parts of your life have become a cliché, you can either run for the hills or accept that yes; while unoriginal it does make up for things in prophecy and thereby gain some credibility. So you aren’t the Prada and Christian Louboutin-wearing, Centurion-card wielding, big bundle of hotness! Big deal

It’s not a bad thing to become a cliché. Not merely because there are others out there as well but simply because clichés are enduring and they are a truism. You might not have wanted to become predictable or a type but you have become who you could in life. If that means you cut out coupons before going to the grocery store, so it be.

While the “stand-out-in-a-crowd-types” try to maintain their individuality, it’s the clichés who silently rule the world. Or the household with the sweet smells coming out of the oven and the lemon-scented wood furniture at the very least!

Parenting Diaries: Lying…When To Be Concerned

MLM by and large is a fairly manageable child. He’s NOT docile neither does he stop and listen every single time but he’s not been sneaky or sly very often.

He celebrated his 5th birthday over the weekend and I found some of the toys brought out during the party had suspicious chunks taken out of them. There being no end to the kind of sticky situations kids can find themselves in, I asked him if he was the one who had done it. He calmly replied “no”. When I later found irrefutable proof that it was indeed he who had spoiled the toys I have to admit I got pretty angry. Not because of the toys but because he’d lied outright.

Now as parents, we lie to our kids without blinking an eye. We lie about Santa, where their old toys have gone, where people go to after they die or even how we tackle the question of death itself. It’s done out of two main factors:

1) Children, at a particular age, lack the life experience to understand everything life throws at them.

2) We lack the adequate ability to explain things to them about certain things because they actually require near-adult understanding.

But what I am concerned about is- where do I draw the line about lying? Don’t lie? Non-negotiable and no questions asked or depending on the situation and its gravity take a call?

No matter what stance Red and I take, life will teach him to tell fibs. To get out of dealing with tiresome people, to avoid doing something he’d prefer not to et al, to save himself from something uncomfortable…who knows! We do it so often.

With children in the formative stage it becomes so essential to watch our steps, words, everything around them!

So if I have to explain to him that telling a lying isn’t the best way to go, I guess I should start with telling him that the hugely expensive (and unnecessarily expensive also) dragon toy he wants isn’t really out of stock; I just don’t want to spend that kind of money on something that isn’t a bloody life-sized dragon!

Hard being a parent. Really. Truly. Absolutely!

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.