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Turbulent Tweens

The word ‘turbulent’ here refers to the frame of mind of the parents of tweens and not the tweens themselves. Honestly, I can even begin to take a gander at what these self-involved little hoomans are thinking, with half their brains trying to not give into the sociopathy that kids seem to have a blueprint for vs the sulky, snarky era that apparently spans the way ahead during their teenage.

While I have often wished and wished hard, that I could be one of those parents who fawn over their kids most of the times; I am unable to suppress my gag reflexes at the thought of constantly thinking of TO as my “little prince”.

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‘My-little-pain-in-the-ass’ seems closer to the mark and I’ll tell you why. My usual interactions with him seem to go in these directions- A) I’m a slave driver and he’s a slave especially when it comes to getting him up in the mornings B) I’m not justified in asking him to bath properly rather than just looking at the soap and imagining himself as properly lathered, C) Expresing disappointment at the state of the loo post his using it (Ok now that’s the problem with most men but I’m trying to get him to be a bit more aligned to women in this regard), D) Me not behaving like we offer room service when the water bottle, glass etc is just two steps away. See? It’s not him, it’s CLEARLY ME!

This is the starting of the age when anything that comes out of my mouth is met with a “no”. And it’s not like when he was chubby, drooly and cute and saying no because it was a new word he’d just learnt and wanted to use it to death. Now the ‘no’ comes because he clearly has a setting activated in his brain that says keeping pushing that short, round woman in front of you till her head explodes. It’s not a fun time for me. And am told it gets way more interesting from here on. See how I effectively demonstrated the use of an euphemism? My English teachers are doing this somewhere-

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But getting back to my causes of being in a snit- the kid’s growing up. Acting dumber at times sure, but growing up. He doesn’t fit into my lap, he’s not soft and squishy anymore and it takes more and more work to not flick his ear in irritation every damn day.

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So pretty much on most weekdays and definitely on all weekends there’s a scene playing out which looks like this. For those of you who aren’t parents, that’s TO’s confused “What did I do look” followed by my “Eye of Shame/ I’m a part-time Medusa” look followed by TO’s nyah nyah attitude which in turn in followed by my “Now I’m seriously displeased look” and that’s all topped off with Red’s “Oh man! I have to run before they ask me to take sides” look.

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P.C: Paolo Nicolello@Unsplash
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P.C: Ruth Caron@Unsplash
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P.C: Drew Beamer@ Unsplash
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P.C: Dmitry Ulitin
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P.C: Bruno Figueredo@ Unsplash

S-I-G-H.

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Conversations On A Monday Monday

I live with two people who want me in their space but refuse to let me breathe the way I want to. I like the windows open with loads of fresh air coming in. TO wants the inside of a freezer all around him and greedily watches the AC to see when it’ll be turned on. Red wants the AC switched off when I would rather have a slightly chillier atmosphere, leading to genuine chill emanating from me that ends up baffling him for some reason. Go figure.

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So I wake up this morning and do my usual stuff of opening the doors to the balcony, opening the windows; take a deep breath of air which hasn’t yet been saturated by exhaust and what not. This lasts all of 2 hours. When the offspring wakes up, he goes around closing the windows, drawing the shades and closing the blinds as well.

On being told to keep everything back the way it was, he starts objecting, “But Ayuuuuuuu”. Mondays are tough enough without another month and a half of holidays remaining. I tell him to give me my fresh air and ” GO BE A TROLL” in his own room with the curtains and windows closed!

11yo has a 'pot belly'

His response? A beaming smile. This is how monstrous ideas are formed…by loose lips of uncaffeinated mothers. Ye Gods!

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The Serenity Prayer

It’s not just in rehab that one prays for serenity. Or even on Seinfeld. Parents frequently pray, atheists and all, for deliverance or the ability to bear with those who we do not understand and want to spank the butts of.

This conversation took place just 5 minutes ago: TO storming into my room, “HEY AYU! S aunty made the bread that I don’t like! Me: But you ate it so well last time she made it, you like French toast. TO: No! I HATE French toast! It’s disgusting!! Me: Ok, just eat it today because you need to take your medicines after food. TO: I DON’T WANT TRIANGLE BREAD PIECES! Me: Just put both together and make a whole bread and it won’t be a triangle anymore! TO: But it won’t taste the same (whine whine whine grumble grumble grumble and exit stage left).

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The Stare

I have an almost-10 year old. He’s lazy like his father and me. We aren’t the gung ho types who jump to it and proactively clean and get shit done. We get to it when we can’t find things and usually at the last minute. Sort of defeats the purpose of being a housewife I guess but my parents’ cleaning gene escaped me but I wasn’t about to let it escape my kid. Not entirely.

We’ve made a deal; once he gets up in the morning he has to make the bed. Properly. Of course that’s when hands start to hurt and the bedspread seems to be made of cement rather than cotton but I’ve decided to be firm. What am also being firm about is the extent of halfheartedness I’ll allow in the task.

Today he went around the bed like a puppy chasing its tail in trying to get the bedspread to stay on the bed evenly. To say it looked like one of those asymmetrical dresses that seem to be the rage, would be downplaying it. Half the bedspread was covering the floor and the throw pillows were thrown on the floor and living up to their name and there was a little man brushing his hands with accomplishment saying, “Done!”

But I have learnt one thing from my father if nothing else…’The Stare’. My father is the master of ‘The Stare’. His stare is so potent that I could feel it burning through a crowded room, aimed right at me like a smack on the head. Btw, the beauty of this is that you don’t have to actually smack or even raise your hands…you frown and let your face settle in its most disapproving pattern and let it rest. The victim…erm the target is drawn by the vibes given off said face and is browbeaten into doing your bidding. It’s magic at its best. It’s a thing of beauty that I hadn’t appreciated while it was being leveled at me.

Over the years the stare as been leveled at others found to be lacking, an errant boyfriend here and there, friends who’ve been dressed inappropriately or when he thought I was dressed like a hobo (aka too casually for college and the sobriety of Chaucer and Matthew Arnold). And the stare burns into you…it’s like a Dark Mark that hovers till you’ve ceded to its commands.

Today, after TO kept playing tag with the bedspread I leveledĀ my stare at him and after a few studied shrugs of nonchalance and innocence, he said, “OK FINE!!!” and made the bed. It could still do with a few tugs here and there but at least the bed’s covered and not the floor.

See, they don’t tell you these things in the parenting books. This stuff’s invaluable! Of course the stare’s something every married man is familiar with. They are also more familiar with the menacing tones of the phrase, “We need to talk”…

I think I’ll just dole out the evilness today…mwaaahaaa

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Saturday Bloglet#2

Meanie Mommy recommends pretending to be seriously and totally grossed out when your offspring threatens to pour slime on your ankles and legs. 

The child will pour and rub like a zealous slime-pourer and rubber and you will get a lovely little massage from those soft little hands. Accompanied by wicked cackles from a munchkin of course!