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!

Reblogged: What You Say Vs What They Hear

I keep wondering what is it that makes my kid do the opposite of what I ask (read threaten/yell) him to do.

These are the very regular occurrences in our house:
  • Stand still gets interpreted as be anything but still.
  • Be quiet or HUSH= keep chattering incessantly.
  • Just a minute/second= I want it NOW!
  • Give me a minute to catch my breath= peppered by demands.
  • No iPad/TV = GIVE iPad/TV NOW!
  • Let’s eat dinner= I want JAMP (jam).
  • Let’s each lunch= I want chips!
  • Let’s brush your teeth= eating the toothpaste.
  • Rinse your mouth properly= water trickling out of the corners of the mouth with zero rinsing having taken place.
  • Enough ketchup= squeezing out another massive glob of it.
  • Eat properly with the spoon= eating with both hands in one go and looking absolutely simian in the process.
  • DON’T=DO
  • ENOUGH= NEVER ENOUGH
  • I’M ANGRY WITH YOU= thousands of kisses rained on my face as a bribe.
  • GO STAND IN THE CORNER= slowly inching away from the corner and smiling like an evil monkey.
  • Let’s not put the Play Doh on the sofa= rubbing it even more into the fabric.
  • Don’t write on the walls= put handprints with paint instead.
  • GO TO SLEEP= STAY UP AN EXTRA HOUR JUST TO SPITE ME.
See what I mean!
Clearly I live in the Land of Opposite and MLM is King!

ReBlogged: Fee Fie Fo Fum!

Said the giant before Jack whooped his bottom and took away his essence of being a giant altogether!

Ok…how does that make any sense you ask? I’ll tell you…just let me spin out my tale a bit more…

Parenting. Glorious parenting. Tis fun. Tis joyous. Brings tears to your eyes at times (for many reasons, not all of them good) but god dammit! Why does it have to be so HARD???!!!

One mom I met a few months back at the doctor’s office said something which is SO true for most of us…we wait for our babies to talk and take their first steps and then when they achieve said milestones all we seem to be capable of telling them is SHUSH and DON’T RUN AROUND!

If my speech was transcribed throughout the day (like a court reporter does) I have a feeling most of it would start like this (especially when taken in conjunction to my communication with MLM):

Morning (before coffee)- moan, groan, grumble, curse (while stepping on some toy which has wheels or a part sharp enough to poke).

Waking up MLM- (singsong) Hey Buddy..waaaaake upppp! Good morningggg! How are you todayyy? Kissy kissy, cuddley-wuddley and all that jazz.

Getting him to brush his teeth and bathe while keeping an eye on the wall clock- To the tune of This is the Way We Go To School- this is how we brush our teeth…la la la la laaaa.
On seeing that aforementioned teeth are not getting brushed- WOULD YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH ALREADY!! JESUS CHRIST! YOU NEED A DARN JACK TO PRISE OPEN THIS CHILD’S MOUTH! OPEN UP NOW!!! GOOD BOY…see…pretty white teeth…keep them nice and clean…STOP CHEWING ON YOUR TOOTHBRUSH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! YE GODS..I GAVE BIRTH TO A GOAT!

And so the morning progresses.

On the way to school we sing Eeya Eeya O!! till new requests for songs get delivered right into my ear. And then the exchange becomes like this-
WHY ARE YOU HISSING INTO MY EAR!  NO! NO! DON’T FIDDLE WITH THE RADIO…AAARGH TURN IT DOWN..TOO LOUD..NO I DON’T WANT THE WIPERS GOING SWISH SWISH..IT’S NOT RAINING…OK FINE..NO! DON’T TOUCH THE HAZARD LIGHTS…I CAN’T SEE THE ELEPHANT IN THE CLOUD NOW I’M DRIVING! SIT DOWN NOW!!

And so we get dropped off to school, exchange kisses and promises of being good and having fun yada yada.
Then comes the coming back from school part- ( again imagine singsong happy-happy la-la voice…to start with): How was school? Did you have fun! What did you see? Did you eat your snacks? Wha..what…! NO NO…NO CHOCOSHOT! STOP LYING DOWN ON THE ROAD…NO KFC NOW EITHER…WOULD YOU PLEASE NOT KICK MY SEAT WHILE YOU THROW THE TANTRUM…AARGH….GOD! I MISS BEING SINGLE!!

Then comes the bath and evening play time: (less singsong…cheer is decidedly being summoned)- Let’s go bathe and get fresh…you’re all stinky poo-poo (yes we baby talk..so shoot me!). HANG ON HANG ON…DON’T POUR MY FACE WASH INTO THE TUB..THOSE AREN’T BUBBLES…OK YES THEY ARE BUBBLES BUT NOT YOUR BUBBLES..THOSE ARE MY BUBBLES…SIGH..TAKE IT ALL…just sit down and get clean you force of nature…

Going to the playground- Who’s going to have FUN?! YES! That’s right…10 minutes into the playtime…please share the swings…plEASE…PLEASE..WOULD YOU JUST GO PLAY ON THE SLIDES OR SOMETHING…IT’S BEEN AN HOUR AND MY HANDS ARE GOING TO FALL OFF..I’M NOT PUSHING YOU ANYMORE AND THAT’S FINAL! AM LEAVING…DON’T THINK AM BLUFFING..AM GOING…WHOA…HANG ON…DON’T RUN IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION THE CAR IS THIS WAY…grumble grumble…curse curse…pine for alcohol and wish for a husband who worked from home!!

Bed time: RINSE YOUR MOUTH. GO PEE. GET INTO BED. LET’S READ YOUR BOOKS FOR THE UPTEENTH TIME ON THE SAME PAGE, SAME LINE, SAME WORD….

By the time the little eyes close and the HUK (hug) and kisses happen the voice is again mellow and singsong and thinking ‘ awww…isn’t he beautiful? Yeah…I can do this another day. NOT RIGHT NOW…later. much later.

A Few More Candles On The Birthday Cake

I recently celebrated another birthday. Firmly ensconced into the 30s now. And having fun actually. Gravity has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged me to an out-and-out war but barring that life is pretty good. The little hiccups of home improvement, a child at home during summer holidays; getting bored but barring that I thought about it and life is pretty good.

I have a slightly weird yardstick for gauging the “good” factor of life. I look at how efficient I have been in getting things done around the house (my 2nd primary responsibility), how often MLM has enjoyed good health vs having fallen sick, if we’ve been able to take a holiday as a family (even a mini getaway) and if I have had at least some uninterrupted face time with my parents and husband. The icing on the cake is how many books I’ve read (and reread) but then that’s me and my quirks.

Last Friday we all headed off to my BFF/sister’s place in Chennai. It’s hot and humid but she lives a stone’s throw away from the beach so what the heck! We try to catch up once a year given that we live in different cities but rarely do days go by when we don’t talk at least once a day on the phone. On a good day it’s either one long conversation or two depending upon how enthusiastic MLM is feeling about having my company or hungry for cookies.

We reached at night and both Red and MLM conked off pretty quickly. I changed into grungy home wear (what better attire for a midnight birthday party?) to find assorted pastries on a table, dim lighting, a poster/XL birthday card and a chilled bottle of Kahlua awaiting me. Am getting teary-eyed just thinking of it. A whole bottle…chillled. Sighs.

Anyhow, I’ve become pretty blase about my birthdays. I do like getting greetings but what I would rather do above anything else is just have a memorable day. And it was! Let me tell you, Korean food on your birthday is like nothing else, ever!

We headed to a cozy little Korean restaurant- InSeoul and just hunkered down in true Korean fashion and dug in. Bowls of everyday veggies with exotic aromas, unusual tangs and endless strands of noodles. It was an experience! And just what I wanted.

See it’s not always possible to seek out new experiences and be fulfilled while doing so. Every so often the new experiences come to you and sweep you up in them. Here, it was sharing food with loved ones I don’t see too often and everything was peppered with laughter and gastronomical delights. One of the reasons why food and music bring people closer together is that it allows you to share your journey with people around you while you’re riding the waves yourself, so to speak. And add coffee (tea) and conversation to the mix…well its a recipe for good times, good memories and in short, happiness.

So it was Bulgogi one day, while sitting on square mats on the floor while the food was cooked right on the table and delivered up into our plates and the next it was sharing bowls of pasta and pizza in a little villa down the road from the sea while a little fan whirled above our heads from the thatched roof.

This has largely turned into a glimpse of the food consumed rather than the birthday weekend but with my best friend, food plays a very large part in our interaction with each other. We’ve expanded considerably as a result of it as well but nonetheless, we have food milestones as well in our 16 year history with each other. Right from street food to fine dining to home cooked nourishing soul food, we have food as markers in our journey with each other. Over the years the families, spouses and children have been brought in to share the ride. And what a ride it’s been.

So here’s to turning a year older, in the presence of people you know, love and who love you back and most importantly…really know you.

 

Shocks On The Way To School

I’ll admit it here and possibly have it engraved on a metal plate and hang it somewhere prominently…NO ONE CAN SHOCK ME AS MUCH AS MY CHILD!

While I was dropping him to school this morning he suddenly got very excited and shouted out, ” LOOK! FUCKS!” I nearly had a WTF moment myself and carefully asked him, ” What did you say?” To which the pat came the reply, ” TWO FUCKS!” By this time I had a sinking feeling in my stomach and was wondering how to tell Red that our only child had been initiated in the unholy world of profanity when the tiny paws that pass for MLM’s hands gripped my ponytail and started tugging to show me the “fucks”. And I saw them…2 dogs with small bodies, bushy tails and pointy ears like that of a FOX! DUH! DUH! DUH!

So like every ostensibly responsible mother I started to enunciate FOX properly and asked him to repeat after me but to no avail. And 15 minute car trips are hardly long enough to pass on life lessons let alone pronunciations so I let it be for then. But I’ve roped in his teachers so they can help him change his verbal outlook towards this poor poor animal who unknowingly almost caused a mother to screech to a stop in the middle of commuter traffic in the morning.

Oh FOX!

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Image courtey- redbubble.net

Lazy Sundays…A Myth For Parents

MLM kept tapping my face relentlessly first thing early this morning till I sleepily opened my eyes to find him mere milimeters away from me and smiling beatifically. A smiling face when am still not awake and ready to smile awakens my inner dragons. They are baby dragons when the person who wakes me up is my child. But fire breathing nonetheless.

This is how our conversation went-

Me: Why are you up? Do you want to go to the bathroom? *glances at mobile to see the time, 5:59 am*

MLM: Noooo…I want milk. Smiles

Me: *grumbling* ask Baba (Red) pleaseeee? Yeah right! High hopes..

MLM: (seriously) Baba is sleeping Ayu. Ayu is getting up.

Gaaah!! Of course I’ll get if someone does pat-a-cake to my face. Buy no one said parenting came with adequate sleep for the parents involved.

After milk&honey is handed over, in a glass color of his choice, MLM sits and happily chats away like it’s midday instead of 6 am on a Sunday!!

I tell him to have his milk and sleep for some more time and he chirps back how he wants to make triangles, dinosaurs and starts lining up his arsenal of color pencils in a row to start the attack of colors by small hands.

I give him a jumbo coloring book and snuggle back down good mood restored. 2 minutes later the face tapping starts again…

Me: ( sighing resignedly) Yes baby?

MLM: (smiling again) POTTY.

Sunday’s become Monday!

Eating Your Words

Let me assure you that having to eat your own words is not a culinary experience to aspire to. Nope!

Classic cases of eating one’s words that I’m pretty sure quite a few adults go through-

  • When I grow up I won’t talk to my kids the way my parents talk to me- Reality? We used phrases like “Because I said so!”, “We’ll see”, ” Wait till your father gets home”, “Sit straight and don’t slouch” and the list goes on.
  • I can’t wait to see what my baby will do next- Again reality bites hard because the same child who you couldn’t wait to see toddling and uttering his first words is now a person who flies rather than walks and can put parrots to shame with his chirping and twittering and continuous mouthing of “Why”, “Please”, “Can I”, ” Are we there yet”. And this list too is sadly unending.

I had taken the offspring to the doctor’s office today and while I was waiting there I spied a woman who looked EXHAUSTED. I thought to myself, “this woman hasn’t slept properly in a while, or had the chance to bathe leisurely and probably has a preschooler…boy.” Three for three baby!

We shared looks of commiseration and fatigue across the room and I recalled when I first saw MLM’s sonogram and thought to myself that I couldn’t wait to have a baby…yup. My words will need a lot of seasoning going down my gullet.