The Child: Lockdown Version

I started this post over a year ago and like many things which come to a grinding halt, so did this one. But it was too funny for me pass up posting it and since things are in a better state than they were a year ago, with the pandemic and its fallout, this post is one that looks back with a smile at a truly difficult time for all of us.

This lockdown has been an experience in more ways than one. Earlier I knew my child viewed me as The Enabler, The Witch, The Taskmaster, The Cuddlebunny at different times depending on his mood but now I’m almost convinced that when he sees me, he sees icons floating all over and all he has to do is just push one for a desired action to occur.

I’m also convinced that his speech has suffered a set back since he tends to bark out single words and use them like sentences. For eg: he’ll see me and say, “FOOD!”. If I stop in my tracks because of the terse and abrupt nature of his communication, he’ll look at me as if my IQ points aren’t what they ought to be and lift his t-shirt and rub his tummy signifying that food needs to provided. If I just want to mess with his head a bit more and act like I’ve still not understood him, he opens his mouth and points towards it and then rubs his tummy. Occasionally he’ll throw in a “DUH” very sotto voce.

These are the various icons I sport: when he needs digital entertainment: sadly most of which need unlocking. Am convinced he sees me like this and in this order!

Oh life…what more will you put me through…

Halfway To Healthy Living

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Yup, you read that one correctly. It’s a halfway, half-hearted or even half-assed attempt at living healthy with yours truly. Not because I don’t care enough…hang on…I’m not entirely sure I do. Intensely care, that is. But since I drop the ball so often, I have to take a good, hard look at myself and admit it- I’m fairly MEH when it come to being healthy in a holistic manner.

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I have all the intentions in the world- walking my glutes off, with the right kind of arch-support shoes no less. Eating well…ok..I ALWAYS eat well; I just don’t always eat healthily.

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I don’t turn my up nose up at soups and salads nor do I mind smaller portions or boiled and blanched stuff as opposed to the fried, creamed and au gratined eats but at my soul am a meat’n’potatoes gal who does think of food in terms of lamb chops, BLTs and ribeyes.

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However, when I briefly do get on the healthy bandwagon I go at it fairly thoroughly. I watch the portions I eat, I eat healthier overall and I’m very diligent about keeping a track of things like using a food diary, avoiding fried stuff and go off alcohol as well. I monitor my water intake, sleep cycles, BPM and my Fitbit becomes a near constant…and then it comes to a grinding halt!

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I’m not entirely sure what to call it- an innate laziness or just a personality type who doesn’t want to work harder than is needed but I do appreciate the notion of fitness and good health beyond the theoretical part.

As a woman in her 40s and one who is still not done raising a child; it’s imperative to maintain good health because stressors keep increasing daily and good physical health greatly promotes mental health as well. And I don’t mean mental illness but increases the mental agility to take things in one’s stride, the strength of mind to decide on issues- big and small and most importantly, bounce back and look ahead.

So the faltering journey is on, yet again; dotted with toned milk and berry smoothies, grilled salmon and tons of green crunchy stuff. Music is being chosen carefully to promote more footfalls and one day soon, the yoga mat will get rolled out again and the Galactic Ameba willing, I’ll even do planks and crunches.

Of course the moment I start setting increased goals on the Fitbit my mind says

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Oh The Humanity!

Parenting is a delight and a joy depending upon which time of day, which season and generally which parent you catch hold of. On some days the WTF moments are so numerous that you really need to take a step back and say to yourself, “Did I knowingly bring forth that child into this world?”

TO is in middle school this year. That coupled with the pandemic has made for a unique circumstance where the de facto response to pretty much everything is Nyet, No, Nada, Negative, Naaah and Nyaah, nyaah, nyaah. It should be taken into account when so many languages across the globe fall back on a single consonant to convey the same sentiment. Can anyone say conspiracy?

Anyhoo, Red and I have decided to divide and conquer. I take the subjects he doesn’t want to help out with and he takes the subjects I never did well in school- viz Maths and Science. That isn’t to say that I was a total dumdum…my response latency in those two subjects was slower than was permitted by the school authorities, parents and Indian society overall. Apparently when the genes for STEM were being handed out my mother missed the bus but stayed at the busstop longer for the Humanities and Language doles.

It’s been the same throughout TO’s childhood, I did most of the Art and Music classes with him in Gymboree, did more finger-painting with him while Red did majority of the the kinesthetic activities. Can anyone say physics geek? Back to circa 2020 and homework is supervised by either Red or I based on the subject we consider to be in our wheelhouse.

Last night Red took a break from home, hearth and homework and went off to play with his friends while I took up Math with the surprisingly blunt child. He told me categorically that we should hold off on the homework till his father got back since I wasn’t good at the subject and we’d probably have to redo them anyhow.

To say I was insulted would be to put it mildly. When a 11 year old calls you a dummy without actually saying it out loud, you feel at all once proud and miffed. Sadly both sides are still warring with each other and no clear winner has emerged.

I conceded the point a wee bit but this morning is when the audacious child really took the cake! There was a poetry workshop of sorts hosted by his seniors and I was hearing bits and pieces of words as they floated over the kids talking to each other. Now even a lapsed English Litt major will tell you that when they hear the word Onomatopoeia, something latent in them awakens and they almost dreamily float to the source where such figures of speech are being bandied about by kids. And that’s when life kicks you in the face!

I went up to TO and asked him what was going on and who was talking about Figures of Speech. In turn I was sneered upon and told that I didn’t know what I was talking about since it wasn’t about figures of speech..it was about ononma..onomo..omono…whatever! To add insult to injury…he showed me THE HAND.

Yeah..because that’s why I was instructed up close and personally by mean nuns wielding Wren&Martin textbooks and why I did 3 years of undergrads with ONOWHATEVERS making up my days and nights!

If you thought that delightful anecdote was the only #dafuq moment of my day, then you’d be wrong! So so wrong! During a break between his classes, I asked TO to quickly fill up the water bottles and to keep the glass ones on the dining table. This is what he did-

Apparently unless you specify that said glass bottles also need to be filled with water, they shall remain dry and empty.

So to sum up: be literal AND specify when communicating with your kids. Otherwise you’ll spend a lot of time counting and looking up, or down (depending upon where you draw your inspiration from) just to get through the day.

Nuff said!

The Seven-Year Blog(itch)

I started blogging on WordPress as a lark. I was test driving it to see how comfortable it might be for the org I was working for back in 2013. We wanted to start off a blog with information relevant for our clients and needed a platform easy enough for multiple people to post content without needing a crash course in blogging.

Somehow Blogger was making people go “Meh”. WordPress was recommended by Red and since he pushed me into the blogosphere in the first place, I decided to check out what was special this new (for me) platform. If I’d done it my way, I’d have signed up on 3 different sites, published something for fun, tweaked it a millions way to Sunday and then seen which I liked more and then settled on a final one. Am told that’s a slightly (cough cough) neurotic way of doing things. And I’ve been here ever since. It’s been 7 years of posting my thoughts, my feelings, glimpses into our family, trips down memory lane and pretty much everything that’s pinged on my radar.

Over time I’d branched out into a more no-holds barred avatar that lasted a while but then maintaining two separate entities began to wear me down. I was just iffy about writing things in a far more blunt manner but essentially it was the same same person being more candid. So it went down the trash chute.

A separate photoblog came up in due time and also met its doom because eventually I saw no reason to not integrate different facets of my nature into the one mouthpiece/pulpit/journal that I kept coming back to again and again.

I again branched out recently- for a product recommendation and review blog and that will stay separate because its tone and subject matter is completely different from this one.

But it feels good to look back and see some stats. Even if I haven’t been very prolific over the years, it’s still a timeline of me from 2013 onwards when many changes happened in my life and basically in all our lives, as a family.

It’s actually quite gratifying to be able to go back in time, even if it’s just 7 years and take a look at life the way it was then. Especially in a pandemic-ridden world, having to worry about pipes bursting and my kid’s struggles with handwriting, seem like a piece of cake from a easier and happier time.

The Saga Of A Little Boy

Once upon a time, there was a little boy. He was a bit scrawny when he was born but he put on weight and filled out and got himself some plump little cheeks, arms and legs and gurgled all day long.

He was a happy little boy and made his parents very happy too! Except for his mother who used to wish that he would sleep more and gurgle a bit less. Because sleep helps you grow and gurgles just brings out more drool.

This boy went to a school for little kids and had great fun there! They used to have a Naughty Corner for kids who needed to be on Time-Outs and there was a chair kept just for him. But he missed his friends when he was in the Naughty Corner and called them all over to his side. Soon, the teachers found themselves on the magic carpet all by themselves with the little boy having fun with his friends in the newly christened Happy Childrens Corner.

His parents always wondered at how fast his mind worked and everything that filled him with wonder. He soon discovered dinosaurs and other reptiles and there began a love affair that would probably last his whole life.

He loved to swim, swing, make a mess, paint on every part of his body, go on trips with his parents and more than anything, he loved KFC’s popcorn chicken, digital media and warm squishy hugs.

As this boy approaches another set of candles on his cake, his parents keep wondering about his life ahead. Will he play cricket, will be take up palaeontology, will he crash on their couch for the rest of his life? Whatever be the answer, it’s sure to be as interesting as parenting him as been so far.

Cabin Fever Blog…

Another post that was left midway, most likely due to household chores and my personal Disruptor!

Kicking And Screaming GIFs | Tenor

Lockdown mornings are wonderful (read between the lines)! Instead of dragging TO out of bed, I now kind of nudge him till he rolls out and then get him to clean out his eye gunk before he gets online for his classes with the teachers and classmates. What joy.

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Today being a Saturday, I didn’t have to nudge, push or shove and he got up on his own. I should mention that because he bunked with me last night I didn’t get much sleep. I usually go to another room when he starts using me as his mattress and blanket all rolled into one.

A little while back there was a slightly miffed child staring at me with his hands on his hips…the bone of contention was my leaving him at night to go sleep somewhere else. When I told him that I needed my sleep and he kept pushing me off the bed, his answer of, “That’ because you’re so FAT!” didn’t really help matters much.

52 Questions I Ask Myself When I Lie Awake At Night

I think I’ll get one of those Keep Calm memes up and running while I ruminate on playing musical bedrooms in my own home. Till I drift off to sleep and wake up with a cute but peeved face almost nose to nose with me!