Oh My Angst Hurts

The Offspring (TO) has been introduced to the world of peer pressure. He has met the “popular” kids, met the jocks, met the goody two-shoes and is trying to fit into the whole ecosystem as we speak…erm type.

Being of a slightly more touchy disposition, TO is at times inclined to want to change schools if he doesn’t have a good day or have a bad experience. Of course the very next moment he can be on top of the world as well. Am told such is the world of children.

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This morning his reason for not wanting to get up and go to school was due to the kids he had a falling out with. He gave us more details while having his milk. The conversation went something like this- TO: ” So I’m not friends with X anymore. Me: Why? TO: She doesn’t want to be friends with ME. Me: (making sympathetic face) Whhhhyyy? What happened? TO: She says stop following me around. Me: Well…do you follow her around? TO: (looking sheepish)..only a little bit. Me: Well then, don’t follow her. TO: (huffily) ok fine!

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The rest of the conversation consisted of words irritating, annoying, irritated and annoyed and why the middle finger is *not* to be shown and at least a 1000 reminders to finish his milk and go for his bath.

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Turbulent Thursdays anyone? And to think that we have yet to navigate through the choppy waters of puberty. God help us.

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A Post From The Past

I wrote this post on a Word doc years ago and didn’t get around to publishing it. Discovered it today and publishing it because it’s still relevant and I’m still fighting for my space on the bed!”

Travails of Sleepytime

Many of us sleep alone at nights. And they are the lucky ones. The ones who don’t aren’t unlucky per se but they’ve lost that God-given privilege of rolling about on their bed all by their lonesome, unless something bad happens and well…that’s where couches (in conjunction with angry spouses) come in.

Why am I suddenly tripping on sleeping alone? Well let’s see now- the only child that I am, I graduated to a bed of my own at a fairly early age I’d say. And after that I’ve found that a bed mate (even a chaste one) just didn’t do it for me all in all. Something would happen that’d make me long to sleep. A-L-O-N-E!!

The current trigger is the hubby’s death grip on my coverlet. Boy! You think it’d be easy to shove a slender guy out of the way and dig out my wrap from under him. You’d think wrong. I’d have better luck excavating dinosaur bones somewhere. The sheet’ll be free once he moves. And he doesn’t move. Much.

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Which leads me to another bone of contention. I’m a wriggler. When I get into bed for the first time I HAVE to wriggle till I mush out a nice cozy space for myself and get the place a bit warm in the process. Not everyone’s a natural bed warmer like my father. I remember some pretty cold winters as a kid when I’ve tried to sneak under his comforter because he radiates furnace-like heat when all covered up.

I sadly, warm up only the place I lie in and since I’m a twitchy sleeper by nature I seldom lie in one place long enough for it to get properly toasty. I inevitably used to wake up from a cold spot on the bed during the winters in various places I’ve spent my childhood in. Hyderabad not really having much semblance of a winter is definitely easier on my malfunctioning heating coils. Anyhow, I realized that sleeping alone is a gift that is never given again post marriage and during the times when you have clingy roommates in the hostel. But that’s a different cuppa tea altogether.

Take me for example- I frequently smacked the new groom across his face while we got used to sharing a bed. Now I can sleep pretty much anywhere. But he NEEDS to be on his left else he feels as if he’s deprived himself of a good night’s sleep. Don’t ask me why. It’s not as if the mattress people stuffed his side of the mattress with more foam and left spikes in mine right? But adamant he is and on the nights when I’ve occupied the left side, the following mornings have brought me face to face with Monsieur Le Grumpy.

Bonuses of sleeping alone #1 your posture can be anything at all and you don’t ever have to have people grumbling over you at odd times of the night about why you are mimicking the Karate Kid’s Crane kick in your sleep. So whether it’s a pose of a bird hatching an egg or a midget hatching a plan, your posture is your thing and you get to indulge in all sorts of jungle gym activities all while sleeping beatifically.

Advantage # 2- you can emit any kinds of noise from anywhere you wish and not be thought as disgusting or get an elbow in the ribs right in the middle of the gorgeous dream of you and….never mind who else. It’s a great and understandable provocation for bodily harm leading to murder if you’re startled away by a monstrous snort of your partner. That pillow never looked handier for smothering, am I right?

Drool is also another dread to have to encounter. Imagine while fast asleep, you roll over/ reach out and your hands, feet touch something cold, sticky and thoroughly unpleasant. It’s enough to recreate the bedroom scene in the Godfather!

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Another reason to not let others in your bed, especially kids, is that they’ll never want to leave!! Mine starts out in his cot and somehow always ends up draped over my head, feet in my face, fingers tangled in my hair or moving around between the sheets like a wraith from the horror movies. Am convinced the hubby sleepwalks and then picks up El Munchkin and places him between us. And after a few attempts of his kicking his father (whose bones hurt your hands and feet when you make contact) my son’s permanently turned his limbs towards me. Courtesy my cellulite.

Apparently I often go *bleep-bleep* in the night after being kicked in the face or almost being pushed off the bed. I don’t remember them of course. I’m told about my runaway mouth across the dining table, over a cup of life-restoring coffee I’m; by a disapproving spouse in stern tones. But in my defense, I was in limbo you see. Formed of fatigue and memories of the days when I ruled my own bed and rolled around in circles, formed odd geometric shapes that were a puzzle to my mother.

For now I’ll just dream of sleeping by myself instead of tugging the sheet free (it aint gonna happen) and get a few winks in before the sheet usurper and the child repo agent (it SO feels like that) both work in tandem to have me lying awake through the night and working on another blogpost.

Nighty night!

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Summer Holidays…Why Moms Crumble

If you’re a mother…chances are that you more than just like your kid. Who could resist them? Imps, scamps and monsters to the core but dammit if they aren’t the cutest ones at that!20180513_075244

 

The reason the charm of the summer holidays wear off so quickly…for moms, is that the child is always looking to you for the answers of “what next”. You like the fact that they can sleep in (meaning you don’t have to get out of bed bleary-eyed either or enjoy the paper and coffee in peace instead of pieces), that they don’t have to hit the sack at a particular time; again meaning you get to enjoy your dinner leisurely and aren’t dependent on their chewing speed for a tablespoon of rice and daal.

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Bedtimes are full of cozy, lazy cuddles and long-drawn out reading sessions that you get to do in different voices instead of speed reading through the entire thing so the child is in bed and lights are OUT! with military precision.

Sleep deficits aren’t an issue and you can pretty much do the chores any old-time since your world as you know it is spinning slower and slower and slower. But there’s a catch too…the time passes slower and slower and S-L-O-W-E-R as well. The child is ALWAYS there. Your clothes folding time that you used to enjoy with reruns or bawdy stand-up comedy is now highly sanitized with animated stuff playing or the ecology-supporting content. Or in my case, reruns of Jurassic World.

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The occasional beer you used to sneak in on those days becomes a rare commodity with a pair of bright eyes staring right at you and often speaking directly into your ear canal, “Are you drinking alcohol?” And you gulp it down quickly and often the wrong way and cough your way into saying, “Yes and I am and NO you can’t have any till you’re 35!”

It’s not about keeping the children busy all the time either…it’s about spending time happily. That goes downhill very quickly. The kids have a routine that works for them. With that gone for 2 MONTHS they look towards the constant authority figure to help them understand what is it that they should be doing. And therein lies the rub. You would prefer that it be productive and fun and the child is thinking only fun.

You do one pillow fight and roughhousing session and limp back to your corner and the child, still rearing to go, wants to be body slammed again or use you as a trampoline again.20180520_092022

While you’re winding up for the day and the kitchen is wiped clean, that’s when the love of your life wants to make a purple cake of all things and looks suitably disheartened when it’s refused. You give in once and by 11 pm you’re the one putting everything away, there’s flour everywhere and imp has licked the mixing bowl and spoon clean and bounded off to bed

Our kids have more distractions these days. We didn’t. Or even if we did, we sorted them out the way our folks told us to. These days, kids want us to tell them exactly what they want to hear. You want them to exercise creativity? They’ll want to design a pot on the pottery app instead. You want them to draw something they like and they turn the topic to what they want for their birthday instead. And that is an unending list or a rather expensive one.

It’s in parts tough and endearing because they are still growing up and need their parents around. And the parents (read me) don’t know how much active parenting is needed while balancing everything else that needs to be done. It’s easier to turn the telly on. But you pay for that later in spades when the kid can’t envision a minute without digital stimulation.

So summer holidays? Necessary evil that keeps you loving your kids for the first and last weeks. During the rest of the time it’s anyone guess to see who breaks first. Usually it’s the parents dialing up Dominos and booking movie tickets and shoving the kids out to door and towards the park saying, “No rush…come back when you want…TAKE YOUR OWN TIME.”

Mine starts school tomorrow and while I am genuinely happy to be getting back to my usual routine but I will miss him every second he’s gone. For the first hour anyhow.

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Why Life’s Like The Wizard Of Oz

When I woke up with a weight on my chest this morning and realized it was my kid’s heel on my sternum, it led to yet another epiphany. Life’s like The Wizard Of Oz (hold the Wonderful).

Dealing with kids often morphs us (read me all the way through) into the Wicked Witch of the East. Red usually is the Good Witch and magically smoothes things over with his placid tone and his magic wand (aka hugs and kisses and a nicer, pleasanter demeanor) while I’m all riled up and fit to have an army of flying monkeys to do my nefarious deeds.

See, sleep is important. UBER important. And when sleeping with an adult, despite what they show you in the movies, they eventually disengage and go their own way. You don’t pretzel and spoon beyond a point. You have S-P-A-C-E. Blessed, blessed, blissful, beautiful space.

Red’s travelling now and the brat’s bunking with me. That means that after reading to him and doing a bit of cuddle time I have “space” for all the time it takes for him to fall asleep viz 10 minutes. And then the magnetic pull begins.

I have woken up with an elbow to my eye, a butt in my face or a child sprawled across my torso and me having dreams of drowning somewhere because I couldn’t breathe.

The child in question is damn smart. He gravitates towards the well-padded parent and not towards the bony one. EVER!

This morning was no different. After a night of semi-bingeing on Grey’s Anatomy (I know, I know…) I slept off good and proper and didn’t even have any weird dreams that I could recall. And then suddenly there was a sudden and rather sharpish whomp on my chest and lo and behold it was a child’s heel. Now MLM for reasons unknown to me has a pointy chin, elbows and heels that he loves to dig into his mother’s rather substantial flesh. Love I suppose…

I woke up and quasi-gently rotated said heel of said child off me and onto the bed and added 2 pillows between us for good measure but the moment was gone and sleep had fled. Again. And because am weird, I thought of the Wizard of Oz where my offspring isn’t Dorothy but Toto. The frisky puppy who got Dorothy into trouble in the first place. Frisky and lovable but irksome at times too.

So Toto and I will wait for the Good Witch to get back and then my flying monkeys will rest. Till Toto acts up again.

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The Unbearable Unsightlyness Of Playing

Let it be noted that if I had to do anything amounting to slightly strenuous physical activity vs being bodily harmed, bodily harm would rule the roost.

The most apt description of my gait, run and overall physical movement is quite akin to the drunken hallucination from Dumbo. I kid you not.

Red has despaired and has moved his focus onto the one person whose hand-eye co-ordination can still be salvaged: MLM.

Why am I so bad at it? I honestly don’t know much beyond that heavy bodies take more effort to move and they sweat a whole bunch leading the heavy individual to feel lightheaded, awkward, clumsy and generally NOT GOOD AT ALL.

It’s not that I can’t hit a ball. I can. But then everyone ducks or waits for chunks of the ceiling to start raining down.

MLM’s latest fancy is playing squash (I thought it was the same as racquetball but the husband snootily told me they were different). He’s signed up for summer classes and we thought it would be a good family activity to indulge in. Well…the jury is still out on that one.

I did manage to get a half-assed rally going on with Red but then the ball seemed further and further away and the racquet didn’t seem to want to connect with the ball much at all. Again..left scratching my head.

But after I unwound myself from a striking pose my body had assumed, I found that these were the postures I was getting into. It goes without saying that none of them are optimum while playing squash.

1) Garden Cupid Statue: hark back to the chubby Cupid statues on pedestals, shooting an arrow but with direction changing each time a ball approaches. That’s my pose when I try and hit a ball that’s got lobbed a bit closer to the ground.

2) Hey! I’m Here: all the people marooned on desert isles usually have one moment where a ship passes by in the distant horizon and they jump up and down, waving like it’s what they were born to do. Well, that’s my hands above the head pose while trying to hit a shot that’s rebounded off the walls.

3) I’ve Fallen And I Can’t Get Up: my pose for a few seconds after trying to come out of the first pose

All along, in the background one would be able to hear deep and furious panting…

And that’s after 10 mins of being on the squash courts.

C’est la vie!

A Blog A Day-Day 3

The offspring was an ADORABLE baby. He was plump in the right places without being a mini-sumo and he was always gurgling and drooling away to glory.

Didn’t cry much and definitely did *not* sleep much either but that’s a complaint that’ll never get old so we’ll keep it for another day, another time.

The mini-muffin had a myriad of expressions from a very young age (as do all kids) and I used to be amazed at each one. Now with the passing of time, my immunity’s grown stronger and I seldom melt at his antics.

But I still become a puddle seeing the baby pictures…a puddle that Red avoids like the plague lest I ask him to come join me while I go back in time,month by month and see a scrawny little infant grow into what I consider to be the cutest baby ever!

But mothers are allowed their delusions. Too bad we lose them so quickly once the weaning and the potty training bits start!

Of Middle Fingers And Snakes

I recently changed my ride from a hatchback to an MUV. When I say recent I mean just a few hours ago.

I was picking up the offspring from school and he was happily frolicking in the backseat, bouncing with joy and making crinkly sounds in the plastic covers that I’d not had a chance to take out as yet. All in all he was a happy camper. And as the case is while he’s camping happily, he asks me a series of ‘Do you know’ questions. Today was no different.

We started with a question trap that I’d inadvertently fallen into when I told him I’d seen a monitor lizard cross the street very close to his school. After interrogating me about the size and the gaping maws and the venom of the said reptile, he gave me a disdainful look when I told him I’d only paused briefly while trying hard not to squish the lizard when it scurried off into the bushes. It, unfortunately, hadn’t stopped long enough to give me its life history and venom potency details.

Then began the story of reptiles and their offspring. We spoke of ovi and viviparous snakes; something I’d rather not have spoken of at all. All while I was enjoying the smell of a new car, listening to songs on brand new speakers…which apparently is the most apt time to speak of baby cobras.

Anyhoo, on special request he agreed to stop talking about king cobra babies hatching and killing grown people and then he threw me for a toss! Here’s how he did it-” Hey Ayu…do you know a boy in the 2nd grade showed someone the middle finger in school and then he got into trouble?!! Have you shown (he said showed but my grammar mode refuses to let me be ungrammarly) the middle finger to anyone?

And this is where you cross the realm from being a good, honest parent into one who lies to their kid because isn’t 8 too young to be flippin’ the bird?! Or talking about it?

I told him piously that NO I hadn’t and what did showing the middle finger mean anyhow? I was told very solemnly that it’s a very bad thing and kids can go to jail for saying it. And that’s when I had to know more about this oh-so taboo word that sent kids to jail. So I did a dramatic,” Oh no…really??!!” And pat came the reply-YES!! It’s worse than saying F***!! I never say F*** because you told me that saying F*** is a bad thing so I never say F***. Ever!!”

I think some days the universe has a smartass mode it activates just to give parents their comeuppance and to prevent them from being smug-knowitalls!