Every now and then I use slangs with TO and often it comes back to me in a very amusing way. He was using selective audition with me today when I was asking him to do a couple of things around the house. I rolled my eyes at him and told him not to be a doofus. And bang comes back the reply, “You’re a doofus!”
I walk off and mentally tell myself to wait for it and sure enough comes the query,”Ayu, what’s a doofus?” I tell him it’s a silly person and he mulls it over and says, “Ok..you’re a doofus Ayu”.
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 leveled 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
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.
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!
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.
Turbulent Thursdays anyone? And to think that we have yet to navigate through the choppy waters of puberty. God help us.
Red and I impose parental controls on TO’s digital media views and mainly their content.
It’s not so much to keep him away from profanity (he gets a dose of that when I drive) but also to keep him away from concepts that he may not be able to understand and end up getting freaked out about stuff in the process.
A while back he and 2 of his cute little friends let it slip how they’d sneaked a peek at The Conjuring while playing unsupervised at another friend’s house. I was able to correlate that with a period of being kicked out of my own bed because someone was afraid to sleep alone in their own room. Or even when they did sleep alone, they wrapped themselves up like a mummy and gave me sleepless nights about suffocation and what not!
This morning I was telling Red over coffee that I had weird dreams last night from seeing clips from The Shining and being partly sleep-deprived and suddenly pipes up a voice from behind me, “Oh yeah, that boy with his cycle and those 2 girls who meet him in the hallway and that old guy who gives him icecream and tells him not to go in a room…that movie, right, with all the blood?”
After internally WTFing with myself liberally I turned around to ask him how he knew about the movie which he did not have the clearance to watch. He told me very casually that he’d watched it at another friend’s house but only a little bit and he wasn’t scared of it at all!
A part of me is happy that he’s choosing good stuff to watch and not getting messed up in his head by watching things like Evil Dead or the Saw movies, but almost 10 may not be the best age to watch someone’s spiral into insanity and attacking their family with an axe. Just saying.
And while my mother let me watch horror movies when I was his age, I can honestly say I was in it for the blood and gore and she was ok with it because she knew it was a phase and I’d outgrow it. She steadily kept her hand over my eyes during the scenes with nudity though. Come to think of it, most Hollywood undead serial killers are such perverts! They wait till a person is “otherwise occupied” and choose that time to cut their heart out. But those days of cozying up with my mom on the couch, hogging on Hershey’s chocolate pudding cups and watching Jason slash through teenage bodies with his chainsaw…oh the nostalgia. Am almost choked up.
But if this kid thinks he’s going to watch gore before he’s 35 he’s got another thing coming!
P.S: This blog post and the others like it have been brought to you courtesy of a Macbook Pro that I was given so very thoughtfully for my birthday this year and about which I have not waxed on eloquently enough.
Disclaimer: This is not an Apple sponsored advertisement. More like Red-sponsored.
Once upon a time there was a world which had movies and t.v shows up to the heavens. It was a lovely world. All (almost) the latest episodes and movies uploaded as soon as they aired and it was FREEEEEEE! There were heroes like Yify who made the world a happy, happy place.
This world needed slight maneuvering in stealth aka incognito mode because of the mine fields of toolbars, extensions and slithery worms that lurked and wanted to make their new home on your beloved instrument of happiness (click herefor to know about another take on the same).
Anyhoo, after quite a few years of binge-watching AHS, GA, HTGAWM, 24, Bones and whatnot, my online streaming rampage came to a crashing halt. TO was given access to his very own laptop at the start of the school year. To say he loves it like the sibling he never had would be exaggerating it. He probably loves it more. I have seen him caress the damn thing and look lovingly at it!
The first day he got the laptop he was schooled (‘cuse the pun) on the best sites to download music and games from; again in stealth. When he got home, proud to show off his prowess in downloading and claiming his place in the long-standing family tradition, he got a rude shock. Apparently it was *not* ok to download stuff for free from dubious websites. Gasp! Who knew?!
Red gave him a whole litany of reasons why it wasn’t the right thing to do especially since access to Prime and Netflix was so easily doable. The child absorbed the shock and immediately told his father, “So that means A can’t download movies anymore either, right?” And then, right there in that little moment, the parents got schooled. And were grudgingly proud of it.
So here I am, paying for Prime, Netflix and occasionally renting movies from Google during the movie&junk food weekends that all kids (big&small) seem to love. At times I wonder why I should have to pay to watch a movie like ‘The Meg‘ but then I remember that I didn’t pay a dime to watch about 3 Sharknadoes and awhole host of shark movies which most people wouldn’t watch even if they got paid to. Well Red wouldn’t. I still did watch this one and swore that I wouldn’t waste precious bandwidth on that kind of imbecility ever again. I’ve kept to that promise. I think.
When I was looking over my cc statement I found an ever-growing list of charges towards movie-viewing: in the theaters, on the telly and all totally 100% legit. Yup…we’ve turned a new leaf. And paying a pretty penny for it too. But we are not subscribing to Animal Farm!
It is a theory of mine that depending upon the kind of ride TO is in, his thought process changes accordingly.
I had a flat tire today and had to take an auto rickshaw to get around. I think the abundance of the fresh-polluted air got to him and he came up with such gems that I had to get them out to the unsuspecting world at large.
My child has questions about life and death. Mainly death. He knows it happens but not always why and if there are aspects which predicate it; if I can call it such. So this darling boy asked about certain key family members who are no longer with us and asked how it impacted those left behind and came up with a solution: he would learn magic and bring them back to life so everyone who was left sad by their passing would be happy again. Primarily his father, whose mother had passed away while he was still in his teens.
He then went up the generation ladder and said he would revive his great-grandmother as well because she’d been 97 when she passed and should live to be at least a 100. All noble endeavors. In theory.
Soon after caame the kicker! In this process of reanimating all the dearly departed he’d make a ton of money and then be rich! rich! RICH!!! and buy up all the dueling dinos that we (Red and I) have deemed unnecessarily expensive toys.
And in that instant I went from doing this-
Thankfully the ride ended soon after and apple of my myopic eyes raced home to tell his father about the love he has for his fellow-man and how he wants to bring joy in our lives.
Never a dull day with this one that’s for sure. They *never* tell you these things in those damn parenting books which is why I’m writing my own!
Letting your kids win at games may cause tiny faces to erupt into smiles but it doesn’t always teach them how to aspire to win. Even worse, they often begin to expect that everyone who plays against them will also lose.
When this happy state of affairs doesn’t come about too often, the little face is nothing short of woebegone with signs of tantrums lurking here and there.
So be a good parent and do your kids a solid…beat the pants offa them! Winning isn’t everything but they need to want to win enough to try for it. Everything else, the fun and giggles, is just the icing on the cake.