A Bloody Mary To End The Day

It’s been a while since I had a drink. A good one. A nicely made one. When I needed it. When I wanted it. When I longed for it. Wait…are we still talking about the same thing?

Some days are long. Some days are LOOOOONG. Everything seems upside down. Or downside up. And not many highs present themselves. The lows seem to abound and crowd the highs or rather the mezzos out of the picture.

On those days a well-made Bloody Mary hits the spot. It might be a pick-me up especially the tomato juice bit, for a hangover but sometimes, at the end of the day…it is just perfection!

I called the Significant Other home early today and it’s one of those rare occasions when he was able to oblige. Handed over the responsibility of the fruit-of-his-loins to him and made myself a cold one in the kitchen and for once had celery on hand to make it JUST RIGHT!

A splash of vodka goes a decent distance when you’re tired. Whiskey takes things into another realm altogether. But the beauty of vodka is that it keeps things light and yet allows you to just float away if you so choose to.

So here I am…watching the Big Brat feed the Small Brat his dinner and make funny faces while doing so. Am blogging and playing songs in my head because my shift is kinda over for the day. Or so I like to think. Another drink will make me believe it for sure.

Salut!

The Joys of Being Childfree

Now that’s not a word that means your kids are at summer camp or has Grandma babysitting while you take off on a holiday. No indeed. Childfree is a proper concept thank you very much and one that’s catching more momentum as well.

Today there are more people who consciously take the decision to not become parents, biological or adoptive, than there were a few decades ago. It’s not merely with an eye on the exponential rise in population and dwindling natural resources the world over, but also with a good look inside oneself that tells them that this is one area where they could take a pass. And happily so.

Having been a parent for a few years now and still a child for god knows how many more, I can honestly say that I applaud this decision. Not because kids are little monsters we have to groom into becoming humans but because the decision to give life is not one that should be taken lightly. Ever.

It is the highest level of responsibility an individual can ever expect to undertake and try to fulfill. Over millennia it has sadly become something that people do because it seems to be expected of them. Proliferation of the species aside, shaping and nurturing a child is something that ends only when the parent passes on. Even separated by continents, a parent can reach out and influence their child’s nature, emotions and ultimately behavior as well. That’s a heady thought to start with and when it occurs it’s a headier thing altogether.

This next bit is taken from Wikipedia verbatim “According to economist David Foot of the University of Toronto, the level of a woman’s education is the most important factor in determining whether she will reproduce: the higher her level of education, the less likely she is to bear children. (Or if she does, the fewer children she is likely to have.)
Overall, researchers have observed childfree couples to be more educated, and it is perhaps because of this that they are more likely to be employed in professional and management occupations, more likely for both spouses to earn relatively high incomes, and to live in urban areas. They are also less likely to be religious, subscribe to traditional gender roles, or subscribe to conventional roles.”

And it makes a lot of sense. There’s a shortage of resources, there’s a shortage of time to parent and see to it that a child doesn’t have to grow up too hurriedly, rise in crime and even with any dystopian constructs, there’s often a more pressing reason for not having a child. Simply, not wanting to.

A few monthly ago, the Holy See released a statement saying it was selfish opting out of having kids. And am sure quite a few religious and spiritual heads will concur. Proliferation of life can be and is joyous. But one can still proliferate joys and a quality life without bringing forth new life.

It is assumed that women yearn for motherhood. Some do. Some don’t. Some can be very nurturing towards others’ children and yet sleep peacefully every night despite not having a child of their own to tuck into bed.

These women come from a variety of backgrounds but by and large are enlightened enough to know where their fortes lie, where they can maximize on their potentials the most and have multiple avenues of not only keeping busy, but being productive and also being contented and downright happy.

So if kids aren’t *that* big a deal then why does the whole world and their Aunt Samantha go around having so many? Well…it’s like this. Seeing an extension of yourself (mind and body) have a corporeal form is akin to a miracle for most people. Myself included. No matter how many babies have come forth in this world and no matter how many would have come by the time the blog is posted, each one is special. They are the blank canvas that  reflect the glories of the world and not the vagaries and debaucheries.

But for me, I guess I just wanted another person to love. And now looking at my child there’s very few little I would do differently where he is concerned. But had I the benefit of hindsight before it became hindsight, I would properly think it through before opting to become a parent. Because I have also realized this while parenting -I would have been a good non-parent as well.

Acknowledging it isn’t a bad thing at all. Just honest. So if you are a childfree individual, that’s just who you are. Accept it. Don’t justify it.

You are still who you were supposed to be.

Kids: Boon Vs Bane

The jury is still out on that one.

On one hand you can remember them as the cutest, cuddliest, chubbiest drooly monsters that walked around with a diaper-covered bum. And on the other hand you wish you could sedate them or keep them in suspended animation when they’re getting their best and most annoying bratty groove on.

At the risk of pissing off my husband, who is more predisposed towards liking the offspring and not wanting to punt him over the fence into the neighboring building, let me say that kids are the people who test your patience to the extent you want to chuck everything and join a convent or do a Hansel-Gretel with them and leave them in a forest clearing somewhere…preferably in a galaxy far, far away.

There are some day when praying for divine intervention does no damn good at all and the only thing that helps you get through things are longing glances at the booze cupboard or the promise of a weekend ending and school starting up again.

And kids really can be quite rotten. They are trying on the days they need to be angelic. They mouth off at the time when they need to be mimes and they stay up like owls on the nights you need them in bed and knocked out by 7:30 on the dot!

But if they always did what was expected of them they wouldn’t be kids at all. They’d be flitting about with wings and halos and spotless white clothes. Instead these oompa-loompas have decidedly tarnished halos and the wings which mimic the headless chicken scenario.

Oh well…c’est la vie.

 

Bengali Parents: A Glimpse Into The Paaglaami

‘Paaglaami’ is a favorite word of the Bengali people. It means madness. The word paaglaami is derived from one of the uber favorite words of theirs as well…”paagol”. This word is never said in a droll, flat manner. Oh no..the word paagol is uttered in a manner which reeks of food being relished and tasted thoroughly before it goes down the gullet.

Why did I start the post with these particulars words? Well today at lunch at a restaurant we frequent, well…frequently…I eavesdropped on a youngish Bong couple who had a cute little daughter who was being a typical toddler. The father was incessantly trying to get her to behave…a losing battle if there ever was one. But the specific verbiage that he was using made me realize that Bongs really are a very peculiar kind of parents on the whole.

Right from the birth of the baby, the obsession with the kid catching a cold is apparent. Ergo the crazy knitting of booties, mittens and horror of horrors…the blasted monkey cap aka a balaclava. Each family will have legions of old women who have foisted these elements of torture on their own offspring (and will swear by it till their dying breath) and who voluntarily knit these caps for the newborns and toddlers and insist on pulling the itchy and scratchy wool onto their heads and don’t let go till the kicking and screaming kid (who looks like a banker robber in the making) is thoroughly uncomfortable!

As a Bong parent myself, I have to admit that the urge to discipline and have your kid heed your words is nearly an overpowering one. It’s almost as if it’s a motto- Am Bong. Must Scold. Loudly.

Take today’s couple for example. What the heck is a toddler to do at a restaurant but play with the cutlery and the place mats and basically turn things topsy-turvy?

The father, who clearly envisioned himself in the role of the Lord and Master, kept telling his wife rather pompously “ekta thaapod lagao toh”. Translation- smack her one! Now this wasn’t seriously meant. This was just for the kid’s ears. And that’s the oddity that makes the Bong parents who they are.

The child must be made aware of all the potential spanking that lurks in its present and future. This is parenting 101. Then come the non-verbals. The non-verbals are rather short-lived because Bengali parents can’t go too long without being verbal. It’s a disease. But they can’t be silent. Call it a gene mutation if you will.

Even if one of the parents resorts to silent treatments, the other circles the child like a hyena closing in for the kill and starts muttering what the immediate future will hold viz spanks, red cheeks, and threats of all shapes and sizes and in ever increasing theatricality.

The father I saw today was hilarious! He kept trying to give his daughter the “eye of shame” but clearly he hadn’t cottoned onto the fact that pre-preschoolers won’t really maintain eye contact especially in a public place where there’s so much going on all around them. Seeing that his daughter wasn’t responding well to the unspoken rebukes, he repeatedly told his wife how ‘dushtu’ (naughty) their daughter was and” uff bhishon badabadi” (another favorite word meaning something is being taken to its limits!) was taking place! His entire speech was highlighted in bold and he had clearly got a good deal on exclamation marks as well!

The mother placidly mentioned that their less than hyper daughter (Hey I know hyper…I have a boy) must be sleepy ‘eyijonye..,nahole eto paaglaami kothay korey’? Meaning…she must be sleepy else why would she be acting up this way.

The response from the daughter? Banging the fork and spoon together. Yeah…that’s lunacy for you! Someone get the Adderall!

So during the meal that was punctuated with “aar paarchhina re baba eyi meyeta ke niye” (can’t manage with this girl anymore!) I noted that more and more Bong parents tended to express dissatisfaction even if the situation wasn’t quite so dire.

Rationale? Maybe if things are envisioned as being tougher and more difficult but they fall short of the mark, the result is a happier situation for the parents. Who knows?

But Bongs will scold. And happily so.

Even if it’s a kid who acts like a mini-hurricane or a rather placid little girl who is behaving true to type, the paaglaami we see and express is truly of a ‘orey baba’ extent!

That’s how it’s been for generations and so it shall remain. For that’s who we are. Proudly so.

Eeesh!

Note: the author is a Bengali. Descended from Bengali parents and basically an affectionate observer of all things Bengali. Never a critique..oh no! Lokey ki bolbe?! (what will people say?)

Zero. Dark. 2:37 AM

I wanted my first post in the new year to be witty, funny, tongue-in-cheek but I guess I’ll be falling back on my old form of ranting about my kid. My forte in life et al.

This morning my darling ray of sunshine switched on all the lights in my room at 2:37 am and tapped me on my face till I woke up; to tell me he could feel the germs in his stomach moving around. Yikes.

I thought it was time for a visit to the loo and suggested as much, while scrambling from the bed and trying not to fall over the Batman figurine that mysteriously ended up underfoot or getting tangled in the bed sheets. But no. Apparently it wasn’t about going to the loo at all. My brat couldn’t sleep and had been thinking about the rumblings in his tummy and decided that a middle of the night bout of calisthenics would ease his mind and body.

So there I was, puffy eyed and puffier-faced with a severe case of bed hair, trying to focus myopic eyes on a 5-year old who was exercising in front of me and who wanted to discuss his tummy germs at length.

After pondering about tossing him out of the window and eventually nixing the idea, I managed to get him back into bed so we could discuss the way ahead. It seems he knew the course of treatment- no doctors but quite a bit of medicine, the yummy kind. And of course, no school. NATURALLY.

Kids are funny creatures. Their minds work in mysterious ways. They process information, look at things in a manner which is unique to their ages and bent of mind. Those were the things I was trying to tell myself as the hands of the clock crept closer to 3:00 am and the verbosity of my kid kept increasing.

Finally, I did the only thing that made any sense. The only thing that was a viable and legal resolution to the entire situation- I woke up his father, passed the buck and went off to sleep in another room.

I think that’s what I’ll try to do in 2015 more and more- react less. Not fight against the inevitable or the inexplicable. I’ll figure out how to tackle things and if I don’t succeed I’ll pull in an unsuspecting person and pull an escape routine on them 🙂

But seriously. Happy New Year blosgosphere peeps. Have an excellent year. May your thoughts and words never fail you and may you end up on more and more people’s’ reading lists as time goes by.

Salut!

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.