With Divine Sanction

I tend to be a wee bit foul-mouthed while driving. And rash people on two-wheelers annoy the crap out of me! They try to squeeze through miniscule spaces a dog would hesitate to pass through, just so they can be first in line or be the first off the starting line with the rest of the imbeciles who keep revving their bikes during a three minute red light halt.

I mean what is up with that?? Why keep burning fuel for so long and act like Mad Max when you’ll just be stuck behind the cement mixer along with the rest of us just 2 kms down the road?!

Yesterday when a prime example of an imbecile scraped against my car and sped off, I mouthed certain profanities that am not proud of. And an unlikely champion piped up from the backseat! This is how the conversation went.

“GOOD JOB Ayu!! That guy is a a******! (With me mentally correcting the grammar and going Crap…I did it again). God made parents to be tough. You have to be mean and protect your kids from bad people who drive like a******s. You did the right thing Ayu!!”

“NO BABY…I shouldn’t have said a bad word in front of you. I was angry and I apologize.”

“That’s ok Ayu. Moms can say a******* when someone is trying to hurt their kids by driving bad. And what’s a h******** (Hindi word casting aspersions at someone’s parentage)?”

Oh Fudge me!! Who ever thought absolution for cursing would come from a nine year old, channeling fire and brimstone Old Testament style?

On the flip side, there’s going to be an earful from the husband once the husband reads this.

*Runs and hides*

The Flip Side To Classical Conditioning…

I run from my kid. It’s the truth. After the first hugs and kisses of the morning are done I run and hide; especially during his summer break. He’s like a bloodhound. He can always track me down. No matter where I am. SIGH.

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No loo is secure enough. No pressure cooker whistle is loud enough, or a hair dryer for that matter. His chipmunk voice always floats through…BIIIG SIGH.

I was thinking with a clouded headed today (before the caffeine hit my system and brought me to life) that if my life were a sitcom it would undoubtedly start with my kid standing near my bed and peering down at me and me waking up with a start. Every. Single. Time.

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It happened this morning as well. I was drifting in dreamland. When my semi-awake radar detected the force of a stare leveled at me for a bit. I woke up to see the flesh and blood, looking at me and saying something about some hand pointing up at something. As is my wont, I tend to kick out at anything and anyone who disturbs me from my sleep and then burrow back into the pillows and back under the covers. When said disturbance still didn’t get deterred, Red asked him to get into bed with us at the risk of letting things linger and setting off the near-feral wife before dawn.

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Between the whens, the hows, and whats we managed to get the child to brush, rinse, spit and repeat and have his milk and then started the actual “fun”. And yes, if I were to narrate this bit to you, the word fun would have had air quotes around it as well.

My kid has a habit of starting his chats with me as if we had been in the midst of a conversation and had taken a break. I could be folding clothes, doing laundry, stalking David Boreanaz (yum yum) on social media and suddenly a small (but loud) voice will say, “But Ayu….” and that will be it for the me-time bit. Until the curiosity has been satisfied completely, we will be beset by ‘But Ayus”.

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This morning the ‘But Ayu’ got delivered right into the ear canal while I was having breakfast. And I told the light of my life, “no butts, no noses, hands, ears or any body parts. And no talking till I ask you either.” A sad little body turned around and started walking back to his room, back hunched, body posture totally downcast. I felt bad. For a nanosecond. And then began to count in my head while I quickly gulped down my breakfast…10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5…and there it was..”But Ayu…when will you talk to me?”

Hey…the kid’s a monster. But he’s my monster. And hump days are meant to be wonky anyhow. Upwards and onwards peeps.

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Patrick Bergin Had It Right!

Well his character, of Martin something or the other in Sleeping With The Enemy, had it right. There’s no reason why things can’t be kept in a particular (I mean PROPER) way. Just no reason at all. Barring the fact that Bergin (lovely old stud that he is) did play the role of a psychopath, his insistence on a neat and tidy order to things is something I appreciate. And how!

When I thought about having my own place, and my own kitchen in particular, I knew the size would be a toss-up. I wasn’t going to get my studio apartment with a wee loft for the bed and an open kitchen. I did however want a kitchen a la country rustic and pretty with glass jars labelled with blackboard paint labels, all facing the same way so it’s easy to know if you’re reaching for the dill instead of the rosemary or parsley or the powdered cumin vs the powdered coriander. If only everything was a dead giveaway like chilly powder and turmeric, then we’d be gravy!

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But with more people using the kitchen and in their own ways, it was deemed best (with a lot of difficulty…look down to understand the extent of the difficulty and you’ll know what I mean) that we stick with plastic, Tupperware and other things which may not be aesthetic and terribly eco-friendly but more than earn their keep by being big-time user friendly.tantrum throwing a fit GIF

I also like the idea of hand towels and face towels being used for… well the hand and the face…DUH ! rather than a bigass beach towel being used to wipe a tiny portion of one’s body. I can blame my father for this bit of idiosyncrasy outright because that’s what he instilled in me..there’s a grammar to everything aka the madness aint madness if you can justify it. So I justified it BIG TIME- matching sets of hand towels, face towels and bath towels. Each one neatly hanging on the rod and the spares nicely rolled up next to a small dish filled with potpourri. And it is nice too…for all of 30 minutes. Then the dinos eat the potpourri or else they end up rummaging in it and for a bathroom that stocks up 2-3 towels of each size, there’s usually nothing around when you enter it.

The loves of your life go and use the bath towel to wipe their faces and horror of horrors…either leave it on the bed, on the back of a chair or just leave it to slink to the bathroom floor in an untidy crumple.

And so it goes…you become used to necessity over emotions at times. Until one day you find the nth damp towel on the ground when it just takes a teensy second to make sure it’s properly put back on the towel rod…and you have a mini eruption inside. And the  you remember Patrick Bergin’s steely eyed, cold-smiled demeanor towards Julia Robert’s handling of hand towels and think…this guy really knew what he was doing!!

And then you think back to HOW long it took you to get the offspring to wipe his hands and face at all, let alone not wipe them on his clothes or on you and you figure you have a few more years to go before you break out the full-fledged psycho mode. Or do you?..

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Parenting: The Stuff They Never Tell You

I am a semi-helicopter mother and not proud of it. Here are some things I’ve gleaned in the past few years of parenting. I’m not sure how helpful this is but for those contemplating marriage and eventually kids, do read this once. It may give you a different perspective (read abstinence or hardcore contraception) or it may reinforce what you see and hear in front of you everyday anyhow.

So..here we go!

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#1 Having a conversation with anyone else barring your child is like being in a boxing match. It goes like this- you speak 1,2,3 and someone jabs you. You try to regain your balance and speak again 1,2,3 and this time it’s an uppercut.

There are rare conversations that you can have without being interrupted; till you decide to give it up and just focus on the kid. And guess what precious nugget comes your way when you do? It’s quite possibly something along the lines of – (imagine it being spoken in all caps) “You know what? My poop is all orange from all the nachos I ate yesterday!!” And you nod helplessly because you hung up on an overseas call with your BFF to hear about your kid’s bodily function.

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#2 Farts are important. If they stink, how loud they are. If you’ve noticed the abovementioned smell and noise. If you haven’t they’ll probably poop their pants trying to squeeze one out that the whole neighborhood can be proud of.

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#3 You have to watch everything you say. Literally. Imagine becoming a psychotic with visual hallucinations where the words you think materialize in front of your face. You reject a few and allow the rest of them to be uttered. If you don’t, the next time you may be subjected to a bout of , ” Gimme a break or a ” Oh for crying out loud!” from a 1st grader because you cut off digital media or pool access at pre-agreed upon times.

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#4 Pool times are deadly. The child *never* remembers that staying for too long in the water causes their skin to prune up. When you tell them their time’s up, they mimic dolphins and scoot away from you.

Wading into the pool and dragging them out leads to yells and screams tantamount to child abduction with people looking at you and your offspring in distaste for causing ripples in their recreation or serenity.

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#5 Some part of the body always hurts during homework or DEEEEP sleep to rival Rip Van Winkle’s comes on in droves and it goes away only when the threat of homework does. And then, the recovery is more miraculous than the walking on water phenomenon! Faster too!

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#6 Waking the child up in the mornings is a drama par excellence. The hands flung over the eyes a la Scarlett O’Hara, the burrowing into the covers like a mole and coiling up smaller and smaller like a worm or a snake makes you gobsmacked! One child going through all these changes in a matter of seconds is nothing short of amazing.

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#7 Say goodbye to your stereo and tv and tablets. The kid rules all and owns all. You don’t come in second. You don’t come in. Period.

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#8 Holiday destinations are decided by where the wild things are. Literally. The continent with the most venomous snakes, biggest crocs makes the cut. Relaxing at a beach? Sure…but can you also see the Inland Taipan or the Tasmanian Devil? No? Then it’s a no-go.

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#9&#10– these two are probably the most annoying IMHO. Your bedroom and your bathroom time are no longer your own. And that’s mystifying because why on earth would someone want to spend so much time talking to you through the bathroom door, wanting to know what you’re doing, when you’re coming out and even going to the extent of shoving their ever-growing drawings of dragons under the door for you to peruse while you’re focused on something entirely different and faar more important.

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They creep you out by looming over you in the weekends; the one time you don’t have to run and bundle them into clothes and catch the school bus. They whisper slowly into your ears, distorting dreams with reality; often shoving tiny fingers up your nose to wake you thoroughly and even body flop on your sleeping, unsuspecting self just to tell you they LOVE YOU. And you feel compelled to reply in kind while you blindly kick out, hoping to connect with that tiny butt and get them the hell out of your sacred sleeping space.

Ah parenting…what a ride!

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The Low Down On Having Your Kids

Kids are trouble. If our parents had known that then and unless they were full of the love of humankind our existence would be voided.

But this is a more realistic and non-candy floss way of looking at having kids. The making of the kids is probably the best part of the entire deal but then again it only takes about a few tries so you’re jipped in the end anyhow.

The birthing and that carnage aside kids are plain and simple parasites. You love them to bits and wouldn’t stomp on them or spray pesticides at them sure, but till they strike out on their own and sadly often, long after that, kids are parasites. Only this kind of parasitic relationship is one we encourage so in the end it turns out to be a whacked-out symbiotic relationship of sorts since we derive these gurgles of pleasure from them feeding off us.

And when I say feed, I mean the the kind of feeding that bleeds you dry emotionally and physically long after the actual weaning has been done and dusted.

YOUR life, YOUR space, YOUR bubble of YOU that is a kitschy mix of sanity+kookiness+idiosyncrasies is made to go on an undefined time out and it’s like you’re made to face the wall without being able to see your earlier self for an unknown amount of time.Do NOT pass go. Do NOT collect $200 and no hope for parole.

Parenting is exhausting. Rewards not always visible. Discernible, And it’s scary as hell to have a hand in how the course of someone’s life will shape up, how their personalities will blossom or not based on how YOU play YOUR cards. Having kids is the closest you get to playing God and that’s an area that’s fuzzy enough for humans with our heady mix of believers, heretics and agnostics. So, to willfully do that with another human being is nothing short of crazy! And it’s completely selfish. No one really needs kids. We just want to have them.

The saving grace (and there are many) is that you experience intense emotion in a manner that’s akin to a knee-jerk reaction, the love is fairly unconditional and makes you rise above yourself and put someone else’s welfare before your own. We seldom do that for anyone consistently throughout our lives barring our offspring. That does help you grow in some ways but it doesn’t stunt your growth either if you don’t indulge in it. And the crux is that parenthood changes you SO much and none of it is change you wanted or planned for. And it’s the change that the kids bring that we instinctively fight back against all our lives.

Loving your kids is the only safety valve to that bit in life. Or is it?

But you have to admit, if the little humans we pop out are cute lil things, the whole grin&bear-it becomes so much easier! Just saying.

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.