Why Kids Should Come With Disclaimers

It’s a longish title I admit but sometimes you have such a doozy of a week that you just need to get it out of your system and can’t be bothered by the aesthetics of formatting or “optimum” title lengths. Apparently blogging tip#1 is that one needs to keep the title ‘short and punchy‘ to attract more readers.

My kid is 10 years old. He acts half his age at times and then there are other times when I have no idea what he’s acting like except that it A-N-N-O-Y-S me.

Blogging tip#2- occasional allcaps in the midst of a post lends some gravitas and also attracts attention.

Anyhoo…for those who have arrived late onto this particular blog, I chiefly write about my kid. Why? Because he fills up my world rather like the John Denver’s Annie Song but in a less melodious way at times. Blogging tip#3- it’s easiest to write about what you know and see around you so I kinda didn’t have a choice when it came to my topic of blogs since being a M-O-M is pretty much all I do. Note: a effective use of tip#2 in the preceding line.

Another anyhoo- this past week TO and I have been butting heads quite a bit. It’s almost as if his agenda for the week was let’s see how much my mother’s head can swell before it explodes or how high she can screech before she hits a frequency only dogs and bats can hear. I think he hit his targets pretty often and that’s why there were loud popping noises coming from the direction of our house a few times this week and often dogs in the community were seen running around in a frenzied state looking for the source of the noise that left their hoomans mystified.

There is usually a good amount of push and pull when one wants to get a kid out of bed in the mornings. But being told off by a buck-toothed midget that I should come back later because I’m disturbing his dreams, isnt a way I like to start off my week.

This continued for a few days with TO shooing me off like I was a pesky bug on occasion as well. All of which my ego withstood admirably. Since my ego was coming a poor second to my eyes which were firmly fixed on the clock that was counting down the minutes till the school bus came.

Imagine this- you get a super reluctant kid out of bed only to have him lollygag on the livingroom couch as if it’s a weekend siesta. You then kick his butt into the bathroom only to see him stare off into space with gormless look on his face for another precious five minutes more.

You get him on the Express brushing schedule and drag his body to the dining table where his milk has been impatiently waiting for him. There he contemplates the glass of milk as one would the mysteries of the universe and then, after another irreplaceable 10 minutes have gone by, asks the one question you did *not* expect, “Ayu…how do you say the name for Thor’s hammer?”

You instinctively start to answer before you realize that in the next seven and a half minutes your kid has to finish his milk, poop, bathe and meet the bus-a short walk away.

That’s when your inner Hulk breaks loose and you think some rather painful thoughts about where Thor could stick his hammer and get into the shrieking banshee mode.

You think the weekend is going to be better however it’s anything but bereft of drama.

So for all the parents out there who aren’t always looking at your flesh and blood with undiluted love oozing from your pores; fret not. You aren’t the only ones who fantasize about having a catapult that would fling the brat to a galaxy far, far away.

S-I-G-H.

P.S: I haven’t even tackled the mad rush we get into when there’s just 2 minutes left on the clock and someone realizes that he hasn’t packed everything he needs for school day that. There’s not enough Xanax in the world to counter that.

Saturday Morning Conversations

I crashed by myself last night…was listening to music, sorting out playlists…everything you need head space for and which can’t always be done effectively with someone staring at you with googly eyes and asking, “what are you doing?” for the millionth time.

I avoided weird bedtime conversations but couldn’t avoid them during the next morning when someone decided to wake up and smell the roses with unbounded enthusiasm before his mother got caffeinated.

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Imagine having slept off to music spanning the decades along with conversations with friends on and off till the middle of the night and then waking up to the most #dafuq question one can imagine first thing in the morning viz, “How old do you think De Villiers is?” And on seeing my glazed, semi-blurry vision starting to go the angry, snorting bull way, TO preemptively turns his face skywards and says, “Why me?!!” Nothing quite like having your angsty moment stolen and impersonated by the person who brought it on in the first place.

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So on we went with the good morning kisses and inane questions till my brain cried out for coffee once more. Red being the coffee guy at home was hollered at and he promptly went and made some for HIMSELF and not me. There’s only a few things a woman can say to her husband at such times and I tell back on Barb#1 aka ‘ I gave you a kid, can’t you even get me a cup of coffee?’

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We are fond of our drama in this household. Be it me trying to bury myself under the covers so I don’t have to hear my kid drone on about some ODI post which Tendulkar decided to retire from cricket

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or trying to bargain for more screen time or me giving the evil eye to the placidly coffee-sipping spouse who’s going to need me to find his stuff for him soon; this is just how we roll.

Slainte!

Morning Bloglet

Monday to Friday my child looks at me as the incarnation of the Wicked Witch of the West+her flying monkeys all rolled into one. 

Weekends I do the same to him when he gets up before I want him to. 

Cue Elton John singing ‘Circle Of Life’ in the background.

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.

 

Bedhair: A Quick Look

Have you ever had one of those days when you got up, stumbled to the loo, turned on the light and thought,”Dang! My hair looks awesome!” How’d it get like that? No? Well, that’s understandable…the likelihood of bed-hair looking good rather than freakish…well the odds are against it.

I can categorize my bedhairiness ranging from mild to oh-my-god-give-me-a-hat.

It can manifest in a mild cowlick a la Dennis the Menace that I either ignore or pat down with some water to the slightly creepier Bride of Frankenstein look. 

Btw, I chose Mrs.Frank as a reference point because a) Einstein’s hair is just so passe b) I am graying these days ergo…

Anyhoo, bedhair is only troublesome if you have to meet people. Especially people you don’t know and have to make small talk with while some other work is on-going in the background.

Nothing is makes conversation falter more than having a head of hair is which partly curled inwards and the rest is staticky and pretty much pointing every which way it wants. Some days there’s just not enough hair serum in the word.

I remember a scene from the movie Moonlight and Valentino (not worth watching) where Elizabeth Perkins wants to look more attractive for Jon Bon Jovi and gets her hair styled to get a “I just got down from a bike” look and when she sets out on a date with JBJ, he of the less than perfectly styled head of hair, rolls up the windows because he doesn’t want his hair to end up looking like hers.

But away from all the references, the way you wake up in the morning, makes a huge difference to how the rest of your day plays out. You can go from happy to hilarious to hillbilly in a manner of seconds. The worst situation is when you think there’s an intruder standing right behind you- your hair looks *that* out there!

So, slightly vain people…oil your hair a bit especially if it starts to frizz, don’t comb it with 90 brush strokes like you read you needed to do before bedtime. We’re challenging a lot of the gyaan the 90s threw at us and always keep a spray bottle handy…it’ll either help you calm your hair down or jerk you awake to see the intruder you thought was lurking behind you, was just you with an angry head of hair and grumpy countenance.

P.S: not a single bad hair day can compare to this lady though…so take heart…