Phunless Phlegm

It’s been consistently sporadic rains for the past few days in my city. And if that’s too much of an oxymoron, tough! It’s the best a mother can do after her gravelly-voiced offspring woke her up yet again with a loud honk of his nose and his constricted breathing, not to mention the countless sneezes.

The fun (and I use as much snark as I am capable of while waiting for the milkman to deliver the farm-fresh goodness that will go into my life-saving beverage) of phlegm is actually way beneath zero. If you can think of rock bottom, imagine scratching your way to Tartarus in the effort to evade phlegm.

Your nose becomes a leaky faucet, your throat constricts in odd ways and if you’re like TO, you end up leaving mucus-encrusted napkins wherever you may roam.

All in all, a mother’s lot in life is no phun with phlegm on the horizon. Imagine me holding up a tissue box and saying, “Get thee behind me phlegm!” Nuff said!

The Dementia Diagnosis

One of Red’s cousins will be visiting us soon and I was telling TO about him. He’ll be meeting a brand new set of cousins and an aunt he’s not seen before so I was trying to give him some background while we set out for errands this morning.

This uncle of his is a neurologist and the moment I told him that, TO exclaimed in an excited manner that he was a doctor of brains and probably treated people for dementia. And that’s when the Universe intervened and turned it into an ” Why-Hast-Thou-Forsaken-Me” moment” from a “Man-My-Kid-Knows-So-Much-Awesome-High-Fives-All-Around” kind of moment.

It went something like this, ” TO: So this doctor can treat you and P also right? Me: Why would he treat us, we’re fine?!!” TO: No! You guys are old and you keep forgetting things! Me:We don’t have dementia. Sometimes people forget when they are distracted or they are doing a lot of things at the same time. Dementia doesn’t happen much in our age (yes it does, but he doesn’t need to know that!);it happens to older people. TO: I can see *ALL* this white hair on both your heads and you are really old. Not as old as Avva (his great-grandmother) but OLD! So you could get dementia. Ask this uncle when he comes home.” Me: I don’t have dementia but I will become demented soon baby! TO: What’s that? Me: Nevermind, we’re here! C’mon out of the car you little quack! (muttered sotto voce)

Conversations Over A Hot Stove

A little while ago when I was in the middle of cooking the chicken curry for today’s lunch, TO came to get a hug. Now a hot and sweaty person usually runs as far away from being held as possible. Especially more so when she’s doing the taste checks for a new recipe she decided to make on the spur of the moment. However, TO is militant about his hugs and wouldn’t leave without one.

The conversation while waiting for the hug went something like this- TO (making a face): WHAT’S THAT GREEN STUFF??!! Me: It’s coriander. You love it so am putting more in the curry. TO: No, not that green stuff, THAT green stuff. It looks like PUKE! Are we having puke for lunch?! Me: It’s not green. It’s a light yellow from the turmeric. TO: It still looks like PUKE to me. Me: You don’t have to eat it…we have daal and aalu. TO: No,no..I can eat chicken anytime..it doesn’t look *that* bad Ayu (pats my back commiseratingly).

And that ladies and gentlemen is what comes of wanting to create new culinary experiences for your family…pukey chicken indeed!

Parenting Bloglet- 22.02.2022

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How To Tell A Pre-Teen Lives In Your House

Here it goes in no particular order:

  1. He calls you Bruh..mom and dad have left the building and Bruh reigns supreme.
  2. Angst is the name of the game.
  3. Being contrary is also the name of the game.
  4. Tantrums are usually lurking around the corner.
  5. Flashes of brilliance (I use the term loosely) can be expected.
  6. Hugs and kisses are still accepted but otherwise you end up embarrassing them by stepping into the room during online classes with your mere presence.
  7. Growth spurt has kicked in and is still kicking butt- usually the parents.
  8. Advice about music is being shared- by the child to the unfashionable parents.
  9. Eyerolls are the accepted form of communicating.
  10. So are sulks.
  11. As-if, what-the, effs are all de facto modes of answering and are often complete sentences by themselves.
  12. Everything is BORINGGG!!
  13. Parents are UNFAIR!!!
  14. Global issues (like the present pandemic) have specifically come into being to make their lives especially hellish.
  15. Bathing is optional. Also, when it’s indulged in, one must have a reservoir at home to accommodate musical talents of child that peak while they’re in the shower.
  16. Bathing without looking clean is a newly cultivated skill set.
  17. Feeling hungry while eating the main meals of the day are another newly cultivated skill set.
  18. The opposite sex is no longer dumb. Cooties don’t exist any longer.
  19. Excuses for not doing homework or household chores assume epic proportions.
  20. Parents have turned into insensitive devils who routinely torture the child…erm pre-teen for their own amusement. Ergo reinforcing point#13.
  21. Screen time is a right more precious than Right to Life since life without screen time is no life at all.
  22. Selective hearing is firmly established.
  23. Very susceptible to sarcasm. It reinforces points #13 and #20 when indulged by the grown-ups of the house.
  24. Being largely unflappable in the face of parental ire and asking them to chill is par for course.
  25. Being a big baby about birthdays and gifts- still status quo.

Can’t imagine that age 13 will bring our way!

Be Careful What You Wish For…

My parents shared their good experiences with me by making me a part of them. Places they went to as children or travels they’d enjoyed were recreated with me so I could see what the fun was about. Places they hung out in or eateries they frequented in their youth; I’ve been to quite a few of them and have been able to sample (‘cuse the pun) things for myself.

My mother in particular, watched movies with me which were a part of her childhood- The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins etc. She introduced me to Elvis, the Beatles and of course Rabindra Sangeet- the staple food for the Bangali’s poetic soul. Given that this was the foundation laid for me, why wouldn’t I try and carry out the same with TO as well, right? Guess what? BIG MISTAKE!

I am a person who is deeply-rooted to her memories. I have a very retro-laden soul. I usually fall back on books I’ve read and reread when I need a break from the day to day. I watch movies which have proved to be hits and enjoyable no matter when I watch them. To make a long story short- my experiences associated with things are important to me. Nuff said!

The other day TO was complaining that we aren’t doing enough “family time” when it came to hanging out together and having fun. This came on the heels of us putting an end to screen time for the day. He wanted to kill two birds with one stone and have his digital media fun+have his parents around. Now in the past, us having him choose something for us to watch as a family has usually ended up being movies like The Chipmunks (high-pitched annoying gits)or yet another rerun of the same animated movie. With becoming a tween just around the corner, TO has been chomping at the bit for some “grown-up” stuff aka HORROR!

While we do give him a free hand when it comes to choosing his kiddy material, we are quite restrained when it comes to exposing him to material which is even PG-13. His can’t always compute why people do certain things so it’s easier to let him watch his dinosaur or TNMT which is fairly straightforward and doesn’t need a TED talk for clarity.

When I was his, age my mom and I used to cuddle on the big couch in the living room and watch horror movies which were usually Rated R. My mother would make sure the carnal stuff was fast forwarded or would cover my eyes and then let me watch the blood and gore without any qualms. It wasn’t her fault that the undead serial killers would usually start killing people while they were “at it”. Talk about coitus interruptus! But it boiled down this- I could take the blood and gore and wouldn’t start climbing into bed with my parents because I got scared in the middle of the night by seeing shadows on my wall after Freddy, Jason or Michael had gone on a rampage. To find a middle path with TO, we had to look for movies with some blood and gore but with next to no “adult stuff” so creature movies is what we’re usually left to choose from.

Last night we watched Deep Blue Sea– a favorite of mine since I first watched it during college and possibly after bunking a rather boring class. With DBS I discovered there could be shark movies after Jaws, Thomas Jane was a hottie and LL Cool J was funny.

What happened last night was this- an unending running commentary about who was going to die, why they ought to die, why they shouldn’t mess with sharks and a shout every time there was a remotely loud noise from the screen. This kid killed D.B.S for me! He just took it apart, shredded it and scattered those pieces willy nilly all over the place; never to be put back again. There go my plans of introducing him to Die Hard and Under Siege in due time.

I love my kid but he can’t mess with the classics! I guess we have a long road of Jurassic Park and World reruns in our future before he’s all out of his “special inputs” while the movie runs.

And as for horror movies; they’re permanently on the back burner. Can you imagine watching The Exorcist and having a barrage of questions about why the girl’s head turned back 180 degrees or why she barfed up green vomit or why Michael Meyers never talks or why Jason’s mask rarely comes off?

I can totally imagine being interrogated about why Samara Morgan’s hair is all over her face instead of being brushed over like normal undead killers…gimme a break!

Lockdown Day#1

While a lockdown hits hard at every aspect of our lives, today am far more upbeat than I have been in a long time! The reason is simple. My kid’s online classes are coming to an end for 2 months. And Red and I will finally get back to being human parents rather than the human-sheepdog hybrid we’ve been since the start of the entire phase of online learning.

In all honesty it was me who was woofing more than Red. He was busy on calls and would be on perpetual red alert to firefight when mother and son had their standoffs.

Our days would start out nicely enough- hugs and kisses and then the tide would turn to a small human being dragged out of bed on some days and on other days his rapidly-descending-into madness mommy would threaten to pour water on him or worse- discontinue the Netflix subscription!!

And then my erstwhile cherub and the sound of my life would transform into a modern day Gollum, complete with the hissing and glazed eyes while thinking of his precious.

But all snark aside, I have realised, all over again, that it is NOT easy to manage kids. Whether you do it out of love or get remunerated for it. I have a deep reverence for the teachers who have been tasked with teaching during these times. Dealing with different personalities, comprehension levels et al on a regular basis is a task by itself but add sullen faces, innate shyness, wonky internet connections and the sounds of a busy household in the background and teaching becomes something akin to an obstacle course. And landing on your feet isn’t guaranteed at all!

But I am looking forward to more peace. My throat is *eagerly* looking forward to not hitting the high decibels. Red’s ears are extremely eagerly awaiting the time when noise-cancelling headphones won’t be a part of our daily diet. And I guess TO is just waiting for a time when his mother isn’t giving him this look a 100xs a day.

Be as that may, I love my kid and I wanted to celebrate the last day of school in a manner befitting his happiness. So his favourite aunty is making him luscious chocolate cupcakes which will be snarfed down in a manner befitting a starving child rather than a well-fed one. And while I gaze upon the flesh of my flesh with love and adoration in my eyes, I will take immense joy in knowing the cupcakes are chock full of zucchini!

Take that you fussy eater who tries to convince me of all people that he has food allergies which is why fruits, nuts and many veggies can’t land up on his plate.

MY LATEST PET PEEVE

A while back I’d written about a pigeon that had a less than satisfactory interaction with my car. The car didn’t feel too bad for sure and I felt a bit of annoyance but didn’t let it bother me much since there are way more pigeons than there are cars in this world. Or it seems to me.

A while back a flock of pigeons decided that TO’s window parapet was a good place to set up shop and play out the circle of life. They would coo to each other, mate, make a nest, lay their eggs, incubate said eggs, get hatchlings, some would die and the rest would fly off only to come back and replay the entire unchanging drama all over again.

In the process copious amounts of feathers were shed and poop was pooped. It was a not a place I was happy to call my own. We were majority hampered by the lockdown that was in place and couldn’t get a vendor to come and install pigeon nets for that area either. Over time the window ledge became guano central and had enough allergens floating around (literally) to make an allergist super-duper happy.

Let me tell you something about guano. It’s good as a fertiliser, sure, but it’s acidic in nature as well. It stinks and it’s not the most pleasing thing to set your eyes on either. It’s downright unpleasant and not something I want on my windows. And to top it all off the pigeons are no candidates for MIT since they kept doing their freaky round and round pacing even around the dead chicks and still managed to make their nests around the corpse and lay more eggs.

Facepalm GIFs | Tenor

Yesterday was another red letter day wrt said bird. One calmly sauntered, yes sauntered, into the dining room via the living room, through an open window and proceed to walk up and down the length of the hall as if it had paid the mortgage on the house. When I saw it and tried to shoo it away, it again proved how much of a brainiac it was by NOT flying through the large AND open balcony doors and out into the wide blue yonder. Instead it flew into the small kitchen and from there into the utility area outside the kitchen where we have pigeon nets to avoid the situation that was happening right then.

In due time Red, TO and our Favourite Girl#1 arrived on the scene and proceed to be unsuccessful in driving the then-panicked and still dumb bird away from the nets and towards freedom. It’s always fun being advised by a 41, 11 and 5 year old in rapid succession while I advance towards a scared bird that’s pooping all around the place where all the cleaning of the household goes on.

ᐈ Racing pigeons stock pictures, Royalty Free racing homer images |  download on Depositphotos®

Ultimately the said pigeon was captured with a sheet thrown over it and then released into sunny skies where am sure it did not head off towards safety. Knowing this particular bird, am sure it headed to the next apartment’s window and promptly started to explore how their house was set up.

Jokes apart, it is very difficult trying to get a firm grip on a squirming body. It was tough when TO was a baby who had enough mucus jammed up his nose to make me become nauseous and I had to go all octopus on him with the nasal aspirator. And it was tough yesterday with the bird with the super silky feathers and a brain that didn’t tell it to do anything but fly in circles and flap its wings uselessly.

I. Really. Don’t. Like. Pigeons.

They should confine themselves to pooping on statues, St.Mark’s Square and Trafalgar Square and just be happy. Anything more is just greedy; plain and simple!

Motherhood Bloglet

I’m a mother…ergo I facepalm. Royally!

My child, adorable tailless monkey that he is, is still prone to doing things ass backwards plenty of times. When he was a baby he’d bite off the bottom of his ice cream cone and then rush to suck up the swiftly flowing ice cream that was melting all over him. In the process he’d get a brain freeze from the cold. Another joy of motherhood.

Also, it took him a while to find out why he shouldn’t bite off the bottom of the cone…and each time the same expression of surprise would pop up on his face; seeing the ice cream flow away…sheesh.

As a bigger baby these days, he eats the shawarma roll from both ends and wonders why the mayo and fillings keep dropping all over him. I mean…seriously?!

And then when he gets a dirty or perplexed from moi he gives me the universal look all kids are born with viz

Arrow Going Right Gif | Arrow pointing right, Animation in photoshop, Gif  animated images

Takes A Bloomin’ Continent

A lot has been written about the people in the frontlines of this pandemic. As it should be. They literally are the first line of defence and often end up in hazardous situations themselves in the process of trying to cure or keep the populace safe.

But I don’t think enough has been written about the people who’re trying to make sure the little monkeys we brought into this world, remain educated, remain interested in education and actually learn something during these times where the only certainty is that it’s all still very uncertain!

30+ Most Accurate Teacher Memes - UPDATED!

Case in point: a teacher spends a good amount of time explaining things in fairly minute detail to middle schoolers and then asks if there are any questions. These are the inputs which come in from the kids-

  • Student#1 Ma’am you didn’t mark me present.
  • Student#2 Ma’am we have only 3 minutes left for the class to end.
  • Student#3 Ma’am can I go to the washroom.
  • Student#4 Ma’am you said XYZ’s name wrong…
  • Student#5 *umm…hmmm…erm*
  • Student#6 yawns loudly
  • Student#7 *humms*
  • Student#8 Ma’am it’s time, can we leave?

Teacher: sighs DEEPLY and says, “Ok children, anyone have any questions about what we’re discussing right now? For the things which were due 2 days ago? Any questions at all?” There’s pin drop silence. You can hear the clock tick, the birds chirp outside and the leaves of the tree rustle softly. Teache: No one? Nothing to ask?…sighs DEEPLY once more and says, “Ok children, you can leave the meeting.”

Students as ONE: BYEEEE MA’AAAAM!!!

It may have taken a village in the past to raise a child, but it takes waaay more to teach one!

To the teachers- we salute you!