Don’t Have Kids…

but be around them. Children are Nature’s balm. They may come across as incomprehensible, demanding, whiny brats who you often fantasize about leaving on someone else’s doorstep, but kids have something we end up losing as adults- an ability to laugh at the silliest and simplest of things.

Take a little boy who’s recently become a friend of mine. He’s suffered an irreparable loss. That of a parent. He’s asked all the questions kids do when they don’t really understand death. He’s cried. He’s been sad and am sure he’s looked up quite often when the doorbell’s rung, hoping to see a particular someone. But while adults around him grieve and struggle to let go of their pain, shared and individual, he has his armor on and it’s keeping him safe. And the beauty of it is that it’s intrinsic 

He’s laughed at oranges that rolled off a table and went under a couch, a squishy grape that hit him on the chin while being deseeded, a wobbly banana that could no longer hold its pose and fell down with a splat or the little toy engine that went off the tracks and into the belly of an alligator.

He laughed again when he remembered what seemed like utter and complete silliness to him and seeing him we laughed as well. And felt a little better. Because unalloyed laughter is precious. And rib tickling, clamp-your-hand-over-your-mouth kinda laughter is infectious, uplifting and makes things seem just a little bit better; even on the really tough days.

Thank god for children. Thank god for all they find silly and thank goodness for fruits that’ve stopped being firm. It would seem that there’s plenty to be thankful for at the end of the day after all.

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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Why Life’s Like The Wizard Of Oz

When I woke up with a weight on my chest this morning and realized it was my kid’s heel on my sternum, it led to yet another epiphany. Life’s like The Wizard Of Oz (hold the Wonderful).

Dealing with kids often morphs us (read me all the way through) into the Wicked Witch of the East. Red usually is the Good Witch and magically smoothes things over with his placid tone and his magic wand (aka hugs and kisses and a nicer, pleasanter demeanor) while I’m all riled up and fit to have an army of flying monkeys to do my nefarious deeds.

See, sleep is important. UBER important. And when sleeping with an adult, despite what they show you in the movies, they eventually disengage and go their own way. You don’t pretzel and spoon beyond a point. You have S-P-A-C-E. Blessed, blessed, blissful, beautiful space.

Red’s travelling now and the brat’s bunking with me. That means that after reading to him and doing a bit of cuddle time I have “space” for all the time it takes for him to fall asleep viz 10 minutes. And then the magnetic pull begins.

I have woken up with an elbow to my eye, a butt in my face or a child sprawled across my torso and me having dreams of drowning somewhere because I couldn’t breathe.

The child in question is damn smart. He gravitates towards the well-padded parent and not towards the bony one. EVER!

This morning was no different. After a night of semi-bingeing on Grey’s Anatomy (I know, I know…) I slept off good and proper and didn’t even have any weird dreams that I could recall. And then suddenly there was a sudden and rather sharpish whomp on my chest and lo and behold it was a child’s heel. Now MLM for reasons unknown to me has a pointy chin, elbows and heels that he loves to dig into his mother’s rather substantial flesh. Love I suppose…

I woke up and quasi-gently rotated said heel of said child off me and onto the bed and added 2 pillows between us for good measure but the moment was gone and sleep had fled. Again. And because am weird, I thought of the Wizard of Oz where my offspring isn’t Dorothy but Toto. The frisky puppy who got Dorothy into trouble in the first place. Frisky and lovable but irksome at times too.

So Toto and I will wait for the Good Witch to get back and then my flying monkeys will rest. Till Toto acts up again.

Y-A-W-NNNNN

The Unbearable Unsightlyness Of Playing

Let it be noted that if I had to do anything amounting to slightly strenuous physical activity vs being bodily harmed, bodily harm would rule the roost.

The most apt description of my gait, run and overall physical movement is quite akin to the drunken hallucination from Dumbo. I kid you not.

Red has despaired and has moved his focus onto the one person whose hand-eye co-ordination can still be salvaged: MLM.

Why am I so bad at it? I honestly don’t know much beyond that heavy bodies take more effort to move and they sweat a whole bunch leading the heavy individual to feel lightheaded, awkward, clumsy and generally NOT GOOD AT ALL.

It’s not that I can’t hit a ball. I can. But then everyone ducks or waits for chunks of the ceiling to start raining down.

MLM’s latest fancy is playing squash (I thought it was the same as racquetball but the husband snootily told me they were different). He’s signed up for summer classes and we thought it would be a good family activity to indulge in. Well…the jury is still out on that one.

I did manage to get a half-assed rally going on with Red but then the ball seemed further and further away and the racquet didn’t seem to want to connect with the ball much at all. Again..left scratching my head.

But after I unwound myself from a striking pose my body had assumed, I found that these were the postures I was getting into. It goes without saying that none of them are optimum while playing squash.

1) Garden Cupid Statue: hark back to the chubby Cupid statues on pedestals, shooting an arrow but with direction changing each time a ball approaches. That’s my pose when I try and hit a ball that’s got lobbed a bit closer to the ground.

2) Hey! I’m Here: all the people marooned on desert isles usually have one moment where a ship passes by in the distant horizon and they jump up and down, waving like it’s what they were born to do. Well, that’s my hands above the head pose while trying to hit a shot that’s rebounded off the walls.

3) I’ve Fallen And I Can’t Get Up: my pose for a few seconds after trying to come out of the first pose

All along, in the background one would be able to hear deep and furious panting…

And that’s after 10 mins of being on the squash courts.

C’est la vie!

A Blog A Day- Day 4

The offspring has a new love- IPL.

He doesn’t really get the mechanics of cricket barring people throwing a ball and someone trying to hit it or get out trying. Those are my genes at play so he can’t be held responsible.

With IPL, the format is perfect for his attention span and it’s livelier, the unis are more colorful and there are dancing girls etc so what’s not to like eh? He seems to be enamored of Virat Kohli even going to extent of asking me where he lives and where he can meet the ‘Captain of India’ as Kohli’s been dubbed. I think we may have a tiny stalker on our hands soon.

He asks us a thousand questions about who’s playing, who won and who lost etc. He also makes it a point to tell Red and I which team we’re cheering for. Woe betide if we don’t fall in with his plans; a pouty face surfaces and we’re left pacifying him and saying “yes, yes…we’ll cheer for Delhi Daredevils (grumble, mutter-mutter, grumble, grumble)”. He loves the Jio add as well and often leaves his dinner to dance along with the jingle and do a victory lap whenever someone hits a 6 or gets out.

Usually he’s hustled off to bed before any side finishes with their batting due it being a school night. So as soon as I toss his tiny butt out of bed in the mornings, he makes a beeline for the paper to check the sports page, after he gets over his mini-zombie phase. He checks to see if his team has won. If they have then it’s jubilation time. If they haven’t then it’s a sad face till he’s reminded that there’s yet another match about to take place in the night and he can still beat one of us via his team.

Is this the Millennial version of sportsmanship, I wonder…

IPL -2018

Tech-Savvy Woes

I’ve written earlier about the advent of Alexa in our lives. Red was in the market for good quality speakers and was considering buying Sonos and then suddenly got his head turned by the cute lil dot that now talks to us in a STRONG American accent and frequently gets our song choices wrong because she doesn’t get us much. And that’s funny because the offspring has his own twangy accent that sounds kind of like Alexa and yet they don’t always communicate correctly.

Properly enunciated crisp diction rings her bells though. Take for example, MLM wanting to hear Ra.One’s Chhammak Chhallo. He yelled out into the general direction of Alexa, “AlexaplaymeChamakChalo” and pat came the reply, “I’m sorry. I am unable to understand you.” El Brato grumbled, “Stupid Alexa” and then yelled out to me, “Ayu…come and tell Alexa the song I want to hear. It’s not listening to me.”

And there I was, speaking to the dot, yet again, telling her to play Chhammak Challo, said with tight lips and no hint of any accent anywhere. And she popped up saying, “Here’s ChamakChalo from VishalShaker”. I swear there was no difference between her and MLM but someone must have a hearing problem somewhere so I’m still running interference for them both and waiting till he asks me to tell her to play ‘Rashke Qamar’. Last time he asked her to play the song she played Paula Abdul’s Rush Rush

For my troubles, I get to hear the dratted song on loop till my brains start to leak out of my ears. *rolls eyes*

Signing off!

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Waterloo-Circa 2014

Quite a few times it’s happened that I wrote something but couldn’t publish it because my inner crazy lady didn’t allow for anything to get sent out unless the requisite tags and categories had been ticked off. While cleaning up the blogging space, I’ve come across stuff I’ve left half-written, written but unedited or written with just the publishing bit left. This is one of them.”

Ordinarily I am a card-carrying agnostic but today I am ready to drop to my knees and give thanks to the Galactic Amoeba if it means that MLM will conk off early and give me a wide berth while he does so.

Today has been mind-numbingly exhausting and I have begun to think that I’ve lost my temper for the last time with no clear roadmap to find it again. I just wanted MLM restrained in one place. And since they don’t have straitjackets in preschooler size…well you get my drift.

Some days are so extraordinarily taxing that you end up questioning what the heck you thought you were getting into when you were happy to see those 2 little red lines. Let me illustrate…I’ve had dinosaurs in my food, in my coffee, in front of my face, going up my nose, peeking into my ear, poking in my gluteus maximus and all because I sought to foster his love for the wretched reptiles by buying him more dino figures to boost his pretend play and keep him from the evils of the idiot box! *bangs head against the wall*

Right about now I have no problem if he turns into a tater tot on his way to becoming a couch potato if it means I’ll get 2 minutes of peace while I use the loo.

Till then I’ll give my knees some workout and pray for sleep…

“He that sleeps feels not the tooth-ache.”
Cymbeline (5.4.176)

Or the aches brought on by the force of nature in the guise of a child!

Image courtesy-garthandkaceyhamilton.blogspot.com