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So here we are again…had to be, right? Birthdays being the yearly thing that they are. I am happy to report that the girth hasn’t kept up with my age. It would make turning 40 *quite* traumatic.

As time goes by, I find that I settle into these little traditions on certain days; birthday lunches with good friends. Bonding over booze is something that we cannot ever take too lightly. The same goes for importance of Bollywood music as it turns out. More on that later.

A good friend and I made a pact this year to discover new places (eateries) and try them out all through the year. And that’s been going on fairly steadily. I also try to make it for as many of the movies that I want to watch. Just got to head back before T.O gets back though and make it look like I’ve been busy folding clothes and doing laundry all day. Moms aren’t allowed to have too much fun without their kids or so the thought process goes.

Have more leisure time on my hands since I stopped working and most days are a heady mix of streaming something on Netflix and reading. It’s actually become a lot of rereading but books never go out of style. Especially John Sandford.

Book Read GIF

Image result for reading books meme

My relationship with being healthy is an out of sight-out of mind kind of thing. If I’m not focused on it, it’ll never happen. And I end up losing focus very quickly in this area. Note to self: find out if ADD can happen selectively in a person’s life. All I can say is that I’ve not been patronizing unhealthy foods as much as I used to.

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diddly squats

This past year has been one that’s been quite memorable. More facetime (not app,the actual kind) with friends and a bit of travel here and there.

I’ve basically trying hard not to make too many plans. I’ve always been a planner. Long before summer break came about, my suitcase would be packed up and I’d enjoy the process of planning for everything I’d be taking along with me. The little joys as it were.

But while planning is fine, sometimes in planning too much you kind of miss the day-to-day. And the day to day is what adds up to everything else when you sit back and look at everything that’s been done. So that’s the focus now. Plan but at a slower pace and sometimes just let things happen. My kid broke a hand. We dealt with it. He’s now swinging from monkey bars and swinging cricket bats with equal ease. Can’t plan for every eventuality and when stuff crops up, you deal. Simple. Red left his job, took a sabbatical and then got back on to the grind sooner than we thought. The only plans we made uber seriously, were about securing the future for our child and us. Everything else was icing on the cake.

So while I’ll never be the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda person, I’m still going to (try to) take it easy. Maybe. Possibly. I’ll make a list… Sheeesh!

A quick look at the day itself and the night after.

Jager Bombs!

The jingbang who help cut the cake every year

Salut!

A Post From The Past

I wrote this post on a Word doc years ago and didn’t get around to publishing it. Discovered it today and publishing it because it’s still relevant and I’m still fighting for my space on the bed!”

Travails of Sleepytime

Many of us sleep alone at nights. And they are the lucky ones. The ones who don’t aren’t unlucky per se but they’ve lost that God-given privilege of rolling about on their bed all by their lonesome, unless something bad happens and well…that’s where couches (in conjunction with angry spouses) come in.

Why am I suddenly tripping on sleeping alone? Well let’s see now- the only child that I am, I graduated to a bed of my own at a fairly early age I’d say. And after that I’ve found that a bed mate (even a chaste one) just didn’t do it for me all in all. Something would happen that’d make me long to sleep. A-L-O-N-E!!

The current trigger is the hubby’s death grip on my coverlet. Boy! You think it’d be easy to shove a slender guy out of the way and dig out my wrap from under him. You’d think wrong. I’d have better luck excavating dinosaur bones somewhere. The sheet’ll be free once he moves. And he doesn’t move. Much.

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Which leads me to another bone of contention. I’m a wriggler. When I get into bed for the first time I HAVE to wriggle till I mush out a nice cozy space for myself and get the place a bit warm in the process. Not everyone’s a natural bed warmer like my father. I remember some pretty cold winters as a kid when I’ve tried to sneak under his comforter because he radiates furnace-like heat when all covered up.

I sadly, warm up only the place I lie in and since I’m a twitchy sleeper by nature I seldom lie in one place long enough for it to get properly toasty. I inevitably used to wake up from a cold spot on the bed during the winters in various places I’ve spent my childhood in. Hyderabad not really having much semblance of a winter is definitely easier on my malfunctioning heating coils. Anyhow, I realized that sleeping alone is a gift that is never given again post marriage and during the times when you have clingy roommates in the hostel. But that’s a different cuppa tea altogether.

Take me for example- I frequently smacked the new groom across his face while we got used to sharing a bed. Now I can sleep pretty much anywhere. But he NEEDS to be on his left else he feels as if he’s deprived himself of a good night’s sleep. Don’t ask me why. It’s not as if the mattress people stuffed his side of the mattress with more foam and left spikes in mine right? But adamant he is and on the nights when I’ve occupied the left side, the following mornings have brought me face to face with Monsieur Le Grumpy.

Bonuses of sleeping alone #1 your posture can be anything at all and you don’t ever have to have people grumbling over you at odd times of the night about why you are mimicking the Karate Kid’s Crane kick in your sleep. So whether it’s a pose of a bird hatching an egg or a midget hatching a plan, your posture is your thing and you get to indulge in all sorts of jungle gym activities all while sleeping beatifically.

Advantage # 2- you can emit any kinds of noise from anywhere you wish and not be thought as disgusting or get an elbow in the ribs right in the middle of the gorgeous dream of you and….never mind who else. It’s a great and understandable provocation for bodily harm leading to murder if you’re startled away by a monstrous snort of your partner. That pillow never looked handier for smothering, am I right?

Drool is also another dread to have to encounter. Imagine while fast asleep, you roll over/ reach out and your hands, feet touch something cold, sticky and thoroughly unpleasant. It’s enough to recreate the bedroom scene in the Godfather!

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Another reason to not let others in your bed, especially kids, is that they’ll never want to leave!! Mine starts out in his cot and somehow always ends up draped over my head, feet in my face, fingers tangled in my hair or moving around between the sheets like a wraith from the horror movies. Am convinced the hubby sleepwalks and then picks up El Munchkin and places him between us. And after a few attempts of his kicking his father (whose bones hurt your hands and feet when you make contact) my son’s permanently turned his limbs towards me. Courtesy my cellulite.

Apparently I often go *bleep-bleep* in the night after being kicked in the face or almost being pushed off the bed. I don’t remember them of course. I’m told about my runaway mouth across the dining table, over a cup of life-restoring coffee I’m; by a disapproving spouse in stern tones. But in my defense, I was in limbo you see. Formed of fatigue and memories of the days when I ruled my own bed and rolled around in circles, formed odd geometric shapes that were a puzzle to my mother.

For now I’ll just dream of sleeping by myself instead of tugging the sheet free (it aint gonna happen) and get a few winks in before the sheet usurper and the child repo agent (it SO feels like that) both work in tandem to have me lying awake through the night and working on another blogpost.

Nighty night!

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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

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

The Little Piggies In A Woman’s Life

Piggies is purely a metaphor. It doesn’t mean anyone who looks porcine, grunts or even loves to shove their face into the slop they eat or wallow in the mud. And even if there’s an insidious thread of the meaning woven through the blog…tough!

Since childhood we all get introduced to the little piggies. Different cultures name the toes as different things or animals but we all play the same game in some form or the other with kids. And sometimes with adults too but that’s a different post for a different time and with an NC-17 rating in it 😉

Each piggy does a different thing but they remain part of the same foot. One could intellectually masturbate long enough to derive the notion that it’s symbolic of the different roles the same person plays in life OR the different roles different people play in the same person’s life.

Let’s go ahead with the second theory. And being a woman’s blog…we’ll take a woman as the rat in the maze.

Every woman (post the onset of puberty and definitely after having sampled the joys of sexual fulfillment) needs people to play these roles-

  • the shopping buddy
  • the bitching buddy
  • the talking about non-personal and non-intimate stuff buddy
  • the no-holds-barred buddy
  • the sympathetic buddy
  • the empathetic buddy
  • the hand-slapper buddy (they exist to keep you on the straight and narrow)

So they play the game of ‘this little piggy went to market’ and from time to time each piggy has their day in the sun.

It seldom,and I mean that it’s a huge statistical improbability, that a single person can embody all these qualities for a woman. Or keep embodying them consistently without dropping the ball.

And the cardinal sin here would be to look for this person in a member of the opposite sex. The fact that we have different physical characteristics means something here. A man doesn’t usually get the rationale behind the exhausting range of emotions a woman feels and expresses. Things are fairly cut and dry for them except for those prima donnas you wanna bitch slap because they can’t decide when their “feminine” side takes over and when they start functioning with the brain lying south of the border.

But having these different people around can and does maintain homeostasis in a woman’s life. Each of these people holds up a mirror of her varied facets for her to see, understand and grow stronger from.

However, each one of them have one common factor binding them all…get enough alcohol into them and you’ll have them singing karaoke, laughing like loons and possibly dancing on the tables as well.

Amen to that!

Paraphernalias

People see candles and usually think either Halloween, black-outs or women. They see diffusers (reed and the other kinds) and think of spas, meditation and women. You dim the lights and people go, “Oh yeah, romance” and well, romance with women.

And truth be told women *need* these things and there are well-validated reasons behind all these knickknacks and doohickeys that women use to kick back and relax, rejuvenate or even just set the mood.

Candles and dim lights- whether you’ve been doing back-breaking work in a mine, fighting it out in the corporate jungles or chasing after a toddler (same difference), at the end of a long day it has been found (empirically) that dim lights actually bring down levels of stress and heightened emotions and help people unwind. Think about it, all the stresses of the day happen in bright lights, inside and outside. A step back from it all happening along with muted, soft lights actually add to the momentum of relaxing.

And purely from a less-than-perfectly-physiqued woman’s POV; it also hides the frown lines, crows feet and unflattering signs of fatigue till you’ve had a chance to exfoliate, moisturize and conceal your way into being “presentable” to the world at large or atleast your partner/husband who walks in the door, takes a look at you and asks, “bad day?”

Diffusers and other aromatic aids- This one isn’t even a New Age hippie doodad but something that’s been in use across centuries. People have been burning sage, camphor, lavender and other aromatics to cleanse the air, their auras and their immediate surroundings for a long, long time. Pick up an Regency novel (based in the early-mid 1800s) and you’ll find all about sage burning or reviving fainting lasses with lavender water or keeping lavender sprigs in their boudoirs.

Nowadays it’s just nice to not smell the spices from your cooking and that of the neighbors’, the waft of old socks and shoes and the stench of an open trash chute all rolled up into one unholy mess and instead have a mild to moderate aroma of Ocean Breeze or lemongrass oils greet you in your personal space.

Of course with the dim lights, the ocean breeze and a tired mind often (and successfully) conjures up a hunky stud along with it all; just to round out the feeling of being mellow properly. If said hunky stud is holding or offering a chilled glass (read bottle) of Chablis and looking scrum-diddly-umptious in the bargain then your Relax-O-Meter just zooms right up to the stratosphere and you are officially M-E-L-L-O-W.

So in conclusion: women have had it right all along! Get the aromatics, get the candles and the stud and lounge away in cozy darkness for curing all the ills of a long, tiring work day.

Note: This method works best if treated like a prescription or a record on loop.

Salut!