Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Mamma chahiye

Having sneaked off to the gym at the ungodly hour of 5.30 am, leaving brat snoring peacefully on our bed, did my entire cardio and upper body weight training, secure in the knowledge that brat has to be forcibly woken up at 7.30 to make it to school in time. After all, fifteen minutes of tickling and kichu kichu is needed to force eyes open, after which another half an hour for milk, and other trifles like horsing around and demolishing whatever unlucky thing is in his path .(Yesterday he threw a wooden stick in the air in the MILs bedroom, it hit the fan, richocheted against the tube light which came crashing down right around him. The greatest miracle, not a scratch on his body. I was stunned into inaction for a second, after which adrenaline rush happened and pounced on him, yelling all the while and too loudly as a reaction to the scare I'd suffered). After demolitions through, we brush and bathe and get dressed. All the while nonchalant about mamma, more concerned about being with papa and dadi, mamma after all is the demon pushing him to finish his milk, get his scrawny butt into the bathroom and such like. Imagine my shock when I reach home from the gym at 7.15 to find brat having dragged an embarassed dadi down in nightie, howling big fat tears for mamma. Selfish me, felt nice and glowy and wanted.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Today is a holiday...

And the brat is home with the MIL, since the mother has to be at the doctors and cannot be pressurised into baby sitting. Have left the driver behind, and the cook will wait on for a while longer, and hopefully between the three of them should be able to keep the critter entertained enough till I reach home by 2 pm. Let him sleep in this morning, almost jealously, having forced myself to raise my carcass from the bed and hit the gym at 5.30 but more of that on my thirtysomething.blogsource.com. He stretched deliciously, and purred with the ease that comes from a sleep well slept at around 9.30 just as I was piling on the eyeliner and lipstick to escape from the house before he woke up. "Mamma, no school. Today holiday." Yes, my son. "Mamma go office. Do computer. Do padhai." Who am I kidding? The brat understands that mamma goes office and does computer and will not be there for half the day. I am given to understand by both the mother and the MIL that he is an absolute angel with them, and morphs into the unmanageable brat avatar only on my return. Hmmmm. Says a lot for my disciplining abilities. Last night, having laid our hands on a plastic pipe, the remnant of a long discarded mike stand, was aiming well directed blows at a giggling dadi when I intervened and gave him a hard one with the same plastic pipe. I think it hurt me more than it hurt him, but couldnt let him go on thinking whacking others was some sort of game. Sadly, am more demonised now, as the mother who hits her child. Was the sort of obedient child who never got any whacks throughout my childhood, am now hardpressed to justify my whack to myself. But at that second, it seemed instinctive---he was whacking an old person, he needed to learn it was not acceptable behaviour, taking the rod away wasnt helping therefore...who am I kidding, I am feeling so guilty over something that most parents would consider normal disciplining practice. Reading Dare to Discipline by Dr James Dobson, (alas been ages since one read purely for the pleasure of reading beautiful fiction or prose), where the good doctor is of the opinion that a smack on the butt works far better than the carrot and stick and other such subtler forms of disciplining. Wonder is this was the subconscious trigger for me lifting my hand on the brat--have never whacked him so far, no matter what the provocation. Too much guilt. Smothered him with guilt kisses for a while after that. Am hopeless at being a stern disciplinarian. Will leave that to the husband.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Monkey business...

We are not a horsey, we are a monkey. The school has kindly handed over the monkey costume complete with tail and such like, with strict instructions on make up and matching socks and the like, and I am stressed out. My son's first public performance. Will he do what is expected of him, or will he stay true to his intrinsic nature and run amok on stage like a wild horse coralled in. The horsey part was what his best friend in class had to do, and naturally we have observed that very well and want to do the horsey actions rather than the monkey stuff. The monkey stuff we dont need to rehearse that comes naturally to us-- including the swinging around, climbing up ladders and cupboards instead of trees and scratching ourselves all over, especially after having rolled joyously in the mud in the park.
Last night was a live demo of the manipulativeness of the brat, am in deep shock almost as if I have witnessed my little angel become a Hells Angel. The previous day had gone to neighbourhood mall, where nasty momma denied him his precious gun, instead choosing to pick up some boring jigsaw puzzles. We threw minor tantrums, and were promptly dragged out of the shop, bundled into the car and taken home. So much for my disciplining. Yesterday, brat wakes up from sleep and calls his grandmother, 'Dadi utho na, Dadi mall chalo." Dadi reluctantly heave hos her arthritic legs, delighted that the brat wants her to accompany her. In the mall, he runs right to the toy shop, picks up much wanted gun (He already has some 20 guns of different shapes and sizes and sound effects much headache inducing stuff) and runs, holding Dadi dearest's hand to the cash counter. Voila. New gun got. Victory achieved over nasty momma. Mother frothing at the mouth with repressed rage. Telling dear Dadi not to pamper brat is like shouting at echo point. No use. Nonetheless, told the indulgent grandma to watch out--sooner or later she's not going to be able to afford this reckless giving into all his ever escalating demands. One half understands the need to indulge the child after all only grandchild after ten years of the son being married was much much awaited and prayed for, but the other half of me is seething with rage at this sort of mindless indulgence. Any suggestions short of me declaring an all out embargo on new toys?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Horsey, horsey...

'Ghode jaise chaal, haathi jaisi dum, o saawan raja, kahan se aaye tum..." Remember this number from Dil To Pagal Hain? I'd forgotten it, having consigned it rightfully into the bin where eminently forgettable songs go in the back of the mind (so little mindspace, so many things to remember), until the brat decides last night to start singing the song, and do a horsey gallop, and tell me (how apt, see the genius of the child), "Mamma, you be my partner, you be elephant." Yes son, you're great with the kicking, I've got the elephant butt. We're just perfect for the song. Guess this is what the kids have been rehearsing for their annual day. Me being me, have been reaching obscenely late everyday to drop him and pick him up and never get a chance to gupshup with other mothers as to what is the annual day thingie, now I find out. Tomorrow he has the dress rehearsal at Bhaidas hall, from 2.30 pm to 6 pm, horrors, my poor child, such a long time at rehearsals, will they feed them, take them to su su and other such essentials or do I just diaper up the chap and send him, safe and secure in his swathed glory. He has zilch tolerance levels, he will inform one that he needs to pee seconds before the deed has to be done, and god help us if appropriate peeing spot is not found. At times, forgive me civic minded citizens, have to resort to making him pee on open road, but since it would just be ridiculous to continue diapering up a 3 year old, I take the risk.....but tomorrow, since am not around to understand the urgency of the clutching of wee wee and the agonized wail of 'Mamma, su su aa rahee hain," will resort to diaper. A horse with a diaper. Would say most of the horses roaming the beach and the roads could do with one too.

Playtime continues


Gods in heaven and man below, I fall on bended knee at your altar and thank you for the graciousness bestowed on me. The brat is playing with his toys. He is setting up his dinky cars in line and and actually making them race with each other. He is playing shooting games with his infinite guns, and with dad as a happy cohoort, he is making his Noddy, Mickey Mouse and Barney sit on cycles and scooters and autorickshaws (he has a vast collection of every type of vehicle including submarine, army tank, helicopter, ambulance and police car---in fact when he began naming vehicles by their names and associating each with their individual purpose that I got some hope of him being above the bare minimum IQ level--read take car to school, auto to park, ambulance to hospital and cycle to compound) and go to school, where he lines them up like disobedient kids and proceeds to tick them off for not knowing what their poems are. Is the teacher ticking them off in class? With the bunch of absolutely ruffians she has to handle between herself and two others, its a wonder she survives two hours. Of course, now will promptly rush out and buy him more toys that he is playing with the things rather than them just objects lying in two baskets on my bedroom as special mosquito breeding zones. Am an over indulgent mom, the moment brat shows the slightest inclination of being disposed towards anything, be it toys or books or anything that will stimulate development, mental or physical am a sucker for rushing out for it. Kindly do not confuse this with buying him hordes of stuff that he doesnt need. I am the type who will hesitantly push a jigsaw puzzle at him and see if he takes to it. If on the third day he actually demands the damn puzzle, I will run out to the toy shop and buy him some more and pray that more neurons gets denser in his cranium. I feed him bhangra everyday in a bid to boost up his Omega 3 fatty acid component in his grey cells, and I kid you not, he has definitely perked up. Somehow would rather feed him the natural stuff than the cod liver oil capsules with the fear that overdose of the stuff could get toxic. For all you parents who are non vegetarians and dont mind the extra effort of going to the fish market every couple of days, know that this is a tried and tested recommendation from a mom who has tried everything in the market to spruce up her son's brain cells from languidly lazy and has reached the mildly interested stage as of now. Of course, Einstein level is a far way off. Right now, if he could tell me the difference between red and green would turn cartwheels.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Gimme Froooooti....

This happened at 5 am this morning. The mother in law was off to Shirdi with a group of other dotagers, and therefore one was awake making tea and generally being surly at being deprived of shuteye. (I need my eight hours of sleep. After women who stay stick thin despite eating a storm, I admire people who can survive on a couple of hours of sleep. Unfortunately am married to a lark.) Suddenly the brat begins thrashing around in his bed and kicking up a storm. Now, let me elaborate, the brat sleeps in his crib, which is attached to our bed at one side, au consequence of which the dressing table has been permanently blocked. But to say that he sleeps in his crib would be a misnomer, for ninety percent of the night he spends inching his way into our bed and shoving us into the wall. Which leads to a lot of kicking and shoving and cause enough for the serving of legal notices, but am digressing here. Back to the storm in the crib, “Mamma, I want Frooti. I want Frooti now, gimmmmeee Froootttiiiiii,” this with the requisite crying whine and the kicking one knows is a meltdown ‘tantum’ plus thrashing about which continues unabated. All this punctuated by gentle snores. The brat is actually so obsessed about Frooti that he has deep sleep nightmares about not getting his daily dose of the damn sugar syrup. Am in deep shock. Have been informed this morning by the driver that the MIL is happily giving into all brat’s demands for Frootis and Lays and the like when he is picked up from school. Guess she would rather have the peace rather than the ‘tantum.’ Don’t blame her, the ‘tantum’ is a terrifying experience for lesser mortals, even I quail and shudder when confronted by one. Yesterday was my turn after a long while, since had to take him for his therapy and therefore bad bad mamma did not give him the Frooti he was thirsting for, and which, naturally would explain the nightmare. All this while I have happily thinking that I have cleansed his diet of all the chemicals, preservatives and artificial foods as demanded by the therapists and the doctors, comes this bouncer. Am in deep distress. Perhaps should go back to the days of ‘onechickaburgercheese and mall coke’ everyday, when we were the most favoured customer at McDonalds, and become a good good mamma again. And yes, he had more flesh on his bones then too. A healthy diet is not necessarily a diet he enjoys or eats with any relish. Don’t blame him. I too would grab the McBurger over a sabji roti any day.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day to you too!

(This was written yesterday, but remained unposted)
The brat went to school reluctantly today. “Today is a holiday,” he announced in the car with great hope and wide expectant eyes. “We go mall, we go chug chug gadi.” The accursed mall comes bang in the route of going to school, and we threw a right hopping tantrum at 8.30 am to get inside even though the gates of retail heaven were shut. The father barked to no avail. Krish wasn’t going to behave himself. “Today Malenime Day. Today holiday.” You wish. Luckily, a signal and a police uncle were threat enough to get him to behave himself till school was reached, where, to my astonishment children were waddling around carrying roses for their teachers…..Ehhh?? Have I missed something here? Isn’t Valentine’s Day meant for lovers, the Romeo-Juliet, Heer-Ranjha, Laila-Majnu variety and Teacher’s Day meant for teachers? Yup, boys do get the first crushes on their teachers, but isn’t nursery a tad too early for this sort of thing? Not to mention the umpteen number of pokes and pricks the poor kids were enduring carrying the damn unwrapped roses up the stairs, the sick bay nurse was going to have a busy time bandaging them, personally saw two terrors chortling as they squeezed out drops of blood from their fingers. The brat, not to be left behind, grabbed a rose from one of the more docile kids, who promptly burst into bawling tears, and proceeded to strew the staircase with she loves me, she loves me not petals. You must realize that I am on the other side of the bars, witnessing this fracas and not able to intervene. Yet another kid trips on his own feet while going up the stairs, so focused was he on carrying the damn rose up the stairs. In the interim, the teachers, ayahs and coordinators who have the unenviable task of getting these terrors into the class are going berserk trying to round up the errants who are running around any which way except the way they are supposed to get into class.
Took the brat to his pediatrician yesterday after a long break, a bit of a cold and a long delayed Hepatitis A vaccination. He has increased by half a kilo and a few centimeters, thank you gods in the heavens, I bow down on bended knees in gratitude, to me it just seems that everytime I bathe him one more set of bones decides to show itself through skin. Last weekend was staying over at the mothers (occasioned by my injured hand and inability to function independently) when every neighbour and visitor, come ostensibly to view the extent of my injuries, launched into a litany on “ohmygod, he’s become so thin and so dark….he was so plump and fair when he was small.” One particularly irritating woman, almost chased her out of the house with my steel spike heeled stilleto, kept at it for the better part of the hour telling me what all I should be feeding my son, and look at her own son, he is “soooo healthy.” Her son, I wanted to tell her, no offence to the poor child, would be bolstering the revenues of some lucky weight loss clinic a few years from now, but, me being me, I held my tongue and wished his arteries well. And hoped that he survived the gruesome fattening diet she was inflicting on him with no juvenile diabetes. Am I a bad mother if my son is skinny? Wrung myself out over the guilt and wondered why the brat doesn’t fatten up. The mother helped. “Don’t worry,” she said, “You were like a stick too till you were six and then you became a buffalo.” Thank you. Succintly put.
Brat brought home a card with red finger painting of hearts, ostensibly done by him judging by how messy his hands and clothes had become. Happy Valentines Day Mom and Dad it read. Ehhh????
Happy Valentine’s Day to you too!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Play time folks...

A mini miracle happened in the house last night, and we are still shaken by the impact. The brat actually dragged out his two huge baskets of toys, and demanded they be overturned so he could, gasp, actually play with them. I wept tears of joy for those long neglected toys, which I regularly turned the compost on. He took out all the dinky cars, the pianos, the guitars, the action figures, the lego blocks and such like and the floor of the bedroom was worse than Beirut's streets after the invasion but these are trifling woes in the face of such a momentous milestone...the brat actually wants to play with toys. Dare I even hope this will continue? That the pots and pans in the kitchen are now safe, that the cordless phone and our mobiles will be spared his sticky unsparing fingers doing all they can to mess up the settings? That the television remote will at last be used for the purpose for which it was created, namely to change the channels, rather than drum up a storm with a plate and a spoon? Tonight will be the acid test, will offer him the toys again and check his reaction. Will actually now have the pleasure of buying him toys for him to play, rather than toys the kids in the building come across to play with and break with him absolutely disinterested in the process of destruction, having no attachment to the toy being massacred. He is also now colouring with his crayons with a rabid fervour that brings tears to my eyes, this was a child who threw tantrums anytime you wanted him to sit in one place and do his colouring. Coloring was meant for the walls, especially the drawing room walls which are nice and cream and clean and textured, why restrict creativity to a small colouring book? He wants to sit and do jigsaw puzzles, though he will not let you help him, nor will he try to fit in the correct pieces, just pick out the parts he likes and then torture himself trying to get them into some semblance of a shape resembling what it should be. He enjoys going to the park and actually demands to be taken there rather than to the mall, and once there does 'normal' things like climb up the slide, and slide down in a regular fashion rather than throw tantrums because paranoid momma wont allow him to climb the jungle g to the highest point fearful about his lack of balancing skills. My son is growing up. He's becoming a big boy. "Mamma, look. I sliding. Down. Onmyown." Yes, my son, that was how it was always meant to be. Mamma sliding down with you and holding you as you went down was just to get you started on the damn thing, never mind the strange looks she got from the other braver moms, dangling not yet one year olds onto the high slides, while she still fretted about the baby slide.
And yes, he will even deign to kick the ball rather than just run after it like an errant puppy.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Barely alive..

Had yet another accident over the weekend. This would be my fourth near fatal one, brief summary for those who like the gory details, oil slick on Western Express highway, speeding traffic, hassled momma in autorickshaw going to pick up brat from her mothers place where he was being babysat, accordion collision involving one Indica, two autorickshaws, one truck and too dazed to remember number of motorcyclists. Was conscious enough to speed dial the husband and ask him to get there pronto. He found me semi conscious along the side of the road, surrounded by a zillion onlookers and fending off all attempts by strange people to get me to a hospital. Bull headed, I tell you. The auto I am told, spun twice in the air like a WWF wrestler before being slamdunked against the Indica. The right hand was holding onto the side bar which bore the brunt of the impact. They had to cut off my rings with a bone cutter, the fingers were swollen into little balloons. Anyway, can one finger type (with the husband screaming about how I just wont give it a rest in the background) and need to put down the chaos I went through as the auto spun in the air. First thought, what if I die right now, what will happen to the brat? Who will take care of him?
The last time I had a near fatal crash on the Mumbai Bangalore highway, first thought was of the mother--she would be left all alone. This time, the only thought and fear was for brat. All I could see or hear was brat calling out Mamma come soon, we go park. My last conversation with him before the crash.
Becoming a mother changes everything, I think one doesnt see one's life as one's own rather as a medium for the brats to grow through. It is Gibran all the way. Its like seeing a speeding car come towards someone I dont know, would yell at them to step out of the way, but if there was a speeding car coming towards brat would hurl self in the way.
The husband will find a replacement model I know. How will the brat cope with the world, who will tolerate his idiosyncracies, who will take him to therapy, who will stay awake the entire night to ensure his fever doesnt get beyond 99/ 100, who will...how will he cope with the world and grow into an independent adult? Am terrified by the thought, will probably become one of those paranoid parents who takes two different flights to ensure that one parent stays alive in case of an air crash.

Monday, February 05, 2007

And its a juggler....

He's got a cap with a bell, the pointed conical variety which is a shameless recycling of the one I had made for his stint as Noddy in his playschool fancy dress competition (come on, it was the easiest, all I had to get done was organise a red and yellow polka dotted scarf and a blue cap with a bell and he was set, he had a red pullover, blue shorts and red shoes. And the sweet smile, if one can add indulgently, though not the sweet temperament), the polka dotted scarf, a pyjama set on which mamma dearest has carefully stuck on red and yellow polka dots cut from stray fabric (which we proceeded to peel off in the car on the way to school to dismayed cries of "No kichi, Dipali shout. Police uncle will shout. No taking out the circles." A touch of rouge on the tip of the nose and cheeks and he was the perfect clown. He has the bumbling fumbling gait for it, and the rather laboured hand movements when he runs. "Mamma, look, I clown." he informed me proudly, looking at himself in the mirror. "You are supposed to be a juggler," I told him. "But I dont know what a juggler dresses like." "Wait mamma," he informs me in all seriousness, and charges into the bathroom, emerging with the bath mug. "Here, I hold jug. I juggler." Hallelujah.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

To the picnic

My heart is in my mouth as I type this in, my darling, protected, sheltered brat has gone for his first official picnic. Almost didnt send him. Was afraid, like most mothers are about how he would cope, about whether the teachers would know when he was hungry and thirsty, and panic attacks on whether he will get left behind or suffer from projectile vomiting during the interminable bus ride to the zoo. Was told off soundy by the husband who very clearly informed me that I was not going to make a sissy of his son, and I was damned if I was going to keep the brat at home when all his classmates were enjoying themselves at the zoo. Now let me butt in here with the rebuttal that this is no ordinary brat, this hyperactivity on uppers. This is a kid who has his therapist trying to convince me to put him onto medication to reduce his hyperactivity. This is also a kid who had me close to tears during a short 2 hour flight to Bangalore and back, and me being a person who handles him everyday. THis is also a kid with zilch road sense and with no concept of travelling in the bus. The zoo too is a stinky old place, with tired dreary animals and no clean urinals. But, have relented and sent him for his picnic. He bounced up bright and sparky this morning, "I go picnic in bus with Dipali. To da zoo. I see animal." My darling baby. Therefore, I am now a frantic mess and ready to take the car and driver to the zoo to ensure that the brat is safe and sound and enjoying himself. Us paranoid mothers.