Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dont wanna go to school...

The brat was off school. And how. And it was only last week that I was trilling on and on about how he loves to go to school, and how weekends and holidays are sheer torture because he wants to go and swing on his school gates and hang around the corridors like a furtive stalker. This was in response to one sad mother who was griping about how she had to drag her kid kicking and screaming into school everyday. Bribes apart.
I sniggered meanly, given that the brat had always been the energetic, pounder, lets get my butt into school types, and I had never known how difficult it could be to drag around a mass of squealing flesh, bathe it, dress it in a uniform the sight of which suddenly brings on more bawls. And then maneouvre it down the lift into the car and into the school gates. Lets just say the first time this happened I had no arms left. I spent the entire evening showing off the newly acquired biceps to gym freak hubby who snorted disdainfully at the microscopic musculature amongst rolling undulating layers of jiggly arm fat.
To add to my misery, the sad mother was positively beaming at me as I begged and beseeched above mentioned squirming howling and tears streaming down the face brat to get into class. Did I detect a hint of 'I told you so" in the smile. The insult to the injury was that her son quietened down immediately and happily offered to escort brat into school. Brat being brat, brushed off the offer and continued with his rolling on the floor demonstrations of "How to throw the mother of all tantrums and maybe embarass your mother enough to have her take you home." But this mother is made of sterner stuff. She got the teachers out to get him. He stood up, and quietly marched up the stairs.
Turns out that one of the ayahs has had a bit of a word with him, and threatened to lock him in the bathroom. Knowing my son, water play had to be involved. And perhaps messing the floors with spraying of water from the faucet. And spraying off water onto other children. Nonetheless. I am the only one who can threaten my son. No ayah will do so. I had to be physically restrained from taking said ayah into the bathroom and dunking her head into the WC mafia style. "Hand her over to me," I asked, in my inspired by many police-gangster flick watching tone. Having taken out my nail file threateningly. "She has been warned," I was informed pleasantly. I dont want a warning, I want her head, I screamed. But hysterical mothers dont make for pleasant viewing in the mornings when freshly bathed and powdered kids are saying their byes byes, and getting their be a good child kisses from their parents, so I was hushed and taken to a corner where the counsellor assured me that the school would work things out and rebuild the brat's love for the school. (On an aside, brat has also been witness to new kid in therapy centre who is Korean, speech challenged and prone to throwing similar tantrums. One made the connection between the inspiration.)
They did a super duper double quick job because this morning he was raring to go. He bounced out of bed, drank his gu gu double quick and came in voluntarily into the bathroom. He didnt even blanch at the sight of his school uniform. The only request was that he be allowed to wear his leatherite racing jacket. Which I did post haste, no questions asked. No rules about not wearing jackets over the school uniform. The class teacher was actually waiting at the gates to recieve this lump of royalty, with a hug and a kiss and escorted him into class. He went in chest thrown out, all aswagger, immensely conscious and proud of the VIP treatment being meted out to him. "Mamma, I be a good boy today," he called over his shoulder. "I wont beat anyone. Only Bhavishya." Things are back to normal.

Monday, October 29, 2007

To schmooze or not to schmooze...or to rock

So says the very wise Naina Ashley, and who am I to disagree? Much before she did so though, the adorable and freshly cut and blow dried Trishna also conferred this honour on me, and which I kept on the back burner, considering there was too much chaos going on in my life at that point, given home shifting situation, and no time to give the honour its due respect in a post.
But now, thank you dear ladies. I am much honoured to have been doubly conferred the "Power of Schmooze" though I dont know whether that is a good thing or a bad, and whether my husband will have nasty things to say to that, given the poor man doesnt get any schmoozing whatsoever. Or whether I will be inundated with 'will you make friensip with me' requests on orkut and facebook all over again from strange looking male creatures, giving the word schmooze and its close resemblance to another colloquail term for tonsil tongue hockey.
I started blogging just to keep in touch with fast fading writing skills. And to keep an online diary of the brat's growing years. Since its inception, karmickids has become, I hope, a place where many come for a daily chuckle. My bottomline is, when I write, that it should take me no more than 15 minutes for a post. There's work to be done and other blogs to be read.
And now, since I have now come into this at the fag end of its life, I dont really know who has not been conferred this honour, so will in true lazy me style, confer it to everyone who blogs. Because we are all in this together, trying to reach out and connect. And if I did name some fellow bloggers and leave some out, I might be bombarded by hate mail. And me, being the lily livered creature I am, am quailing at the thought.

And there's this one, graciously handed out by Moppets Mom, one helluva rocker if there's one. The part that delighted me the most about this one is not the bright pink, but the girl bit. Yippee. Shave off two decades and thats me. And since I must pass this on: Childwoman, Trishna, Naina, Sue and Parul. You go girls.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tag time, award time and back to the world of the living

Tried to get away from it, but it seems Parul and Noon are not going to let go of me till I embarass myself in public. So here goes the lurvvvvv story of the past decade. Or was it the decade before that?

The year 1991. Young girl in the final year of college, graduating in English Literature. The apple of all her professors' eyes. The star student. The nose in the book kind of worm who never looked out. Could always be found with book in hand and nose glued within, in the canteen, in the passages, in the bus, in the train, sometimes, dammit, even while walking. Reasons for many bad ankle sprains and falls self explanatory. The day, a college exhibition cum festival. Studious girl was in college to set up the literature stall, with charts and tableaux made with plaster of paris and straw and chart paper and such like. Suffice to say, much hard work later, girl decides to take a loo break. She walks with bestest friend to girls common room. En route, resident lothario passes by. The alpha male of the college, the one with a bevy of besotted ones following and falling in his wake, the one with the crowd parting for him, the one with a new mini skirt clad one on his arm every week, and with a "very bad reputation". Add to this, national swimming champ, sportsman of year, student of the year, University representative, political party youth wing leader and everything this girl loathed. She looked at him quizzically through dust fogged contact lenses. And smiled. God knows what possessed her to smile. She was not that sort of girl. She was a "good studious girl". She was also a girl with her hair in a bun, a long sleeved, ankle length dress on, and nothing to charm the socks off an earthworm.

The alpha male shrugged pouting mini skirt off, and followed studious girl to girls common room and waited till she came out. Bestest friend fell back in shock as alpha male stretched hand out to introduce self. More curious eyes on them. Some other friends gather. Hi, he says. I'm -----. I know, replies studious girl. Then came the corny line. Are you from this college. Yes, replies studious girl. There must be something wrong with my eyes, how could I have not seen you. You must get your eyes checked, replied studious girl and walks off. Actually stomach churning wildly, not really understanding why alpha male is actually talking to her, she who was always the earthworm of the girl brigade.

Alpha male is totally confused. No girl has ever walked off when he has attempted to make conversation. So he follows her back down. Her professor frowns when she sees the type of company studious girl has picked up on her way from the common room. Alpha male comes into the stall and attempts hard to understand studious girl's little lecture on the theatre of Aristophanes and Socrates, and the Greek amphitheatre and the concepts of hubris and nemesis.
And then continues to wait outside the stall till she finishes her time in duty. She sits on a bench outside reading Susan Faludi. He has no clue who that is. He invites himself to sit next to her, and finds out that they have nothing in common. And she is completely unclued into sports. He offers to drop her home. Her friends are in a tizzy. She is so not his type. And she doesnt have a type for them to judge whether he was her type. She didnt even ever have a crush apart from George Michael.

The next day, her lectures begin early, at 7 am. He is a mathematics senior. His lectures begin at 12 noon. But there he is, outside her lecture room, at 7 am. Standing silently. And when she finally walks out after four lectures, he comes up to her and asks her if he should drop her home. So he does. And in the train back says, "My folks are going to be really upset when I tell them I am going to marry you." And so it has been since. We were together for six years before we got married. And we have been married 12 years. Love this man more every passing day. Thank you Lord for jabbing me in the ribs to make me smile out of the blue that day. Or might have been doomed to marry boring studious type like self.

And now, will pass the honours to
Naina Ashley

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Krish the Carpenter...

The brat was unusually silent for a long while. I was in the kitchen. The husband in the living room, watching CNBC like his life depended on it. The MIL was watching her soaps like her life depended on it. The house was awash with noise. But it was strangely silent to me. Its like a villager in a city, who will be able to catch the feeble notes of birdsong in the cacophony of traffic. My ears are trained to know where the brat is within the house, and if he is silent, I panic. If he is raising Cain, all is well.
I went forth to investigate.
There was the brat, his hands knee deep in nails and with a hammer right by his side, ready to hammer the living daylights out of my brand spanking new laminated veneer wardrobe in our bedroom. Made a mental note to blast the ears out of the carpenters who had left their bag in easily accessible spot in aforementioned bedroom.
"I am a carpenter," he informed me, in all seriousness. "I making a cupboard. Dont disturb me."
At last, the ambitions have graduated from driver and liftman.

Now that we have midway settled into the new house, I have a strange sense of loss for the earlier home which, paradoxically, I hated while I was there. But what I didnt bargain for was the loss of trusted maid and cook who knew exactly how we liked things done, and didnt need to be supervised like hawks. The new duo I have here are beyond the pale in terms of cleanliness and dedication to duty. Which means I end up resweeping and swabbing twice everyday (there is immense construction activity all around, and me being me, am finicky about dust layers and mud on the floor, even though this is the 15th floor). The earlier home was in a densely built middle class locality which had good honest folk going about their lives in all seriousness. In fact, the buildings were so densely packed together that there was absolutely no parking space, and being built in the era before Maruti Suzuki 800 revolutionised mass transport, no gate wide enough for cars to get through easily enough. All this had been rectified by breaking down the compound wall and squeezing in as many cars as possible in the walking space perimeter of the building, which meant that I often would get wedged between cars and would have to call for help to be heave ho-ed out of the jam. Naturally there was no compound for brat to play in, and one would take him to the park or to the mall everyday. But the neighbours were kindly, the doctor was trusted enough to come at 3 am on a single call, without needing to beg and plead, the chemist and the grocery store would deliver home and one went out in rags without panicking.

In this building, there are the nouveau elite of Mumbai packed. And minor celebrities. Read television serial actors and some minor film character artistes. Everyone stands uncomfortably in the high speed lifts with an air of self absorption, the television artistes rush about puffed with self importance, even though I dont watch television serials and have no clue who they are, and only realise that they might be people of some import thanks to their avoidance of eye contact. And I am a friendly, gregarious person. I can make conversation with a lamp post. The brat, in his tactless manner, picked up of course, from his mother, says to one self importance puffer fish, "Uncle, see my new shoes!" Expecting the hoo haa drama that invariably ensues when he announces he is wearing something new, only to meet with dead silence and eyes fixed on the lift buttons. I would have clouted said puffer fish with my shoes for ignoring brat, so painful was it to see brat look at me quizzically and state, "Uncle not talking to me." Instead, I replied sweetly, "Doesnt matter, uncle is trying to learn the numbers on the lift buttons. Dont disturb him." I think I made an enemy for life.

With five watchmen rising to salute you when you step out of the building, somehow cant get down in my pjs anymore. Alas and alack. We always rue what we cant have. But what I really dont miss about the old house is the fact that we could pass cups of tea between windows of the buildings facing us. And I had to change clothes in the dark, with the curtains drawn and lived in the terror of there being a voyeur with a pair of binoculars hiding opposite (even though now, given flab situation, said binoculars might crack). Now we are open right till the Arabian sea. And it is beautiful to get up to such a view. Right till Aksa beach and Versova. The night is full of a carpet of lights below us. It is a view to kill for. And that I wouldnt trade for anything else.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Welcome to our new home....

Our housewarming. Pictures taken by intrepid wannabe photographer, my 13 year old niece.

Welcome to our home. This is our mandir, the sthapana of which was done during the grihpravesh puja.
Pati dev and moi sitting for the puja. The red and yellow odhni I wear is the typical symbol of the married Kumaoni woman, and is worn during all religious rituals. Considering the brat, in his four years of existence, had never seen me in a sari, his jaw dropped when I wore one for the puja. "Take out sari, mamma. Only dadi wears sari." Then he saw his father in a dhoti and gave up further effort at redefining our wardrobes. Suffice to say, had dressed him rather ambitiously in a pitambari dhoti kurta outfit, which he struggled out of within ten minutes.
We had five pandits, conducting a navgraha puja and a havan. It started at nine am and went on till 3 pm. Suffice to say, my backbone gave up the ghost, and I realised first hand how terrifying leg cramps can be. And the poor husband with his existent back problem given his studgiri at the gym lifting 250 kilos, he spent half the puja in agony.

There you are, three pm. Aarti time. And this after cleaning the entire mess the entire previous evening. And shifting stuff in the morning. Am I SuperGirl or what!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Spongebob Chaukarchaddi...

The birthday party happened. Like it always happens with me, realised at 12 pm that I have nothing to wear and anything that was worth wearing had already been worn to public situations and therefore vainpuss me scurried to shops trying to find a tent that was cut cleverly enough to give me some shape. Was saved at Lokhandwala market with black chiffony number with copper and gold embroidery and rushed home to have husband raise eyebrows at the good money I spent on it. Since the MIL had, in her love for the brat, already bought him a gangsta rap ensemble, which had been personally picked out by the man himself, and made him look much like "Honey I shrunk Puff Diddy", I rationalised money saved is money to be spent on self.
Whipcracked artists in office to make Spongebob Squarepants banners wishing the brat happy birthday much in the manner of political lackeys wishing their party leaders a happy birthday at the very last minute. Friday evening. We are an advertising agency. Saturday is a no working day. Khoyi Bag also made by artists in the office, needless to say that productivity in terms of ad materials to be sent to publications were all delayed and husband was throwing tantrums by the minute. Resultant his handsomeness was sitting with the dourest face ever at his own son's birthday party. The man sure can throw some marvellous tantrums, and is such a joy to behold in full steam. If you ever wondered where the brat got it from, now you know the answer.
The brat was delighted it was his birthday and wanted to share his joy with all. Therefore he replied Happy Birthday to everyone who wished him Happy Birthday. Confusion reigned.
Visualise this. Pint sized friend bearing gift of approximate same size, waddles upto brat and wishes him "Happy Birthday Krish". Brat without taking eyes off the gift which he is grabbing onto for dear life, and the giver is refusing to part with (remember Whoopi Goldberg giving the million dollar cheque to the streetcorner nuns in Ghost?) replies, "Happy Birthday Krish". And so it continues till an adult ends the conversation and takes charge of the gift.
Of course, can an occasion organised by me be ever be complete without a little drama and an all ends well--therefore there was a no show of the cake to be delivered from Lokhandwala hotshot bakery till well into the party. Frantic calls from meek me to the bakery had the harassed guy at the counter insisting that the cake was being delivered, until the husband took matters into his own hands and gave the chappie a tongue lashing he will never forget for the rest of his life as a counter sales staff, which thankfully resulted in him taking to trouble to call the delivery man and find out that the damn thing had long been delivered to the restaurant and some kind soul had decided to keep it in the restaurant refrigerator and not think it necessary to keep us informed of the decision. On retrospect, given that the kids mauled the cake and the icing with fingers and knife much before the actual cutting, maybe the refrigerator was the best idea.
Over 50 four year olds raising Cain simultaneously made me think of keeping a Disprin vending machine outside the party hall the next time round. A good time was had by all I hope.
Me, I had the nieces sitting on my legs for an hour post party before I could walk again.

And yes, I finally met someone from the blogging world. The statuesque Rohini, with her adorable son Ayaan, who took all the trouble to come down to the other end of the city through all pre-Dusehra traffic. Thanks babe. Was truly a pleasure to have you there.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

For my darling son

In a few days you will be four years. Or three years and one more year, as you put it. It seems like yesterday that they yanked out a bloody mewling mass of flesh from my insides, and then whacked it to make it howl loud enough to bring the hospital building down and the mother in law scurrying up from the ground floor where she had gone to get her precious bottle of boiled water from the car. The husband inflated himself much in the manner reminescent of a helium balloon when you were put into his arms. I am told you were looking left right and centre trying to figure out what was going on, and whatever the celebrations were all about you wanted to be in the thick of the action. Not much has changed since. The anaesthesist exclaimed "Ganapati Bappa Ala," when you emerged, much to my astonishment, I was blessed to hear the name of the lord when you were born. And then the agonies of the post op, the indignity of the catheter, the total scariness of being unable to move beyond the waist for an entire day, the sudden realisation that I had folds of skin hanging emptily where once sleek flat tummy was. And the scars. The scary scars. Nothing mattered when I held you and fed you. You were too hungry to feed contentedly. You attacked me, and couldnt latch on properly and I had no clue how I was to handle you. Everytime I fed, an army of nurses would be at hand to position your mouth, you were already throwing temper tantrums and howling till you went red if you couldnt feed. Not much has changed since. The temper still remains firmly in place. Only now your hands and feet are not tied up, and you can lash out.
You were a beautiful baby. Plump, cherubic, pleasant, friendly and adorable. The husband began loving to carry you in a public situation since you drew teenage girls like a magnet. You were an early lady slayer. You still retain your charm. Then came the seizures, the hospitalisations, the autism spectrum diagnosis. I dont even want to think of those days. Lets just say, thats when I began greying.
Then working with you, pushing you to prove that you were fine. That nothing was wrong with you, you were just like other kids. Maybe a little slow, but fine. Dealing with your odd behaviour in public, suffering because other children refused to play with you, being the punching bag for your temper tantrums and bites and scratches, the marks of which I bear all over like badges of honour. I know of another mother, who also brings her son to therapy, to the same therapist you go to, who keeps her son in a room at home with a maid to deal with him, since she feels embarassed to take him out. I almost spat on her when she told me this. And I am a mild person. I took you everywhere, even if it was backbreaking. Nothing you did was embarassing to me. Your obsession with lifts and doors, your flailing on the floor tantrums in malls, were all fine. As long as it gave you a chance to interact with the world. I did all I could to keep you with people. You went to playschool when you were barely 20 months. And you were not speaking. It was heartbreaking to think of you, alone, with strangers, unable to make yourself understood. I cried for an entire week. I stood outside the gate of the school, with my mobile in my hand ready to run in and get you should they call and say you were crying for the entire two hours you were in there. The teacher told me that she had to take an Anacin after you left, you gave her such a headache. I told her that was what I was paying her for, and if she couldnt take it she should quit teaching. I shifted you to another school which adored you, and did all it could to help you fit in. I never ever wanted you to be treated differently from other kids. You would be the same as everyone else. I would ensure that. Even if I had to put my entire life on hold for that. Then it started, the therapy, the working with you, the ensuring you went out every evening, even if my legs were shaking with tiredness. Talking incessantly to you to make you respond. Treating you much the same as other kids.
You are a beautiful boy today. A handsome scrawny boy who lights up any place he goes, and makes everyone fall in love with him effortlessly. My heart swells with joy when I see you with your friends, making yourself understood, playing happily, oblivious to all the labels you have, just getting on with your life, and having a great time.
God bless you my darling son. And keep you safe and away from any unhappiness. And when you do grow up, and perhaps sometime read this, I hope you will forgive your mother for being the task master she has been.

Monday, October 15, 2007

And so to bed...

The husband got a new bed for this house. Given that the old bed had the three of us in constant kicking arguments through the night, with me finally shifting the corpulence to a mattress on the floor, leaving the husband bereft of my warm presence beside him, he grandiosely told the interior designer man, "I want a very very big bed!". The man took him at his word and now we have a very very big bed, and no bedroom left. There is precisely space for feet to move in single file alongside it if one wants to go towards the balcony area. Therefore, (trust me to find shortcuts to everything), I just roll myself across the bed rather than risk life limb and lower my self in the eyes of pre pubescent adoring nieces who think me the best thing since Marilyn Monroe or to be precise Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas and reveal the exact width of corpulence not able to squeeze past narrow area between bed and cupboard. This has given rise to a new game for the brat. Hurl himself across the bed with all the speed and agility of a hamster on heat and clamber up the newly installed grills with (thanks to approved design from stern unrelenting builders) the uncanny resemblance to the bars of a jail. And then hurl himself back. After having done this one gadzillion times, with his head spinning from all that hard work, he flops onto the huge bed bang in the centre and crosses his legs with his arms behind his head and chills out to NICK.
Now the huge bed has revealed already a major downer to its hugeness. The earlier miniscule meant for honeymoon couples bed was against a wall. Therefore the brat slept on the inside. Brat now sleeps in the centre. And flails mercilessly through his dreams of bashing gorgoyles and swinging like Ninjas. Therefore we are both being now victimised through the night with well directed and totally REM laden kicks and punches. We sleep with pillows between us and the brat to protect ourselves from such abuse. Needless to say, other activities of leisure have taken a complete backseat. Should I now convert the balcony into a boudoir? Or maybe, I should just take a vow of celibacy.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Back from beyond the grave.

Done. Shifted. On Friday evening 5 pm we began cleaning the pigsty that the carpenters and the false ceiling wallahs and the painters had left behind. A truck full of waste emerged from one three BHK and promptly went to the land reclaimer brigade. Five hired help. Me. The husband. And the mother in law. Many brooms, mops, scrubs and buckets of detergent, bleach and such like. We finished at four am. At six am, the husband decided we would also move in on the same day. So we packed our stuff. Now this is a set home of over 20 years. We have junk that has spawned generations of more junk. We packed. Hired help called. Moved some stuff to new home by 8 am. Husband and I went too. Houseguests snoring in the house. Organised stuff for puja havan and lunch. Puja began at ten am. Continued till three pm. My contact lenses have sent me a legal notice for abuse post the smoky havan. Guests poured in till 12 am the next morning. Chaos is an understatement. We're still settling in. Sunday was spent in finding stuff and unpacking. The brat is swinging on them new grills. A more coherent post on it all will come once my fingers begin moving again.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Blog break...

Okay, tis on me. The guests have started landing, with more calling up to inform us of impending arrival, even the ones the MIL gave a courtesy call to, with no clue she would be taken seriously. Am scavenging the roads for spare mattresses and pillows. The cook is on the verge of quitting. Therefore, the blog will not see a post for a week or till sanity returns.
For all the tags, and awards and such like bestowed on me, thankee thankee. Will get round to them once am back.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Remember Anu Agarwal and Rahul Roy. Herself looking perpetua breathless and fake virginish. And Rahul Roy with mouth perennially half open with little drool visible, and that awful hairstyle that made me want to hand him a bunch of hair pins? And the movie Aashiqui??? Am shamed to admit the movie was the big hit du jour when we met, and wherever we went the songs were blasting our ears out, and became our default songs.
But the really big one was the Vijay Arora --Zeenie baby number Chura Liya Hai. Sort of imagined myself as a sleek and sexy Zeenie baby strumming the guitar and pouting those lips. That's still on. Thats the song we look at each other with a smile with when it plays...
And the George Michael number Faith really had me with undergarments in a twist.
And the hubby will never forgive me for this.
Therefore, I now tag Kodi's Mom, Dot mom, Ceekay, Sahithi's Mom and Mystic Magarita....
Have fun!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Why do girls not have a ....

Eleven pm. A darkened bedroom. The brat had finished watching the indescribably hilarious antics of Backkom, a polar bear made by a Korean animation company, on Nick, and having laughed himself into a stupor finally snuggles down to sleep next to me. (Point to be noted: Despite the mattress on the floor situation for me, the lowly handmaiden to sleep on, there is still no turning space, as brat insists on sleeping down on the floor with me, leaving the husband the entire vast expanse of the double bed to turn horizontal cartwheels on. Life is so unfair. Hmmmphhh!)
We peck each other goodnight and close our eyes. I am centimeters away from floating off on the clouds with a Supergirl cape and tights I can barely stretch enough to get past my knees, when brat pipes up, poking me in the ribs to get my attention.
"Mamma, boys have nu-nu?" Nu-nu, as any mother will interpret, is brat speak for the male anatomy appendage. "Yes, love." Having answered question sincerely, with as much honesty as I thought is age appropriate I pulled the shutters down on my eyes, trying to recapture the falling off the cliff feeling. One sharp jab in the ribs again.
"Mamma, pappas have nu-nu?"
I prised one eye open with much difficulty. "Yes, love. Now go to sleep." To ensure he got the message that the discussion was terminated, I turned my carcass on my side, with my back towards him.
Evidently, the post office was on strike, and the message didnt get delivered. A few minutes later, a light tapping on the shoulder followed by brat clambering over shoulder and depositing himself face to face with me, and then prising my eyes open with determined fingers.
"Mamma, girls dont have nu-nu?" I sat up bolt upright. Counted to ten. And then counted to twenty very slowly. "No love, girls dont have nu-nu." Horrific visions of the brat lifting skirts of his female classmates in order to complete his scientific research assailed me. Then came the big one. "Why girls dont have nu nu?"
I looked desperately to the pappa for help, but all that emerged from the muscle man occupying an entire double bed selfishly was a grunt of a snore. The mind tried to do a quick flashback to Dr Spock and all the other Bringing up Baby books one had read in earnest during the start of parenthood, when one had loads of time to kill between feeds, and which one never got back to once the brat discovered locomotion.
"Boys can do su-su standing, thats why they have a nu-nu." He chewed on it for an while and then smiled. "Okaaayyyye. Thats why girls have to sit down and do su-su." Saved for the moment.
Any appropriate answers for the next round of questions? Moms who have been through this please write in.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A dream of a tag...

Swati, this one is for you. A bit belated though. This is the historic tag on dreams which was graciously passed on to me at a time when I had everything in my life falling around my ears, including the maids, the cook, the driver and my sanity. Therefore now, when the going is good, a temporary cook and maid found, and can finally collect my thoughts around me without wondering whether my hands will just fall off with all the scrubbing piled up like two mountain ranges in the kitchen, will get down back to unfinished tags.

At the outset, let me clarify that dreams are really big with me. I obsess over my dreams to the point of neurotism. I have well thumbed dream dictionaries lying around the place, and the husband has been known to have thrown a tantrum when the lights are switched on at 3 am (this man likes the room dark when he sleeps, you can just imagine how I breastfed the brat, never knowing whether the poor fellow was ingesting through his nose or mouth), the covers flung off, and cupboards shut and opened, and bookshelves ransacked for just the right book with the dream interpretation that suited my need. Everything from Freudian analysis, which one sadly never took too literally, given that everything one dreamt about turned out to be about repressed sexuality to symbolism to tantric intepretations. Me being me, I like the Indian Interpretation of Dreams, which has wonderfully irrelevant stuff like dreaming about a ox and a cow signifies fruition of a dream. Then spend the entire day wondering whether the quadripeds in my dreams were an ox and a cow, and why the hell didn’t I take a close peek under while still in my dream to confirm. It has stuff that only a wild eidectic dreamer like me would like to get answers to, snakes in a room and such gross stuff that are not fit for a public blogging platform with nursing mothers reading this.

Here goes my most frequent themes for a dream
Flying: Beautiful dreams of flying over continents and seas on gusts of wind, with none of the terror associated with falling into the ocean given that one cannot swim a stroke, and will probably sink straight down like a stone.

Being chased by monsters: Since these usually come after watching too many horror movies, or reading up on my favourite horror pulpist Stephen King, interpretation self explanatory.

The brat getting lost in a crowd: The most terrifying dream of them all. The scariest one, that outbeats all monsters with fangs and drooling acidic saliva and ghouls and ghosts. This is what comes of being a helicopter mom.

Breaking up with husband, during courtship days and trying to explain to him that we actually will be getting married and have many more infinitely blissful fights, which would have the neighbours call the police, and guard dogs barking in protest, and many more opportunities to break up and get together again, with the immediate family starting betting counters on the time we would last without a fight.

Meeting my dad out of the blue: This is always a dream that has me waking up in tears. There is still so much unfinished business between me and my dad, so much I need to tell him and so much love I have to still get from him that three decades later, I still dream of being a child and meeting with my father.

Getting married: Yes, yes, the dream books say it means I will kick the bucket, but been having these for years and am still going strong. Strangely in my dreams I am asking the groom to be, a complete stranger, where my husband and child are, and why the f*&^k am I sitting at the vidhi mandap with you, and have you seen your face in the mirror dogbreath, and other such pleasantries undoubtedly exchanged by people on the verge of tying the knot. It feels quite a relief to wake up and stare myopically at the good man lying on the bed next to me.

Being let loose in the mall with no credit limit: Suffice to say, this is a dream to kill for. Spend the rest of the day in blissful stupor with images of my dream purchases floating in my head.

Then finally, there is the celebrity lust dream: Random celebrity hunk and moment of indefinable lust. Not to be detailed on public blogging platform. Perhaps a way of the subconscious reassuring one that one can still reel them in, despite the thunderthighs and the wall to wall hippage, and what the dermatologist at Kaya Skin Clinic termed graciously as emergent wrinkling, capillary damage and naso-labial fold.

And now, will be mean and pass this tag on to Poppins Mom, Moppets Mom, Gauri, Sue, The Mad Momma (if she hasn’t already done this), Big Zed, Trishna, and Dipali. Go to sleep, girls.

We live through our children...

I see my mother reliving all her failed expectations with me through my son. To her, I was going to revolutionise the world of literature with grand prose and a novel before I hit 30. 30 came and went and I dont think I even celebrated the day with the fanfare with which one usually celebrates birthdays of any sort, in fact I dont think I celebrated any birthdays post thirty, until this last one, when I have finally made my peace with the fact that life has passed me by.
The brat is very musical. He can pick up a tune on the first listening. He can bang drums to a beat. He even played the holes out of the damned flute I got him along with his Krishna costume. "Put him in music classes. Put him in singing classes. Put him in dancing classes." And then comes the emotional blackmail factor. "Or else you will regret it for the rest of your life." I have been resisting valiantly. For one, I really dont have much time left between the meagre life I have left to be ferrying him too and fro from more classes, between school and therapy. Secondly, I am pit lazy. My hero is Rip Van Winkle. Give me a darkened room and a bed with a warm duvet, and preferably an airconditioner, and you give me heaven. I would rather spend time sleeping than boosting the brat's musical development. And thirdly, I believe if there is a talent, it will come forth. There is no point in me pushing him into gadzillion classes just to fill the void in my own life. The brat goes to school which has zilch pressure for studies. Therefore, I guess some of the parents decide to bring on the stress factor through the classes. Drawing classes, skating classes, dance classes, swimming classes, IQ classes, handwriting classes, speech classes, dramatics classes, and hobby classes. This is only the tip of the classes mania that seems to have gripped us. Some kids I know go to tutions to help them cope with their school curriculum. We're talking junior kg here. The brat doesnt go for anything, maybe he will grow up to hurl abuse at me for not ensuring he was well rounded either size wise or through skills, but I am not caving in. Yes, if he shows a distinct want to learn a musical instrument, and I can see a consistent urge in him to explore it, I will be the first one to rush out and buy up the shop. He recently decided he wanted to paint and I bought up an entire stationery store worth of crayons, pastels, wax, water colous, and I kid you not, even tempera and brushes. And art paper. And sat with him to create those masterpieces. He bored of it in two days. You see what I am getting at.
I'm the most laid back mom you could find on the planet. Children are like water, they will find their own level. I will not be the mother who pushes the brat into one gadzillion activities even before he has learnt to speak properly. But of course, the brat is a different child.
All I want for the brat is that he finds what he loves to do and is able to do it. If this means he spends his days stacking card castles or lolling on the beach swigging beer, that is not acceptable to me. He has to be able to earn his living. Either through a passion, or through a learnt skill and ability. And he needs to excel in what he does in order to be able to survive. This much I know. I dont have blinkers on. I want for him to grow up to be a wonderer, with his curiousity in place, with the urge to learn much much greater than the force feeding of everything foisted on him before his mind is developed enough to understand what he is being taught or even to want to learn. Most of all, I want him to enjoy living. To the utmost. To keep the laughter he has intact. To keep the wonder he has intact. To help me discover through him. Am I being foolhardy? Am I being selfish? Perhaps. But I cannot see him being rushed from class to class with no time to follow the progress the trail of ants across the floor. With no time to sleep through the afternoon, or play in the garden till as much as his heart desires. Let his childhood be as relaxed as I can give him. There's all his life to learn.