Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The boy grows...

The brat now officially becomes the boy.
Many factors contribute to this new elevation in status.
For one, he is now almost to my shoulders. It is a different fact that my shoulders are closer to the ground that I would like, without the added incentive of three inch heels.
Also that the years have weighed down and drooped my shoulders.
And then he starts doing grown up things that make me feel redundant and unwanted and set to pack my clothes and scurry off into the old age home.
A big moment of heartbreaking proportions happened this morning.
We got off the car and began crossing the packed road towards the school gates. As is force of habit, I grabbed his hand. He snatched it free. I grabbed it again. He snatched it free.
"Mamma," he hissed. "I'm a big boy, I can cross apne aap."
I collected the pieces of my shattered heart and let him cross apne aap, hovering two centimeters in his circumference in the event that some nasty, brutish driver decided to step on the accelerator. Gah. Perish the thought.
I walked him to the gate and in a final pathetic act of maternal louu, hugged him and planted a smackeroo of a kiss on the top of his head. He wriggled away embarassedly and ran in, at top speed, before his cool image got dissipated by loony mother planting kisses on him and making him butt of cruel jokery.
They grow up too fast. I should have done the freeze ray thing on him a couple of years ago.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Precocious and not so pretty

Last evening while I strolled in the park, keeping one beady eye on the child in the event that he got into fisticuffs of any sort that needed intervention I found myself near the club house of the complex, where a very audible birthday party was in progress with a DJ spinning tracks which had no business being played at a birthday party of any child under 18. Anyway. As is usual, I digress.
As I strolled in the vicinity of the entrance to the club house a mom was escorting her daughter, who couldn't have been more than 10 to the birthday party. Let me make clear at this point that I vaguely looked at the child in passing, before doing a double backward flip somersault and having my jaw clunk to the floor is shock. The child was made up with full pancake, eyeshadow, mascara, blush, lipstick with gloss. Hair extensions. Glitter eyeshadow. It gets worse. She was wearing a fitted strappy tube dress which was saved from being indecent because, well, she was not as they put it kindly, a haaalthy child. She was wearing gladiator styled heels which should have never been manufactured in kiddie sizes, unless of course, these were picked up in Bangkok where everything is only available in kiddy sizes.
To say I was appalled would be to state that the Titanic was a tug boat with a single passenger on board. I see this all around me. Parents are in some sort of freaking hurry to have their little girls grow up into beauty queens. The fashion industry is not helping either. I had just about finished sputtering into my morning coffee reading about how parents actually defended retail of Abercombie's push up padded bikini tops for seven year olds, and this company is a repeat offender, selling thongs for kids with Eye Candy and Wink Wink written on them. While I do wonder what kind of person could even conceptualise such clothing for children, I wonder more about what kind of parent would actually buy them and make their child wear said thong and push up padded bikini top. Ah well, apparently one lives right in my building complex.
This premature sexualisation of young girls is becoming an epidemic. I mean, as a child, I revolted firmly against being stuffed into frilly pink ribbon and laced frocks, but I was in shorts and tshirts for most part of the day except on social occasions when I was spit polished and poured into clothes that were well, clothes a child should wear, not someone about to start dancing round a pole.
If I had a daughter would I let her wear make up and hooker shoes at ten. I would probably shoot myself in the head before I let her step out of the home looking like that. And would I, as a mother of an eight year old, let him wear a thong to the beach saying Eye Candy? I think not.
There are inappropriate clothes for kids available out there, and the kids probably think they look cool and like their favourite film star when they wear it. That's why I think we were plonked on the planet as parents to wag the finger and steer them non negotiably towards more age appropriate choices.
Let our kids remain kids for as long as they need to be kids. They have their entire lives to be grown up and dress grown up. And what kind of message are these young girls getting when they wear these clothes, if you want attention, this is what you need to look like. Never mind that the attention is not exactly the kind of attention which would be appropriate. And for god's sake, don't slap on that make up on kids attending weddings and other functions. Little girls with full make up is kind of freaky. And inappropriate too.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Yes, that's how karmickids helped me start something I'm proud of....

Read this in Time Out Kids Delhi:

Thank you everyone, for being such wonderful readers and supporters of both karmickids and IndiaHelps.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The brat's first sleepover...

...happened this weekend. I am still openmouthed with shock that this little squirming ball of flesh that emerged mewling like a small feline from my uterus is now old enough to decide he wants to do a sleepover. Without me. I mean, I had put my job definition down as indispensable. That needs to change now. Let me go honk into a tissue before typing out the rest of this post.
Anyway, at some point on Friday, when I was probably busy doing domestic kind of things in the kitchen, the brat had gotten hold of the phone and dialled up a friend whose sons are besht frens. "Aunty," he apparently asked her, as he tells me later, "Can T and K come to my house for a sleepover."
It warrants mention that these are kids from the old apartment complex, the one we just moved out of. Some animated conversation happened, of which I was completely unaware and it was decided that instead of both of her sons coming across, the brat would go across and stay over on Saturday night. I smelt something rotten in the state of bratdom when he was up bright and sparkly at 6 am the next morning. Which was a weekend. Which normally saw him in mouth opened snoring sleep till 9 am most weekends. "Why are you awake so early brat?"
"I have to go for a sleepover. Pack my backpack. M Aunty said to bring a small bag wid yer klodz."
I was openmouthed shock. With great difficulty, I restrained him from calling up M Aunty at 6 am to confirm the sleepover date. At a decent hour, read 9 am, I let him at my phone.
"Aundy, tok to my mudder."
The mudder and the aundy spoke and it was decided he would be parcelled off to Aundy's place post lunch and we would check how comfortable he was about staying overnight and take a call at that point. Anyway, the old complex is a a five minute drive away so he could always be picked up and returned to home base at any point.
The bag was packed with much excitement. The night suit was carefully folded and packed in first. Along with two additional sets of clothes. Mamma noted with a strange, unfamiliar twinge of dismay. She later recognised it as an acknowledgement of the fact that child is now truly growing up.
I called in the evening, the child was too busy to talk to me. The friend came on the line and informed me categorically to come the next morning to pick him up. My friend assured me he was having a blast.
I did get one phone call from him, at night, to say goodnight. That too, my friend insisted he call up and speak with me. He, of course, was having too much fun to think about calling poor mamma, who was moping around the 'kaatne ko daudta hai' house bereft of his mischief, draping herself weakly over the sofa like a limp asparagus. Oh I exaggerate. I had an entire television to myself. I was channel surfing without little hands tugging at the remote. It was heaven.
The next morning I landed up at the appointed time to pick him up. I swear I saw his face fall a bit when he saw me at the door. He was still shovelling in breakfast. We left, him in his nightclothes, after finalising the next weekend when his friend would come across for a sleepover. I think I can now start planning a social life of sorts if this sleepover thing catches. Time I got out and had me some fun too.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Mamma's little helper

So Mamma went to Hypercity to get the monthly provisions, which went into many huge plastic bags, including 10 kg pack of wheat flour and two five kg packs of rice. A five litre can of oil. Pulses, detergents, etc, etc. Mamma always feels like a pack mule after she's through with this shopping, an experience she dreads.
Pappa picked us up and dropped us home. Where the complicated situation is that one drives into the basement parking, takes one lift to go to lobby level and then switch lifts to go up home. Or if one has luggage, one takes the service lift right up home. Since we had enough groceries to qualify as valid luggage, Mamma demanded Pappa offload all the provisions near the service lift, which he did. Then we waited and waited and waited, but the lift showed no signs of moving from the floor it was on.
"Let's go to the udder lift," said the brat.
Mamma looked at the bags and despaired thinking of the inside outside that would have to be done four times over for all the bags. "No, let's wait," she replied.
"Don worry," said the brat. "I am strong, I will help you."
And to her open mouthed consternation, he did. Lifted a fair amount of bags in and out of the lifts and to the door of the house. Including the 10 kg atta package. This with the school bag on his back.
Mamma is sending him for weight training now. This is one hidden skill she never thought he would have. And of course, his willingness to lift weight and carry stuff to help her made her go all teary eyed.