Thursday, October 25, 2012

Any kiddy books to donate, Mumbai mommies?

This appeal from Saffrontree:

and this can be sent directly to a home in Worli- address here
6, Sea Glimpse, 69 worli Hill Road, Worli, Mumbai 18. (Landmark – Behind Worli Diary).
Mobile  number: 9820300281.
Please note that the volunteer will be out of town from Nov 1 till November 11, 2012,
So you can drop the books off either before or after these days. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

So the brat turned nine and I wonder whether I should shut this blog...

The brat turned nine over the weekend. Like all birthdays, this was a milestone of sorts. For the first time we had the humblest party ever, but one that was the most fun. To start with, the brat was completely involved in organising his own party, down to colouring John Cena printouts to be stuck onto the wall, to lend the party more atmosphere. Did I mention it was a WWE themed party? One with a John Cena cake that he selected the image for, and a very limited guest list, him being understanding child and agreeing to a bigger bash next year when he turned ten. This year, he opted to have just four friends from the building complex as part of his party. He coloured the invitation cards, wrote them out, wrote the names of the invitees on the envelope, decided the dress code for the party (John Cena's costume, in the event you were curious), and the party games. Yes, the brat actually sat himself down, grabbed a pencil and paper, and wrote out an entire Kaun Banega Crorepati style quiz episode based on--what else--WWE. Me, I was just so astounded to see him writing without whining, without "Now my handispaining," and such like, I nearly fractured my jaw from it hitting the floor. He chose what he would wear for his birthday party, John Cena length denim bermudas, a black John Cena Hustle Loyalty Respect tee shirt and a matching cap. And when the rest of his invitees trouped in, they could have been part of a dance troupe, all in similar gear. What also upped the ante, was the surprise arrival of his buas, one all the way from Haldwani in Uttarakhand and the other from Bangalore and they kindly took charge of the decorations and the menu for the evening.
The party was fun, and more importantly, given that the adults outnumbered the kids, it was very manageable. The kids behaved themselves, played their games, claimed their prizes, didn't get into any fisticuffs, no hurling of epithets and ate seated at the table, without messing up each others plates. And because I hadn't put up balloons and the streamers were out of reach, there wasn't any flotsam jetsam of the aftermath of the party on the floor.
Which brings me to something I've been debating with for a while. The child is nine. I've been blogging about him since he was a toddler. He's been much loved in the blogosphere and now that he is older, not so sure about the wiser, I am wondering whether it is time this blog shuts down. My primary concern being that he is now able to read and comment on what is being written about him, this does become an infringement of his privacy of sorts. An option is to keep this blog neutral and post generic parenting experiences but then that wouldn't be fun without the brat. I might take a couple of days to grapple with this. Any opinions would be welcome.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Kaun Banega Crorepati and the brat

The brat has been, for the past many days, watching Kaun Banega Crorepati with his grandmother, an exercise I encourage wholeheartedly. With other viewing options including abominations like Shin Chan and WWE wrestling, Kaun Banega Crorepati was definitely a preferable exercise and I hoped his grey cells, direly in need of exercise would get some flexing. I, of course, rarely sat with them, preferring instead, to use that time to catch up on my reading, as much as could be caught up with in the hour or so before bedtime.
Last night, I heard Mr Bachchan welcome Karan Johar and his star cast of Student of The Year. I trotted in and informed my mother in law that the girl in the red dress and sullen expression was Alia Bhatt, Mahesh Bhatt's younger daughter, and then the brat decided to have my jaw line hit the floor. The first question. Something I didn't quite get. Momos, momos, he piped up loudly. Bingo. Sahi jawab. His grandmother was surprised, How did you know? I learnt it, he replied. This was followed by a few more questions to which he piped up with the right answer, which included a question on which company sold the most passenger cars in India. And a question on who won Miss World 2012. "China, China," he piped up.
This is a boy who does not read the newspapers, and only catches the news if he happens to be in the room with me when I am watching it.
Saying I was impressed would be saying that Dronacharya thought that Arjun was getting on well with his bow and arrow practice. I was astounded. I was flabbergasted. I was chest puffed out, okay cancel that, it does not make for good imagery. "Brat!" I squealed, "How do you know all this?"
He smiled, the little half smile he has when he knows he has impressed the foundation garments off all those in the immediate vicinity. "I jus know."
If I could do the circling around face and cracking of knuckles I would have, but I contented myself with a milder version of demonstrating my happiness by smothering him with kisses and having him wipe his face disgustedly with the back of his palm.
Then a niggling thought crossed my mind. Is the standard of KBC so terribly easy that questions meant for the star cast of a film can easily be answered by a nine year old complete non book worm, or is my boy, despite his aversion towards books and reading, gathering along enough general knowledge to see him through? I'd like to think it is the latter. I'd like to flatter myself it is the latter. After all, he is the son of one who loved quizzing.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Of doorbell ringing and such misdemenours

Last evening the intercome rang and a rather het up female voice demanded to know if I was the brat's mother. I acknowledged I was the hapless one. She paused for breath and launched into a long diatribe about how her doorbell had been the victim of ringing during untimely hours like the midday nap and the evening dinner hour and how, right now, this very second, she had kept watch at the door with eye to peephole to nab the culprits, who sneaked up, rang the bell and were about to scamper off, chortling merrily not knowing that their game was up. The culprits in question, as you might deduce, with no Sherlock-ean skills required, were the brat and pintsized friend.
I apologised profusely and promised to give the brat a stern talking to when he reached home. And he did. A little while later, he rang the bell and skipped in through the door, with absolutely no expression to indicate his ear had been metaphorically twisted a few floors below us.
"Errm. Brat, I just received a call from the lady from 1202."
His eyes quickly took on the expression of a trapped animal.
"Wot. I dint do anything. J rang the bell. I wuz only standing vit him."
I rattled off a long speech about how it was inconsiderate and rude and ill behaved to do so, and extracted from him a solemn promise on all that is holy, including the solemnest of all promises he can make, namely the "Mudderpromiss" which he avoids making at all costs, that he would cease and desist from such activity in the future.
"Okay. I won't ring the bell and run away. I'll be a well behaved boy."
I give him a week until he returns back to form. 
He was fed and tucked into bed. Post which a decision was taken jointly between the pater and me, to never reveal, on the pain of no fried unhealthy food, that we had done our share of doorbell ringing and vamoosing in our time. You know. Wouldn't do to put those feet of clay up on display.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The birthday comes up...

The brat will turn nine on October 21. Excuse me while I pick myself off the floor and mop my tears. Nine years! Where did my adorable little baby go, and who put this rapscallion changeling in his place, I ask. The other day, I realised the boy has truly grown up. It all began with him asking what we would give him for his birthday. After having discussed a slew of gifts which would warrant him passing into adulthood, should they be spaced out to one a year. After some serious negotiations which convinced me that this child would one day grow to be an ace corporate mergers and acquisitions deal maker type, we settled the figure at around five gifts conditional on behavior.
Then, as is the regular drill, came the subject of the party. The dreaded birthday party. Given that for the past eight years the brat has celebrated every birthday in grand scale, with a birthday party involving at least 30 to 40 kids and accompanying adults, I was gritting them dentures and putting the lead in my soul for yet another shindig of the same. When he gobsmacked me completely. He laid down his terms and conditions very clearly. He wanted a birthday party at home, he said. He named around five friends from the building complex we lived in whom he wanted to invite, and refused to entertain more names, despite me begging him to reconsider given social obligations and such like. Dictated the menu would be cake, wafers, KFC and burgers with Pepsi and icecream. And the return gift would be something relevant to WWE.
The child has grown up. He decides what he wants. And as a parent, it is my role to encourage him to learn to think for himself and make his own decisions, regardless of my own thoughts. Of course, conditional to these decisions not being harmful or illconsidered in any way. It also means that I can now hang up my Momzilla Birthday Party Organiser hat and put my feet up. I am so not complaining.