Some English lessons!


Why am I reminded of that little wisdom someone shared with me a long time back-that it takes only 18 years to raise a child? ūüôā

Having read one Famous Five, the 7 year old brat has declared that it is boring and ‘kiddish’ and that Enid Blyton is boring too. He’s asked me to give him something ‘interesting’ to read.

Some lessons he imparted the last couple of weeks:

Varun: ‘Madre (yeah!), do you know what ‘outlaw’ means?

Me: (?!!!) No, I don’t. Please enlighten.

Varun: An outlaw is a thief. Bad man. Do you at least know what it is to mug someone?

Me: (#$@#%#$^$!) Eh? No! Tell me.

Varun: Don’t know how you passed your exams in schools and college (rolls his eyes). To mug someone, is to steal from someone.

(Well, I’ve not been looking at the right places for lessons in English :/)

Me: That’s awesome da. Where did you learn all these?

Varun: From friends.

Me: Who are your friends?

Varun: Friends ma! You don’t even know ¬†F.R.I.E.N.D.S? You know¬†Ross, Chandler, Rachel, Monica, Joey.. Don’t know? Vyas’s favorite is Chandler but I like Ross.

(This is not happening! No! This is happening!)

I’d like to save the best for the last. Only that I don’t know the difference between ‘best’ and ‘hopeless’ anymore :/

Varun describes a scene from some program called ‘Community’ on Comedy Central where somebody spills a lot of wine.

Me: What is wine da?

Varun: It is the famous juice of Americans. Mostly made in 1968.

Why am I bothering with schooling when so much self-learning is happening?!!

 

Varunisms- May’16


Deep conversations and some.. Most of our ‘serious’ conversations these days seem to start with him saying, ‘Listen, I want to tell you somethin..’. No typo there. The fellow has an acquired accent, dunno from where!

Varun: Ma, N is very bad.
Me: Why? He seems nice. He’s a star cricketer too..
Varun: I want to tell you something. (pause)
Me: Well?
Varun: Getting a grade or being a star is not important.
Me: Okay!
Varun: Really. I’m tellin you.
Me: So, what is important.
Varun: Behaviour.
Me: Oh?!!
Varun. Really. I mean, in school. At home we can be how we want.
Me: Right!

——————-

Me: You know how to fry vadams? (rice crispies if I can call it that)
Varun: Yes, I know.
Me: Tell me.
Varun: Light the gas with the firing machine and fry the vadams in fire.

Was not aware that my boy looked at a gas lighter as a firing machine;) It must be the commando games.

——————-

To confirm or make sure I heard what he said, this is how he asks:

Varun: Ma, do you copy?

[or]

Varun: Ma, do you read?

According to him, he is an FBI/CIA/Commando in the making

——————–

And this one takes the cake..

Me: Varun, it’s 11.00 PM and you are still not asleep :/
Varun: (Jumping on the bed even with the light switched off. yeah, my monkey!)
Me: You are going to get one tight spank.
Varun: (Silence for 10 seconds. He then gathers his pillow and sheet, bundles them under his arms and heads out of the room).
Me: What do you think you are doing.
Varun: I’m going to grandma’s room.
Me: Why?
Varun: Listen, I wanna tell you somethin..
Me: Listening..
Varun: I hate you.
Me: And why is that?
Varun: Because you are strict.
Me: Is that wrong now? You don’t listen if I’m not.
Varun: Be kind. Try telling kindly.
Me: Kindly how?
Varun: Try saying, “Varun, please stop playing and go to bed”.
Me: And you’ll listen?
Varun: Try me.
Me: Ok, let me get this straight. All I need to do to get you to listen is, say kindly?
Varun: Yes.
Me: Okay.

And the kindness worked for 6 days. We now go back and forth between our old and new ways ūüôā As always, never a dull moment, I tell ya!

This mommy is guilty but without feeling so.


Uma is evil:) She has not only showed her wily self by putting herself first before Pattu, but goes one step further and tags a few innocent moms to confess similar (or worse) guilt:)

Now tell me this.. Are angry moms a pleasant sight? I think they are the most unpleasant ones! And this mommy is the angriest ever if the tummy is grumbling.. The moment I reach home from work- which is usually at around 7.15 PM, the first thing I do is to have a quick wash, head straight to the kitchen and help myself to my dinner. All the cuddling and kissing can wait.. On the days I reach late, the thatha and paatti also ensure that the boys stay out of my way:) And no, am not exaggerating!

This way, the home-work routine for Vyas which takes a max of 15 mins, gets done without any tantrums on either side.. The boys are happy too as long as they are not asked to have dinner.

Then, there are the books.. The V-house uses the library membership to the fullest.. After we (the boys and I) pick the books and hand it at the counter for the librarian to make an entry, we always find that we’ve over-borrowed. So, I knock off few from the boys quota:) If Varun or Vyas throw a tantrum and refuse to let go, they are given the choice of staying back in the library to finish reading those books.. I either wait (and spend some time reading fun, crap, or gossip columns from magazines:)) or offer to pick them up after an hour:) They mostly let go.

I rarely watch TV.. But, on a rare day, if I want to catch up on a movie, they boys have to fore-go their fav program.. I have also bribed Varun with candies and get their dad to keep the boys off my hair for a while:)

This mommy also likes catching up on a movie in the theatre with her friends during a weekend…. The 3 boys have their own fun without me around and that suits me.. I take Vyas along if its a movie he can watch (read HP).. But there have been occasions like the one where he bawled (a long time ago) in protest of my hopping into a roller-coaster ride and the giant wheel, or on an outing with my friends.. I think it is important for me to let my kids know that while I’m always there for them to cheer, defend or pamper, I’d want them to also know that I have a life and I’d LIVE it… Oh well, but that’s another tangent, and perhaps a subject for another post.. Hey Uma, thanks for the tag..

So, absolutely no guilt-pheelings:)

Five things mommyhood taught me


Thank you LR and Uma for the tag and am sorry for doing it so late..

Its not bad having kids! I discovered that motherhood was/is not as rosy as I was led to believe and that it is not the best of experiences to attend to the incessant poos, pees,pukes and not to mention the sleepless nights.. But then, to me, it is a great package with a thousand lessons, which mostly has made me a better person. The best deal in this package has been to soak up the love, countless cuddles, kisses, baby giggles, gurgles, and the joy of being the only person (you know where Varun’s learns vanity:)) to decipher every cry and smile of my babies:) Motherhood, as it now appears, is a lesson in progress..

Motherhood is a long innings: Specially when you have two kids with a few years between them:) I was slightly disillusioned when I realized that babies grow up into adults overnight only in the movies.. Who am I kidding?! There are many moments when I have wished that the kids grow up fast, so we can make a long trip, sleep through the night, visit the doctors less, not share the berths on the train, and most of all, avert the ‘how to rear children’ sermon from all and sundry! Just when I heaved a sigh of relief at having the entire berth to myself on a train because Vyas moved to his own, the second one came:) And the brat would insist on sleeping only next to me:) Its a weird feeling because, on one hand, I want them to remain babies and then I walk the opposite direction! The experiences at every stage of the child’s growth is so different and at the end of the day, I realize that I have not learnt enough:) Someone said that it takes only 18 years to raise the kids. That gives me hope:)

Practice before you preach: Children are equipped with a more intelligent mind than we give credit, and seem to be gifted with the ability to learn even what is not taught. Loosing temper, not being nice to the neighbour like finding excuses to not lend that mixie jar, or a cup of coffee powder or sugar because she is in the habit of borrowing every second day, lying for petty things etc are some untaught lessons, but better imbibed than what is taught. So, yes, motherhood has made me more watchful and self-critical.. Once, I insisted that Vyas do something (don’t remember what it was..) His response was, “Amma, I don’t like being forced. Just like you”.

There are no perfect mothers: I’m not the ‘ideal-mommy’ of the self-help books… I end up saying/doing the wrong things many times.. I argue, fight, and occasionally spank the kids.. If there is an argument with the hubby, it mostly is in their presence. Overtime, I have learnt that it is perfectly okay to be myself even with my children as long as we are not seizing each others hair! They understand and their ability to discern the right and wrong from what happens must never be underestimated..

Patience is a virtue: Enough said! I surprise myself at my new level of patience, extending to those beyond my children too.. Which is even more surprising.. I’m liking that ‘new-side’ to me and would like to think that it has helped me grow ‘selective-deafness’ and filter out most of the scum that tries to make its way to me:). Other postive side-effects to this seems to be ‘tolerance’ and the ability to forgive.. Well, at least much more than I allowed myself in the pre-mommy days:)

Lethargy doesn’t help: I was in the habit of counting the grains in a morsel and have won several slowest-eater contests:) I even gained (earned actually) the ‘Preeti Mixer’ title in the days of yore – the food would be reduced to perfect pulp in the mouth before making an entry into the digestive tract.. It takes only minutes now, unless I intentionally eat slowly.. The poo and pee calls from the kids always arrive when the mommy shoves down 2 mouthfuls.. Now, go figure which is the cause and which is the effect!

PS: I just realized that I forgot to tag few blog friends.. Would love to pass this on to:

Narayanan
Rekhabaala
Anyone else who hasn’t done the tag (half the blogosphere seems to have done:)), and would like to take it up?

Is it the mind or the heart?!!


Mothers are a weird lot I guess… How else will you explain a mom feeling rueful just because her 1.5yr old baby happily plants 3 kisses, two on the cheeks and one on the nose, and happily bids good bye when the mom leaves to work? It used to make the mommy sad when the little baby held on to her, cried profusely, and refused to let go. But this ‘quiet understanding’ parting, albeit for 10 hours, makes her sadder. Is it because the little pair of eyes that see her leave, have a different story to share?

The mother quotient


It need not have been like this. ¬† Saying that it hurts badly now more than ever is an understatement.¬† This day marks over 2 decades of your leaving us, and we’ve stopped counting the years. It hurts ma. More than it did when we were still children.And of all the times, you had to visit your younger child in her dream just 2 days before your anniversary and smother her in kisses and hugs and just show a sample of what we have missed!

My stepping into the teens and the little sister into her tweens meant some milestones. But we were not prepared for the huge milestone you had set for us! Do you know how many friends it took us to tide the initial years and make those attainable ma? Takku, Geet, Sri, Vidya, Chitra, Janani, Gowri, Uma, Shoba, Aparna, and everyone in their family! If any amount of sanity prevails in our lives today, it is because of these gems. Thanking them is doing a great disservice. A note to you all dearest friends: you have grown too deep into us and we can never see you apart.

And to you ma, just want to say that I miss all of these and more and i can never find words to say it all:

  • The luxury of complaining and just letting go
  • Taking you for granted and expecting you to be always available
  • Looking up to you for a compliment when am clad in a saree and always getting more
  • Packing up bags a week ahead of the school vacations to visit you with my children, sister and her little ones
  • Just sitting back and waiting for that vadaam koozhu or getting you make that yummy Mysore Pak
  • Having you around to pack my maternity bags and rush me to the hospital to welcome the 1st grandchild
  • Taking sides with all the four grandchildren and making your daughters the villains
  • Pampering them with a secret lollipop and indulging them as your fancy leads.
  • Just to be able to leave the children with you and go shopping with sis.
  • Get admonished for not eating well or for poor hair care.
  • Being fussed over the smallest suggestion of a pain
  • And let your daughters fuss over you and take you to a doc and phone-up everyday to see if you’ve popped-in that pill!
  • Planning a nice vacation for you and generally taking you places
  • And in general, you would be the only person to unconditionally believe that your daughter is always right no matter how wrong she is.

As a mother of two now, I realize there are so many situations and people¬† that I could have handled differently.¬† We managed to come out unscathed, a little head-strong, a little too strong-willed, but are proud of how we have turned out to be..¬† Your not being around has imparted one strong lesson of not ‘knowing’ fear. But only till my own children and that of my sis came into this world. Now, there is just this one thing I fear and wish for. To live a long healthy life and be available when my children and grand children need me.¬† I will. Love you Ma, for all the sweet memories you have left behind. Your grandchildren love you too and they know every loving word you uttered back then.

Some Lessons


Lesson 0:Stop explaining everything!

Vyas: Ma, let us move to LNT Estansia.
Me: Why? Its too far away.
Vyas: Estansia has everything within; school, hospital, shopping mall!! Just on the other side of the window!

I tried telling him that it was some kind of an optical illusion! Would hear none of it. And went on to explain the ‘other benefits’!

Lesson 1: Don’t act smart with kids!

Was doing some grammar exercises with him. This time, it was my turn to do a “WHY?” to him and hoped for a sweet revenge.

Me: What are proper nouns?
Vyas: Names given to common nouns, and they start with a capital letter.
Me: What are common nouns?
Vyas: It names places, people, or things.
Me: Why are proper and common nouns called so?
Vyas: Simple. Because they are either proper or common! (A bulb moment for me)

Lesson 2: Learn to communicate to pint-sized elves!

Me: Let us try some plurals
Vyas: (stooping and resting his cheek on his right palm, eyes partly closed, a false snore- to say its a boring exercise)
Me: I will ask you to spell out a few words in between. Okay?
Vyas: (Still the same expression, and no response).
Me: Okay, Fairy.
Vyas: Okay Fairies
Me: Shelf
Vyas:Shelves
Me: Luggage
Vyas: Luggage
Me: Furniture
Vyas: Furniture
Me: Spell
Vyas Spells
Me: I mean, spell the word (I raise my voice to imply I was not impressed)
Vyas: Then you must say it clearly like this: Spell the word <say the word>. Example: Spell the word Furniture.

So much for trying to be responsible!!

Lesson 3: Don’t expect credit.

I looked at him intently, trying to make him conscious. Its a game I often play with him and love to see him blush! Silly I know..

Vyas: Ammmmaaa! Why are you looking at me like that?
Me: I have a doubt da!
Vyas: Ayyo, what is it? (knowing what was coming)
Me: How come you are so cute da?!
(At which point, if the father is around will impart a little gyan saying : Kaakkai-kku thann kunju, porkunju – meaning even a crow finds its own child precious. Hell yes! Why not?!)
Vyas: (Goes arggghhh…, rolls his eyes, shrugs.. a big build up really) Because am cute!

Words of Wisdom.


The name Hidimbi conjures up images of a strong, intrepid, willful women. Whenever I see Aashi, I think of Hidimbi:) I dare not tell her for the fear of her unleashing more words of wisdom as in cases like these:

My sis Nitu, was all set for a short trip with her colleagues and it was her first time away from her kids for a couple of days. As the day of journey was nearing, Aashi wanted to know how long she was really going to be away. The wise mom tried to make it sound very simple and short and said, “I’m leaving on Thursday, will be there on Friday, will start from there on Saturday and will be back here on Sunday. That is all, am not away for long” . The counter from Aashi:”You don’t say it like that. Tell me clearly that you are away for three nights”! A ‘bulb-moment’ for my sis!

Aathrey, Vyas and Ashi were having their evening cup of ‘Bournvita’ at my sister’s house. Vyas found the drink very yummy and said “semma taste ille? (Doesn’t it taste great?)” to no one in particular. The Hidimbi of a sister’s pointed response was, “Try having the same drink every day. Taste ellam waste -nnu solluve (you will find the taste a waste )”!

When Nitu starts for work, Aashi ‘parrots’ all the instructions she receives:”Amma, eat slowly. There is time. Have you packed your lunch? Don’t forget to eat it and then give excuses of a busy day at work. Will you be late? Come soon so we can have a moonlight dinner!”

The word ‘No’ or any words remotely close to ‘denial’, does not exist in the dictionary of the dad when it comes to his daughter. When the family goes shopping, you will find the mom and son busy hunting down for items that does not pinch the pocket while this little devil would have quietly partnered with the dad and would have sneaked to the most expensive corner, picking up her nth Barbie doll. The mommy will discover the loot only after they leave the billing counter or sometimes only after they reach home! Every word the mommy utters for the next 2 hours will fall on deaf ears:-)

Am waiting for the little girl to hit her teens so that I can do the ‘periamma’s’ bit in spoiling her and take my sister’s level of patience to an all-new high:-)

Role reversal


Last night, Varun fell asleep even before his sleepy mommy finished telling him a story. Vyas was waiting for the little brother to fall asleep and the moment I turned to his side, his arms were around my neck and it was to be the usual mom-son hushed hushed talk to catch up on few stories from the day!

We both fell silent after about 10 minutes when suddenly I felt a butterfly flutter against my cheek. It was a very familiar ‘feeling’. Vyas’s face was pressed against my face and it was his eye-lashes that were brushing my cheek. I planted a kiss on his forehead and told him that this was exactly what I used to do to my mom when I was like him or maybe a little older! And she used to kiss my forehead the way I did!

And then, I told him I miss my mom dearly. He was listening to my heart, for he pulled me closer, held me in a tighter embrace in reply. He was my mom at that instant…