Behind the scenes

Just another day, not today. But a sample of what happens on many days.

6:45 am: Got up, awake yet slow. Brushed my teeth, looked at myself in the mirror. Need to get my hair coloured. It looks weird, unkept and dry. Note to myself – Call my hair guy and set an appointment. It is Diwali this weekend. Yay!! Party!!

7:15 am: The kid’s tiffin packed. Breakfast, lunch and dinner planned out. Stuff for breakfast laid out. Time to go wake the kid. Oh, it rained last night and there is water on the terrace coz the f$%^&& idiots made the slope wrong. Need to get that cleaned when the maid comes in. Put in the laundry? Sky looks cloudy. What does that have to do with it? You can put it on full dry mode. Naaah! Just forget it today. Don’t feel like it.

7:25: The kid and his dad are still snoozing. Yank the blankets off! Mean me. The dad takes one look at his smart phone and has something urgent from work. I swear I could throw all phones into the Dead Sea. So he is unavailable from now on till whatever he needs to do gets done. Note to self – Pretend he is out of town.

7:55 am: The kid is ready for school. Finally!! After very “patiently” talking, role playing, subtle cajoling and just short of pleading. It took 25 minutes of cuddles, PDA, sweet talk, playing silly games and 5 minutes to actually get into the uniform. We march down the stairs for breakfast.

Expected time of Departure from home to catch the school bus is:

Easy breezy walk – 8:00 am

Power walk – 8:05 am

Run – 8:10 am

Run for your life – 8:15 am

We manage to make it 8:00 am on most days, but today doesn’t seem like that day.

8:00 am: The breakfast is toasted slices of bread with butter and jam and a glass of milk. Easy simple, what’s so difficult about that. Trust toddlers to come up with the most innovative ways to delay, refuse or whine about things. The young one wants to “cook” his breakfast. He wants to make something at 8:00 am when he is supposed to leave for school. Aaarrrghhhh! I want to scream out loud. But I don’t. I have house guests. I am trying to be nice and well behaved. I tell him we will cook together for lunch or dinner.

8:03 am: Looking at the calendar on the kitchen wall. Oh sh%^^ [don’t worry, I did not say that out loud]! I need to submit an article by tomorrow, an article that I haven’t started writing yet!!! Note to self – Finish it today. Tomorrow will be too late.

8:05 am: Back to reality. I am still pushing and gently prodding the little one to finish his glass of milk. 3/4th of the glass is gone. He refuses to drink the remaining. I am thisclose, yes THISCLOSE to screaming again. Pause. Think Simran what can you do now. I ask him why don’t you want to drink. He says it is cold. I do the finger test and it is frigging warm-on-the-side-of-hot. Before I can say anything he repeats “It is cold mama!” I take a sip and it dawns on me. I say “You mean there is less sugar?” His eyes become big and round and he nods. “Then you need to say it is not sweet enough. We don’t call it COLD!!”

I say it out loud, to myself “How irritating!” I hear the husband’s voice saying “How funny, right?” I get it! He is trying to make me see it in another light. I don’t want to see it from any other angle. Hmmphh!

I add sugar and give it to him. He is still not budging. I take away the glass and say ok no milk. He stares at me with the I-can’t-believe-this look. And I continue “No watching that movie-that-we-recorded-to-see-on-movie-day”. Totally mean me! I know, this is against all the rules of perfect parenting. But I DON’T WANT TO BE A PERFECT PARENT right now!!!! All I want to do is YELL – LEFT, RIGHT AND CENTER. But I don’t.

Bingo! It works. He gulps down the last bit of milk and is off to school. One down.

8:10 am: The good byes and I-love-yous are done. My cousins who are visiting are gone too. I warm up my milk and toast my bread and sit down for breakfast. Ding dong! There goes the bell. The maid is here. Back to a cold toast after giving her directions. Who cares!

8:20 am: The contractor calls in saying he will be here with his army of 5 men to finish off pending tasks. Okay 😦 Whatever!

8:55 am: The bell rings. The contractor walks in and 5 men with him. The maid looks at me and says “Phir se kaam shuru karange yeh log? [Will these people start work again?]….

… Such is life, it isn’t always what it seems like!! Yet we live it, love it and it is beautiful the way it is.

Have a lovely week ahead. May you have the slow moments that you crave for and the fast, hectic, crazy ones too. May you have the best of both worlds.
Happy Monday!!

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From a baby to a little person

N and I read and talk before he goes to bed. Tonight’s conversation, was a wee bit inspired by this post from Mindful Dad.  We sat opposite each other and I told him why I loved him – all the reasons I could think of and more 🙂 I did not expect him to say anything back, after all he did not understand why or what I was doing; he hadn’t read the article. Or so I thought.

Turns out, he does understand the language of love, of emotions, of feelings. So he told me, what he loved about me. He loved that I took care of him – whether he got hurt or not, that I read to him every night, that I brought things for him or not sometimes, that I took him running with me, that I gave him kisses and hugs, that he could talk to me about anything (including his crush on a girl in his class – yep his first), that he wouldn’t ever go away leaving me or wouldn’t want to change me for any other mommy in the world!! Yay!! Oh boy it was one of the best feelings in the world, the way he said it in a very matter of fact tone, as if this was the simplest, truest, fact. Even better than S telling me why he loves me. Sorry S! Your li’l guy just took over 😉

Oh and before sleeping, N thanked god tonight for “Giving me 15 days of holidays so that I can be with my friends in Malpe!”

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Me to N:Please roll up and button up your shirt sleeves. That will look nicer.

N: I don’t like rolling up the sleeves. That makes me uncomfortable around the elbow.

Me: The last time you wore it you had sleeves down. Can’t you do it just this once, for me?

N: I don’t feel like mamma.

Me: Okay! (Pouty face – coz I seriously felt that the shirt and N would look better with rolled up sleeves)

N [calmly]: My life, my choice. Your life, your choice.

Me [Thinking is this kid seriously just a 5-year-old??]: N there are some things you can choose for yourself but there are other things that you will have to leave for mom and dad to decide till you are a li’l older.

N: Ok Mamma – I will listen to you for all the important things. But this is not an important thing no? Just my shirt sleeves.

Me [As if the light just went on inside a dark room]: Yes, N. you are right, this ain’t important. Keep your sleeves whichever way you want them [Smiling to myself on the inside, the kid has his fundas clear,  reinforcement works and choose your battles Sim – it is the important stuff that matters!] 🙂

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Read this yesterday – http://butterflywriterblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/17-things-boys-need-from-their-moms/ and like it! Very thoughtful, sweet and emotional article.

Happy Holidays or Happy There-will-be-holidays-very-soon 🙂

From a daughter

Today’s post is dedicated to the man who gave me the thirst for knowledge, the love of reading, the desire to achieve something. He taught me that strength means being strong on the inside, not just muscle power. He helped me take tiny steps, run and fly. He encouraged me to explore, to experience, to endure. He led by example and showed me what honesty, hard work and courage meant. He taught me to be modest and humble, yet not tolerate nonsense, if needed. He took care of his family, close and extended, dedicated, making sacrifices along the way, but with no regrets.

He initiated me into the magical world of books. Took me and my sister to book fairs and bought us a book from wherever he went. I remember the Tell me Whys, the Russian fairy tales, the science encyclopedias, the Enid Blytons and James Bonds, your Urdu fiction, and the stack of Robert Ludlum and James Hadley Chases in the house. It gave me a thirst I have never been able to quench – the thirst to know more, to learn more, to see more, to do more! And for that I shall be thankful always 🙂

He has his strengths and weakness, but for me he will always be my super hero, the ground beneath my feet. He may appear to be tough and strict on the outside but is a big softie on the inside. Sentimental, quick to forgive and for those whom he loves, he can move mountains and part rivers.

Happy Birthday Papa! Wish you all that you want and more, on this day and forever.

Your DnD 🙂

This post is part of Blog-a-Prompt Week in Marathon Blogging. Today’s prompt is Thirst.

Blogaprompt

From N’s mouth

In the train on the way to Bathinda where my sister stays currently, N looks at me and says”Are you excited about seeing your sister?” I say “Yes”. N gives me a raised eyebrow look and says “Okay, but when you see her don’t go all hyper and run to her saying yayyyyyyyyyy”.

When did I ever do that???

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At my in-law’s place, I was helping my mother-in-law in the kitchen. N wanted me to play with him. I told him to wait till I was done helping daadi (grandmother). He crosses his arms and says “Hmmm now that you have got a mother you have forgotten your son. That is very nice (said with a sarcastic twinge)”.

Huh, too many Bollywood movies I say!

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N was having a candy bar. My mother asked him if he would share some of it. N paused, looked at the half eaten candy bar and said “Here you can have the wrapper. I can share that with you!”

I swear this is not what I have been teaching him about sharing!!

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While watching a show on Discovery Kids about how salt is made,

N: I know where salt comes from. It comes from water!

Me: How do you know that?

N: When we were in Thailand and I was playing with my friends in the water on the beach and the water came on my face, I licked it and it was salty. So I membered (for remember) from there.

Me: 🙂

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Walking back from the library nearby in Bathinda, N while walking in some sand: I am in Egypt mamma, want to join me?

Me: Why are you in Egypt? Where is Egypt here?

N: See there is sand below my feet. Egypt has sand dunes and camels. So this is Egypt. I read in Diego’s adventure in Egypt book.

Me (to myself): Fine! I will not hold a prejudice against Diego and Dora!

The simple pleasures of life!

I got up today while the husband and the kid were still sleeping. Looked around the apartment and saw suitcases, big black trash bags holding stuff other than trash and a few heaps of laundry piled up. We are packing for a move, across countries, yet again.
It was quiet in the house. My tummy was rumbling. I walked out to grab a coffee and muffin from the tiny yet fully functional hole-in-the-wall coffee place just as I walk out of our building. I wonder if I will do that again some time soon. The coffee was heavenly and the day started on a good note. I had started one more round of laundry, folded the previous set, was done with my day’s social media catching up and had my breakfast. Ah the simple pleasures of life!

Last night I swore not to move again, no across cities, across countries moving. I want to settle down in one place and have a base. Packing for trips and holidays is just fine 😉

But like I say and believe “Never say never”. I think I will be ok if I have to move again. This particular move has imparted its share of learnings though.

1. Prioritization – The move to and from New Zealand has resulted in a whole lot of prioritizing. It ranged from things like which clothes to carry, how many shoes, what accessories, which books to what to leave behind in storage, what to donate, what to discard, what needs to be sold, what needs to be done first and last! It has forced me to see what actually figures on the top of my list compared to what I thought would.

2. Emotional detachment – The above process also resulted in breaking those bonds of emotional attachment to that dress that you love but haven’t worn in a year or more! It also taught me that everybody has varying degrees of emotional attachment. I was cool and emotionally unperturbed about giving away or selling furniture from my Bangalore apartment but my mother and my mother-in-law were a little concerned and asked me if it really did not bother me parting with all that stuff! 🙂

3. Sorting – My sorting abilities have definitely improved. When one does the exercise of keep, throw, donate for every material thing that they own, twice in 8 months it is bound to do some good in the related part of the brain. I guess! I wish I could do that for my emotional clutter too. Keep the happy memories and throw the sad ones.

4. De clutter and donate – S and I were discussing that we have cleaned out closets and donated stuff more than ever in our life time. If not for this move we would still have a lot of random junk that we did not use, wear or like! A lot of cleansing up and feel-good has happened. Of course the cleaner, less crowded closet shelves have prompted a few shopping sprees also. But I am also doing what I learnt from my mil, “When you buy 1 of something new, give away 2 of something old.” Try that, eh?

Life is nice. It is not all smooth, perfect and happy always but it is nice. I could ask for a li’l bit of this and that. But while I sip my mocha, looking out at some lovely downtown landscape through ceiling to floor glass windows it seems just fine in the big picture!

Day 26 – Daily list of Happiness!

In Pursuit of More is a blog I follow. Shira is a lovely lady who cooks really yummy food and runs a non-profit called Not So Fast. She has a beautiful blog and I love the pictures and quotes she puts up. One of my favorites is “More compassion. More acceptance. More middle ground.”. This could apply to all fields of life!!

One of her recent posts was about her daily bits of happiness. It is a beautiful read and it prompted me to write my own list of things that make me happy every day.

1. When I get up before my son wakes up and spend some time chatting with my husband about our plans for the day or about what’s going on in our current fave reality TV show or anything else under the sun.

2. A pit stop at my fave coffee haunt here in Wellington and catching up on the day’s news in the local paper.

3. Having some simple and flavourful food when I am really hungry (this one I share with Shira).

4. Getting my social media dose for the day.

5. Sorting or clearing something and getting rid of clutter.

6. Ironing clothes while watching TV – it does bring me peace of mind.

7. Talking to my mom and my sister. They complete my day. Love you both!!

8. Cooking a fresh pasta with veggies, olive oil and garlic. I love making and eating that.

9. Story time before I put my son to bed. I think I enjoy reading out the stories and discussing new things we discover, more than N.

10. My son’s genuine hearty giggles or laughs. They are so infectious and always always bring a smile to my face 🙂

11. Catching up with a friend via phone or in person. Friends are like therapy and we all need some!

12. Some music before I go to bed while I read an interesting book. I like discovering new songs and new kinds of music.

I should do one or more of these to keep my happiness quotient high for the day.

What’s on your daily list of happiness? Are you able to do any or some of them daily? Why not?

 

This post is part of the Marathon Blogging December 2012.

Day 20 – Time for some revision

I read this post on Parentous day before, and saw this workshop video again.

I decided it was time to revise some body basics with N. I first talked to him about sexual abuse when he was 3. Maybe a little early. But I kept it simple and explained to him that the parts covered by his swimming shorts were private and no one except mommy and daddy are allowed to touch him there. If anyone does, he should tell us. I felt that much was enough for that age.

The last we talked about this was when he turned 4. This time I added some more steps – These are your private body parts. We don’t touch them in public. We don’t let anyone else touch our private parts. If someone touches us there (it could be anybody) we shout out “NO”, run away from there and come tell mommy or daddy. And we don’t touch anyone else’s private parts.

I will show him this video today. And revise again in about 6 months. Meanwhile, I will stay alert and ensure that my child is aware. He should know he can do some thing about it and he has someone to talk to.

This is not something that happens only to others. This is real. It is not something we can should ignore. It is not something to be brushed under the carpet. It can happen at home, at school, in any city, any country. Talk to your child if you haven’t already. Empower them!!

This post is part of the Marathon Blogging December 2012.