And more talk

Me: Bean, brush your hair
Bean: I think my hair looks fine.
Me: No it doesn’t – ask the Brat.
Bean: Brat, does my hair look messy?
Brat (without even bothering to look up from his book) – I think it looks perfectly beautiful.
They high five (he still can’t tear his eyes away from his book) and the Bean says: You can have my chicken at dinner.

I’m considering giving them up to two different families.

—————————

Didn’t think I’d ever sell my body, but my daughter just paid me ten rupees for a kiss. I’ve gone over to the dark side.

——————–

In her last week as a six-year old, she says:
1. Mama, you need to absolve the medicine in a glass of water.

2. I was so worried that I chewed up my nails and now my prunticles are bothering me.

3. I was so bored, that I put my mind to it and painted a masterpiece.

———————-

The Bean working on yet another ‘masterpiece’ has splashed paint all over her study table.
Me: Bean! You annoying brat.. you pain in the..
‘Posterior’ she supplies helpfully.
Me: Yes, you’re driving me nuts. Did I not just clean that mess up? You’re worse than your father.
Bean *gasp of horror and betrayal writ large in her eyes* – ‘You take that back, Mama. That was really mean. I am not worse than my father.’

—————————-

You know the child isn’t too ill when she chirps back at the ATM that says, thank you for banking with us -“you’re welcome! Thanks for letting us bank with you.” And giggles.

Yep. She’s on her way to better health.

—————————–

The Bean’s explanation as to why she will ONLY sleep with Nana and none of the other three grandparents. “Because you were in Nan’s stomach and I was in yours. We are like a coconut.” Eh?!

————————–

Me: Brat … you know what you are to me, my darling?
Brat: Yeah… *yawn* I’m your heart, soul, life, guts, liver, gall bladder, uterus…

—————————-

Me: Bean, move! I need the mirror to get my pleats straight.
Bean: Wait – I’ve dropped an eyelash on my cheek.
Me: Go look for it in front of another mirror, na?
Bean: Why can’t you go to another mirror? Why me?
Me: Because I was wearing my saree in front of this one, first. Before you came!
Bean: What is this I came first, you came second? Can’t you be nice and share?

Hoist by my own petard, I see.
#ParentingFail #PracticeWhatYouPreach

————————

One sweetheart of a dadu sits out in the lawn every sunny morning, playing with his preschool grandson. They make me look up from my laptop all the time, because of their sweetness.He’s an old guy who isn’t very mobile so he keeps coming up with fun stuff for his grandson to do – run and touch that tree, go pick up that leaf… all sorts. And he keeps it young by calling his grandson ‘yaar’.I miss them on grey days.
———————-
Me: OA, is that thunder?
Bean: I think someone banged a door elsewhere and it evaporated here.
————————
Realisation of your advanced age hits you when your son asks for Daft Punk. Thankfully you have a daughter who still counts eleventy-one. All is not lost.
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OA and I to the kids: Hurry up with your homework, we have a surprise for you.
Bean *glowering at us over her homework*: I hope it’s not a surprise like the one Simba’s Uncle gave him.
Me: What surprise was that?
Bean: He said he had a surprise for him and then he tried to kill him.
——————–
Bean playing with the stray cat they’ve adopted when the cat scratches her – Pussy, no! This is not good manners. This is not the way I’ve taught you to behave.
Hah! Now she feels my pain.
————————-
Me, checking the Bean’s homework – Oi! There’s a letter missing here. What did you do?
Bean: I was hungry, I ate it.
Yeah, you cheeky little so-and-so. That response should hold you in good stead when you start having class tests.
—————————
Watsapping madly with family all over the place, I made a typo. I sent the correct word, marked with an asterisk.
The Bean knows she’s not allowed to read over my shoulder but she sees the asterisk from a distance and asks – Are you writing bad words, Mama?
Thank you cartoons and comic books!
————————–
Brat: Mama, what’s to nibble on? I’m feeling teatime-ish.
My poor son. Born to a mother who only eats when her stomach growls and can get by on a handful of peanuts.
On the bright side, maybe his love for food will spur him to cook for all of us, soon!
——————
Brat to friend: My mother is a book launcher.
Interesting to see yourself through your kids’ eyes.
———————
Me: Babies hurry up and finish your homework and we’ll FaceTime with Button. (Their little cousin in the US)
Brat, mournfully: That’s no good. Seeing him in real life is uncountable times better.
————————
An exhausted me after I’d made the Bean’s hair for the nth time and she’d dropped her clips: Bean! People are going to say I’m a terrible mother who can’t even keep her kids clean!
Bean: Don’t worry Mama, they won’t say it aloud to you. They will only think it.
Gee thanks. That makes me feel better.
——————————
Bean: Mama I’m going to play Othello by myself.
Me: Bean, you can’t play both sides of a game.
Bean: Why not? I have two brains – one on the left and one on the right. They’ll play against each other.And no – she hasn’t learnt left and right brain yet. She came up with that herself. *insert eye roll*
——————
When you have a child who thinks only in terms of the animal kingdom -
Brat’s friend – You know my uncle and aunt got married two years before my parents and had a baby only last year. They couldn’t have a baby for soooo long.
Brat – So what? Many people just don’t want to have a baby. I think they get themselves neutered.

Inane chatter at the mad house

Me: Bean, stop making the fork and spoon fight. You’ll spill your milk.
Bean: Yes, that was my plan.
——————-
Bean: Mama, when you were young and there were no gadgets, what did people do for company?

—————-

Brat hiding in a corner, looking mighty distressed.
Me: Wassup? Why so sad?
Brat: I’m playing hide and seek against my will. Bean wants me to.
Me: Aww.. you’re such an angel. You’re playing it to keep your ill baby sister happy.
Brat: No, I’m playing it so that I can hide and not have to see her face for sometime.

————————–

Love is… your son walking up to you as you work, gently slipping your glasses on to your nose and saying, ‘Wear this. We don’t want your eyes getting worse, do we?’

Such a simple gesture, but so full of affection and concern.

———————–

After a long day of attempting to work from home (something I’ve done for 8 years now :-/) while the kids go about their various activities, back from school, lunch, nap, swimming, homework, playtime, the OA collapses in exhaustion and observes – Raising children builds character.

Absolutely. That is why I am so character-ful.

—————————-

Brat, after a prolonged show on Animal Planet: Mama, did you know, sex doesn’t just mean what your gender is, it’s also another word for mating and making babies.
Me: Err, yeah. I heard something like that.
Brat: And a female mantis eats the male mantis’ head after mating and so does the black widow.
Me: Uh huh.
Brat: So sex and mating is a very dangerous thing. It could kill the male. One should avoid it. Never know.

Aaaannndddd we have a winning argument here. Lets hope this takes him through college and more!

——————————

Me rushing between kitchen and dining room, feeding the kids breakfast before school: Bean, there’s no salt on your fried egg.
And I proceed to add some.
She looks at me in horror – Mama, I had already put salt.
Me: Oh shit, shit, shit. So sorry, baby. Shall I wipe it? Make you another egg?
Bean: Naah… I hadn’t put any salt. I was just messing with your head.

———————

Bean: I want to learn alien language. Teach me.
Me: How am I supposed to know alien language?
Bean: Ask google. Google knows everything.

So, ours was the last generation that thought mum and dad knew everything.

——————————–

The Bean and my mother make a deal and shake on it.
Me: Now remember baby, a lady doesn’t go back on her word.
Bean: I’m not a lady.
Me: Fine, a gentleman doesn’t break his promise either.
Bean: I’m not a gentleman.
Me: So what are you?
Bean: A cross breed.

———————————–

Me to Cousin K as I pop in a handful of pills for my knees: If after all this I don’t get better…
Bean, helpfully: You’ll kill yourself? Throw yourself off the building?

Argh.

————————

Clearly my kids take after me. We are on the train and a little girl is wearing a green strip cloth tied around her arm.
What is that? They ask her.
Its a taveez to keep us safe says her father. We wear it when we travel, she says
How can that keep you safe, the kids ask. See.. You just bumped your head. How safe is that?
The father and child smile but had no answer.

We are doing okay, OA. They think, they question and they don’t blindly accept.

————————-

Bean: Mama, today was the worst day of my life. X (good friend) hit me outside the watercooler and I cried a trail of tears back to my class.

And now Mama is crying a trail of tears.

————————

Bean, rushing to get ready for our visit to the local Dusshera mela, gets stuck in her kurta.
Me: Don’t get excited yaar, one arm at a time.
Cheeky Miss, getting arms out but getting the kurta stuck around her fat head: Yes, but which head at a time?

———————

Brat, answering questions on a poem on tigers – What is this? Tigers found in forests and high grass! Is that an answer? They should be more specific and say that tigers are found in South East Asia.

A poet he is unlikely to be.

A change in mindset needed for Cousin K too, who is helping him with his homework and saying – You can’t do that. Your teacher will cut marks.

Brat: What are marks? And why will she cut them? She gives us happy faces.

Cousin K is torn between bashing his head against a wall and crying over his comparatively deprived school years.

—————————–

I am shopping in a grocery store and I get tired of the Bean dogging my footsteps and getting underfoot. I shove the trolley at her and say – Now stand here for two minutes and let me quickly check these glasses out.

And I walk a few steps ahead.

The Bean nods and says understandingly –  Are you abandoning me?

————————–

I ask some science related daily life question and the kids answer it immediately, like the Greek chorus.

How did you know that, I ask.

Dada, told us.

Uff. Dada teaches you all the useful stuff. What do you need me for?

A kind-hearted Bean pats me and says consolingly – We need you for love and cuddles.

——————————–

The OA, pushing 40, got his first pair of reading glasses. We spent a fair amount of time picking the frame and he put them on, walked in and posed for the kids.

His day was made when the Brat looked at him and said – Dada, you look like the hero of a blockbuster.

—————————

Bean filling water in her doll’s milk bottle and drinking from it.
A disgusted Brat: Ohmigod, she’s regressing – she’s getting the shrinks!

—————————

There is nothing so cutely earnest as a child counting on her fingers as she does her maths homework.
There is nothing so annoying as her dragging your fingers off your keyboard to count on when she runs out of her own.

—————————

As if to say wearing a saree and heavy jewellery in the heat is not enough, they sit side saddle on a two wheeler holding bags and often a child. What really upsets me though is the way they have to hold their pallu jammed tightly between their teeth for hours because God forbid a strand of hair should be seen by a stranger. The day every woman can dress for travel as comfortably as a man and her virtue doesn’t depend on her display of hair, I’ll be happy to put away my feminist badge.

————————

Brat to a nursery full of kids: So Australopithecus might have been what man descended from – did you know that? Come see the brain size.

Studied silence in the room as all ignore him.

And then Bean does what every sibling should but rarely will: Come Brat, I’m interested. Show me.

I could hear the fake enthusiasm dripping from her voice, but hey, she did her duty! 

——————————–

Bean: Mama, when I run very fast my legs hurt. I think the screw has dropped out.

Strange how you can give birth to one child who will tell you about the difference between the human brain and the Australopethicus’ brain, and another who thinks joints are held together by screws.

———————

Me: Bean, I hope you’re not walking out of class during studies, anymore.
Bean: No, my teacher sits at the door so that I can’t walk out. So I wait till she’s looking the other way and I jump out of the window.

I’m going to be dead before she hits her teens.

———————-

Brat: Mama, can I have some milk for an experiment?
Me: Sure. What’s the experiment?
Brat: Befriending a cat.

———————–

An exhausted me after I’d made the Bean’s hair for the nth time and she’d dropped her clips: Beanie! People are going to say I’m a terrible mother who can’t even keep her kids clean!
Bean: Don’t worry Mama, they won’t say it aloud to you. They will only think it.

Gee thanks. That makes me feel better.

————————–

Bean and friend spend a pleasant hour colouring and painting and then bring me the results to judge. Not wanting to hurt either, I tell them both are equally beautiful and send them off.

Bean takes friend into the next room and apologises – “I’m sorry about this. My mother has a problem making a choice. We’ll have to ask someone else.”

#FacePalm

———————

Kids wrestling on the bed and some of the lines I got to hear.

- You give me no choice -but to die.
– Brothers and sisters don’t have to get along.
– Waitamminit, I just lost an eyelash and I’m looking for it.
– Don’t try that technique on me – it makes me very happy.
– Oh, the blood rushed to your cheeks and made them pink. I’m going to kick your bum and see how that works now.

———————–

How kids react to things says so much about them.
The kids are looking at a mineral water bottle full of some liquid in the bathroom and discussing it.
Brat: I think its acid to clean the bathroom.
Bean: No! Mama doesn’t use chemicals in the house – it’s leftover beer to wash her hair.
Need I tell you which of them was right?

————————

The OA and I woke up feeling rather Christmassy. We put on some carols and warbled along with them as we went about our tasks. And then this carol came on and we began to dance to it.

The kids looked out of the bathroom, toothbrushes tucked into a corner of their mouths, took a look at us, rolled their eyes and said, ‘Psycho!’
Apparently we hit the teens earlier than we’d anticipated.

Conversations from the mad house

And because you’re missing the Brat and the Bean, I offer you some of the FB statuses I put up in the last year.

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I was travelling and the OA was getting the kids dressed for school. A disapproving Brat looked at the OA’s ratty night shorts and said ‘Dada, you can’t go out dressed like that to drop us to the bus stop.’

The Bean piped up – ‘Yeah, they will say, Pitaji ki patloon, ek bilang chhoti ho gayi.’

—————————

Me, teaching the Brat multiplication and trying to put it in a context he’ll enjoy: Okay baby, at what speed does a cheetah run?
Brat: 105 kms an hour.
Me: Cool. So how many kms will it run in 3 hours?
Brat: It can run at that speed only for 30 minutes!

————————-

Bean: Dada, I love you soooo much.
Me: Oi! Only I am allowed to love both of you. No one else is allowed to love another.
Bean: Mama, we all have our own place in this world.
Yes, maate.

——————-

Reason # 1, not to assume your husband is not on speaker phone: You start singing Pritam mat pardes padharo the moment he answers your call, and entertain a car full of his colleagues.

#FacePalm

—————————–

An oversmart Bean leaves her lunch, comes stumbling towards me holding her belly and says, “I think I’m having a heart attack. I can’t eat any more.”

A scornful Brat responds, “You’re not having a heart attack. Only people who watch too much TV get heart attacks. We barely get to watch TV at all. We’ll never get heart attacks!”

Great. I didn’t need to step in.

——————————-

Bean, while watching the Lenskart advt on TV – If that girl doesn’t want to go and have coffee with him, why doesn’t he leave her alone? If someone says no, you should let them be.

Me: Right. And if they don’t listen, what do you do?

Bean: I tell my mother and she will give them a jhaanp.

Err.. Well, she’s getting there. At least she has the basics clear!

——————

Bean, listening to her father have an endlessly long and loud phonecall, working from home: Mama, I think Dada should go to office so that we can have some peace and quiet around here.
I agree.

———————-

When your mother is a feminist, you say -

“Why do people say ‘Early man did blah blah’. They should say early man AND woman, or early people.” – Brat.

Excellent. My work here is done.

————————–

The OA is on the phone talking to endless credit card companies and what-nots. I’m listening to him and thinking – Ours might be the last generation where the secret question by default is,’What was your mother’s maiden name?’

————————-

Bean to another little girl in the park: If I do that, my mother will scream, and jhaanp me up and put me in the corner and give me no food for a full day.

Me (shocked): When have I ever done that, baby?

Bean (annoyed at being overheard): Well, you said no screen time yesterday, didn’t you?

Yes. And that is entirely the same thing.

(Later it was explained to me, that unless she claims dire consequences, she cannot wriggle out of peer pressure issues. I see. )

———————————

Sorting out my cupboard and making piles of clothes to give to orphanage, some to repurpose and some for my cousin and mother. Bean looks at the growing pile and says – Oh, so the ones you feel hot in and are all rubbish you’re giving to Nana?

*gulp* I swear that’s not true, Ma!

——————————

Brat busy entertaining a bunch of young adults in the park, by reciting animal facts like a machine. I go up to rescue the adults and relieve them of my son, but they say they’re enjoying his company. So I introduce myself. And one of them says his name is Brahm.
To which Bean says, Rum? Oh, of course, we know Rum. We have lots of that at home!
Youngsters fall over laughing and look at me as though I’m one of those lushed up aunties. Sigh.

#SwallowMeNowEarth moment right there.

————————————–

We’re so quick to criticise and so slow to praise. The Haryanvi man is possibly the most abused in the country. And we all know *everything* about those rude drivers and guards who have sold crores of farmland in Gurgaon and now only work to pass time. Here’s my contribution to the good.Guard in the new complex who has seen me obsess over my garden, folded his hands today and asked me if he could please bring me some pudina to plant in my garden, and wheat and bajra for our personal consumption. Only because ‘Didi, aapse pyaar ho gaya, aap log sab izzat se baat karte hain.’ After getting over the shock of being told he is in love with us, I also folded my hands and thanked him and said I’d take some pudina, how much would he charge? He looked injured and said he’d never have offered it for money, only out of love. And then we both folded hands and nodded at each other for five minutes, grinning like idiots.

————————–

Bean- Yes, I’ll have a fried egg for lunch.
Me: Eh? Who asked you if you wanted one?
Bean: You just asked me ten minutes ago.
Me (to self): I must be losing my mind.
Bean: Yes, yes, you are! So stay with your mind lost and let me have an egg.

Bean: 1, Me: 0

———————–

But then I have the proper little gentleman to make it up to me.
Me: Brat, did you get any homework today?
Brat: I did, indeed.

Indeed? Err. Okay.

————————-

Brat: Mama, today is Thank you- vaar.
Me: ???
Brat: Friday, Ma, Shukra-vaar. Thank you- vaar.

Ugh. Nerd.

——————–

A little boy knocks on the kitchen screen door – Aunty, do you have a son? My big brother and some other boys said a very nice boy lives here, so I’ve come to play with him.

Six years of being a victim of bullying and the tide has turned over the last two years. We’ve moved thrice in three years and within a week of each move he has friends trooping in and out of the house. Who’d have thought this quiet, dreamy, vague little boy would be popular in spite of, or maybe even because of those characteristics?

——————-

You know you live in a condo in India when you get this sort of an email.

“You are right,the langoor was on the regular pay roll of RWA earlier,but his services were discontinued because employing a langoor to scare away monkeys became forbidden under the Animal protection Act,the same act for stray dogs.”

———————

Things that must go on social media even if we can never show our faces in public again #751 -

The Brat walks in on the OA crouched above a prone me, massaging my back and shoulders to ‘break the fever’ as suggested by many people. Frowns, looks interested and poses an academic question – ‘Are you mating with mama like a male leopard mates with a female leopard?’

He has no idea why the two of us fell over in a pile and laughed till the tears flowed.

——————–

Calling the kids back from play as we go to run errands, the OA explains to them “… blah blah and the didi will be alone and a thief might comr blah blah…”
Brat – …and if a thief DOES get in, you expect US to take care of it?
Good point.

————————-

It’s amazing to hear kids express their love. The Brat got back from a visit with his grandparents while we moved house, crawled into my lap as I dripped sweat and unpacked cartons – I missed you so much, mama. Your sweat also feels good.
And Bean said- I missed you like, like, like I’ve never had a mama EVER!!

———————-

Me: What flavour ice cream do you want? Chocolate? blackberry?
Bean: Blackberry? That’s not an ice cream, that’s a phone!

Sigh. She was right of course. ——————-

On context and keeping it simple.
Bean: Mama, I have to lose loads and loads and loads of weight.
Me, dumbstruck, mentally preparing a speech on body image issues and individuality.
Brat: Why?
Bean: So that I’m as light as this butterfly I found, and I can fly with it.
Brat: Don’t be silly. You’d need hollow bones for that.Me: Oh good, I’m not needed here. I can get back to wasting time online.

———————-

Bean, playing with my phone and examining sections, reaches Favorites: Oh, so Dada is your favorite husband?

Umm yes. Only until Farhan accepts what destiny has in store for us.

—————–

Burned some rubber on the highway with the Scorpio aka Uddham Singh, while the OA took a nap. Took the kids through mental maths games while at it without screaming SHUT UP OR WE’LL ALL DIE!! Kids encouragingly said, ‘Good job Mama – you’re not jerking us or saying any bad words.’

Oh – well that is progress!

———————————-

Reason # 36 to have a son.
Me, dressed for party: Brat, am I looking nice?
Brat, earnestly: you always look nice. In fact you only ever look nice. And sometimes you look better than nice.
Me: Bean?
Bean: Your nail polish doesn’t match.

————————-

The Bean has just asked for some ‘watermelanin’ to eat. Let me treasure the last bit of baby talk.

—————————

Took the monsters to see Iron Man 3. One went in a mask. Lost interest after 15 minutes. That’s not the bad part. The truly horrible part is that the father put the mask on and walked about the mall as I tried to pick up some essentials, freaking out adults and kids alike. Never mind that he was accompanied by two brats and one salwar kameez clad amma. No, shopkeepers stopped serving me and stared at him, kids hid behind their parents, adults watched open mouthed and teenagers were thrilled. Me? I’m not going out with him anywhere, ever again.

——————-

The MM and OA have both, woken up with eye infections. The husband lovingly, tenderly, solicitously and liberally dosed my eyes with ear drops. If he is trying to get rid of me there have got to be more efficient and humane ways. :(

See you on the other side of this darkness, folks.

————————–

What Dr Spock didn’t tell you about getting your kids to eat – Put on some good old bhangra and dance with the other parent, do the balle balle and have them giggling through dinner (Choking alert here) – if the two of you can contrive to fall backwards over the sofa arm as the grand finale, you have a winner. Works like a charm. Everytime.

——————————

You know your kids are dying of boredom and pushing every rule about not disturbing you while you work when they come up on either side and say, ‘Let’s whisper through her ears and see if we can hear on the other side.’

Then one blows a word into your ear and the other presses up their ear against yours, waiting for the word to come through.

Technically, THEY ARE NOT TALKING TO YOU OR FIGHTING WITH EACH OTHER, so you can’t say anything to them.

————————

The Brat looks up from the stack of animal books he got on his birthday to ask me: What is the most dangerous predator in the sea?

I sit up, I’m on high alert. I know this. He’s already told me what each shark weighs, the length of each whale and how starfish and jellyfish and what not protect themselves. I MUST remember what the most dangerous predator is…

He doesn’t wait for a response. Disappointment drips from his voice, ‘It’s the human.’

I’m sorry, son. I’m sorry I was responsible for bringing you in to a world that constantly disappoints you.

—————————

Me: Bean, eat your lunch.
Bean: I don’t feel like it. I might eat one bite.
Me: I might give you one slap.
Bean: hmm.. okay, I might choose the slap. It depends on whether it’s a tight slap or a loose slap.

For the record, she saw murder in my eyes and ate many bites, without the slap.

————————

Never a dull moment around here. A bee flew into the Brat’s ear and he came in shrieking and screaming. I got scared and screamed even louder – WHAT IS WRONG?!!

Finally figured that something had flown into his ear, began making him stamp and shake his ear, him howling, me terrified, the Bean getting underfoot, patting him and saying, think nice thoughts.

The cook suggested he hold his nose and blow. Lo and behold, it worked, the bee flew out. SO, parents, please keep this trick in mind, should this, God forbid, happen to your child.

———————–

“You are not my choice of mama. Cheerio” says she.

I was too impressed by her choice of words to be worried about her choice of mama.

——————–

Dear OA, Your son is turning into YOU.
He walked out of home without his school bag. I turned into a banshee and started screeching at him to come back and take it.

He turned around, walked back slowly, his little face the picture of calm, walked up to me, pulled me down, kissed me on the forehead gently and walked away. Again, without his bag. MEN!

——————–

Bean: Mama, is my punishment over?
Me: I didn’t punish you.
Bean: Okay then, is the consequence of my action over?

I give up.

——————–

You know they’ve grown up when the 7.5 year old takes the 6 year old to the bathroom when she starts coughing, holds her over the pot, rubs her back and encouragingly checks the puke out and says, ‘That’s a good one, keep going.’

And when you enter the bathroom in concern and say, We’re fine, we’ll manage, you go back to work.

———————

The joys of being on an RWA mailing list.

You think I can make this stuff up?

Yes what I say that “I am at your disposal” I mean it and elloberate that i am at the disposal for help to the residents to the best of my capabilities and worst within limitations imposed by circumstances and heirarcial proceedures.The meaning which you have derived from my statement is purely your wishful imagination.I do not want to further elloberate on this.

—————————-

Dear early morning ill-mannered lout,
The correct response when a child wishes you ‘Good morning Uncle,’ is a smile and a Good morning. Not a roll of eyes and ‘Yeh kya sab karvate ho bachchon se?’ He’s learning manners, not a performing monkey. And in return I’ll refrain from pointing out that you’d do well to teach your child the rudimentary and perfunctory Hi, if nothing more.
sincerely,
a very ruffled mother hen

——————————-

I bumped into a familiar looking lady in Fabindia last year, beginning of the school year. I thought she might be mother to one of the new kids. She also looked at me and we both went – “Seen you someplace.”Finally she blinks and says, ‘I know! You’ve seen me in school. I’m the Bean’s mum.’And I’m like, ‘Err, noooo, I am the Bean’s mum.’So she blinks again and says, ‘Oh. Then I’m her teacher.’

As you can imagine, it’s been an entertaining year with her.

—————————

In other news, the Universe continues to torture me by making sure I receive one of these emails everyday. This one to our community egroup.

” a cricket coach who is tipped to be our cricket coach for coaching of cricketing children “

You don’t say.

——————————–

Met a woman today who introduced herself saying, ‘I’m married and I live in Gurgaon and I run an xyz store with my husband P.’

She didn’t even think of telling me her name.

——————–

Has spent the evening cooking (the most awesome juicy burgers with bacon, cheese and onion jam blah blah) and then giving her husband a massage (don’t let your imagination run away with you – he’s had a terrible stitch in the side for the last 24 hours and its not going away)…. and then feeding kids and putting them to bed.

Can someone please call up MM of end Feb 1996 and tell her not to freak out over the upcoming board exams? She’s not going to need any of that stuff or the degrees, specially since any old crap will get published these days.

Thanks.

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Mother and son walking in the sun. Son holding mother’s hand.
Mother looks at son fondly and says, ‘Even though you’re such a big boy you like holding mama’s hand?’
Brat: Yes.
Then his innate honesty that cannot be repressed, bursts forth – ‘And also if I let go, you’ll start poking in my ear.’

Err.. okay. Sorry I asked.

——————–

Reason # 827 to have a baby:

So that your son can go and heat his face on the heater at the far end of the room and then come back and hold his soft, heat-reddened cheek against yours so that ‘your root canal doesn’t hurt while you’re working’.

Apparently at the grand old age of 7 you need excuses to lay your cheek against your mother’s. Not that we’re complaining.

———————–

Bean deliberately lying with her foot in a sick Brat’s face. He pulls off her socks in annoyance. She whines. I tell her to move. She responds, Salman Khan style (ugh!) – Once I lie down and make myself comfortable, I don’t like to move.

I respond telling her that my foot will make itself comfortable on her backside if I get anymore cheek from her. She shifts grudgingly and tells him in a stage whisper: I don’t know why you’re getting special treatment. You’re only sick, not dead.

Brat responds sensibly: If I were dead, I wouldn’t be pulling your socks and you wouldn’t be so whiny. You’d be missing me.

Dear God, how much longer before they leave for college?

———————-

A frustrated, irate Brat trying to make himself feel better, and convince others that this too shall pass, “She’s just an optical illusion. The Bean isn’t real.”

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If you have imagination it won’t matter that you’re growing up in the middle of a concrete jungle. The Brat looks dreamy-eyed at steel and chrome towers in Gurgaon and says, The Convergys building is The Black Pearl and the DLF one is The Flying Dutchman.

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The day kicks off with drama. The Brat has a pink eye and the OA is chasing him with eyedrops. He is captured and screams, “you’re putting poison in my eyes!” And the Bean decides to give the background score singing “You’re poison…poison running through my veins”, loud enough to drown out the screams.

Apparently you’re never too young to be an Alice Cooper fan.

——————-

Bean: Brat, your tongue is green! Either you ate something weird, or (looks closer and frowns) you’re turning into a mutant.

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Proud of my man who was recently interviewed and said – I am a Gurgaon based husband to a freelance journalist (who is also a pretty famous mommy blogger), father of two delightful children and a worker ant in the financial services sector.
Don’t think I know many others who introduce themselves as Husband to….

The changes are a coming. Slow and steady.

———————-

Beanism of the day – I drank so much water in school, so much, so much… that I was drunk.

Sigh. Soon there will come a day when she *will* be drunk and I will not be putting it up on FB so happily.

———————–

‘Be the bigger person.’ ‘Take the high road’, I’m begging. Such a waste of honourable words when the disagreement has degenerated to the level of ‘Smell my stinky socks’, ‘I’m going to fart in your face’.

Parenting is not for those with refined sensibilities.

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Cousin K after an exhausting couple of hours with the kids, “Yaar, your kids are like kattas (country pistols). Never know whether they’ll hit the target or explode in your hand.”

Sigh. It’s so good to be sick in bed and have someone else man the show.

——————

Lady at decoration store: Woh jo Krishnaji ka rath hota hai na? Arjun ke liye chalate hain? Woh ha? Arre haan, yeh wala.
Picks a snow covered sled out of the midst of X’mas decorations at the store, pays and walks off.
Oh well, what matters is that the customer was satisfied!

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The Bean patting the blanket covered lump next to me in bed gingerly: Daddy, is that you?

Me? I’m hoping if it’s not Daddy it turns out to be Farhan Akhtar.

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Me: Bean, why don’t you just finish your lunch and make my life a little easier?
Bean shakes her head and says ruefully: But life is never easy, Mama.
#OneTightSlap

———————

Me: Brat, WHY must you start a new book at bed time.
He gives it some thought and seriously replies: I think I just like to be contrary.

You think?!!

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An irate Brat looking at his lunch plate piled with winter veggies: When I grow up I’m going to create a veg-free zone. Only meat will be allowed, and we’ll have a vegetable embargo.

Sigh. It’s a good thing we’re in positions of power for a few years more.

——————

OA watching TV and cracking up. Bean asks him why he’s laughing. He can’t explain and says – Long story. After two minutes he cracks up again and she asks him what is so funny. He responds again, ‘Long story’.
Bean: You say that only to shut me up.

———————

How do you know you’ve lived in Delhi a long, long time? When your daughter gets thoroughly confused and says, Do I have to wear my Pajeros to bed?

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Cousin K is playing fetch with my daughter. He throws a pen, she barks, holds up her paws, pants, wags her ‘tail’, and goes on all fours to pick it up in her mouth. I just want to record this so that someday I can treat his kids like puppies. Vengeance will be mine.

———————

Jab Tak Hai Jaan might have been a better experience if the OA hadn’t spent the entire four hours sighing and groaning theatrically and punctuating all that with sudden shouts of ‘ab marega saala’.

Because JTHJ wasn’t bad enough, I’m torturing myself further with Rowdy Rathore. To top off the experience I’m going to walk on broken glass and chew on bolts and poke my eyes out.

—————————–

So it finally happened.

She shows up with a Barbie wearing an outfit that leaves nothing to the imagination and says – Mama, can you make me a dress like this?
Before I can respond the brother scornfully says, “You want to get dengue? You need to be covered a little more than that if you want to be safe from mosquitoes. That’s a very silly dress.”
Thanks Brat!

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The Bean lying in bed and waving legs in air and screaming out a song tunelessly about hard days and snot and puppies. Finishes the raucous performance and asks, “Was that annoying?”
Err…
No, she says? Then I’ll try again.

Argh!

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You know the tables have turned when you stare at two mugs hard, and then pick one for your daughter and pour her water and she responds with – ‘Good job. You really read my mind there.’

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Reason # 169 why kids should not watch superhero stuff indiscriminately.
Brat.. and blah blah, Green Lantern blah blah, goes to sleep with his girlfriend.
Bean: How can you sleep next to a girlfriend? She doesn’t live in your house.
Brat: Uffo! they must be having a playdate and a sleepover, na! That must be why.

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Reason # 361 why I’m glad to have a daughter – I come out after a bath and she grabs my towel, sits on the floor and gently dries my feet. I could get used to this

——————-

“Suraj ki galti nahi, chanda ki galti nahi, acche time ki galti nahi, burey time ki galti nahi…” the Bean is singing.
Did you make that poem up, I ask her?
“No, I’m singing a Michael Jackson song in Hindi..” she says.
Which of you have figured out what she is singing?

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Proof that my son is well-trained- he tells his father,”husbands must do what their wives tell them to.”
I think I can ask for dowry for this one. :D

———————–

Dear Jabong,
Bellies are not shoes. A belly is the lower portion of your trunk, your abdomen. Now if you mean ballet pumps or court shoes, we can talk. Please, I beg of you, remove that advertisement banner from HHC.
A well wisher

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So your husband has made it a habit of inviting people over for dinner and informing you at 7.45pm. You scramble around organising a dinner, and then as you’re laying out the hors d’oeuvres your pestilential daughter shows up and grabs a seaweed cracker ruining the pattern you’ve laid them out in. You turn around, ready to bite and she grins cheekily at you and squeaks, “Polly wants a cracker.”
Yes, of course I let her off easy.

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The Brat is writing a poem in Hindi as part of his school homework.
One line goes, Ma ek, kitabein anek.
If all he associates with books is his mother, I can die happy.

———————-

The OA doesn’t know any Megadeth songs and Cousin K has only heard INXS with the Fortune guy. And I have to live with people of this sort. :-/

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You know you should change the way you speak to your kids when you hear an almighty crash in the nursery and your daughter yells out, ‘It’s okay, nobody died.’

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Brat explains to Bean: Boys must only kiss girls if they want to be kissed. You can’t force someone to kiss you back.

Chalo OA, at least we’ve taught them something.

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Insanely cute new physiotherapist tells me he’ll have me running the marathon next year if I keep working on my knee regularly. Adding, ‘Wahi toh jeena hota hai. Nahi to sirf EMI bhar rahe ho.” Word.

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A much-Onam-influenced Brat stuffs his face with a layered paratha and asks, “Can I have another Mahaballi paratha?”

———————-

Bean: Amen means Goodbye. You know, you finish a prayer and then say Bye to God.

———————

Bean: And blah blah

Me: No, it’s not like that, it’s actually yaada yaada.
Bean: Oh, oops, that was silly of me.
Me: That’s okay… it’s not silly at all.
Bean: Yeah, but I came pretty close to being silly!

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Bean to me after I’d stuck back the nth broken something: Mama, you’re the bestest fixer in the world.
Best compliment a mother can receive if she’s not a sportsperson.

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The OA  looks happiest when he is holding hands with both the kids, walking towards a restaurant.

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The Brat catching sight of a music channel while I surf, “what is the name of that person?”

Me: Which one?

Brat: That one under the actresses’ bum?”

*groan!*

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Should I be seeking help for my daughter if I find her sitting in a corner, yelling into a conch shell “Helloooo? Is there anybody home?”

—————————-

Me to cousin K – Oye, go get some biscuits to have with our tea.
Brat: Don’t order him around. You’re treating him like the Britishers treated the Indians.

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Father and son disagree. It’s amusing to see two identical faces, separated by 30 years, bound by blood and the same stubborn nature, lock horns. Someone get me some popcorn.

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Brat: Mama, why don’t you iron your hair and take the fur off your arms and legs before a party like the ladies on TV?
Ah the joys of being a male brought up by a wash and wear mother.
Me: Because I’m doing some girl a favor by not nurturing those unrealistic standards and pointless expectations, darling.

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Me: Stop muttering you two, I can’t understand a word. Can you speak any louder?
Bean: No. Gentlemen and ladies don’t talk loudly. It’s bad manners.
Me: *gulp* Whatever, go play outside. Such lovely weather.
Bean: If it is so pleasant, why aren’t you coming out with us?

Damn. Hoist by my own petard. See you later, FB. I’m out to get some sun.

———————

Kids’ bathroom reeking of Savlon. They decided to pour it in their bathwater. When I walk in and say “But why?” they give me back my own words mock penitently -
Bean: This is ENTIRELY our own fault. We take the blame.
Brat: Everyone make mistakes, we’re only human.
Dear God, so glad I’m leaving them with the grandparents tonight. Yayyy!!!

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Me to a filthy Bean: You’re going to drive me to an early grave.
Bean, helpfully: Okay, but you’re going to have to wait. Dada said I can only drive after I turn 18.

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TMM is having a midnight feast of ghee-rice, chicken momos and hot chocolate with two mischievous little gigglers, while He Who Must Not Be Disturbed snores on. This is the life.

Friend of Tibet

Sowmya Rajendran’s The Snow King’s Daughter is a favourite with both my kids.  Those of you who haven’t read the book can read the review on Saffron Tree (linked in the first line) and see if you’d like a copy.

We read it often and we’ve marked Tibet out on the huge map in the nursery and we often talk occupation and refugees and what not. Not in a political way, but in a simple easy-for-a-four-year-old to understand way.

A few days ago the Bean was at the dining table eating her dinner when she looked up and said, “We really need to tell the Chinese to stop being mean. They have to free Corbett.”

And then she was most annoyed when the OA and I fell off our chairs laughing at her. The OA wanted to correct her but I kicked him under the table so he shut up albeit unhappily. I just wanted to enjoy her babyness for a while more. She later remembered that it was Tibet and has corrected herself.

I’d put up the blooper on Facebook and a friend asked me how she’d heard of the Tibet issue and why such a young child knew anything about it at all. I think you’d need to read the book to realise that there are simple ways to talk to our kids about racism, injustice and other sensitive topics.

As for her age, I often wonder why we talk to kids about religion, God, teach them prayers and what not, when they’re too young to truly understand and make choices. After all most of us continue to practice the religion we were brought up in, justifying its failings and accepting every word of it as true, simply because it was fed to us so young. And it’s perhaps one of the most contentious and complex issues on earth, with saints and learned people struggling to put their thoughts in order. And yet we don’t think twice before feeding it to our kids.

Since I’m rather clearly not getting on to the religion train with both feet, I’d rather give them other things to believe in. I’d imagine its a lot easier to read up on environment, science, history and politics and find your beliefs. Things that to my mind are indisputable and leave no scope for confusion or double talk. It’s why they go to bed after ensuring that the taps are not leaking and lights are off, more religiously than bed time prayers.

It’s also why we marched around the dining table after we’d found Tibet on the map, all three of us shouting, ‘Free Tibet’. And I know I’d rather they believe in this and hopefully someday do something real for the cause than have any other beliefs that justify the bringing down of a mosque, the killing of a missionary and his young children, the defiling of a temple or the chopping of a tree.

Before we had the kids people often asked us what beliefs we’d bring them up with. I guess I have an answer now.

By the by, I am madly tripping on this song, this week.

Baby Talk

OA: Bean, hurry up, the school gates will get locked.
Bean: Doesn’t matter dada, you just have to give the guard some money.
OA: ?!?!! You can’t do that!
Bean: Yes dada, I’ve seen other parents do it. Listen to me and it will be okay.
Ah, my little UPwaali – she has corruption in her blood and very sharp eyes. To say nothing of my utter shock and horror at what she is picking up in school, no less.

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MM: Brat, CHEW your food.
Brat: I don’t need to. I am a Diplodocus. Now I have to swallow some stones and it will help the food get digested in my stomach.
Dear God, when will this Dinosaur craze end?

——————-

MM: Munch, I am going to sqooooze you and drink up all your juice.
Bean: I don’t have any juice. I am a human and I have only blood. If you drink that up, you will be a vampire.

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Bean: When you look in the mirror or water, you see your reflection.
MM: Clever girl, who taught you that?
Bean: Dada told me.
MM: And what does Mama tell you?
Bean: She only says ‘don’t do this and don’t do that.’

——————-

Bean: Mama, don’t say ‘crap’. It’s a bad word. If you say it again, then…then…
Me (menacingly): Then what? What will you do about it?
Bean (hastily): Then keep saying it. I don’t care!

I think the instinct of self preservation kicked in.

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MM flirting with OA in the car while imagining kids in the backseat are fast asleep: yaadda yaada yaada… who’s your momma?

Brat: Eh? What are you talking about Ma? Dadi is his mamma. You are the Bean and my mamma.

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Reason#6549 to have a daughter – The Bean watching me apply medicine on my acne, “Don’t do that Mama. Your spots are pretty. Will a zebra look nice without its stripes?”

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Bean: Mama, are these glasses very expensive?

MM: Yes, so please be very careful while drinking from them.

Bean: Yes, that is EXACTLY what I was about to tell you.

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The Brat has decided he is a new environment superhero. He wears a ring that makes plastic disappear, it has a button that brings rain and another that grows grass.

(1) Only the Brat could come up with something like this.

(2) I wish he was really that sort of a superhero!