This is what happens when the father comes home from work early and the family decides to have a conference. They have it upside down.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.
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!
…..that I’m going to keep it short.
Height of sibling rivalry: The Bean bawling loud and long, ‘But he just put a bandaid yesterday. Why doesn’t my turn ever come?’
Height of love for a grandparent: The Bean tells her father that she wants to shave her head. The OA asks why. The Bean responds, ‘Because I want to look like G’pa.’
Height of bargaining: The Brat asking for an extra hour of television, ‘Can I watch a cartoon? No? Animal Planet? No? Well, how about some news at least?’
It’s a strange world our kids inhabit where they know what a khurpi as well as a Kindle is. A couple of days into the iPad and they know what they’re doing with it. Clearly depriving them of technology all this while didn’t damage them permanently. I hide it away and they don’t miss it or even ask for it. Nice. Let’s see how long this lasts. Thankfully the Brat still asks for the garden from the old house and the Bean wants to go to school to water the seedling she planted before the summer holidays began.
The Brat waking a sleeping Bean: Ma, I’ll kiss her so that she wakes up smiling.
The Bean waking a sleeping Brat: Let’s rub some cake on his face, shall we?!
How I know the Brat is a bigger influence on the Bean than I am. The Bean tells me, ‘Ma, A said that she is a good girl and I am a gandi (bad) girl.
Me: What? I hope you told her that $%#^#%^
Bean: No, I told her that she is good, I am good, everyone is good.
Errr, yes. Clearly everyone but your mother, is good!
Cousin J to the energetic Bean bouncing off her jet-lagged grandfather’s prone form, ‘Bean, stop jumping on his bum, he’s your grandfather!
Bean – Because he is my grandfather I can jump on his bum if I want to.
Anyone care to argue that logic?
The doll G’pa and Nani gifted the Bean has taken over our home. I was handed the doll and told, “I’m going to office, you take care of my baby.” Ye Gods, is this what the future holds in store for me? Taking care of my grandchildren after rearing my own? What am I doing wrong?
Thankfully the maama (aka the Brat) came to the rescue and took the baby for a walk in the stroller so that I could go back to my excuse for a job.
The piece de resistance – A jet lagged Nani falls asleep mid-lullaby and the Brat nudges her awake and asks with deep concern – “Nani, are you buffering too?”
Yes, now you give the standing ovation you’ve been holding back
OK ALL. CLOSING COMMENTS. DO GO OVER TO THEMADMOMMA.IN AND READ AND COMMENT THERE.
It’s raining and the Brat is quietly looking out. Rain in the hills is always awe-inspiring. I ask him what is fascinating him and he says in an awed voice – The lightning scribbles.
After a while the Bean points out that it is no longer raining. Merely ‘grizzling’.
Dear God, please don’t let anyone correct them.
The Bean calls out to me – Mama, would you come and take a look at the size of this spider?!!!
I run down ready to whack the spider with something if she’s scared.
She’s crouched on her haunches, watching it weave a web.
“Shall I whack it?” I ask, brandishing a duster.
No, I want to keep it as a pet, like the fish in the bowl!!
Err.. okay then.
And that ladies and gentlemen is why in my otherwise spotless house we have a spider lazily sipping Long Island Tea.
The Bean draws a picture of the family. Brat, Mama and herself. I look at the family of three and ask – where is Dada?
She looks at me with a don’t-you-know-anything-at-all look on her face.
He’s in your stomach, of course!
Ye Gods and little fishes, I may not be a great teacher, but what the hell are they teaching her in school? Or should I just be hitting the gym?
The Brat drags all his toys to my bedroom while I’m working, not really noticing how much he’s bringing in.
Once he’s done, he looks around with genuine concern and disgust and says “Mama! What a mess your room is. Why don’t you tidy it up.”
Ask a dozen women what they look for in a man and 90% of them will list sense of humour as the most important.Funny though, I usually snap at the OA if his sense of humour gets in the way of a conversation. Everything is funny until you get married. Then you wonder if life played a joke on you.
Yennyway. This is not about the OA’s sense of humour that kills me. Literally. It is about the Brat’s sense of humour, or lack thereof. A few months ago the OA and I noticed that the Brat didn’t tell jokes or get jokes. Most other kids in that age group seemed to get it. And were cracking crude potty jokes but the light of our life seemed to find nothing funny about that joke that turned my stomach while the 6 year old narrated it.
I realised that the OA had noticed it too. Why didn’t our son get a joke? It wasn’t the end of the world, but as parents, it interested us. We really thought we were giving him a good childhood. So err.. why didn’t he laugh when he heard the punch line. And then being the person I am, I began to think about it. Was it a lack of vocabulary? Was it some sort of developmental delay? What is a joke? How do you know that it is funny? What makes a joke funny to some and not to others? What does it mean if you can’t see the funny side of something?
Fortunately we met an educator some days later and she gave us an interesting explanation, or atleast a theory. Jokes are funny because you expect it to go one way and then the punch line happens and it is completely unexpected and that is what is funny. Jokes get funnier and you understand them better and laugh harder as you grow older because you are more set in your ways and ideas and you have an expectation in your mind. It is only when you have an open mind, she mentioned, that you don’t find jokes funny. Now this is not meant to be taken literally. To expand on it, when the Brat hears a story, he has no expectation of how it is to end and he has no limits to what is possible. So even a joke with an outlandish ending, is possible in his little Calvin Hobbes world. He nods, takes the joke in his stride as food for thought and walks on.
It was an interesting theory. I am not sure if it is a valid theory but it made sense when explained that way. A few days ago the Brat came and sat in my lap and looked out of the window.
Oye, I said - must you land on my lap?
Yes, he nods seriously.
Why? I ask
Because its there, says he. Much like George Mallory.
Ha ha ha, I laughed, forgetting for a moment that he is a child and thinking – Kya chance pe dance kiya. Until I realised that he had said it in utter seriousness. And of course remembering that he was too young to even be aware of the quote.
Anyhow, I don’t know if this is good news or bad, but he is slowly beginning to see a joke. I have to admit, that while it turns him into a normal little boy, laughing at age appropriate potty jokes, it’s the end of yet another era, the passing of a milestone. He’s slowly losing the willing acceptance. The suspension of disbelief. The open mind that doesn’t second guess and innocently nods and believes. Gradually he is getting expectations, it is no longer open ended. I think I’ll miss my little boy so full of wonder.
PS: After I wrote this post I was chatting with the OA who smiled his OA smile and said, “You know he gets it from you, don’t you?”
I do? He does?
OA: I think he does. Aren’t you the one who still holds your breath each time the aeroplane takes off and wonders anew at how it can lift off and soar through the air? Aren’t you the one who always has 20 things to tell me even if you’ve been home all day? Aren’t you the one who is always full of little observations for your blog? The one who is happy over the funniest little occurrences?
And so I had three things to be happy about
- The son who is growing into the spitting image of his goodlooking father instead of average looking mother gets atleast something from his mother – a sense of wonder
- That apparently I have a sense of wonder that I have never realised
- That the banker husband who wouldn’t bother if I walked around the house with my head stuck up a turkey’s arse, has not only noticed something about me, but about my son too and has actually had the time to draw conclusions. 2011 might just be the year of miracles!