With the househelp issues in Gurgaon, the OA and I are doing dishes, washing clothes, sweeping, scrubbing kitchen cabinets and what not. All this along with our dayjobs and child rearing and socialising. And this is not a good time for anyone to idiotically mention what they do in the West because I swear I’ll rip you to pieces and feed you to vultures.
As a result we’re short on patience and time and temper. We’re also having a huge problem now that we live in a complex and kids keep dropping in to play. Toys are scattered all over the nursery and the house. The Brat and Bean are regular babies who scatter toys around the house, yes, but this is unbelievable. So here is question number one, wise internets – How do I tell other children that they have to put back stuff they pull out? Even though they come with maids, they walk away leaving the nursery looking like a battlefield. Is it rude and unhostessly?
Anyway, so while the Brat and Bean are mostly cooperative in putting their toys away unlike most of our little sahibs and memsahibs who are used to maids cleaning up behind them, there are off days too. This morning the OA and I cleaned up the entire house and came back to flop onto our bed, only to realise it was covered with toys. The OA told the kids to clear up and the Brat who was caught deep in prehistoric times, couldn’t snap out of his time warp and get back to 2010.
He refused to take his stuff away in spite of many warnings and finally the OA swept everything into two little baskets and told them it would go into the dustbin if it wasn’t taken back to the nursery. The Bean grabbed one and but the Brat’s legendary Taurean stubbornness struck and he refused to budge. I was loathe to interfere so I just watched. The Bean who was struggling to carry one, tried to take the other too, but the patient OA snapped too. No – the Brat must carry his share of stuff, failing which it would go in the dustbin. I don’t really blame the OA. I don’t know any other I-bankers in India who work the hours he works and then come back to housework and childcare and tension. This was a situation waiting to explode.
Two minutes of father and son staring each other down and then the OA took the stuff and dumped it in a dustbin. Higgledy piggledy, Bean’s Dora binoculars and a bunch of little elephant pictures too went in. The Bean crying that it was her stuff. The father firm that it didn’t matter. And the Brat watching with teary eyes but refusing to budge. I tried to reason with him, then drag him after his father to rescue the basket, but he stubbornly curled his fingers into little fists and refused to hold the basket. I gave up. He’s walked out of our room. The toys are in the bin and will stay there until the garbage guy comes tomorrow. I wonder whether he’ll bend and come and rescue them or not…