Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Daddy, My Hero. For Peanut. Apparently.

I read a notice yesterday in Peanut's diary from school that said she had to dress up as a family member who inspires her, and that she had chosen her Father.

I was a little hurt, but asked nonchalantly 'Peanut, why didn't you want to dress up as Mama?'

She thought about this for a minute before she answered, and as she spoke, her agitation became clear 'Mama! How can I dress up as you and Daddy both? I am only ONE child', she said, holding out one finger at me to make her point.

I hastened to clarify 'No, Peanut. I meant...why did you choose Daddy and NOT Mama?'

'Oh' She said, dismissively 'Because you always scold me and Daddy doesn't scold me'.

I felt very bad about this but decided not to pursue the matter further. It's true that I've been scolding her of late. Even though things have improved drastically in the last month, the child ungratefully refuses to pick up on it. No matter, I think, and I browse the diary further. 'Oh it says you have to choose a thing that Daddy says a lot. What will you say?'

Pat came the answer ' Peanut, eat your food right now or you will get a smack-y!'

Oh Dear, Dear.

Eventually, the line she chose was ' Peanut, give me a huggy and a kissy. I'm going to Bombay'. But she also chose an extra line 'Peanut, don't sulk and fuss, just eat your food now'. She seems hell-bent on making her point about the food issue.

She wanted to wear Vijay's T-shirt, but he convinced her that dressing 'like him' didn't mean dressing in his clothes. She instead wore jeans and a grey boyish T-shirt. I tried to do her hair, sweeping it along her forehead like his, but she took one look at it and refused to go out like that.

I can't believe this child has grown up so much, so quickly.

Two more to go!

And hopefully at least one of the twins will want to dress up like me in about 3 years. Yes, there's always hope!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Till Death Do Us Part, Stupid

Imagine if you will, a Vijay who is leaving for Bombay for a major presentation. Unlike his usual calm, unruffled self, he has been a little agitated about the presentation, and I have been trying to calm him down.

His flight is at 9.30 a.m. and he knocks on the bathroom door at about 7.30 a.m. as I am bathing along with Peanut. He enters, picks up his shaving kit and then says Bye. I have soap in my eyes, but I want to give him a final parting shot, and decide to make it a joke.

'Don't worry, honey. Just day we're all going to die! So the presentation doesn't really matter'.

There is a snort of laughter from outside, which almost drowns out the sound of the little gasp from somewhere near my soapy knee.

I look down and see Peanut staring up at me in horror 'Mama! You said we're all going to die!'

I panic, afraid that I have scarred my four year old for life. I had totally forgotten about her.

'No, no, beta. WE are not going to's just that....'

'But you SAID it. You said we're all going to DIE...'

'No, no...what I meant was...see...'

Meanwhile, there is snorting of laughter from outside, this time with a lot more real humor in it.

And THAT, my friends, is bad parenting. Exhibit 17 a. Sigh.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Y Thought For the Day: Smoke Break

It's interesting to go out for a smoke break with two of the guys at work, even though you don't really smoke.

One of them - let's call him S, is trying to quit and is carrying that cool electronic cigarette that is mint-flavored and blows fake smoke. The other A ( of previous foot-in-mouth fame) is not trying to quit.

Post lunch, I am for some reason carrying some fruit I do not want any more, and ask A to hold it for me. I take a drag from A's cigarette just as two other smoking strangers walk out into the stairwell. They are not used to my presence, but are familiar with the other two.

One of the guys asks S for a light.

S tries to oblige, bending forward to light up the other guys' cigarette, but then realizes that his fake electronic cigarette is not up to the task. It's a bit of a foolish thing to do, but it's funny.

They laugh a bit, and then S indicates that A should light the man's cigarette.

That's when they all look at the fruit item between A's fingers, balanced delicately exactly as if it were a cigarette that he's been nursing.

A sputters and tries to explain as they all look at him askance, and tries to disown the banana.

But it's too late.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Y's Thought For the Day

It's fun hearing the guys at work describe a poker session they had without you last week; and then asking them sincere questions about it, only spontaneously adding the word 'strip' ahead of the 'poker' ; and then watching them look askance at each other and sputter in righteous indignation about how it was ONLY poker.

Note: I have decided to regale you all with little pearls of Y-dom from now on. I will make up in frequency what I lack in depth. It's kind of like micro-blogging. It's also kind of like laziness. Rejoice!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Unforgivable Boo-boo

There's a young man in my office. For the sake of anonymity, let's just call him - oh, I don't know, A.

A is a simple young man who sometimes says very dumb things.

Over the lunch table yesterday, we were having a random discussion, and the topic somehow came to how one particular person - (let's call him X, just for variety) - has joined the gym at the Office just to be close to and impress one other gym goer ( let's call her Gamma, for some more variety).

We were all laughing at X for being so obvious about his crush on Gamma, when it came to light that quite a few people have a crush on Gamma, and that she is considered to be what some might term 'Hot Stuff' amongst the males in the Office.

A looks up at this point and says to me 'You think she's hot?'

'Me?' I am surprised that this question is directed at me 'I guess she's kind of pretty, sure'.

A makes a scornful face and says 'I hardly think so. But these guys are desperate to find some goodlooking girl in office. I suppose it's a case of 'Andho mein Kaana Raja'. And...'

He stops when he sees me staring at him.

He starts to explain 'Andho mein Kaana Raja, Y, means that...'

I snap at him 'I KNOW what it means. And you just insulted every girl in the office. Zee!!' I turn to the nearest female member of my team 'Did you hear what he just said? Andho mein Kaana Raaja! He thinks we're all UGLY'

A panics when he sees that several women have stopped chewing their food and gossiping to direct malignant stares at him 'No, NO. That's not what I meant! I know...' He gives up and gawks helplessly for a while, a pleading look in his eyes.

It is the sort of look that clearly says 'Oh dear Mother Earth, please open up and swallow me now'.

I give him my most dangerous narrow eyed look until he blubbers and comes up with ' What I meant to say was...Andho mein Kaana in the plural!'

'WHAT?' Zee and me say together. 'What does that even mean'.

'As in' A gains confidence ' YOU guys also fall in that it's not her's the lot of you, really'.

We are mollified for only about a millionth of a second, until we figure out what has just been said to us.

Cries break out of ...'That's an even BIGGER insult! You're saying that WE are Kaana Rajas?'....'So net-net, only if someone is desperate, they will find us good-looking?'

Someone ( male) pipes in merrily with 'One eyed beauties, eh, A?' while the rest of us carry on haranguing the young man who already looks distinctly older, if not wiser.

I promise A that I will post about this little faux-pas.

I will now go and explain it to him. 'Faux-pas, A, means a little bit of an oopsy...'

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Physicality Of It All

...days like these when I am just so tired, I'm not really thinking, but just registering the physicality of it all.
The pushing myself up eleven flights of stairs out of sheer habit and the knowledge it's the only exercise I'll get today.
The hot coffee that practically burns my tongue but props me up for the first few hours of the day. The aching muscles in my neck and shoulders, and the exhaustion that creeps in after lunch hour, reminding me again of the fact that I'm sleeping far less than I should be.
And then the dizzy spell that hits me as I'm climbing up the steps to my home towards my kids.
The way that the kids crowd around my legs - the twins insisting upon being carried, an impossible task beyond a few seconds.
I feed them one by one - Pickle bites me viciously and I cry out in pain. He thinks it's funny and breaks into impossibly cute peals of laughter. He bites me again.
And eventually I give up and lie down on the floor in surrender. Peanut takes the opportunity to come and lie down next to me, and starts imitating the twins. Blowing raspberries on my tummy. She thinks it's funny. After about the twentieth time, I'm not laughing, but she doesn't stop. She pokes my belly-button and tells me that I'm 'the best'.
Pickle and Papad take the opportunity to fall on top of me repeatedly, almost banging their heads against each other every few minutes. Despite how tired I am, I try to energize myself with a few floor exercises - leg lifts and some Yoga. The leg lifts, they do not appreciate, and push my legs down whenever I lift them. I turn around to lie flat on my tummy and try the Bhujangasana, but Papad takes great offense to this pose, and starts to pull my hair. He does it so hard that tears come into my eyes, but I'm too tired to actually get up. I try in vain to do a few more exercises, but none of it works.
As they fall on me, twisting their limbs uncaringly, trusting that I will somehow catch them in the nick of time and save them from hitting their heads on the floor -which somehow, with some motherly instinct, I do each time - I can feel their smooth cheeks, their soft hair, and smell their sweet baby breaths.
I watch as they momentarily lose interest in me and climb the sofas, climb the chairs, climb the railings, attempt to electrocute themselves by sticking their fingers into sockets, open cupboards to take out and eat CDs, throw their toys on the floor, fight over balls and bottles, hit each other with their plastic bats, pull each others' hair - while Peanut perches on the dining table like a little Princess and does her drawings. I am still exhausted, lying prone on the floor, and my two maids leap into action, saving the twins from each other and themselves. I thank my lucky stars again that I have such help, but feel really sorry because I realise how tired they must be after a full day of this, and I feel bad that I'm so tired myself that I'm really unable to help out just now. I feel so sick and I wish Vijay wasn't so late coming home today. Two hours have already passed by now, and it's been a crazy, impossible, fun and exhausting two hours with three children.

I wonder how long I'm going to be able to keep this up. Perhaps it's the fact that I am no longer as young as I used to be - after all, I'm in my thirties now. But between work, the children, and lack of sleep, it all feels like it's a little too much and I am very very grateful for the fact that there is a two day weekend coming up. Heavenly. My entire body already aches for the extra sleep that the Saturday and Sunday will bring.

And then the bell rings, interrupting my contemplative reverie. All three children promptly run towards the door and in walks my six feet two Vijay. It is eight p.m. and the two of us stare at each other - he grins at me but I am not amused by his lateness and have no sympathy for his extended meeting. The twins are now crowded around his long legs and he picks up Papad. Pickle does not like this and makes his protests heard until my maid picks him and places him on Vijay's other arm. He stands there like that with his two sons, grinning in pure delight - all three of them have identical smiles on their faces and the sight of my many, many men makes my heart lurch a bit.

And then, Papad gives him a resounding slap on the face, stunning him. Pickle follows suit and Vijay is shouting, and trying to get the two of them to stop, but their new game is amusing them immensely and they repeatedly slap him. Peanut is trying to show him her drawing, unmindful of the fact that he is getting assaulted, and when he is unable to respond to her, she loses her temper herself and starts to pummel at him - unfortunately for him, her height and skinny long arms are positioned for most of these blows to land upon his crotch and he dances around like a giraffe under attack, shouting 'Help, help' as all three children do their best to smack him silly.

I hear a loud, throaty laugh pealing through the room and it takes me a moment to realize that it's me, giggling uncontrollably through all the exhaustion and dizziness at the sight of my husband and children like this. I laugh long and hard for the next few minutes, feeling better and more energized than I have the whole day.

Yes, it's kind of funny when you're not the one being mauled.

Welcome Home, Honey.