Category: humour

Candlelight dinners and other diversions

Candlelight dinners and other diversions

It’s that time of the year again when the twins start to dabble in all of their long-forgotten interests and hobbies. Nope, it isn’t vacation time – it’s exam time.

Remember this post I did last year?

Just as the exam dates drew close N decided she had to have a candle-light dinner…. at home, mercifully. She collected all the candles from around the house and lit them up, switched off all the lights and the three of us huddled around the dining table peering at our plates in semi-darkness.

If I ever complained that The Husband never asked me out for a candlelight dinner, this was the time to send out an apology. And a heartfelt thank-you to Thomas Edison. Seriously, candlelight dinners are over-rated. It’s worse if you’re in the middle of the monsoon season unless of course, you like your food seasoned with a bunch of fluttering moths.

So there I was, trying to figure out whether that black thing in my dal was a jeera or a keera, while thinking how soon I could get the children back to the study table without hurting N’s rather delicate feelings, which become even more fragile during exams.

H however, had no such compunctions. In true sibling tradition, he declared he hated the whole idea and went around the room switching on the lights while N ran after him switching them off. When I finally got them to sit down he resorted to saying things like, “I cannot see your Ffface’ and that he was too ‘Fffaar fffrom the light’ and that ‘we must never do this again in Fffture’ and kept blowing out the candles while N kept re-lighting them.

I gave up all hope of them studying that evening.

Then N decided she wanted to knit

For a long time she has been mildly fascinated with the idea of knitting. Now suddenly she wants knitting needles and also that I teach her how to go about it. I probably would have gone looking for the needles except I have no clue where to find them. Or for that matter how to teach her. Whoever knits these days?

.. and they’re ‘giffing’ 

I’m not sure that’s a real word but here’s how one goes about it – You pick a word or a phrase, couple it with an expression and repeat it over and over and over again till you drive everyone crazy. As if WhatsApp wasn’t bad enough I have real-life gifs walking around the house saying things like ‘Freedom, I want freedom!’

via GIPHY

..and they’re cooking up spells

They jump out from corners brandishing ‘wands’ and shouting out never-heard-before spells. ‘Magnifera Indica’ screams N and H replies with a ‘Triticum vulgare’, which sounded scarily like Valar Morghulis and I wondered where they’d heard that Game of Thrones line. As it turned out they were simply practicing scientific names of fruits and animals. Those  were mango and wheat respectively! Such a relief! Though the shouting still gets to me.

Finally, H decided he wanted to make comics

…to make science easy for other children,’ he said. All his comics have a rather grisly theme – an insectivorous plant-eating up an insect or a lion eating up a deer (I think) as part of a food chain. If he ever does want to take this up as a profession, he will certainly need an illustrator.

 

We’re at the fag end now and I’m hoping we’ll get through with my nerves intact. Keep the prayers coming.

 

Linking up with the Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge #writebravely #writetribeproblogger

Parents’ guide to basic vocabulary

Parents’ guide to basic vocabulary

Dear parents,

The other day I was at a programme put up by the children in school. By the end of it I found just three or four parents watching it with me. The rest had either walked out already or were milling around near the exit.

For some reason that got me all worked up. I thought it was rude and impertinent. This one is for the ‘walkouters’ – a basic vocabulary guide.

To begin with, there’s this word in the English Dictionary – ETIQUETTE. Here’s what it means, and I quote: the customary code of polite behaviour in society.

You understand that? Obviously not. Had you understood even the E of Etiquette you would have known that it is rude to get up and leave in the middle of a performance, however small, however informal, however inconsequential.

You might of course have urgent business to attend to, you’re an uber busy person I know, and you have the right to leave. However, in such a case you might want to sit at the back so you can leave UNOBTRUSIVELY – you do know what that means, right? Leave in a way that is not conspicuous. Got it?

So as I was saying, you might want to leave without disturbing the tiny handful who do know what etiquette is. It is only polite to show some CONSIDERATION, another word that’s strange to you I presume. It means kindness and thoughtful regard for others. You might like to exhibit some kindness towards this tiny lot by not stepping on their toes as you walk out gushing over the performance of the apple of your eye.

There does exist, of course, the possibility of sudden unforeseen and urgent business coming up. However, chances of such business cropping up right after your own child’s two bits are done is rather remote.

There’s another word that might interest you, called DECORUM. It means behaviour in keeping with good taste and propriety. You might want to understand that word because chances are the D word is among one of the things you hope your ward will learn at school. Well how about practicing it yourself first? Or is it, that once you’ve written out that fat fee cheque you think you are absolved of all responsibility of teaching anything at all to your child? Least of all by example?

He is watching you, and learning from you remember that. So, I suggest, when you set out from home bring along with you a bagfull of PATIENCE, that’s the capacity to accept or tolerate because, the thing is, when you are invited to watch a show at the children’s school, you are invited to watch the ENTIRE show – the complete show, you understand?

Oh we know you are busy people, the rest of us of course have nothing to do but if we sat through your child’s performance it is only fair, that you sit through that of ours, that’s called RECIPROCITYthe practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit. (Oh and by the way let me clarify that one of my child wasn’t in the show at all while the other one was done way before the end.)

If you cannot spare that one hour how about letting your ward perform exclusively for you right at home? That way there’s no trouble for anyone. Brilliant idea, eh? I knew you’d agree.

Lastly, you do have the option to simply BEG OFF the occasion which means to gain permission to be excused from. Do that. Don’t come. So that the rest of us can enjoy the programme in its entirety.

Thank you,

A jobless watcher of school programmes and maker of unnecessary lists.

 

Although its parents I’ve spoken of, we stumble upon such people almost every day. So tell me which are the ones that get your blood boiling?

 

I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa and Blogchatter.

***************

Linking up with Mackenzie at Reflections from Me

10 top gifts for new moms

10 top gifts for new moms

 Kreative Mommy Deepa asked us to list out ten gifts for new moms. Make it ‘fun and useful’ she said. So here it is, my list. A word of caution – these products have still to make their way from the realms of my brain to the inventors’ tables, so don’t go looking for them at stores just yet.

Crydecoder
Baby’s cry. They just cry. They cry for being fed and cry to be put to sleep. They cry to be held and they cry to be left alone (I had one of each kind and by the time I figured out which one wanted what I was a nervous wreck). The Crydecoder selects one of the 101 options on its dial and tells the mum exactly why the baby is crying.

Poopiesniffer

What’s the big deal with this one, you wonder? We have our noses, right? The thing is by the time the message gets to your nose it also permeates the room and gets to everyone in it. Imagine when that happens in the middle of dinner with guests. Well this gadget is equipped with odour detectors a million times more sensitive than your doggie’s nose and beeps out long before the message escapes the diaper. Trust me, the new mum needs this one.

Peepredictor

While on unsavoury topics I’ll get over with this one too. Without going into detail let me just say this gadget is designed for mums of boys. It will help a new mum predict which way the waters flow, so to say. And if you’re not fond of a sour warm spray on your face (Do NOT ask how I know that) I’d say you need this.

Time turner

We’ll borrow this one from Hermione. A new mum definitely needs more than 24 hours in her day. Gift her this and she’ll thank you forever.

Mumclone
Sometimes the time turner it just isn’t enough. Babies don’t grow up in a day and how long can mums do this back and forth? They’re only human. And so we have a – a Mumclone. It clones the mum to a baby-plus-one – One baby two mums, two babies three mums and so on. Get this and watch mum load lighten instantly.

Blinkamera
It’s not all bad you know, this being a new mum. There are compensations, lots of them. Your little one will give you plenty of heart stoppingly beautiful moments. That moment when he stares at you unblinkingly with a pensive expression on his face, the time he clasps your finger in his fist and refuse to let go, the time his tiny plump hands reaches out for you and oh when he decides to bare his gums in a toothless smile – that’s the time you’ll need the Blinkamera. This is a device that’ll click a picture with the blink of your eye and store that memory forever. The new mum doesn’t need to break the moment to rush for that physical camera – blink and click. Useful, isn’t it?

Breastmilk regulator
Now it flows now it doesn’t. Get this one and with the twist of a knob baby food is ready to be served or stored away.

Burpinducer
The twins’ Ped freaked me out with tales of babies who had choked because they hadn’t been burped properly. I spent entire nights roaming around with a fast asleep well-fed baby at my shoulder patting it on the back waiting for that burp. Yeah I’d have liked a burp inducer.

Tummytucker
So the baby is out in the world and you can’t wait to get back to your old self. Yet no matter how hard you exercise or how many crunches you put yourself through that tiny tummy bump refuses to go away. That’s where every new mum needs a tummy  tucker. Rub it on your tummy and watch it disappear. Nope you won’t find this one in the lingerie department. And No, don’t try it all over your body, it won’t work, just the baby bump.

Mumreassurer
She’s a new mum. She has tons of advice and just her gut instinct to guide her. So basically this Mumreassurer will tell her, as many times a day as she wants, that she’s doing the right thing. It comes with multiple settings. The first few days one can opt for hourly settings and then graduate to just one reassuring message a day. A must try.

Note: ‘Mum’ here denotes ‘primary care-giver’. Most products work just as well with dads or aunts. I said ‘most’.

So much for fanciful thoughts!
If you want to look up some real products for new mums do head over to  Kreative Mommy for her #MondayMommyMoments where fabulous mothers share useful practical ideas.
Kreativemommy.com
Supermom!

Supermom!

When that genetically mutated spider bit Peter Parker his (Parker’s obviously) life changed forever. Something similar happened to me when I had the twins.

At first they were rather inconspicuous, these special powers that came to me.

Before the twins I was pretty much a Kumbhakaran – that gentle giant blessed with a sleeping curse. I couldn’t function without my 8-9 hours everyday. With the arrival of the children I began waking up many times a night – on my own – sometimes to change nappies, to feed and burp and sometimes simply to run a finger under the twins’ noses reassuring myself that they were real living people. Just like that, I was rid of my addiction.

That was the beginning.

As they grew my powers only increased. Like Parker I discovered in myself super strength and agility.

If he had superhuman reflexes that let him scale walls and fly over traffic to save people, I could sprint, do a back flip and dive right in just as one of the twins fell off the sofa.

If he was strong enough to stop a running train, I could stop a running cycle….  make that two running cycles, before they hurtled into simultaneous twin accidents.

If he could spin a web fine as silk and strong as steel, I could spin tales so intricate so elaborate, as to keep two hyper active minds quiet for hours on end.

As the teens approach my superpowers seem to be growing.

My memory might have gone on leave but my senses, By God, they’re in an overdrive. Just like Parker, I find my eyesight sharper, my hearing more acute and my sense of smell can rival that of a sniffer bomb squad dog.

Is that a scream of laughter or distress – I can tell without going into the room. Was the food found under our apartment window dumped by the twins or was it the old man on the floor below our’s – I’d know. (It was the old man, in case you were wondering). Is it an upset tummy or experiments with my makeup kit that was keeping them for hours in the washroom – I can always tell.

I can look through closed doors, listen to merest whispers and smell out secrets.
I successfully busted hair-trimming sessions before the twins had shorn each other off.
I put an end to ice-cream smuggling no matter how soundlessly the freezer door was opened.
I smell burning cookies and douse the flames before they take the house down.
One time I even staved off floods when the twins turned on the taps and blocked the drains to make a swimming pool in the washroom.

As I sit here with a self-satisfied smile writing this self-congratulatory piece I find my mom-senses tingling already. Got to go folks, time to spin another web and reel them in.

Linking up with

Mackenzie at Reflections from Me

Also joining Deepa at  Kreative Mommy for #MondayMommyMoments.
Kreativemommy.com
How to snatch a siesta from the jaws of 4-yr-olds

How to snatch a siesta from the jaws of 4-yr-olds

Long ago when I was in school I read a piece about a dad who
devised games to ensure he got his forty winks each afternoon. I have no clue
why it stayed with me. Perhaps God was preparing me for the twins even when I
was a carefree teen. Faced with long summer afternoons when I couldn’t keep my
eyes open unless I stuck my lids to my brows while the twins bubbled with
unfathomable energy I came up with my own games to keep them busy while I caught my nap. 

Read on and you might find something you can use.

 1. You Lilliputians me Gulliver
So
Gulliver is washed up from the ocean and lies sprawled on the shore (that’s you on
your cool bedroom floor). The Lilliputians (that’s the twins) busy themselves tying him up to sofa
and table legs, making speeches (Who is this giant? Where did he come from?)
and organizing meetings (What should be done with him? How shall we feed him).
And you get your siesta.


2. You Ram/Raavan me Kumbhakaran
Ram
might have come to Sita’s rescue in this classic Indian tale but it was
Kumbhakaran who will come to yours. What’s not to like in a giant who got to
sleep six months a year, ate for the other six and threw in a punch or two
when required? While the kids fight it out as Ram or Raavan you catch your forty
winks. Let the drums beat on and the trumpets be blown, Kumbhakaran shall sleep on.
The nose ticking can get to you once in a while otherwise life’s good. If your
child is anything like my H he’s sorted for Raavan. The other can choose between
the righteous Ram or the tragic Sita.


3. You Prince Charming me Sleeping Beauty
You
of course are the sleeping beauty (whether you’re a mom or a dad is quite immaterial).
Your child is Prince Charming hacking and fighting his way desperately through
the enchanted forest to save you, while you hope and pray he takes his time.
The
other twin poses a bit of a problem. If she is like N she might fancy herself the
princess. All you have to do then, is to convince her that the role offers no chance to show
off her acting prowess (yeah, we parents are creative). And so she shall become
the evil fairy slyly putting obstacles in the noble prince’s path. The prince
is delayed (Yay!) and both are occupied (Double Yay!).


4. You the parlour help me a customer
Set
out interesting looking paraphernalia – a bottle of spray filled with imaginary
water, (there’s nothing worse than being shocked out of a blissful sleep with a
cold spray of water while you’re probably dreaming of deep unending sleep),
some bowls with tiny bits of cream (hand them over the bottle and rest assured
they’ll empty it out) and some slices of cucumber. Find a soft sofa or bed,
close your eyes and bliss out.

Caution:
Don’t let small things like spilt water or half eaten cucumber slices faze you
– you did get your siesta, didn’t you?


5. You captor/saviour me the hostage
This classic game was absolutely designed for parents. One of the kids is your
evil captor and the other your noble savior. Give them soft bits of twine (Stoles,
scarves and dupattas work best) and let them tie you up – make sure you’re
comfortable. Let them drag you to a deep dark cave (essentially your bedroom,
with the curtains drawn and lights switched off). Let them fight it out then
while you sneak in your catnap.

PS: Don’t let gender issues put you off. If you’re ready to play Gulliver/Sleeping Beauty your son/daughter will be Prince or Sita or Raavan happily. Kids have incredible imaginations. And it’s a good place to begin smashing the stereotypes, what say? The siesta is the icing, or was it the cake to begin with?

Happy Napping folks!

This one is done for the prompt ‘How to…’ given by the the wonderful folks at Marathon Bloggers.

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