Category: Rant

Wet towels and crazy mornings #momdialogues

Wet towels and crazy mornings #momdialogues

Cool Mom: Is leaving a wet towel on the bed reason enough to spoil everyone’s morning, and that includes yours more than anyone else’s?

Agitated Mom: It’s not just the towel and you know that. It’s ‘put away your plates after breakfast’, ‘put cream’, ‘pick up your jacket from the floor’, ‘take your tiffin’, ‘put in your bottles’ and on and on endlessly. To have to remind them every single day for every single task is just crazy. That towel was just the last straw. Besides, who does it if they don’t? I, right? That’s how I’ll be spending my entire day – cleaning up after them. What’s even more ironical I’ll also have people saying, ‘What do you do all day?’ The kids are grown up now.’ Hah! Grown up!!!

CM: Sigh! Such a long tirade! You could simply leave the towel on the bed.
AM: What?? Just leave it? So the bed and the towel become wet and stinky?
CM: Yeah well it’s the kids’ beds. They have to sleep in them. Let then sleep with the stink. That’ll remind them to put out the towels next time round.
AM: And what if they don’t? What if they don’t mind it at all? What if they get used to it? How hygienic is that? And what kind of a life-long habit am I helping them form?
CM: I’ll repeat – choose your battles. Choose your timing. The other option is of course to lose your patience, to give them an earful and then feel lousy all day long. As for life-long habits – they have time yet to pick them up. You want the kids to look back on their school days and remember only crazy mornings?
AM: No obviously not.
CM: The trouble is not with telling them to do stuff, the trouble is with you losing your cool when you do so. So how about playing some peaceful music, taking up your cup of tea and thinking happy thoughts – like the time N made you tea, remember? They do some good too. Oh and don’t forget to put yourself on repeat mode till they learn to finish their tasks, okay? It’s just one crazy hour, after all.

Picture Credit: Pixabay

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This isn’t the first time I have had multiple mums fighting it out in my head. You can read about other mommy wars herehere and here.

Sweet memories and some thoughts

Sweet memories and some thoughts

Mel from Stirrup Queens has invited us today to share a memory of our favourite childhood candy and I realised I had more than one. Don’t worry, though, I promise not to get carried away.

To begin with there were these phantom cigarette candies. I shared this on Facebook sometime back and heard from many many friends saying how they missed them just like me. These had a texture quite like chalk and were sweet enough to put you off sweets for a long time, or so I thought when I recently sampled them again. I’d thought they were dead and gone till one day I got a call on the intercom from my 9 year old asking permission for a cigarette that his friends were offering. I completely freaked and asked him to come right home. And this is what he got. It brought back many many fun memories. When we were young, we would put them to our lips and pretend to blow out ‘smoke’ during the cold Lucknow winters. 

I also remember a ‘sweet man’ who was quite a favourite with all of us. He’d stand outside our school with a huge box, which he hung from his neck, stacked with all kinds of sweets. My favourites were these tiny pink rose flavoured sweets that I cannot remember the name of. They came in a peppermint flavour too but the rose were my favourite. I remember the fragrance more that the flavour. Regrettably, I have never found them again.

Those were certainly simpler times. Sweets back then were simply an occasional indulgence, nothing more. They didn’t need to boast of additional benefits. Have you noticed how these days they come ‘packed with energy boosters’ or ‘fortified with glucose’?

And so each time our child has a meltdown and we reach out for a sweet to pacify our sad or angry toddler we can tell ourselves, “Wow I avoided a tantrum and I gave him an energy boost!” A win-win situation, right? And it’s way easier than helping him work out strategies to cope with his anger/grief. Advertisers have certainly made the whole exercise guilt-free.

Okay I’m over analysing this whole thing but I do have a lot of issues with sweets and the way they are marketed. For instance, have you seen how Kinder Joy comes in a boy version and a girl version?? I mean, must sweets (and toys and books and everything else) also have a gender now?

Despite all the advertising hoo-haa I wonder if my kids will remember them with as much affection and nostalgia as I remember my phantom cigarettes.

Linking to Mel’s #Microblog Mondays .

A rant

A rant

Do you have days when nothing seems to be coming together? When you wake up each morning with a fresh resolve for a cheerful day and watch the resolve done and dead within a few hours? When the kids just won’t stop whining? When every interaction with them is a struggle? When, just as you fix one situation, another one is upon you? 

It’s been a bit like that over the last week or two. The twins have been down with a bunch of real and imagined ailments. That I am not able to figure out which is which is driving me crazy.

First H complained of throat pain. Over the evening it escalated, and by night time he was wringing his hands and crying out each time he swallowed. After a panicked phone call to my doctor SIL I rushed out to buy medicine. As I got back I heard him singing, yes singing out loud, loud enough to be heard outside the house. And it has returned each night – the hand wringing and the moaning hasn’t stopped despite my threats and pleadings. 

Then it was N’s turn. She complained of a headache. Do kids have headaches? Anyway, since she rarely falls ill, I assumed she just wanted a day at home (since H had called in sick a few days back) and I went along with it. She stayed home, read, drew, coloured, crafted and cycled through the day and seemed all fine till evening. And then the ‘ache’ was back moving to her stomach accompanied with ‘nausea’ (‘every time I eat I feel like puking’) and loss of appetite. Back I was to the SIL wondering if the vague symptoms indicated jaundice till I ruled it out.

That’s how it’s been between the two of them.

Do I sound over-anxious? Yeah, I do, even to myself. But at that point their illnesses seem very real and very worrisome. I wonder if kids have any clue how their vague and casual complaints leave mums stressed.

And then there are mosquitoes….

Many nights in a row H has been waking me up because he hears a ‘buzz’. He’s mortally scared of mosquitoes – scared, not annoyed like the rest of us. I’ve tried everything – from repellent gadgets to creams. He has always been a mosquito magnet but I’m beginning to think the buzz is more in his head than anywhere else. Each night he walks into my room at ungodly hours, shutting doors and windows till I suffocate, screaming if he hears a buzz and then falling asleep leaving me waiting for the alarm so I can get on with my day. 

Mornings find me irritable with a body ache that refuses to go. I am unable to go to the gym which means hanging out at home feeling horribly fat and cranky (Ugh!). I resent every phone call, every knock at the door, even the maid – anything that comes between me and my shut eye, which just doesn’t happen. It’s a bit like I was back to their baby years with the sleep starvation.

I’ve been wondering if it’s that’s what making me over-anxious. After all the kids couldn’t have changed overnight. I should be used to their myriad illnesses.  I AM used to them. I could always figure out the real from the fake. Now I just cannot seem to.

This is unusual too – this rant. I do not usually rant unless I have a physical person sitting in front of me – when I bug the h*** out of them – someone from my list of ‘privileged’ few :-). Unfortunately  that hasn’t been possible and you have had to bear the brunt of it. 

On a positive note the discovery of the day has been that a good bath seems to wash away a lot of my crabbiness. Highly recommended for bad days when everything seems to be going wrong. That and a change in schedule seems to make me feel better.

As a new week comes up I have my fingers crossed.

Of Navaratri and Kanjak puja

Of Navaratri and Kanjak puja

NOTE: Long post alert.

N’s been out since 8.30 in the morning and I’ve no clue where she is. I’ve made two trips down scouring the society (and it’s not even such a large one) with no luck. I’ve now sent down H to look for her. Gawd I’m so angry!!

But let me begin at the beginning…
Today is Ashtami – the eighth day of Navaratri. A lot of North Indians celebrate Kanjak Puja today and tomorrow. The standard thing is to invite seven girls, feed them and give them a small gift. The menu is simple enough – a standard – Suji Halwa, Puri and black chanas. It has remained unchanged over years, for that I’m grateful. The gift – which used to be a fruit or a rupee has changed, however.. into Rs 101, a chocolate, a box of sketch pens or a tiffin box. I’m afraid it’s going the return gift way. Anyway that’s another rant.

The thing is there aren’t enough girls in the society to go around. So the same girls end up going to many homes. While some people take the trouble to call and invite, the others simply watch out for the girls and ‘kidnap’ the entire group. I understand it’s not easy for the girls to say no – one, because they’re their friends’ mums who they see almost every day and two, (and I’m not being mean spirited.. just truthful) there’s the lure of the gift. They might have a hundred sets of sketch pens lying at home but they will still go that house for another one.

What’s worse, some women fast till the girls have eaten. So while these girls are traipsing around.. the ones who’ve set a schedule and invited them are waiting.. hungry .. sometimes till afternoon. How unfair is that!

Then there’s the food wastage…
They cannot possibly eat at each house – with each of the hosts trying to fill the girls up to capacity. As a result they simply carry the food home. I’m a bit confused what is to be done with it. Is she supposed to eat it through the day? Can it be given away? Can anyone eat it? Since it’s food made for puja I can imagine how much trouble would have gone into it. I well know how tough it would be to make time to get it all ready in the morning. So what do I do with the food? As of now I have some 20 puris and a big box full of chana and halwa.

Wouldn’t it be better to give it away to someone who really needs it? How about taking a round in the car and handing it out to roadside beggars? Apparently the ones at the temples are so full they just want money not food. How much can even they eat in a day? Of course that’s just a thought. It’s to do with people’s faith and coming from someone who’s barely ritualistic it makes little sense. However something better can surely done with all that food.

Keep me informed..
The second thing that bothered me .. was N going to someones home without informing me. It bothers me if I do not know where the kids are, even if they’re at a friend’s house. It’s a habit that, I hope, will stand H and N in good stead when they grow up – ‘Inform me (or The Husband) where you are at all times’. Is that too autocratic? I don’t know.. but it’s a rule more lenient than my mums – ‘Ask me before you go anywhere.’

Saying No
N needs to learn to say ‘NO’ (don’t we all?). It’s easy to get carried away when in a group. And that perhaps is the time when one needs to say ‘No’. It’s easy to think ‘her mom doesn’t mind and she’s my mom’s friend so my mom won’t mind either’. Not true at all.

I do not want to take away the pleasure from the festival. I have sweet memories of it and I want N to have them too but not at the cost of larger issues.

A ‘scarepigeon’

A ‘scarepigeon’

Some time back I was reading this post at momofrs’ and it so resonated with me I thought I must do one of my own on pigeons. Actually I too have nothing against these bird brained birds. I totally respect their freedom to fly where they want, sit where they want and poop where they want. What I do mind is that they do not respect the ‘Your freedom ends when my nose begins’ thing. An open window is enough invitation. Try to shoo them out and they panic crazily enough to make you panic too. They then lose all sense of direction, get totally lost and proceed to mess up your entire room.


What’s more they walk all over the balcony, hop into freshly watered pots, then leave messy footprints everywhere. They feed on your fast depleting Tulsi plant and denude it by carrying away twigs leaving one to stare at empty planters. A sad task for someone already cursed with a black thumb.

Then they go and lay eggs with abandon and if you as much as go near them while clearing up the balcony they never come back. Then you have to deal with the maid’s accusing glances for ages for having murdered those baby pigeons, which BTW are called ‘squabs’. Plus you have to deal with the ‘paap’ of having a wrecked a family and NO you do not get to share the blame with the squabs’ parents who are brave enough to come mess your balcony the very same day yet don’t spare a thought for their abandoned progeny. Nope they’re not responsible.. you are. Oh the unfairness of it all!!

Anyway, the other day I was complaining yet again and the kids decided to make a scarecrow…um.. ‘scarepigeon’.

Two sticks were sourced from the garden, tied
together and a paper face cut out

Hrit spared an old shirt and the man’s ready to
guard my Tulsi plant. BTW he’s holding a sword.
Dare you come now pigeons!!

 Wierd as it looks it served it’s purpose… the pigeons are keeping their distance.