Tag: Holidays

Of travel plans and travel anxiety

Of travel plans and travel anxiety

Its the summer break and that means my presence here at the blog shall become sporadic. As we ready ourselves to set off on our travels I am consumed with a bad case of travel anxiety. 

What if the taxi gets a flat tyre?
What if I miss the flight?
Did I miss packing anything?
What if my baggage is overweight?
What if I misplace my baggage?
What if I forget the ticket, the id?
What if I am not at the correct terminal?
What happens when I get there?
What if I don’t find a cab?

It’s endless… this list of tiny worries.

Without even being aware of it consciously, they nag at me for days before I set off. That, when I’ve been travelling on my own for over two decades. It makes me irritable and more likely to snap at the kids, not that they aren’t doing enough to drive me up the wall anyway. It wasn’t half as bad when I travelled alone, having responsibility of the twins just makes it worse.

I’ve tried imagining the worse case scenario and that isn’t scary at all yet the anxiety refuses to go.

I’m hoping putting this down here would make me see how irrational it is. 

Do you worry when you travel?

Mommy wars

Mommy wars

The holidays have begun. Yay! Freedom from the early morning rush, the tussle over breakfast, the struggle with homework, the hurry-hurry-hurry. We intend to sleep in, go for long walks, cook and craft and read and watch films together.

This academic year has been exceptionally hard on all of us and I’ve done more than my share of yelling. Now’s the time to make up for all of that. Everything else will wait now – work, freelancing, even blogging to some extent – everything. I intend to be the funnest mama ever this summer – no rules, no yelling.

However, day one of the holidays and I am already wondering if that is even possible. I have a bunch of mums living inside me counselling and debating and struggling to assert themselves. They all have different takes on how I should handle the kids. I wrote earlier about the struggle between Sane Mum and Mushy Mum here. This time round it’s the Fun Mum (the one who believes kids should just have fun) and the Evil Mum (the strict disciplinarian) fighting it out. If you would ever stumble upon them you might hear a conversation such as this one…

Fun Mum: Yay holidays! Disappear now, will you?
Evil Mum: Noooo you don’t mean that.
FM: Of course I mean it. I love my babies, I intend to show them just how much. We’re going to have fun together.
EM (stubbornly): Well, they’re my babies too and I love them, perhaps more than you. You’ll spoil them silly. I’m the one who looks out for them. I’m not leaving.
FM: They deserve to be spoiled once in a while. It’s the holidays for goodness sake. You’ve done your thing. Your time’s up. See you in June.
EM: I thought you’d planned to help them catch up with their studies during summer.
FM: I do remember very well, thank you. And we SHALL do that but in a FUN way. No slogging, no yelling. Leave now, please.

EM (A trifle slyly): You sure you won’t need me? Two months is a long time.

FM: Sure, certain, positive.
EM (Pretending to leave): Well then perhaps I’ll take a holiday. God knows I need it. By the way I do hope you have a plan on how you’ll handle the endless TV watching, the iPad madness, the bickering and the fighting, the refusal to switch off the light at night. I’m sure you have a FUN plan. Goodluck. Ciao.
FM (Flustered): Err umm.. wait on, will you.
EM: Let me see.. Mussourie sounds good this summer or should I head South?
FM: Hey wait, maybe you can hang on at the fringes and show up just once in a while?
EM: What? You requesting me to stay? Sure, certain, positive?
FM (Petulantly): ALL RIGHT I’m sorry. Guess we can’t really do without you. But stay out of sight. I’ll call you when I need you.
EM: Works for me. (Linking hands with FM) We make the perfect couple, you and I.
FM (Agreeing reluctantly): I guess so. They do need us both.

Edited to add: As it turned out the kids fell ill right on day 1. Both EM and FM have retired to some sorry corner to wait out their turn while Mushy Mum and Fussy Mum have taken over completely.

Dancing shoes for everyone please!

Dancing shoes for everyone please!

Last year, much against our wishes, we bought H a Play Station (after daring him to an almost impossibly consistent score in his spelling tests which he went to achieve, to our complete shock).

With strict rules in place – that he’d play only on weekends and only within specified time slots and not at the cost of outdoor play or studies – we left him to it. However we still weren’t too happy with the games he played. He enjoyed some WWE kind of fight moves, which he proceeded to try out on N.

A friend

Then H found a new friend, A, with an X Box and a passion for dancing and he got hooked. They’d spend hours together before his XBox copying the moves.

During Christmas…

..holidays we had a family get together. With the oldest cousin at 15 years and the twins at 8, they found they had little in common. There were days when we stumbled upon them all sitting together busy with tabs, computers, iPods and the television with zero interaction among themselves. 

The sight was depressing to say the least. 
Come New Years Eve we decided to have a ‘talent show’. And H showcased his dancing skills. He’s quite bad actually, but hours of practice, simple steps and groovy music made the difference and before we knew it all the kids had joined in one by one and were dancing together.

And then they were dancing

Since then the PS3 has been put to such good use. What’s more, you don’t even need a PS3 or an XBox. Our oldest one, the family techie, hooked up the laptop to the television, tuned into YouTube and the kids had a wealth of dance videos to follow. It was such happiness to watch them – the good and the bad, the shy and the uncoordinated … all together. Once H’s glasses went flying off but he didn’t pause to pick them up continuing to squint at the screen yet dancing away. What a sight it was!

We were pretty happy because…

The kids were all having fun in a good, healthy way.
They kept busy.
They had some great exercise.
They kept away from tabs and laptops.
And they bonded.. Wonderfully.

If you’re fed up of your children playing mindless games on the PS3 or the XBox try getting them a dance CD. Or simply switch on to Youtube.

What’s more you can join in too, even if you have two left feet. If an uncoordinated 8 year old can do it, well so can you. And if you’re still feeling self-conscious check out their video – No, don’t watch it, just listen to the music and the laughs.

You can check out the original video they are trying to copy.

In Goa

In Goa

While in Goa…
Naisha: Mama may I have bread-Nutella for breakfast?
Me: Yes
Naisha: May I have just one slice?
Me: Yes
Naisha: May I have breakfast with TV?
Me: Yes
Naisha : Why are you saying ‘Yes’ to everything?

And so in Goa I turned from a mean mum (In case you’re wondering what a true blue mean mum is go here) to a cool one. But aren’t holidays about breaking rules?

Coffee (their first) on the couch with Doremon
Pepsi, Sprite and Iced Tea … to their hearts’ content.
Of course they asked to share my mocktails without fail and ended up
finishing it, happily abandoning their drinks proving
yet again that their soft drink hankering is only because it’s such a ‘no’.

Getting wet in the rain… such a NO on school days!

Maggi for dinner
Packing up for the summers

Packing up for the summers

You know how parents, once upon a time, used to prepare for their daughter’s wedding, collecting her trousseau over years? Well that’s how I prepare for my visit to Lucknow. I collect clothes over the year for this month-long trip.

Not that I don’t have clothes. The thing is my mum like us to dress according to the weather, which basically implies pastels through the Lucknow summer. My wardrobe, on the other hand, is ALL BLACK for obvious reasons. If you’re one of the lucky ones who needs to wonder why.. well then because it makes me look the thinnest. Fortunately Pune weather allows me to wear black for almost 10 months of the year.

When I do need a break it’s all about bright colours – saffron, yellow, turquoise, scarlet, fuchsia, maroon. Oh I love pastels, but only when other people wear them. I seriously do not notice them at all. Sometimes I go out with a serious intention of buying them.. but come away with more blacks. Sometimes I’ve bought them too but they remain languishing in a forgotten corner of my cupboard while the blacks and the brights are worn thin and replaced over.

My compromise then is … white.. I like white and mum should be okay with it too. So I build a ‘Ma collection’ around that colour as my Lucknow tryst nears.

Come to think of it clothes are 90 percent of my packing. Check out how…
1. Summer homewear.
2. Nightsuits.
3. Semiformals for outings.
4. Formal party clothes since Lucknow is teeming with relatives.
5. Warm clothes for our two scheduled trips to the mountains
6. Swim suits since we might go to a waterpark.
7. Gym clothes for me … Yup I hope I can make it there a day or two each week.
8.. and finally socks, belts, towels….

Finally, sat on the bag to zip it up and I’m done. Meanwhile, others are packing as well. I was searching frantically for my lip-balm today and Naisha retrieved it from her bag where she had ‘packed’ it away.

So people we’re off for the summer vacations. Postings will be a bit erratic. Bear with me.

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