Monthly Archives: April 2009

Is Your Fortune Cookie Kind?

There is a Norwegian word – uheldig (silent “g”), meaning unlucky or unfortunate.

When I have called into work the past couple of days to inform people that I am staying home with my sick child/children (yes, today, hmm, yes you guessed it harhar, they’re puking all over us again) or if I bumped into someone I know on the street, people insist on pointing out that we’ve been rather unfortunate , “uheldig” with the childrens health.

No. We are not “uheldig“. No denying that our offspring are germ magnets. They fall ill, get the necessary medication and poof! before you know it, they’re throwing their spaghetti at the ceiling and sassing us. Thats not unfortunate. At worst, its an inconvenience.

What is the deal with the alarmingly low thresholds for using words like unlucky and unfortunate? Shouldn’t that require a greater stretch?

“Uheldig” would be losing them.

Never seeing their gorgeous, heart-stopping smiles again except in our minds eye or never again feeling the weight, the softness, the scent of them. Never again hearing their voices call out to us.

The scenario I can never let myself imagine. The one my keyboard practically had to wrangle off my fingertips. What about reserving the strong words we use so casually for real tragedies?

What Heather and Gorillabuns, (two bloggers I have been reading for a while) are going through is every parent’s worst nightmare. I wouldn’t have imagined that I could grieve so much for two children I have never met or held. That I could be so heartbroken for people I have only known virtually – through their blogs.

Heather – totally shattered yet so strong. I am awed and speechless when I read her because I don’t know how she gets out of bed – leave alone writing posts, attending fundraisers and talking publicly about her beloved daughter. For me, she has become synonymous with strength, grace and compassion. Celebrating the life rather than mourning the death. Even with the worst waves of anguish washing over them, Heather and Mike have used whats left in them to help others, to honour Maddie. They have resisted the sad labels and the unnecessary valourization. I won’t call them heroes because they would balk, but I sure as hell will think that thought.

Its such a sign of our times. Overrating physical health/the physical being and underrating the power of the mind, the power of hope, humour and happiness to sustain us in the most adverse situations. Why are we so easily seduced into negative auto-suggestive patterns? Is it easier for people to feel sorry for us if we feel sorry for ourselves?

Now that is what I would call “uheldig”.

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You Know You’re All Grown Up

..when you wake up cupping two palmfuls of puke, generously regurgitated by your toddler, and with nary a whimper, a squeal or a missed beat, you transport said toddler, puke-nuked clothes and bedclothes and upchucked self to the bathroom for a good ole hose down.

Am centered Goddess in a whirling, puke-drenched, entropic universe.

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Reproduction for Dummies

Arvind has decided that he would like a new sibling.

“Preferably soon”, he informs his Dad.

“You can just pee on Mamma once more and then we’d have a new baby.” he explains in his usual matter-of-fact manner.

Oh the relief! All those hours we save explaining the birds and bees.

Golden Shower Love Spawn works just fine methinks.

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Maid For Me

“Ewwwwaaarrgh”. My anguish reverberates through the room.

The Viking, our resident Yuckfighter, is immune to my drama, but his curiousity drags him to the kitchen.

“What?” he enquires casually, coming to peer into the refrigerator with me.

“Unless thats a dead kitten in our fridge, dear, then its broccoli thats been there so long that it has inhaled CFC’s, grown itself some fluffy fur and become the latest new life form on planet Earth.”

The Viking, being brave and the sort who is undeterred by The Grossest Levels of Gross, reaches in.

“Ewww. For heavens sake, put some gloves on!” I scream.

“Why? We’re not exactly going to do a forensic report.” he replies dryly.

Offending object is quickly removed, thought I couldn’t say with total certainty since my eyes were tightly shut and I had also ceased to breathe through my nose. As you can guess, I’m a total trooper.

“There!” says the Viking once done and I venture to view the world again.

“While we’re at it,” he says, “you might want to know that we have a couple of potatoes in there that are breeding…err.. grandchild potatoes off their hip.”

Egads! “Get rid of it. Please! Live up to the intrepid Viking stereotype and wipe them clean off the face of the earth!”

“We wouldn’t be in this mess to begin with if you’d lived up to your Good Indian Wife stereotype, would we?” comes the tart rejoinder.

Officially too pissed to say touché. But guess who’s disinfecting the fridge? You guessed it. The Good Indian Wife. Gah!

——————————————————————————————————————————————————

Epilogue to Mother

Dear Mother, This is an exaggerated version of events. This is a fictional account. I am a wonderful wife and housekeeper and our home is a temple. We worship at the altar of Jif. Please don’t call me about this unless we suddenly collapse, having been inflicted with a biblical pestilence. And yes, we should clean the fridge more often. But that would leave less time for the kids.

And T.V.

And sex.

And not necessarily in the order mentioned above.

You didn’t fail. This is all me. Good night.

Dedicated to MiM. You’ll never walk alone:-)

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Ten Years Later..

… you still walk to the left of me, I still slide my left palm into the rear pocket of your jeans, and you still pat my bum before you slide your arm around my waist.

… I never finish my chocolate fondant. You love it more.

… Your precious artichokes land up on my plate. I love it more.

… We’re still excessive foodies and an excellent five-course meal with suitable wines leaves us both rapturous. Ten years ago, we were content being rapturous over fresh oysters at the $2 Vietnamese seafood shack in Melbourne because that was about all we could afford.

… We still have a long evenings worth of talking and discussing and hand-holding in us.

… And hours of companiable silence while we sit outside our favourite French bakery, drinking coffee and reading our respective papers.

…We have zigackly the wonderful babies we wished for back then.

…We have learnt to appreciate the almost insignificant moments and gestures, the irreplacable value of mutual acceptance and after all our trials, we’ve still ended up tilting towards an almost foolish optimism for the future.

… I’m still the chalk to your cheese. The Miss Piggy to your Kermit. (And our amphibious piglets are proof!)

… Whaddaya know? The shoe still fits.

**************************************************************************************************************If If I had figured out iMovie, this would be based on our footage. But since I haven’t, I give you another lovable, nutty, chaotic and bickering couple. And one of my favourite songs from my favourite series finale.

Indulge your sentimental woman, wouldjya?

To us, love.  And many more years of being mad, merry and married.

*Series finale of “Mad About You”. “You Give Me Love” by Faith Hill.

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Filed under love, Togetherness

Weekend Getaway

Breathless with happiness I am. The Viking and I are finally getting away for a two-day overnight break. As of April 19th, we have been hitched for 10 years. For better or worse, with bills, laundry, ear infections and a guest toilet that might be breeding a new mutant viral strain. But we’ll talk about that no more.

Now that I see it in writing, the first two sentences score high on the pathetic stakes. Being a parent has driven me this – flipping cartwheels over a getaway in the city I freaking live in!

I won’t even get into the litany of woes that begins with Poor Planning Skills and ends with the Viking saying, “You’ll make the arrangements, right?”

Yes, he’s all about the chivalry and romantic surprise, this one.

Arvind, heir apparent to our throne, is not so thrilled at being outsourced for the weekend, even though he adores his uncle, aunt and cousins.

Arvind: Why are you going away for the weekend?

Me: Well, because Pappa and I want to celebrate having been married for 10 years.

Arvind: Whats married?

Me: When two people like each other so much, that they decide to love each for the rest of their lives and build a family. And Mamma says, “Till death – or Hugh Jackman – rippling abs, pecs and all – do us part.”

Obviously didn’t say that out loud. Swear I only muttered it under my breath. Oh, grow a funny bone people!

Arvind: Well, I want to come too.

Me: Well baby, Mamma and Pappa would really like to have this time alone (without two human condoms wedged between us) to do fun stuff together and just enjoy being with each other.  We love spending time with you two, but we really need time alone too. As kjærester.

Norwegian word, which loosely transalated means beloved to each other. Also denotes romantic relationship.

Arvind: Ewww. What are you going to do?

Me: Oh, stuff. Grown-up stuff. You’d be super bored.

STUFF.

  • A dinner without a string of spaghetti or the slightest blob of bolognese sauce.
  • Theatre thats not Pippi Longstocking(though I’ll always love you Pippi!).
  • A suite thats hopefully the size of Singapore.
  • Fluffy robes.
  • Clean sheets which have never suffered the indignities of pamper leakage.
  • Buffet breakfast.
  • Not being woken up at 6:30 by a little palm slapping your face and gleefully yelling, “Hi! Uppy Uppy!”
  • Aimless, jobless joy.

Fare ye well, my spawn. This might be a good time to say we will miss you, but (adorable as you both are.. kisskiss) we most assuredly will not. Yes, we’re evil like that.

Crispy sheets – you – I will miss on Monday.

Toodle doo, folks!

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Remembering

This day in April is always about remembering you. Remembering the Vishu* that never was.

It is also about allowing myself to acknowledge all that I lost 26 years ago. A sapling of a six year old who didn’t really understand.

Thank you.

For believing in me, for seeing past my rambunctious, attention-seeking antics and getting to the core of a little girl who wanted very little more than affirmation.

For all the hours spent perched atop your ample stomach, in your easy chair, reading books upside down with great, loud gusto, while you calmly went on editing your books and correcting your papers.

For the hours spent in your lap when I finally learnt to read the right way, and your gentle, uncritical guidance when I stumbled.

For waking me up gently every single morning and letting me sleep in your arms while you brushed my teeth. I was never a morning person and you were unusually respectful of that.

For saving me, time and again from the wrath of my grandmother, whose ferocious temper I had clearly inherited. You would intervene gently to calm the two volatile beings in your home.

For all the tender childhood memories I can truly treasure.

Time may have been miserly, but fortunately that word could never apply to your love.

On your day, Achappa**,  here is a little Vishu offering plucked and arranged by your great-grandson.

Arvind's Vishu offering

*New Year celebration in Kerala, India. Traditionally falls in mid April.

**The name my creative sibling came up with for our paternal grandfather.

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