Monthly Archives: May 2010

Growing

Today I went to pick Arvind up from school and we went through the usual drill. The one where he ignores my greeting and looks pretty disinterested in gathering up his stuff to leave. We were almost back at the car when he suddenly spun around and hugged me. Arms tightly wound around my waist and tippy-toed as if he wanted to picked up and cuddled.

I was thrown for a huge loop, but I scooped him up and snuck in a snuggle and a kiss, realising sadly that both he and I might forget these moments in the future. I feel him melt into me and I wonder how much longer he will allow himself this comfort, this pleasure.

For a while now, he has been a big boy,  “he is big enough”, “he is too big to..” and he is a big boy “so get over it already”.

I need to remind myself and him more often that its okay to feel small, that he doesn’t have to be big all the time and that being big doesn’t mean you need this facade of cool. I want to tell him that he can grow to be as strapping as his father and still need his hair tousled, still need his chin grabbed lovingly before I crush his bones.

I fear the day when you will shield me so totally from your heart and its inner workings and I fear not knowing if you are hurt, if someone has broken your heart or damaged your faith in some way. I might never know your deepest fears. I fear only knowing second-hand about your life. (If my mother-in-law has any peep, its because I talk to her. Even though the Viking thinks she is a great mother. Don’t ask.)

I fear your hugs being hesitant. I fear your grown-up disdain and disapproval. I fear you growing away and growing into another family.

Its just that I thought I could hold you so much longer, but I never bargained for time flying so fast –  nary a breath from a little head in the crook of my elbow and here you are hesitantly needing me.

We’ve officially reached the part of the programme now where you say, ” Mum, are you crying again? Are these your happy tears?”

These are my bittersweet pearls, baby.

Advertisements

18 Comments

Filed under Arvind

India – 1

When we go down to India, especially for my brother’s wedding, we have an unspoken understanding that the Viking will handle the kids while I shop, organize and socialize. In case you think I mean the pleasant “meeting-long-lost-friend” kind of socialising – no.

I refer to wedding socialising which involves greeting and spending a certain amount of time with all the invited guests. A little more than a cursory hi and hello. It is not an unpleasant task by any means since most of the invitees are dear family and friends and this is a wonderful chance to catch up with everyone. But demanding nonetheless – not to mention draining, in the humid heat of Kerala, when you just want to dunk yourself in a tub of cooling water and curl up like a foetus.

During the parties and ceremonies, the Viking dutifully handled the boys, made sure they were fed, nappies changed on time and he let me be.

It took about two minutes before the comments started to rush in. What a wonderful father the Viking was. How well he was looking after the kids. HOW MUCH he did. Cousins playfully teased that I needed to keep my husband away from their wives because they would not hear the end of complaints otherwise. Our new in-laws gushed over this wonderful firang who was such a nurturing father.

It would not fricking stop.

After the first couple of times, I had to fight to keep my irritation from getting the upper hand. Choice retorts like

So? He should be more than just a sperm donor!

and

Jeez! Give him his bloody gold medal already! Why is this such a big deal?

and

Oh, screw you. I am alone with these kids for weeks at a time with absolutely no help at all, and just in these couple of days he is milk of frikkin’ human kindness?

did spring to mind, but were not articulated. And just as well really because it gave me the pause I needed to see that it was not about him, my irritation was about me. Or more correctly, I was bristling at being judged because I am so familiar with the drill – the tilt of the head, the intonation – where the other side of the shiny coin of “What a great dad!” is “Why are you shabby at it?”.

Or that could have been me being as sensitive and prickly as a cactus, just wanting to enjoy a holiday without being in the headlights waiting to get hit.

The instant gratification of a mean comeback would have been incredibly satisfying. The downside of that though would be hurting the one person I did not want to hurt – my husband – who was basically being a decent human being. Did I really want to be like that loud asshole at parties who would exclaim loudly about “Women these days needing to know their place?” or “Its her job anyway. What do I care?” If I had ever overheard him making that kind of comment about me, dotted lines would be signed while the dinner was still hot.

It is completely and utterly inappropriate for a man in this day and age to say something so blatantly sexist. Why should it be okay for a woman to be as disrespectful? Does this new millenium’s feminism mean that WE ARE THE NEW BOORS IN PRETTY HEELS? Wow.

So here is my retort.

Gosh! You are right. He is a terrific father and husband and ever-supportive and loving. We are extremely fortunate that he takes such good care of us and y’know what? I could not have swapped spit with a better guy. I know that this is killing you and you really want me to feel inadequate, but I have really never felt as blessed. See? Here is your proof that good people happen to the err… shaky ones too.

It was at this point that I ran out of grace and straight into a glass of martini.

Edited to add: The Viking completed another trip around the sun yesterday and matures like the smelliest, yummiest cheese and deepest, most excellent wine. Happy happies to a good ‘un!

18 Comments

Filed under Self, The Viking

The Hula Girl

Just coming up for air to let you now that this is what I am up to most of the time.

I have been Powerhooped.

I gyrate a lot. I gyrate like an item number on acid. I can do this without losing the hoop for about 5 minutes at a stretch ONE WAY. (You have to hula in both directions for optimal effect). The veterans can hoop through an entire episode of Desperate Housewives.

I have welts and bruises all around my waist, and I hurt in ways I did not know was possible.  This is all good because I know now that under all the blubber my abs were still holding out for me. THEY STILL WANT ME, PEEPULS. It was never over, that brief love affair.

I love it and I am already dreaming of a notion of a waistline again – setting the bar low, see?

As if I wasn’t addicted enough, I set it to music. This track. What was I thinking?

Now between the hooping and the Zumba (ZUMBAAAAAA!), the Viking will have to sedate me soon.

Or he could just take advantage of me in disgraceful ways and completely rumple my honour.

image courtesy: www.divadistribution.co.uk

11 Comments

Filed under Exercise

Achtung: Do Not Talk To Children

I know. You’re awaiting quirky India trip anecdotes and I’m just being the bitch that holds out.

This is why no-one dated me for too long at Uni. Damn tease.

In the interim, this glorious conversation happened. The kind that makes you want to go drown yourself in a vat of rum and sleep for a week.

If I had to qualify myself as parent at all, I’d simply use the word Ill-prepared. (And occasionally/frequently neglectful, but ill-prepared just makes me sound absent-mindedly charming donchyathink, rather than incompetent.)

Ill-prepared is always how I end up feeling with Arvind’s questions – not because he is extra precocious or anything, but because I am an extra slow tortoise and just when I think I have another two years and time for a  cup of tea, he will unfailingly sock me with it and leave me staggering. Everything in italics represents unarticulated thoughts happening in parallel. Yes, there is always a party in my head.

A: Mamma, did you know that girls have a baby hole?

MGM: EGADS! This? Now? Right after breakfast? Hmmm. I did know that in fact.

A: See, babies do not come out through where you pee. They come through the baby hole. There is ANOTHER ONE.

MGM: Son, I know. Tell me about ALL THAT WHACKED plumbing! (Switching to the “YAWWN. This is so boring” tactic) And? So?

A: So you have to show me yours.

MGM: WHA?? OMG! I certainly will not be doing that. So no. Like NEVER.

A: Why? I need to see it.

Of course, this kind of information warrants empirical evidence, I can see that.

MGM: Little boys cannot see their mother’s baby places.

A: Why? Has Pappa seen it?

MGM: Yes. But only a couple of times. Like on Christmas Day a couple of years ago. The baby place being a very secret place and all.

Dude, if that was a country, he would apply for citizenship. How is that for too much information since we are getting cuddly here?

A: So when can I see it?

Well, if you went to the kind of school I went to in my primary years, you could always find the girls who pulled down their panties for the lads to have a peek as long as you gave them a bob. But I’m guessing you don’t get that lucky here.

MGM: When you are all grown up and no longer live at home is an excellent time. And besides, in school, in some years they will teach you all about them baby places and their workings.

A: Will they show us pictures?

MGM: It’s school. Not the Playboy Mansion. So – no. Maybe a sketch or two.

A: Maybe you can draw it for me.

Dear God, please lead him to quality internet porn tasteful erotica at a mature and appropriate age so we never have to field these questions again. Thanks – and I will be owing you one.

MGM: No, but I can draw you a mean ass dinosaur. How about it?

And on that shaky note, that particular conversation was over.

To date, I have NO CLUE WHATSOEVER what he got out of it. A re-cap and summary of this conversation is most definitely not on the agenda, so I will live in bliss till the next awkward conversation comes up.

Or at least until some girl’s parents knock on my door and complain that my son has been checking out their daughter’s Vashiner.

Yes, folks. Vashiner.

I think my work here is done.

39 Comments

Filed under Arvind

Of Course You Missed Me

Ach, my lovelies! There you are – all five of you!

Five and half weeks in India (11 extra days due to lovely volcanic ash) after which the Viking left us for oil platforms, after which,  life just swallowed me up again. That seems to happen a lot lately.

So we  went to India and married my brother off, first in Kerala – and then just to be sure –  in Patiala as well. If I began to write about this amazing trip, I wouldn’t know where to start or stop. Besides I’m awful at anything chronological.

No Chronos. No logic.  See? The Viking would back this up if he knew a smidgeon of Greek – which he doesn’t – so its all neither here nor there.

But there are a few things I can share over a couple of posts.

Maybe twenty of them. I’m kidding – come back!

There are also pictures on a conked Macbook  that are begging to be uploaded, so I will shamelessly bribe you with pictures of the spawn once that is sorted.

Spitting on it as I type. Sure I’m yucky like that.

27 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized