Monday, September 27, 2010

Dressing woes

In the days BC (before children) I'd see kids in the store wearing the most crazy outfits and I'd think to myself, 'What on earth were their parents thinking???' Now that I have kids of my own, I understand. Kids like to dress themselves and it just isn't worth fighting over.

So, your child wants to wear a red sweat shirt, lavender(read purple) pants,I'm not sure why anyone would have purple pants to begin with..., yellow knee socks, boots, and a tiara in July. As a parent you have to pick and choose your battles. Generally it's best to save your energy for the more important things such as when the kids want to build a spaceship from parts they’ve taken out your sound system, blender plus a list of other gadgets or when the kids decide it would be a good idea to paint their bedroom door with nail polish. Stuff like The Hitting My Sister With a Smelly Sock Repeatedly Battle, or The He's Looking At Me Battle, just aren't worth the effort.

I've actually decided to stop buying new clothes for my kids. My son wears the same nasty old T-shirts day in and day out. It doesn't matter that he has a closet full of nice, new clothes. I'm sure his teacher thinks he's an orphan. And when I take the shirts away and toss them in the garbage, they somehow magically reappear in his drawer again and again. when he was younger, he did wear whatever I picked out for him. The only problem was - he liked to dress himself and 99% of the time, he put it on backwards. I mean, he's got a 50/50 shot of getting it right, yet his shoes are always on backwards and his tag is always sticking out the front of his shirt. I have not yet figured out why.

My daughter has nothing to wear. Again, she has a closet full of beautiful, untouched clothing, but I guess the clothes are invisible to her because when she opens her closet door, she sees nothing. She, more often than not, opts to wear my shoes as well. Hmmm maybe I could go raid HER closet for things to wear. I'm sure I'd look quite stylish in her little skirts( Hey dont you all dare check my weight!). This coming from a baby who didn't care what she wore as long as she got on shoes. First thing in the morning, she used to wake me up and bring me her shoes to put on. Before I change her nappy, I must slip shoes onto her feet. Pajamas and shoes. A diaper and shoes. Just shoes. And now my shoes plus the rest which she doesn't see!

My son's best friend and a regular at my place, spends most of his day just hanging out in his underwear. Maybe he's onto something. I'm sure it's very comfortable to walk around in nothing but your undies. But imagine ...well don't!

I have stopped blaming parents for the dresses kids wear!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

An official evening and a gauche..

I am sufficiently old and I don’t know many things. Unlike Francis Bacon, all knowledge is not in my province. Come to think of it, my province is pretty small. And among the many things that I do(did) not know is that mince pies do not have mince in them but little bits of sticky fruit.

So, I am sitting here at this east-west official dinner and everyone is interrupting everyone else with their travelogues and the tiresome effort it is to get a good room in a good hotel in Paris, one can’t really stay just anywhere, can one, when these little food items arrive and the hostess says, "have a mince pie." I take one and bite into it and fill my mouth with a reasonably tasty clot of sticky sweet fruit. "Hey," I say, "this is sweet." "Of course," says my hostess, "it is a mince pie." Most people in my position would have heard the penny drop, picked up the drift so to speak and shut up. Put a sock in it. Let it be. Not me. I soldier on, regardless of the flak. "Fancy that," I say, "I always thought mince pies had mincemeat in them, you know like kheema, not fruit, mutton or shredded chicken or something." There is this kinda hush situation followed by a crepe of embarrassment and then a fellow countrywoman turns to me and says, "you didn’t know mince pies are sweet?" "No," I say, "didn’t have a clue, always thought they were like steak and kidney pies, only squishy." She gives a dry, mirthless laugh, as if to say she didn’t know this was an evening for intellectual slumming, where did this one come from, what sort of people are they calling to parties these days, gatecrashers!!

"Where do you live, says another guest, you have never eaten a mince pie. " "No, I say, never, read about it in the books but never really eaten one. Come to think of it, never knew what black pudding was, always thought it was one of those caramel custard things burnt black. " Countrywoman gives a shrill little trill and says, "where do you live, in the boonies, she thought black pudding was sweet, oh this is funny." And all these people from my part of the world they are apologising for my faux pas and prattling on about their impressive relationships with mince pies and the westerners are all looking at me pitifully as if I was one of those drifters who had drifted in and shouldn’t have, and I am looking at this tableau in awe and wondering why I should be ashamed of not knowing there isn’t any mince in a mince pie. Peasant.

Member of the great unwashed. Plebe. So down market, country bumpkin. Guess where these
unspoken but highly articulate remarks are coming from. My own kind. They are red-faced for me and on the way back to the car park I overhear this lady tell her husband, that journalist is so gauche, I mean what will they think of us, we don’t even know what is in a mince pie. And the husband, he is nodding wisely and looking ever so worldly, like he was the world’s leading authority on mince pies and had been fed black pudding along with gripe water in Ludhiana or whatever. By 'they' the lady evidently means the western element at the party. By 'us' she as obviously means all brown billion of us, the majority of which she would not like to associate with, seeing as how they won’t be tops on their mince pie knowhow. If it wasn’t all so tragic it would be mind-boggling funny.

Before I got into the party I also got into my stride and confessed that I was 28 or thereabouts when I learnt that Steak Tartare was raw meat and that the exotic sounding Mulligatawny soup was derived from the Indian words “Mullak thani,” meaning ‘country water’, or simply, lentil soup. I had no idea that a scone was a round piece of cake rather than some exotic food item slathered with hot, melting butter. As for a macaroon I thought it was stretched macaroni. So
what? No one was impressed, not after I had mince pie on my face. With pieces of fruit in it. And then I turned to Allyson and I said, so how come they didn’t just call it sticky fruit pie. And I bet Allyson has no idea what puttu is anyway so we are quits!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Home is never an obligation

A house is a house is a house-until love comes through the door, that is. And
love intuitively goes around sprinkling that special brand of angel dust that
transforms a house into a very special home for very special people: your

Money, of course, can build a charming house, but only love can furnish it
with a feeling of home.

Duty can pack an adequate office/school lunch, but love may decide to tuck a little
note inside.

Money can provide a television set, but love controls it and cares enough to
say no and take the roar that comes with it.

Obligation sends the children to bed on time, but love tucks the covers in
around their necks and passes out kisses and hugs.

Obligation can cook a meal, but love embellishes the table with candles and a potted ivy.

Duty writes many letters, but love tucks a joke or a picture inside.

Compulsion keeps a sparkling house. But love and prayer stand a better chance
of producing a happy family.

Duty gets offended quickly if it isn’t appreciated. But love learns to laugh
a lot and to work for the sheer joy of doing it.

Obligation can pour a glass of milk, but quite often love will add a little

This was my 100th post. Looking forward to more milestones. Share my joys, trials and tribulations as we skip along together.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Not the best mom..but a mom nevertheless..

I love my kids. I don't think anyone would disagree with that. I love them more than almost anything. They're the most important people in my life. But when the summer rolls around, they need to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! My home is in a constant state of disarray (that's a nice way of saying that it looks like the aftermath of a gonu or a phet). And the fighting! Ohmygod, the fighting! They're at each other's throats all day long. I finally locked them outside told them to go outside and kill each other play so I wouldn't have to clean the blood off the carpet hear them anymore. That was all fine until I realized they'd flooded the car park with the fire extinguisher hose. I apologize to the watchman for the river running through the car park and the long red hose slithering like an angry snake on the floor, still gushing water as we talk. Hey, look at it this way, you just had the car park cleaned without any effort. Yay! Sorry (looking down apologetically). I couldn't even get mad at them for flooding the car park because I'd told them to go outside and play and well, they were playing outside. I didn't specifically tell them not to turn the hose into a snake and the car park into a lake.

Now, I love my bond, don't get me wrong. But really? Really??? Boys come up with the dumbest ideas! And not only do they think of stupid things to do, but they don't learn from them! They don't say, "Hmmm, that was a bad idea. I won't do that again." Nope. Instead, they think, "Hmmm, how can I make it more dangerous the next time?" There's always a "next time" with boys. Meanwhile, my daughters and their friends look on in amazement. They're not amazed that my son has managed some fantastic feat, oh no. They're amazed at how seemingly stupid the boys are.

What is it about the male brain? Do they have no concept of danger? Do they just not realize that they're most likely going to be injured? Or do they just not care because any amount of injury or punishment is worth the momentary thrill of flying through the air? I will seriously never understand the male brain. I guess I'll just have to thank them for keeping us females entertained and dumbfounded at the extent of their ummm, daring.

And, in the meantime, there are thirty-two hours and twelve minutes until my house can be cleaned and stay clean for more than twenty seconds, and the kids have some structure back in their lives! Not that I'm counting or anything.