Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Aiming for the stars !


Last weekend we sacrificed our TV time and unplanned trips to the mall to wait for the sales guy from Early Learning, to come home for the demonstration of one of their products, a kids learning collection. As parents of toddlers, waiting for a guest is not about sitting on the sofa and staring at the door. It is about making the toddler wear a neat shirt on which there is no cheese or ketchup, cleaning up the living room, picking up socks, shoes, toys, cutlery, crockery and things I'd never seen before emerging from under the sofa. Soon the doorbell rang and a gentleman in his twenties walked in with a trolley bag.

I gestured him to take a seat making sure there were no knives on the seating area. He sat down and pulled out a chart  and then IT happened. He opened his mouth.

The initial talk he made for around twenty minutes was about the pace at which a baby’s brain develops and the number of nerves connected to it. Tenth grade biology class flashback. Then about how we have to aim high at a younger age to set ourselves at par with the cut throat competition. Teenage year’s parents advice flashback. Complete nostalgia. In between his intense science sessions he kept asking us, ‘Do you agree, Ma’am?’ Well who am I to question modern science. I nodded.  

After twenty minutes of brain frying session about the infant brain, he moved on to the next. He opened a book and started shooting a few questions at me.

“Ma’am, do you have a vacuum cleaner?”

Of course. Wait… is this guy coming from the health and sanitation department. Doubtfully, I replied.. ‘Yes’.

‘Okay when you use it, and your kid asks, Mama how does this work, what will you say?’

I slipped into the famous sober expression which I hadn't used since my school days. It was a nostalgic feeling, being asked a question and the embarrassment of not knowing the answer. The guy kept staring at my face, his expression changing rapidly from seriousness to sheer amusement. That my toddler had not started saying his own name was some sort of a consolation which was keeping me calm at that moment. I replied, ‘Hmm, I am not so sure’. Well even back in school I never admitted that I dint know the answer…I just said that I was absent in that class when she taught that, which led the teachers to assume that it was my first day at school.

Then this guy went on to say, that we need to hand him a glass of juice with straw, and allow him to sip it. When he does, the concept of vacuum cleaner which sucks the dirt can be explained. Voila ! I mean the idea of my toddler asking this question and me making a juice as soon as he asks, and then he spills it everywhere which actually makes me use the vacuum cleaner and demonstrate it right away.

Note, the hubby was spared all the reassurance hums and annoying questions all this while as he was happily checking out other books which the gentleman had brought. But this happiness did not last long.

‘Sir, do you know how many teeth a fish has?’

My face lit up. Yaay its not to me. By the way, if he doesn't answer, he may pass the question to me. I better be prepared with some solution.

‘Four’ hubby said confidently. The guy smiled and looked at me. ‘And you, Ma’am?’. Oh. Did he mean how many teeth I had? Well if you actually exclude the teeth which had root canal done on it, it may be pretty much the four front teeth. I said, ‘Four’.

The gentleman then opened a page of a book which had a close up picture of a fish which appeared to be singing an opera with its mouth wide open. “There are four teeth which are visible and two hundred others which we cannot see”. He said, mocking both of us with a wicked eye.

He dint leave us any time to recover from that disaster when the next question came. ‘Sir, do you know why rabbits have long ears?’

This was a tricky one. At this point, his mobile rang and he escaped gloriously from the human trap he set himself and me into. He walked off gesturing the guy to continue the intellectual torture he inflicted on me. Actually I never even noticed rabbits before. That they have long ears is information I got only from Bugs Bunny. I said, ‘Not much idea about that’.

He then explained why they have long ears. It was something about hearing and escaping from enemies, I vaguely remember. It totally passed over my head as I was thinking how to trap the hubby back into this.

“Do you know why giraffes have long necks?’

I mean, you’ve got to answer atleast one, right. You don’t have to, but that the courteous way to behave to a guest. I said, ‘To be able to reach the leaves on trees’. He said, ‘Right’. And he continued,’ there is another reason Ma’am, that giraffes have long necks to view a wider ground and save themselves from wild animals.

Oh come on. For the one answer I knew, he says another befitting one. The unsuccessful interviews I gave when I graduated weren't as embarrassing as this.

Thankfully the guy realized that if he kept asking questions to me, he will never finish this assignment, as each question took me time to look at the ceiling and wish if there was a google search engine up there to save me from this cumbersome trial. 

He went on to display all the books and their astronomical prices too!  The books were actually good. Well if he hadn't humiliated me by asking those questions I might actually have considered buying at least one of those on a trial basis.

I need to grow up a little bit, you know.


P.S My previous post below was the 150th post on this blog. Thank you, everyone who read me J

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Valentine's Day dinner date.


Even before the dawn broke on Valentine’s Day, I was already up on my bed watching over an ailing toddler, who, for the past few days had been suffering from stomach upset accompanied with fever and nose block. Of all the above illnesses, all mothers would agree that even if nose block sounded trivial, it is one of the worst diseases babies suffer. It is also the worst because once it infects, it ensures sleepless nights for a couple of days and disturbed sleep the days after. So on this day, I spent the night sleepless, because the nose block tortured the child in such ways that he was unable to sleep, despite his earnest efforts.

That morning, as I walked to the kitchen, eyes half closed, I heard my mobile subtly playing notification tone. Completely oblivious about the date and time, I picked up my phone only to find facebook flooded with Valentine’s Day wishes shared by random people to everyone on their friend list. Others posted pictures of the expensive surprises their spouses gifted them. Whatsapp also had its fair share of broadcasts, an option which thankfully or not, helps a lot of people convey shallow wishes on every other occasion to countless people on their lists. I went back to my routine, stuck in hangover and drowsiness.

It was a long day, and not a moment did the child move away from my arms. By evening, a call came from office asking hubby to report for a meeting to discuss a critical issue. Soon after he left with his laptop, I sat helplessly on the couch, the baby on my lap, who was finally trying to sleep after a long day of crankiness and low appetite; I switched on the TV and flipped channels, all of them playing mushy movies and songs, all of which had the Valentine theme plastered on them. I still did not miss anything, as none of my Valentines days in all my life was anything movie like. However I was a bit disappointed ,as hubby was at office, and he would have his dinner along with the other guys in the team who will probably burn the midnight oil with him.

 At around 10 pm, I slowly picked up the baby and lay him on the bed and sat next to him. There was nothing to eat. A few cupcakes were in the fridge but they dint excite me. An hour later, as I slowly drifted off to sleep, I heard the door bell, and opened the door to find hubby back, as his work was done for the day.

 That’s when he asked THE question… ‘So what is there for dinner?’

 I was taken aback. ‘I thought you guys were eating out’.

“Today? No.”

“Okay then I will make something for you, come” I said gesturing him to the kitchen.

“Whats there to eat?’ he asked, opening the fridge to find absolutely nothing in it.

“I will prepare ghee roasts for you, there is batter enough for three’ I said.

“What will we eat WITH the dosas?’

As the toddler is a light sleeper, there was no question of using the mixer to prepare the chutney.

“There is a leftover fried fish from lunch” I replied gloomily.

He sat on the kitchen chair. The tawa was greased and the dosas were prepared one by one, and he sat on the kitchen chair munching them while the fish was reheated in the microwave. In between, I also took my share of the dosas from his plate. Soon the batter was over, and the plate of three dosas and one fried fish was wiped clean.
 “Happy Valentines Day” I said.
‘Same to you” he mumbled, smiling at the same time.

“The guys at office went out for dinner. I dint go with them”. He added. 

It was indeed, a special day.  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Score !


Last Sunday, as I sat on the couch post dinner, the mobile phone rang. I sluggishly walked to the table where my mobile was placed – (away from the reach of certain tiny claws), and noticed that it was the boss calling. ‘Hello?’ I answered. ‘ Hey Anita. Our Director’s mother, 87, passed away, so the Head Office will not be working for the next two days’. ‘Ohh, okay Ma’am.’ I said, rather plainly. After I cut the call, my husband’s phone rang almost immediately, which was a call from his boss to say the same thing ( We both work in the same firm). As soon as he disconnected his call, ‘Yaayyy’ I squealed.

‘What?’  he exclaimed.

‘What, what ? Dint you just hear what they said? Holidays ! yaay!’

‘Are you not ashamed to behave like this? Somebody lost their mother and what can possibly be so funny about that? And its not a somebody! He pays us ! He is our employer! It’s his mother, who is probably one of the founders of the organization’.

For once, I wished I could go to office at that very moment.

There goes a yaaayyy that will never come back.  I just thought about the two whole days I could spend with my toddler and never did I spare a thought about the bereaving family. Oh whatever it is, saying yaayy should always be taken in the right spirit, no?  I am not the kind of person who laughs when someone dies and he knows that. I mean, before giving me a lecture on when to be happy the spouse should understand what I actually meant. This is NOT fair.

Displeasure colored my face.

The spouse noticed that and came upto me. ‘Its not very appropriate, you know?’, said he, in a seemingly remorseful tone.

‘Okay. But still you dint have to… you know?. The lecture was unwarranted. Still its okay’. I said. He agreed.

Soon, it was forgotten. ( Of course after I whatsapped  a few friends and enacted that scene to few others who found his reaction incredibly funny- I totally don't get some of my friends ;-) ).

Holidays came and it was all about home theater and home cooked delicacies. We had a good time. On the second and final day, we were on our way home after an outing with friends, and one of them asked my hubby about why exactly we had two days off. He replied ‘The mother of our founder directors passed away. She was 87’, he said. And after a brief pause he added , “And I am glad she dint choose the weekend for that”.

‘What are you saying? She is the mother of the employer who pays us! Do not talk disrespectfully of the dead! Shame on you!',  I scored. :D :D 

Relief. ;-)