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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Minutes of a Party!

It had been a month that was delightfully eventful. Some of my son’s friends had kid parties for their birthdays and he had been on a sugar high all month.  Aaron’s five year old friends, majority of which are girls, arrived floating at each of these parties like they just dropped down from heaven. Of course it doesn’t matter for the boys whose lives revolve around their tee shirts and denim.

This could be the official theme of every kids party!
 Image Courtesy: Here

So the other day at a party I caught him sporting a confused face amidst two arguing girls. The girls and my boy had a bunch of balloons each. My son was witnessing the argument and was highly amused. He offered to exchange his bunch with the girl who was not satisfied with hers, but the girl declined. Who wants boys stuff anyway? Eww. Meanwhile, one of their mothers arrived trying to console the girls that the balloons were exactly the same. The girls were convinced that they weren’t. I analyzed both bunches and realized there was a pink balloon in only one of them. My son could not decrypt the argument even after I pointed at the pink balloon and explained the matter to him. He tried, but still did not make anything out of it because for him it was nothing but a pointless debate. I don’t blame him. Guys don’t see anything. Like my husband who wouldn't know if I get a plastic surgery, forget haircut or eyebrows. It starts at a very young age, you see.

There was a slide in which all the children played at the party. I kept an eye on that, because it always starts with happy squeals and ends in a war. After gliding quickly down the slide, my son looked back to see an almost teenage looking girl coming slowly behind him. 

He quipped ‘Why are you so slow?’

Pissed off girl: ‘Yeah I AM a bit slow’

He: ‘Are you a baby’?

The girl, both hands on her hips looked down at him. ‘Do YOU think I am a baby?’

He ran back to the slide, without answering that. I almost died laughing. I caught him calling a crying girl a ‘baby’ and annoying her further, few minutes after this incident. I realized I have to talk to him a bit about pissing off girls (or maybe I should talk to his Dad first?). How do boys get this uncontrollable urge to annoy peer girls? How hard is it to not laugh when a girl cries? I realized that it was high time for a little pep talk or no-TV threats if the first doesn’t work. However I cannot hover around him all day and watch what he is doing. This is the reason even atheist and agnostic parents become religious once their kids are in school.

Soon after when he was in a good mood, I told him that it is not cool to laugh when someone cries, trying my best to be casual and non-preachy. It is also very bad boy thing to be the reason another person cries, I added.  This talk was made when they distributed ice creams. He looked straight into my eyes (this rarely occurs) and thoughtfully said ‘Okay’. There was a moment of temporary peace. When he gave me that eye contact, he probably may have been thinking about donating that ice-cream to me because I am the official leftover eater. I know for one that when a male looks into your eyes and pretends to listen they are NOT listening. When they pretend not to listen and go about doing their thing when you are talking, they are in fact NOT listening either.

The next day as I dropped him off at his art academy, there was a notice board outside.

“Parents are responsible for the safety AND BEHAVIOR of their children”.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Bring home the glass show case!

Image courtesy: Here

Have you noticed, that the luxuries of today were just mundane things in our childhood ?  I envied sky scraper apartments when I was living in a villa of sorts with a porch and garden. I envied arcade games when there were grounds and wide open spaces to run. Stupidity has no bounds. Now even if we want our kids to play in wide open spaces, we have to drive to that place and pay for it.

Most of us grew up in independent homes, and even though we live in compact apartments now, deep inside we don’t see the difference. We live in the 12th floor of a sky rise building with a living room smaller than the porch we used to have at our parents’ house. Our parents did not throw away things like cardboard boxes, newspapers etc. because SOME DAY we are going to use it. We talked of this ‘day’ like it was Judgement Day, because we are not quite sure it will come, still we don’t want to take any chance. If we have space for it, why not, right? However the day we used that box seldom came. The box housed rodents, grew mold and did whatever it could because it was bored just sitting there. Finally when some festival came that called for some clearing out, the box received it’s salvation. They kept bills from the day our first diaper was bought, even clocks they received from housewarming that happened at least two decades ago. Our kitchens had steel and aluminum vessels handed down to our Moms from beyond generations. They were used to house smaller vessels and cobwebs. There were toolboxes, paint tubs, old paintbrushes and what not. Our childhood homes consisted of all these elements and it gave us that kick for that nostalgic memory.

When we flew away from that comfortable nest that lodged stuff majority of which falls under the ‘will-be-used’ category, we took with us that tendency. Compact houses we live today have no room for anything. We look longingly at glass show cases and bigger wardrobes but we can’t own them.  Our homes are cluttered with the cardboard box in which the TV came, the books our kids used in nursery, and old toothbrushes. If you survive a year in an apartment just by routinely cleaning your stuff but not clearing them, the junk that accumulates is mind blowing.

We don’t need the boxes. If we have an equipment to sell, we need its bill, not the box. We know how to use the mixer grinder we are not going to refer the user manual anymore. We can save the books of our children and some of their clothes too, but not all of it. There are broken crayons under our sofa seats. There are newspapers we don’t need anymore. There are huge piles of plastic covers we saved to throw garbage, but we can never have that much garbage ever. There are spoons in our kitchen drawers which will never be used and we know it. There are medicines in the cupboard we haven’t checked the expiry dates of in a long time. There are bed covers and towels that have served its time. There are bills of stuff which were sold off long ago. There are chargers and cables whose purpose we don’t know. There are toys that are waiting to be disposed.

Remember, we are not living in our parents’ ancestral home where everything has got a room of its own with attached bathroom. We are flat dwellers so we better act like it. Last week I gave away one huge bundle of toys and another bag of old clothes. You wouldn’t believe the space that has started to see the light of the day. When the space is smaller it shows when you declutter it, whereas in bigger homes it does not make much of a difference.

Let us take charge and clear our homes first, and clean them later.

 Who knows, maybe we will accommodate the glass showcase!

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