Driving Instructor

Weekends are truly more exhausting than weekdays. What with having two kids at home (Read here), trying to de-clutter my home before the big move (we are relocating again.. sob..sniff..) and routine work to add to the chaos.

In the evening, to over come the exhaustion, we decided to go for a fun drive along the highway. Pogo was buckled into the front seat with his father, and grandmother comfortably settled in the back seat. Before reaching the highway however, we had to drive down a few kilometers. As you are aware, Chennai roads offer more roller-coaster rides than any theme park in the world.

So, as we were bumping our way to the highway, my driving instructor say “Oh Ho mummy, Careful..!” Shocked at the sudden outburst from the front seat, I say “Pogo baby, the roads are bumpy, mummy’s driving fine.” In response, pogo said “Oh mummy, drive carefully, I am bumpy”  as my co-passengers smirked at my inability to say anything. (Grr… Dude.. seriously, its not my fault..!!)

As we were about to turn at the corner, Pogo said, “Oh mummy, we have to go right” (Ahem, baby, the highway is on our left). I turned left anyway. And out came the monstrous  roar, “Mommy, I say right..! no left..” said Pogo angrily.

Sigh! from then on, I was only a pawn, whilst my driving instructor showed me the way as I drove across the town.

Parenting 101: When you are a parent, you are a pawn even in your dreams.

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Doctor’s in the house – Ouch

Pogo has never really reacted to a doctor’s clinic. He neither loves it nor hates it, he hardly cares if we scare him with the usual “If you don’t finish up your breakfast mister, the doctor is gonna give you a huge injection.” Pogo was gifted a doctors kit recently.  We also recently got Pogo vaccinated. (Two separate – seemingly unrelated events that changed my bum..! ouch)

This time, our loving nurse decided that the vaccine would be administered to Pogo’s tooshie. And what a wail he let out! Pogo has never winced this much for any of his previous vaccines. Consoling him, I said “Pogo baby please don’t cry, these injections make your stronger” As his wail subsided into small sobs, we went back home. We were worried and spent the night applying balm and ice packs to his now red tooshie.

A week later, as routine would have it, I was busy making dinner. Suddenly, Dr. Pogo, a Stethoscope around his neck and injection in hand, runs to me yelling “Mummy stronger, mummy stronger” and jams a plastic injection into my tooshie. OUCH…!!

Parenting 101: Age does not weaken you, kids do. Ouch Ouch Ouch.

Oh Deer Lord! (Prep Part 2)

We (read as me and me alone – dragging my silent partner & co-parent my darling hubby along) are prepping pogo for his school interview (which feels more like MY exam than that of anyone else’s).

Pogo has his quirks, well he is two (and a half) and he is supposed to. (read Pogo’s prepping quirks here). Prepping him is a task by itself but yesterday, all my dreams of guiding Pogo towards World Presidency twenty years later went straight to the drain. (or further below straight to hell..!)

Taking a break from the strenuous prepping sessions, Gk, Pogo and I went to visit a relative. There, we saw a few toys scattered around and pogo began playing with those. I was in the kitchen helping my aunt with the evening snacks.

Pogo was playing with a toy; loudly and clearly my adorable, darling husband says “Oh pogo, the lion says Roar” Pogo happy with his father’s (sudden, once-in-a-while)  involvement, immediately caught on to the name and kept repeating “Lion – Roar… Lion-Roar”

Unaware, I walk into the room with the snack tray only to be aghast! Pogo was playing with a cheetah toy.. merrily singing “Lion-Roar.. Lion- Roar”  (My week long animal identification training down the drain… controlling my now exploding anger,) I explain that it is a cheetah toy to both my lovable munchkin and darling husband.

“So what?”  exclaims GK, “they are all animals after all” while pogo continues to merrily (and now quiet irritably) chant “Lion – roar… lion- roar” with a cheetah toy.

Parenting 101: Try and try until someone else destroys it for you and then try again..!

Child Safety

Dear Mother-to-be, if anyone every told you that motherhood is about love and nurturing and happiness then understand that its (mostly) humbug. You would hardly have time for all this when your world is filled with Paranoia..!

With the recent stories on (every god-forsaken) news channel and new-age cinema about child abuse, the next set of paranoia sets in. (As if we don’t have enough things to worry about..! Like, Pogo, get off the kitchen counter and away from the burner..!! and I mean NOW..! and No, that does not mean u play with the knife..! enough.. Oh.. and beware of child abuse..! )

So, the good mother in me (who wakes whenever I read such horrible news) goes on to teach Pogo about personal space (as if he needs it, he hardly lets me touch him.. but alas). So, I tell him that (in spite of the amazingly humid Chennai weather) he has to always wear clothes to cover his body. That no one should see him in his underpants nor should anyone see him naked. I spent the whole week drilling these safety aspects into his head.

Over the weekend, we go to a friend’s home for a get-together. As always, a TV is playing in the room whilst we chat about things under the sky. (and once again, the world conspires against me). We were hardly paying attention to the TV (then turn the damn thing off..!) while many (many many more) useless commercials were playing on TV. Suddenly there comes a unisex lingerie ad.

Unnoticed, Pogo had been watching the ads and loudly proclaims “Mamma, uncle & aunty (lingerie ad artists) have forgotten their clothes while coming on TV” runs around the room singing “Shame Shame puppy shame all the donkeys know your name”

Proud that he has learnt his safety guidelines and embarrassed enough to hope that he stops with the singing and forgets the ad. I run into the kitchen away from his singing.

PARENTING 101: There is so much more to the “Don’t let your child have screen time” advise.

Bribed

Just image those tiny hands wrapped around you in a warm hug..!! I love it..! I am a sucker for hugs and kisses. Its an inborn trait and there is nothing I wish to do to change it. Now, God gave me Pogo, who is an especially a don’t-infringe-my-personal-space kinda kid (read HERE). So what do I do? I train him to give me a kiss/hug every time he needs something from me. (wink-wink)

Like, while playing, when he wants to borrow a toy from me, he would have to say “Mamma, I want the yellow car please” and then give me a hug followed by “thank you” when I hand it over to him. Everyone at home loved this little game. (Cuz everyone wanted a hug from Mr.I-am-too-cool-to-hug Pogo.)

All’s good when you are hugged and cuddled by your little munchkin. But then, the munchkin grows a loooonnnggg tail and behaves like the little naughty monkey that he is. One morning, my adorable lovable husband brought home chocolates (Do I look like i need any more sugar in me?) to celebrate our anniversary (Bcuz that’s the quickest he could grab on his way home) and little Pogo saw it.

Schools and birthdays take a toll on your dietary habits and Pogo LOVES his candies. (we have been trying to reduce his sugar intake at least at home)  Mr.Anton Ego (Read Here) who usually likes anything that is not-cooked by his mother immediately wanted a chocolate for himself.

So he located me in the other room, dragged me to the refrigerator, pointed at the chocolates and said “Mamma, I want chocolate please”. Horrified, I said “Pogo, those aren’t chocolate..!” (Who am I kidding, he knows every brand by the color of the wrapper). Sensing that I am taking him for a ride, Pogo immediately hugged me and says “Mamma, please, give pogo chocolate”

Melting at heart and holding on to my stern face (desperately trying to hide the smile that’s forming on my lips) I say “Pogo, Chocolates are not good, they’re spoilt, chi-chi, no to chocolates – okay?”

And Pogo drags me into a tighter hug, kisses my cheek and says “Mamma please” – head tilted to a side with a coy smile. And Alas..! Another battle lost.!

Cuteness overload is something that’s impossible to resist.

Parenting 101: When you teach your kid to be cute, he automatically learns when to be cute..

Grain Train

What is it with mothers and food? My whole life seems to revolve around making dishes for pogo, trying to get him to eat (Read Here) and gobble up the remaining; only to start making new dishes over again.!

SIGH…!! If you thought labor was a pain in $***$ wait till you see the disapproving nod of your toddler, it will hurt beyond words and you cant even scream at him (the nod is so devastatingly powerful – Sob).

So, I took the advise of another (very smart) mother who said “The best way to make toddlers eat, is to hand them the food choices and act like it doesn’t bother you that they don’t eat”  Okay, I admit that I am no sucker for Reverse Psychology or anything but hey, after gobbing up enough of pogo’s sweetened, salt-less mashed and steamed food; I thought why the heck not!

Early Sunday morning, waking with with new found zeal, I hurry to make (what I think are) Pogo’s 3 favorite dishes. (what is it with #3  dishes? seems to have some special significance in my life?). After making Pancakes, Paniaram (South Indian Savory Dish) and Vada (South Indian Savory Dish). I silently walk into (even Ethan Hunt would be proud..!) pogo’s room while balancing the three dishes as he was busy with his toys.

Silently placing the dishes near pogo, I run out like my life depends on it…!! (I have no idea why this was important, need to consult my friend) Again, without making noise..! (Achievement.. Achievement…) Now was the time to practice what my friend thought me.! To ignore Pogo.

I peeped (Well, I was born with an inquisitive gene – blame my parents for it) into the room eager to see if the trick worked.  (More so to seek the ever-denied approval from Anton Ego himself). And what I saw reaffirmed my belief.

A gleeful pogo held up to me a piece of pancake in his tiny hands (Happy dance time…!! as always..Nope!) A hooting toy trained carried the rest of his breakfast around the room chugging along were the crumbs…! SIGH..!

Parenting 101: When a mother is smart, her kid is born smarter and then there is always a nanana.

Anton Ego

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live and constantly cook for Anton Ego, the imperious food critic from Ratatouille whose review makes or breaks a restaurant.

Well, if you did, look no further, I am living with him. The only point of consideration is that he is two years old and when not eating, creates a ruckus. Its a fact that feeding toddlers is a humungus task, but imagine feeding a toddler critic? Damn my stars..!

pete-otoole-anton-ego-ratatouilleAt (every single god-damn) meal time, Pogo gives his dinner plate the quintessential Anton Ego certified scrutinizing glance, a sad nod (in slow-motion) followed by walking away (without tasting the food). Now, the mother in me, worried that her baby munchkin didn’t eat, rushes back to kitchen to bring out another star dish (well, anything that isn’t burnt, over cooked or out-right disgusting is a star dish).

Enthused by the new dish, pogo takes a bite. (Happy dance time..! …….No wait.. Damn.. will I ever get to do the Happy dance..!?) Once a critic always a critic. One mouthful of food, describes to Pogo what a plateful doesn’t to me. Again, with a nonchalant look, he walks away.! (Sometimes, he even spits the few morsels he takes -Grrr..) I grab a mouthful to taste the food and it’s delicious (or as delicious as my dishes can be..)  I am completely baffled by Pogo’s complete lack of interest in my dishes and with new found vigor (read insulted at Pogo’s disinterested nod) to prove my expert culinary skills (which starts and ends at boiling water) I rush to the kitchen (again..!) to make dish no.3.

After ransacking my tiny head for dish ideas, a huff, and a puff and (a lot of) tumbling dishes later, I successfully prepare dish no. 3 (which is an equally star dish) and present my final achievement for Pogo’s scrutiny. (and hopefully, approval). Pogo says, “Oh ho amma” a nonchalant nod (again), walks up to the table, grabs a banana, peels, takes a bite and says “nanana yummm”

Exhausted, exasperated and completely baffled, I sit down to gobble up all 3 dishes (so as to not waste food) As I continue to wonder, how a banana stole the show to my amazement at why I never reach size zero..!

Parenting 101: Always keep a banana handy. Alas, God is the best chef.