06 September 2007

The theory of kids

Theoretically, I should get up by 5am, and finish making breakfast, lunch, a different kid-friendly lunch box for school and get it all packed and ready by 7am.

The alarm goes off. Brrr.. I think to myself, 'it's colder than Siberia in here,' and I curl up for a few more minutes. Avani starts to whimper. I feed her and look at the time. Goodness me, it can't be 6:45 already!!!!! Run, run, run! or I'm never going to have time for my morning cuppa.

Theoretically, I wake Aditi at 7am, get her brush her teeth, eat her breakfast, have a shower and get dressed to go to school by 9:05. The bus comes to get her at 9:10. Theoretically, this gives her a lot of time. And she can linger over breakfast. No need to hurry.

Now it's time for negotiations:
'Oh heavens, look at the time! C'mon baby, wake up or you'll miss your bus.'
'No school. I don't want to go to school'
'You GOT to go to school. All your friends are going to be there. You got to go.'

By this time appa is late for work, and Aditi wants 5-huggy-and kissy. And once A has left the wailing starts. 'I want one more huggy-kissy'

This is usually a good time to observe this phenomenon of catastrophic proportions called 'the sympathetic detonation'. The first law of sympathetic detonation states that: 'for every wail from one kid there is an equal or greater wail from the next, and so on and so forth'. By this time the little one is howling her head off, and I'm ready to howl too.

By some miracle, the older one is washed, dressed, fed and I think to myself that I need to be a little more patient. After I've done her hair, she looks at the mirror. And starts crying. 'I don't want my hair done like this. I want it done the other way'. Another dose of sympathetic detonation. When cajolery fails, I resort to ultimatums. That's how I've fixed your hair today, and that's how it's going to be.

As we head down to go wait for the bus, she looks in her bag. 'Yellow?? I want the pink lunch box'... and cries a little. Sympathetic detonation again.

Second law of sympathetic detonation: 'once sympathetic detonation has occured, there're no laws that apply anymore. It rapidly dissolves into utter chaos, and its each woman for herself. The men are clueless, and will remain so'

Theoretically, now I can sit back and relax with the baby. Get her breakfast. Play with her a bit. Give her a leisurely massage and a bath. Rock her to sleep.

How I want to sit back, put my feet up, and take a few deep breaths. But the little one's breakfast can't wait. She's really hungry and is howling. By the time she's been fed, she's also broken enough records to qualify for the spitting olympics. Her spitting's getting more powerful, and I swear the radius of the mess has increased to over 4 feet.

And between keeping the baby amused and getting something done around the house, I also need to get lunch ready.

Theoretically, she sleeps.

Yeah, right!

Theoretically, I now have time to get the laundry done, and other assorted household chores.

Yeah, that too.

Theoretically, I'm done with all this by lunchtime. Then A and I can have a relaxed lunch, and after cleaning up, I have time for a power-nap before Aditi gets home from school.

Nap?? who napped? By the time the bus gets here, I just managed to catch up with my morning backlog!

Theoretically, Avani now has some lunch and amuses herself for a bit while I get a snack or something ready for Aditi when she gets back home.

"Why didn't you give me a cute lunch?"
"I don't want this for a snack. I won't eat that either"
"I want amma to go to Mysore"
Sympathetic detonation occurs... again.

Theoretically, Aditi eats everything on her plate. And settles down to read, draw, play.

Now let's talk about a very old game my grandmother taught me. It's called 'aadu-puli-aatam', the game of 'tigers and goats'. I've forgotten how it's played, but my kids have developed a whole new way of playing it. One takes the role of tiger, and the other plays the goat. The tiger attacks the goat without the least provocation. And the goat howls. I step in to intervene, and the tiger starts to roar... er .. howl.
Remember the second law of 'Sympathetic detonation'?

Theoretically, I get dinner ready on time, and we all sit down to dinner on time. We all eat dinner, Aditi does her nightly routine of brushing, changing, and is off to bed by 8pm. A and I get the kitchen cleaned, get Avani fed, and then have time to watch a movie, read a book, listen to some music. And then like the famous nursery rhyme, it's early to bed, early to rise.

Dinner table talk is reduced to eat what's on your plate and love it. The older one is washed, changed and brushed. And makes promises to be a good girl the next day, and tells me how she will be nice to the little baby, and asks me to tell her a bedtime story. I leave the little one with A, and we start our story. Halfway through she doesn't want me there anymore. "I want appa. I want amma to go to Mysore".... there we go. There's a change of guard, a little sympathetic detonation, A rocks the big one to sleep, and I try to get the little one to nap.

By the time both are asleep, A and I look at each other, look at the mess that is the kitchen, look at the disaster in the house, and consign it all to the blazes, and crash out.

Tomorrow is another day.


"Lady Namu" said...

This makes me almost not want ot have children!!!!

Vidya said...

hehehe... don't be hasty.. ask your mom if she ever had days like that...

and then i have to mention that i get a lovely toothless smile from the little one, and all is fine with the world again.

"Lady Namu" said...

my mom was very tormented by Siddharth and me, so much so she's instructed every woman I know to not have kids and pursue a career...or if we just have to oblige, then to just have one:-)

In her own words, "kids are the greatest joy and the greatest pain"...

Vidya said...

Hilarious.. I know I am laughing at you, but you asked for it. Beautifully written :))

hema said...

reminds me of the days with gowri. she refused to go to school if her hair was not tied into ponytails.
history repeats! take care.
no generation gaps

Tys on Ice said...

now thats putting the whole parenthood in its rite perspective...jesus h christ, sometimes we wish that we had watched a movie instead ;)

Preethy said...

Theoritically - it gets better.

It doesnt.

Vidya said...

@vidya: I guess at some pointt that is the story of every mom's life

@hema: Ma, since you're quite sane, I have hope.

@ preethy: why did you have to ruin a perfectly good delusion?