My staple source of entertainment these days is a debate club on a baby community. I have to say, it’s one of the best debate boards I have ever read. It boasts of all sorts of people - some honest, most intelligent, some troublemakers, negligible amount of stupid dimwits (most of the dimwits stick to the birth boards where they ask inane questions like what they should do about a baby that has been shrieking nonstop for 2 hours - fodder for another post). The cake however goes to the bunch that put up threads simply to incite controversy and then escape somewhere. Most often they have awful grammar to boot about (that is besides the point, but I just had to say it).
Last week there was one train wreck of the thread there. Somebody said Stay At Home Moms (SAHM) have kids because they are lazy and need an excuse not to work. Yes. Stop , go back and read that statement again. That poster must have been in a deluded universe separate from our own. Heck ! I go to work because I need a break not because I am not lazy :-P. My slumbering drama llama woke up and read the thread with great relish.
As I thought about this, it stuck me this argument is as old as the chicken and egg battle itself. Working moms think they have it all hard and tough because they work outside the home and at home. Stay at home moms think they are doing the bulk of work with kids, hence they are the busiest. Honestly I don’t even know why Moms do this to each other. I have heard every nonsense from ” Oh you work, so your kid isn’t important to you ” to “Oh you let someone else raise your child” for working moms. I have also heard the “Oh you let the husband slog and you take the easy way out” and “All you have to worry about today is what to feed your child” (Which honestly in my opinion beats all world problems that exist today :-P). Remember the Hilary Rosen-Ann Romney cat fight a few weeks ago ? Hilary meant the proper thing, her delivery train derailed somewhere on the way. Ann Romney has zero clue about being an actual SAHM , yet she put on a holier than thou attitude about Hilary. I kind of agree on Hilary with that one, what does a woman with millions in the bank and servants to cater to every whim and fancy know about slogging it out with kids?
But on the other hand, as long as these Moms do not graduate out of high school, my drama queen is fed enough. Burp :-D
As I’m in the final year of my Master’s Degree and am likely done studying for the next 10 years (gosh! I feel old), I was looking back at the various professors I’ve had the (mis)fortune of studying under. ‘Professor’, for some of these cases is really a polite way of saying pro at being a fool and an ass ;) . I’ve had many quirky profs, some outright funny, some astonishingly dumb and some outright evil. I guess this is why they still are in memory.
Pre-University classes - the first year : I started off the first year as everybody else does. Really excited about college and no freaking clue what I was getting into. Considering we had just been freed from oppressive school classrooms, we were understandably rambunctious lot in class. Read totally uncontrollable. In comes this trigonometry teacher. In a 40 minute class she would spend 15 minutes trying to calm us rowdies down, the next 15 trying to recap what she (hadn’t) taught us in the previous session and the last 5 minutes begging us to listen. The trigonometry angles were Olphaa , Baata and Gyaammma. It’s a miracle I even passed this course. Oh and we were really doing a disservice by being rowdies in a center dedicated for nerds. The other 3 classes were being nerdy enough, why could we not follow the herd? Outrageous I tell you!
In the same college was a guy who taught us Sanskrit. A walking advertisement for a misogynist idiot. He would take great pains to tell us why girls had to stay within limits, listen to what men say, not cross social boundaries yada yada yada all the while drooling endlessly and smelling like he just came out of the trash bin. The very thought makes me barf even today. He made Chewbacca look sexy :-|
Second Year Pre university: The exam that makes or breaks your life, the year where you forget to eat and sleep and just study, so much so that you eat and poop subject knowledge. I fell into private tuition trap like the others and the only good thing that came out of it: I swore that I would die before stepping into another tuition class in my life. I met several weird members of the professor species here - the dumb woman who flirted with all boys in the class, the ugly looking horribly smelling man who only checked girls’ notebooks all the while trying to stick himself to them, the guy who learnt every single word in the textbook and recited it heart to heart (going as far to restart at sentence beginning if he used a wrong word). But I think the worst was the owner of the tuition himself who thought of himself as some sort of demigod. If I had a shot each time he said “blaaady” I would be certified drunkard for the next 50 years. He spouted absolute nonsense rules all the while making you feel if you toed the line, the wrath of Zeus’s thunderbolt would be on you. And the scraping of nails on the blackboard, shudder.
Engineering: was decent enough. I was a nerd for the first two years and a total prof heckler for the next two. I got caught reading novels in class, got called out for “changed for the worse”, got caught imitating a lecturer etc etc. There are two that stand out during this phase : One that gave us Indian mythology lessons instead of microprocessors. I really wanted to ask him if it were okay to submit my view of mythology for my term project instead of the micro p device I had to build. No luck.
The other one was super funny and is probably my favorite prof ever. Totally non intrusive , very intelligent and extremely funny. He would make these statements like “Who put the glass door here” after walking straight into a glass partition in the lab or “Copy in the exam its ok, just make sure I don’t catch you doing it”.
Master’s Degree: Somehow the master’s degree profs in a first world country are the most dinosaur era ones I’ve met. One prof doesn’t let us use computers in class, so hello smartphones ;) Another one insisted I write down every word she puts on board in a notebook. Never mind the words on board were copied verbatim from textbook. She must have mistaken her job for that of a copywriter. Why don’t I also wear pigtails, get a Dora lunch box and suckle my thumb while we are at it?
Any quirky profs you know?
Downton Abbey anyone? I’m so addicted to this show. As I was blazing through the first season this past weekend it stuck me that these days I watch mostly period dramas. Bye bye Crime dramas and thrillers. I wonder if this is a sign of growing older or just my need to watch something from simpler times, considering my life is a walking advertisement for chaos these days.
Anyhoo, here are my favorite period pieces, what are yours?
Most of my Internet browsing these days is lurking around parenting sites. It’s just fun to know what other infants and toddlers are going through. The posts vary from mildly interesting to outrageously controversial. In one such reading expedition I came across a posting by an Indian mom asking how to make her 5 month old baby fair. Face - meet palm. This brings me to a long standing rant of mine. What the heck is it with us Indians and wanting to be fair, especially for girls? I normally don’t judge other moms because I know first hand how hard it is to be a mom and would personally kick anyone’s ass who sat on a high horse to call another mom good or bad. But this thing about complexion is beyond limits. Isn’t a mom’s job to make her kids’ successful, confident and ready to face the world? What hope has that little girl left if her own mother says “oh my daughter is dark, how do I make her look better?”. No wonder 70% of the ads that run on TV say a dark girl cannot be successful. She uses fair and lovely, and voila! the world is hers.
Take a peek at matrimonial ads or even listen to aunties speaking about prospective brides for their sons. One line “She should be fair and beautiful”. No brains ? No character ? Nothing else? Just fair? They should probably consider a mannequin as a potential candidate, meets all requirements anyway.
It fails me why we have this long standing obsession with being fair. Being fair is not automatically = being beautiful. I remember that one summer when I walked to college in scorching sun and was all tanned, all my mum heard from her well meaning aunts was “oh if she goes dark, she cant find anyone”. What the hell? I was 19 years old, years away from wanting to be married and if a guy only wanted me for being fair, I would have shown him the door before he could say boo. Somebody enlighten me about this horrid fascination with being fair?
You know you have a one year old at home when
1. You trip over a toy every third step you take.
2. The living room resembles like a tornado went through it, at all times of the day. It always strikes after you organize everything into some semblance of order.
3. A new location is discovered almost every week that should have been baby proofed, inspite of spending 3 months on the said task.
4. You are taught to do breakfast according to his highness’s standards with pointing, grunting and disapproving looks that could put a school principal to shame. Also, if the food isn’t tasty, you are called to order, made to extend your hand and receive the chewed spit out. All with a grin of course.
5. You are fed half chewed on biscuits with such adoration and happiness that you cannot say no.
6. You never get a kiss when asked, no matter how much you beg. You get a really slobbery one sometime when his highness has the mood. You have to walk up to answer the summons when the said event happens.
7. You have to regularly fish out assorted things from the trash basket - like the TV remote control, several toys, hair brush, socks etc etc.
8. Crows suddenly become very interesting objects to observe on daily walks.
There is a funny thing that happens when you become a Mom. You automatically enter the group of people that wear a board around your neck that screams “Unsolicited advice welcome”. It’s a privileged group that attracts attention from everyone , young and old alike. They see the tummy or the baby with you and go full steam with should and should not. I admit, there used to be a time when I would get completely offended by these. Now I just ignore every one of them and have a good laugh. Here are some I received
1. “Have a normal delivery if possible” - Right…I will exercise my choice and command my body to behave. Never mind that its the kid inside that decides it. And I even heard, if its C-section, decide an auspicious time. Unfortunately, the baby is not very good at giving me schedules prior hand. He isn’t well versed with project management :)
2. The feeding - This attracted the most attention from anyone and there is now way you can win this one. Not breastfeeding is a sin by itself. It’s a little redeeming to be breast feeding but then it has its own set of caveats. Everything from posture to quantity to time of feeding is under the scanner. And somehow everybody thinks it’s alright to give opinions on such a personal matter, even if you are tight lipped about your choices. People usually ask questions, assume your answers and proceed to advice. This is a classic example of monologue ;)
3. The sleeping - oh lord. If one more person tells me to let the baby cry it out, there will be some tears and it won’t be that of the baby. I’ve also heard the “don’t encourage by petting and rocking the baby” , sure I won’t do it when he is 6 months or a year old because he will want to be rocked and petted when he is 10 years old. Makes a lot of sense.
4. Let him feed himself - sure, while I’m at it, I’ll also teach him how to mix his formula, heat his milk, cut and puree his veggies, cube his fruits. He should be independent I tell you. All this before he turned a year old. By the time he turns three, he should be making meals for the entire family!
5. He is too active for his age , something is wrong. Huh on which planet? I thought on earth, not being active is worrisome for a kid, not the other way around. Pardon me.
6. Rest when the baby rests - in the initial months. While I do understand the philosophy behind this, its beyond me how this is practically achievable. Unless you can drop to sleep at the drop of a hat and have 10 other people to take care of your other chores.
I’m sure this won’t end. If anything it will only get more interesting as Aarush grows.
I follow politics avidly, its better than any soap opera you can find on TV. When I was back home I would poke fun of most politicians and get annoyed at some of their doings. In India , politics = vote bank. Every five years the loyalties of party leaders, workers and parties oscillate to where they think the votes will come in. I used to hate this hypocrisy but follow it nevertheless.
I come to US and boy oh boy! Indian politics is still in a very nascent stage of being annoying. The Indians only crib like small children, pass the candy from one hand to another, backstab each other and get down to any level to stay in power. But US politics? They think they can walk right into your bedroom and preach how to lead your life. Especially the grumpy old pharts (GOP). I’ve been following the debates for primary election and the GOPs all suffer from a common ailment - called male chauvinistic piggism and verbal diarrhea. They think its okay for them to
1. Tell a woman what she has to do with her uterus and precisely when. Abortion will be illegal apparently. Well didn’t you know? It’s god’s work for a bunch of smelly old farts sitting in clergy or some air conditioned room to dictate the best course for a pregnant woman. They want to educate her. Yes please, since women lost their brains somewhere along the evolution chain.
2. Tell a woman that in case of an unplanned pregnancy, it definitely is a mistake and the man has no stake in it. Right, because the woman is a hermaphrodite and produced both the sperm and egg. Thank you for enlightening me with mysteries of human biology and woman’s capabilities. She isn’t just fit for being bare foot and staying in the kitchen, she can actually do something that a man can! Also, you are pro life but call the child a mistake? I just received an advanced degree in hypocrisy.
3.GOPs also left logic somewhere down in the gutter. They seem to think unplanned pregnancies happen only for single women. Such women should marry someone, anyone! Single parenting apparently will be a cause leading to child abuse. Thank you for educating me that married women or rape victims don’t have unplanned pregnancies. Or are they suggesting rape victims actually marry their rapists? Such a noble and sensible thing to do isn’t it? I also wasn’t aware that being married automatically negates people from committing child abuse.
I really want to know how long any of these idiots have been women in their lives to even begin to understand what a woman should or should not do in her life. Here is the deal: Until you grow a pair of ovaries, don’t even attempt to talk about it.
Staying in the US of A has exposed me to so called “reality” shows. It was my guilty pleasure for sometime, I used to watch some of these and heckle them mercilessly. I truly love one or two of these (Hello Top Chef! ). After I had the baby, the TV got cut down and I spend most of my time on kid related forums; I came across two so called reality shows while reading the threads. One about teenage moms and the other called toddlers and tiaras.
On what planet is it okay to provide publicity for teenage mothers? Especially those who became moms at 16 by choice? I’m going to be 29 years old (no, not squeamish about announcing my age to the world) and I’m terrified about being a parent. I think a 100 times before taking one decision and I’m paranoid half the time about doing the right thing by my child.
The night time feeding left us feeling and looking like monkeys on tequila shots the next morning. Do not even remind me of the first few days where we didn’t know when one day ended and the other began. Parenting is a learning process and one that needs some amount of maturity. Show me one 16 year old who is mature enough to handle a kid and I’ll eat my socks. These kids are actually given money to appear on TV. I’m speechless. Yes rage does that to me. These vacuous emptyheads are not even fit to take care of themselves, let alone another life.
The other show - toddlers and tiaras - I stumbled across this by pure accident. I saw the picture of a 4 year old girl dressed like she was about to go hawk herself. Pardon the language but that is the brutal truth. I was disgusted on who would let a kid dressed like that walk out of the house let alone be photographed. Then I learn the mothers actually encourage it. You could have knocked me over with a feather. As a child I remember only jumping around, eating what I wanted, sleeping, yelling and jumping off the couches. In short an extremely naughty but fulfilled childhood. How are these kids even children? Bill Watterson had the right idea when his Calvin said “Childhood is short and maturity is forever”.
I don’t know who to pity more, the moms or the kids.
Cooking is one of my favorite activities.
It sucks however to get creative day after day. So I’m on a quest these days to keep things simple. One such dish I discovered yesterday - simple steamed vegetables that puts me straight into rabbit category. It’s hard getting veggies into kids tummies, especially when the kids are nearing 30 years of age (ahem cough).
I’m not posting a recipe, its more of a “do this and then that” kinda blog post. No pictures either since I’m lazy or never have my camera with me when I need it. By the time I hunted the camera down, the husband had plowed through it all, so there goes the picture :P
A few french beans of the young charming and really nice looking kind
A few baby carrots - the babier the better ;)
Steam them. Steam the carrots first since they are more stubborn than the french beans.
In a pan
Butter (like Julia Child would say - everything tastes good with butter. Just limit the quantity and don’t veer into Paula Deen area of butter quantity)
Thyme, rosemary and dill - sauteed until you smell the aroma.
Toss the steamed veggies, add a little salt and voila. You will have the husband sniffing in the kitchen like you just dished up a 5 star restaurant dish. Evening well served. * blows air on nails *. I should have remembered to ask to buy something with his credit card precisely at that moment. He never refuses after a satisfying dinner. Darn!