There is nothing Sexy about being a Parent

There is nothing sexy about being a parent. It is often boring and tiresome.

Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year…you wake up and do what humanity has done for its off spring to thrive.

Yet, when Kumar wakes up before all of us…then starts nagging us to wake up and proceeds to pick up Ari and carry him to the rest room to get him started on his morning chores….despite his yelling louder than my alarm clock to get me to wake up or else (some empty threat)…parenting doesn’t seem to be boring or tiresome.

In fact, I find the whole thing quite amusing and rather delightful.

Even my Coffee is not my OWN

I understand nothing belongs to ME.
I do.
We came with nothing.
We leave with nothing.
I get it.

That said, everything gets raided by the boys.

My books.
My laptop.
My phone.

There is no privacy even in the bathrooms.
Speaking of bathrooms, when you live with 3 boys, the toilet seat is always up. URGH.

Today afternoon, I did my usual to get through the rest of the day.
Put some coffee in a cup.
Pour some milk.

Before sticking the cup in the microwave, I paused to make a snack for Ari.
By the time I turn back, the ravenous 7 year old was raiding my yet-to-heat-coffee.

EVEN. MY. COFFEE. IS. NOT. MY. OWN.

I am going to start crying now.

I get it.
There is bigger problems in the world – like hunger, cancer and wars.
But, please.
Don’t start with me.
I don’t want to hear about it.

Let me mourn the loss of my coffee.
Save your lecture for another day.

Will you?

Isn’t Life about Second Chances?

God is super smart.
Wherever he is.

I also bet he is putting big data analytics to use.
How else would he know that I went through my first time second-grade-parent experience in a rush?

He has figured it all out.
He wants me to make amends.

So, guess what?

He is giving me a second chance to go to second grade musicals and thoroughly enjoy them.

Today morning, he somehow ensured that I showed up at this young fellow’s classroom musical titled earth Vs space mice.

Thank you God. You sure are keeping up with technology.

P.S. This post is intended with all due respect to God. I don’t mean to hurt anybody’s feelings with jest about God. I truly believe God gives us second chances. It is up to us to recognize those second chances, make the most of them and be eternally grateful.

Parenting Wreaks Havoc on One’s Belief System

Parenting wreaks havoc on one’s belief system.
You go from an “individual” to “us”.
Nothing…not friendship…not family…not marriage…nothing alters one’s belief system than when one holds one’s own.

Caring, feeding, hoarding, protecting…all these gerunds take on new meaning.
Suddenly, Maslow’s hierarchy need pyramid is doubled….one for you and one for your child.

There is several ways to raise a child.
For me, it is the  “it takes a village to raise a child” approach.
I believe I need everybody around me to help my child.
To raise, to nurture, to feed, to laugh, to cry, to hold, to motivate, to heal, to everything….it is not just me. There is a village. It is a powerful village.

I also believe raising my child is not a zero-sum game.
Somebody doesn’t have to lose for my child to win.

I believe life is bountiful and I lead my child to believe the same.
I don’t have to hoard resources for my child.

I don’t inculcate the scarcity mentality.
I lead him to believe the world is his…..and his is the world.
He has to go forth and conquer it with love and passion.

I am open minded. I try my best not to judge anybody or their choices. Because, everybody has their own story.
Over the years, I have had numerous “interesting” encounters with those who raise the next generation.
The kind ones.
The generous ones.
The open minded ones.
The ones that urge me to be a better parent.
The ones that teach me resources are endless.
Then, there are the ones that want to hoard.
The ones that believe in the zero-sum game.
The ones who hold on so tightly to the scarcity mentality.

It is everybody’s karma. What is right for them might not be right for me. And, my outlook to life might not be right for them.

Our children are going to do what they see us do.
If we believe in the zero-sum game….they will too.
If we hold on tightly to the scarcity mentality…they will too.

If we believe the world is bountiful…they will too.
If we teach them to go forth and conquer the world with love and passion…they will too.

Which side are you on? What is your belief system? What do you teach? Whatever the case might be….I urge you to think about this topic. Because, this parenting stuff  is some serious business.

I am forever grateful to those of you who are in my life and influence and inspire me with the great style of your own parenting. You might have shared with me just one insight long ago over coffee…or you might chat with me every day, every week, every month and ask how the heck I am doing. You check in on me, help me see the light and urge me to do the right thing. For that and more, I am grateful.

Our parenting story has to be one of that special bond with the spouse, the family, the community…because we realize we are all in this together. It is the story of us feeling vulnerable and strong…all at once. It is the story of humanity’s struggle to protect its off-spring and send them forth to a brighter and happier world. It is the story of nature manifesting intelligence and kindness. We are the generation that is holding the baton to raise the “next” generation. I wish all of you good luck with your parenting. Stay Strong.

Lunch Box Jokes and Notes

Since school started in August, Ari has been asking me to drop him a note in the lunch box every day.

As much as I love him, I am no Martha Stewart-y mom when it comes to packing lunch or putting notes in there every day.

As if that wasn’t a big enough issue, I am also not a morning person. Thank God for earlier riser Kumar.

(Hey School and College Buddies, I know you are snickering and saying “I know. You haven’t changed much. I didn’t expect you to.”)

Anyways, if I were to write a spontaneous note, I would do that.

Case-in-point: Handwritten Note with Warm Socks

However, writing and putting a note in there ever day was driving me crazy.

So, I did something our brain is trained to do in this day and age.

You are right. I Googled it.

Hot Damn! I found tons of lunch box notes, jokes etc.
I sent the links to Kumar and requested him to print it out. I cajoled Adi to cut it out neatly. Trust me, there were tons of printouts. I wouldn’t have had the patience to cut it all out.

Now we have the lunch box notes and jokes ready. Right?
Found on google – check mark.
Printed out – check mark.
Neatly cut and stacked – check mark.

You would think the easy part is to put the damn notes in the lunch box.
Easy enough? Doable? Is it not?

Well, in the morning rush I forget to put the notes in. Geez.

My hot, fiery, little Leo is not ready to take any BS from his mom. When he sees me during pick up, the first thing he says – “Amma, you forgot to put a note in my lunch box today.”

I smile sheepishly. I say “Sorry…Sorry…Sorry…” a 100 times in 100 different funny voices and make him laugh. Then, I shower him with the biggest and longest hug that was ever given on this planet.

Anyways, by now, he has figured out that I am going to forgot it in the morning rush.

So, he reminds me every night.

“Amma, have you taken the old notes out and put in the used dabba (Tamil word for box)? Have you put the new notes in? Not one. I want more than one. AMMAAAA. STOP. Don’t hold the note in a way that I can see it. Other side…alright…hold it the other side. I want it to be a surprise for tomorrow. Good job Amma. You did it. Hi-fi!”

End of story.

Now, I know you are going “Cluck…..Cluck” and wondering “What the heck does she do around the house anyways? Kumar rises early. Drops the boys. He even prints out sheets for her. Adi does the cutting…as if she couldn’t do even that on her own. Poor Ari….has to remind and nag her to put the lunch notes in. What the heck?”

So, if you wondered that, I wouldn’t hold it against you at all. Because, your doubts are well placed. Do me a favor.

When you meet any of the 3 boys next time, just tell them “Hang in there buddy.” It will mean a lot to them.

P.S. I love, adore and respect Martha Stewart-y moms and dads. You’ll inspire me. You’ll make the world go around. For that and more, the rest of us slackers are eternally grateful to you’ll.