He Called It ‘Family Overdose’
Hi. How are y’all doing? How’s the lockdown life been so far? Staying home? Staying safe? Of course, you are!
But tell me more. Like what sort of ‘self-discovery’ journey have you been on?
I have seen people starting new trends or participating in them – like dress-up challenges, celebrity look-alike challenges, etc. They are all doing great. Hats off to their time management skills.
I have also come across people bombarding me with links of their new YouTube channels. We have some budding artists in the pipeline for sure – musicians, singers, painters, movie makers, technology geeks, scientists DIY hackers, and some absolutely new trend-setters.
Then we have the helicopter moms. If you thought that the slowbalisation of the aviation industry has left the airspace all empty, think again. For these moms have taken over and are flying higher and stronger. Uncontrollably. The race of ‘my child is doing it all and doing it fabulous’ has evolved into a digital one. Just so, if you thought that this period of isolation meant disconnect, well all you got to do is check your social media account.
Technology surely has given a new meaning to life. The kids continuing their school learning, for example.
It’s a different thing that parents could mutilate COVID-19 virus if they could lay their hands on it. The truth, however, remains that these already very smart kids have not missed out any development. In fact, they may just be ready to take on the world. A bit too soon.
Oh! And you have to give it to technology for allowing you and your partner to work from home. Keeping each other safe. Right?
OK. I hear you. It’s not as ‘safe’ as we thought it would be.
If that reminder was not painful enough, let me rub on.
My hubby is an essential service worker and he cannot work from home. Period.
I see those smiles coming from my sisters-in-it together! Loud cheers. Oh wait, I also hear those “boos” and see some nasty curses being thrown my way.
Hey! Ho! Sista! I’m still in it with y’all on other issues. Don’t ostracize me.
Like cooking. I overheard my husband speaking to his friends and discussing “cashew paste consistency for the right sort of gravy”. And one Sunday morning (yes, we still have weekend concepts. Alright! I’ll stop flaunting), he made Spanish dessert and served it with coffee. Oh, let me be quick to add that this was not the Mother’s Day Sunday either. So, I praised. With Honesty.
You see what I mean? We do love each other and he remains to be my support system and all that shit. So, don’t judge me.
Coming back to your journey of self-discovery, I’m so glad I got that Spanish dessert. I had started to feel a bit left-out after seeing all those WhatsApp pictures of Michelin-star plated dishes. Vegetables, meats, grains, and everything else that’s edible positioned at 4’oclock. Couple of thin slices of cucumber, not longer than 2 inches, positioned diagonally opposite and a of course a drop of ketchup artistically wiped across the plate like the arch of a rainbow.
I often see my hubby looking at those images and then looking at me with hopelessness. Guilt strikes but then it fades even faster. I say, “I wish we could order some food”. Maybe that’s what made him give up on me.
By the way, how are your baking skills going on? I walked into the supermarket…
I’ve loved supermarkets. Not just now because they are the only places we can go to. I’ve really loved walking down the aisles, browsing and looking at fancy sauces and other food items. I kind of think this was a better aisle to walk down, than the one I did 12 years ago. Oh well!
So, I walked into the supermarket. I thought I’d be a good mom if I buy those instant cake mixes for my children to bake so they could also tell their friends during the “school-meeting” that they baked a cake.
As I walk into the ‘Baking Needs’ aisle, I could visualize my boys in the kitchen trying to whip the batter; some fallen on the kitchen counter; some flour over their clothes; egg shells lying here and there; and the kitchen-aid spinning at a perfect speed. I even decided that I will take a photo in the ‘portrait’ mode that blurs the background and go back to Instagram-ing.
Life suddenly seemed as bright as the supermarket lights.
But then, in the most melodramatic way, my smile dropped. Three rows of empty shelves. No instant mixes; no baking flour; no pre-made creams; no confectionary sugar; no yeast, no cocoa powder. But I spotted a lonely packet on the bottom-most shelf. I jumped to pick it up only to realize it was a packet of corn flour.
I went home. Told the the boys to paint. A cake.
Atleast something to share with the class.
Let me get back to the lockdown discussion. I know there is a lot of appreciation and gratitude. People are also learning to value their family members more. In fact, I was reading a very interesting article about (not China’s increasing divorce rate) parents and children understanding each other better.
Now, this I wanted to try. To understand the boys – with more patience and open-mind. I told myself, “this seems to be the appropriate self-discovery moment.”
I got excited. Just like the time when I entered the supermarket. I thought it was the right time to put all the parenting workshops, books, videos, suggestions, discussions to implementation.
I embarked on this new journey.
I slipped a little.
OK, I slipped many times. But the success rate was increasing.
I was again excited. I started visualizing the boys cuddling up to me and sharing their day’s thoughts. I started imagining them telling me about how they understand my days more now. I also imagined that there would be a moment when they would say, “Mom, we now understand why you lose your cool. It’s tough being home.”
So far. So good.
A couple of days ago, my elder one had an assignment from his school. He had to write a poetry about the members of his family. He decided to go with the easiest option and wrote a cinquain.
During dinner, he was excited to read his poem.
He started with his younger brother. As he read, my hubby and I went all “aww… really… wow…”.
Then it was dad’s turn. “Doctor… hero… fun… foodie… sleep…” We all smiled and nodded in agreement.
“Best for the last,” I announced as he laughed and read aloud his words for me: “mom… firm… writer… shouting… always organizing… screaming… reading… protective”.
Everyone laughed. I tried too. My hubby the most. What happened next (to him) will be another story.
My self-discovery for the season!
PSSST! They still cuddle me and no matter how much I shout, scream or (as my elder one puts it), “flip my lid”, I’m still their ‘go to person’! So, for my convenience, I’ve decided to stay with this image. It’s easier.
That’s all for now folks. I need to login to a parenting webinar now.
Well, at least I’m not giving up!