Siblings on a Saturday Morning

It’s a Saturday morning and I am lazing in bed. But all those who think life for an Indian homemaker is easy, please continue reading.

You are awakened by the noise of your Lab‘s tail thumping against the bedside table. Pass him a lazy hand and try sleeping again. He starts panting. Try scratching a bit. Try saying, “Good boy, go find your bone.” He wants something else. It isn’t his breakfast time. I am sleepily sure the kids are awake and eating something they won’t share with him. He pants louder. Son hears us, and whistles for him, “Come here! Good boy ! Why are you bothering Momma?”

Why is Son being so kind today?

Might as well wake up. What good will it do to the family if I keep the laptop off? If it wasn’t for the resolve to cut down on precious blog time I would have been up and about.

There’s a hushed scuffle from the direction of the kitchen. I wait for the shrill “Mamma!!!
Nothing. Silence. This is impossible. Both are awake. Husband is not in town. Why aren’t they fighting?

So I yell in the general direction. “Hey what are you both doing?

Son is almost immediately there. Kind of unusual. I only called once.

I heard something.

A very pleasant smile, “Nothing.”

Weren’t you both fighting?”

“Huh …. ? Fighting? We were just talking about school.”

“Did you have milk?”

“Err … we’ll have, we’ll have … You sleep if you want to.

“What was the scuffle I heard?

“When?

“SON! What did I hear?”

“In the kitchen?”

No in the bathroom.
“I better come and check myself …

“Why can’t we have Limca at least, it has no caffeine. I don’t want to have milk. None of my friends parents force them to have milk at this age. …

“Limca at 7:30 in the morning?! How old are you? You need me to tell you what to have? You want to walk in and out of hospitals at my age?
Okay we’ll have milk first. … and anyway she snatched the bottle, she has taken in that big glass and given me in the small yellow mug. She had extra yesterday also! Last evening I saw the bottle was almost full!”

I pull the laptop to me (kept on husband’s side of the bed) …

Tell ‘she’ to put both the glasses in the fridge, ‘she’ touches Limca and her tattoo stands canceled for another six months.”
What has a tattoo got to do with drinking milk or Limca comes to the mind, as the laptop is switched on.

And then the phone rings. Ah, Sister from Texas πŸ™‚
Saw your missed call, I was at that training.
Just wanted to tell you her SAT II score …“, I tell her and know she is mighty proud because she doesn’t congratulate, she yells to her family – I can hear them talking. Took some effort to get her back to talking to me.
She spends some time gushing over Obama, the limited edition Obama plates and Obama coins she plans to buy. (“Get for me too!”) Remembering the emotional moment when she voted for him. Her fears for his safety since he is so much like Kennedy and Rajiv Gandhi. (She’s a super melodramatic Leo.)

I love this conversation. I want to hear some echoes of my thoughts. So I throw a stone in the well.
IHM: “Here they are saying Obama could be a closet Hindu.”
Sister: “What nonsense! He is not. He is like us. He doesn’t care which God people worship, he doesn’t even presume to know about heaven and hell …
And I am thinking, my mom was so wrong when she said we were ‘exact opposites‘ , anybody can say we were raised by the same set of tolerant, liberal, patriotic, post independent India parents. Same values.

I see Son sauntering in with a STEEL glass in hand, sipping slowly, but Sister is talking about her training, our hopes for Daughter’s future, how it’s in ‘our blood‘ to be so liberal. I hadn’t charged the cell phone. Sudden silence. I was enjoying the gup-shup and want to call back, but there’s an emergency here.

“What’s in that steel glass?”
“Milk” Grinning.
“Daughter rushes in, “No it’s Limca.”
“I had milk in my corn flakes okaaay and I saw how much Limca you had …!”
“But I had milk first. And I saw the few drops of milk you added in your cornflakes. He also has to, you can’t make only me drink milk …!”
“You know when you were young, I was the proudest mom because you never fussed about milk and fruit. He had such allergies! Look at him now! You know preservatives cause allergies. How can you know and still not care? People like you are making these aerated drinks guys very rich. These drinks are addictive.”

This never fails!
Both look shamefaced. Son puts the wet glass on the wooden table.
Daughter hugs me. “We understand! … when we drink Limca you feel we’d be repeating family history of addiction … “
Son says very kindly, “You want some tea?

I once told them the sad, sad story of my addiction to caffeine-rich tea. It was unintentional and I fear I exaggerated. Have I scarred them for life?

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30 thoughts on “Siblings on a Saturday Morning

  1. @IHM,
    From what I have seen, children watch people around them very closely. They are influenced a lot by the way their parents act and behave.
    And btw, what is wrong in having a caffeine addiction? or is there something that I have missed here.
    Most people in the world have it (including me).

    Like

  2. IHM, you always always win all the points when you post something warm like this. I told you your posts sans links are what I like best, because I like to read YOU here.
    But that doesnt mean that I am undermining what you write with all those informative links in those passionate posts. You’re the best in them.
    This is really wonderful to read.

    Like

  3. LOL!!!

    And empathy!!!!

    My black lab is the make-mommy-get-upper in the home. She insists I get up when my alarm rings… and will not let me be till I do; A few hums and haws, a little rumble, then tiny barks, and finally full fledged you-get-up-now-or-else!!!! What is worse is that she has company; a two year old (mongrel) [I hate saying that.. lol, it’s like saying Hindus and Muslims, :D!!!]
    comrade in arms. His mother was an abandoned puppy, who we adopted, and she gifted us 7 more, all of whom, luckily for all of us, have found happy homes.. The eldest is with me, and that is the comrade πŸ™‚

    And yes, the kids πŸ™‚ I love the way they responded to the blackmail.. πŸ™‚ Poor darlings!!!

    Nice lazy Saturday?? Lol!!!

    Like

  4. When I was young, I hated milk and all its variants like complan, curd etc. Even now. Why can’t mothers be more creative and give kids something like a mango milkshake? But I should have been unique as I didn’t like limca either!

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  5. Ajit I agree, they do follow a good or bad example, and that is my only hope!
    And they like milk, normally πŸ™‚ BUT they are mad about coke, junk food and cold coffee.
    About caffeine addiction, actually I only have two or three cups of tea a day, I exaggerated to discourage them from getting addicted to anything. I know caffeine addiction is no big deal, but my son would rather have coffee or coke (both have caffeine) than fruit shake or juice! He is skinny, has had all kinds of allergies as a baby … maybe I should just let them be.
    But tell me is it a good idea to begin your day with LIMCA, instead of milk?!!!

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  6. mampi I know you prefer these kind of posts, and I was thinking, “Mampi is going to approve of this one :)” … but these posts and this life, with it’s mundane, chota-mota problems is only possible, if those other issues are resolved.
    I want a happy and peaceful India for my kids, hence those other kind of posts 😦
    Wish one never needed to write those kind of posts!

    Like

  7. Usha Pisharody Exactly what this one does! I am spared when husband is around though! But our other dog, ‘the mongrel’ [… or shelter dog or mixed breed dog] sleeps curled up at my feet or sprawled diagonally across the bed, on her back occupying all the bed! But she only wakes up when we do, if we sleep till 8 or 9 so will she πŸ™‚

    You adopted an abandoned puppy!? I think people who love/and are kind to animals are the most unselfish of all, because you do it purely with nothing but their love in return. When we help a human we have religion, society and God blessing us, when we help an animal we often have to go against these, there is no hope of receiving anything in return from anybody. And when you adopt a mixed breed dog, there’s no hope of ‘keeping’ a dog as a ‘status’ symbol either!

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  8. Destination Infinity I also feel kids who just don’t like milk should be offered milk shakes and all. Even without any serious dislike for milk they enjoy flavoured shakes.
    My kids don’t dislike milk, but hey love Aerated drinks more. When we go out and i suggests they try mango shake etc, instead of coke they don’t.
    I think it’s good enough that they know, eventually they will eat healthy and if they don’t then it just has to be accepted!

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  9. @IHM:
    Very good post…I hated milk esp. hot milk and still do…I remember pouring it down the drain and getting caught by my grandfather who saw it come down the drain (old house with external pipes and drains…When I was a kid, I too was addicted to Thums-Up and would love mixing it with ice-cream…These days I hate Thums-Up AND ice-cream…

    Serving milkshakes twice a day is a good idea but I don’t know what moms who have to make these things feel about it…

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  10. I still cannot fathom why all kids love junk? Areated drinks are really a pain…my kids toh marne maarne par uttar aate hain sirf ek botal sprite/pepsi/limca ke liye! kaash itna josh zindagi mein aur cheezo/baaton ke liye hota πŸ™‚

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  11. Bones It seems, nothing can beat the attraction of aerated drinks! Have accepted that it is near impossible to stop some amount of carbonated drinks.

    They don’t mind milk, but after a bottle of Limca!! How much can somebody have?!

    @my space LOL Same story here! One of the few things they compare drop by drop to see who go more!
    … maybe because it is rationed so strictly? Then I have also seen what happens if there is no rationing! At least now they are reminded that it is harmful!

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  12. hey…i don’t have any clue hoe one disciplines the child.. and guess what u have done does help in keeping them away from stuff harmful for them… so then it’s a win win situation…

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  13. lol!!!! reminded me of all the fights and arguments we three sisters used to have with our mom… loved reading it

    and mixing with coke with limca i used to do this all the time still do it…

    and u know what tell ur children… fanta and milk taste very yummy together he he u think i am spoiling them πŸ™‚

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  15. so cute πŸ™‚
    And the son says- “You want some tea”… that was so sweet…its like bribing you and oh so cutely..One wouldn’t feel like saying “no” after that πŸ™‚

    Like

  16. Caffeine Addiction – Caffeine Effects and Withdrawal part II
    Caffeine addiction shows up when a person cannot stop consuming caffeine in high amounts, causing his/her body to demand the substance and react negatively if that no caffeine is intake. Caffeine may not be addictive in the traditional sense, but the body builds up a tolerance over time; some people find it very hard to function well without at least one cup of strong coffee or tea in the morning. The stimulating effects of caffeine are caused by a central nervous reaction, the heart rate increases, blood vessels expand and the brain receives more oxygen. These caffeine effects can last for up to 8 hours, and once they go off then the body feels extremely lazy and slow as a side effect.
    Caffeine addiction can even cause death, mainly because the abuse of any stimulant can cause high blood pressure or and heart problems, so if you abuse of it chances are you put yourself at the highest risk of a heart attack.
    You need to be careful with caffeine withdrawal because it affects your overall health and therefore, you need to control your consumption of caffeinated products to prevent your body reactions to caffeine withdrawals. If you need more information about caffeine effects and caffeine addiction symptoms or prevention, please investigate a little further on this topics.

    You can find more info at: http://yourcaffeineaddiction.com/

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