Monster me 

I absolutely hate yelling at the kids. Or needing to talk to them in a tone where there is no room for discussion or leeway. Ideally we would have a relationship where I would require something and if they aren’t able to fulfil that they would negotiate other reasonable terms with me. Is that too much to ask? Don’t answer that.

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So of course I often find myself in that place where I have to be communicating my thoughts not only sternly but in a tone that’s several octaves higher than what makes me feel human. And sometimes in the middle of that yell-fest, I will teleport above my screamy self and watch hovering above the scene, how horrid and crazy I actually can look while trying to get something or the other across to these kids that I love with all my  all. It’s stunning the irony that these very people who I would literally jump in front of a moving bus for are the ones that manage to evoke this face contorting exasperation and fury.
One of my standing annual resolutions has always been to be a zen-ner parent. The one who will get the message across in modulated lyrical tones rather than angsty high pitched ones. For most part I think there has been tremendous improvement and then suddenly a day appears where my carefully constructed and managed Jenga tower of emotions and control will come crashing down and I am back at square one, painstakingly collecting blocks to start over.

Does it damage my kids forever? I sincerely hope not. I tend to be somehwat humourous when angry and my examples and comparisons always elicit some giggles along with the fear and sulk from them. I am hoping in the long run my crazy love otherwise for them will cancel it the negatives and they will walk on forth with just the positives. Fingers crossed. And oh yes, resolution renewed for the new academic year yet again.

Midnight Feasts of the Grown up kind.

It was the days of 35/S. I remember waking up once in the middle of the night and following a trail of laughter and conversation to the kitchen with the round rotating top table, only to find all the adults of the house indulging in what seemed like a midnight pagan ritual of eating without the little people. It seemed wrong and oh so secret and simultaneously so completely exciting. I recall vaguely sharing with cousins and siblings the next day that indignation of our parents looking so happy and chatty in the wee morning hours and that too, without us. If I squint hard enough, I see khajla pheini on the table, and anda paratha and I can smell the tea. The one that is made in saucepans not in kettles.

Perhaps because I am that parent zone right now, a lot of my own childhood memories seem to be sliding back into consciousness. I am remembering details and regurgitating instances that I had even forgotten I was aware of, much less that they had imprinted in my mind. Sehris at my mother’s house  have always been a time of conversation, laughter (and fights too) and time spent together. Having hailed from a family of mostly morning people, we would be at our best most hysterical at this point, truly turning it into a fun if exhausting get together. Though my own family now  is smaller and younger right now,  and K is definitely less of a lets-socialize-at sehri person, today, Lily scuffled into the kitchen at 3:30am while we ate and chatted, and then as she stood there, staring at us with a mixture of quizzical fascination and bewilderment,  I was suddenly transported back to that night when I walked in and discovered the grown ups having fun without us.

Because I will forget and I don’t want to.

Random conversation just now.
Nadi: Do you know you came out of Mama’s tummy?
Lily: NO I DIDN’T!!
Nadi: Yes you did. Ask mama.
Lily: Mama Nadir telling lies!!
Me: No it’s true you did. You grew in my tummy then the doctor took you out.
Lily (worriedly): But why did you eat me?

‪#‎becauseyouareyummy‬ ‪#‎nadilily‬ ‪#‎longsummerafternoons‬ ‪#‎summerhols‬

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Maleficent vs Lord Business playing out on my shoulder
(complete with sound effects) is just not conducive to any kind of concept and design work.

#workfromhomewhydontyou #summerhols #nadilily #play #freelancelove

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Way too early morning craft talk today.
Lily: mama will you make me a cutout with the strong glue?
Me: UHU?
Lily (confused and a tad but panicked): Mama it’s me Leila!!

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It was World Day parade today at her school and Leila was- wait for it- a “Pakistani”.
Some gems she has shared with us this week on being one are:
1. Pakistanis only eat chapati.
2. They wear red Kurtas.
3. Only boys are Pakistani. (so in the spirit of the parade, she was a boy today)
4. They talk in “sla-laikumm”
5. They sing the national anthem together when happy.
6. Pakistani’s cousins are from France

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Both kids have declared that it’s “cheating that the REAL heart looks nothing like the drawing heart” and that “it’s not even the right shade of red”.

#reality #nadilily #verylongafternoons #biologyfail

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Hey Leila- why do you want to be an astronaut when you grow up?
Because I want to.
Yes but why an astronaut?
How else will I see the stars Mama?

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October 8: childhood WAS an adventure.

In the afternoon when everyone was asleep- remember how everyone used to sleep in the afternoons once upon a time?- all of us would stage-whisper together through our re-enactments, sitting on the floor infront of Dada Daddos’ room, trying to catch the whiff of AC snaking out from underneath their door, as we played in the dappled sunshine streaming through the huge window in the lounge.

Some days we would reenact entire Amitabh movie scenes out. I was always Amitabh – possibly by virtue of being eldest one present at the time- and Satte pe Satta was a house favourite. Other days we would all be deeply engrossed in the intricacies of Snakey, Snakey, Cinderella or Enid Blyton- playing out some Famous Five adventure on the “beramda”, complete with make-shift chair caravans and imaginary packed lunches, which of course included the famous “hard boiled eggs, tinned sardines and sticky ginger cake with lemondae” We were nothing if not through in our details.

The afternoon belonged to us exclusively, a childrens’ only time in a world filled with grown up rules. We would climb to the top of the jaali, using the railing as footholds, shimmy up the side of the stairs, hide out in the dusty little nook leading to the “chhatt”. And then as tiredness would start to hit, we would run into our respective parents’ rooms to peer into the tiny refridgerators and gather all the best snacks and tiptoe out to share the loot.

To me, adventure is synonymous with those Karachi summers, where we would run wild and free, and mostly barefoot, sometimes on the roof if it was raining- it always rained madly atleast once on our trips, with water collecting strategically in all the unlevelled areas- or in the garden out front, underneath the big Christmas tree because the little one seemed angry. I remember days spent dashing up and down the driveway on our go-go scooties, thrilling in the dip that came right before the gutter cover, so that not only did you speed up suddenly but the bumpy part that followed shook you to your core before lading you at the far end, in one amazing ride.

I can almost smell the chai signaling an end to the mad afternoons frolics around the house. We would shut the sacred drawing room’s door again, pretending we were never there, pretending to scale the jacquard mountains- pack up any clues that may open a portal into our secret time and then longingly, impatiently, would sit and wait till the next day, when after lunch, our magic time started all over again.