44 going on 4

Mr. R is 44 yrs old. But sometimes I wonder who the adult is in the duo of him and lil Miss R. At least once a week I question if his mental age is still stuck in his toddler years. It’s like having 2 kids at home. Seriously, it’s not a joke.

We are meeting his parents next month end. Our travel plans in addition to meeting them also involves exploring a few other places on our own as a “happy” family of three. Given that, I had made sure that Mr R told his parents not to get anything for us since I can’t imagine lugging all that extra weight around as we travel by pretty much every major mode of transportation. More importantly, I know my kid. They will ask her what she wants. She’ll respond with I want 10 dresses and they will shower her with 10 + x dresses. She has enough in her closet to wear an outfit a day and not repeat any for a month. FOR A MONTH. That’s how many clothes this 5.5 yr old. Contrast that to how I grew up, 2 pairs of uniforms for school, old outgrown clothes at home, 2 pairs of “good” clothes – 1 for birthday and 1 for diwali, 3 if we were lucky enough to have an uncle/aunt visit us from out of the country. That should be a post in itself and can wait.

Saturday morning, I return home at 9am from my yoga class, calm and ready to take on what life has to dish out. I walk in and there’s the usual back and forth going on between father/daughter.

Me: (all the calmness in me decided to take flight … I mean if I were Ms Calm herself, I would run away as well) Now what?
Mr: Ask her what she did?
Me: Can you just tell me please?
Mr: She was on Facetime with my parents. She took the iPad to my office, closed the door and told Daddy that she wants 10 dresses.

Here is when I looked at him and actually asked him – “and what are you complaining about?

  1. All you have to do is call your mom and tell them not to listen to her. She is just 5.5yrs old. Clearly we as adults get to decide what she does and doesn’t get. WE are the parents here. The adults that run this household.
  2. She was on Facetime. anything stop you from taking the iPad away or asking your parents not to?
  3. She was in your office. Yes, it has a door. A door with no $#*%#$^% lock! What stopped you from going in there and taking the iPad away?”

Really? Do you actually have to ask a 40+ yr old these questions? Honestly, who is the kid in this house!? I can only imagine how she’ll have him twisted around her fingers as she gets older. He has no clue what he’s in for.

How did I come to the rescue? Made her call back and let Granny know that she cannot get 10 dresses. I made sure I was in the vicinity and in a loud voice said, if they get anything for you, you and your bag can stay back whilst Papa and I travel on. Before you make me seem like this tough rod yielding mother, I saw the poor things sad face and made a deal that she could ask for ONE. That’s what adults do …. *sigh*

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Leaving on a jet plane

We have built our own little happy corner here in the west whereas the rest of my family, ok ok .. extended family (Amma gets all twisted when I just say family) lives in the far east. India if you really want to know.

This means sitting in a plane for a good 16-20hrs just to get there and then repeating the journey on our way back. Try doing that all by yourself with a kid in tow and trust me, no matter how good of a traveler your kid is, it is NOT easy. This is why I now opt for the direct flight with no connections. An early morning layover somewhere in Europe is no fun. You can’t really nap because you have an energetic child to watch over which then leaves you with a headache and cranky child that starts feeling sleepy when it’s about time to start boarding.

So, if I want to see them, the quickest way is Facetime. Thank god for technology. Rewind to 15 yrs ago and the days of calling cards and counting the minutes. I remember how our dad metered our overseas calls. Ok, did you say happy birthday?, pass the phone on to the next person in line. Kids these days have no clue how easy they have it. 

Last month, over multiple weekend facetime calls, her paternal grandparents were trying to convince her, or rather me through her that she should spend her summer holidays in India. They also tried to entice her by saying that it will be lots of fun because her (cousin) brother A will be there as well. Let’s just say that after several weeks of saying the same thing, she decided to end it once for all by blaming me!?

R, don’t you have summer holidays?
No. I have summer camp.
Don’t you have the big long holiday?
No (and she looks at me)
(I whisper to her that she isn’t yet in “proper” school so there are no long holidays)
No.

And they go back and forth for a good 3-4 minutes with the granny trying to tell her she has holidays and my kid saying no. The grandfather then gets on the call.

I want to see you. Will you come to India?
No, I don’t have any holidays. You come here.
I can’t really travel. Your brother A will be here as well.
I don’t think my amma has holidays.
Can you come on your own? we can pick you up from the airport.
(seriously, who asks a 5 yr old if they can travel on their own. It’s a big bad world out there people!!)
No, I am too small for that.
Then come with your Amma.

(And this is when she delivers the punchline that ends the conversation for good. I pretended that I hadn’t even heard it)

I cannot come because my Amma doesn’t like sitting in a plane for that long. She said cannot do that every year.

Touche kiddo. Just blame it on Mom. Especially when talking to her in-laws. I rolled my eyes at the dad who was sitting right to next her and slunk away. She doesn’t always have to travel with me! And they are your parents!!