Friday, May 30, 2008

"Is Hillary Clinton Winning?"

It seems like Peaches asks this question everyday as I prepare dinner and the girls do their colouring and Wolf Blitzer updates us on everything we need to know with "the best political team on television" ,of course. The answer would vary with the results of the day but now there seems to be only one possibility. The math is done , the people have spoken. Its been an exciting ride, a bit like a movie. Clear front runner gets unseated by a newbie.But it has also been a wonderful experience to see a woman in this race.Like all moms I try to find good role models for my girls. The pink-princess vision has an allure thats hard to avoid but along with that we have talked about becoming an astronaut, doctor, "arter" (artist per Peaches) and now I could present a credible and very real person for another possibility, President. So that is another option that has been added on the list for the time when, having eaten a lot of spinach and thus grown quickly to 20 years old Peaches will be ready to conquer the world in whatever color nail polish she chooses without Mom interfering.
Hillary fought a good fight, showed that women do have what it takes and did not let any of the negativity depress her. We applaud her for that. You showed you could play with the big boys and beat them too. But now the time has come to bring your unique touch to the process and show them how to accept the results with grace and charm adn live to fight another day. Like a true Princess would.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Peaches and Popcorn go on a Picnic

We had a glorious long weekend. At last, the weather was perfect. The weather people, as Peaches put it, had finally "put off" the rain. So we basked in the sunshine and indulged in lazy picnics. On Saturday evening we went to Gravelly Point. A perfect setting: softly lit Washington monuments provided a stunning view, the Potomac was a picture of serenity and the occasional planes taking off from National Airport added an element of thrill. We gorged on "gol gappas" while a big community picnic nearby had people cheering participants in various games in excited spanish. Childish voices were raised in versions of "Dad, help me get my ball/fly the kite?" in hindi, arabic, russian and other languages.

On Sunday we went to the park near our home. I let the afternoon sunshine wash over me as the kids were engrossed in the sand box. Small boys in baseball outfits played as solemnly as if this was the biggest game of their lives. Lilting arabic songs floated out from the picnic shelter, a small army of Korean men manned the barbecues and exotic smells arose, a pink princess banner fluttering in the wind indicated a birthday and everyone sang out for little Marisol.
Only in America.
Then a shriek rent the air. Popcorn had dumped a bucket of sand on Peaches, time to go home.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mother's Day

Just in time for Mother's Day is this hilarious piece on Moms communicating with their kids. It made me laugh out aloud so many times I wanted to share it. Also, it is reassuring to know I am not the only one who sometimes needs to take deep breaths and think happy thoughts when communicating with Mom. Here is a typical example of what happens.

10:00 am Phone rings.

Mom: Hello! Its me, Mom!
Me: Hi Mom.
Mom: Whats the matter? Your voice doesn't sound right. You were always prone to sore throats. Remember, how you ate too much ice cream when you were 12 and the sore throat..
Me: Its not ..
Mom...lasted for 2 months. You musn't neglect it. I will email you the recipe for herbal tea, ok?
Me: I dont..
Mom: Let me know if it works.
Me: Yes, but..

10:20 am Phone rings

Mom: Did you check your mail? I just finished writing out the recipe.
Me: Yes, I did and I..
Mom: Its really easy. If you don't like honey, try some syrup but don't leave out the peppercorns and the herbs, very important...
(At this point, I had decided to just go along with the supposed sore throat instead of pointing out that owing to a late night I had woken up 5 minutes before she called and thats my voice sounded weird.)
Me: Yes, and I..
Mom: Also, drink it really hot. You always used to let yours stand around and get cold.
Me (enraged): Ma, you already emailed me, why are you wasting money and time repeating the same thing on phone??
Short silence.
Mom (in icy cold voice): Ok.
Click, she rings off.

10:45 am

Me: Hello Mom? I am drinking the tea and its very soothing, thanks.
Mom ( somewhat thawed): Good, I knew it would work. Don't know why you get all upset. Remember , you liked that tablecloth I had, I got you the same one in green and....

I listen and drink my coffee, making occasional soothing noises.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

While I Was Away

I saw a magnet yesterday which read, "Turns out there is no award for alphabetizing the spices". Funny and so true. It puts things in perspective. So today when Peaches came with her complaint of how, despite having promised to help her draw sunflowers and ladybugs, I had put her off several times; it did not take a moment to reach the decision to ignore the heap of laundry which needed folding, the growing and unsteady pile of papers that needed sorting and the chaotic closet which begged organizing. Turns out there is no award for an hour whiled away in drawing sunflowers, butterflies, ladybugs and kites but the glow from it lasts a very long time.
This has been a big week for Popcorn as she started preschool. The first day she forgot all about us till she saw Peaches in the playground and then dissolved in tears. The next day she cried and cried. When Mr. Fractal came to take us all home, however, she reported that she had fun playing with her friends, ate apples and drew pictures with crayons. Peaches and I were too busy gasping for air to even contradict her. Day 3 is tomorrow and we have assumed our brace positions. On the upside, Mom got to hang out at Starbucks and actually write, like a real person!