Kids in the car

Every time we go out with all the kids we swear it will be our last trip. We remind our snarling, fighting brood as they cause pandemonium. I write this post ( on my treasured S3) in the car as their drama unfolds in a very familiar way…

Middle child: Mom! She pulled my hair and choked me!
Twin 2 : she’s lying!
Middle child: No I am not!
Twin 1: Eww who farted?
Twin 2: It was you!
Teen 1: SHUT UP!
Me: STOP IT ALL OF YOU
Middle child: Stop pushing!
Twin 2:  then look out your own window!
Middle child: That is my window!
Twin 2: Idiot! Stay on your own side!
Twin 1: Someone keeps farting! (lots of laughs)
Twin 1 : You aren’t allowed to look at my window(in a very whiny voice)
Teen 1: SHUT UP!
Teen 2 : YOU SHUT UP!
Twin 2 : (whispering)You’re ugly!
Middle child : No you’re ugly!
Desi guy (husband):We are never taking you guys anywhere again! (laughs and giggles from the back seats)
Twin 2 : I need water I’m thirsty.
Me : No you had water before we left…
Twin 2 : But I’m thirsty again!
Me: Its only been ten minutes.
Twin 2 : Mommy!
Me : No then you have to go pee again and we aren’t stopping every fifteen minutes for that.
Twin 2 : I’m hungry.
Teen 1 : OMG SHUT UP! Mom why do we always have to bring them?
Twin 2: :Stop saying that you are so mean!
Me : What are you looking at?
Desi guy : Nothing
Me : Yes you are!
Desi guy: Its nothing
Me (snatching his cell) : Stop it and keep your eyes on the road!
Middle child : Hey motorcycle dude!
Me (hissing) : Stop that!
Twin 1 : But its a motorcycle dude! (Lots of giggles)
Me : The window is open, motorcycle dude can here you!
More giggling.
Teen 1 : SHUT UP!
Desi guy : THAT IS IT WE ARE TURNING BACK!
Silence for  thirty seconds.
Twin 1 : Who farted?
Middle child : Ewww!
Twin 2 : I’m thirsty!
Twin 1 : Move over and stop looking out my window!
Teen 1 : SHUT UP! ( loud Indy music coming from earphones)
Teen 2 : oh my god you shut up and stop screaming shut up!

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Acting like angels as soon as they realize I am taking a picture.
Desi guy :  what are you doing? Put the phone away you made me miss my turn!
Me : SERIOUSLY?
Desi guy :  yes. STOP TAKING PICTURES!
Drive in silence for two minutes, then stop at our destination.
Desi guy : Ok only teen 1 and 2 are getting off with mom. You three stay in the car with me.
Middle child : Awwww why?
Me : You dont need uniforms
Twin 1: But we wanted to play hide and seek and this is the best store for that!
Me : Are you kidding me?
Twin 2 : Puleeeeeeze?
Teen 1 : SHUT UP!
Teen 2 : oh my god you shut up, you’re louder than all three of them!
Teen 1 : nobody shut up!
Five minutes later
Me : Come on we cant buy uniforms today.
Desi guy : What happened?
Me :There is a one hour wait at least.
Desi guy : You’re exaggerating
Me : Nope.They made a waiting area. And it is full..must be at least fifty people sitting there. You wanna wait in the car with these three?
Desi guy : Nope. Let’s go
Twin 1 : Awww!
Twin 2 : Yay!
Middle child : Move over!
Twin 2 : I’m thirsty!
Teen 1 : SHUT UP!
Desi guy : THAT IS IT WE ARE NEVER TAKING YOU GUYS ANYWHERE AGAIN!
One minute silence.
Twin 1 : Who farted?
Desi guy : Damn it I missed the exit again
Twin 1 : Dont lick me!
Me : Stop licking your sisters.
Middle child : I’m not licking her. I just  licked my hand.
Twin1 : Yeah and then she touched us with it!
Me : Where are you going?
Desi guy : What? Oh damn it missed the turn again.
Me : I think you should teach me to drive now…
Twin 1 : who farted?
Oh my god I need a vacation.

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Writing: Adventures of a social media illiterate technophobe.

frustrated

In a fit of spasmodic enthusiasm I joined a variety of social media stuff I have not an inkling about. I’m convincing myself I can be social media savvy and cool as the hipster 20 somethings who wear plaid skinny pants and large amounts of multicolored medical gauze wrapped around their necks, forever engrossed in their expensive tablet-phone-camera gadget thingy.

hipster

Okay maybe I don’t wanna look like that.

But I would like to be savvy. You know just because I am at that point of life where I realize I have no idea where the past 17 years of my life went since the birth of offspring numero uno. It’s like waking up from a coma and thinking you are still twenty something because you were a little while ago. And I realize I am still stuck in the technology of the nineties ie: I can turn on a computer if I can locate the on button.

smash comp

Being a wannabe author  writer you are advised to have a platform. Agent websites will tell you in their extremely detailed instructions of do’s and don’ts that you need to have a substantial following. They don’t want to be bothered by some person who nobody knows. And nobody wants to know a person who Agents don’t want to be bothered about. What?

I joined Tumblr (against Teenager1’s advice), Delicious, Quora, and Hootesuite. I was already on Facebook (the only one easy enough to use), Twittter (where I tweet into strangely empty nothingness) and Google+ (but I didn’t know it!) I am also on Agent Query Connect, where I feel more at home. But I haven’t visited in a century because I haven’t managed to figure out a way to completely forego sleep.

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According to Teenager 1 parents really should not be on Tumblr. It is for hip, emo, intellectual, whatever kids. Parents should stick to ‘mainstream’ stuff like Facebook, where they can post endless pictures of what they cooked the night before or how much snow they had to shovel from the driveway. I persisted however and I can now navigate my way around to find blogs that interest me. I also managed to hook up WordPress and Tumblr so that my posts appear there. Woohoo! I think by the end of this year I will actually manage to have at least two followers there. Hey you, follow me dammit!

delicious

The only thing I found Delicious useful for was bookmarking the endless amount of pages I use to research what I am writing about. These days? Politics and conspiracy theories. Did you know our existence is only a simulation? Delicious is pretty easy to use.

existence

Quora is too much information at the same time for my aluminum and fluoride ridden brain. You can ask any question (you have to see the stuff people ask!) and people from all corners of the Earth will answer you. I get all my answers from Agent Query Connect. But Quora is interesting if you have loads of time and nothing better to do than be intellectual. When I have loads of time I clean out the litter box. And brush my hair.

Frosty windows 024

“Fat Kitty needs to poop. Clean that litter box woman!”

Hootesuite is very handy because it organizes all the stuff you’ve entangled yourself in. I suspect the packages must be really good because what they are offering for free is quite useful and not that hard to use. It only took me a couple of weeks hours to figure out how to link all my social stuff up and be able to post from there. But I like posting to WordPress directly because I couldn’t manage to get pictures into the post from Hootesuite. I must be doing something wrong. If you have any idea let me know.

One piece of advice, if you are a dinosaur like me, use a nickname rather than your real name just in case you are scared to press buttons. I was, and for some reason whenever I press a button to test something out, I can never find out how to edit/delete it. Why can’t edit/delete buttons be big enough to find without a magnifying glass? Or a map. That way you won’t be embarrassed by a dumb post like “This is a test. I am uncool a newbie loser and this is my first post. Idiot Technophobe trying to learn lol.” Teenagers. Extreme facepalms.

uncool mom

The point is you have to invest a lot of time. Which really bugs the heck out of me because I want to get that novel written. The Young Adult world needs a Conspiracy Thriller that involves real people in the real world. There are too many witches, faeries, and demon slayers out there.

The Perks of Being a Cauliflower

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Little girls are like flowers. Colorful, delicate and looking at them just makes you feel good. Until they turn into teenagers. Then they become cauliflowers. And if you still have flowers in the house, you stop bothering with the cauliflower, because let’s face it…cauliflower?! That is just fine with the cauliflower as they prefer to be left alone and not nagged or babied or lectured or what-everrrr! Just leave them alone and let them vegetate.

My cauliflower is a gifted artist and an incredibly lazy teenager who would rather flop in a remote corner of our abode and watch other people’s cats on YouTube. I’ve been bugging her to make a blog showcasing her work and get to know others who have the same interests, make new friends etc etc ie quit wasting her time laughing at the antics of unfamiliar felines because she is giving our cat an inferiority complex. Also I am tired of scanning, snapping, saving, collecting, preserving her work that often lies around until it decomposes unless I rescue it.

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The purpose of this post is to recruit your help. Like, share, comment, lecture, nag, yell etc to show her that she really should do something more useful and stop torturing our cat with her hurtful preference of other cats. All the pics here are of her work.

Photography

002 (2)                 khaula and MM 2

Painting

019           027

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Sketches

018          021

Stuff you do with clay

unicorn Patchy 002

I have a ton of other stuff, but I am hoping she will stop being such a cauliflower and DO IT HERSELF!!

unicorn Patchy 006

Look at our poor complexed cat. She needs to be videoed and uploaded to YouTube.

Parents Just Don’t Understand

Sometimes after I have finished yelling at my kids, I wonder what it would be like to be in their place. Then my imagination goes a little wild and takes on different personalities, like a desi teenage boy. Here is an article I wrote for Dawn when my imagination was him.

Yo! You have crazy parents dude? Man I’m telling you they don’t understand anything. It’s like after 30 their brains stop working. And if your parents are Desi, man you have the worst type of parents ever! Desi parents? They speak desi, they think desi, they act desi, they spend desi. You can’t help but think “Yo old man why are we here? You should have kept us all in Desi Land!” And they tell you they came to give you better opportunities than they had. But man they can only think with desi brains and all those opportunities go out the backdoor. All my white friends, they don’t have it half bad. They’re lucky man. At least their parents speak the same language. Don’t believe me?

I had a pain in my tooth, had it for days man. Kept telling my mom I’ve got to see a dentist, you know what she tells me?

“Aye Allah! Who knows what that man will do to you putr! Here put this in you mouth.” Then she shoved a broken clove into my mouth and shut it so hard I almost bit my tongue off.

“This tastes like ‘bleep’ Ma!” And I tried to spit it out but she grabbed my face in her hands. Dude you won’t believe the hand muscles desi women develop from kneading all that dough!

She made me stuff cloves in my tooth for one month. Then the dentist told me I’d have to get a root canal. My old man wasn’t too happy about that. Not the pain I’d go through. The cost man! Dude, desi parents have desi wallets. Literally. My old man bought 42 wallets from his last visit to Desi Land. He got them off a thela for Rs45 each. That’s less than 45 cents. You can’t imagine his joy when he tells everyone he meets how much he saved on those wallets. You can’t imagine mine either. Anyways he tells the dentist,

“Just pull the tooth out! He doesn’t need that one much, he has plenty of others.”

“Mr Chaudry we need to eliminate the infection otherwise…” says the dentist.

“Otherwise what? No one will be willing to give their daughter’s hand in marriage to him?” says the old man.

That night he tried to pull my tooth out himself with a pair of pliers. Lucky for me I’m the only son and my mom beat him off with her rolling pin. Those desi wallets are like black holes, nothing ever seems to come out of them dude. Asking desi parents for money is like asking the cute white girl in your class to a high school dance with you. The answer is always ‘NO!’ Desi parents wait till Boxing Day to buy you stuff. Yeah they don’t give you the money. They take you shopping dude.

“Oh putr, look at this! 70 per cent off! And in your size too!” says Ma.

“Ma it’s got a picture of Justin Bieber on the front, everyone will think I’m ‘bleepin’ gay.”

“Tauba tauba! All that ‘bleep’ was not enough for you? Now this ‘bleepin’ stuff!” She’s least concerned about the Chinese couple who have covered their kids’ ears. “What is wrong with being happy? And he is such a decent boy, look at that innocent smile.”

“Ma! It’s something a kid would wear.” I try to drag her away.

“Are you not my kid?” The old man asks loudly and everyone in the shop turns to look questioningly at Ma.

“Man! Stop being so loud Dad, come on…” I try to drag them both out.

“No, this matter must be settled!” He glares at me then at Ma. “Is he not my kid?” By now there is a crowd wondering at my legitimacy. I pick up the Justin Bieber T-shirt.

“Alright! I love Justin Bieber and I want to buy his ‘bleepin’ T-shirt because I’m happy ok?” I scream and everyone gasps.

The seven dollar shirt hangs in my closet. Justin Bieber smiles at me every time I open the door to get the Rs800 Leisure Club shirt my cousin managed to send me with the old man.

Terror in The Classroom

This is an article I wrote for Dawn Newspaper but had forgotten about. Dedicated to teachers.
Humour: Terror in the classroom

By Khaula Mazhar


It`s the start of a new school year, a much awaited time for many a harangued mother. Ironically, come September, while one group of women take a breather, another group is constantly on its toes the teachers. Just like students, teachers too come in all types and they will all be gathered in the staff room at 10am, the universal tea time for all teachers. So let`s eavesdrop and hear what they go through during a typical day at work.

Ms Strict and Stern
“Students these days are really getting impossible to teach!” (She doesn`t realise it`s because her methods are so boring). All those excuses for unfinished homework. Weddings, lost exercise books, absences, misunderstandings, guests in the house… there`s no end! Just give detentions and minus points, that`s my method. It does wonders.”

Ms Whiner
“You think that`s bad! You guys should try taking class one. They can drive you nuts with their non-stop questions, and don`t even ask about their homework! Parents must think we are going to drop by their place in the evening to get the homework done ourselves.”

Ms Senior Class Teacher
“I invite you all to my grade eight boys` class after break time. It`s like nothing you`ve ever smelt in your life! It makes me wonder if they actually ever shower at all, besides they are so rowdy and worked up after their break it takes them twenty minutes to settle down to start work. By the end of the class I feel like my voice box has been damaged.”

Ms Nursery Teacher
“By the end of my class, I feel like most of my body has been damaged. Sitting on those little chairs and getting down on my knees to listen to my tiny little munchkins. By the end of the week I feel like a rheumatic hag, and all those little munchkins seem more like a bunch of gremlins.”

Ms Sour Puss
“What a horrible thing to say! Why, nursery children are such little angels!

Ms Nursery Teacher
“Excuse me! I am human, you know! Do you realise how hard it is to get little kids to do things? They can`t even make a straight line! You have to spoonfeed them everything.”

Ms Other Nursery Teacher
“Heck! You have to spoonfeed some of their parents as well! Important notes and circulars come back in their bags unread, it`s like parents expect you to tell them to check their kids` bags everyday! Then you have to write extra reminders for them separately or make phone calls, and then they actually have the nerve to tell you they never received any kind of notice! Why don`t you check your kids` bags?”

Just then a young frenzied teacher bursts into the staff room and collapses into a chair. Her hair looks like she`s been trying to pull it out. Everyone is dead silent.

Ms `I Am Definitely Going Nuts`

“I can`t take it anymore! I just can`t take it! It`s a madhouse I tell you, a madhouse!”(This is the pre-nursery teacher, whose students have just come to school for the first time)

“They are so small, and they are everywhere at once! I can`t pick up the crayons off the floor fast enough before they are into the blocks, then all of a sudden there are blocks all over the place! I wipe one nose and turn around to find six more runny noses! As soon as I tie a pair of shoelaces, five have tripped on untied laces and are whining like crazy. One girl keeps running out of the class and the guard keeps bringing her back from the gate. By the time I send one little girl to the washroom, three more have peed on the mat!” Here she pauses for a breath but before anyone can get a word in, she starts off again.

“Snack boxes! I hate those things! Why do parents buy lunch boxes that need a rocket scientist to figure them out? And everyone wants their lunch box opened at the same time. And the smell! Oh the putrid smell of a hurried breakfast of milk and eggs that has been regurgitated by a screaming, howling, coughing, vomitty child! And then, when they finally come to collect their brats, each parent wants every little detail of their darling`s day. I am going to go nuts!”

She then breaks into heart wrenching sobs while everyone quietly edges out of the room — they all have their own troubles waiting for them in their respective class rooms; taking care of a hysterical teacher is not on their day`s schedule.

Diary entry of a just hit 40-obsessive compulsive disorder- want to kill myself-mom;

Dear diary I am about to down a handful of sleeping pills and end my misery.

Just as soon as I have washed my hands, they are a little greasy from the eggs I just fried. I am serious, I can’t take it anymore. I am old, eight pounds overweight, no one ever listens to me and my life is a mess. I drag myself out of bed in the early dark hours of the morning, every morning . I make omelets only to remember that it was scrambled egg day. Can you imagine that?

I try to wake up teenagers who stare at me dumbly, sit up, walk to the bathroom and then go back to bed, after giving me a dirty look and informing me that it is only five thirty a.m. Why can’t they understand that they will be late if they don’t get an early start? I mean it could start hailing at the last minute then how will they walk out to the car? We could suddenly be shrouded in an unexpected fog or have a torrential down pour. All the school work that would pile up, or they could maybe even miss a surprise test that was supposed to make up thirty percent of their total grade!

But they roll their eyes and bury their heads under pillows, they do it to scare the hell out of me, they know they could accidentally asphyxiate themselves.  But no one cares about anything, except me. How I struggle with my ill-bred family! It is all my husband’s fault really, he doesn’t set much of an example. On scrambled egg day he will always insist on hard-boiled. It just drives me nuts, what am I supposed to do with his scrambled egg then? I can’t eat it, it’ll overload me with cholesterol. I’ll bet that is what he is aiming for.  The kids never want it, I have a hard time shoving their breakfasts down their throats let alone my husband’s. Their idea of proper breakfast is an egg and toast. That is it. I don’t understand how growing kids can get by without cereal, juice, eggs, toast, milk, fruit, cheese and a bran muffin. They don’t understand the concept of a balanced diet. They’ll be sorry one day when they suffer from anorexia.

Either anorexia or God forbid some disease that can’t even be pronounced, brought on by the unhygienic conditions that seem to prevail in our house. It’s like I speak a different language either that or their brains aren’t working. I knew they needed more protein. I say “Everything has to be put in the proper place after you are done using it.”  Somewhere along the line the message changes to “Everyone use whatever you want and throw it around the house when you are done with it because I am your God damned servant and want to spend the rest of my life cleaning up your shit.” And those are the instructions they follow.

And of course the house is a constant battle ground. My kids fight over everything, the remote, the phone, the last juice box, the first juice box, a place to sit at the table, who uses the washroom first( even though there are three bathrooms, it seems that only one can entice them to poop), everything.

They think I am some fanatical mad dictator, just because I want a little order in the house. Ok yes, in the neighborhood too. It’s not my fault that people can’t tell the difference between recyclables and organic waste. You’d think they would have a little common sense. And if I can make the garbage man’s life just a little easier by making sure the neighbors’ garbage is in the right bin, then I don’t see why my husband has to have such a cow over it.

I don’t know where I have gone wrong, obviously  in too many places. And so I must end this. Here I go. Damn it! First I have to go clean the bathroom. The dishes need to be washed, and so does the laundry. Ok maybe tomorrow I will be able to fit it into my schedule. I just hope it doesn’t take more than fifteen minutes, I hate being late.

(I got all the pictures from Google Images)