Wednesday, September 9, 2015

I wish I had sons!

When I was expecting, many people asked me what I wished for, a girl or a boy? Frankly I don't know how that matters, but it seems to be everyone's favourite topic as soon as they learn someone is pregnant! Anyway, thing is I always wanted at least one girl. I wouldn't mind one of each but I was certain I did NOT want only boys!
Why? Because daughters are sweet, daughters are gentle, daughters are kind... 'sugar and spice and all things nice' kind of stuff! I wanted a child I could share my life with. Or so I thought.
Now after almost 15 + years of sharing, I find I have changed my mind!
I wish I had sons...
You see, it all started with them trying out my heels as toddlers. That was kinda cute for a while. The problem began when their feet grew big enough to fit into my shoes. I have small feet and that started quite early. I would find various footwear disappearing from the shoe cupboard. Invariably when I was getting ready to go out the heels would be missing and we would have to launch a man-hunt to find it.. because you can bet they have no clue where they left it. I remember this holiday in Kashmir when one daughter took my sneakers for the whole trip because she had forgotten hers and I was left tottering in heels on the mountainsides! 
Then they started to fit into my clothes. At first it was the odd t'shirt. Then they were picking at my jeans. I find one pair has taken up permanent residence in the older daughter's closet. I sneak it out once in a while only to have it disappearing when it goes for a wash. They even eye my sarees... Thankfully I am not fashionable enough otherwise I would find all my clothes in their cupboards!
Of course there are shampoos, deos, body-washes and other toiletries.... I seriously think they stand under the shower and let it all flow..down the drain. You cannot imagine the amount of shampoo, conditioner and body-wash I have to purchase.  One uses so much body lotion, she is oozing the stuff. The other one runs around with her arms and legs looking dirt tracks for a stock car race! And I often find myself standing in the shower and discovering that the three shampoo bottles in the bathroom are all empty! 
Then there is the endless saga of the hair accessories. Every morning it's the same story. There is a mad rush to get ready for school. Both girls insist on keeping long hair. So every morning that hair has to be combed and plaited for school. To keep the stray flyaway hair at bay, hair-clips are used. One would expect that the hair-clips and such things would be kept at a designated place and accordingly used. Hell, no! Every morning without fail they will rummage through my dressing table drawer looking for hair-clips because they have misplaced the ones they used the day before! As a result I can never find the damn hair-clips or grip or whatevers when I am getting ready myself and have to run about looking for them! So if you see me with unkempt hair, you now know why...

Just imagine, a son wouldn't wear my heels, nor would he want my  sarees.. nor would he leave the new jar of Olay open so that the cream hardens and no one can use it again!

After my two daughters were born, sometimes (presumably well-intentioned) people asked if I had wanted sons or regretted not having any. I sweetly informed them that I was thrilled with my two girls and it didn't matter to me.
Sometimes I wish I could turn back time and say I changed my mind.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The balancing act...

Marriages, unfortunately, do not come with manuals. And in every marriage there is some amount of disagreement. Every married couple fights every now and then and it is my firm belief that a good many of these fights are regarding finances.
After all, we all know about the shocking price rises. Every month our frowns grow deeper as we try to balance the budget. Speaking for myself, I over-shoot the household budget without fail, every month (usually by the tenth of the month, fifteenth, if I am lucky) and then have to rely on the ATM and debit cards to do the needful! The spouse, obviously, has no clue about the prices of groceries. If, by some miracle, he does accompany me to the super-market, he is oblivious to the price of lentils and busy inspecting the stationery. Otherwise he has smartly ensconced himself in the electronics department and is inspecting the latest gadgets until I call from the check-out counter.  So, he has no idea about the prices of the household stuff. Sometimes, at night if he hears me grumble about that onions are eighty Rupees a kg,  he grunts and sinks back into his game of Candy Crush turning a deaf ear to my woes!
And of course, like every normal married couple we argue about money. And where it goes. Sigh. I wish I could say I have been buying diamonds and sarees and bags and shoes. I wish. No, the precious things in my life are Nutella and Oreos, which, incidentally neither my husband nor I touch.

You see, in this house we have two teenage girls. Earlier in a post I had described them as vacuum cleaners and the titles still hold. They are truly magical. They may be found anywhere in the house but are most likely sprawled on the sofa in front of the TV or in front of a computer or similar gadget. (Shh.. don't tell anyone. In our house the wi-fi is NEVER off!) They leave the whole house, particularly the areas designated to them, a complete mess. Books everywhere, paper on the floor, dust where there shouldn't be any, sticky glue in the most unexpected places, used glasses and plates balanced precariously on their desks and crumbs on the sofa. In fact, if you follow the trail of dirt and food leftovers in the house, most certainly you will find them....
But they also clean. They clean out the food from the larder and the fridge. Nothing survives their powerful suctioning skills. No matter how far behind the veggies you hide the chocolates or the sweets or the cheese, they have a special homing button that allows them to clear it in a trice! So do not look for left-overs of that yummy Chinese we had two nights ago, or the pizza, or the cheesecake, or the ham, not even that home made keema curry.... one fell swoop and it's gone!
I know people who put their daughter on a diet, "after all she has to maintain her figure," one lady told me disapprovingly looking at the big box of cookies I had in my hand, "in our house we do not have coke or chocolates or would do well to do that."
Yet other friends of mine complain their daughters do not eat. Despite much coaxing, they want to become slim. Like Deepika Padukone. I bet!
 My daughters, on the other hand, have no aspirations to be slim. One is a stick figure anyway and the other could do with some weight-loss I suppose (though I'd rather she exercises to do it) but when it comes to food there is no question of a diet. They love their food. And how. 
When they ask, "can I have a biscuit", it means the entire large packet of Hide and Seek will be finished. When they ask if they can have a 'little chips' it means the party stock will be over. When they have cheese toasts you can bet the bread loaf will be over and the maid will come knocking on your door  for money to buy more bread!They even wake up in the middle of the night to have the biriyani in the fridge! 
Take this: The other day Amisha  (their exams were on then) had three cheese toasts and milk at 6 PM. By 7:30 she was apparently hungry so she had a bowl of Wai-Wai. At 8:30 she asked me, "I'm very hungry, can I have dinner? " I (not unreasonably, I think) told her that she should wait for another half an hour or so and eat with her sister. She stood up tall, took a deep breath and declared, "fine, I can starve then!" and flounced out of  the room like a scorned queen! I sat there gaping at floor unable to believe my ears, and slowly counted the months till she would, hopefully, leave for college. 
At least 47.

I think a balanced budget is a distant dream, no? 
Until then I'll just continue to have these spats with my husband about money!