Sunday, April 12, 2009

The lazy, hazy, crazy ways of the daughter

My mom was not exactly a hard task master but we were expected to do our bit around the house. So from my early childhood we were taught a few basic survival skills. That included learning how to keep the house clean. How to wash our own clothes and how to cook the simplest food. She also included some banking lessons, ignoring -unwanted -attention- lessons and standing -up- for- my- beliefs lessons.

Apart from the cooking, I enjoyed most of the stuff she taught me. Cooking was something I never liked and did not see the importance. What skills were needed to boil some Maggi anyway? Was n't that all I needed to survive? My mother did n't really agree with my conviction and proceeded to teach some basic fare. Rice, dal, egg-curry and some green veggies. But the lesson that I loved most was about multitasking. "A woman needs to multi-task if she has to succeed " was her motto and she encouraged me to do at least a couple of thing at a time. Needless to say this one really came in handy when I had my babies and needed to do a hundred things at the same time.

Armed with my mother's training, I thought I would raise my two kids and run my house with super efficiency. I went ahead at full throttle till I hit a major road block. My thirteen year old. Not that she stopped me from doing my work. She just expected me to do her share of tasks as well. I did gave in (though not exactly gracefully) a couple of times, but then I forcefully drew the line. Cleaning up her room was her task. Picking up the dirty laundry was mine. Keeping the study table organized was her task. Folding her clothes was mine. The list was endless.

I really thought I had the brilliant solution till I realised one more thing. My daughter thought just lifting her finger for something would reduce her energy level. She was simply not interested in increasing the expenditure.

So when a woman addicted to juggling tasks had a child who refused to even get up when the door bell rang, what did she do? Pulled her hair in frustration? Screamed like a banshee? Threatened with violence? In my case, it was all of the above. But no matter how much I screamed, coaxed and cajoled she remained unmoved. Work apparently was boring and was completely useless. Who worked when there was a better option like watching T.V. existed?

This was getting bad. I panicked thinking she would continue being lazy through out the foreseeable future. Time for Plan B. "So can you do something else while watching T.V? May be you can clean up your closet ? Or re-arrange the books on the shelf? See how much dust they have gathered? You can clean up that as well. Or may be fold some laundry? Can you do that for me? You prioritise the various tasks that need to be done. Then allocate some of your grey cells to certain work. The rest of your mental resources can do some other task. It is called multi-tasking. This way you increase your efficiency and also become an expert at time management. It is the catch phrase of the millennium. Your granny taught me this in the previous century. All women need to multi-task if they want to succeed.."

It was such a triumphant moment. Thinking I would have completely dazzled her with my motivational speech I looked at her expectantly.

She looked totally bored. " Mom, I am watching T.V. munching some chips, listening to some music on my i-pod, texting my friends and also listening to you. Not to say breathing as well. So if that's not multi-tasking, what is?"

Plan C any one?


sujata sengupta said...

hahahahha, the end was the cherry, what a hilarious way to express what usually makes me go raving mad!!

Dev said...

आपको और आपके पुरे परिवार को वैशाखी की हार्दिक शुभ कामना !

Ajit Ray said...

I am confident that multi-tasking was never as difficult in the 'last century'!

Antigonum Cajan said...

Tell me Aparna, do you practice horticulture once in a while?

Can identify ten species around you?

Are you interested in the indifference about nature? Air, water, soil and crops?

Until then...

Aparna said...

@ Sujata, Thank you very much. Glad you liked the post.
@ Dev,Best wishes to you too.
@ Ajit, We ancient people of the last century also had trouble with multi-tasking..the gadgets were
different though.
@ Amtigonum Cajan.. I really don't know what my blog has to do with horticulture.

Unknown said...

Ishita is superb...what a sense of humor, and cannot argue with that..have to give up. In my case I would ask this question,"What would I do/say if I had a thirteen yr old?"

Ishita said...

Well, Radiya aunty, you're slowly getting your answer.

I'll tell you my secret of multitasking. When there's something really good on T.V, watch it. During the breaks, read a book. I f your eyes are too strained, listen to the iPod. You want to shut your eyes and excersise nothing at all, eat some junkies. Its very simple! ;)

Sohini Rajpal said...

Hey Aparna,

Talk abt our multi tasking kids!!! I do agree with Ishita. They leave us far behind. Eat, watch tv, promise to do hw, promise to get up in 2 min and Ditto has taken to vacumming too,all while watching tv!!!