Not that nothing interesting happened in my life the past week. I connected with my old college friends through Facebook and had some lovely lunch and dinner with them. My husband survived his third trip to China and came back all safe and sound. ( Though there was a scary moment or two, like when he was served donkey meat for dinner). My parents went back to Kolkata after spending two months with me here. My daughter Ayushi grew up a bit more...despite my best efforts to prolong her childhood.
Not that I want her to be eight forever. I just want her to skip the 10, 12, 14, 16 part and go directly to a responsible 20. I am already dealing with one temperamental teenager and sincerely do not think I can deal with another one.
Another reason why I want to prolong her childhood is because I know what projects will be coming my way as she grows. Digestive system of a frog, a solar cooker, model of a sewage treatment plant and many such more. The schools these days emphasise a lot on projects. Apparently projects are less traumatic than home work. The child is less stressed. Obviously, as the entire stress is on the parents and they have to think, plan, execute and take the elaborate models to schools on the submission day. The kids meanwhile happily play downstairs with their friends. No stress, no mess.
Last month it was a log cabin. Reams of paper were rolled and stuck. Windows were made of an acetate sheet. A chimney was planned to the minutest detail by the engineer dad ( finally the IIT degree was put to some use) and the porch and the roof were designed by the architect grandfather. The entire concept and the idea was of course the mother's. The elder sister chipped in with some hard labour and finally, after some 5 hours of gruesome work, the log cabin was ready for submission.
This month, it is Antarctica. So we have been making mountains and oceans, penguins and seals, birds and icebergs. As the model had to be made of eco- friendly material, we had to make sure we did not use thermocol, plastic and toxic paints.( I cheated a bit though and used acrylic paint) I have been given lot of suggestions by well meaning friends, including " Use shaving foam with fevicol to make snow and ice, " to "Bake a huge cake. Cover it with white icing. Bake figures of penguins. Your Antarctica is ready. Whats more, the kids can have a blast eating it after submission." Though I do agree the suggestion was fantastic, I did not think the teacher would have appreciated my efforts.
So all of last week, I have been sitting till midnight making penguins and seals with atta( flour) and creating mountains with papier mache. The penguin and seal figures had to be baked in the micro wave individually and let me tell you that there have been some minor disasters in the kitchen. Thank God most Indian flats do not have smoke alarms.
Once, out of sheer frustration, I entertained the thought of just painting the board blue and submitting it. "Ma'am, due to global warming all the ice melted. Just the ocean remains." But I do not think the teacher would have seen the humour in either global warming or my project. So atta and papier mache it is.
Seriously, what all we do for our children. And all those who think that the child should have done the project herself, please think again. There would have been mounds of atta and glue on my kitchen counter, there would have been dollops of paints on my floor and that papier mache would have been reduced to some sticky glob of paper, stuck on my sofa. By taking the role of a leader and delegating the little one to be the helper, I made sure this whole process was less painful.
The Antarctica was finally ready 2 nights back. Unfortunately, my sleepy eyes could not focus and hence no final photo was taken. Yesterday, I heard from Ayushi that some boy mutilated the penguins and beheaded them.
Honestly, I was not bothered. I had done my job. The project was submitted on time. What happened afterwards was not really my concern. I only hope the teacher is considerate enough not to burden the parents with some more projects in February.
Now you know why I did not blog for some time. And why I want the little one to remain little for some more years. I do not think I can handle the digestive system of a frog. Or the drainage system of Harappa. Not again, please God.
What has stressed me more was that I was unable to reply to my comment thread on time for the previous post. When I told Ayushi my concern, she nonchalantly told me " So stop writing interesting blogs. No one will want to read them or want to post any comments on them and you will not have to reply to them any more." Where did she get her intelligence from? I wonder....