Balancing act

With Huz back in Tanzania for a week, it’s just Amu  and me and Fuzzy in the bubble, with Zahooran making an appearance early in the morning to clean up the mess we make on a daily basis. Things get a little lawless around here without Huz. Without him we degenerate into serial felons. We play computer games like fiends (current obsession being Angry Birds…..what fun!), we watch multiple episodes of  ‘The Vampire Diaries’ on dvd till the wee hours and we sleep at 4 am.

We eat only Soupy Maggi Noodles (mast masala if you please) for dinner, pizza and a heap of fries doused in chaat masala, ketchup and lemon and garlic mayo for lunch, and pancakes for breakfast. It is telling that I have described our meals in reverse order.

Yup, the bubble is a very unhealthy place to be in these days.

In the middle of all this decadence, I’ve been busily subscribing to some interesting blogs, which means I get a flurry of emails every day. Which makes me realise everybody updates their blog way more regularly than I do. Which makes me feel very uneasy and prone to panic attacks, with a pretty constant naggy feeling of not doing what I SHOULD be doing.

Funny thing about blogging is, everything I do becomes bloggable, so while I’m going about doing things my mind is thinking about how I could craft something fun and witty out of the most mind-numbingly mundane activities. Like doing the laundry or watering the plants, or even brushing Fuzzy and getting the firmly knotted tangles out of his voluminous fur. I flip on my laptop and open up all my various tabs, forgetting what a dangerous move that is. I am immediately distracted by new mails, new tweets, new notifications on facebook and fresh comments on the dashboard. Any hopes of writing anything, fly right out the window without me even realising it until an hour (or two) later, when I have read everything, replied to everyone, pored over all updates and watched a few videos.

In fact, sometimes I read some really amazing posts on other people’s blogs and they say what I want to say so much better, my motivation fizzles out like carbonation from an opened can of half-drunk soda in the fridge. (There’s no point holding on to that unused soda by the way, I might as well pour it down the drain immediately.)

Yesterday, a thought struck me anew and I thought I should articulate it somehow, and to this end, I have consciously closed all the other tabs on my browser, a great way of staying focused.

I find that I hang out with Amu a lot more when Huz is away. And as a consequence I end up bonding with her better, which makes me wonder why we don’t spend as much time together when Huz is around….

For one, Amu moves into my room at night…it’s as if she doesn’t want me to feel alone. Though, being an only kid, she’s the one who sleeps alone in her own room every night, even though she gets creeped out by rattly doors and strange sounds that have a rational explanation but which escape you when you’re disoriented in the no-man’s land between wakefulness and deep slumber.

We talk and we giggle and she goads and cajoles me into taking her wherever she whimsically decides to go…..and I pull myself out of my summer torpor, grumbling and complaining, but in the end we end up having a lot of fun.  She’s into photography in a big way, but too timorous at this point to do anything more than point and shoot from the car window as we drive around our part of the city…..she has a great eye and it always surprises me to see what she considers interesting enough to capture. And she composes her frames well!

I really appreciate her personality, I find. She knows what she wants and what she likes, and I have an inkling she feels comfortable enough to share ‘some’ of her secret thoughts with me…. sometimes. I know she scribbles in a diary (which she keeps rather temptingly on her shelf….and no, I haven’t read it, though I’m DYING to, but I understand it would be a violation of her privacy…dammit)

She surprises me with her maturity sometimes. She makes all these conscious decisions without anyone having to really tell her, least of all myself. The other day she decided she wants me to fill her wardrobe with a bunch of shalwar/kameezes. The need to dress conservatively sprang into action of its own accord, because SHE judged it wise to do so, living in the kind of world we do, where men cannot seem to control their eyes and everything female must be stared at and stared at, until a child who finds herself suddenly ‘grown up’ is bewildered into being self-conscious ALL the time.

It’s 5:30, and the sun is streaming in through the window, which would not have been very pleasant  an hour ago when there was a power cut, but right now we have electricity and so we have air-conditioning, which is really awesome very nice. I’m trying to dash off a post for today before I get cracking on the pile of cloth I need to stitch into fetching outfits for Amu and I. In the meantime, she is trying out the blouses we bought yesterday and figuring out ways to wear them ‘decently’ with jeans. She says the boys in her gang have a way of making fun of all the girls. She just told me they call her Mike Tyson and snigger while asking if she just got back from the gym. She is wondering aloud why they do this, looking endearingly uncertain. I tell her it’s probably cos she’s so sporty and has such awesome incredible shoulders.

I shooed her off to watch some tv while I finish off this post, as she was being rather kitten-like and distracting, curled up next to me on the bed, texting one friend or other and asking questions or making random observations about me, or making fun of my incorrect use of the language that kids speak in these days. Despite all my inadequacies, I still feel like an older sister rather than a mom to her, and I let her insult me good-naturedly, because that’s how sisters are.

that's Amu reflected in the hand-painted mirror 🙂 and my hair's messy because of the fan 😛

I’m glad I can still pull out the mom card when needed though, because that’s how our relationship swings. When she listens to me thoughtfully and nods her acquiescence after a ‘lecture’, I know she needs that firm bit of guidance that only a parent can give, and I’m thinking, the teens aren’t as bad as they’re cranked up to be.

*throws salt over shoulder*


  1. fatema says:

    awww…i love you guys!!!!… have created such a warm picture of you and ammu hanging out together !!..i can see it and feel it….:)
    …and ……stop eating junk!!!!!!……hugz..:)

    1. munira says:

      Hehe…too late…just had cheetos for breakfast….(:

  2. Hawra says:

    sweet post MZ ……what a long way parenting has come!

    1. munira says:

      And it keeps evolving. Thanks HH (:

  3. saks says:

    love, love it, looooved ittt . i could picture the whole atmosphere while you wrote this , more so because i think you wrote it just after we left your place . Very articulate, very well written, very well expressed. Amu is very lovable and you tres cool in it …..

    1. munira says:

      You have to be the sweetest! Thanks Sax, yes I wrote this right after you left. Love it when you love it!

  4. like saks said,very well expressed…my kids behave in a similar way,wen mustafa is out of town,they want to watch t.v till late night,giggle n laugh,play games n for them the best part is, all three of us get to sleep on the bed together…
    moiz would say’mummy, lets sleep cozy cozy’:) …

    1. munira says:

      When the cat’s away the mice get busy, huh 😉 Cute!

  5. Kick back and have fun. Fi was away one night this week and I too indulged in my own “sin” – which is a regular feature when she’s away.I get pizza, wine, a Grateful Dead show dvd turned up to 11 on the speakers, draw the curtains and rocking reminisce !! 🙂

    1. munira says:

      It’s too bad Huz misses out on the fun. And I bet Fi wouldn’t mind being in on the pizza and wine party either 😉
      But I’m going to feel a twinge of sadness when Amu goes back to sleeping on her own.

  6. lilib3t says:

    I love the relationship dynamics you’ve tied into this (chooses word specifically) -Adorable- piece. The last image you painted, of the mother/older sister role reminds me of the relationship i have with my sister, who is ten years my senior; and was very much a motherly figure during my all important teenage years. enjoyed reading it.

    1. munira says:

      Thanks lilib3t, I like that you pointed out how roles are so interchangeable. I can’t help being sisterly towards my daughter, just as your sister probably couldn’t help mothering you. So long as there’s someone to cheer you up and support you, and talk to you about ‘issues’ and stay up late and eat junk with you, it’s all good I’m sure….and it’s not such a tough balancing act anymore for me…
      I’m glad you found your way to this post. Will visit you soon too 🙂

  7. huge says:

    Absolutely love this post… My daughter just turned one and I hope we have as much fun as you two do when she’s a teen.

    1. munira says:

      Thanks huge, one is such an adorable age! There were times while Amu was growing up that I felt pangs of nostalgia for when she was one……she was the chubbiest, most perfect creature on Earth for me and I couldn’t get enough of her. All I wanted was to watch her all day long, even when she was asleep. I still love watching her, twelve years later, and I still see glimpses of that little baby….. *tears up*

  8. God!! No wonder we’re soul-sisters!! We eat the same stuff when the men are away 😉 But I disagree with only one thing…I think the Bubble’s a great place to be right now, certainly for its food choices 😛

    As for Amu’s interest in photography…we know where that comes from 🙂 I love how you write about her…and I love her and you all the more for it 🙂

    1. munira says:

      Hahhaa!! Partners in crime now!
      We love you too H!

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