It’s that time of the year again, when we head back home for our customary visit to family and friends during the kids summer vacation. It’s more of a workation for me, considering it’s India and that we’re travelling with two young kids. This is our first long holiday since my older one turned five and finally seems to have grown out of throwing fits on days that he’s tired or hungry and all the days in between. That’s more than I can say for my younger boy, but one out of two is a pretty good score.
I have a strong but unsubstantiated hunch that my kids got together and passed a secret manifesto for the holiday. It went something like this –
1. We shall appoint mom as an honorary trash can, for all intents and purposes. We will henceforth hand her all pieces of trash – banana peels, candy wrappers, ice cream sticks, snot-filled tissues – all waste that needs disposing.
2. We shall maintain a steady flow of background chatter. At no point shall we deprive the people around us of our constant tomfoolery and loud goofiness. We shall take uncoordinated naps so one can of us can pick up the baton while the other sleeps.
3. We shall pointedly refuse to be a part of the tots road show that the adults so wittingly subject us to. We shall refuse to perpetuate cutisism by ignoring requests for performances including singing, dancing and elaborate gymnastics. We will give blank looks and dry smiles to further indicate our apathy towards these moronic demands.
4. We shall constantly interrupt adult conversations. Surely, there can’t be anything more important than immediately helping us retrieve the Lego piece from behind the couch for the nth time.
5. We shall whenever possible walk into doors, walls, cabinets, table corners and all places capable of potential harm, making a grand display of our lack of spacial awareness in new environments. Extra points for walking into them when adults are on the phone or seem to be involved in important discussions.
6. We shall use jet-lag as our weapon of choice – waking up at ungodly hours, napping at meal times and pushing bedtime to the point where moms blows a proverbial fuse.
7. We shall maintain a distance of a metre or more from the deadly Indian curries, activating our survival instincts against these spice laden sauces of evil.
8. We shall be at our best behaviour only when no one is looking, stockpiling our reserves of tantrums and meltdowns for times when inane social interactions are forced upon us.
9. We shall squabble over toys but when mom offers an alternative to either one of us, we will both pine for it, conveniently abandoning the original toy that we were arguing about.
Of course, by now I’m trained to counter this constant barrage of schemes from the little rascals. For that I use my exclusive monopoly over the distribution of resources, more specifically food! My advice for moms to boys is to stock up on food and let the feasting never stop.
Oh you want to play with the same toy as your brother? Here, why don’t you have a banana first. Crisis averted! Can’t sit still in the car? Offer nuts. Rioting in the airplane? Chips and bars will work. The chewier the snack the better!
Food can buy you time, diffuse tantrums or just give you a 5-10 minute break to reorganize your thoughts. And since drastic situations call for drastic measures, I’m always stocked up on the good ol’ candy. Yeah, I’m crafty like that 🙂