It is getting difficult for me to manage a troubled working from home Mr Husband and a troublesome three-year-old Mr Tots together in a 1BHNK, which stands for one Bedroom, Hall and Non-existent Kitchen because the kitchen is conveniently created with two platforms in the hall itself. Coming back to the point, due to the cramped space, I always found Mr Tots fleeing with headphones or sometimes with the laptop and Mr Husband running behind him to get his stuff back or crying over a deleted email which was drafted in two hours but was unfortunately not saved in drafts.
To get rid of this daily predicament, it was decided we need more space so we are shifting to a bigger house. This time it is a 2BHK, yes with a real existing kitchen and an extra small bedroom which can be conveniently converted to a home office. Keep in mind, this is going to be the new normal in future for most of the working class; a home office set up in the house.
Now, the big task for all three of us (read me) is to pack up and get ready to move. So, we started with Mr Husband unloading the empty bags from the upper shelf, me folding clothes and placing it in the bags and Mr Tots pulling out all the folded clothes and throwing them hither tither. Again, I repacked and organised the bags placing them nicely in one corner of the room. I plan to move out of the room for a glass of water to quench my thirst, come back and start packing the shoes. It was merely three minutes, I am hydrated and back to the room, only to find the unzipped bag standing graciously in the corner. Good Gracious!
It is the time for the kitchen items to be packed, and an Indian kitchen has more stocks than any local restaurant. Not forgetting to mention the recent lockdown, where I too was a Master Chef experimenting with all sorts of cuisine, ending up hoarding a whole grocery store in my house.
Everything in the kitchen is disordered, and I am standing there wondering how to start. My brain has stopped functioning, tired of all packing and repacking, or say I need a social-media-stalking-others break. I cutely ask Mr Husband to make tea and he like any lovely Husband readily agreed. Like father, like son, Mr Tots followed Mr Husband to the non-existent kitchen and was overwhelmed with all the open boxes and pounced on one small jar which was filled with kidney beans measured about half a cup. He started shaking the jar and was happy to hear the rattling sound of the pulses. Then he decided to open the jar and caress and play with the beans, while Mr Husband called out frantically to inform that a cleaning spree was up for us (here read him) in a few mins.
I asked him to ignore as playing with such pulses is good for his sensory development. It was a good excuse though, but to my dismay, it did not take even a minute after I declared the benefits of playing with the pulses. They were all scattered on the floor, each bean about an inch away from the other. Mr Husband navigated through the beans maze holding two tea filled cups, handed over one to me looking agitated about the back-breaking exercise he would have to do now.
I was as flustered as him but I had decided this time I would not get upset and acted indifferent. I breathed in, breathed out, chanted ‘OM’ and went down on my knees facing Mr Tots. I calmly asked Mr Tots to start counting the beans and put them back in the jar one by one. I was startled to witness this scene; it was unusual but he obliged at my first request. Started counting, picking the beans with his little fingers, targeting them back in the jar, as many as he could in one shot. I got up, fetched my tea cup and walked proudly. Mr Husband looked at Mr Tots in awe gesturing slow claps for my feat. I was happy that Mr Tots is busy cleaning his own mess and I get to drink my tea in peace. It was like an achievement in my parenting journey where I made the kiddo clean his own clutter. Wow!
He was busy picking the beans for a good ten minutes which is enough focus time for a toddler this age. He was having difficulty picking up one bean and called out for my help. Refreshed with the tea break, I leaped up to help him as he deserved that help after being obedient enough. I picked one for him and then the next and then the next, ultimately picking up all of them and filling the jar all my myself. Phew!
Once all of them were back in the jar, Mr Tots looked at me with shining eyes and before I could take any action. Alas! All the kidney beans were back on the floor and Mr Tots grinned at me holding the empty jar upside down.
Moral or Morals of the story –
- Kids never clean their own mess.
- They can re-create your cleaned mess because it is fun to irritate parents.
- Do not get frustrated and have your tea break despite any intervention.
- Long inhales and exhales help in such situations, do it five times or whatever times your lungs are OK to.
- Chant ‘Om’, repeat three times or however time you think is fine, as your tea is also getting cold.
- Change your perspective and messy will be funny.