About time we talked, you know, man-to-man. About stuff. I don’t know what’s wrong with Aie these days. She is just soooo difficult to deal with. Gets angry at the drop of a pin and puts me in a corner for minor offenses. It’s like there is a constant battle between her and me. It’s impossible to talk to her. Just take this incident yesterday. I was examining this bottle of water I found in the (may I say, dusty) laundry room. The bottle is almost full, the cap twisted open. Surely you will agree that such opportunities present themselves rarely. So, I open it, take a swig, replace the cap, go into the kitchen, open the bottle again and am about to take another drink, when I see my red truck. I wasn’t really thirsty so I set down the bottle and decide to ride the truck when Aie who is doing I-don’t-know-what by the counter turns back without looking and topples the bottle. I look at her in utter dismay. Couldn’t she be a wee bit careful? And here is the clincher. Instead of apologizing to me or sitting in the corner all by herself without being told, what does she do? She gives me The Stare. “Where did you find it?” she asks, not nicely. “Laundly room”, I say truthfully. “Chip water-bottle pee pani” (Chip drank water from the water bottle). Ok, in retrospect I should not have volunteered that information.
I rush to save whatever water is left in the bottle and to put back the cap. I am trying very hard not to cry at this point. Then, not wanting to escalate the matter further, I go to her dishcloth basket and pull a few dishcloths and begin wiping her mess. Does she help me? No. The mess is reasonably clean, its only water, she is still staring at me. Since she isn’t going to sit in the corner by herself like I do so many times, it’s time to tell her. “Aie, kopyaat bas” Aie sit in the corner. I say trying to be calm, but my voice wavers a little. But look at her defiance. “Tu kopryaat bas.” You sit in a corner. She says to me. I obviously refuse to. How can this be my fault. Really, she is quite imaginative that way. So, taking full advantage of the difference in our physical sizes she picks me up and plops me in the corner, but I was not going to make this easy for her. So, I howl. Loudly. What else could I do?
Or take this. Despite many requests she refuses to give me the lawn mower to mow the lawn. She says, only Baba can mow the lawn. Please. So I have to resort to pretending that my trusty red truck is the lawn mower. I her fill it up with gas, attach the big basket and even tell her what I am doing in the fond hope she will pity me and give me the real thing. But no. That’s OK I can live with that. I check the wheels, peer here and peer there. You know the stuff you have to do before you actually start mowing the lawn. Just then Miss Maureen shows up, I say hi to her- she is alright- and then go back to my lawn mower and start to mow the lawn. Aie and Miss Maureen are talking and I don’t know about what since I am not the one to eavesdrop and truth be told, what could possibly be more interesting than a lawn mower. Anyhoo. I test drive it on the sidewalk and then go onto the business of cutting grass. Might I take a moment to tell you give a quick grass update? It’s in a bad shape. No, I am not criticizing you here, just being very objective. It is barren in large patches and grows in dense clumps else where.
I am targeting the clumps here. But my truck is a truck even if I pretend it’s a lawn mower. It gets stuck in the clumps. I grunt, I get frustrated. But does Aie listen? No, she is busy talking and when she thinks I am being too fussy, she tells me to get the truck and ride it on the sidewalk. For the hundredth time, it’s a lawn mower. You cannot cut grass on the concrete sidewalk. So, obviously I refuse to do what she is suggesting. I am getting no help from her here. I manage to mow the clump and move on to other parts of the lawn when my pretend lawn mower gets stuck again. I am really aggravated now. You try cutting grass with a plastic truck. I sit down, venting my frustration. Aie comes over and sits besides me, Miss Maureen is looking. “Chip, this lawnmower has tiny wheels.. it gets stuck in this grass. Why don’t you mow grass over there?” She is pointing to a large patch of barren yard. The grass is all dead there. She wants me to mow dead grass? Has she even cut a blade of grass in her entire lifetime? This suggestion is completely insane. I keep telling her I want to mow the lawn but she is telling me we have to go inside and eat dinner now. She even tells that to Miss Maureen. So off we go. Is this reasonable? You tell me.
But she is my Aie and I truly adore her. You have seen me cling to her madly and follow her everywhere. And I will not let anyone near me come bedtime. And she has the exclusive rights of feeding me dinner. I have my own ways of showing affection. I am a simply guy. But she is one complicated mother. Only if she followed some rules. Like taking me to the tot lot on our way home from school. I am sure she can do pee-pee in the woods behind. I have done that (hey, it was an accident), and nobody seemed to mind. Or giving me jam and poli and peas every day for dinner. Or swinging me for an hour and a half on the tot lot swing or letting me play with the real lawnmower. Is that too much to ask? You tell me.
Your loving son,
Tuesday, September 18, 2007