Andar se koi bahar na jaa sake, Bahar se koi andar na aa aske, Socho kabhi asia ho toh kya ho? Socho kabhi asia ho toh kya ho?
Hum tum ek kamre mein band ho, has taken on a whole new meaning with life in times of COVID 19. Imagine a household with 4 members (and a dog!) varying from the ages of 40+ (my husband refuses to acknowledge his age over the BIG 4!), 12 years and 15 months. Yes! You read that right I have an almost teenager and a bundle of energy all of 15 months old also known as ‘Little Miss Hurricane’. 3 out of 4 trying to work and the littlest one trying her utmost to lay waste to best-laid plans of working hard.
My 12-year-old goes to an IB school, which means we are slap bang in the middle of Term 2 and he doesn’t have the luxury of disconnecting from schoolwork and burying himself at Nanu and Nani’s house in the hills. He has daily classes…virtually. I’m a teacher, and I conduct daily classes… virtually. My husband, heads 3 businesses and is working from home and running his businesses… virtually.
Imagine the situation – 3 people, 3 quiet places, enough bandwidth to enable video conferencing for all 3 and ONE ‘Little Miss Hurricane’ (and the dog).
While most parents are worrying about activities to keep their kids engaged; my biggest worry is how to create a working environment for the ‘adults’ in the house without disturbing ‘Little Miss Hurricane’s’ busy schedule and of course how to stop the dog from barking every time there is someone at the door.
Have I been successful you ask? Ermm, it depends on who you ask. The pre-teen isn’t complaining he’s got a room, his noise cancelling headphones, a computer all to himself — he’s sorted. He is actually enjoying his classes (who knew!) and wonders of wonders not only is he finishing his classwork but he’s doing his homework way in advance. Guinness Book of World Records this one needs to go on your books for posterity.
The Lord and Master of the household needs the most bandwidth, so he’s commandeered the drawing room! Which means that everybody else needs to tiptoe around him… in the drawing room! Ever so often there is a bark (from the husband, not the dog) to keep things quiet – child, cleaning maid, nanny and dog alike scared and suitably chastised!
The long-suffering mother – which would be me! (It’s self-pity, but hey! I’m the author, so chalk it down to authors prerogative. Hence, I can indulge in some healthy self-pity!) has been relegated to the furthest corner of the house where mind you the wifi isn’t the fastest (it’s adequate – but I’m not going to tell the husband that). Now, for the duration of my work I can’t get out of the room (nope! Not even for a tea break or a break to stretch my legs) lest ‘Little Miss Hurricane’ & the dog see me; which will result in chaos. Each wanting a piece of me. “Mamma, bookaaa!” from little miss. Growls and demands of back scratches from the dog. Hence an elaborate ruse is acted out in the morning. Where I – mamma gets ready for work and makes a big deal about hugging and kissing the little ones (2 legged and 4 legged) goodbye. Making a very dramatic exit out the door in full view. Post this drama, while the little one is distracted by the nanny, I quickly slip back in, scoot to the designated room and lock myself up for 6 hours!
The dog has figured out the ruse, so now he spends his time barking at random people who dare ring the doorbell and whimpering outside my room demanding to be let in. Poor guy gets yelled at for both by The Husband. ‘Little Miss Hurricane’ is oblivious to the fact that mamma is in the house. When she does escape the confines of the room she has been sent off to, she comes tottering towards my door only to turn around as she isn’t given permission to enter by the nanny much like the door Jane Eyre wasn’t allowed to open. I hope unlike the book she doesn’t discover the secret behind the door.
To each parent out there keeping their kids safe and gainfully employed while trying to do your own work. We all deserve a resounding round of applause.
I’ve got to go. The song I started with has now become an ear-worm. I’m off to find something to do that will distract me from humming the darned song in my head. Maybe I will read that Booka to the little one and give extra scratches to the dog! Stay safe. More importantly, stay sane… or at least try to.
Views are the author’s own