How to keep Amma busy, on any given day?
Grab a big piece of carrot while Amma is cutting veggies, try to gulp it down entirely, and choke on it, so that she has to come and rescue us.
Open the commode and try to put our head into it.
Throw out spoons and ladles from the balcony, as and when we can get our hands on them.
Run out of the house after the house help, and threaten to run down the apartment staircase.
Try to lick the inside of the wet waste bucket when it is dirty and unwashed, and has loads of trash in it.
Put our hands in the hot water that Amma is running for our bath, and then scream our heart out.
Put the soap in the bath water to make it clean.
Put the brush that Amma uses to clean the commode into the bath water.
Never stand up when Amma asks us to, to clean our bum after poo. Sit down squat on the bathroom floor instead, once our diaper is removed.
Pull out the heavy lid of the pressure cooker, and insist on roaming around the house with it, threatening to drop it on our feet all the time.
Try to eat the stems whenever she is cleaning spinach or other leafy veggies. We don’t like the taste of the stems, and we start sputtering and coughing, and Amma has to bring us some water immediately!
Do not let Amma wipe our mouth after eating food. Wipe the remains of our lunch on her dress, instead.
Wake up as soon as Amma tries to sneak out of the bedroom in the morning, craving for a leisurely cup of tea. The earlier she wakes up, the earlier we run after her, too!
Refuse to get out of the car after a visit to the park, for a full 20 minutes.
Never, ever let Amma dry our hair after a head bath. Shake head vigorously and scream till the neighbours come to our rescue, whenever she tries to do so!
Insist on grabbing all of Amma’s precious possessions (her phone, Kindle, glasses and camera, for instance), and throwing them hard on the floor. We are so happy to report her phone has a crack glass now, and she needs a rubber band to hold her glasses up on her nose!
At the park, insist on getting up close and personal with a doggie that is fiercely scratching its ears. Also, insist on climbing inside games that are not meant to be climbed into.
Bang on the bathroom door whenever Amma wants to use it. Keep banging till she gets out. Personal space – whatever is that?
Refuse to wear a dress after Amma gives us a bath.
Insist on snacking on pori just before meal times.
Insist only on one sip of water at a time, so Amma has to coax us to drink more throughout the day.
Get into the balcony when no one is around, and close the door behind us. Amma says it almost gives her a heart attack!
Oh, this is just a small sample of the things we do to drive Amma nuts, you know? Wonder why she and Daddy call us Vaal Gopal! That is not our name. These adults are so weird!!
(For non-Tamil speakers, ‘vaal’ is Tamil for ‘tail’, colloquial language for a mischievous monkey. ‘Gopal’, of course, is Lord Krishna, known for his naughtiness. ‘Vaal Gopal’ is a twist on one of Lord Krishna’s nicknames, Baal Gopal. 😀 )