Mom – Things to do – #…..


My daughter lives in a different time zone these days. What this means is that – as a mom – I have a new item added to my things to do list! If I told you what the task is, you would laugh and say, “But that’s so easy.”

I agree. The task is that I have to wake my daughter up on the days she tells me to. Simple right? Just before she sleeps she drops a message on our family group, asking us to give her a wake up call.

So, as a good mom, I set an alarm on my phone with reminders to back it up. At the appointed hour, and when my alarm goes off, I promptly call my daughter.

Photo by Krivec Ales from Pexels

The phone rings for a while and then I hear my daughter’s voice from the deep recesses of her blanket. “Hi, mom”, she says.

And then there is silence. The video of my daughter’s phone faces the ceiling and I talk to the ceiling. “Are you awake?” There’s a small grunt (or did I just imagine that!)

I keep talking and virtually prod her to wake up. After a while, I give up and hang up in irritation. And the same pattern repeats a few times each week.

The next time my daughter calls me, I express my frustration at talking to her ceiling. I also ask her what the point is of trying to wake her up in this fashion. I ask her why she can’t set her own alarm and wake up to it?

Pat comes the reply, “But mom, when you call me you are an interactive alarm. You talk and prod me awake, but my phone alarm can easily be dismissed and doesn’t nag me. Please mom…”

I laugh. Hmmm…Mom the interactive alarm indeed!

The school bell


On certain days, at 12 noon, when there is a gentle afternoon breeze, and if the sounds of traffic from the junction below our condo are not too loud, and if my mind is not distracted by the mundane, I can hear them – church bells chiming from the church that is further down our road. There is something magical about these melodious bells; they give me pause and make me ponder for a few minutes.

There are so many different types of bells – all of them designed to draw our attention to something important – prayer bells, alarm bells, fire alarms and door bells. But the most special bell has to be the school bell.

When we were in school, we did not have automated electronic bells to signal the end of each period.

We had a physical bell – a round metallic ring that was suspended from a tree just above the school’s playground. At the prescribed time, the school’s bell-incharge would walk to the bell and strike it with another metal rod, which he would then take back with him.

Courtesy – http://www.alamy.com

The bell was loud, clear, and could be heard from every corner of the school. The bell was sounded differently for different activities – class changes, lunch, recess and the end of the school day.

And on many days, we sat with our friends, willing the recess bell to ring so that we could run out and play outside, or be the first ones on the swings or see-saws.

During the monsoon season, the rain played spoilsport, and we were stuck in the corridors. We made paper boats that we sailed outside the corridors, we splashed water droplets on unsuspecting friends, or huddled together to prevent our teeth from chattering in the cold. At those times, the bells sent us back into the warmth of our classrooms.

Later on, when we were teenagers, and when it was fashionable to eat less, or to skip breakfast because we were late for school, our growling stomachs would wait impatiently for the lunch bell to ring. We would then open our lunch boxes to relish our food, so lovingly packed by our moms.

Sometimes, when we got to miss a class to attend an event or some inter-school competition, and got back to school only to realize that classes were still not over, we would stall and drag our feet to go back to class, hoping to see the bell-incharge walking towards the bell.

The most welcome bell was the one that rang for a prolonged period, to signal the end of the school day. When we were in primary and middle school, the long bell was our cue to rush home, to gobble up our evening snacks, and to run outdoors to play.

As we moved to high school, the long bell meant that we could leave school and hang out with friends. We had plenty to talk about, everyday, and somehow it always seemed that there was never enough time.

Today’s bells are electronic and sound totally different from those bells of old.

Those were memorable times indeed, when life moved to a slower beat.

Why moms need buffer time!


I look at the clock. It is time to wake the kids up. In my sweetest voice, I tell them to wake up.

No movement, not even a flicker.  My heart melts as I see their innocent faces, lost in a far away land.

I raise my voice just a little – there is an answering grunt from one and a rustle of sheets from the other.

I announce that I will be back in 5 minutes. I get back to my chores. Five minutes later, I go back.

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          Courtesy – http://www.pinterest.com

My voice is louder. Now I introduce the shake. I shake their feet to goad them into waking up.

The two stretch now, wishing both the morning, and me, away.  I issue a warning that I will not be coming back again.

I go back to my chores. From the eyes in the back of my head I can see two forms ambling about.

One comes into the kitchen for a hug. The other is sprawled lizard-like, on the couch. Hmmmm.

I call out to the one on the couch, and head to the bedroom to pick up something, and find that the hugger is spread-eagled on the bed. I sigh….and mutter.

“Just 10 seconds, mom? Please?” says a voice.

I walk back and decide to stop being the walking, wake-up alarm. I can see the couch lizard heading to the bathroom.

Soon two voices can be heard, alert and ready to take on the day, and to stake their claim on the bathroom.

Business as usual.