Thursday, 28 April 2011

Sexual harrassment

“I’m gonna need you to take over table 52 please.” I say to Bonnie the shift manager, feeling sick enough to vomit.

“Why, are you busy?” She looks over my shoulder at the bar.

“No, but I don’t want to wait on them. Not after what they just said.”

“Uh Bonnie can I please get a void?” a server asks.

“Give me a minute Sully. So what’s going on that you don’t want to wait on Mike and Greg?” I say a silent prayer thanking God for Bonnie managing today.

“Do you want me to get into it now? My high-tops both just got sat .”

“Yeah, I want to know. What happened?”

“They’re being ignorant and to be honest, I don’t make enough money here to put up with it.” I grip the top of a banquet to steady my shaking hands.

Bonnie looks closely at me. “Hey, you love those guys. They’ll only sit in your section. Let’s go to the back. Sully, can you watch the bar for a second?”

I look at Sully apologetically. “Everybody’s got drinks except 55 and 58. If you could just take their drink orders, I can make them.” I say.

“Okay but hurry, I just got sat too.” He shakes his head as he makes his way to the two bar tables.

“Tell me what happened.” She encourages putting a motherly arm around my shoulders as we walk.

“Basically I was just propositioned by Mike and Greg.”

Bonnie laughs. “What?”

“Yeah, they started talking about how they’re on the board to clean up the waterfront of strip bars and that they’re trying to decide whether or not it’s worth giving Cheri Champagne’s a face lift or get rid of it. Then they asked me what I thought. I said I didn’t know, and asked them for their drink order. But they insisted they wanted my opinion.”

“Yeah, then what?”

“Then the conversation got really weird. Mike goes ‘So Kim is that something you’d ever consider?’ And I was confused so I asked him what he meant. He said ‘You know, dance?’ I didn’t say anything and Greg pipes in, ‘What would you need to be paid to dance?’ I stopped smiling then and asked them what they wanted to drink. They wouldn’t let it go. Mike finally said ‘I guess we’re asking you what it would cost to see you dance naked.’ That’s when I sort of lost it. I said “You’re making me uncomfortable. If you want to eat I’ll take your order but this conversation needs to stop.’ But you know what Bonnie?” She grabs my hand pats it to calm me. “They wouldn’t let it go. Mike said”

“Which one’s Mike again?”

“The fat balding one.”


“He goes – ‘awww come on Kim, everybody has a price.’ Then Greg the skinny one – he’s the lawyer – laughs and goes ‘We’re willing to pay big bucks.’ That’s when I told them I was coming to get you.”

Bonnie was twirling the Squirrel card in her fingers, something I’d seen her do when the restaurant began filling up and we were understaffed. She was the accountant for the restaurant but recently had begun pulling a few management shifts during lunch each week. We loved having her on the floor. A welcome change from the general manager Dave who surely would have laughed this off and insisted I get back in the bar and serve the two regulars.

“Okay, okay, you shouldn’t have to serve people who are being that obnoxious to you. I’ll take them.”

Relieved I walk back to the bar. My legs feel like jelly. I don't want to face them again but need the hundred bucks I’d easily pull in on this busy Friday lunch.

I'm joining those ladies in red in their prompt to describe a fight fiction or non-fiction. This is another example of some of  the nonsense I faced in my bartending days. Although some of the names have been changed, it is an almost exact account of what happened. I refused to serve these men after that day and yet they insisted on sitting in my section at least twice a week for the next year. I would usually ask a colleague to wait on them unless Bonnie was working. It was truly a case of sexual harrassment and sadly because they were in, what I thought at the time, positions of power, I did nothing except refuse to wait on them.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

I wouldn't be a good stay-at-home mom

I don’t have what it takes to be a stay-at-home mom. Not a good one anyway. It took two maternity leaves and ten sleepless months to know this for sure. Thank God for the leave. A chance to bond with my kids, then hand them over to professionals lest they be stunted by over-exposure to Dora and chicken nuggets. I bow down to homeschooling mothers everywhere. Offer my compassionate condolences to my American friends who are forced to quit their jobs due to the stunning absence of a proper mat leave.

With Deaglan, my first, the thought of separation sickened me. At six months I began the countdown to the descent back to work. Desperate, I devised ways to stay home and still bring in an income. I offered to set up a hotdog stand on our lawn, grow our own food, stop shopping, and sew our clothes instead. But my husband’s thorough knowledge of my strengths and weaknesses didn’t sell him on any of these schemes.
 That first week I was forlorn. A part of me was missing. My breasts leaked through my business suit. I only caught fragments of what people said. I cried in a bathroom stall on the fourth floor. And my arms ached to hold my baby.

But into the second month, a new consciousness penetrated the one-way street of my thinking. I liked work. Needed work. Saw that I was a better mom with work. And felt gloriously liberated to be back in heels, relegating my comfy pants to weekends.
 And today, in the twilight of my final leave, two beautiful boys under my belt, my body badly in need of constructive undergarments, the dread of leaving both kids in somebody else’s care is balanced with the knowing that they’ll be okay. The daycare will ensure they get at least 90 minutes of outside play every day, teach my boys to cooperate, paint and dance. Trained educators will provide routine. A paid cook will prepare meals and snacks mandated by the Canada Food Guide.

And although I’ll ache from the separation, I’ll bear in mind the guilt I felt every time my three year old asked me if I was finished doing my “computer work” (blogging) so I could play. I’ll recall how often I looked out at the snow outside and felt too lazy to bundle them up to play outdoors. I’ll remember putting on the fourth episode of Thomas and Friends so I could catch up on emails. And I will realize that knowing I wouldn’t be a good stay-at-home mom, well knowing that makes me a pretty good mom.

I'm joining Shell today and pouring my heart out.

Please ignore my insane get-up in the first picture. Deaglan painted dollar store bird houses for his relatives this Easter. They were a big hit I think. Naveen was irritated the entire holiday weekend. Aversion to mythical bunnies who deliver chocolate? Nah, no son of mine could dislike chocolate. I was lucky to capture a good shot with Papa (my Dad). This was not the case with Grampa (Shaune's Dad) who happens to be wearing Shaune's new hat to match those of the boys'.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Ten things I'm going to do when I get some sleep

I’m feeling hopeful that any day now I’ll be able to say – hey I’m not tired. In my fantasy of such an occasion, I’ll wake feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.
About two nights a week, Naveen sleeps for eight hours straight. Of course those are usually the nights Deaglan can find a hundred and fifty reasons he must sleep in our bed. Lately there have been a pack of hungry wild hyenas lurking in our upstairs closets, waiting to pounce the moment I fall into a blissful sleep.

Thanks Disney.
You might want to think about jacking up the G rating on Lion King next time you release it out of your precious vault. Hey and while you’re at it, I’ve had just about enough of my three year-old pointing the vaccum hose at his baby brother, yelling “Look Mommy, I’m going to shoot the savage!” Pocohontas’ message isn’t all that clear unless you’ve studied history. They haven’t covered that yet in Deaglan’s daycare. And don’t even get me started on the misogynistic vulgarity of Gaston, that sexist pig, from Beauty and the Beast.

But I digress.

Here are ten things I’m going to do when I get some sleep.

1. Turn off the babysitter – I mean the TV. And write a strongly worded letter to whoever’s in charge over at Disney these days.

2. Shower regularly and reacquaint myself with deodorant and make-up.

3. Give my pyjama pants a day off

4. Fully acknowledge that hotdogs don’t fit into a food group.

5. And while I’m at it give the microwave a break

6. Stop starting every sentence with a yawn and a ten minute explanation of how long it’s been since I had a good night’s sleep.

7. Indulge in some non-maternity undergarments.

8. Answer the phone. And stop hiding any time someone comes to the door.

9. Render Shaune speechless and possibly make his day (Month? Year??) by saying yes.

10. Come clean to Deaglan that Mommy’s not really “doing work on the computer”. It’s called blogging and no one’s paying me to do it.
We had a wonderful Easter weekend. Friday we visited with my folks where Deaglan had a blast playing with his cousins Farrah and Asia. And Sunday we visited with Shaune's family where Deaglan again had a wild time. It's hard to believe looking at this picture of him. There were about seven people trying their bloody best to make him say Cheese. I was actually gritting my teeth and threatening to take away his new toys here. Looks like a smile though, don't you think?

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Birthday Balloons

These have been tightly gripped in his hands since yesterday afternoon when Shaune came home on his break between school and work with a cake, a beautiful pair of earrings, flowers and these most coveted balloons. Thank you all for the wonderful wishes - it made swallowing this milestone so much more lovely.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Ten part three and four: Reflections on forty

Lordy, lordy look who’s forty.

Ahem, that would be me.

April 20.
As in now.
As in I’m officially in my forties. Does this mean I’m middle aged? And also is forty the new thirty? Or the new twenty? Because although I liked my thirties, I’ve had enough. And if it’s the new twenty?

I mean I’m definitely not having an it’s my party, I’ll cry if I want to moment. But it’s certainly not a Yay, I’m finally old enough to get shitfaced kind of day either. I will say this though – it’s still a good riddance to those deranged twenties – don’t bring them up cuz I will deny all involvement and also stop speaking to you kind of a milestone.

We were going to quietly celebrate out at a fancy restaurant this weekend with some friends but nothing was coming together mostly because Easter took its sweet time getting here. So it’s postponed.
I wasn’t crushed. Didn’t feel friendless and unspecial like I would have had Shaune not organized something substantial on my thirtieth. Frankly I was a little relieved. I don’t like being the centre of attention that way.

I’ll wait here while you roll your eyes.
Considering I’m one thin cotton nightie away from being completely naked here on my blog. You know, practically begging you to pay attention to me.

Seriously though, there’s this pressure to have some whopping shin-dig, a considerable gathering, where roomfuls of friends jump out from behind large pieces of furniture. The truth is, I don’t think I have a roomful of friends. Maybe a powder room full. Okay, I’m being modest. Midsized bedroom at best. And half of them live out of town. Does such an occasion warrant travel plans and vacation days?

And also, I need time to think about this. What do I do now? What do forty year-old people do? I quit smoking four years ago and rarely drink more than a glass of wine in one sitting and have always flossed regularly. I could stand to add more calcium to my diet and possibly I need to get a mammogram. Okay I definitely need to get a mammogram. And stop watching Law & Order re-runs.

Truth be told I’m on a four week cycle - of needing to dye my hair. Well that’s exaggerating, it’s probably more like three weeks but I can hide the gray in that last week with strategic pony-tailing. Also, I’m in dire need of constructive undergarments.

Equally true my friends: I am content. I have everything I want. You know what I mean?
Good man.
Beautiful kids.
Roof over my head and a steady job.

Not to mention the fact that I live in a peaceful country that empowers women, minorities, gay and lesbian people to live their truths and be who they are in a mostly supportive environment. I have the freedom to raise my kids with whatever beliefs, faith and values I decide.

That’s really something when you think about it.

So I don’t think it sucks to be forty today. I’m feeling quiet and contemplative. I’m thinking about Matthew. I’m counting the goodness I’m blessed with. And I’m sending all of you warm thoughts for taking the time to read my birthday post.

Please go visit Shell and read some of the other people pouring their hearts out today.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Ten: part two

I was mentally writing a post for Ten: part two at dinner tonight. Shaune made polenta, served over top of his fresh tomato sauce, sauteed shitake mushrooms and grilled asparagus. For the kids he added spaghetti to the tomato sauce and gave them a side of polenta and vegetables. Deaglan ate the spaghetti but would have no part of the polenta even though we called it corn mashed potatoes. He wouldn’t eat any even when Shaune offered him a dollar to take just one bite. We looked at each other across the table and rejoiced silently that he ate the spaghetti.
After Ten: part one I had no real plan for Ten: part two except that turning 40 next week has been plaguing me and I thought I'd get it all out by writing a  four part series of reflections.

I’m stumped already.

The year I turned ten Ronald Reagan was sworn into office and MTV had just aired. Sadly, without Googling it, I don’t have the foggiest what was going on in Canada. Except that I was in Ms. Waters’ grade four class out in the portable.

That’s about it. All I can remember.

Oh yeah and I got the award for perfect attendance. I remember feeling embarrassed walking to the front of the gym. My name was called between the kid who got the science award and the one who got one for being the best at math. Thanks for showing up, you weren’t particularly good at anything but we wanted to give you a pat on the back for coming.

My favourite time of week was when Ms Waters read to us. I wish I could remember what book it was that year. Something about pheasant hunting but when I looked up novels about pheasant hunting, a list of books about pheasant hunting came up. How-to books, not novels.

I also remember doing our class play where we acted out Shel Silvertein’s poem Boa Constrictor:

Oh, I'm being eaten
By a boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
I'm being eaten by a boa constrictor,
And I don't like it--one bit...

Ms Waters asked us to bring in stuffed snakes we had at home. Then we were partnered and had to recite the poem while one person worked the snake, slithering it up their partner’s body until that last line

Well, what do you know?
It's nibblin' my toe.
Oh, gee,
It's up to my knee.
Oh my,
It's up to my thigh.
Oh, fiddle,
It's up to my middle.
Oh, heck,
It's up to my neck.
Oh, dread,
It's upmmmmmmmmmmffffffffff . . .

I remember during one rehearsal, the boy I had a crush on, took two of the stuffed snakes, making them kiss while looking at me. My face hot and flushed, I looked away. I don’t think I spoke to him for several days.

I also remember that just a few months prior John Lennon was shot. We were playing in the basement of our Manor Park house and my mother came downstairs. She was crying; sat on the second stair from the bottom, put her head in her hands and sobbed wildly. One of us, I can’t remember who, asked her what was wrong. She told us, crying even harder. She’d been one of those Beatles fans you see in the footage, a pretty blonde girl in a yellow romper, screaming at the mere mention of the four British rockers.

John had been her favourite.

I'm planning a Ten: part three for some time tomorrow. Hopefully.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Ten: Part one

Ten more things about me

1. The remains of Judge, our dog, sit on a shelf in our closet – he was cremated almost four years ago.

2. I grind my teeth and should be wearing my night guard. And also, but possibly not related, I experience several moments of sheer terror every few days about the fact that I’m telling the internet my business on this case you were wondering. I get over it rather quickly though.

3. The song Bobbyjean by Bruce Springsteen makes me want to cry and I don’t even know why. I was in grade ten the first time I heard it.

4. When I get a compliment on something I’m wearing – I blurt out the price. Because I only shop clearance. And I’m usually pretty impressed with my bargain-hunting skills.

5. I’m most productive in the morning, in the springtime and when I have a deadline.

6. I can’t stand avoiding an issue. If something is upsetting, if I’ve hurt someone, if they’ve wronged me, I need to talk about it so it’s not bubbling inside me.

7. Our sponsored child’s name is Sabina and she lives in Bangladesh. I wish I could sponsor ten more kids.

8. I love kijiji, garage sales and flea markets. I feel certain that my days of buying new are almost over. Incidentally, I begged Shaune to stop at the side of the road last week and pick up a coffee table someone was throwing out. It’s now the footboard for our bed. My plan is to sand and paint it. I’m not sure how Shaune feels about it; he’s hit his shin on it every night since.

9. I read to my boys every single night. Even when I don’t want to. And I take a page from Dora and ask Deaglan what his favourite part of the day was. I’m pretty proud of this.

10. I say small prayers all throughout the day. It helps me stay conscious and present. And not related but just because I wanted to fit it in, I’ve been really grossed out by red meat lately. But likely related, I’ve been scheming of ways to stay healthier so I can be nimble and spry when my boys give me grandchildren. I’m an older mom you know.

Please come back for Ten:Part two on Sunday.


Wednesday, 13 April 2011

My kids are biracial

My friend Sue saw this picture of Deaglan in our front hall and said

“Oh look how cute you were when you were little!”

I had to hold back my urge to kiss her. On the mouth. It would have complicated things between us. And I’m not sure she’d want to visit again.
And I’m embarrassed to tell you that my heart leapt in delight. It took a great deal of self-control to refrain from sitting her down to obtain a feature-by-feature comparison, demanding she outline in detail, exactly where she felt the similarities lay.

I don’t have any pictures of myself before the age of seven. I’ve written about all that before: being adopted from Bangladesh, the orphanage, my birth mother. But the thing is, when you have no point of reference like a baby photo or more importantly, someone who knew you as a baby to say, yes, your children do in fact resemble you, well having someone suggest this, is nothing short of finding a fifty dollar bill in an old jacket pocket.

This not having my birth parents around to affirm my likeness to my kids isn’t the only part of being adopted that weighs on me as a parent. I wonder all the time how and when to tell my boys about the other half of their ancestry. Shaune brings with him a clan of beautiful family to make his birthright come alive for our boys. Gramma and Grampa are a steady part of Deaglan and Naveen’s lives so that they will naturally learn about their paternal roots. I’m so grateful for that. And of course my parents, Mimi and Papa, can fill them in on my life after the age of seven.

But I lived in Bangladesh for long enough that it’s more than the place I was born. I knew my biological parents, spent the most formative years of my childhood being influenced by severe poverty, a deeply entrenched Muslim faith, and even a completely different language. I want the kids to appreciate that, learn from it, and as a result, become conscious of the rest of the world. I hope they someday realize how lucky they were, being born into abundance, hope it enriches them in a way that will see them grow up to become kind, humble and tolerant men.

I don’t have the right answer. I certainly don't want to see the day when I hear them say “yeah, yeah, yeah, we get it; you walked five miles to school, in the snow with no shoes.”

I’m pouring my heart out with Shell.

Sunday, 10 April 2011


The first year is demanding.
Hormones. Sleep deprivation. Uncharted shift from how things were.
Labour intensive and hands-on.

There's crying, crying, crying. From both of you. And because it’s all in your hands, you watch every minute, to prevent. Choking, falling, hungering, rashing.

There's mastitis, no time for showers; bickering, tight waists, and swollen breasts. Frumpy dumpy days.
And those days you believe you're doing it all wrong because nothing is on schedule. Not the smiling, not the rolling over, not the crawling, teething, walking or talking. And guilt about food, TV and how-to-play. Comparing. Isolation.

Nobody could have told you the truth of it. They offer their experience, you read what to expect. But always, your baby is the exception.

And yet it’s seamless too.
The incessant kissing and hugging. Pet names. Possession. The final brush strokes on your family portrait, a complete knowing of what you will do from now on. Unwavering affection. An aim and true purpose. Every moment counts but if you don’t stray too far you can begin again.

You look at this seedling and remember that even last spring he was not here. And now he is almost walking, almost sleeping through the night, almost one. You revel in this. The fruits of your labour.
Shaune took these pictures a few hours ago in our backyard. Gramma is responsible for this hat. Can you even stand how adorable he is?

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Universal truths

Michelle walked down the stairs with the baby on her hip. Jake was sitting on the couch flipping channels while the twins played on the living room floor.

No coffee.

“Do you want to hold the baby so I can make the coffee or do you want to make it?” she asked.

“Here, I’ll take her.” Jake reached for the baby, ogled the bra strap peeking out from under his wife’s blue tank and raised an eyebrow.

“Don’t even think about it.” She snapped and headed into the kitchen.

“It’s been like six months, you know.”

“It’s been two, exaggerator.”

“Well it feels like six.” There was an edge in his voice.

“Listen” she turned the grinder off, “when I get some sleep, when I’m not exhausted, then I’ll think about that.”

“Whatever.” He muttered to himself.

“I can hear you.” Michelle called out.

The tension between them had been escalating all week. The baby had an ear infection and she was teething again. The boys wrestling on the floor, fighting over who was going to use Gordon, suddenly felt unbearable.

“Cut it out or I’ll take the train away and neither of you will use it!” She yelled, a wave of fatigue diminishing any bit of patience she had.

Jake put the baby in the excersaucer and walked to the kitchen. He put an arm around his wife, squeezing her shoulder. “Calm down, they’re just playing.”

Michelle pushed him away. “Fine, sorry. I just need coffee. I don’t know how much longer I can function on no sleep. I don’t think you understand what I’m going through here.”

Jake tried to keep the irritation out of his voice. “I know, I know. Tell me what to do. What can I do for you?”

“Nothing, you need to get sleep for work.” She was sobbing now and collapsed onto one of the wooden chairs. “I feel like you think I sound like a broken record, Jay, but this is so hard. Why won’t this baby sleep?”

“I don’t know, but I think there’s something wrong with her.” He wished he could take it back as soon as it was out of his mouth.

“Something wrong with her? What a thing to say! There’s nothing wrong with our baby!”
Michelle stood up, and walked to the coffee maker.

“You know that’s not what I meant. I mean, why’s Simon’s kid sleeping six hours already and he’s three months younger than Janey? And didn’t you say Courtney’s baby was doing ten hours straight?”

“So? That doesn’t mean Janey is abnormal. There’s nothing wrong with her!” Michelle set her steaming mug on the side table, grabbed the baby and sat down to nurse.

Jake grabbed his coffee and headed upstairs to get ready for work.

This is a piece of fiction based on the Red Writing Hood prompt someone has stolen something from you of tremendous value.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Who do I want to advertise?

 A few months ago I put up a "sponsor" button. My intention was to sell ad space here at The Child. And although I haven't been overwhelmed with responses, I have received several solicitations that made me really wonder what I wanted for this blog. If you take a look at my prices, you'll see that, obviously, I'm not trying to make a boatload of cash. But I thought, well, since my blog is steadily growing, I might as well use the space to advertise for some retailers I believe in. Then when the only offers coming in were companies that didn't fit the profile, voice or content of my blog, I let those people know I wasn't interested.

Last week my vision became clearer. My friend Erin who is getting married next month (ahhh!!!!) was ecstatic about some online shopping she's been doing for her wedding and asked me if I'd heard of Etsy. Yes!! She said she couldn't believe the beautiful custom products she'd been finding (wedding veil, jewelry, hair accessories) at amazing prices, all unique and handcrafted. Erin's been stunned by the personal service and caring that these retailers put into her orders - some from as faraway as California.

So although I was waffling a bit on whether or not to just take the tab down, feeling a bit defeated that no quality merchants were approaching me, my friend clarified things for me. I want to sell ad space to the hardworking artisans who may or may not have an Etsy shop. I want to support industrious stay-at-home moms (and dads!) like Valerie and T Rex Mom who lovingly and passionately create beautiful things because - well it brings them joy.

Also and completely unrelated - it never gets easier cutting this kid's hair. Clearly he gets his hair-growing genes from me (sorry Shaune - but he does!); at three, he's had it chopped at least seven times. But it's this refusal to let go that comes with motherhood which brings me to tears every time. And then when he walks in the door, and I see all of his beautiful face, my heart swoons and I could just cry again.

Email me if you or someone you know wants to buy some very reasonably priced ad space here. My contact info can be found in the tabs up top.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The journey to the orphanage

"It's all they had." Shaune handed me the bottle.

"Not even diet?"

"Nope and it's not cold."

I took a sip out of necessity. We'd been walking for an hour, looking at the mundane artefacts meant to represent the pioneer days of Canada. The dust in the desert-like July air had absorbed the moisture in my mouth, so that the sweet syrupy liquid had no thirst quenching properties except to cover my tongue in its slimy coat. And its prickly descent down my throat took me back to that first time it was the only beverage available.

The taller man with the onion breath and brown shoes walked over to where we stood at the railing, watching the green blue torrent. 

"Cola?" he curled his fingers around a make-believe object.

"Is he saying kala?" I looked over to my sister to see if she understood.

The man nodded vigorously. "Yes, yes, cola" His face was red again, a strange thing that happened to both the men when they became excited.

"Yayss" We both said, nodding our heads for good measure, in case he misunderstood. We'd heard the White Woman at the NGO use that word, when speaking to Ma. Her Bengali was broken and had made us laugh.  Our mother shushed us, apologized to the woman, and continued discussing, what I now realize was, our future. 

The man walked back into the cabin of the ferry boat; came back a few minutes later holding a slim glass bottle.

"Where's the kala?" I asked my sister. She shrugged.

"Here." He handed me the bottle. I was confused. It was cold to the touch. What was I supposed to do with this?

As if reading my thoughts, the man gestured, again curling his fingers around a make-believe object then lifted his hand to his mouth.

"He means for us to drink it," My older sister, always the wiser of us, muttered.

"And then we'll get the kala?" She shrugged again. The other man, the one with the beard and light eyes, walked out of the cabin holding a bottle like the one I'd been given. The man in the brown shoes gestured to him excitedly. They exchanged some words and the bearded one stepped into the centre of us, took a long swig of the dark liquid, patted his belly and smiled.

I handed the bottle to my sister. She was the brave one. Let her try it first I thought. She took a quick small sip and handed it back to me. I did the same but sputtered and coughed. The prickle hit my throat and nostrils simultaneously so that I was forced to spit the awful concoction out.

Both men burst into laughter. They laughed for several minutes before one of them grabbed the bottle from me and dumped it over the railing into the Bay of Bengal.

Embarrassed, I began to cry. The sobs choked me, not only because I thought the men were laughing at us, or that I was overly sad about not getting my kala or banana as I would know it ever after, but because it was sinking in that my mother was not going to be waiting for us at the end of this journey: that these tall white men were taking us far, far away from the life we’d known. A life that would one day find me Googling the Bengali word for banana because English had become my only language.

I'm joining the Red Dress Club in writing about a sound or scent that takes me back to my past. Constructive criticism is welcome, I'm learning so much from your helpful feedback.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Blogher is syndicating me today

Two things:

My kids won't stop projectile vomitting on me and I'm being syndicated on Blogher.


I was syndicated on

Do you know about Blogher?

Reaching more than 20 million unique women each month BlogHer is the leading participatory news, entertainment and information network for women online. Women turn to BlogHer to raise their voices, discuss relevant issues, aggregate their influence and engage with a supportive community of others doing the same. With blog directories including more than 25,000 quality blogs, reviewed by humans, and a publishing network joining more than 2,500 affiliated bloggers, BlogHer is the only place to find active, authentic conversations representing the full diversity of topics of interest to women. BlogHer is the single most effective way to find and engage with women online, and we develop innovative, integrated campaigns for some of today’s most demanding brands and consumers.

So will you please go here and leave me a comment? I'm willing to do odd jobs around your house. Feed your cat. Pick up dog poop. Entertain your kids - all the things you've been putting off. Warning - I have the power to make kids puke in the blink of an eye.

I've turned the comments off here. Thank you, thank you, thank you.