The husband is back from a fortnight-long business trip and the whole household sighed with relief, joy and exasperation when his smiling face greeted us.
That sigh of relief was mine.
Those whoops and shouts of joy that woke the neighbor’s cat and caused the squirrels to fall out of their trees was the children’s.
That exasperated sigh that was drowned in the cacophony was the Television’s. Anyone would be exasperated if they were rudely told that their quiet time had officially ended.
In our household, the Television is one that does its share of work, usually without complaining, though we know how angry it can get when pushed up against demanding work schedules. Take the time it decided to go on strike and fumbled the husband mid-stride: https://nourishncherish.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/do-tooth-fairies-have-baggage-restrictions/
This time, the television had a break too during the husband’s trip. You see, I am hopeless at getting the various things to work – there is Netflix and Amazon and Xfinity and Roku and Google TV and Apple TV and You tube. I am vaguely aware that these are all different things, but like the daughter says, “Poor amma – she has lost the battle the moment she calls it ‘The Television’ instead of lovingly calling it a TV!”
With the Television out of the running race of entertainment options, other activities gallantly stepped in to fill the void. We had a marvelous time together: taking walks in the golden autumn sun while entertaining friends and family, making beautifully shaped dosas and pancakes, whipping up thanksgiving feasts just because, cutting and pasting paper, preparing for a science fair, decorating our christmas tree. We did everything except television-watching. Which is what the children missed the most (after their father of course). So, the first words to escape their mouths after the vociferous cries of welcome were yowled was, “Could you get Netflix going again? Amma tried and tried, but she just couldn’t.”
The husband shook his head looking shocked, “Do you mean to tell me, you spent two weeks including a long week-end without TV?”
“Yes…of course! But we had a nice time right?” I said smiling at the angels who came on walks dressed like Panda bears and impersonating hawks.
“Well…let’s put it this way! We had a good time because Amma was happy that ‘The Television’ was not working, so she made sure we did fun stuff.” said the daughter rolling her eyes, and quoting ‘The Television’ like she has seen many fine teenage heroines on Television do. The husband gave me a look that said, “To think a mother would put her children through this!”
As Netflix came to life, the children enveloped him in warm hugs and embraces and the husband looked pleased. He swelled as it isn’t everyday that he is made to realize what a true hero he is to them.
I turned to the toddler son and asked him, “Who should give you a bath today? Appa or Amma?”
I was already whistling up the stairs sounding like a milk cooker out of breath, a book neatly tucked under my arm, when he shouted his answer: “Appa!”