Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Elders and bitters: The Joneses are child’s play. Try keeping up with grandkids

Elders and bitters: The Joneses are child’s play. Try keeping up with grandkids

July 12, 2018, 2:00 AM IST Bachi Karkaria in Erratica | Edit PageIndiaSports | TOI

It’s both put-downer and come-uppance, this Russian roulette with my grandsons, ages 9,11. Trust me, it’s an emergency number – and trying to keep up with their current passions can feel like a terror attack. If you need to ask ‘Why do you have to try?’ you are terminally and congenitally out of touch with reality. Clearly, you’ve never wilted under the smug/ superior/ eye-rolling/ smirking/ disdainful/ despairing/ all-the-above look of a tweenie.
This is Ground Zero. When your own kids got too cocky, you could bring out the parental artillery for quite a while. But once grandchildren pass the captive story-listening age, impressing them calls for angina-grade efforts. It was bad enough when, at 6, each could fix any tech issue that felled you. The demands on your own GK grow as theirs does. But my stress peaks during grand sporting events. Which now are 13 months a year. Just when i’ve managed to know enough about cricket to engage them for 10 minutes, the goddamn game changes.
These past weeks, our well-read Devils have left me with Le Bleus. My Impress Quotient has been sorely tested and found severely wanting. Despite my staying up half the night to be able to speak coolly on Cheryshev’s ‘glorious goal’, and devouring reams of sports pages with the hunger of England’s come-back team.
This World Cup has been particularly perverse. Bad enough that Kahaan was Messi-manic and Kabir was Ronaldo-rave, so i had to be equally prepared on both. But, they were hanged, drawn and quartered. That wasted swotting really got my GOAT. Worse, all the Golden Boot favourites i’d boned up on got kicked off. So, this week, i’ve had to up my game on each attempt, offside, possession, foul, yellow/ red card of every team i hadn’t bothered about. That’s apart from learning to curl my tongue around their names – like the Neymar ball which giant Courtois saved last Friday.
As with Metro construction, will my stress-to-impress get much worse before it gets any better? Or, as teenagers, will K1&2 be too obsessed with their acne and ecstasy to bother about Grandma’s FQ? Uhmm, would that be the right time to tell them about making passes with other goals in mind?
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