Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Death Penalty, Mental Illness, and Parenthood

I did a paper on the death penalty and mental illness recently. It is nice to focus on something far removed from babies and household chores, so I got a big kick out of it. Did anyone know that many people on death row are mentally challenged? Imagine that! I thought the insanity plea was the surest way to escape the slammer and the pleasantries associated with it (Figured that out from John Grisham's 'A Time to Kill'). But apparently there are dozens of cases where offenders who have been executed or are going to be executed suffer from some sort of mental illness.

Reading their case histories, my stomach literally started churning (And I have a cast – iron stomach and am a horror – movie aficionado) . Most of these poor schmucks have a history of abuse – sexual, emotional, and what have you. One poor fella had a monster mommy who would tie him up in a sack and hang him over the fireplace or she would request the neighbors to beat up her son. (Talk about the neighborhood from hell! )Once she even buried him in the ground claiming it was a cure for asthma! This fella (Freddie Lee Hall) was convicted for the murder of a young, pregnant woman (prpbably mistook her for his mother). Another of these mommies from hell used to beat up her son, taking it in turns with his stepfather to whip him with cords and belts. They even made his siblings hold him down while they beat the crap out of him. The boy (Robert Anthony Carter) was convicted for a murder he committed at seventeen. Small wonder that these guys turned out the way they did!

Perhaps we should start handing out licenses for parenthood- decide if people are up for the task before giving them permission to go forth and procreate or whatever. It makes sense does it not? Remember that bugger named Josef Fritzl who kept his daughter captive in a basement andd fathered 7 children with her? If we had the licensing thing in place unspeakable tragedies like that one could have been averted. We have licenses for everything elso so why not for parenthood? Perhaps I'll make like Reese Witherspoon and do a 'Legally Brunette' to get the needed legislation passed.

Funny how I always come back to mommyhood, even when I am doing intensive research on hardened criminals and their fate.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Horrifying Friday the 13th

There are times when you feel like flushing yourself down the toilet simply to put yourself out of the excruciating misery that has claimed you for its own. Yesterday, Friday the 13th was one of those days. I had caught the mother of all things monstrous - the cold virus. And to make matters worse my daughters had it to. Spent the day cuddling the babies and trying to make them feel better about having their noses forcibly cleaned to get rid of the bucket loads of phlegm that had taken up residence.

The elder one broke my heart by shrinking away from me and howling for her daddy every time I approached her, as if in her book I was nothing less than the Boogeyman and the ugly witch combined. Unfortunately, the virus does little to enhance my looks and I must have looked quite scary to her with my red nose, deathly pallor, and streaming eyes armed as I was with the dreaded hanky and noxious antibiotic. As for the baby she whimpered miserably bearing up with the stoicism of the young and made me wanna cry along with her. Finally, I got them to sleep but there was little relief to be had for me.

Could not fall asleep as my lousy cold simply wouldn't let me. Drank hot water laced with honey by the gallon. It is my personal remedy to ease the pain inflicted by the torture device that has plagued mankind since the dawn of time and which is destined to do so till computers take over our mind and then the world after laying waste to it. Anyways it works quite well, for me and people like me who hate medicines and will not touch it unless their life literally depends on it. And I have always ignored naysayers who have disparaged my brilliant yet simple remedy and gone on record behind my back to say all education has done is make an idiot out of me.

Loaded with honey and hot water, I made myself as comfortable as possible and proceeded to read Julie Garwood's 'Murder List'. It is about a hot, do - gooder heiress who is pursued by a serial killer and sexed up by a tough cop. I gleefully devoured Ms Garwood's literary offering with its liberal doses of blood and romance and was thankful for the release it offered me from the twin terrors of phlegm and a tormented throat. More importantly it had helped me survive Friday the 13th and kept me from the clutches of my murderous toilet.

This is a true story of survival in the face of adversity and how something as humble as honey and hot water plus a racy novel can make the difference between life and death. I hope people draw their inspiration from it. Let my saga of suffering be a lesson to all - WE SHALL OVERCOME :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Two Girls?

People usually look a little sympathetic when I tell them I have two baby girls. Some sigh a little, others talk about fate and how we are powerless against its machinations, a few say they hope the next one will be a boy and then get red - faced when they see the look on my face. But my gyno's reaction takes the cake by far...
As I lay on the operation table, trying not to feel like a chicken on a butcher's block, telling myself repeatedly that it would all be over in a few minutes, and I'll finally know the sex of my baby, the room suddenly went still and I heard something that sounded like a mouse. And then Doc told me in a voice loaded with apprehension, "Its a girl Anuja".
"Ok, Can I see her?" said I.
"Sedate her! Do it now!" Doc told the anesthetic in an urgent whisper.
Next second I was out cold and I had not seen my baby! Boy was I mad when I came to. What the hell did they think I would do? Perhaps they expected me to conjure up a machine gun and go on a killing spree...Later Doc told me (by way of explanation for her unforgiveable behaviour) that she thought it was awesome that I was cool with having two girls and not many people handle the whole thing with anything close to equanimity.
A Doc buddy told me the same thing. Apparently there are cases where husbands and in - laws storm out of the hospital leaving the poor mommies sobbing into their pillows. Others pay Docs to tell them the sex of the baby though it is illegal and then opt for an abortion if its a girl. And my maid showed me an innocuous little plant (the internet tells me it is the oleander plant) and told me with ghoulish relish that somebody she knew had used it to poison and get rid of an unwanted female child!!
Anyways its far too depressing to think about all the crap that goes on in the world. I am just glad I don't have to worry about getting peed on in the face, Oedipus complex, future battles with the chippy who my hypothetical son was stupid enough to marry, etc. My only regret was I could not use the perfect name I came up with in case it was a boy - Agni (Imagine how cool it would be to introduce yourself as fire!) So anyone reading this can feel free to use my cool name for his/her son. You have my blessing.
Finally, for those who worry that they may wind up with a 'female' I have only one thing to say - Just give your lil gal a chance, trust me, she'll make you fall head - over - heels in love. And yes I read that over and lines like that are super cheesy but this one has the redeeming factor of being the truth :)