New flat, road trips and the handsome uncle Mikael

IMG_5380I probably sound like a self indulgent buffoon but the job of a stay-at-home-dad never stops. It's true! So what have been upto for the past 10 days or so? A lot, I tell you! and thankfully it didn't allow me to watch any cricket. The 3rd test at Kolkata didn't happen at all in my mind. Much like the BCCI. I hadn't realized but Heidi just said that I've been doing this for 2 and a half months. So I have matched the maternity leave in a few countries. minus the breast feeding of course. To be honest, it's tougher now that the winter is here. My least favorite time of the day the is when I have to dress up the kids before venturing out. It's a tedious process layering the boys especially when by the end of it, Miro says 'Kaka!'.  That's poo in Finnish. He's a feisty little fella. Firm in saying his 'NOs', promptly follows them with a pout and proceeds by hurling the closest thing he can reach. It's quite funny actually and I can't stop laughing. I know he's thinking - What's so funny old man! Do you see anyone else laughing?' Well, Tino actually, smarty pants!

We moved to our new flat. We unpacked. We organized. We had our first visitor, Mikael, whose handyman services I shamefully exploited in exchange for my below par curries. I'm so hungry for a compliment that I even passed on a bowl of my attempt at butter chicken to our young French neighbour. She was very grateful although I'm not convinced whether the contents were consumed. Know-it-all Dorji ' the bodybuilder' bhai, wasn't fooled though and at first glance, bluntly told me - 'It doesn't look like butter chicken bro'. He had no inhibitions devouring my serving mind you but he would eat any form of protein. I took the act as a compliment. Ignored his words.

We also put up the christmas tree. We rented a car. No! A mini-van (which Mikael and Mrs Seth drove). We went to Ikea. We went to Annecy, France. We went to Montreux. All the while I was like the 3rd (unwanted) child belted up at the very back. I even took a nap which Mikael rudely photographed even though I denied any  such dozing. By the way, why do parents also lie about sleeping? 'I was 'Resting' my eyes. Tino wasn't fooled. He was watching me and when I opened my eyes said - 'Are you awake now daddy!'. He even had the audacity to tell me a few days later 'daddy, why are you always sleeping?' and also 'daddy, why are you always drinking?'. It's NOT true! I was 'RESTING' and giving 'MIKAEL COMPANY'. kids! what do they know!

An American, a German, a Spanish, a Canadian, a Finn and 2 Indian went to an Irish pub. As much it sounds like the start a corny joke, thats exactly what I did to share the mental agony of Tino's highly exaggerated comments. I joined my dads group for an evening of beer consumption and what lovely blokes they were. They understood me. The group of us shared numerous daddy tales while the rest of the packed pub were on another planet. A planet where everyone's young and earn big bucks. We were neither but unperturbed, we laughed. We had fun. It was the release I was looking for. Mikael had joined me as well and after listening to all our ranting for 3 hours, said he's considering turning gay. Not because we were good looking. It had to do with the harsh reality of parenthood.

By the way, the movers broke the glass front of my Tendulkar autographed T-shirt mounting. You can imagine my response when he said that the insurance will cover it. Is that a bad omen or what! Not long before the maestro hangs up his whites. There! Yet again, I have used one of the most overused of cricketing phrases.

It gets dark by 5pm now and I find myself a little insecure walking alone. It's not that I'm soft. It's just that I'm still scarred from the mugging that I suffered in Manchester many years ago. In my defense he was a big bloke but then there's no such thing as a small mugger. Having said that, now I know where Tino gets his trait for stretching the truth.

I regularly check my linkedin page and it's depressing to see how many people have read my profile. 8 in 30 days is definitely a record low. Even less than Harbhajan Singh! Shameful!

Below are a few pictures that uncle Mikael took. He said that he hates being in pictures. As payback for my napping snap, I had to add one of the man himself. He was an absolute legend. Even took Tino to the museum.