Finally, got down to writing some of the parenting woes I promised I would. Things I would fret about, but not really worry about (lest I frighten aspiring or to-be parents), but they are 'woes' nonetheless…phew!
- Once you are a parent, you can forget about yourself. Life is then all about your kids. Everything you do, say or think has a direct bearing on how your kids will be. Responsibilities and expectations are huge. All that weighing on the head and shoulders, it's hard to keep your head over your shoulders! No kidding!!
- You will always be judged ‘good’, ‘bad’ or ‘ugly’ by how your kids behave and/or how you behave with the kids. If your kids are naughty and you just let them be, your well-meaning neighbours, relatives or friends will look you up and down, as if to say “if I were you I would have whacked the kid”, and if you chide them, they’ll tchh, tchh…as if to say “Poor kids, mean parents!” Not that I care what others think of me, but I sure will want to have a positive influence on my kids’ lives.
- Go out shopping, and kids go berserk - they want anything and everything. It doesn’t matter how hard you try to roll your eyes. My little one sits on the trolley, picks up whatever item she can reach and fills up the cart in no time. Once, my elder one managed to break a jam bottle at the supermarket in her excitement and it was so embarrassing I haven’t had the courage to take her along to a store after that. You can’t try on clothes, because they want to enter the trial room along with you. Can’t dare go near a shoe shop, because the li’l one goes crazy when she sees shoes. She tries on every single pair and doesn’t want to leave the store even if you’re done with your shopping. Shopping is a nightmare with kids on the loose!
- You can’t go out for movies, because most movies these days are not good for kids and you can’t leave them behind can you?! You can’t even watch TV peacefully, for fear of corrupting their young minds!
- Go to a restaurant and they act like they’ve never seen food before. The other day when we dined at a fancy restaurant, the li’l one was eagerly waiting for food to arrive and every time she saw the waiter she was jumping out of her seat, “where’s my soup, where’s my soup!” Once, she managed to break a glass (so embarrassing I tell you!). Most times, she manages to drop her spoon, fork or knife on the floor and then quickly grabs mine. She clinks at the plate so hard, I worry if the plate would just crack. My appetite usually vanishes by the time food arrives, with the tension of damage control!
- You’re always late just about everywhere, because you have to DRESS UP your kids and drag them along whether they like it or not, because you can’t leave them alone at home. And then again you get these looks as if to ask “why is their hair so shabby” (the hair bands, hair clips or whatever you use to tame their hair would be in their hand, my bag or gone for good!) or “don’t they have any other clothes” (they’re seen wearing their same old “favourite” outfit till they can wear it no more!). And hey, just to answer the question: they decide what to wear, not me!
- 2 year old or 8 year old, you can’t raise your voice even a little to chide them for something they might have done wrong. They get “ANGRY”. My 8 year old is a sweetheart until you tell her to take her books and study. She gets angry, she makes a big fuss, she feels sleepy, or her head (or was it her tummy?) hurts and such lame excuses ('natak company' I call them!). You can’t tell her to eat quickly. She takes half an hour for breakfast (2 idlis, or quarter part of puttu, or 1 chappatti, or 1 appam….), 45 min to 1 hour for dinner (a measly meal at that!). The 2 year old is adorable, huggable, lovable and all that, but you’ll be surprised what she does when she gets angry! She pinches and punches. She throws her tantrums, goes to another room and stays there till you coax, cajole and sweet talk her. And what not! PHEW, she's little, but she can get you on your knees!!