Things I Swore I Will Never Do as a Parent—But Did!

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Long before I had a baby or even had a reckoning for it, I made a list of things I swore I will never do as a parent. Needless to say I did not keep them, and “not keep them” has to be the greatest understatement, because there were times when I had bent backwards and crawled to the things I swore I will never do.

1. I swore I will never use TV/Mobile/IPad as a babysitter:

While growing up we had cable connection when I passed the 10th board, my elder sister was in 1st year Engineering at that time. All my friends use to harp about Disney Hour, Tara, Hip Hip Hurray, and stuffs, but not us—books were our entertainment. We did resent our parents for doing that to us, but later realized they did us a favour, if not we would never have developed this fondness for books.

So TV became this evil idiot box that I never much respected.

Fast forward today, my about-to-turn three year old knows the likes of Mother Goose Club, Chuggington, Mickey Mouse Club House, Masha and the Bear, and what not!

Long before the child happened, I always pictured myself laying down creative activities for him every evening. TV as a pastime – that’s not my style!

After popping out the peanut I’ve realized that he is simply not interested in anything I am not doing. So if I am tossing a salad, he wants to cook up a storm. If I am dusting the shelf, he wants to take over while knocking half of the book off the shelf.

So guess what comes to the rescue—Nanny TV!

2. No Bribing The Baby (KinderJoys, Car rides in Market, Cold Drinks, Red Cars)

I swore I won’t play such tricks on my baby! My bachelor self use to look down upon people who use to bribe their kids into doing things.

Nah, never me!

I would always offer a proper explanation. Oh yes, I would enlighten him and he would understand right away, of course. What’s so tough about making a 3-year old understand?

Fast forward today, after telling him not to empty his school bag in the bathroom for the 100th time!

My only tactics is:

Aurko stop doing that if you want an orange Tang. Period

3. When Motherhood Fails

Last week was crazy, so crazy that every morning getting him ready for school was like a Warzone at home.

Baby, today is a blue day in your school. You want to wear the Mickey Mouse tee?

Nooooo! Wailing and howling… I want to wear yellow TEE, Mama!

Ok! Stop crying; let’s get you a bath first (he loves taking a bath)!

Nooooo! Still wailing and howling…I don’t want to take a bath!

See I’ve put these nice trucks in the tub?

Noooooooo! Why did you put my trucks in the tubs?

Blah! Blah! Blah!

What does mama do in situations like that? She scoops him out of the tub, drags him to the bedroom, force him to wear his school dress, and literally wish that she could bundle this child to Mars—while wiping those tears off her face!

Yes, that has happened a lot (lately)!

My child-less self always considered myself to be way classier and composed to let a three-year old run amock her neatly organized mind space!

Obviously, I’ve had the rudest awakening of my life!

But I’m clear now. I don’t roll my eyes and put on my headphones when I see a child sitting next to me on the plane. I am done commenting on somebody’s loud child in the supermarket. I don’t judge people when they bring their small child in the movie halls.

Because, in Jennifer Salaiz word:

That whore, karma, had finally made her way around, and had just bitch-slapped me right across the face.

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A version of this blog post is published in Buzzing Bubs as my column, check it here http://www.buzzingbubs.com/articles/3-things-i-swore-id-never-do-as-a-parent

Slowing Down

Slowing Down

The other day I came from work early to take the child to the market. He was surprised as he is not used to having me at that hour. As we made our way from the parking lot, he suddenly bends down to investigate on a dying Ant, I ask him to move quickly saying we will check on it later. Few steps, and he stops again this time to check on a bicycle pedal “mama, ita ki” (mama, what is this) trying to move the pedal with his hand. Exasperated, I ask him not to touch the pedal as I take the sanitizer out of my bag to clean his dirty hands.

All the way to the shop he at least made 10 stops for his little ministrations while asking all sorts of questions. “This is yellow colour” (this is yellow), “Mama tomar gadi” (mum your car). I found myself running out of patience and constantly yelling –“come along”, “hurry up”, “don’t do this, don’t do that” so on and so forth.

As I stood waiting for him outside the shop, he walks up towards me looking around like a country bumpkin, all pleased and happy; it suddenly dawned – why am I rushing him? I did not come home early, to yell. I came early to spend some time with him.

I not proud to accept that I am pretty restless when it comes to getting things done. I am not good at relaxing, and I miss out on things that are important in hurry. And, here I am missing out on what I cherish the most— seeing him grow, the new words he is picking, how he acts so mature sometimes, and wait, is he humming “one two buckle my shoe”? Now when did he pick it? Let alone sing it in such a squishy little voice.

As my newfound insight about me hit home, I try to put it in practice immediately, so what do I do? I grab him and ask him to repeat what he just sang. Urgh! Now when does a toddler ever do what he is told? If only I could shut my mouth for a change?

I remember reading an article on slow parenting few months back, where the author wrote “Watch your child, take a moment to drink them in”. I never paid any heed to “slow parenting” then, but now I am thinking. So when the child asked if he could climb the steps of the shop, instead of saying NO, I said “why not”.

Believe me those 10 minutes without uttering “watch your step” was tough. However, I observed, he was being careful and is taking his time to judge the distance between the steps. My little man is being responsible. What’s more, I was rewarded fairly soon when unaware he started humming “one two buckle my shoe”, and his sweet expression and serious focus on climbing those steps broke my heart from happiness. I could have missed it just as easily.

Ever since, I’ve been trying my level best to slow down and take it as easy as possible. We are saying NO to fancy outings in the malls; parks and pools are so much adventurous and he can lead the way without worrying mama, knowing she will follow at his pace —more for her sake than his.

Our vacation in Goa was seems like “slow parenting”; we did not make a to-do list and spent our days relaxing, soaking, communicating, and eating!

To Have or Not To Have!

Rock or Country? Indian or Continental? Beach or Mountain? One kid or two?

Aurko alone with his bunny!

There is a tug of war going on in my head from the past few months, and I tried to keep it private hoping to find some clarity. As you can see, this whole privacy business is clearly not peeling any potatoes for me.

Hence, here I am pondering aloud about my mental maraca (read brain) which is filled with soft baby images. No, the images are not of a toddler, it’s of a tiny pink little pea-sized infant. Yes, I am going INSANE.

Weird as it may sound, it actually seems like a bigger life-decision to have a second child than whether to have one at all. In the time, when more and more people are opting for single child or choosing to have no children—especially working women—is this craving for another baby out of place? The biggest question we (me and my partner) are facing is the timing. I am just finding my feet back on the ground after the chaos of infancy and toddlerhood; my career is finally taking a shape. OK, so I am still not making six-figure salary but I do have a career, and I am enjoying it!

Should I forsake everything again to be changing diapers instead? Ideally, the time would be right when baby-1 starts proper school, I start freelancing, hubby buys an SUV, we move into a bigger house, and all that before I reach forty and travel to five countries.

Now who can beat that check-list!

I had a breezy first-pregnancy but somewhere deep-down I am still not able to shake this overwhelming fear of starting from the scratch. From pregnancy to middle of the night feedings, am I ready to do it all over again? Conversely, the feel of my changing body, intoxicating baby-smell, chubby cheeks and the whole process of infancy is too strong a feeling to put down.

What about baby-1? How will he handle having a little brother or sister? How will he react? Will he be jealous? On the other hand, who will my little man turn to when we are dead? Can friends and relative replace the bonds siblings share?

Phew, I don’t know! I am as confused as when I started writing this post. How about you? How many kids do you hope to have? Have you had a hard-time deciding on whether to have a second-baby or not?

Do share it with me and ease my running thoughts by writing on comments.

A gang of three sounds like such fun! Here's a picture of my nieces and nephew!
A gang of three sounds like such fun! Here’s a picture of my nieces and nephew!

A version of this post was published in Women’s Web website as my article, you can check it HERE.

http://www.womensweb.in/2015/07/do-i-really-want-a-second-child/