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!