kids

The Young And The Restless

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 There are days when I look at my soon-to-be five-year-old and be awed about ‘how mature he is and how logical his thought process is.'

 

And as I sit there and virtually pat myself on the back for having managed to do a reasonable job with him so far, the mood suddenly changes. From someone who perfectly understands what you’re trying to tell him, to someone who pretends to be dumb - the swings in mood are both amusing and scary.

 

Amusing, if you’re an on-looker.  Scary, if you’re the parent.
You’ve probably heard that phrase -  The Terrible Twos. Well, I did too. And then I experienced it and found out the reason why they call it that. Of course, what I didn’t realise was that it would then turn into the ‘Terrorist Threes, where a lot of things (including the lovely glass Bric-à-brac in my showcase ) would develop a tendency to blow up without any warning.   But then again, a lot of people continued to tell me that things would only get better. Someone, even told me that the worst was over. And I believed it. Until he turned four.   Year Four too has been one of many discoveries and learnings, much like the ones before. And just like that, I’ve also discovered that my son has graduated from the illustrious League of Ordinary Toddlers to a gang of the Young and the Restless. If you too have kids in this age range, you’ll probably be able to relate to some of these. For the rest, enjoy the laugh. After all, one person’s **** is another’s entertainment ?
 
You will be subjected to almost-FBI type enquiries, at any point in time. Where did you go? What did you do? Who did you meet? What did you eat? Why didn’t you take me? What did you bring for me? I don’t think even my wife and I have asked each other so many questions about our daily activities, despite having known each other for so many years.
  https://twitter.com/iwrotethose/status/829684157336793089  
You’ll find yourself constantly pitted against your partner, despite your numerous conscious efforts and decisions to not say yes when the other one says no. Somehow, they always manage to find the weak link with the precision of a CIA Interrogator. In our home, I am always the weakest link.
 
Your phone calls will be constantly monitored and interrupted by a tiny dictator who orders you around. You will also discover that most of your phone conversations will frequently end with ‘I’ll call you back later, okay?'
 
Remember the time I told you about my adorable little munchkin using the wall as his canvas? Well, the little Picasso has moved on from there. Now, he’s into free art - where anything from the television screen to your white shirt is a possible canvas to express his artistic capabilities. Might be a great time to invest in a painting company.
 
 The moment you walk in through the door carrying a bag - any kind, really; from luggage to just grocery shopping - it will be scrutinised in great detail, and even more thoroughly than the security officer at the airport.
 
 You will also soon discover that they love reading. Yes, they used to earlier too, but most of the times they would just turn the pages of the book and just admire it. Now, they love it when you read to them. The same thing. Over. And over. And over, until you’ll be muttering the lines in your sleep. [Also valid for movies  - *sings the Minion theme song*]
 
At some point, you may also find yourself having to explain to neighbours about how the screaming in the bathroom is merely the result of failed attempts at getting your kid to brush their teeth.
 
Your cardio workout involves running after a tiny human being, trying to keep up with them. And sometimes, you will be holding the pants that they were supposed to be wearing.
 
You constantly find yourself negotiating - from food to sleep. It’s like living with a 3-foot tall salesman, who is damn good at their job and isn’t afraid to twist your arms to get what he/she wants.   Time and again, you’ll find yourself sitting outside the loo singing loudly so ‘someone’ can poop; that is when you’re not answering questions about what you are doing inside the toilet and if they can accompany you.   You will be always prepared for a tantrum at the most public location that you can imagine - from malls to train stations.  
You’ll wonder why they have to wait until the absolute last fricking minute to tell us they need to go to the bathroom. It’s always like an episode of ‘Nina Needs to go’  
The likelihood of them repeating something you said is directly proportional to the kind of the crowd you’re with. The more 'politically incorrect' the phrase, the higher the probability.  
Your idea of a holiday is now having a lie-in and breakfast in bed, without having to worry about anything else.  
You're constantly being threatened to be poked in the eye by an object they want you to 'see'

 

The probability of you wanting a hug from them is inversely proportional to them wanting to give it to you. Prepares you for rejection.
 
And of course, if you do happen to catch them on a good day, put on your most charming smile and ask them why they behave the way they do, you’ll probably get an answer like this:
‘Because I can!’
Suddenly, everything makes perfect sense. Your 'Because I said so!' now has a valid counter argument.

 

[tweetbox design="box04" float="none"]Someone smart said: Parenting guides should end with recipes for strong cocktails.You will need it.[/tweet_box]

Of Girls, Boys, Dolls and Trucks

Of Girls, Boys, Dolls and Trucks
"Pink is for girls. Blue is for boys. Women can't be the primary wage earner in a family. Men can't do household work. A working mother is evil for choosing career over her kids. " Have you ever considered that the reason that we're so far away from gender equality is because we're too busy adhering to stereotypes and not breaking some of these? #DaddyJournals

Winners and Losers

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Picture this.
You’ve just loudly announced to your toddler that it is almost bed time and that he will need to pick up all his toys and put them back in their respective places, or else he’s not getting a bed time story today. And surprise - your young one completes the activity without actually complaining. ‘Win!’ you think, and contemplate sitting down for a few brief seconds to rest your tired feet before you hear a loud crash from the bedroom. Reluctantly, you get off the sofa and walk up to the room and peek inside. Suddenly, the place looks like a war zone. Except, that the war is just about to begin. 

If you’ve been following Daddy Journals for a while, this isn’t going to be the first time you’d have heard me say this. But for the sake of the record, let’s pause for a moment for effect and let me reiterate:

‘Parenting is bloody hard work'

 

Sometimes, I think that we don’t realise we have a temper till we have kids. Okay, that may be an incorrect observation. I’ve always been on the higher end of the temper scale. And patience has never been one of my strong suits. But raising a toddler can just be a very strange experience.

On one hand, you have good times and the ‘firsts’ of many life activities - words, walks, eating alone and what notsOn the other, you have your uncontrollable rage when everything just goes slowly from good to bad to worse to …well, you  get the drift. When things are good, you are quite literally on the top of the world. And then when things get out of hand, you feel awfully depressed.

To quote Jennifer Anniston’s character, Rachel, from FRIENDs, you feel like :

“It’s like there’s rock bottom, then 50 feet of crap, and then me!”. 

 

If you’re one of those ‘goody-two’ shoes parents who has NEVER lost your patience with your child or if your little one is a blessed angel who has never pushed you over the edge, kindly take a minute, while we applaud you. And now, look away. Because you’ll probably never understand the points that I am likely to discuss ahead.

For the rest of us ‘normal’ parents, you may continue.

The simple truth, I suppose, is that people yell. Yes, some of them might dress it up as having a loud voice, but I am yet to find a person who hasn't yelled. There’s no point in beating up yourself over it. Sometimes yelling is the only way to get out all that frustration in you. But if you must yell at your kids (or anyone), remember these four points:


 

Yelling 1

Yelling 2

Yelling Rules 3

Yelling 4


Now, I am not (nor will ever be) an expert when it comes to parenting. Honestly, there are days where I sincerely wonder how I would have fared, had there been a test for parenting. Probably would have failed. But here’s the thing. A toddler who is in the middle of his/her tantrum phase can break even a saint’s patience. Of course, Zen mothers are exceptions.

Coming back to the topic though, never in a million years would I have imagined that someday I would write a post about feeling bad because you yelled at your kid. But well, here I am. Parenting does make me do weird things.

But perhaps the most ironically humorous part of parenting is how it makes you feel at times. It is perhaps, the only kind of relationship where :

If you win, sometimes you're actually losing.

And sometimes when you lose, you're actually winning.


 

Author's Note:

I usually don’t share posts. So when I do, that means it’s touched a chord with me.

Here’s a post by a dear friend and mom-blogger, Shailaja, about her travail with yelling. One of the things I love the most about her blog (not just the post) is the little widget in the sidebar that says how long it has been since she last yelled. It’s an amazing ‘visual indicator’ that makes you think and realise that you could be a lot closer to ‘Zen’ Mode than you think. If you must know, my counter has just reset. Hopefully, I can go a while before it resets again.

Happy Parenting, folks.

So, you want kids?

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Indian society has a problem. We somewhat detest the live and let live’ philosophy. Rather we’re followers of the live and let’s tell others how to live their lives’ movement. And true to this ideology, if you happen to be a single person on the slightly northern side of the age scale that begins at twenty-one, it is highly unlikely that you haven’t been asked even once - “So, when are you getting married?”. And even if you somehow manage to run away from that question and eventually with someone you want as your better half, they come up with the next question - “So, you’ve been married for ’n’ years - no kids yet?”. Sadly, there's nothing much we can do about it apart from silently mouth, 'Mind your own business!' Or deliver that witty and sarcastic one-liner we've been carrying around.  

As the father of a 33-month old cuddly, yet at-times overly active toddler, I have my hands full. Pretty much all through the day. Anyone who says that looking after young one(s) is not considered as a ‘job’ in the real sense of the word - kindly get a rectal examination done - your head seems to be stuffed all the way up your behind. Because, trust me - it’s the mother of all jobs. And hats off to every single mother on the planet for making it seem so effortless. I guarantee you - it isn’t as easy as it seems.

 

Ever since we’ve had our little one, there have been times that we’ve questioned the sanity of our decision to have kids. Yes, it is incredibly delightful - sometimes like living with walking, talking, laughing, utterly cute and cuddly teddy. But at times, it is also a rather dreadful experience when neither you nor the kids know why each of you are throwing a tantrum or bursting into tears over something as silly as a broken glass vessel. Yes, it’s a mixed bag of emotions, feelings and experiences, to say the very least.

 

During my pre-fatherhood days, I’ve often mused about this whole parenting thing.

What is it that a kid brings to that already healthy equation of two loving partners who mean the world to each other? Is a kid necessary for you and your spouse/partner to complete the picture of a ‘perfect’ family? Or is it because you are really worried about your lineage and that without kids, it may stop with you? Or is it because you love your parents so much that it has been your life long dream to give them grand kids?
  There were plenty of such questions running through my head when we were trying to decide if we wanted kids. And to be brutally honest, even as we waited for the home pregnancy test unit to show either the plus that would make us jump up for joy or the minus that would just make the optimists in us try again, I still did not know the answer of many of these questions.   I got around to writing this post because over the past year, ever since my ‘Daddy Journals’ started gaining a bit of popularity, I’ve had a few friends and readers ask me this question - if fatherhood/parenting is so awesome as you make it out to be, then why aren’t more people taking it to it? I could be plain blunt and answer that question with the charismatic smirk of a know-it-all diplomat and say ‘To each one their own’. And while that as a phrase is as good an argument as any, on a more personal level, I can only tell you what I’ve learnt.   For what it’s worth, I’d like to share it here:  

Do not let anyone rush you into this parenting thing. Because once you’re a parent, your very life as you know it, will change. You will still have late nights - except that the drinking and dancing will now be replaced by a feeling of helplessness while trying to figure out what a confused little soul wants. Oh, did I mention a confused ‘crying’  little soul? Enjoy.

Parenting is complicated. It always will be. People will try to 'un-complicate' it for you, but remember this - only YOU can do that. Because every kid (yes, even each of your own) is different.

There are no shortcuts or right ways to parenting. And no, there are no coursebooks. It is mostly a learn-on-the-go kind of practical lesson and you must be open to trying out what best works for you, your partner and your kid(s).

Having kids is like trying to eat your favourite ice cream while trying to navigate a heated obstacle course filled with LEGO bricks and other every day objects. Yes, if Daddy Journals ever got made into a movie, LEGO bricks would play the supporting cast.

If you’re lucky, until they grow up and are ready to clean after themselves, every day will involve either dirty diapers, poop-y behinds, sniffling noses, watery eyes, various bumps all over the body, chipped tooth, messy clothes, wiping drawings of Picasso off various surfaces such as walls, tables, sofas and sometimes even your favourite white shirt, projectile food and picking out stuff from your hair or pockets and being held to ransom over going to bed and wanting to play.

If you’re extremely lucky, you may get to see all of these in a single day. Sort of like the weather in magnificent England.

 

However as with everything in life, parenting has this balance which you must experience to see the blissfulness.

Like in my case, I was happy as a person before I met my wife. But having her in my life gives it a whole new meaning - a new dimension of happiness that I cannot begin to describe. And with my little one added to the mix, I’m now happier than ever. For it is a strangely humbling experience to realise that you will do everything in your power to make your kid’s life as perfect as you possibly can.  And despite the constantly messy, confusing and exhausting life that I have now, I am richer and feel more loved than ever before.

 

Plus you have the perfect excuse to eat ice cream almost all the time and play with toys and video games.

Jokes aside, there is no right or wrong answer to why you would or wouldn’t want kids - there are just careful, deliberate choices. So if you do end up having kids, make sure you give them the best you can. And if you don’t want kids, well, you can always be the fun uncle or aunt - all the fun but not much of the pain.

 Image courtesy - shutterstock.com


I don't know how she does it !

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I am a hands-on father. But I confess, my morning duties with my son are largely restricted to packing his school bag, combing his hair (which is one of the toughest things ever) and taking him downstairs to wait for the school mini van. Collectively which takes, say 15 minutes tops. Yet, I complain. I complain because every time I put stuff in his school bag, he deems it necessary to pull something else out. I complain because every time I lay the comb on his hair, he wiggles his body like jelly. I complain because when I take him downstairs, he is running around in circles and jumping up and down the steps instead of waiting quietly. And when I return from this fifteen minute trip, which to me, often feels like an hour, I often spend the next 10 minutes complaining to my wife, that it’s so difficult and I need a break. My wife, J, who’s often just finishing off her morning coffee (which has been reheated at least three times since it was made) before leaving for work, often just smiles at me and says “I understand, Sid!” before she bids me goodbye for the day.

So imagine my surprise, when she suddenly informed me that she had an early office appointment on the 5th of the month, and hence I’d have to take charge of all the “morning rituals” for Rishi. She also added that she could get someone else to “help me”, to ensure a smooth flow of all the processes involved. Though the idea of getting someone to help did sound appealing initially, I vehemently dismissed her suggestion of “help”. After all, she did it alone every single day, along with getting herself ready for work too.

“How bad could it be?” I thought, with a smirk on my face.

On the day, i.e. today, J left quite early. And to help “facilitate” the morning process, as she called it, she’d left me with a detailed note, including the time it took for each activity, just to ensure that Rishi left on time. Of course, I didn’t need the note, but since she’d taken the pains to get it done, I thought I should at least give it a one time read. Now, whilst I am not going to detail the list here, I will give you a snap shot of what transpires daily in the morning, at least as far as Rishi is concerned.

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Pretty darn efficient, right? I mean, how difficult could it be? I was just about to discover the answer to my question.

Since it was my first attempt in singlehandedly trying to get Rishi ready for school, I decided to try and wake him up about 15 minutes early. After all, I didn't want him to be late on my watch. Curious to see how the “usually efficient time management system” worked for me? Read on.

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And then I glance at my watch. It boldly states the time as 09:05.

As I walk back to the flat, my phone beeps. It’s a message from J. It says “Hope everything is fine and Rishi left on time !”

After contemplating for moment (and also catching my breath from all the rolling  and tumbling running from earlier), I reply “ Managed somehow. I seriously don’t know how you do it!"

********

I hereby dedicate this to all the amazing MOM's that I know (and one's I don't too). If it weren't for all you lovely women, our kids probably wouldn't have made it to school on time. Ever. Oh, a big shout out to all the fathers who help too. And I have a pretty awesome kid too.

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M for Mischief - Part 2

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(Continued from M for Mischief - Part 1) I notice that the sliding door to the balcony is open. I get  excited since it's a territory that I don't usually get to explore. I have always been curious to find out what it is, that Ma and Pa are so defensive about. Strangely, I don’t discover anything unusual at first. I stand up on the step of the balcony trying to put my head in between the identical columns of bars that seem to block my view of the world beyond.  After a number of unsuccessful attempts, I sit down, tired from all the effort. A rather unpleasant squishy feeling on my backside reminds me that I have gone poo-poo. I look around and discover, in the corner, hidden from view, a row of tiny pots. There are a few green bits and pieces coming out of them. But it is what’s in the base of the pots that interest me. Something dark and soft beckons me, almost daring me to give it a go. As I put my hands in to the pots and try to squeeze the softness that adorns it, I hear my name being called out loud from the other side of the glass doors. In my panic to get out, I push the pot away and get to my feet. Before Pa can rush into the balcony, I walk into the living room and climb on the sofa. That’s when I notice my little muddy foot prints, all the way from the balcony ending right where I was standing, on the sofa.

At this point, I’m sure Pa is going to give me one tight whack. But he just stands there wrinkling his nose up in disgust. That’s when it hits me that he must have got a whiff of what was in my diaper. He gingerly picks me up and takes me into the loo, where he washes off my poo (Hey, that rhymed!). But not before I manage to get hold of the soap dispenser, a few tooth brushes and a tube of paste and throw it on the ground. After a quick (but rather vigorous) body wash, he gets me all dressed up again. I follow Pa as he rushes off to the kitchen balcony and puts my clothes into a rather large machine, throws in some white powder and hastily presses some buttons. Oblivious of my presence, he gets back in to the kitchen and closes the door after him. I do not make a sound and watch him disappear from view. I wait for a few minutes by the door to check if he notices that I’m missing. But if I know him well, he’s probably chatting away with those lovely  ladies and the handsome cartoon man. Now, even though I am only 22 months old, I believe in making the most of the time I have. So I go exploring this very tiny balcony. I notice there are three sets of buckets, one of them more brighter than the others. I open the lid and peer inside. Since the area is quite dimly lit, I end up putting my hand into the bucket in an attempt to discover its mysterious contents. As my fingers grasp hold of something slimy, I hear the balcony door opening. I turn around to see Pa waving his hand at me and muttering something which sounds like “Why…something….I…something ..you. something...bath…something…” I smile at him again as he picks me up and washes my hands with soap.

Holding me tightly, he warms up my milk and gives it to me. Since I am usually a slow drinker, this gives Pa about 15 minutes to get his act together. Once I finish my milk, I push the cup away and watch for a few minutes as Pa once again furiously types away on the laptop. Once I’m convinced that he’s engrossed in his activity, I slow slide off the bed and make a hasty exit. I quickly run back to the my favourite  place in the house - the kitchen, and look around at the kitchen counter for something interesting. After a quick scan, my eyes settle on a cylindrical glass container, that I've seen Ma use plenty of times. "There must be something interesting in it" I think to myself. Alas it’s a bit further away from the edge of the counter. Never one to step away from a challenge, I pop back in to the hall where I manage to get hold of a stool that Ma sometimes sits on. From experience, I know it’s pretty light and something that I can move easily. I slowly push the stool towards the kitchen counter, and climb on it. As I grab hold of the container, Pa shouts out my name, causing me to drop the container in fear. Needless to say, the container cracks into many different pieces and I look around in shock, only to discover Pa staring at me. If he was a cartoon character, I am sure at this point I would see fumes come out of his ears and his nostrils breathe fire. (I think I may have been watching too many dragon cartoons). As Pa comes over to pick me up, the door bell rings. Quickly grabbing hold of me, he runs to the door. It’s Ma. However one look at Pa’s face, and her smile vanishes. “What did he do now?” she enquires pointing at me.

Papa shrugs his shoulder, points to the kitchen and says “Oh, the usual!"


Sleeping with the enemy

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The luminous digital bedside clock says 01:00. I know, because I’m wide away nursing my right cheek bone with ice. "Oh, that’s going to be one heck of a bruise" I think to myself. Without making a sound, I turn around and glare at the culprit. He’s sprawled on his back, his arms folded behind his head as if he’s lying on beach chair in Hawaii. His legs are still twitching, probably as the result of the after-shock from having connected with my now bruised cheek. I glare at him, almost willing him to go for Round Two. Oblivious to my taunts, a slow whistle escapes his parted lips. I sigh, and get back into bed, contorting my body into weird angles, and try to catch a quick nap before the next attack. Welcome to Parenthood! Oh, and not to mention, the joys and tortures of co-sleeping with your baby. Now, just to make sure we don’t go off in a tangent and start to argue about whether or not co-sleeping is good for your child, let me put a huge disclaimer. I neither advocate nor condemn co-sleeping. Enough and more research has been done on the topic and there are two explicit sides to this argument. As for us, we’ve tried both, and due to a lot health-related concerns, we decided to stick it out with co-sleeping. Atleast for now. But the way things are going, that’s bound to change soon.

Co-sleeping with your kids, especially a toddler, is an art. And along with millions of other parents, I demand that it be recognised as one. To really understand what I’m talking about, you must have slept with the enemy, which ironically in this case, is your beloved off-spring. There are a number of positions that “the enemy” adopts to make sure he/she (or god bless you - THEY) can inflict maximum discomfort whilst they themselves enjoy this little game, so to speak. Of course, keeping with the “law of individuality”, each of them may have different preferences for warfare methodologies. And they change. As they grow, it gets worse before it gets better. So have some sympathy for us parents who due to reasons that cannot be revealed, have no other option, apart from to co-sleep with the enemy.

 

Mine, for example, started off with the “I don’t care about you” phase, where he’d just lie in a corner and not move around at all. To be honest, this was bliss. We were just less than a year into our parenthood at that point, and hence most of our information was gathered from the internet and parenting books. And not one of them mentioned this phase. Needless to say, that was the end of the “parenting by the book” phase for us. And as a new parent, I would find myself getting up frequently in the middle of the night, just to make sure he was breathing, and wonder to myself why he wasn’t moving around as they said in the books. Well, that lasted for approximately 4 weeks. You’d have thought we managed to get some sleep then, right? Oh no, we were still disturbed every now and then, for the feed.

 

That phase soon stopped and gave way to the “If you’re not coming to bed with me, then you have no space here” phase. Strangely enough this ultimatum did not come from my wife, but from my 12 month old son. I’m often the last person to go to sleep in my family. So by the time, I eventually make my way to the bed, I’m dead tired. Having to partake in a power struggle to reclaim my side of the bed was not something I was prepared to indulge in. So as parents do, well most of the time anyway, I quickly gave up my “night-time endeavours” (not what you think!) and joined the family in bed before it was too late. But here’s the part I still don’t understand. How can someone so small, take up so much of space? It truly defies all known laws.

 

But the troubles didn’t end there. Now that I was going to bed around the same time as him, he needed to up the game a bit. What’s more, we re-arranged the bed in such a way that one of the sides of the bed was adjacent to the wall. And then we shifted him to one of the corners which was brilliant in a lot of ways. For me, anyway. It meant that not only could I lie next to my wife (stop smirking!), I was completely away from him. But as some bright and intelligent person once said, never put doing the impossible past a kid, especially toddler.

 

Since then, we’ve been through :

 

  • the “Bridge” phase, where he lies horizontally between my wife and me, effectively shutting us away;
  • the “Over the face” phase, where he lies over my face/neck, sometimes drooling all over my neck, other times, just suffocating me;
  • the “I like your hair in my mouth” phase, where he twirls the strands of my wife's hair with his little fingers and then shoves it into his mouth; Fortunately I escaped this phase.
  • the “I’ve got my eyes on you” phase, where he suddenly sits up in the middle of night, and observes you like a hunter stalking his prey; Trust me, it really freaks you out if you happen to get up and see this.

And now we’re currently in the “inverted phase”, where somehow he invariably ends up lying in a direction opposite to us, so his feet are “scarily close” to our faces. "How bad could it be?" I hear you ask. This phase also incorporates the “Ninja phase” as we call it, where he feels compelled by some un-seen force to throw some savage kicks, which unfailingly always finds its mark - me.

As the clock nears the bewitching hour, I better wrap this post up, eat my dinner and rush to bed before I lose my spot. I guess Charles Darwin knew what he was saying when he said  “It is not the strongest nor the most intelligent of the species that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”. He was obviously a parent :)

Mr Murphy's Law & Parenting

I’m yet to find a person who hasn’t heard, lest experienced, the “famed” Murphy’s Laws. No matter how, it always finds a place in most day-to-day episodes. In the unlikely event that you, my dear reader, may actually fall into that minute category of people who’ve never heard of Mr. Murphy and his “law”, let me try and explain it with an example :

It’s after work and you’re in a bit of hurry. But you’ve just been told that you need to pick up a few important provisions, which are only available in the near by hypermarket. So you pop into the superstore, pick up those “handful” items, say three or four, and you proceed towards the check out. You go the Express check out counter, in spite of the fact that the queue there is growing infinitely by the minute, sort of like the prophesied Lord Hanuman’s tail. After a few minutes (note :10minutes) of standing in the queue, which by the way moves slower than a snail on a leisurely stroll, you decide to jump the queue to the normal  check-out one, as they seem to be moving much more quicker. You find a relatively less-crowded check out counter, and stand in line. Woo-hoo,  you’re next. Unfortunately, the person in front of you has no cash, and his credit/debit card refuses to work. So much for swapping the check out line, you think. And then you glance sideways, only to notice that the person who was originally behind you in the express check-out line, is now exiting the store.

Image courtesy Google Search
Image courtesy Google Search
Welcome to the irksome world of Mr. Murphy  & Co., where the axiom very subtly goes “ Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. And righty so, I say from experience. But my post today is not about Murphy’s Law in general. Over the past few decades, there is a single wholesome category that this “Law” applies to, more than anything else : Parenting. Yes, those who’ve had the experience will vouch that parenting is quintessentially the main example that Murphy’s Law works. “How so?” I hear the non-parents ask, whilst I notice the “been-there-done-that” parents, vigourously nodding their heads. And with that, I’d like to humbly jot down a few Murphy’s Laws which have definitely found their place in my family.

Murphy’s Law &  Toddler Naps

- The day you brag to someone about how your baby is such a sound sleeper, he/she will never nap continuously again henceforth, for the for-seeable future -  So your little one has slept off in the car/living room. You carefully put him/her into their bed, without a single sound, at times even without breathing. The moment you transfer them on to their bed/cot, they open their eyes. Suddenly it’s play time. - You’re excited to take your whole family, including your little one, to the park for a day of outing. But it’s some distance away. You spend most of the journey entertaining the little one, and answering questions of “Are we there yet?”. The moment you reach the park, you realise that he/she has fallen asleep. - Yep, the much awaited weekend is here. The kids have no school and you have no office. The best time to have a bit of a lie-in. The weekend you decide to do that, is the weekend that they decide to rise early.

Murphy’s Law & Toddler Fashion

So you’ve decided to wear that hot, svelte black dress, now that you’ve almost re-attained that pre-pregnancy figure. That’s the day, your little one who has a cold, blows the mother-of-all boogers on your now not-so-hot dress. Similarly, the day your husband decides to wear that starched and crisply ironed white shirt, your little one will have muddy, dirty hands. And he’ll want to hug him.

Murphy’s Law & Toddler Food'ism 

- The day you painstakingly and lovingly prepare their most favourite snack/meal, all of a sudden, they find the food repulsive - The day you dress your little one in his/her best outfit, is the day you forget to put on his/her bib during mealtime. And you know, how that’s going to go.

Murphy’s Law & Spousal time for Parents

-  So, you’ve been fortunate enough to get the grandparents to baby-sit for an evening, so that you and your loved one can go out for dinner or watch a movie. Just basically have some “us-time”. You have a lovely time and plan to get back and relax for a bit. The moment you come home, you’re told the news that the little one went to sleep almost as soon as you left. “Great” you think, and hit the sofa with your partner, to enjoy sweet-nothings and maybe a rom-com. And suddenly you hear a “wail” :) - It’s been a long day, and you can’t wait to see your spouse. The moment you hug your partner or hold hands, is when your little one, who up to that point was busy playing in his tent, decides that he wants to join the fun too

Murphy’s Law & Kid’s toys

- Your little one, just like others of his age, loves to leave his toys on the floor. And just when you think you’d picked up all the toys and put it away, your beloved feet will find the missing one, especially if it’s a Lego block. - So the little darling has not played with a particular toy for months now. You decide to do the “humane” thing and decide to give it another loving home. The day you do that, is the day that he will ask for that toy.

Other Murphy’s Law(s)

- Your little one loves to talk, and he/she babbles non-stop continuously. And being a parent, you can’t secretly help but brag a bit to your friends, who decide to come home one day to meet him/her. The day they do that, is the day that he/she does the complete opposite, and will not say a single word. This holds good for dances / rhymes / songs too. - Every milestone that your toddler achieves is an amazing record. And as they grow, you want to capture each and every moment. One day, you find him rolling his tongue and decide to get the video camera to record this momentous occasion. The moment you grab hold of the recorder, is the moment that they’ll move on to other things - Oh, what joy it is, to go on an evening stroll with your little one. You usually take their changing bag stocked with everything. Today, you decide to take a chance and leave the bag at home - after all you’re only going to be out for half-hour and you just changed their diaper. Well, my friend, today’s the day you’re going to need not just a diaper, but possibly a whole change of his/her clothes too. - As parents, we try to watch our language around the little ones. After all, it is said that toddlers listen and model their behaviour on what you say. So far though, he/she has not even shown an inkling of chance, that he/she is ready to speak. Hence you’ve been safe all along. But the day you say, “Shit! I forgot my wallet (or anything)!” is the one time that he/she decides to repeat. - You’ve gone out for a family meal and the food is taking a ridiculously long time to get to the table. To keep the little one engaged, you decide to give them the virtual baby rattle app on your phone. Somehow he/she manages to drop the phone into the furthermost corner of the seat, accessible only by crawling on all fours. Go figure! Parenthood is not without its own challenges without throwing Murphy’s Law into the mix. And it is not unusual to occasionally find yourself being pushed over the top, and wanting to use one of those 3 Forbidden/Unforgiveable Curses from the Harry Potter spell book. Just when you’ve got the “hypothetical wand” pointed at them, and your lips pursed to utter those “taboo” words, they open their puppy-dog eyes as wide as they can, and dazzle us with their most adorable smile. And that’s that :) I’ve merely used Murphy’s Law as a tool to cite a few parenting examples which happens with almost every body. In reality, Murphy’s Law has only got relevance, because we give it so. When things go well, we hardly observe it. When things go badly, we seek out justification.  Murphy’s Law merely taps into our propensity to dwell on the negatives. As for Murphy’s Law and parenting; It seems to go hand-in-hand like long-lost friends at a house party. The best way to tackle this is to realise that we need to take life a little less seriously. And of course, that things that have a chance of going wrong, will invariably do so. It’s just not your fault - You’re a great parent:)

And when days like this happen, you always have this solution

Image courtesy Google Image Search
Image courtesy Google Image Search

…and no, I am not advocating drinking. But hey, it helps at times.

Disclaimer: This post contains a lot of my personal experiences as a parent, as well as secondary research from other parents. So we’ve all been there. Don’t worry, you’ve got company !

 

The Race

Image Prompt from Project100x2
Image Prompt from Project100x2 courtesy of 1 Hundred Works
This post is part of the (now discontinued) Project100X2

We were given an image prompt this time around. So what did I write? You can read it here:

THE RACE

The link should open in a new page, so feel free to come back and leave a comment or a brick-bat as you please. Either way, I'll accept it.

While you are at it, take a look at some other awesome takes on the picture prompt too :

Freedom by Jairam Moham aka mahabore (trust me - he is anything but)

The Free Bird by Vaisakh Venugopal who writes at : The Museum Piece

The colorful fishes By Arka Datta who writes at : Hotathkore

A Marathon of Approval By Yamini Vijendran who writes at Straight from the Heart

 

Over and out...for now!