naps

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 !