parenting

Hey Dad, Can you walk the walk?

Hey Dad, Can you walk the walk?
"We live in a world where the onus is being put on women to protect themselves, rather than teaching men to respect women and all living beings. As a father to a son who grows up in this world, I refuse to stand by simply and just watch. The change starts with you. So are you ready to walk the talk? I am."

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

I pledge for school bus safety. Do you?

I pledge for school bus safety. Do you?
When you become a parent, there’s an invisible agreement thrust into your hands beckoning you to sign it. An agreement that no matter what, we will worry about anything and everything when it comes to our children. Most of all, their safety when they’re away from us.A sponsored post, but on a topic that is close to every parent's heart and one that is the need of the hour.

To Parents, I say : #DoYourHomework

To Parents, I say : #DoYourHomework
As parents, there's a question that we should be asking ourselves - Are we on the same page with our kids? What if they want to be something else than what we want them to be?A sponsored post, but something that will surely resonate with you, if you're a parent or planning to be one.

Of hair and toddlers

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Kids. They often find the strangest things attractive and develop affinity for weird things as they grow up.

My son, for instance, has this affinity towards hair. If you’re anywhere in his vicinity, he will nonchalantly (and very secretly) put his little hand into your tresses and slowly start to roll the strands of your hair around one of his fingers. A mostly harmless activity, unless you happen to have long-hair, of course.  Because one of the challenges, once he’s done with this ‘hair-rolling-and-clumping’ is the struggle to ‘unknot it’. And having seen the pain my sister, mother and wife experience while trying to play Houdini and break-free those knots from their hair, I know it’s no child's play. Even if, a child did do it in the first place.

Since I’m follically-challenged and suffer from rapidly thinning of hair (though rapidly-disappearing would be a more appropriate phrase here!), I make sure he doesn’t get a chance to pull my hair at all. Because not only does it hurt a lot, I’m often worried about the possibility that I’ll be left with a Bruce Willis or Jason Statham-like hairstyle. And believe me. I cannot carry that look off, without looking like a thug. Of course, the fact that my hair is almost eternally out-of-bounds for him, is something that angers my three-year old a lot. And if you have toddlers, you’ll know that they are not used to taking ‘No’ for an answer. Not from their parents, anyway.

[bctt tweet="Toddlers would rather jump off the eighth floor rather than listen to their parents when they say ‘No!’"]

The only two instances that my son gets access to whatever-little-is-left-of-my-hair are:

One: when I'm forced to carry him on my shoulders; he holds on to my hair for support, inspite of my numerous warnings and repeated requests to hold onto my neck.

Two: to balance himself when he tries to wear shoes or shorts; though I fail to understand why he chooses my hair of all things.

Otherwise, I’m largely safe from this game of ‘knots and braids’ that he subjects most people to.

A few days back, I had one of my blasted migraine attacks. For those of you, who may be fortunate enough not to have experienced this malady, a migraine attack can only be described as a glorious medical condition where you feel like your head is being frequently pounded by Thor's legendary hammer while 'The Hulk' crushes your cheek bones into pulp. You sort of lose total focus and even concentrating on a single task is something ridiculously difficult. When I get such attacks, , I often resort to the use of a strong painkiller that is quite literally, my army in shining armour that puts the migraine in its place. However this time, it wasn't the case. I was travelling and had used up my quota of painkillers. So there I was - pacing up and down the room, like a caged beast, grunting and growling, in the hopes that I could 'scare' the migraine away.

My three-year old, who hadn't previously met this 'Mr. Hyde' side of mine, was visibly confused. Whilst he had often been privy to the 'angry-Hulk' side, this was something new to him. But based on my reactions and grunts, I believe he figured out that something was wrong with my head. Or so, I believe.  So, as I thundered around the room, I felt a little tug on my pyjamas. I looked down and found him giving me a wide-eyed stare, with a twinkle in them. Now, do forgive me for this particular 'thought-process' and for having the audacity to be honest about it. But at that moment, the last thing I wanted was to deal with whatever it was that he wanted. So I glared down at him, almost daring him to ask for what he wanted. Now, if you're a parent, you'll probably know that when it comes to toddlers, threats often fall on deaf ears.

[bctt tweet="Threatening a toddler is like negotiating with someone who is a cross between a terrorist and a politician. "]

 Either way, you'll probably walk away thinking you won, when in reality they were holding all the cards to start with. 

Paying no heed to what I said, he ordered, "Papa, come with me!", as he turned around and ran off into the bedroom. Sighing loudly to express my discontent at having failed at 'my threats', I follow him into the bedroom where he sat crosslegged on the bed. As I wondered about what he was going to do next, he gestured for me to come over and lie on his tiny lap. For a brief moment, I stood there - both amused and astounded by his reaction. Of all the things I've expected my little one to do, offering me a place to lay down with my head on his lap, wasn't definitely one of them. All of a sudden, I felt a bit overwhelmed and a tiny tear escaped from the corner of my right eye, that had started to fill up rapidly.

‘Papa, come and lie down and I do this’ he said, his little arms making gestures that indicated something reminiscent of a head massage. Fighting back the tears, I obliged and placed my head on his lap. As he gently started to massage my head, running his nimble fingers through my hair, I felt drowsy and nodded off to sleep. 

When I woke up, about fifteen minutes later, he was missing. I could hear the high-pitched nasal voice of the narcissistic Mickey Mouse, singing the famous 'Hot Dog' song, so I naturally assumed he was watching TV. I was also pleasantly surprised to notice that my migraine had disappeared - perhaps because of the power nap; or perhaps it was on account of those tiny little magical fingers of his, that had cured me. Either way, I was extremely refreshed. So, I got up from the bed, stretched and called out to my son, who responded with his own rendition of the song.

As I slowly ambled towards the hall, I caught a glimpse of myself in the hallway mirror. And this is how it looked. (Ok, it looked much worse; this was taken after I finished a yell-session with him and then a 'semi-detangling' session)

The result of my son's hairstyling

And then it dawned on me. He asked me to lie down on his lap so that he could knot strands of my hair into little clumps like these.

Kids. They’re freaking unbelievable.


Just a side note to apologise to my readers because I've not been as 'active' as I'd like to be. Let's just say I'm not feeling 'like myself' at the moment and hence writing anything is an arduous task these days.  Promise to be back soon.