Well! I guess we all go through different stages of our life and I think motherhood is one of them. However, Joy and I have decided not to have one of those little brats. I think the main reason is we are both lazy and we absolutely do not want to take responsibility. Well, not to say I do not admire those women who multitask and manage their kids and homes so beautifully. But I realized a long time ago this was not for us so we are happy with our decision irrespective of what people may say. So comments to make us change our minds are simply not welcome.
As social beings we love inviting people over for a meal. That translates to inviting the kids too since in India, there is no concept of hiring a babysitter to take care of your kids while the parents go enjoy a leisurely meal. And that further translates to Joy and my skills in babysitting the kids while attempting to throw a near perfect dinner party. No offence, some of these brats are totally adorable. However, we do need to keep running and checking whether they are fiddling with any sockets, tripping over any computer wires, fiddling with any gadgets or out to break anything special we own while some of the parents turn a blind eye to their antics. The last party, one kid was so obsessed with the TV remote control and kept fiddling with all the buttons and it hasn’t functioned since.
I read an article the other day where some public places are kid free zones. India is waking up to the fact that there are some places that need to be kid free and just because you adore your kids, you cannot expect everyone to do the same especially if they are being a public nuisance. The article I read mentioned that in the US, parents usually hire babysitters so that they can go and enjoy a movie and make it enjoyable for other moviegoers too sans the whiny kids.
The same situation moves to India, totally different scenario. Joy’s colleague once mentioned that he and his wife frequent one of the so called multiplexes in town, plonk down on those cushy seats and let their kids run amok. He said it with such glee that I guess Joy didn’t have the heart to tell him that what could have been a totally great movie experience as being advertised by these multiplexes are shattered by the blind love some of these parents have for their kids. Why can’t parents discipline their kids and make them behave?
Then there is this good friend of mine living in another continent. I still picture her as a tomboy with short hair jumping over the classroom window. That is why I guess I am amazed at her transformation after having a baby. Now I have to keep in mind that she is a Mom first and foremost. Life has absolutely changed for her and for me too in a way. Her social networking site revolves around her kid. You have pics posted in almost every pose the kid made in his life (well, I am exaggerating a wee bit, but the albums dedicated to little ones these days are immense). Well, kid taking a bath, kid smiling, kid sleeping, kid with teddy, kid in his birthday suit (trying to avoid gender bias) and so on. In fact the kid’s birthday invitation arrived through that same social networking site where we could all catch up with the events being held. Well cribs apart, I appreciate the fact that technology has evolved to such an extent that though we live a continent away, we could all be a part of one of the most special days in their life.
Coming back to friends, I guess I am a little insecure at the back of my mind. I always took them for granted and I might be a wee bit jealous coz their priorities have changed. I now need to accept that the little ones are part and parcel of our lives too. The way I interact with them has changed. The mails, scraps or phone calls I receive are about their kids. So I need to be equally polite and ask them questions or remember social etiquette and pick up a little something for the little one when I am visiting. Even the meals I make these days are kids centric depending on their likes and dislikes. Kids today are smart and know exactly what they want and are not at all hesitant to mention it these days (sometimes can be embarrassing for the parents).
For instance, one thing I really miss is the group vacations we used to go on. Now since Joy’s good friends had an adorable baby girl, they announced that vacations are out of their scheme of things for now. So that leaves us with fewer options with the dwindling number of couples sans kid in tow.