A parent’s greatest enemy is low blood sugar (to use my MIL’s term) or plain old hunger (to use the normal term). Not the child’s. The parent’s. The Hero prefers to replace the term low sugar with low caffeine.
After careful observation (and bitter experience), I’ve come to the conclusion that humans don’t really grow up after age two. Oh, physically and intellectually we probably do but emotionally, in thew ways that really count, not so much. We develop sophisticated language skills and rules of civilized behaviour in order to distance ourselves from these deceptively tiny human beings but underneath it all, I am convinced, the whiny and irrational toddler rages strong. All it takes is a trigger. Hunger is a prime trigger.
Here are some examples of things I’ve said to/about Chotu – with fullu feelings to match – before my morning coffee-tiffin:
He should understand how hard it is for me when he doesn’t want to get dressed in the morning.
The Hero, though totally un-caffeinated at the time, knew better than to react. He did roll his eyes, though…
Chotu kanna, let’s get ready! Don’t you want to go to school?
And what answer does one expect from a kid on Monday morning?
If you wiggle while getting dressed, Amma won’t put on your clothes, ok deal?
Have you ever met a toddler who’s objected to nudity?
Chotu! If you don’t drink your milk I’ll give it to the pussy-cat!
Chotu was all excited about going out to find said pussy-cat.
Chotu kanna, sometimes you have to listen to Amma whether you like it or not! Now come here!
Despite the high level of self-righteousness in the preceeding statement, when one doesn’t actually give out whacks on the bum, such threats are basically empty and lead to more “Ooh! Mommy made funny screaming sound. Let’s see what else does that!” experiements. Sigh! Yes Dear, you were right all along.
(to The Hero) Urgh! It’s all your fault that I have to go to work.
The wise man replied, “The kid would still have to go to school…”
Barring a great medical breakthrough in the field of personality transplants, our kids are stuck with the parents they’ve got. So today I resolve to cook myself breakfast before I make Chotu’s lunch. I also resolve to make pulav and raita for lunch every Monday morning.