A parent’s greatest enemy

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.

Fuzzy Quotes

I’m a little mentally exhausted from the sort of thing I’ve been writing for a while now. Mommy guilt, gay marriage, internet stranger judgment, making a case for cooking, coming up with stories to make Chotu eat, it’s been exhausting. So I’m just going to share a few moments for Chotu’s growing-up log.

Amma: Chotu, can I get a kissie?
Chotu: Yesh! (mwah!)
Amma: Thank you sweetie. How about for Nanna?
Chotu: I had only one kissie and I gave it to Amma!
Amma: Chotu, are your kissies over?
Chotu: No, I have more!
Amma: Where?
Chotu: Umm… In my tummy! (points at tummy with his kutti finger)

Amma: Chotu, did you sleep on the mat in school today? What a big boy you’ve become!
Chotu: I slept on pillow also!

Amma: Chotu, don’t eat┬ápaper. Are you a goat?
Chotu: No, Babu is Engine Driver!

Chotu: Nanna is gas cylinder.
Amma: What?
Chotu: Babu coal engine driver. Amma gas engine driver. Nanna is the gas cylinder!

Amma: Chotu, let’s go and play
Chotu: If the green ball is not there I’m not going to come!

Madam, please come and pick up your child!

Chotu Singh goes to a play group each morning and he usually really enjoys himself. There’s ample space to run around – something he doesn’t have in our 1000sqft flat – and a chance for “sand play”. It took a while but he’s settled down now and he says he wants to go to “school”. Occasionally though, he gets a bit cranky and starts crying. When this happens I get a call, “Madam, please come and pick up your child. He’s crying.”

Now, Chotu’s daycare is 2 minutes from The Hero’s place of work they’re both about 15 minutes from home. My place of work is approximately 45 minutes away. So the implicit agreement is that all pick-ups and drops are handled by The Hero. We’ve communicated this to the school and let them know that the primary contact is Chotu’s father not his mom. But I’m still the one who gets the call. Because “We always call the mother first”.

Two things infuriate me. First is the implicit assumption that it’s always the mother’s “duty” to handle such things. Second is the implication that dads are passive parents. In reality The Hero is a much more hands on parent than I am because he has more flexible hours and also because he just is the pick-up, giggle, tickle, stuff food, wipe noses kind of parent. I’m the one who likes to manage the logistics, so to speak. I stock up on diapers, handle the laundry, boil the water, sort out his toys and clothes, sing and rock him to sleep, force his mouth open to take cold medicine, and so on. I’m not half as much fun as Daddy is. BUT people assume that I should be doing it all. One of our neighbours not only assumes that Daddy does nothing but also keeps saying it.

It really gets me annoyed. Chotu has an awesome Daddy. Chotu’s Daddy is so awesome that he makes up for Chotu’s Mommy not being around because of a long commute and challenging job. I want people to acknowledge that this Dad right here is the kind of dad all men should try to be. He plays with his child, cooks for him, feeds him, rocks him to sleep, cuddles him, tickles him, teaches him to recognize a capacitor, and say “kaka poopy” when a crow does its business on our car (kaka = crow in baby talk).

Chotu’s dad deserves to be given a lot more credit and I deserve a lot less finger pointing. Madam, if my child cries, his father will be there in two minutes. That’s the way it works in our home so please make a note in your records.