Friday, April 01, 2011

Kid things

I am allergic to pollen and get sick every year in spring. The itching watery eyes and running nose with the occasional heaviness in the head makes me miserable. I avoid the freeways and usually take the inner roads to the office at these times. Today was one such day. I was on my way to office and reached a traffic stop at a busy intersection. My eyes were watery and flowing. I pulled a tissue to wipe my eyes dry as I waited at the stop sign. I put my glasses again and noticed that I was behind a school bus. The bus was full I believe, I could see some movement behind the windows. There were 2-3 kids at the rear waving at me.  It took like a minute for me to realize that they were actually picking on me. I think they had seen me wipe my tears and they too were trying to rub their eyes with their hands waving at me. I could not stop smiling looking at what they were doing. They seemed to enjoy teasing me as I candidly followed them until the school bus took a turn into a neighborhood. I just could not stop smiling even after I was miles away from where the bus had turned. Kids are amazing! 

I cannot imagine a day without my daughter. One of us, if not both, me and my wife, has to be always behind our daughter. Watching where she goes, what she pulls; pretty much we have to constantly keep an eye. I had left my personal laptop on the dining table the other day. My daughter cannot still reach the dining table but she did something I had not imagined. She got up on a chair and then climbed on the dining table. Once on the top she had pushed the laptop down. From then on we are extra careful with the things we leave around in the house. I am amazed at the way she can get to things. She somehow comes up with surprising solutions to get what she wants. 

But I think we adults are sometimes even more amazing. 

If the kids do something new, it’s like an achievement for the parents. After they do it a couple of times, it becomes an expectation from them. This happened 3 or 4 months back. We were getting ready to go out for dinner. Once she was all dressed, my daughter got her shoes from the rack and she put them on herself. We were surprised. She was only one and half year old but she had chosen the correct shoes and had even put them on, on her own. We just could not stop praising her. I even called my parents in India to tell them how talented my daughter is! For the next few days we would curiously watch her as she would select her shoes and put them. Once we got over our initial surprise it became an expectation from her that she will put on her shoes herself when we are going out. She was just a year and half and whether kids of her age do it, we started expecting her to do. Similar to the appraisals that happen at work. The first time you do something amazing it’s "Beyond expectation". The next time you do the same, it’s "as expected" and if you continue doing the same it will be "below expectation'.

My daughter still does not speak much but a few days back she called me by my name. We were very happy with the way she spelt my name and made her say it again and again. She started calling my wife too by her name. It sounded good initially but soon she struck to it. From then on in front of our daughter I address my wife as mama and my wife addresses me as papa. Our daughter now calls us papa and mama. I think my wife and I have to address each other as papa and mama at least for some more time. I am sure 10-15 years from today when we recall all this or if my daughter happens to read this, we will all have a good laugh.

~Narendra V Joshi

1 comment:

Purnagyan said...

I like your perspective on parenting.