Act One, Scene one:
Babe, I need your help! (It’s the OPU)
Me: (trying to finish my tea, my only three minutes of bliss in the mornings): What is it?
OPU: Re is holding a jar of peanut butter and I think is trying to eat it.
Me: So let him eat it. I made it. It’s healthy.
OPU: Can you please come here for one second. I think he has scooped out a rather large spoon and he might choke.
Me: No, he wont. And he can have a large scoop if he likes! ( my tea is getting colder with every bellow)
OPU: You have to see how he is shoving it in his mouth, it looks scary. The spoon is bigger than his mouth.
Me: No, I don’t have to see it, I see this several times a day.
OPU: Why can’t you just come here and help me!
Me: I am just trying to have my tea. Do I bellow to you 40 times a day when I don’t know what to do? Figure it out.
And we officially have our first fight of the day.
The thing about parenting is that none of us are qualified for it. I guess you are somewhat, if you’ve had a child before and this is your second or third, but even then, what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. You just learn to figure it out as you go along. I read this interesting piece by Jug Suraiya in the Crest edition of the TOI a long time ago which talked about how, almost every profession/task we undertake comes with a prerequisite qualification, like being a teacher or a nurse or a pilot. But when it comes to being a parent, it is a free-for-all, almost anyone can be a parent and not be questioned.
The problem with men (okay, most men, in case some of you pipe up and say “O, my husband does everything, and I want to kill you) is that they think you have somehow managed to get that Masters In Parenting and therefore, you will have all the answers. All they have to do is ask the questions, and voila, they will know what to do.
So not true. The best insight I ever got about parenting was from Kelly George who, in an old post in her blog says, “There are no answers in parenting. Only ideas.” So get ideas, as many ideas from your friends and try what you like. You will also come up with your own. So here’s something I’d like you to share. Your five best ways of distracting a toddler. You can add them to the comments section, and let’s see how many we can come up with. If you like, I can compile them all and add my own and do another post!
Act One, Scene Two:
OPU: Babe, you need to come here quick.
Me: (gobbling down my breakfast): Now, what?
OPU: Re is holding on to my trousers while I am shaving. Can you please take him?
Me: He is holding on to your trousers because he wants you. It won’t help if I take him.
OPU: Can someone help me please?
Me: Find something to distract him. Fill a bucket. Give him a mopping cloth. A brush. Anything.
OPU: He doesn’t want a bucket. What do I do?
Me: For one, you can stop whining.
OPU: That wasn’t very helpful.
And so we have our second fight of the day. And it’s not even 10 am!
I have often heard of the mythical species called hands-on daddies, but I have yet to see one. Okay, I know one who lives in the wilderness. And a few women I know claim that their men are, but I am still waiting to meet one I am totally convinced about. But do you know any city dads who are good at thinking of ideas? Anyone who doesn’t always ask, “So what do I do?”, but instead says, “Do you think we should try this?” And this cannot be a bag of chips or a bowl of ice-cream.
Please send me their numbers.