There are many things that we learn about ourselves everyday as parents. I have surprised myself every month/week/day, doing things that will be unconceivable if I wasn’t mothering a 19-month old toddler. Honestly, I didn’t not make any specific ‘lifestyle or attitude changes’ when I became a wife, 5 years ago.
But last 19-months of being a mother has totally turned my personality around. I am sure if I were to meet my college or pre-motherhood friends now, they would be pretty surprised to see my behaviour today. I am not oblivious to the changes but I never really thought much about it until yesterday, when I witnessed specimens of my past and present in the shopping mall and I had to word this incident out of my head.
So, what happened last evening was this. I saw a young married couple at a coffee shop enjoying & talking over coffee. A thing that I haven’t done in 19-months because my boy just doesn’t believe in sitting down and observing people at the mall while his parents have a cuppa. I watched them from outside the shop, stealing glances to soak in some of their happy moment (yeah, okay I was staring!), while my toddler walked about screaming in delight. Then I saw a parent duo, with twins in the same coffee shop. One of the twins was sleeping while other was in mother’s arms, itching to walk about. The mother let the toddler down and he began wobbling his way to this young couple’s table. The couple were not looking over at the toddler as he made way to their table. When the toddler dropped softly near this young lady’s feet, she shrieked. This caused the baby to cry LOUDLY. Everyone in the coffee shop turned to look at the scene.
The toddler’s mother, who was watching her boy’s wobble walk with an encouraging smile jumped out her chair and walked over. While she not seem too bothered when the boy plopped down occasionally as he walked about — as we all know that toddlers falling down while learning to walk is not to be made in to a big deal — she was definitely embarrassed when she could not quieten down her baby & the entire shop (including the young couple) stared at her for an effective solution.
Meanwhile, the howling boy had also woken up his sleeping brother twin who was now being handled by daddy. What I saw in the young lady that reminded me of my past was that she was seemed unaffected by the baby’s charms (he was a cute fella), instead visibly horrified by the now loudly crying baby and mother’s inability to hold him & console him. I was like that. I could not imagine how parents let their children out in malls when they had no control over them. Believe me, I never went ‘Awww, look at that cute baby’ before marriage or even after marriage. I seemed to always notice the rowdy kids and how embarrassing they were to their parents. I remember telling some of my college friends that if parents cannot “train” their kids to behave in public they should not be in public. Yeah, that was me 5-7 years ago.
That embarrassed mother was my present and that young lady was my past. And I watched both come face to face from a distance.