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It’s All About Survival

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He’s 2.4 years old and occasionally that ‘sweet agreeable baby’ whom I love to LOVE. But then comes this ‘wilful toddler’ to surface that leaves me wondering if this boi was switched at birth. This screaming “thing” is not mine — or that’s the public expression I wear.

Let me tell you upfront that there are no guidebooks/ blogs out there to help you with YOUR child — just like they say no 2 pregnancies/childbirth are alike. You will stumble through pitfalls of toddlerhood like “should I be using timeouts?”; “what’s the best response when my toddler is flat on his back screaming on the floor at Toys R Us?”; “when he thinks spraying his drink from his mouth is a fun thing!”

Think ‘Survival’, find the nearest Exit and BOLT.

I have locked horns (pointlessly) with the boi. I have tried reasoning with the screaming child (in the most ridiculously sweet motherly tone I could muster) while my ‘logical adult gauge’ shot through the roof of my head. I have tried cajoling him when he insists riding every Lift/Elevator in a mall on a loop. NOTHING WORKS.

What follows, instead is tear-works (that can melt) and makes her want to claw her way back to some cave. It’s no secret to my blog readers or friends, that I’m barely scrapping through this parenthood thing. It’s one heck of a job (not in a good way), metaphorical paybacks and severe mental paranoia at all times.

I figured — on my own — that anger too is a valid emotion, just like happiness. Mommy anger too is a justified thing, after all I have been a logical adult for 30 years (and couple more) before motherhood. Sometimes it feels like my squalling kid is stuck in a screaming vortex long after the issue has been resolved. I often wonder if he even remembers what he’s screaming and carrying on about and that when I try to marshal great patience, stamina, creativity, determination  — and a robust sense of humor to help me get me out mommy anger mode.

I am not sure if this will work for anyone else but … consider it my contributory drop in the ever-growing mommy tear ocean. If you do end up losing your cool, don’t beat yourself up, just try to use better tactics next time. It’s a tough gig, Mommy.

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Weekend dilemma

There are relaxed weekends and then there are weekends that demand one to be even more energetic than normal weekdays. The latter are more or less a regular feature for parents with young toddlers & tykes, who have to be taken to activity/gym classes, accompanied for play dates, enrolled in some parent-toddler workshop which has become a norm for most urban households, parent-accompanied visits to playground, etc. The list gets longer every weekend and just 2 days are supremely insufficient to cram in ‘stuff’ that one has to attend to.

Ever since I have resumed work, weekdays have begun to seem like cakewalk in comparison to what I am left to tackle with on weekends. Even if I turn a blind eye to the household chores, dirt balls lurking in corners, stained bedsheets & pillow covers, and make dead certain that no one dares to open the unkempt wardrobe of mine, it’s hard to ignore a child who starts his day totally aware that it’s your (and partner’s) day off.

By the way, I can’t contend that only working parents face the above quandary. Everyone who is raising a child must probably go through the same rut, with varying degrees of difficulty.

I am secretly just glad to see all around me that parent’s in general have so much work backed up that they probably would need more than 7 days and 24 hours everyday to get through the list regularly. I am not the only loser out there.

Many would gleefully highlight that children, like a lot of other delightful things in life, are usually a choice made by two adults. And the decision to have them implies that you’re willing to make adjustments and that the world doesn’t adapt to your needs all the time. I agree. I just need my body to listen to me too. This darned brain sends ‘I-am-bone-tired’ signals to all body parts and that’s pretty much the end of my resolution to get ‘things done’ on weekends. Hence the backlog and rants and the reason why this blog exists.

While I am at the topic, let me also emphasise why parents I put myself through these unachievable targets, week after week. You see, there is this gnawing feeling—unreasonable as it may be— that I have to stay involved in every moment of my son’s life or else I’ll miss out forever. There’s that little voice that tells me to be always present or I’ll be pushed into the fringes of his life.

My guilt demands that I push myself harder than what I can actually hope to achieve. That’s the biggest reason why on weekends when my son is awake, I’m constantly in his face trying to create memories. I keep talking to him even when I have an official email to send, I have stuffed virtual clouds with photos of his puttering and even when I cook or clean, I keep him close by so that I bond.

Guilt monster has a way of masquerading as maternal instinct. #FactofMotherhood