Having discussed the two important lessons of motherhood from my experiences here and here, it's time to have a look at the miscellaneous lessons (pardon me, unable to avoid the terms sundry and miscellaneous, being a business management student) learnt.
- Stereotyping: I go to the toy shop and the shop keeper asks for the age and gender of the child. I tell him. "Girl child aged 3? We have got a new kitchen set and doll house mam" comes the reply. I purposefully avoid it. I had mostly dressed up my girl in t-shirts and pants until she was two considering the cold weather in Bangalore. Try what may, I failed in keeping my daughter away from stereotypes. The environment influenced her or it was instinct, I don't know. Blue color and cars fascinate boys while pink color and dolls interest girls, naturally. On second thought I felt there was nothing wrong in a boy behaving like a boy and a girl being like one. However, it is our duty to teach them that boys can cook while girls do become firefighters as well.
Image courtesy : openclipart.org
"Mamma, can I wear that pink frock today?" she asks. I take a deep breathe and nod with a smile.
- Over and again: "Do you want me to read the story of Cinderella again? But you had been reading it from last week."
"Daddy, why dont we sing boogie woogie? " (Not again! Daddy escapes with the excuse of having a meeting)
"Mamma, I want only idlis for lunch. Please"
Image courtesy: booksicals.com
Do these statements sound familiar? Well, I can empathize with you. Children seem to have a taste for a particular thing and like to stick on to it till they get bored. It's as if they enjoy it thoroughly and finally discard it, only to get back to it after a full cycle. Though offering varieties are important, it is fine if they donot want it for some time.
- Eat out: I being a over-concerned mother,used to pack dal chawal for my daughter when we went out. My friends were extra happy if I was coming as their kids would also get home made food, sometimes even snacks from home! When the child was 2, she refused to take a single bite after knowing that she was fed the same old stuff while we relished on colorful eatables. As we introduced her to outside food, she started liking the experience though her intake was less. If she is not allowed to choose when everybody chose, she might never develop a liking for food, I thought. Now, my girl happily hops into restaurants while I proudly flaunt the imported mini hand bag!
- Milestone developments: "My son can say hippopotamus from the age of one year two months" preened an acquaintance."Really?", I sounded impressed though I felt the father in the camera advertisement asking his two year old son to repeat Czechoslovakia seemed more reasonable.
"I trained my daughter for potty at the age of two" said another mother. I felt guilty. But my daughter did learn it a little later. Every child has a pace of learning which differs for various skills. Although I say this, I admit that I cannot help feeling bad when my child is not doing as much as the other kids. But I have seen that patience and constant encouragement lead to positive changes. Next time when I hear a mother boasting "my seven year old helps me chop vegetables ", I must try not telling, " Could you please send her home for some time? My husband is not well since yesterday."