There are so many poems and songs out there to tell us how amazing parents are. It’s been drilled into us so much that if we, for once, even, fleetingly, think otherwise, we feel more guilty the dog who broke the cookie jar.
But, to take a fair viewpoint, I think parents are the kind of creatures who have the slowest evolutionary rate. We don’t learn from experience. At all. In fact, if we continue like this, we may soon be extinct like the dodo, and the children will celebrate by throwing a party with Yo Yo Honey Singh, unless he himself is a parent and he joins us in extinct-land with his CDs.
Kids seem to know this, and hence travel with earphones. They are all wired and suitably protected against idiotic parental sound-bytes. In one of our trips though, my daughter’s earphones broke and she had to suffer for about three hours. She has still not recovered from it.
We recently drove to Kerala on a road trip with our kids who are now 12 and 8 years. I have noticed that we (along with lots of other parents out there) find two sights extremely fascinating:
1. Trains that pass us while we are driving on the road
2. Groups of monkeys
We respond to these sights by yelling loudly,
‘See, baby, train!!’
Or (‘See, baby, monkey!’ — it’s a similar sentence with just a change of one noun).
We exclaim this passionately by jumping up and down in our seats and waving our arms vigorously. When the kids ignore us, we advertise the sight better:
‘Look, it’s a blue train.’ (or ‘long train’. We have not stumbled across other properties. We must build a community to share what other features can be summoned to our assistance)
‘Look, there is a baby monkey too.’
The kids continue to ignore us. We are extremely hurt and mumble under our breaths.
‘They never seem to be interested in the little, innocent joys of life.’
Is there an age when parents stop showing their kids trains and monkeys? I doubt. A few weeks back, my mother was with me in the car. She, dutifully, showed me the train. I would have, normally ignored her, but then, what message would that send to the kids? So, I appreciated her and, promptly, told my kids to see the train. My kids are sweet and polite and hence, we all watched the train respectfully and quietly till it passed.
I must now wait to have grandchildren so that I can continue doing my parental duties without hitches.