I am much experienced in bringing up children (or at least I think I am) thanks to being part of a large family when young and of course, parenting my own brood of three. But to be absolutely frank, I will never understand kids nor even pretend to.
I meet mothers all the time who make resolutions to themselves (I, too was one of them till enlightenment dawned) " I`m going to develop patience with my children, no matter what they do." " I am going to understand what my child wants from me, even if it kills me." But these noble resolutions go flying out of the window when you see your child trailing in the entire neighbourhood mud into your clean drawing room or leaving his toys lying about for you to trip and fall just as you are carrying a much needed cup of tea. To me, although I love children, they remain one of life`s biggest mysteries.
For example, I have never understood:
How a child can never hear the phone ring even if he is in the same room but promptly hears the ice cream vendor even if he is a mile away?
How a child can reject a cheese sandwich you have made at home yet gobble six of them an hour later at twenty rupees each in a crummy hotel?
How a child can turn cartwheels, balance himself on his head, rescue a kitten stuck on a tree but cannot walk a straight line down a corridor without grabbing both walls and leaving his grubby fingerprints all over?
How a child can speak nineteen to a dozen till he drives you round the bend but shuts up like a proverbial clam when you want to show him off to relatives and friends, especially after you have boasted about his splendid vocabulary?
Did you ever wonder what your kid does with his lunchbox everyday except forget to bring it home? And it this same kid who will remember a rash promise made by you about a year back to buy him a football. Selective memory or what?
It puzzles me as to why I trip over my son`s shoes all the time, find it in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the car but never seem to find it when he has to wear them?
It makes me wonder how a kid can have such an x-ray vision that he can immediately pinpoint a bar of chocolate hidden behind several cartons in a shop but fail to see a mat under his feet until he has dragged it around all over the house?
How can a child romp around in the mud, kiss the neighbourhood dog, pick up worms and grass, chew gum that someone else has used and refuse to drink water from the same glass his sister has used?
How come a child refuses to write his homework on a nice notebook or draw something for you on a piece of paper but as soon as you leave the room, promptly turn to the wall and reproduce his masterpiece on your nice, clean walls?
Need I go on and on? Do the experts on child rearing have anything to say about this? Is it only my kids or am I hearing an echo of my mother`s voice and her mother`s before that and so on?