A not so critical tackle parenting…
There is hardly anything better than being a parent. Insignificant things like winning a Nobel Prize, climbing Mount Everest, eight hours of sleep, being able to see your friends in places other than Facebook, having a whole cup of coffee while it’s still hot, not having a YouTube push -Notifications for Slick Slime Sam not to have to diet for the rest of your life after giving birth, not to spend Sunday night scavenger hunts, to assimilate toilet paper rolls for art projects on Monday mornings, not to be killed by sneakily placed pieces of Lego, not that Having to memorize the intake schedule of every kindergarten in town … Okay, maybe more than a few. But that doesn’t change anything about nighttime feeding, diaper changes, teenage tantrums, also known as parenting.
Perhaps some of you can do all of the above in addition to parenting. (Where do you live? I’ll hunt you down smug sadists and take you out for dinner.) Ordinary mortals like the rest of us, however, struggle daily with real decisions like, “Should I spend my savings on those 20? -year old Merlot or on the braces my son desperately needs to keep him from losing his front teeth? ”or“ Would it be considered compassionate or illegal to give my child an extra spoonful (or ten) of cough syrup on a ten hour flight give? ”Trust me, most of these decisions are a lot harder to make than they sound like.
I mean, you have to weigh the likelihood of being arrested for drugging your child against the likelihood of being arrested for the non-drugged screaming banshee giving the flight attendant a heart attack. I have to say I would go for the former, if only because of the glamor quotient associated with being an outlaw and one day having a murder free story to tell my grandchildren.
Now that we all agree that parenting is the best thing that can happen to anyone (you know your kids have access to this newspaper too, right?) What makes it so special? I mean, let’s face it, some people actually choose to do this more than once. One could argue that the first time around, nobody really knows what they’re getting into. But the second, third and fourth time? Somehow I find it hard to believe that all second parents are intellectually disabled or have not used the correct contraceptive. Although more scientific studies would have to be carried out in this area in order to arrive at a concrete hypothesis, let us assume that people with a high IQ sometimes decide for several children and this decision is not (always)) the result of excessive Vodka or more hands to order the land, so to speak.
I’ve spoken to some parents about what motivated their second leap into parenting. Here’s what I picked up.
Most had their second child to entertain the first so they wouldn’t have to spend their days rock, paper, scissor. (I think we’re going to see a sharp drop in second child births now with the advent of Netflix and Amazon Prime, but again, not enough research has been done in this area to support my claim.)
A few cowardly parents admitted they had a second child as a human shield against nerf gun attacks and unannounced judo movements. Some said their firstborn wanted a puppy for Christmas and it was easier to have a second child than to have a dog when kids eventually grow up – or at least pretend to be.
Some parents found they didn’t like their firstborn and wanted to try again, hoping the second would have at least some of their genetic material. Some parents – the more honest ones – admitted that they wanted a room to themselves during the vacation and felt less guilty about locking two children in an adjoining room than one. Some said it was a waste of money to buy clothes, shoes, books, and toys for just one child with no one to give them to, and that multiple children justify the cost. In the same vein, another said she still had discount coupons from a maternity catalog that she couldn’t waste herself.
One father said he had the second because he knew the first was going to become a criminal and would need someone to pay the bail. Many agreed that they decided to have more children so that they would have more arguments every day and keep the excitement of their failed marriage alive.
As you can see for yourself, all of the above reasons are excellent reasons to have multiple children and to give a shining testimony that parenting is a journey that absolutely everyone must experience for themselves. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy children’s day and many more (children).
(Shivani Tibrewala is a writer and mother – not necessarily in that order)
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Posted on: Sunday November 14, 2021 7:00 AM IST