A friend recently posted pictures of her daughter at the dining table attempting to demolish a cake all by herself. To say that she was covered in chocolate would be an understatement.
I was feeding the younger child when I spotted the picture and laughed out loud. In a minute the slightly harried atmosphere around me – baby refusing to eat, older child whining about what was on his plate, turned lighter.
Sometimes in Mommyland, it does you a whole lot of good to laugh. It eases the situation when it seems like both you and the child are going out of control, makes you sane enough to see the lighter side of parenting, which we lose track of sometimes.
Of course, it’s easier said than done. The mom who shared the picture was happy when her 2-year-old insisted on eating all by herself.
“Even though she used the food more for decorating the tray and herself than the spooning it into her mouth, I would take pictures, laugh with her and quite enjoy that little messy face.” That was until it started becoming a hassle to ensure that some bites did go into her mouth and mommy started dreading mealtimes.
“It took a visit from my parents to make me laugh at her antics again. I was so focused on making her eat that I had missed the fun,” she says.
Parenting can turn you like that, making you tick mark stuff off your list as you get on through the day.
Brushing teeth: Check. Breakfast banana: Check. Afternoon fruit: Check. Evening park stroll: Check. Handwash: Check
We are so busy ticking things off the list that we forget to have fun while doing them. We forget that in most cases, we are dealing with a tiny human being who doesn’t quite fathom why rice has to do a nonstop journey from plate to mouth, without any stops on the mattress or their own T-shirts in between. And when it does make the T-shirt stop, Mummy forgets the laughter bit and starts getting hysterical about clean-up. Mostly.
What helps is to know that you aren’t going at it alone. There are others who have had chocolate milk spilt over their favourite couch and laughed to tell the tale. Which is why it helps to read blogs or books that takes parenting on a lighter vein.
Somewhat like Erma Bombeck, the writer who made parenting sound like a laundry basket that’s always spilling over but had a good laugh over putting it back. “Laughter rises of tragedy”, said Bombeck, “when you need it the most, and rewards you for your courage.”
Parenting is no tragedy but our inability to take it on a lighter vein most of the times, certainly is.⊕