It had been sixty seven days, the longest spell since any of my relatives had visited us. I love that I am blessed with a really big family. So big that you can’t even take a single photograph of everyone – not even in the panorama view. I was about to go to my friend’s house when the phone rang. It was my brother, he was to visit our family that day. The relation by which I am related to him was surprisingly known to me this time.
After about two hours, they arrived. I saw them for the first time since their marriage two years ago. My brother had developed a family pack abs instead of six packs that he used to have before marriage and my bhabhi (brother’s wife) carried their six months old son in her arms. They looked perfect together.
As for me I know how to greet my elders when I meet them, but I am helpless with toddlers. I don’t know how I am supposed to behave with them. I am simply clueless. I know there are guys who are comfortable with kids around them but I, being an average guy, don’t fall into that category.
All I know is- “Hey! You were not there when I attended your parents’ marriage.”- is not the appropriate opening line to your infant nephew. The confused look that my bhabhi gave approved of this weird behavior of mine.
Also there is a stark difference in the way boys and girls treat kids.
When a guy meets a child he is like, OK a kid. Cool *Stay away from me* and will resume his work, if he wasn’t doing something he will immediately generate some new ‘super important child repellent’ work.
However the opposite happens when a girl sees a child. Every girl treats every kid as her own. She would take extra care for them, whether they puke, pee or pinch them. They never complain. It is like they are born to handle kids who too, are friendly with them.
Babies are the most careless, arrogant, cutest and most innocent form of humans possible. These guys have every liberty to shit around and later laugh at that. The attention seeking freaks are the most ruthless beings you will ever see. They will bite you, pull your hair and throw your spectacles, thereby turning you blind. And the greatest trick these devils play are the faces that they make whenever you even think of scolding them.
Some say marriage turns a ‘boy’ into a ‘man’ – means he becomes mature. This is true, I do agree with it but there are some things you can’t change about a human male. Treating kids is one of them. The way they behave with kids is hilarious.
There is a specific way of talking to kids. I am unknown of its origin and I suck at practicing it but I know a lot about it. (Observing helps a lot)
Rule 1: Compliment them as much as you can. You need not work hard on this, the moment you see them you’ll automatically compliment them.
Rule 2: If they respond to you always, add some irrelevant repetitive bi-syllable words preceded by vowels before your sentence. Like Olelelelelelelele, Alelelelele, Ololololo.
You can even club small words together, just remember to repeat them. Like if you want to say no, say it like nononononono. They will love it.
Rule 3: They hate grammar Nazis. If you are one of them, shed that skin of yours before you talk to them.
Rule 4: Change every ‘r’ by ‘l’, omit some alphabets from words and always add ‘h’ to ‘s’.
Rule 5: You can say Awww as much as you want to, they won’t object.
Now if you follow the above rules in mind you can talk to them perfectly. If you want to say, “You are so cute.” Say it like this: “Olelelelelele, you ale shoooooow showww cute.” and bazinga! You have prepared a perfect sentence for them.
Toddlers are very close to their mothers. They should be, for they know how to care for them in the appropriate way. However sometimes this caring turns into something else. I have seen many ‘first time’ mothers. Broadly speaking they are of four types.
1. The Enthusiastic Mother: She is the most common one and can go on days describing the activities their kid does. She narrates every ‘first thing’ their kid does with enthusiasm and pride. First bath, first step, first instance of peeing on a person, first time he ate mud, his cute idiotic mischief and so on.
2. The Whining Mothers: They are always unhappy with their kid. He is so weak, he is 5 months old now why doesn’t he sit? Is this normal for a kid of his age? Will he grow up to be smart? She never gets satisfied with her kid.
3. The “Why am I” a Mother: She is the one who hates being a mother. Her kid is the perfect example of her wrong family planning. Her face says it all. She is the rarest to find.
4. The Forever a Lover Mother: She will kiss, cuddle, hug or squeeze her child after every 10 minutes, irrespective of whatever the kid is doing.
When toddlers are around the whole conversation changes. The parents are always bragging about their kid while others are simply nodding because they know they did the same at some point of time.
My brother, his wife and my parents were having a conversation while I was sitting by my nephew.
“You know what aunt, he called me Maa the other day!” said my bhabhi with pride.
“Really? He did? He is an amazing kid.” Replied my mother. *Considering his age this was indigestible, but everyone agreed.*
“Not even that, he can identify the alphabet A.” there went my bhabhi again.
Now she drew ‘A’ on a paper and asked her son to say out ‘A’ aloud.
“Baby say Aeee, you know it baby say aeee! Make your mumma proud.”
To this my nephew started making bubbles out of his saliva, not doing a single thing he was asked to.
She took control of the situation by saying “He is just shy, otherwise I swear he did it in front of me.”
*Performance pressure is independent of age. Eh?*
“I know beta. We believe you.” My father agreed to her just to lessen the awkwardness in the situation.
“Uncle! He loves Linkin Park. He hums every song of theirs whenever I play them on my phone.” Now it was my brother’s turn. *Give me a break! A six month old child loves Linkin Park. Do you even know what you are saying? He can’t even tell when he is about to poop but he loves a rock band! What is happening here?”
“Haha. I know son, kids love music. When my brother was small he loved listening to the radio.” Said my father. *What is happening to this world? I still watch cartoons and these toothless kids are listening to music. At this moment I had my fingers crossed as I didn’t want my father to start with my childhood stories.*
You might be thinking this cannot get anymore hilarious. In these situations if a lady with a 3-4 year old kid arrives, the whole scene turns into a battleground. Both the ladies will go on to prove whose kid is smarter. All this happens when the kids don’t even give 0.1% attention to the elder’s talks. They’ll be busy eating their hand or making bubbles from their saliva while their silly parents would go on bragging about the super abilities of their children. I wonder who the real ‘kid’ here is.
There is one more thing which makes kids so dangerous to be with. They can humiliate you in the most innocent and unexpected ways possible. I’ve been subjected to numerous embarrassing situations.
1. One of my cousins once visited us, he was five years old then. When he met me the first question he asked was, “Why are you a boy?” He didn’t stop here. He even asked me the question every adult fears. ” How was I born?” and the worst part he was not willing to accept the fairy version of the whole process. I was thinking of showing him the documentary on birth procedure but then the Chocolate came to my rescue.
2. Once I was buying groceries at a shop. It was pretty hot that day so I was wearing shorts. A little girl came by with her elder sister to buy some chocolates. She looked at my legs and asked, “Where did you get all that hair from? My sister’s got none! How come only you have it?”
That scene still haunts me and needless to say I gave up all my shorts after that.
3. Never ever play with a toddler after one has had milk or any other liquid. They have some serious bladder problems. Whatever goes inside their tummy will come out in exact same amount.
4. Another cousin of mine came in her vacations to visit us. She told me about her interest in coloring. I gave her poster colors and some rough sheets to practice. That three and a half feet tall devil instead painted my favorite T-Shirt with her hands and said “Daag ache hain (Stains are good) thereby imitating the kid in Surf Excel detergent’s advertisement and ran away.
5. Sometimes they demand something which only they can understand. One of cousins asked me to buy a Chuppa. I asked him what that was. He replied that it was a candy. I took him to all the shops nearby my home but couldn’t find his Chuppa. He started crying hysterically demanding his beloved candy. After an hour while he was watching television, he pointed to a lollipop shown in an advertisement and shouted cheerfully, “Bhaiya (Brother)! Chuppa!”
“Only if kids came with a manual, life would have been so much easier.”
Handling children is not a child’s play, they can trick you at their own will. It’s funny when you’re a toddler, how the smallest of things like repetitive syllables can make you laugh. A single chime of a toy can make you smile. A hug can make you feel protected and comfortable. One can pee wherever one want, can eat whatever one like and can do whatever one like. There are no boundaries whatsoever. That is the time when, to you nothing is wrong in the world. Everything seems so perfect. I personally hate kids because they have so much freedom. As we grow, we tend to take things for granted and try finding happiness outside, when in reality they exist in those very syllables, chimes and hugs.