This blog started off as a blog documenting my parenting journey, but then I digressed at times, at other times life happened and at still other times, I got busy, parenting 🙂
Well, anyways, a lot of social media has taken over the age old blogging…aarrghh.. how archaic that sounds, but then hey, attention spans have been diminished, blogging it seems is of no use as people do not like to read anymore, heck, attention has moved from insta feed to insta stories even. With a forced timeline of how long you should remember or refer to a story as not more than 24 hours, so to speak.
My Little Miss Muffet is now 9 years old and is quite a curious mind. Shy but curious. In a world that rues in pinks and blues and where definitions get drawn from infancy in pink bonnets and blue booties, my little lady has thankfully learnt to not stick to definitions. She questions them all. Mumma, why do some people say boys can’t play with dolls? Mumma, why do kids tease me at school when I pick up a book on Robots? Mumma, Why is it so essential to talk about ballet shoes and tutus to be included in a girl’s group?Mumma, why can’t I play with boys? Mumma, who are gays? Mumma, what is autism?
Of course, she can. She can play with boys. She does not have to talk about tutus or shoes if she does not want to. She can read books on Robotics and no, she does not have to worry about getting included in an all girls group. She is learning to love the world where there is a slow but concerted effort to accept gays as wonderful and mainstream and she is learning to help and be kind to her friends on the autistic spectrum.
But all these notions of idealism are still not reaching the playground as much as we want. And that is because they haven’t yet permeated into the households. We like to define and put up these banners of changing mindsets on leadership platforms and on news headlines, but have a recce at a children’s playground during recess, and you will realise, the changes are yet to happen. They are trickling down, slowly, but they are not as well conditioned as we want them to be. Amongst the three of us, my husband works from home and I am a stay at home mum. For a family that has recently moved to a new country, the child is the only one who is actually going through the cultural changes and facing the new country’s life and lifestyle head-on. She is the one adapting to the accents and the intonations. She is the one learning to make friends anew in a new environment. She is the one trying to fit in or may be not and carve out an identity of her own.
Our kids are learning, absorbing, processing and implementing a lot of the world without our direct intervention and trust me, we as adults do not credit them as much.
In this short span of two years, my Little Miss Muffet has gone from being a complete stranger to being an active participant in her class, has been bullied for playing with boys and has been booed for not being too girly. Has been called weird and too ‘posh’ for speaking too well for her age, has been deserted on the playground because suddenly she was not fit to be in a boy’s group or the girls’. She has learnt to be sympathetic with kids less able, she has learnt to be kinder to kids who have bullied her and she has learnt to slowly, very slowly, stand up for herself. She would come home with a lot of ‘Whys’ and I realised that I had an uni-dimensional view of the world compared to hers and that I had to instil more confidence and faith in her, all the while learning to be better at it myself.
It was only then, that I realised that she was living the actual drill of living in a global world. She was learning on an everyday basis to keep her Indian roots and sensibilities intact and learning to appreciate or discard world views as she deemed important. And she was doing all this without an adult intervention. Yes she had her teachers and they are swell. They are the absolute best. But I want you to remember and think… Our kids are out in the world, albeit in controlled environs of the school, for almost the entire daylight hours and they hardly ever get credited for their human relations and the decisions they make to become who they eventually will turn out to be.
I am learning to be more patient. I am learning to be kinder. I am learning and making an effort to understand the culture a lot better than I knew before and trust me, it is all because of the Little Lady.
Oh, our kids teach us along the way, all the time that we are trying to turn them into what we think is a socially accepted definition of a citizen. It’s not easy for them, trust me, it’s not easy.
In a world, where they are learning fundamental concepts of climate change, body image, newer genders, women in history, children as world leaders…we as parents have some learning and unlearning to do. And we have a stronger role to play in their comprehension of the world.