Park or Stairs?

Yesterday, I saw a mother trying hard to convince her baby to buy a chocolate and her baby was insisting to buy Eclairs. Both had their reason to insist. I loved their squabble and it took me back to Jan 2013, where I and my daughter had a similar tussle. She was two-years then and it was a sunny day after so many foggy days. Sunshine gave me a sudden rush of exuberance and I dressed up my daughter for a nearby park visit. I took her milk bottle, water bottle, fruits cut into small pieces and packed in Tupperware box. We two were all set to go and have some fun in the park.  I locked our home and with my kid, her cycle and a small bag full of eating and drinking material, we started off.

Our society has stairs at the entrance, some 7 or 8 stairs. I asked my daughter to wait while I picked and moved her tricycle downstairs. It might had taken just 1 minute to do so, but it was enough time for my daughter to change her mind. She came up with a plan to play on the stairs, climbing up the stairs and climbing down the stairs.

I had plans to take her to the park where she would have more fun. What’s so great about climbing up and down the stairs, again and again? In the park she would have green grass, flowers, trees, squirrels, butterflies and few other kids to play with. She would enjoy cycling all the way to the park. It was such a perfect plan for us to have fun. I waited for my daughter to enjoy her drill for a while as I was hoping that it would end in next few minutes. When the drill kept on going for approximately 20 minutes, I started a conversation with her, actually tried to convince her to visit park and I gave her all the above mentioned incentives of going to park. But she said “Mujhe yahin khelana hai.” [Translation: I want to play here.] I asked for how long and she answered “mujhe nahi pata.” [Translation: I don’t know.] Uff!

She was busy with her play and I was thinking should I forcibly take her to park. Park is obviously a better choice than stairs. In our past visits she had enjoyed there a lot. She actually loved the place and made a friend there. I looked at her and saw her happily playing and if I would become strict she would not be happy or worse she may start crying. It is not that I cannot see my daughter crying, but I understand that she cries only when she is uncomfortable with things and people. She is crying means many things to me: She is not happy. She is angry. She is sad. She needs something. She wants something badly.

I being more intelligent (I love to assume this) than my two-year young daughter might discard so many things as ‘bakwas’, but the same things hold so much importance for my baby. I tried to calm down myself and sat on the stairs. I looked at her and she was so happy and satisfied with her play and in between looking at me to approve (that means a happy smile on my face). It just made me laugh at myself to believe a kid. How could I! These kids are so unpredictable. She was so happy when I told her about going to park and now look at her! Yup, just look at her. Wasn’t this I had in my mind to see my kid playing in sunlight, having fresh air and enjoying some outdoor activity? Why was I considering park a better option? Unknowingly, I was just trying to stick to my plan. Unknowingly in my mind, I was being unreasonable and stubborn.

I took a sigh a relief, gave up the mental struggle, looked at my happy daughter and smiled. I could think of reasons why she wanted to play here: maybe because she missed this for past few days as weather didn’t allow or maybe just being there triggered her happy memories and compelled her to play again or maybe I don’t know. But the point is why I want to think of the reasons? To validate her option and her happiness! Is it right thing to do? Had I not done many things that were invalid in others’ opinion, but gave me pleasure? Would I like others to validate my happiness, even if they are my parents? No. Then I must resist to judge and validate my baby. I planned outing to make her happy and she is having fun in her own ways. As a mother this should be enough for me. I settled there for 3 hours and saw her playing and cycling in society area. It was a beautiful sight and I smile every time I remember that event.

With smile pasted on my face, I approached the lady in the shop and told kids are unbelievable. I stopped myself from any recommendation to the frustrated (for obvious reasons) lady as mostly mothers believe ‘they know what the best is for their kids’. I gave a light loving pat to the kid and left the shop.

Happy Parenting.


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