Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Is that your only responsibility?

Why do people have children? I mean, I know a man and a woman do stuff (yes, I'm going to call it stuff till I'm okay with being all bold on the blog!) and then a baby is born (some people may not believe it, but I'm quite past the bird and the bees stage.)

I mean this in the larger sense. Why do people decide to have kids? Let me elaborate on what I think could be (or rather appear to be) the reasons.

1. Rule of Life: Umm.. So I'm married now. What else can I do with my life??? Ummm.. Let me think.. Oh yes!! I'll have kids! What a wonderful idea!!!
Is it because that's what comes naturally once you are married, and because that's what you're supposed to do? So essentially, you're not clear whether you actually want kids or not, and just decide to have one/them anyway because as humans we are supposed to procreate.

2. To give the family a waaris (heir): Mummyji and Daadyji have been longing for grandchildren to play with because they are retired now and don't have much to do with their time. It will make them really happy! Let me have a bunch of kids just to show them I "can"!!! 
Is it because you feel obligated to your family and elders - so in a way you're doing your duty towards others, because they expect you to have children and it'll make them happy?

3. Being pregnant is a blissful experience, everyone should experience the miracle of life.
Let me be very blunt and honest here. If it's just about the nine months (give or take a few weeks) for you, then I doubt your ability to raise a child. What you really need in this case, is someone who can explain to you that the real deal starts after the nine months of being pampered and having that pregnant woman glow. 

4. Oh Crap!
It can't get worse than this. It's really unfortunate if it had to come to this; but is it because you forgot to use protection or didn't think about damage control? In this case, it's just plain stupidity combined with super bad rotten luck!

I don't have kids yet but I am at an age where I should be thinking about such things. And very honestly at this point I don't even know if it makes sense to have kids, for numerous reasons. For instance, I feel if I am bringing a child into this world, I have to think a million times whether to put someone through this rat-race that we're living every singe day! And that's just one of the many reasons why practically, in today's world it doesn't make sense.

But then there's this romantic in me, who wants a child that'll be partly me and partly the person who means the world to me! It'll represent our love and it'll be something that'll connect us even more. That, according to me is the right reason to have children; to have someone who is a part of you, and because you consider them as an extension of your love.

I'm sure you're wondering why I have put aside tons of my other work to spend time in ranting this out. It's because I feel really strongly about this and if I don't get this off my chest now, I might punch someone in the face when it happens again.

Of late, every time I venture out, I see an out of control child - in the trains, at malls, at restaurants, everywhere; even though the mother is right there, because she's dissociated and happily day-dreaming not caring a rat's ass about what her child is upto. It's as if their attitude is, "I don't care what they're doing as long as they stay the hell out of my way."

On two separate occasions, it turned out that a woman with a small kid (3-5 years) and her mother-in-law (yes, both times!!) sat next to me in a local train. The first time, this woman breast-fed her four year old four times in the train in a forty minute journey. It's as if feeding the kid was the only way to distract her or to get her to shut up.

And the tantrums!! Oh the tantrums!

You know how kids put their fingers/hands in their mouth, and how clean the window sills of the local trains are (NOT!) So when I saw the kid trying to rub her palms all over the dirty, spit-covered window, I told her mother to ask her child to not touch the windows since they were dirty. The mother very politely and patiently explained to the child pointing towards her dirty hand as to why she shouldn't touch it.

If I rewind twenty years, I don't remember my mother having to explain why we had to do something she said. We just had to! But this little girl, started wailing so loud that she could've given banshees a run for their money. Apparently, she didn't like to be told what to do (or as in this case, what not to do!) She also started hitting her mother on her face as if the parent-child roles were reversed! And what did her mother do, you ask? Nothing! That's what.

Just last evening, I was at McDonalds and there was this group of 7-8 children (ages between 5 and 11 years) screaming, running around and throwing ice cubes out of the finished cold drink at each other. And right next to that table was a group of five women sitting and chatting, mercifully oblivious to what their children were doing. It was disturbing, really. And I have a few questions I wanted to ask these women.

1. Did you come to McDonalds to bring your kids out, or to spend time with your friends?
2. If it's the former, why the hell were the kids not monitored?
3. If it's the latter, why were the kids there in the first place?

People think it's okay to let their kids behave in any fashion when they're in public. But why should I ruin my outing because someone cannot control or even bother about their children. We could barely speak over the din!! And would these children be allowed to throw food around their house?

I have a very simple solution for this.

If you're out for the kids, spend time with them; and spending time doesn't mean letting them do whatever the hell they want while you enjoy yourself! It includes teaching them the dos and don'ts of behaving in public. 

If you're there to get away from the kids, LEAVE THEM AT HOME. It's not the responsibility of the restaurant staff to monitor your kids or of those who dine there, for Gods sake! They're your kids!!

Why have I reached this conclusion? I have an explanation even for that. It's because these very same women who don't move a finger when their child(ren) are running about the whole place, are the women who won't hesitate slapping their children in public when their child pisses them off! How hypocritical!!!

And it's all I can do to stop myself from asking them, "Does your responsibility end at just pushing them out of you??"

P.S. When I narrated this to my sister, I told her that I didn't tell this to those women, because it'd be very easy for them to say, "What do you know? Wait till you have kids and then we'll talk!"

Natasha says, "So have kids fast and show these women how well disciplined your kids are! That'll shut them up!"

Yes! That's the reason I want to have kids. To shut other women up! Talk about missing the whole point!