Parenting is the world’s most difficult job. No two thoughts about it. “One day, I have to be on my own, that’s why I want to go to my two day school trip, Mamma!” I was secretly quite pleased hearing this from my 9-year-old daughter. Last year I egged her on to go to her school trip but she refused point blank. She was unprepared to even discuss the possibility of going away from home for two whole days. This was a welcome transformation.
We started preparing for her trip. When days were coming near, my kid started showing signs of nervousness. Though she had traveled abroad without her parents, but that was with her aunt and cousin. She enjoyed that trip thoroughly. Till now she has a protected childhood and dependent on me for most of her work. My fault. Entirely my fault. I should not have made her so dependent on me. Its becoming frustrating for both of us.
With passage of time, I realized, doing your kid’s each and every work means you don’t love her. Though you think that you do. Making her dependent is bad in every sense. When I realized this, I am trying to make amendments. Now I try to assign her some household work which she does gladly. She also suggests to me , “Mamma , please teach me some cooking!” So I am taking baby steps in parenting all the time. Somewhere down the line I also realized that when you assign your kid some household work that concern everyone, she feels part of the family. Doing her own stuff makes her self centered. Cleaning her wardrobe, looking after her pet, packing her bags or arranging her stuff won’t make her feel connected to us as a family. It’s safe for her to go to the basement and buy some bread and milk for all of us. We make her do that. Sometimes few vegetables are needed, then we seek her help.
When I was trying to do such things, her school trip happened. Like her, I too was jittery. She is still very much a protected child. Last year, in our building, a couple was celebrating their anniversary and a doctor guest molested a 10-year-old boy while the party was on. Sometimes, I feel, before telling her about good stuff, I have to inform my kid about bad stuffs first. Its scary and makes parenting pretty difficult.
So when her trip was coming near, I kept on repeating the drill, “if you have forgotten something in the school bus, don’t go inside it to fetch it, if the bus is empty with one or two adults. Leave your things and forget about it. Your safety comes FIRST!” Till now, its the other way round, “You have left your slippers unattended, how careless of you!” “You have left your pencils and eraser? How careless!” “You have lost your exercise book? How careless!” But during those days, I was constantly telling her, “Look after your safety, it comes first! If you forget half of the things you are carrying in your suitcase, its OK!”
Due day came, I left her in her school lobby and came back. We have given her a small cell phone too. After one hour she called, her voice was full of anticipation and excitement. She just informed me that their bus has left and they are on the road. After few seconds she said bye and that’s it. I heaved a sigh of relief. She didn’t call whole day. In the night, she just made a call to inform me that she was getting ready for DJ night and partying. And what a fabulous hotel they were staying in!
Next day, in the evening I picked her up from school. First thing she told me, she hadn’t lost anything except her I-card! It rained yesterday. She got thoroughly drenched and got her clothed dried in the hotel balcony and then folded it and put those back in the suitcase!! She was all excited and chattered non stop. In between she asked, “Are you proud of me NOW?” What I answered , I will write in another post. It seems, parenting is a constantly evolving process, for you and kid both.