Today my 5 year old daughter’s routine was like this.
2:00pm Back from school; has her fruits with a bowl of curd. She shows me the cute “Happy Children’s day” paper lolly she got from school. She tells me its “”Chacha Jawaharlal Nehru’s bday today, and so its children’s day”.
6:00am (Yes before the sun rises) Get up and get dressed for school. Bus arrives at 7:00am.
It’s a very important day for her at school; she has Children’s day celebration (read competitions). There
was a Spell Bee event, followed by some fancy chocolate-cookie races and some quiz games.
For breakfast they had to take their favorite snack which could not be Maggie, chips, burger or pizzas in short nothing junk (nothing that kids would actually have liked). So I make her cheese parathas (my favorite and boring in her vocabulary).
For lunch they were served the routine food (again boring) but as it was a special day, a single ice-cream scoop was given as treat. Vanilla ice-cream, she detests.
I ask her what she wants to do today as it’s her special day. She tells me “Mumma I want to watch tv, Doremon, Chotta Bheem , Mr. Bean…” (Her list is endless, I happen to remember only these many); Wants to eat Maggie, strawberry ice-cream and some chocolates (this is added sensing her mom’s in a generous mood today). She does not want to study or even do her homework, (whatever made me ask her)! I don’t agree, but don’t say a no, thinking its Children’s day.
But time soon flies and it’s time for her evening class.
3:30pm time for her evening class. Have children’s day celebrations (again competition) there too. Kids have to talk about what children’s day means to them. I have no clue what she’ll say but judking by the answers I got I’m sure she does not stand any chance of winning any prizes (she’s mumma’s girl, even I never won much). Anyways I don’t want to dwell on it much coz I have dinner to prepare before she comes.
5:30pm. she’s back and I make Maggie for her finally; that’s the least I can do for her, while she gets comfortable on the couch with the remote. All this after she promises me that she will complete her home work later, or even the next morning pukka - pukka, I let her go, knowing very well nothing of that sort will happen. But then it’s her day, so she’s excused.
But some time in the afternoon, when my friends told me they were taking their kids for some children’s day celebration (more competitions and promotions too this time) to a couple of places, even I was tempted. But then I thought why? Why would she want to go and run races with spoons in her mouth, why would she want to stick tails on donkeys or even shoot balloons? Just so that I can show off to my friends some extra certificates, gifts or the best possibility was appearing in a group photo in the local daily? Would it excite her? Yes it would if her day had not been like how it was, had she slept till 10-11 in the morning, had not gone for swimming for 45 minutes, she would have enjoyed it, loved it.
But then there are times, when I wonder if as a parent, what will happen if I don’t give her the same exposure that these other kids are getting, would my daughter be missing out on some things? Will she not be as completive as the others? What is it that I need to do? Do I let her enjoy life as it is, or do I push her and run with her from one competition to the other, from one experience to the other? What is the right thing to do as a parent? What if she decides to become a couch potato for the rest of her life? Obviously I’ll be blamed!
It is not easy to assimilate that a child is happiest when she/he gets to do what she/he wants, to be able to decide what and when. So decision taken, I go to the couch to ask her what she wants to do, but I can’t ask her.
7:00pm She’s snoring away and smiling! And here I am having the Maggie and blogging!