…Should be fairly simply to live? But as a mother, I’ve begun to increasingly realise that it’s one of the toughest things to ensure I give my toddler. There are no two ways about whether I want him to live a simple life, I just do. But whether I can teach him how to, I don’t know. I don’t know how to teach him to live without the unnecessary trappings of this day and age, when I’m hooked to so many of them.
Like the cellphone. We made it out-of-bounds for him when he was a crawler, and it was easy then, but ever since he’s got a mind of his own, it’s become difficult to explain why we’re never seen without our phones, but he mustn’t lay his hands on one AT ALL. He still doesn’t get one to play with, but once in a while he wants to watch a song video or his own baby videos on it. Or the ipad, on which I downloaded tons of baby songs and nursery rhymes, and such other, which I played for him every night while I was weaning him off, just to distract him so he would forget he had to nurse. He loves the songs and rhymes on the ipad. I hate it. Because I don’t think gadgets are for kids. But since they make life simpler for us, I think we’re using them to complicate our kids. I console myself by saying he still loves books, that he can sit and browse through his board and peek-a-boo books for long periods and enjoys it. Or that he doesn’t watch TV, no, not even cartoons. But still, the ipad irks.
Till two days ago, my son had not set foot in a train, had only travelled by flight. It bothered me. It happened so because I was breastfeeding him till January this year, and despite doing it for 15 months straight, I couldn’t do it in public. No, I wasn’t squeamish about nursing in public, I just didn’t know how to do it the way it was to be done in public. I preferred travelling by air, because my son’s been a poor sleeper from the start, and I could not imagine long journeys with him waking up every hour to nurse! So well, I chose to fly with him till now, when I finally made up my mind I had to get out of this we-can’t-travel-by-train syndrome, and took a Delhi-Lucknow overnight train with him, and my family.
You know, those are the little things that I’m talking about… There’s a bit of fondness for the old life that we all harbour, and that part of us wants that our children should enjoy the same pleasures that we did as kids. Except that the same pleasures are no longer there for having. There’s too much at our easy disposal now. The smallest of things that were precious to us when we were kids, would mean nothing to my son, I realise, because he had it before he could ask for it. Also, our world view has changed, and we don’t think those things are a big deal now. It would be a bigger deal trying to keep those things away from him now, saying no, you’re not allowed to switch on the AC, because we grew up in air-cooled houses. Or to say, no flights for you because flights just are a whole lot easier for my husband and me because they save us a lot of time. Yet, a part of me hankers after that old life, even for my baby… is it too much to ask for in these times?