While I was collecting the toys from one room to another, on the first day of 2019, all I could think of was, I still have to find out those hidden Lego blocks, clear the dirty dishes from each room, think about how to clean the wall of the drawing room, the center table and a couch, which is my little ones latest sketch board, not to forget he has colour all over his body that needs to be washed (however I doubt it will take days to go away), sky high laundry, and the rest of the miscellaneous daily chores.
I was feeling like I was doing some disaster management. It was the next morning of the new years party. We had a house party and it was quite a hit. We had 5 couples with 2 kids each and including us there were 12 adults and a dozen kids with age varying from 6 months to 15 year. What a night it was? We asked our maid to bring one of her sister and stay the night to handle the kids and still, kids room looked like it was hit by tsunami last night. And I am saying literally, because there was water, juice,and food all over,along with the toys, books, colors, shoes, and some of new T-shirts used as a cloth to wipe the paintbrush.
“Honey, please remind me not to keep a house party next year or …..EVER!”
My maid helped as much as she could and then finally she left looking like a zombie. Her sister left around midnight complaining of stomach ache. Well, I was left to deal with most of it and being a holiday, kids were home along with husband dear, who was too busy catching up on the highlights of last nights game. ‘Yeah, that must be pretty important. Wish I could swap my life with his.’
While rubbing my little ones new romper in the sink, which the kids used to clean the white board, I thought to myself, how good a kid I was, when I was their age. I never did this amount of damage to the sanity of my parents. At least I don’t remember doing any such thing, ever. I guess most of the 80’s kids had no choice but to listen to their parents and spend most of their time at home with parents, listening to their words of wisdom and agreeing to most of it. I remember making new years resolution and sticking to it for at least half the year.
‘Hey, that could very well be a good idea, I should ask my kids to have a new year resolution. May be then I will be able to put some sense of responsibility in them. Yes, let me make a list of the most important things and I will let them choose one or two….no no…at least five of them. Yes, good idea!’
I washed my hands and closed the door of each room including the kitchen and bathroom, made myself a coffee and sat down on the redesigned center table.
‘What are the most important things they should follow? Yes, keeping the toys back to where they belong.’ I visioned both my kids playing with the toys quietly in their room and after that putting them back to where they were. “Momma, which shelf is for Lego?”
“Momma, which cupboard is for my teddy?”
“Mumma, where do I keep my cars and remotes?”
“Mumma, I need new batteries for my guitar.”
I snapped out of my dream and faced the reality of life. I got up and opened the door of the kids room. It had shelves and shelves of toys. A huge cupboard full of soft toys, doll houses, Lego scattered all over, racks full of books, a bucket full of colors and so many remotes, I myself did not know which one was for which one?
“May be first I need to call Marie Kondo.” I silently closed the door of the kids room, making a mental note to clear out the room soon and give away lots and lots of toys and books.
‘What else could be a great new year resolution? Oh yes, How about never say no to your mother. Yes, yes, that will be a very good idea to get everything done.’ I thought to myself and smiled at my smartness.
SLAP! I held my left cheek. It felt like yesterday when my mom gave me a good one on my left cheek, few days before I got married because I was still unable to cook a proper meal. ‘No, no, not going to happen either. ‘
Actually, the list is endless.
Make your own bed.
Get ready on your own for school.
Polish your own shoes.
Iron your own clothes.
Clean your own room.
Show interest in home cooked food too.
Finish homework on time.
Focus on studies more than Netflix and Instagram.
Stop eating on the bed in front of the TV.
Help your mother with random house work.
Share stuff with other kids, including your own sibling.
Spend a day without fighting or crying and yelling.
Let your mother chose clothes for you.
Brush your teeth twice, daily.
Keep the dirty dishes in the kitchen sink.
Keep dirty clothes in laundry.
Quit watching videos on youtube or playing games.
These are very few points of an endless list every parent has. So do I, but is it even feasible to have it in this time and era? The kids already have school bags heavier than their own body weight and too much competition to prove themselves. 80’s kids were the last kids who actually knew what childhood was. We played at neighbors houses, ate food and sometimes even slept there and our parents never worried about us. Summer vacations meant spending months with our cousins and having a great time and not learning new art forms of joining random classes or finishing off monstrous holiday homework. We already are living in the time, when we can’t leave our kids alone for a moment to play in the park or their friends house, because we are always worried about their safety. We don’t trust anyone with our kids, be it friends or even family at times.
So I don’t feel like loading them some more with the weight of our expectations from them and whatever little childhood innocence is left in them, take it all away. I would rather let them be. Let them dirty the house, the walls, the couches and the curtains. This is their safe zone, their playground, so I will let them be. These dirty walls are my memories. As they say, childhood turns into adolescence in a blink. So, I don’t want to blink and miss it all. Let them carry weight of books on their shoulders and not the weight of our expectations. Let the kids have fun while they still can. Let them make their own resolutions, as and when they want to. As it is, resolutions are meant to be broken. I don’t remember reaching the finish line of even a single of my many resolutions I made year after year, so why make a list for them. I love the mess, the Lego hurting my feet, the almirahs full of toys and couch full of squeaking toys every time we sit on them. These are the perks of having kids around. Soon these little birds will fly away and leave an empty nest behind. But these memories will forever stay within these walls. The stories of their childhood will be mine to tell. Today and forever.
HONEY I GREW UP THE KIDS- RESOLUTION FOR KIDS TOO