Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Then & Now Part II

Today was a holiday and our cafeteria was closed so I went out for lunch with my friend. As we walked from the office towards this eating joint near a Montessori School, a car came speeding by and almost knocked me off my feet. A mom with her small child in the passenger seat drove the car. The child looked rather disappointed that his mom missed me. I am sure he has never missed anyone in his video game. I hope the lady got to knock somebody down for the child’s sake. Imagine the kid going to school and facing this.

Kid 1: My mom knocked down two guys today
Kid 2: Mine ‘just’ missed.
Kid 1 : *sneer* What a loser!!!
Kid 2: *sob*

The kid would be scarred for life I am sure, if not growing up to be a psychopath hanging around IT companies mowing down gals with access cards dangling around their necks. Grim portents indeed. We might right now be breeding, a legion of serial killers. brrr

From the look on the little guy’s face I can only imagine how tough it must be to be a mom these days. Our Moms didn’t have it this tough…except of course those teenage years the mention of which reminds my Dad and Mom of over the counter sedatives. How else would you explain the pleasant smile which never wavered when I vehemently demanded my fundamental rights to wear spaghetti strap tops, shave my legs, perm my hair, burn my books and leave school and start a Pizza joint? I am sure they were Gold Members of the Frequent Users Club run by sedative manufacturing Pharma companies, a precursor to the Frequent Flyers Club we have today, which is mostly used by parents for the very same reason.

To get back to our narrative, moms these days really have it tough, confirm the new moms in my family. Moms are no more Mrs. Joseph or Mrs. Nair or Mrs. Krishnamurthy, they are Head-Formulations, VP-QA/QC , CFO/Financial Controller, Head-Poop Cleaner, Head Purchases- Sony Playstation/X-Box/SUV/Cops, Chief- Gaming partner, Manager – Handling Embarrassing Questions like “is Dad gay because he doesn’t have a GF” etc all rolled into one. Our parents had it relatively easy. Like this instance when one of my brothers was in the first standard and saw a Sikh kid for the first time. He came home and declared that he had a girl in his class but she peed standing like him. My parents were caught on the wrong foot and spent many months trying to explain that Manjeet was a boy and not a girl. They now laugh about it uneasily.

Added to all the above, modern moms have to keep up the expectation of the children too. No more Samosa making and birthday party throwing like our moms. They have to know what an X Box is (I just learned that it is not a box marked with an X) and how to buy it in 12 easy installments. Compared to this I am sure our parents had tamer challenges. As a kindergarten kid I told my Dad that he didn’t look like a Dad…because he wasn’t fat, didn’t wear Safari suits, scratch his crotch and swear like the Punjabi uncles who came to pick up their kids. He was very hurt, but then he forgot all about it as got terribly busy trying to get me out of the habit of saying saala ullu ka patta and some other equally interesting words.

While you and me were out playing because watching DD was like being grounded, kids these days sit through F.R.I.E.N.D.S and Will and Grace after homework. Hence their IQ is much higher than yours and mine. For example they know that Will is gay and Grace is not and that Ross is not gay though he married a gay who was not gay but became gay after marrying Ross (poor Ross).

Parents today have to answer complicated questions unlike the tame questions we put before our parents.

Then: Mom where do babies come from?
Now: Mom, why did you opt for a caesarean, according to doctors report I wasn’t a breech presentation?

However after having acknowledged that parenting in todays world is tough I have to maintain that if there was an award in parenting then I would give it to one Mrs Krishnan, my brother M’s friend’s mom ! After the cake cutting and other formalities of her sons 13th birthday she told him “Pack your bags and go to M’s house. I will be right along to pick you up”. She kept her word. She was back when he reached 19 and was out of his teens.

She is a living icon for modern moms with small kids and teenagers.


Asterix said...

My favourite line has to be: "Is Dad gay because he doesn't have a GF?" :-)) I can't even begin to think if that question admits an answer, and if so, where would it begin!!

Speaking of kids nowadays, a distant cousin of mine, who is 5 years old, doesn't let his father pick him up because the dad doesn't own a car (only a scooter). Apparently, the kid has told everyone that he is the proud owner of an Esteem!

Thanu said...

I know we were a lot less challenging than kids these days. We had only DD1 and played outside, rode our cycles, studied once in a while.

I know a kid in 4th grade in India who has tution at 6.00 in the morning. I was atleast in college the first time I saw 6.00am.

abhishek said...

man...i shouldn't be reading this at work.

Anonymous said...

Got everything except the last paragraph.

Parenting sure is hard these days. But kids are no more kids. They are just small adults. There's no innocence in them. Frankly, back then, kids were mean without understanding correctly just how cruel they were being. I admit, even I have said things and done things without understanding them to do age. But today, kids know so much more. We are going to witness a future of youngsters who are cold and inhumane. Already, it is evident, by the number of juvenile crimes in North America

Mind Curry said...

kids are fun these days! parents too! (as we always add as long as they are both someone elses!!!)


this was fun..

but yeah..what was that about the mother coming back at 19? she disowned him for 6 years?

quills said...

Kids today are so smart. But they grow up too fast I think.

And in a way they miss out on some of the fun outdoor games we played growing up like seven tiles, cops and robbers, kutiyum kolum, swinging on an oonjal, etc. And the empty plots where we played as kids have been replaced by houses and so kids today have to find some other indoor amusements to keep them occupied.

And recently I was put to shame, when visiting one of my friend's house, her 4 year old showed me how to use the xbox. :(

Great, great post..just what I wanted this afternoon to cheer me up. Thank you. :)

Anonymous said...

What is the xbox? I gather it certainly isn't the idiot box.


Sarah said...

there is another side of this story.. When I grew up we had a VCR and Amma would shout.. athey... can somebody switch this on.. I want to record a program..She didn't even know how to switch on the VCR!.. I promised myself, I will be a smart mom.. Till I had kids, I was sure I am smart.. Not anymore.. I learned the harsh truth, when I sat with them and watched Pokemon..and asked them what is that yellow thingy?? and why is that guy blind?.. They no longer let me sit with them..
I also killed their tamagotchi's that they left with me when they went to school to baby sit..
How am I to know, that darned thingy needed food every few hours???!
It is not easy to be a mother!

Unknown said...

We were nice kids to rear...no question of it...can't even play harmless pranks on kids these days...they will surely kick your butt or worse...

Anonymous said...

So whats the X-box??
Ugh am so outdated :(

sp said...

yup...so very true, this generation is losing its childhood.

Alexis said...

These days kids are more informed and is very difficult to talk to them as kids--they talk like adults. A few week's back, my 5 year old nephew was telling his younger sister about kissing "You can kiss on the mouth only after you are married, before that you should kiss on the cheeks!"

My first reaction was total shock. Then I was happy--at least he has got the basics right...

Anonymous said...

Its not often that i comment on a blog written by someone i'm not directly familiar with (unless a listing on a buddy's blogroll counts as familiarity)... but, this is one of those that i cannot walk away from without pasting an ear-to-ear grin :-)...

"Is Dad gay because he doesn't have a GF?" ... ha! hilarious!!

Mosilager said...

5 year old girl after her parents say no to something packs some clothes in a little bag and walks to the door, "Amma, give me my passport. i am going to States to live with Uncle."

Jagan said...

manjeet is a boy and not a girl ..lol ...too funny ..

M@mm@ Mi@ said...

can u give me ur mom's address...?would like to send mine there some day :)