I must admit. It was just half a day. However, felt like half a decade. Looking after an active toddler is nothing short of an action packed Hollywood movie. For all the daddies out there, if you do not get what I am saying, you should undertake the adventure once. Yes, try it to feel it.
It all started like this.
My wife wanted to do some shopping for her sister’s marriage. We cannot hire an athlete to run after him in a mall and neither of us are athlete enough to keep up with him. Therefore, we decided that she should go solo while I stay back and look after him. It sounded like a cakewalk to me. I never knew that I would end up wearing my wife’s shirt and pyjama.
10:30 AM, 12-Mar-2016
Three of us got into the car, drove towards the destination (a mall of course). I dropped my wife and headed back home with my son. I tied him to the child seat and drove back. While he was busy throwing tantrums, I was constantly looking back and forth. Despite my distracted drive and constant looking back, it is a miracle that we reached home safe. Wish I had two more eyes. Blame the evolution!
11:30 AM, 12-Mar-2016
We are home and our maid has also come. With him shadowing me throughout, I managed to put some clothes into the washing machine, played some rhymes for a few minutes so that I could breathe a bit.
12:15 PM, 12-Mar-2016
Bath time it is. It took close to 45 minutes to complete all the tasks inside. I came out fully drenched when he had loads of fun inside. It seemed as if I had been to a wave pool in a theme park. I wanted to change, and badly wanted to pee. Wish I had a diaper too.
12:45 PM, 12-Mar 2016
It’s lunchtime. I had a strategy in place. Well, it was indeed my wife’s method. The instructions are simple - take him to the kitchen sink, stop the drainpipe, fill it to one-quarter with water and let him play. Feed him while he is busy playing. Flawless execution there. Cannot ask for more. After the successful lunch session, I let him play for a while before he goes for his afternoon sleep.
All of a sudden, he vomited whatever he had. Rushed to my phone and called my wife.
Me – “He vomited after having the lunch.”
My Wife – “You must have overfed him.”
Me – “I am sure, I did not.”
Wife (after a moment of thought) – “Did you mash the garlic and mix it in while feeding?”.
Me – “Of course, I did. Otherwise, what’s the point of putting garlic in the dish?”
Wife – “That’s why he has puked. He hates garlic.”
Me (I screamed) - “What the ***? He is just two years old. And, he has preferences?”
Me (controlling my anger, and being objective) - “Ok, What next?”
Wife – “Clean, change, and give him some milk. He will be good to sleep. Never yell at him. He gets cranky when he feels sleepy."
1:15 PM, 12-Mar-2016
Cleaned the mess, changed him and here is my first attempt to take him to bed. He was too sleepy to play, but flatly denied when called to bed. When I insisted, he started throwing tantrums and ended up asking for his mom. My goodness. I am doomed now. I had no clue on how to tackle this. Tried reaching my wife via phone, but the subscriber is out of reach. She must have been in a trial room. It cannot get any worse. I am all on my own, had to take the matter in my hands now.
Suddenly, an idea sparked. I rushed in, wore one of my wife’s shirt and pyjama , jumped in front of my son and role played as my wife. First, he gave a strange look, followed by a smile and finally, was ready to go to bed. I felt so strange to be in clad in my wife’s dress. I had to do it and it worked (of course, by luck).
To get him to sleep, I rapidly switched between the roles of a commentator, storyteller, shepherd, bus conductor, his grand ma, grand pa, sometimes a cow, a dog and what not. In between, I was repeating the random words that come out of him. I was tired like hell. More than physical tiredness, the exercise of being alert all the time had almost sucked everything out of me.
I woke up and I found my son sleeping aside. I must have slept before him.
3:00 PM, 12-Mar-2016
I got up, went to the living room to relax and I fell asleep in couch. I woke up to see my wife laughing at me. The time was 3:30 pm. She was well before the expected time. I sighed with relief.
Me- “You are so much earlier than expected.”
Wife (sadly) – “Yes. Some of the brands did not have enough collections. They will have it by next week.”
I almost fainted when she said she would have to step out next week as well to complete her purchase.
After this day, I sincerely admit and openly acknowledge that
Mothers are naturally instinctive and they are just too good at that. When something is wrong, they know it. Yes, without a word uttered. They will be able to pick up even the slightest form of discomfort in their child. And, that is what make them mothers. All the dads are very pathetic in picking their child’s signal. I guess they almost suck at it.
But, the role as a dad is to be a mentor, to be a role model your kid can look up to. And, that is what most of the dads are good at. While daddies are driven by objective and results, mommies are driven by emotions and feelings. When both complement each other, there is no better place for your kid to be.
"By the time a man realises that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong." - Charles Wadsworth. Happy parenting!