Thursday, September 14, 2006

Father to Son

About twice a week, my kid wakes up crying in the middle of the night from what we (knowledgeable adults that we are) think are nightmares. Coming to think of it, what could be a typical nightmare for a two and a half year old? Some evil uncle stealing his favorite pink crayon? The horrible cablewallahs taking POGO off the air? The battery running out in his new car?

Whatever they are, the "nightmares" seem to occur with pin-point accuracy, at a gap of 3-4 days, around 2:30 am and the reaction persists for about 10-15 seconds. Why do I know so much about it? Because I remember waking up before it occurs at every instance. Its almost as if I knew it was coming.

Yeah, I know, there are myriad explanations ... It happens every night, I only remember the ones which I have seen, I sleep through the others etc. But what is curiouser in this respect, that my wife hardly remembers any such event. Which means, I can proclaim that there is this strange psychological tie that exists between me and my kid which results in my mind anticipating his nightmare and waking me up to comfort him. Heh ! Sounds crappy to even myself.

However, this is the best I can do to show that, I have been a valuable part of my kid's life. The bugger does not of course give any such indication. He seems to consider his dad as a minor irritant at most times - The person who joins up with mom to bother him with such brainless tasks as eating, drinking water and sleeping, while all he wants to do is to determine just how much impact stress mom's watch is going to handle before it reveals its operating mechanism - The slightly weird guy who insists on talking to him in English, when he speaks to his mom in bengali - The one who tries to be cool by watching the Cartoon channels but gives himself away by watching the wrong toons!

This does not mean that I am royally ignored by my kid (at least not always). He knows which results are better achieved with dad rather than risking a stern stare from mom. The ones involving banging his tri-cycle against walls and running over dolls, watching silly men beating each other sillier @ WWF, bouncing and balancing books on top of each other to figure out complicated torsional characteristics etc. Sometimes I almost get the honored place of a junior accomplice in his wicked scheme of things. But that is usually short-lived, the spell broken by the mom entering the room with yet another meal. This usually involves a lot of running away / catching up and severe feigned illness, in which dad's role is somewhat ambiguous.

So you see, trying to justify the importance of your existence in your kid's life can be terribly "trying" at most times. And the ridiculous thing is that, you want it so desperately ! Sigh ! I am sure our parents never fell into this trap.

7 comments:

Dipta Chaudhuri said...

Ooooh... now if this is not gushing parent, then what is?

All of you, come quick - Topper is human, after all!

udayan said...

Heh ! This is an attempt to show how a gushy parent would be rather than actually being one. Fine distinction ! Also written a guide to some actual gushy parents.

omshanti said...

guess its all the older persons need to parent than really the kids need to be parented. as he grows up he'd be most thrilled if you were to put him in a decent residential school, pay a few lakhs every year and see him thrice a year for a couple of days max...

cynical nahi hai baba... just dealt with a few custody matters with young bacchhas involved and
is precisely what the kids seem to think...

omshanti said...

Ek Ghalib ho jaye...

har ek baat pe kehte ho tum ke "tu kya hai"?

tumhee kaho ke yeh andaaz-e-guftgoo kya hai?

udayan said...

@GI

Agreed. Now if only we could convince those parents !

Rimi said...

Eijonnoi dads get the damn popularity votes everytime. And the poor mums remain figures of terror, waving spoon, babyfood in hair and running after errant child shouting 'Or else!' Most endearing, this post, except that I see the oft-repeated pattern here too.

I'd better enjoy my popularity before motherhood strikes :D

udayan said...

@ Rimi

Huh ! When did I say I am popular with my kid? Most of the times I am barely tolerated. The Mom wins all competitions hands down.

Shit. Would stop all these nyaka posts immediately. We are giving too much airtime to someone, who would definitely grow up to be a serial killer.