Monday, August 09, 2010

Dirt. And Smutty Thoughts

Rahul spent a week with my parents in Madras last year without Vicky or me. I was aghast when Baba told me that one of his favourite activities in the Gymkhana Club playground was to pour the sand over his own silly head. I didn’t see what my folks found so hilarious about it.

But, you know, it’s just sand. It’ll wash off or dust off. Even if he brings some into his bed, it can be brushed off.

If there is one thing I would change about my parenting, it would be this – I want to let him touch things and explore them more than I can actually bear to let him do. Every so often I let him mess around with more than before but I’m quite as likely to get annoyed at the mess.

I spent some time today at Free Range Kids and this article struck a chord. Also, all those guys talking about how inhibited they feel these days. I had a talk with Vicky about this once. Here where we live people are far less inhibited and in this case I was the one to tell him to not instantly rush to help out an unknown little girl. I've seen ayahs and mothers look at him askance because he helped a little girl off a merry-go-round and played with some young children whom he didn't know, at a party. When he’s with Rahul or me there’s no problem, of course, but he’s a dad with a young kid and a helpful chap in general. The last thing he needs is a paranoid parent hauling him over the coals for it.


dipali said...

Such a sad state of affairs:(

vicky said...

except lizard droppings, the taste of which he loves...

vicky said...

and his own, that too.

GettingThereNow said...

Ugghh Vicky!! :D

Sue, I have learnt to let go of a lot of issues too, with time. Now sometimes S is left aghast at my lack of alarm at something M does and that is hilarious. But for the record, I let S (then 2) roll around in and rub sand all over herself :) It IS fun!

That article is just a sad commentary on our way of life now. How did we get here?

starry eyed said...

Nice blog you linked up to...loved it! Can't believe that a helpful chap is called a pervert...yeeeesh! Quite a dilemma...if the parents themselves aren't helping their own child, then does a concerned stranger just stand around helplessly?

R's Mom said...

thanks for the link to that lovely blog...its pretty interesting to read...and its so weird that people would look at a parent this way...while of course you do get worried about someone doing something to your child..but if some guy came up to my daughter (who is 2) and smiled at her and patted her head or her cheek or helped her find something she lost...I dont think there is anything wrong with that!

Mama - Mia said...

we live in a paranoid society alright. thats my worry with M too. he is bleddy brilliant with kids and a whole lot of this fun is very physical.

i would hate it for him to be called a pervert and judged for making kids laugh! gah!!!!

as for rahul loving sand, he is just a normal kid innit? i am quite cool with the mess element while M is totally paranoid about it!

we have major discipline issue fights because both of us give importance to two diametrically opposite things! sigh!


Uttara said...

Yeah, my A has to be super cautious here in England too, and his natural instinct is to be helpful and he loves kids.

Please can you allow name/url commenting? Pretty please?

eve's lungs said...

I understand . Ashis keeps doing this and I have to tell him to steer off - so sad .

Sue said...

Dipali -- Isn't it? And yet I myself am not comfortable letting Rahul play unsupervised with people he doesn't know too well, male and female. I try not to be paranoid.

Vicky -- UGH

Cee -- I don't know... If you think about it, all of us faced varying degrees of 'harrassment' from known 'uncles'. Perhaps this is a reaction to that. I really can't say.

Starry -- I wish I could remember where I got the link. I loved the blog myself.

If a parent is around and aware and doing nothing then I suppose we must just mind our own business. That said, at a recent birthday I unceremoniously ticked two boys off for fighting, in my best schoolmarm voice. They didn't seem traumatised though. And I don't know if their mums were around!

R's Mom -- Good for you! Parents of little girls tend to be more wary and with good reason, of course. Still, paranoia is hard to live with.

Abha -- Yes, I figured you'd know exactly what I meant. M, as I've always said, is much like V in these respects.

Including on the discipline issue fights. *sigh*

Uttara -- Have decided to go with word verification.

Evie -- So unfair, na? Talk about reverse gender discrimination. And yet you can understand where those parents are coming from.

GettingThereNow said...

Yeah - it is a reaction alright. And in some ways it is good. But other times it feels like an extreme. I personally haven't seen such things happen though.