Once upon a time, Baba and Mama were having a chit chat over a cup of average-tea-bagged tea. Baby M was playing around with her toys happily since both the parents were within her sight. Meanwhile, Baba recalled one hilarious incident at his office and the overexcited Mama laughed with patting on Baba’s back (Tusi kitnay mazaki ho). Within few seconds Baby M approached Baba and repeated the patting part on the exact same side with exactly same laugh. Oops. Instantly, Mama realized her mistake and tried to avoid Baba’s gaze which was saying, “Aur karo aisi harkaten iske samny”. *Guilty*
Honestly, this was not the first and only incident which happened in the last 23 months. The copycat behaviour was activated by the time Baby M started recognizing faces, smiles and other gestures. I still remember how she started to respond to our smiles and laughs with her tiny voice (I am lying here, she never had a tiny voice). Gradually the response has turned into copying words, actions and our every habit. Her Taa’ami (Tayi Ammi) has even named her “copy-paste”. Every next day, the copy-paste aunty is turning into moral police roaming around us and embarrassing us for our own deeds.
Like any other Mother, I want to see my child as a polite, friendly, obedient and mannered person. I keep teaching her little things intentionally as well as unintentionally. The intentional regular lessons are least appealing to her which she frequently keeps displaying. However, she surprises us almost every day with her observations and adaptation of habits which we teach her unintentionally. Basically, we have been monitored every single moment and trust me, it is not a nice feeling at all.
Children become the best example of WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND for parents. Once you say or do something in front of kids, be prepared of that coming (read: hitting) back to you very soon. At that time, parents realize about their POOR personas which they had taken casually throughout the life.
A few weeks back, we learned about our wrong sitting postures with the help of our little teacher. Yes! We can’t sit a little tilted or sideways on a dining chair/sofa. She would instantly correct us, Mama/Baba Seedhi. Now, I am not even allowed to relax by laying on the sofa because Mama Seedhi bethen. I cannot sleep all curled up because “Mama Seedhi”, I cannot sit on dining chair sideways because of “Mama Seedhi”. Now I regret asking her to sit properly. I never knew she will Seedhi my life in this way.
The-Baba and I try (mostly think) to be nice persons to follow all the rules and etiquettes but thanks to our dear daughter, we know we are definitely not. There are times when we do not feel like eating on the dining table and decide to enjoy the meal in front of the TV. Wait! No no no, the plate has to be on the table and not in hand. You know why? Because we tell her to put the plate on the table to avoid the mess; “Beta plate hath me nahi rakhtay, table pe rakhtay hain na!”. The inspector appears and tells us to follow the rules and keep repeating herself until we do it.
Motherhood has changed my entire personality. Be it the way I carry myself, my opinions, my priorities everything. So, I have been having long nails (not too long) since college I guess. Now I don’t have it because it might hurt Baby M while handling her. I try my best to cut my nails as soon as I get time. Recently, I was given a HAWW look by Baby M with an order; “Mama, nails cut”. Just the way I convince her before cutting her nails. It’s evident that practice before you preach otherwise someone like her will end up making you feel ashamed of yourself.
Every single day I apologize to every mother I judged before becoming a mother myself. I seriously do it sincerely in my heart. As a mother when you want to teach your child the best of behaviours, you simply can’t do it flawlessly because you are a human too. You can’t be perfect all the time. We really want Baby M to develop a habit of cleaning after herself from the start so we keep annoying her with statements like, “Ye kyun phainka ap ny? Ye saaf Karen shabash. Toys wapas rakhen basket me.” Etc. but again, we are not perfect. So a few days back, after changing her clothes I threw the dirty ones randomly at sofa to be dumped in laundry basket later. Baby M stopped me and asked “Mama kyun”? At first, I didn’t understand what she was talking about. Then she repeated herself, “Mama, Kyun phainka?” with raised eyebrows. I felt like crying for not being able to be this casual.
Kids know the perfect timing to fire back your own lessons at you, that too in a most innocent way. So, one day we were telling her not to call her Mamoo’s name (hass-aiinnnn). We told her, “Hasnain Nahi Mamoo”. The parrot learned the lesson and context both. Next day, I was telling my husband something about our maasi (maid) which Baby M heard while playing around. The lady came to us and said: “Maasi Nhi Auntyyyy, Mama Maasi nhi bolen, Aunty bolen” (Repeat x5). Until we apologized and she was satisfied that her message had been delivered successfully.
I started writing this blog 4 months back but I am one busy and lazy person. Every time I opened this document, had to edit with new versions of scrutiny by my little inspector. Kids are the most observant creatures on earth at least when it comes to their parents. so, this was our short story of being under observation (read: never ending) by our mini version.
Note: Dear my almost 2 years old (Masha ALLAH), now your mouth is full of teeth and so is your vocab. I am not sure if we are doing a good job as parents but you are definitely raising your parents really well baby.