Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The smaller they are, the harder we fall

Kaya (my daughter) turned one year recently & it has certainly been an awesome journey. I'd sure like to wax lyrical about how much she has learnt and what all great things she does, apart from saluting me at regular intervals, but she has her own blog. This is my blog and here I am allowed to write about how much I have learnt over the last year.

I think as a parent the biggest thing I have learnt over the last year has been to appreciate the small things. The ability to support your own neck. The ecstatic jumping with joy on someones ability to poop. The satisfaction on feeling a burp. The pride on seeing somebody urinate in the potty seat. The awe at the complexity of the human body to actually stand in place, bend down and pick up a round object.

I like to think that I am still learning. I am learning that it is a privilege when someone rests her head on your shoulder. and I am learning that it is harder then I expected to watch your kids fall. The day my kid learnt to roll over, it seems to have been a series of suicidal rushes as a carry over of some Jihad from her last life. As she is now learning to walk, things have only gotten worse. The last time, she dived off her Pram in great style to land face first in grass.

The problem that I am facing is that the realization is dawning that this is not going to get easier. Today itself she seems to be more keen on running, rather then understand how walking works. After the pram incident she has hopefully understood that flying would take longer to master.

The only solution to this seems to be to restrict her movements to an area two by two feet covered below by an mattress, above by limitless air and surrounded on all sides by parents. And every time I do this, I only feel that I am holding her back from achieving her true potential. She would probably be already running laps around the house If it hadn't been for the dammed mattress.

I realize that the actual problem might be metaphorical. Maybe I am actually getting myself to come to grips with the fact that kids will grow up and that they will take actions that will cause pain, hurt and other associated emotions in varying percentages. And over time, my words will progress from orders to instructions to advice to suggestions to guidelines to garbage. And not necessarily in that order.

There are of course ways in which new parents can get over their fear of their children hurting. Much like microwaving eggs, this would involve dropping kids from progressively greater heights and leaving them in progressively hazardous situations. Once we have a detailed database, we can then carry out a detailed risk analysis and set our risk limits in which to expose the little chaps. The only downside with this approach that I see, is that due to the changing physical nature of kids, we will have to undertake the study every alternate year. An alternate to this would be to set a height limit. i.e you could say that once your kid was as tall as your shoulder, you would let them do whatever the hell they wanted. reaching your ear would mean free prophylactics on the dinner table. There are further options, and as I weigh the merits of each of them versus the two by two mattress approach, I fear and fret.

That is another thing I am learning. I am learning to be afraid.