The festival of Navrathri is finally over. My dolls are back in their boxes, for a year-long break. The couches are back in position, and sarees put away to be dry cleaned. It’s been back-breaking work, and it’s finally done.
I take a breather and stand on the balcony watching the late afternoon sun cast long shadows on the park below. The park is empty except for a mom and her toddler.
It’s the toddler’s snack time, and the mom has a colourful bowl in her hand, filled with the snack.
It is so much fun to watch the scene below, unfold. The kid keeps running away each time his mom approaches. She chases him, he runs faster. She calls him, he hides. She pleads, he giggles. She bargains, he relents. He comes over for a spoonful of food. The cycle repeats again.
Courtesy – http://www.illustrationsof.com
The mom is fully determined to ensure that the contents in the bowl are transferred to the toddler’s stomach. The kid wants to ensure that he maximizes his time outdoors in the park, without the constant interruption of something as trivial as food.
I laugh out as I remember how my daughter used to drink liquids only from medicine dispenser cups (those really teensy ones). It took forever, but i still remember how my husband and I never gave up.
With many years of parenting wisdom behind me, I want to tell the mother in the park below that there will be different ‘food phases’ in her children’s life.
There will be a phase when the child will eat the very same meal for days on end, there will be a phase when the child will detest a particular vegetable or meal, and then again, be prepared, for the same child will love these very same meals and relish them.
Then will come the phase when the children will love the food cooked by their friends’ moms, and the phase when they will constantly raid the kitchen for food and more food, and then the phase where they will get bored with mom’s food, and the phase when they will go away from home for school trips or to the hostel, and then come back and tuck in to a home-cooked meal and say, “Wow, I so missed this food.”
I watch the park below. The mom-son duo are still running around. I smile and head back in.