Saturday, October 4, 2014

Understanding parenting "Reality Bites" Style

Dear Snowflakes,

One of the most amazing things for me to experience is Chuk-Chuk's increasing vocabulary. She is not-quite-three but every time she uses a new word correctly, I find myself just a little bit stunned. Where did she learn that? I ask myself. Each time.

Today's addition: almost.

I know. I know. What a dorky thing to say. What's there to be stunned over when every not-quite-three girl out there is literally programmed to spout new words at this age?

Nothing. Except that parenthood is all about dorkiness. Every parent since the beginning of human history has had the same experiences. But each parent is programmed to experience them as something unique and stunning.

I guess a good analogy to my life before and after kids is the 90s cult-classic Reality Bites. (Because, you love movies).

Before having kids, I was Ethan Hawke. I would never allow anything to surprise me, shock me, thrill me or hurt me. And post-kids, I've turned into that puppy dog Ben Stiller. For was there ever a more eager line spoken on the silver screen than Stiller's: "Have I crossed some lines on the sands of coolness with you?"

But then again, to understand this transformation, we must revisit that uber-cool question that the magazine editor throws at Ryder: How do you define irony?

The answer: "When the actual meaning is the exact opposite from the literal meaning."

I guess, when it comes to experiencing life with irony then it would mean finding something miserable in the joyful and something joyful in the miserable. Which is why it is so hard to be ironic and a parent. Parenting is hard enough (no, there is nothing joyful about its miseries) without you refusing to experience its little joys wholeheartedly.

I guess as for "irony", I will  leave it for the day Chuk-Chuk throws the word at me.

Mumbaikar in Melbourne
PS: So in the pursuit of uncoolness, here's one for you Chuk-Chuk and AJ (minus the French kissing of course). You both make me so proud.

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