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Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Fun Parent

It is not appropriate that parents have a favorite among their children. All effort must be made to treat all of your children as equals. You must buy them similar gifts, hug them same number of times, punish them in similar ways and other exhausting details. Children on the other hand are free from these rules. There is always a favorite parent and this is declared out loud without guilt or shame. The favorite parent is commonly the one of the opposite gender - Daddy's girl , Mommy's boy and so on. But there is another factor that plays a major role especially in the younger years of a child. The phenomenon of the "fun parent"

The fun parent has fewer rules for the child, buys them food/ toys that may not be pre-approved, has a enormous repertoire of jokes, games, tricks. The fun parent conspires with the child sometimes against the other parent. The fun parent is the one who gives the kid all the lovely childhood memories.

The other parent has picked the short straw. He/She is in charge of enforcing discipline, making sure that the child eats right, studies right etc. Basically the job of the un-fun parent is to be the villain of the piece, the bad cop of the good cop, bad cop duo. The child if blessed with any introspection will look back at his/her childhood and decide " Oh yeah He/She was great. I never realized that". And after that will have a new found respect for the un-fun parent. Really, who wants that job?

So since I am a planner I had planned that when (eventually) we have children I would hoard in on the fun parent role. It should be right up my alley. My husband is a responsible, kind, soft spoken man with a subtle sense of humor. I love that but come on the kids would totally like me better. Or that was my thinking.

What changed you ask? "You are frivolous, you should be capable of carelessly endangering your child for the sake of a good time, you should be able ignore the scars that you inflict as you expose the kid to small forbidden pleasures - inappropriate jokes, sweets in the middle of the day, comic books... what happened?" - you cry (OK so maybe you don't cry but do play along).

Well the training job for a fun parent is of course the fun aunt. For one it is a lot less responsibility. A job created to hone your skills before the real game. I thought I would totally rock this job. I would buy inappropriate gifts, give the kid money, ice cream (hmmm maybe I shouldn't put all of it down because most of the parent friends are going to stop having me over). Anyway that was the plan.

But life has played a cruel joke on me. The whole responsible adult thing crept up on me and I was caught unaware. I always assumed it was the kind of ailment that only "other people" suffered from. I knew it was the death knell for my fun parent plans when I caught myself in the educational toys aisle whenever we go out to pick a gift for a child. What was worse (salt in my fresh wounds) was that my "responsible husband" was busy playing with hand puppets and remote control cars with lots of light on them. Hmph.

I did not expect to behave in this manner. I try to avoid all curse words around children and when something slips I stare at the kid in shock checking to see if I have caused any immediate damage. And babies they just scare me. Whenever I encounter a baby my reaction is one bordering reverence and fear. My husband needless to say picks them up, makes ugly faces at them, sings to them ( I married freaking Mary Poppins).

With the fun parent job slipping through my fingers my plan is to just fill my husbands head with all the horrors of what can go wrong ( poor trusting man hehehe) so that I can still be a fun parent at least in comparison.

Recipe
This is my second favorite rasam. The first being Mysore Rasam. This one is simpler and is a constant in most of quick meals - Jeera Milagu Rasam. I avoid garlic in this rasam and only do tadka with mustard and curry leaves. But that's just me.

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