Men-O-Pause !

When I was young, I was always at loggerheads with the thought process and ideologies of my parents. I used to swear, that when I grew up and had a family, I would not do the things they did, like ration out my allowances, take serious offence to my late evening engagements, freak out on any complaints from school / college, deny me the next new motorcycle or simply never ever dole our anything, without a tradeoff or a reciprocal arrangement. I thought they were the most unfair people on earth, linking up my holiday plans to my marks, aligning attendance scores to my new wardrobe, tying up my next new camera to No arrears . . . they seemed outright cruel.

Parenting, in my dreams had to be Utopia – at least close to it. Kids need encouragement, care and a perennial supply of money until they find their first job, they need to enjoy their most precious moments of carefree and youthful life, which calls for money, take them on annual overseas trip, load all the designer wear they care for and see them beaming in society with their hep possessions. It actually remained that way, till very recently – when my move from a full time corporate job to an entrepreneurial stint, gave me more time at home and more insight to what goes on around.

Just 6 months into this new routine while parenting my teenage daughter, I have learnt a lot more in life than those 23 odd years of slogging it out in the wide world. I now see my parents in a different perspective. I am amazed by their capabilities, patience, virtues and perseverance.

My first learning is, the reason Grandparents and Grandchildren get along so well is, they have a common enemy! Serious, the day my parents come calling, my daughter is a different person. She is up early, has made her bed, her room is spanking clean and is right at the door to throw herself into my mom’s arm, as though, she has been in solitary confinement at Guantanamo Bay. My parents on their part turn into kids, with truck loads of sweets, dress, and jewelry bought for her, as though she dwells in a cruel Copperfield home, starved of good food and living conditions. I am not even talking about the ranting for the next 1 hour on how Dad did not send her to the IPL match or how mom made her study longer that evening.

My second biggest learning is, the longer you spend time with your child explaining why it should be done, the lesser the chance of them liking it or getting it done. On the other hand, the surest way to get something done is to tell your child NOT to do it. For example, I spent over an hour trying to explain to her why the ipad2 was not an ideal choice for her, explained the features, the compatibility, the need for the micro sim and to go through the iTunes site for every small download etc. That same evening, the ipad2 was ordered on the net and my cousin sister, who was returning from Santa Clara was picking it up for her.

I am convinced that Grandma is just and Antique Girl and Grand dad an Antique Boy - especially with their grandkids around. They are KGB agents, passing on classified info to the grandkids - both the good and bad about their common enemy. I dread the days with my daughter after a visit by my parents, for there is a long list of "Dad, i heard, you got thrown out of college for this . . . Dad, i heard you fell of a bike . . . . tell me about those'. the same parents had also told her about my winning the college Tennis tournament, qualifying for the district shuttle team etc, which is not interesting or breaking news . . .

What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, classified info - to keep parents busy and on their toes.

I am now a firm believer in the thoughtful verse - By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a kid who thinks he's wrong.

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