Mommy Trap

Blogtember Day #13

Thursday, September 19: Creative writing day: write a (very short) fictional story that starts with this sentence: “To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century.” The story does not necessarily need to have a conclusion – you can leave your readers wishing for more!

To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century. But my older sister was organising it and I had no excuse to miss it.

Shalini was 34, married and had a 5 year old son. The guests invited to the party were mostly her friends. They were all mothers with kids ranging from 4 to 7 years of  age. Needless to say, as a snarky seventeen-year-old, I wasn’t too thrilled at having noisy kids all over me, calling me auntie.

But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was the Competition. Oh, it wasn’t called that, of course. It was called “Encouraging the kids to speak in public.” Which translated into “My kid recites poetry better than yours does!”

And thus, the torture began. For forty-five excruciating minutes, I was subjected to repeated recitations of “Baa Baa Black Sheep”, “Twinkle twinkle” and “Hickory Dickory Dock.” Some kids were multi-taskers and could sing and dance at the same time. Action song, the enthusiastic moms called it.

The kids were enthusiastic too. They had no qualms in being asked to recite something that their previous competitor had just recited. Or maybe they were convinced that they could do it better. Oh, the winning spirit!

That night, I made myself a promise. I would never, ever make an exhibition of my kid like that, whenever I had one. I would always remember the plight of poor guests. More importantly, I would never try to show that my child was better than the others. My child would never be a rat-race contender.

*

12 years later.

To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century. I was organising it for the PTA members of the kindergarten school that my four-year-old daughter, Aisha went to. All the mothers were coming along with their kids of course. The dreaded Competition had come back to haunt me!

The starters were served and all the moms and kids sat in the living room. The room had the buzz of last-minute preparations before the beginning of a play.

The room began to quieten slowly. The stage was set. With a deep breath I braced myself.

competition

And said, “Aisha! Come and recite the “Baa Baa Black Sheep” poetry that you learnt in school!”, and to the audience, proudly, “She does it so great with actions!”

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11 thoughts on “Mommy Trap

  1. This happens a lot…not necessarily the performing or competing, but the abandoning of old promises made before one became a parent. I had a friend who told me, when I was pregnant, “DON’T become one of those mothers” (meaning, those mothers who can’t contain themselves and have to tell others how cute/smart/talented their child is). Fast forward 10 years and she is a proud mama now, putting up photos and witty quotes uttered by her daughter on Facebook. I smile when I see them, and put aside my urge to say “I told you so.”

    Even parents judge other parents. I see this happening among parents of younger children who haven’t yet gotten to the later stages. They’ll act a bit self-righteous that their kids love vegetables or never talk back, and I think, well, wait 3 or 5 years and see what happens….

    My belief is to never judge someone unless you’ve walked in her shoes.

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    • I agree. And maybe it’s a part of motherhood to take pride in your child. I’m not old enough to know for sure, but I think it’s sweet! All the same, I’ll try my very best to hold on to at least some of the beliefs. Fifteen years down the line, I think I would love to come back and read this story! 🙂

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