Parenting is a team work and parents are team members. Only that one of them easily slips into the role of the team manager and since there are just 2 members, the other becomes the task executor. The former role is widely seen played by the character called father and the performance of the latter role gets entrusted to the mother.
If you are middle aged parents, then the father (with mother being stay-at-home mom) is most likely to be in middle level management or a notch above it and you can be sure that he will play his manager role very effectively even at home. Going by corporate standards, a manager is to manage and is thereby to delegate. He is the one who will be miles distant from the actual ground work.
Given the pressures of the grueling ground work with no holidays, the other member is sure to turn hostile.
So, how does it go?
- The father makes polite enquiries about the initiatives taken by the mother as in arranging the phonics class for the kid and about the progress the kid has been making in reading. At the same time he points out to mother not to loose sight of her original KRAs.
Mother wonders “What KRAs?”
- Father lays down KRAs.
|SL. No.||Father’s Particulars||Mother’s KRAs|
|1||Kid needs take up a sport||Arrange for swimming classes|
|2||Kid needs to get 1 hour of physical activity every day||Take him to the park every evening for 1 hour.|
|3||Kid might get bored during the day because of holidays. (I have amply caused awareness of the word ‘bored’ in him. He will mention it several times in a day.)||See to it he remains entertained. Plan out activities.|
|4||He is getting used to spend his time watching TV. (Since I have no other hobby other than watching TV, I have passed on my ‘time-pass’ activity of watching TV to the kid.)||Devise your own ways to deal with this issue.|
|5||Hygiene is very important.||Give him a bath everyday. No sick days allowed (of course for you).|
|6||Your own domestic chores.|
|7||I like to sleep till late in the day.||Do not disturb me.|
Mother gives a look….one to the KRAs in the paper at hand and another one to the father.
Father further mentions “This list is dynamic and we will re-visit it on a fortnightly basis”.
- Grandparents visit. They buy a cycle for the grandson as birthday gift and take him out twice a day to ride the cycle. Father tells the son ” After grandparents leave mummy will go with you for your cycle rides“.
Mother makes a note of this additional responsibility area counting the remaining days to the first fortnight.
- Father sees a problem at hand. The kid’s writing skills have not ventured ahead of simple letters like I, L, T, H and O and numbers like 1 and 10. And he has to start kindergarten in a month’s time. Father issues an order delegating the work to the mother to make the son practice writing for 2 hours everyday.
Mother realizes the blasphemy in the order.
Still she tries to get the kid to view the pencil as a writing aid and not as a tool for scribbling roads on the paper with all roads leading to airport while the kid is busy in his mind making and watching the letter ‘O’ as a round-about on the road. Unsuccessful in her efforts, she tears off the order in her head and recalls her tough potty training days consoling herself that as the son, in spite of too many difficulties, eventually got potty trained so one day he will start writing too.
- The house has a weighing scale primarily meant for the able-bodied parents to use but used more than frequently by the kid. It is seen as a handy toy and its sight everytime serves as a trigger to play the game ‘Chalo height-weight check kar leta hun’ (let me check my height-weight) and then making loud declarations of his weight. No, that weighing scale is not some 100th generation scale which measures height too. Its just that the kid loves rhyming poetry – Height-weight.
His constant low weight (a subjective subject) becomes a debatable point to be taken up for discussion in the closed door meeting. Heated discussions take place with father accusing the mother with going easy on the nutrients part and not being effective at using verbal force to make him eat his food and the mother validating her facts by reproducing the grocery and food bills and attributing the stubbornness of the kid to the father’s genes. Offended, the father plans for incorporating a rating based appraisal system at home too sneering to himself ‘dekh tu ab, teri to rating kharab kar dunga’ (you better watch out, I am going to spoil your ratings). Mother, catching the vibe, “Arre jao jaao, ye dhamkiyaan office ke liye hi rakho” (keep these threats restricted to your office only).
Menu for next 7 days – Healthy vegetable khichdi.
Fortnightly meetings scrapped.
Father gives in.
The weekend saw all the dirty fans of the house cleaned up and shining bright.
Originally posted on World of Moms
Disclaimer: A few instances have been blown out of proportions here only to lend some fun value and they, in no way, directly relate
to any person living or dead either my husband or my erstwhile manager.