On the night of 22 September 2006, while I was in routine labour, no apparent danger of dying or anything like that, high on medication and pre-birthing hormones I couldn't help being a tad bit dramatic. In the operating room of the hospital, I repeatedly gave my husband the permission to remarry, in case, you know, I kicked the bucket. In Bollywood style I said, "I would want you to get married soon" because "the children will need a mother." My better half humoured me: "Ok sweetheart, if you insist!"
When the kids were babies, I would get caught-up in the seemingly never-ending household chores, and worry. After the end of a stressful day, I would get exasperated and ask, "When will this phase end? Will I ever feel normal again? We can't do this parenting thing!"
Since on any given day, the kids prefer him over me, shows that my husband has neatly clicked into all the instincts required for being a mom and dad.
Except that my husband demonstrated that he could do it—he made holding the baby in the crook of his arm while talking on the phone look effortlessly easy. He patiently waltzed our one-year-old daughter, whose arm was in a cast, by putting her head over his shoulder and humming her favourite nursery rhyme until she dozed off.
Over a period of time, as happens to many parents, we too fell into the trap of playing the good cop/bad cop roles. While I am a stickler for discipline and routine, dad makes every small chore look like an adventure. Riding on his shoulders is considered super-fun, his being forgetful in picking up the kids from classes gets filed under "future entertaining stories", for me missing the school bus is blasphemy, for him it's an opportunity to drive the kids to school. And while I refuse to let our daughter use my comb, her father doesn't mind it if she uses the surface of his head as a pretend race track. No kidding.
Yeah, you might say, we abide by contrasting tenets!
Since on any given day, the kids prefer him over me, shows that my husband has neatly clicked into all the instincts required for being a mom and dad. And so, I think it's about time I retract the offer I made the night our daughter was born.
Happy Father's day, to my son and daughter's dad, to all the special dads out there whose fortitude in achieving personal best moments everyday makes them superheroes without the cape!