When I was of your age – one eternal phrase that has been pronounced innumerable times by parents to their kids.
We all have, at some point or the other during our parenthood, compared our past life with the present life of our kids. Well it’s quite reasonable too. Think of the plight of a father born in the 80’s who gets to know today that the world has many more cartoon characters other than Tom & Jerry and Uncle Scrooge. In fact, in that scenario, it becomes need of the hour to save the leftover respect. Hence, no resistance is shown in teasing our kids with what limited and best we had when we were of their age. But this contest is not easy. When did you last see a kid loosing a game like this? So let’s try to make peace here and find out who’s got a better and fuller plate.
I would like to start from sleeping because as my dad says, I simply love it. Well he is not completely wrong in saying this. After all, when you are made to sleep in the protection of your mother, who wouldn’t love sleeping.
Back in 20th century, babies had the comfort and coziness of their mum’s lap. Listening to lullabies in her voice and gentle patting on the forehead used to give the most precious sleep which, honestly, we miss today. Sleeping in the closest proximity to mum also enhanced the mother-baby bond.
However, things are very different today. Westerners get their babies a cot or bassinet to sleep. Since birth, babies are habituated to sleep in their own little bed. From the age of six months, parents start introducing the little ones to their new room and that little bed makes its place there too. Needless to say, babies sleep alone in that room, with a baby monitor keeping an eye on them all the time. May sound harsh to a few of you but studies reveal that such behaviour helps in babies sleeping quicker, for longer and having a better bedtime routine. This has now started getting acceptance in other parts of the world. Besides, decorating the baby cot and room has its own charm.
But what a drift from then to now!
Food and dining habits
Good food is important for the growth of babies and often its liking by them is inversely proportional. Our stories from parents on this topic are not very pleasing. Now come on, with dalia and khichdi kind of stuff, who would be drooling. Moreover, the idea of changing taste buds with Cerelac’s immense variety was never really welcomed at home. The whole emphasis was on providing healthy homemade food to babies. Result, quite predictable, baby would run away from food at his best speed and dear mother would ensure that after all the chasing and messing around the house, baby has his tummy full.
Talking about times today, babies have all the options of colourful and healthy fruit and veggie purees, yummy multi-cereals with cheese and crunchy biscuits and puffs. Please underline here that all of this is salt and sugar free, especially made for the babies. In fact, life has got easier with the invent of highchair. No more running around and no more mess in the whole house. Wow what a wonderland!
Had you, in your glorious era, ever even heard of bath toys? Yes I know, oh my God. These days babies have a variety of bath toys to play with in their ‘very own’ mini bath tub. Studies have revealed that such toys when introduced at an early stage help in the development of motor skills of baby’s hands and fingers. Although keeping these toys and bath tub clean is another task in the daily to-do list of mums.
Going back to older times, bathing was not much fun for babies. Based on the traditional leg bath, babies were made to lie down on mum’s outstretched legs and then with all her love and energy, she would bathe the baby. On a very serious note, those of you who have tried this at home, would know what an arduous task it is. You need to keep your and baby’s balance in soapy water, control a baby who is just looking for an opportunity to flee from your grasp, and make sure the purpose of bathing is successfully achieved. If you are thinking it should not be that tough, try it yourself. And if you still manage to do it, try it in a bath tub, just like I did and to my surprise, failed.
Do you recall wearing those thick hand-knitted woollen sweaters, caps, gloves and mittens? Our mums and grannies used to spend their entire winters in knitting these for us. Needless to say, they used to come out beautiful with best colour combinations and crochet embroidery. We always had our favourites from the collection but hold on, weren’t they itchy? Yeah, quite. Irrespective, those had the feelings and warmth of mum’s hands.
With busy lives and changing fashion, even these sweaters have lost their place in our wardrobes. Soft fleece and velvet are in vogue now. They are better in keeping you warm and most importantly, are supersoft to the skin. But alas, they lack the love of handmade.
Going out of the house has always been loved by the little ones. In fact, anybody going out of the house becomes their immediate favourites.
However, in earlier times, when outside, babies were embraced warmly by elders. If baby could walk, he would always have his finger held up by someone elder. Although this had its own troubles like elders getting tired carrying the baby or risk of baby trying to escape from the grasp. But don’t we still have some touching memories of that?
With the introduction of prams and strict rules in some countries, babies are now safe and comfortable on the road. Moreover, parents are not fatigued by carrying them throughout. With latest designs and styles, these prams look like a luxury seat of the little royalties. The benefits are making them a hit with parents all over.
Well, this discussion is quite diverse and can go uninterruptedly. The only winner here is mother nature. To change is nature’s rule to move forward. What we had as kids is gone past now and what our kids have today has its expiry date too. Where former teaches you to treasure the feelings of past, the later advises our kids to enjoy the comfort of present. I leave it up to you to decide what is best of both the worlds.
With high spirits, keep contesting with your kids. A win is in the cards for us, after all, we are Team Parents!
Also read : BIG CHANGES brought to you by little tots