Learnings from Parenthood IV
Try to answer this question.
What would you be more rather happy with?
A. A decision where you have a lot of choices, you have a chance to test them out, take your time for making decision, you have a chance to consult your friends and family and discuss your decision and then you make the decision only when you are convinced.
B. You have no choice whatsoever in decision making and the decision is just thrust upon you, without asking you what you want.
Most of you would answer A, right? Well think again.
Worldover men and women spend a lot of time and energy in selecting their life partners. Men learn to be confident, funny, cool, smart, caring, supportive, well groomed, tidy, kind, thoughtful, gentle, helpful, considerate, loving, warm, compassionate, loyal, witty, responsible, committed, dependable, reliable just to name a few. Girls on the other hand learn to ignore or adjust to his forgetfulness, untidyness, distractions caused by other “places of interest”, obsession for his favorite sports, his favorite female colleague, dancing to his own rhythm, relunctance to commit etc. etc. Both of them learn to retain this behaviour till they convince each other they are the right match. Then they go thru a long process of convincing theselves about it. When they are convinced that they have nothing more left to do, they say “I do”. Depending on which part of world you stay, this can take anywhere between 6 months to 10 years and 1 to 100 iterations of the same process. In Asian cultures, parents, frinds and families also get involved. It is a seriously high involvement, long drawn process.
Still divorce rates world over are increasing. In relatively conservative countries like India the rates are touching doble digits. For more liberated and open western countries, according to a statistician number of divorces are slightly higher than marriages. (Ya that was exaggeration!). Cheating on spouse is even more rampant. They say in US, 50% spouses cheat, so if it is not you then it is your spouse. (This not exaggeration!).
What does this show? People take a long time, deliberate to take the most important decisions life and still are not happy about it or not convinced enough about it.
Now picture this!
A couple gets pregnant. Sometimes planned, sometimes unplanned. They first learn about it thru’ an external test and rush to doctor to confirm it. They have no clue that they have done what they planned or not planned. They have no control over what the baby should look like, talk like, walk like, be like or should be a boy or a girl. They first get to see on ultrasound screen, the doctor shows the face, the hands, the limbs and invariably the couple explains “Wow its so beautiful!!!”. Here I must mention that according to another study 72.3867% couples are not looking at baby at all; 80.87456% couples can not comprehend whether the black portion is supposed to be the baby or white portion and 90.873454% of the couples believe that when they look at the baby, she should at least say hello to them.
The baby makes her presence felt by kicking mostly. More she kicks, more mom feels happy. If baby is powerful enough she can even kick the father or anyone who strays near the mom’s tummy. But that makes father overjoyed and proud of his creation.
Baby arrives in this world when mom is either under anaesthecia or is screaming and shouting in pain and the father is worried. Still she comes and changes everything. She cries and sleeps mostly but fills air with certain optimism and love for life. It brings out the best of emotions in parents. “she is so cuuuute” everyone exclaims, irrespective of how the baby looks.
All parents love their babies. They don’t divorce their babies nor do they cheat on them. They don’t even fight with babies or get upset with them.
So, two most important decisions a person makes in life one completely thought thru’ another one completely thrust upon him/her and later one turns out to be more satisfying one.
Inference : If you want to happy don’t marry just make babies!!!
Learnings from Parenthood V
Some basic rules to deal with babies and their parents
All babies under age 1 are cute. ( by definition)
If you find a baby who is not exactly cute….refer to Rule 1.
Number of “U” s in “Cuuute” can be used to impress baby’s parents about how much you appreciate the baby. The number of U s is directly proportional to your appreciation of baby.
Some words can be pronounced wrongly to create an impression that you are really impressed with the baby. Eg “So sweet” will create a moderate effect about what you feel about the baby. But for special effect same words can be pronounced as “Chooo chweet”.
Rule 3 applies to “O” s in Cho and “E” s in chweet.
These sounds can be used to impress only the parents, babies don’t understand them anyway.
All babies are intelligent till age of 1. Parents are genuinely impressed by each action baby makes with her hand, legs or any undescribable sound that the baby makes. Never trivialize these actions.
Meaningless blabbering of the baby triggers certain chemicals in right brains of the parents that make them creative. Somehow all parents are able to interpret the blabbering of the kids in a perfectly meaningful way which may bear no resemblance to reality.
Then you will wonder if all of us born with same intelligence level till age 1, why do we see people of different intelligence levels around us. It can be explained by Rule 7 which states that similar to Newton’s law of cooling babies start losing their intelligence due to dumbness of grown ups around them. The rate of loss of intelligence is directly proportional to the square of difference between intelligence of the baby and grown-ups around her.
This process continues till equlibrium is achieved.
Rules for answering most popular FAQ : Whom does the baby look like the father or the mother?
Popular misconceptions : Most people believe that to answer the question who have to look at the baby study his face or features match them with that of father’s or mother’s and then answer the question. Most of those who take this approach, keep observing the baby and never reach any conclusion and land up annoying the parents. It is not necessary that the answer should bear any resemblance to the reality or looks of the baby. This question should be answered to make the parent happy.
Following illustration would make this point clearer.
Girlfriend : Am I looking fat?
Novice Boyfriend : ummm….let me see….turnaround…I don’t think so. (You can be sure that such a boyfriend is heading for a break-up)
Girlfriends : Am I looking fat?
Experienced Boyfriend : No. (for better results No should be pronounced even before the question si completed) not at all.
(The answer does not depend on fatness of the girlfriend at all. The answer is NO by definition and No has to be said in a very convincing and sponteneous manner)
Please follow the rules to answer MPFAQ
Rule 1 : If you know the father more than the mother then the answer is “Baby resembles the father”
Rule 2 : If you know the mother more than the father the answer is “Baby resembles the mother”
Rule 3 : If you know both of them equally the answer is “ummm…baby looks a bit like both of you” (For better results you can add difficult to verify comments like “chin resemble XXXX” or “side profile looks like YYY”)
Rule 4 : If you don’t know both of them that well then the answer is “Baby resembles the father” (Your natural curiousity will force you to ask the question “Why should benefit of doubt go to father” because Mother knows, father believes)
Learning from Parenthood is very useful for all parents-to-be. :-)
Ojas's Videos are the best!!!
learning from Parenthood- is great ,liked reading it - you see things very differently than rest- waiting for more learnings :)
masta vaivek this is somthing very intersting!!!
Nice blog and lovely thoughts. You always had a different approach from the rest ever since I know you 10 years back.
Where are you now? Last time we met was in your home at Bangalore.
Keep in touch.
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