Sunday, November 8, 2009

Right Angle

There is a baby in the house…… She is adorable.

The second she arrived the timetables of all the inmates in the house have changed drastically. Most of them sleep when she is asleep so that they can play with her when she is up and about. Moreover when she is awake she cries: so there is not even a sliver of a possibility of sleep then.
 We have adopted a new language that involves blabbering downright gibberish.
Old uncles thought to be grave and stern have tossed the tough exterior fa├žade into the bin that came their way first and have taken to baby talk like a fish to water. We sound more like rattles that resemble men and women.

I have become the human version of a bike that goes vrooooooooooom when she wails. She likes it. We plan to ride to countries on entirely separate continents on a bike: just the two of us. I wonder where the money for petrol is going to come from.
I can give all the spies a run for their money because I have mastered the art of tip toeing round the house in the middle of the afternoon and also the gift of opening creaky old steel dressers oiled some two decades ago without eliciting even a squeak from it{three cheers for me!!!}.

The house looks like a live advertisement for baby clothes. We have learnt to watch the television with the volume somewhere in the neighbourhood of mute for the fear of waking up the bawling siren. She sleeps, she eats, and she sleeps more and eats more.
 She yells and we all scurry to attend to her whims and fancies. She expects us to understand whatever it is that she requires by just keenly listening to the change of tone in her high pitched wailing.
I guess we have great sense of pitch because somehow we do the right things and appease the little lady. She throws a tantrum as often as a fisherman throws his net. She loves staying up late in the night and keeping us awake. She hates being fed when she wants to sleep and vice versa and I am sure she thinks of us to be imbeciles because we are too slow to recognize the call for a nappy change.

It’s only been three days since she’s come home and we are already dancing to her tunes with the practised air of a ballerina to Mozart’s symphony.
Everyone has accepted her presence in their respective lives without giving a thought to the matter. It is as if her being there was just one of those many things that are meant to be.   You either adjust to the fact or you keep your complaint to yourself.
We have put on these pair of spectacles through which we view life with her in the picture.

It’s weird then that the same people find it difficult to accept a teenager into their lives without hesitation. Well…. There isn’t a lot of difference is there?
Teenagers speak a different language…. Maybe you could take the effort to understand. You might even end up liking it. Instead of baby clothes they strew their clothes around the house. They like the volume turned down when they are burning the midnight oil for an exam the next day. They eat and sleep a little more than you do and that’s because of hormones…. They are children who are still growing up……. It isn’t difficult to understand what their mood is or what is bothering them. Just pay attention to their grunts, nods and monosyllabic answers: there is a perceivable change in its quality with a change in mood. Babies wail and throw tantrums as a part of growing up. Teenagers throw tantrums and brood and are crabby as a part of growing up. They hate it when you tell them to study when they want to have fun and have fun when they want to work. Babies like deafening rattles teens like music, preferably loud. Teens too like staying up late in the night. Best part is they don’t expect you to keep them company.

They get snappy at you mostly because most of us never understand that behind the ‘I-am-big-enough-to-take-care-of-myself’ pretence all they want is a hug and the reassurance that ‘I’ll be there for you’. They feel lost because the same set of adults understood them and their various needs just a few years back The fact that they don’t anymore is unnerving to a child no longer a kid but not yet an adult.

Maybe teenagers aren’t all that difficult …. After all they are just a bunch of babies trapped in almost adult bodies who really don’t know what’s happening to them whether they are 13 or 19.

Perhaps it will help if we slightly alter the angle of the glasses we wear, to accommodate them somewhere in the picture.
 Maybe then there won’t be questions or any hesitance to accept. Maybe……….

Yours vrooming away to glory,