Dining fine

The thing with making a parenting decision is that you never really know how it will turn out in the end. You’ve just got to pick what you think is the right thing and go with it.

Our first dining out experience with the Brat was when he was about 45 days old and my mom and I travelled back to Madras to join the OA. He took us out to a little joint called Bayleaf that night and the Brat brought the house down. The evening was spent holding a bald and not-so-beautiful Brat in the arms, showing him cars and stars out near the gate, in rotation. Six days later my mother left and the OA decided to cheer me up by taking me out to Cornucopia, a favourite from my preggie days. Of course the Brat who had a reputation to uphold, brought the house down again. This time the waiters who recognised me from my pregnant cow days (I was down to merely resembling a sow, post delivery) clucked sympathetically as the OA and I each gobbled down our solitary meals while the other angrily held a deceptively peaceful Brat out in the garden.

Thereafter we stuck to takeout. It’s funny because the child behaved perfectly well in other places. I began to freelance when he was two months old and he would silently sit in the baby sling across my chest while I interviewed people, staring at them with big googoo eyes and blowing spit bubbles. South Indian heroines pinched his cheeks while he lay in the carry cot at my feet because I had nowhere to leave him when I came to interview them. Their dogs sniffed suspiciously at him. He would quietly go from lap to lap at Westside while I browsed the store for hours. He would peacefully lie under the stole I threw over my shoulder and feed as I sat on the floor of Spencer Plaza. But the moment we stepped into a restaurant to eat, he’d yowl his head off. We figured it was the AC because a lovely long lunch on the beach at Temple Bay Mahabalipuram (yummy prawns!) was uneventful and he smiled like a benign Buddha as we ate.

Anyhow, we avoided taking him out and that severely curtailed our own eating out although we still managed to shop and do everything else we wanted to. Since I am hugely against TV for adults as well as kids he didn’t get to watch TV and we didn’t go to watch movies in the theatre because we had no one to leave him with. I wish I could say we were deprived, but I’d be lying. We’d barely been married two years and despite having a little infant on our hands the OA and I had a lovely time just spending time with each other and enjoying each other’s company (hah! seven years down…. ). Some hot summer evenings we’d just lie on the cool floor and chat, letting him roll around between us.

Soon we shifted to Delhi, I was expecting the Bean a little later and we finally managed to get full-time help. Which made it possible to go out for dinner again. Because we just didn’t think it was fair to either drag a maid along to sit with us and hold our baby, or to let him disturb a meal that others had paid good money for. I’m trying to look back on the years before we got help and I can’t remember any deprivation. A DVD and a big bowl of microwave popcorn. Takeaway food spread out on the carpet and a couple of candles kept high up and we had a lovely time. Plenty of friends restructured their lives to accomodate us and our son and little spots would be cleared up in bachelor pads to put down a baby mattress and let him join the party.

Over the years we socialised with more people who had kids and those who dragged maids along to dinners and lunches didn’t face my ire, but I did mutter to myself. It bothered me at many levels.

One – even if the maid has been fed, it’s rude to make her sit at the table and watch us eat. To say nothing of how it restricts conversation to have a stranger sitting on our conversation and making it difficult to crack rude jokes and abuse each other freely (as if to say the baby isn’t restrictive enough!)

Two – If you HAVE a maid then why not leave the child home with her?

Three – we’d often have to finish our meal and then sit there waiting for the maid to eat hers  – and call me stingy, but I am not coming to a fine dining restaurant that I can ill-afford, only to split the bill for three maids who have only come to hold babies who aren’t joining the meal anyway. What is the point of this? To show the world you have a maid and a baby?

Four – even if you bring a maid, the baby usually cries to be with his parents which pretty much defeats the purpose of the maid tagging along. Why not then just go to a cheap and cheerful McDonalds and not to a fine dining joint where we’re ruining the ambience with a crying baby.

I’m sorry, but I am embarrassed on your behalf because our table is creating a disturbance for the rest of the diners. So why not just order takeaway at one of our homes where the babies can roam free and not bother others? A baby in an airplane is a necessity. In a cinema hall or a fine dining joint  – I’m sorry, but are we redefining the word necessary? Some of my most horrifying moments have been watching a young maid struggling with a crying baby in the lounge of the Taj, while the parents party it up at Ricks and come out periodically, suggest another bottle of milk and head back in. What is that about?! Why not leave the kid and maid at home if you have one? Why disturb the lobby of a five star hotel? Yes, I miss dancing too – here’s my suggestion – line up the songs on your iPod, and if you don’t have one, dance to the radio. We’ve all been there and done that without driving others nuts.

All this is null and void of course if your baby is as good as gold and not chucking your mobile phone into the neighbouring table’s mutton biryani.

There have been times we’ve had no maids or a new maid who the kids aren’t totally comfortable with and the OA and I have turned down dinner invitations if they were at restaurants because we didn’t want to drag the kids along. A lot of people said the kids would never learn to behave in a restaurant if we didn’t take them along. And to be honest it seemed like a valid point. But they were going to art galleries and museums and parties and picnics and learning to behave. I was sure there’d come a time when we’d manage to take them to a fine dining joint without any fears. In the meantime we were doing lots of kid friendly, cheap and cheerful joints where high chairs were available, crayons and mats were given and the music was loud enough to drown out wails.

Finally a month or so ago we took them out for dinner to a decent place – with only adult furniture and certainly no crayons! With no other company, simply because we wanted to be able to pick up our skirts and run if they troubled. They sat there good as gold and ate what they were told. The Bean might have wandered around a little if it weren’t for the example of her elder brother, sitting there, not touching the cutlery, not fidgeting and not raising his voice. In an attempt to copy him she sat still and we had an uneventful dinner. Of course I was so thrilled I wanted to come back home and blog about it! Milestone and all that! But I wanted to check if it was a regular feature or just a flash in the pan.

And sure enough, they behaved then. And again. And again! I feel so relieved. It’s another milestone for me. Just like the potty training. And whats more, we’ve got here without inconveniencing anyone else. The strange part is that other than the exhilaration, there is the anticipation. I am dying to take them to our favourite grown up joints and introduce them to new cuisines. I know I said I think am a better mom to new borns than bigger babies, but at times like these I am quite happy to be mom to a 2.5 year old and a 4.5 year old !!


42 thoughts on “Dining fine

  1. I can’t wait for the time when we can go fine dining – now that we have Sweetpea.
    Poppin ofcourse was never a problem with restaurants, she’s a propah lady! We have the reverse problem, parties, anywhere with way too much noise/crowds and she hates it and starts bawling/whining. Wonder when she’ll outgrow that!

  2. So agree with you on the maid thing. I also have lots of issues with them being tagged along for outings.You’ve put it all so clearly in this post.

    Ansh is 5 & we do take him out to restaurants now. He behaves well & all would have been fine only if he would eat a bit there. I usually have to come home & feed him. So it’ll be one big milestone for me the day he starts eating out rather than just accompanying us.

    Me: 🙂 well its awesome that he behaves well. Cant have everything 😉

  3. Nice post, MM! I am inclined to be charitable of people who bring babies along, even if it means a little crying. Somehow, I don’t believe in this whole “kids are from another world” mindset – after all, we were all kids once, and sure, it may be a little annoying to have your romantic dinner disturbed by a kid at another table, but then, the world does not dance to your tunes…and I figure parents with young kids need a break as well.

    I am less charitable of those who bring maids to a fine dining restaurant; I know some may justify it, but it somehow feels terrible to me, to eat while maids look on (and rarely have I seen them being asked to eat).

    Me 🙂 oh but I DONT think kids are from another world. And most of my posts say that. But I *DO* think certain spaces should be sacrosanct, certain times should be adults only. Everyone is entitled to peace, particularly those who chose not to have kids particularly since they want peace!
    If I’m paying Rs 5k a pop for dinner, I don’t want your bawling kid ruining it. And surely even the parents of said bawling kid think its a waste of time to pay Rs 5k a pop if they have to shout sweet nothings over a bawling baby? There are enough baby friendly joints and more. However if someone tells me not to take my kid to a mall or an aircraft … they have another think coming 😉

  4. I wish more couples would learn from your example. I’m sick and tired of kids bawling in theaters ( what kind of people bring infants to the screening of Kaminey!). I once saw a maid grab for the kid’s french fries when the parents weren’t looking! Just because they’d ordered a plain sandwich for her and burgers and pizzas for themselves!

  5. I never did see the point. I mean, with all the other much bigger decisions and sacrifices that come with being a parent, is staying away from fine dining restaurants and movie halls for a few years really that big a deal???! It appears it is with people taking month-old infants along for the ride when they go to watch a film…

    Oops. I think I just agreed with you 😛

    Me: *gasp* err… do you want to rest, considering you just popped out an infant?

  6. Oh MM,
    I was expecting a diwali post and wondering how you would’ve lit up your house etc etc.. its so fun to see all those corners of your house… and see the brat and the bean in their diwali finery… Next post maybe?

    Me: definitely 🙂

  7. “Everyone is entitled to peace, particularly those who chose not to have kids particularly since they want peace!” Amen.

    “A lot of people said the kids would never learn to behave in a restaurant if we didn’t take them along.” Don’t you think the Brat and the Bean are better behaved at restaurants now, MM, because they are a little older and learned to behave before being taken to dine out?

    Me: well that is my view. but others disagree. I personally dont like to torture the kids when its unnecessary. there’s no NEED to take a one year old to a fine dining joint and then prevent him from being his baby self and babbling and experimenting with the sound of a spoon being dropped. Four years down and he wont want to do any of those things anyway.

  8. Agree with you abt no kids at fine dining jts. As for wailing kids, last week, we dashed out for some ‘peaceful’ shopping w/o the kids, and were driven nuts by other ppl’s whining kids. Aaaargh!

    Not having a maid (or grandma) to ever leave the kids with, and wanting breaks from cooking and home food every weekend, meant our kids got used to eating out very early, the foodies that we are.

    We’ve taken them out to just about every family friendly restaurant from the time they were babies…made sure they were well-fed and rested, and that we ordered fast, ate fast and took along little toys/books to distract them. We march them out if they’re having meltdowns, and ensure they know what’s expected of them (stay on the seat, don’t bug other ppl, don’t whine, don’t bang the cutlery on the plate, blah, blah)…we eat out at least twice a week.

    For me, their being older helps…in the opposite way…we leave them at their activity centre or birthday parties, and enjoy the fine expensive dining alone!

    We don’t do eating out with friends tho’ and definitely not friends with kids…becoz that’s asking for meltdowns from adults AND kids! That’s when takeaways work better. As for maids…yes, they should just leave them at home.

    Me: Thank you for this comment. I’m glad you’ve given so many options. Now people cant say that they dont have a life because of the kids and MUST drag them along to ruin MY meal after I’ve just about organised for someone to babysit MY brats 😀

  9. Agree with Rohini – what’s a restaurant dinner compared to chronic sleep deprivation! We remember feeling, at the time, that given any time to ourselves, we would rather sleep than go anyplace!

    It’s fun introducing kids to new cuisines, isn’t it?


  10. Oh, MM, sorry if it appeared as if I was pointing fingers – I didn’t mean “you” – just feel that a lot of people these days seem to think of kids as beings that need to be corralled in a pen 🙂

    Of course, those paying 5k for a dinner will prefer some peace and quiet, but somehow, I don’t feel it is such a big deal if another family brings a kid along; yes, if the kid is bawling away, they’ll spend most of their time preoccupied…but, still, seeing young mothers who are just so desperate to get out of home and have some time in adult company and feel like they have a bit of their old lives back, I feel like I’d like to cut them some slack.

    Me: 🙂 no no – I know you didnt mean me. I know you meant ‘one’… And yes, a lot of young mothers do want their old lives back. Hell, I was 25 when I had the Brat and could party with the best. But then its a choice you make when you decide to have kids. Life is NEVER going to be the same. And as long as no one says we’re not allowed to breastfeed in public (!) I want to meet others half way and say ” thank you very much and in return, we’ll let you eat your Rs 3500 per plate Norwegian Salmon in peace” 😉

  11. Hi MM,
    I waited till my daughter was 13 months to eat at a restaurant rather than taking out. Even then I was ready to take her out the moment she starts screaming or disturbing others. Much to my surprise, she not only behaved but also enjoyed eating dosa and fruits with us. The only problem was that she kept smiling and saying ‘Hi’ to everyone passing by and I just could not stop her. Of course people were amused and returned her greetings and smiled at her. And then she started playing ‘peek-a-boo’ with an elderly gentleman sitting across our table. It was great to see her socialising with others but also embarassing to us because she kept doing that the whole time he was having his dinner there. I apologised to him later but he was too sweet and came to bless our daughter. Don’t know if I can call that disturbing others and whether we should still wait to eat out.

    Me: 🙂 you know older people enjoy interaction with kids. most other people dont have the time of day for them. that said – you would know best

  12. I wish for the world to have more parents like you. I feel bad for myself, for the kid and for the poor embarrassed folks when the kid starts bawling just as Shahid Kapoor goes Dhan Ta Nan! And this was a 10.45 pm show, mind eet.

    me: objectionable at so many levels. was that even suitable for a kid to be watching? the violence was endless. to say nothing of it being way past the kid’s bed time. can you blame the poor thing for bawling when Shahid kapoor is interupting bedtime with dhan ta nan?

  13. I agree with the crazy running around kids at a restaurant.I hate it especially when the waiters are carrying hot food.

    The maids issue, we do not have it here in Americaland. 🙂

    So when our 4th child was born, I had 3 kids under the ages of 4.5. No way in hell, we could bring all of them out to dinner. Mcdonalds with indoor playspaces was considered gourmet for us. Drive throughs were a godsend.

    We still went to parties when the youngest was on a routine and told everyone to behave.

    Now that the youngest has so many allergies, there is hardly any place that we can go eat because of fear of cross-contamination. He always broke out in hives at night,even if the rice was white rice or the tamales were not made in soy oil. We stopped eating out now.

    PS: You know you are my biggest traffic driver right.:)

    me: and you know you’re my biggest inspiration, right? 🙂

  14. I figured that one of the best ways to eat out with the kids peacefully is to feed them reasonably well BEFORE heading to the restaurant. A cup of curd rice or a roti at home keeps them well behaved for quite a while.

    Me: good point. half the time this entire kid scene could be managed better if we used our common sense na?

  15. oh God.. I can’t tell you how much this post means to me. Being a first time mother of a 7 month old has me wondering if I am doing the right things. He wakes up at least 8 times in the night, someone has to stay by his bed day and night while asleep, as he has a 40 minute clock after which he shifts and if we don’t get to him immediately, that is the end of his sleep. He is quite a wonderful child when we go out except he has a 3 hour window of eat, play and sleep. So, if we dont’ get to things in those 3 hours, he either misses his sleep which makes him cranky after 2 more hours or he just begins to wail. I’ve heard comments from colleagues saying that I can do things differently – let him cry it out to sleep through the night, help him be independent and dont’ pay attention to him if he cries a bit, take him out to places so he will learn to be social and … I’m going nuts – I seem to have time for nothing and 24 hours doesn’t seem sufficient and this has me wondering if I’m doing the right things and reading your post gives me hope. I know you don’t directly address these specific issues, but if a sweet child like the brat had once made fine-dining a difficulty, then, there is hope that my child will outgrow these as well.

    Thanks for the post and belated Diwali wishes to you and your wonderful family.

    Me: Hey Pri – if all our kids were the same and behaved the same away and were quiet little angels, it would be a boring world indeed. I am sure you’re doing the best you can. and GOD but the Brat was the world’s WORST sleeper. he would bawl ten times a night and I fed him on demand till he was EIGHT months old!! Yes, I was an idiot. on the other hand, no one else who gave advice had to deal with a bawling baby at 3 am. but I dont believe in letting infants cry it out. I dont mind him sulking and crying now. I believe knowing that mama is around, at that age, makes for a more secure baby. But that is just my humble opinion. all the best 🙂

  16. 5k for dinner?????

    Me: boss – when I said fine dining, I meant it 🙂 that IS my point. I see noisy kids at such expensive joints it makes me choke on my water (only tap, not bisleri please!)

  17. Nice post!! When I was last in India, and pigging out at Rajdhani, a couple made the waiter carry their baby while they ate!! Height ho gayi!

    Me: kahin woh hum toh nahi the?! :p- kidding. we HAVE had the brat in the arms of a waiter at Temple Bay – but in our defence, the entire restaurant was empty. the waiters were standing around and the brat was lying there peacefully. the waiter insisted on picking him up and cooing at him

  18. “I know I said I think am a better mom to new borns than bigger babies, but at times like these I am quite happy to be mom to a 2.5 year old and a 4.5 year old !!”

    You’re a darn good mom. Period!

    I live in a city where live-in maids, 12-hour maids and ayahs are the norm. I didn’t want one during the EO’s time, so that meant my sacrificing a lot of late night outs, fine dining, etc. Soon, I stopped going out at night altogether because taking a baby along even to a ‘friend’s’ place was not welcome 😦

    Those were difficult times; the MIM felt resentful at times even though I encouraged him to go out partying and movie-watching, but still… However, I don’t regret my decision at all. I just wish I had more support 😦

    I wish I’d started blogging earlier, then I wouldn’t have felt so hopeless and depressed back then…

    Me: you’re right. its not easy. and if i didnt have good friends i’d have gone nuts. we’ve always been fortunate to have friends who love to have kids around. or maybe they knew that they’d have to love us love our errr.. dogs 😀 that said – why is it so hard in this country of ours? why dont we have childfriendly morning shows for movies? like they do abroad? why is it so hard to find a decent restaurant where we can take our kids and still not have to eat french fries? and oh – yayyyy for blogging.

    and you’re a better woman than I am gungadin. i’d have kicked some OA arse if he left me alone at home with a bawling baby and went partying. if he resented it, he had the smarts not to show it 🙂

  19. my mom after noticing how flustered i get everytime the kids threw a tantrum at a resturant made the exact comment- ” kids would never learn to behave in a restaurant if we didn’t take them along” …
    believe it or not, every since I heard she siad that to me, I have subcribed to it religiously. I have the option of leaving the kids at my inlaws which we do, occassionally, but most of the time they come along with us. we try to go to a family friendly place more often than not and there are some real good ones here in the US. The resturants that aren’t but serve good food, i simply carry with me a little box of crayons and some coloring books or mini-puzzles for them to work on while we wait for the food to arrive.
    the tantrums were really tough to handle initially but now they are a thing of the past . in fact, my 5 and 3 year olds love eating out now.

    Me: a brave woman 🙂 I dont mind tantrums in other places – but at quiet, refined, adult places, I dont want to take them on. So I waited until now and fortunately they now KNOW this is where they have to behave so they do it. *bows to Suk*

  20. You’re just saying that coz you can’t have a squirmy newborn as much as you want one. Sour grapes and all that.

    Me: *bursts into tears and runs away*

    HELLO you 🙂 You’re very chipper despite having just popped out one of these. I must say its damn neat to have you and Ro get back online so soon. For that simple reason I shall forgive you for hitting me where it hurts 😀

  21. Hmm…I have been taking Yohaan out since he was merely 6 days old becos I was going nuts staying in the house…his first outing was to a beach, then a huge mall and then eating out with us….it never struck me not to take him with us….even though I had a full time maid and my mom was here for a month. I take hime everywhere MM. Except to theatres. TV and movies are a big no no for me. He has even flown internationally twice now…and thru it all I havent noticed anything maybe because he is such an easy going calm baby! I agree with you, parents must use their brains and be more sensitive to folks who have no kids and to the lil babies themselves. One would imagine atleast the mom would be more attuned to stuff which agitates the baby.

    expecting a diwali post MM..where?? when??


    Me: 🙂 very very soon babe. just gathering my wits – its been one helluva diwali!

  22. Well, we take our nine-month daughter out occasionally for dinner. But I am a martinet for peace and quiet and whisk her away if she shows the slightest sign of a tantrum. My rule is: you can get your baby but don’t make it obvious to me. Our spawn is pretty chilled though, and loves people, so more often than not, she’s cool. The only embarrassing thing, as someone said, is that she tries to engage the other diners and we have to profusely apologize to them, because she turns her big eyes to them and smiles sweetly and laughs at them. Very annoying.


  23. On that note, I DO wish diners would ignore babies and not get seduced by them. We parents try, you know, and its only fair if you also play along and pay the little tykes NO attention, even if they are desperately trying to get some.


    Me: oh go away. its so easy to be seduced by babies 🙂

  24. Not a parent yet, but certainly ditto to many of your points 😀 My sis is preggie and i’ve diverted her attention to your blog! Loving it 😉

  25. congrats MM!

    no nannies ever. so babies got/get lugged around everywhere we went/go – museums, art galleries, the works. they’ve been okay all the times. cant imagine ‘enjoying’ away while my baby is howling outside.

    deprivation? – depends on how one defines it no?

    and tell you what, if you’re a good mom to newborns, you’ll be good later as well.
    (though god knows what good means)

  26. Its a great post…Thanks for just writing down what was on my mind for a long time…I have taken R out to eat with me and hubby and trust me she is so hyperactive that one of us just has to hold her while the other one eat…Its happened twice and I have decided no eating out until we have a huge family gathering to back up or until R learns to sit at one place without climbing the table, hitting the spoon or dropping the plate!!!

  27. I agree with Inbavalli above. Most times, when I want to just dine out, forget fine dining, I’d feed my daughter and take her. There was a time when a couple at the table next to us, asked us why we didnt feed the baby anything. They probably thought we are starving our kid 🙂 We explained she had finished her dinner at home.

    Once we went to this place where Aditi hit her head at the edge of a table and started crying. And a couple with wine and all started making faces – and I was so enraged – bleddy the idiots couldnt see that my kid who was fine till she got hurt. Moreover she was crying for all of just 5 minutes. Sometimes when the co-diners behave like snobs, I lose it.

    But theatre – NO! not yet. Have you taken your kids to cinema already? At least the Brat?

    Me: we took him to see Shrek – he squealed and laughed so loudly that we left in fifteen minutes 🙂 yes, we’re rather strict 😀

  28. now its my turn to say Doth Protesteth Too Much…your kids were really well behaved when you took me out to dinner and for the one time Brat started wilting there was dessert. Oh to see Brat’s eyes popping out and the Scrambling To Attention.

    Me: LOL! well that was also cheap and cheerful Big Chill na? I’d never take them to the Taj even now…

  29. Dear MM,

    Could n’t agree more, more and more! Only last month (nearly 27 months after my son was born) did we actually ‘re-discover’ eating out ‘in peace’, with the kid that is! BTW I am this egoistic Chennaite (Chenaistic???) who reads a write-up twice if it his about her city! For a moment I forgot babies and kept reading about the places you’d described!


  30. reminds me of my first dining out with my firstbon. It was our 2nd anniversary…he started bawling the moment we stepped in. Take him out and he is fine. Since we had made up our minds to eat out..we sat in their outdoor dining area (Even though it was closed) under a covered (eh! somewhat) in the pouring rain and ate! Boy that was one hell of an anniversary.

    The next one i attempted was when he was 11 months..what can i say..he threw up on me. i ate as fast as i could and ran out. Thankfully this was not one of the fine dining places.
    We had gone out as a big family…. More than my kid puking what was most annoying were the tips and tricks from the rest!!!!!!! I say the person wearing the shoe knows the bite. Now he is all grown up..the second one i have no recollections. Either my memory is very faint or we have rarely stepped out 😛

  31. was expecting a diwali post as last year….
    nice blog anyway….
    plz elaborate a little on how u potty trained ur lot….im a new mother n believe me or not i do take lessons in handling kids from you…

  32. I wish all were considerate as you MM 🙂 I dont mind a noisy hotel…infact I enjoy looking at spirited kids. My grouse is with parents who get kids to the cinema…alongwith people who dont silence their phones or keep texting while the movie is on. Its damn distracting to have the cell phone backlight or beeping in the middle of the movie!

  33. considering right now Cubby is a in stage where once HE is done eating he wants to leave, we just feed him slower! :p

    and for anniv this year, instead of doing a fancy lunch someplace leaving him at home, we are spending the day out at resort where all of us will have fun!

    movies we take him. last show and he sleeps through them all. the moment there is even a whimper i step out. so nope, never let bawling baby bawl! 😉

    whatever works is good enough is my way of looking at it!

    and yyayy for the brat and the bean!! 🙂


  34. I think its plain mean spirited to begrudge babies crying on flights and restaurants , but that being said I’ve had the ill fortune to spent close to 9 hours on a flight with a 7 year old chucking bread rolls+ toffee+ the pages of the in-flight magazine at anyone and everyone with his parents either dozing off or not giving a hoot about their son’s horrible behavior.

    The maid thing is simply crass, I have seen people leave the maid outside the restaurants with the kid as they wolfed down a meal, won’t the kid be more comfortable in her own house than being stuck outside with the maid as people smoke up a storm? I hate to be a traitor to my generation but seriously I don’t remember this happening when I was a kid. If we had a nanny my brother and I were left home while my folks went out. It breaks my heart to see maids, especially ones that are only teenagers being dragged to malls, carry the baby, the diaper bag and a ton of shopping bags while the mum and dad are shopping to kingdom come. And I bet there is nothing for the maid in the said shopping bags she is made to carry!

    Me: okay, a seven year old who cant behave, needs his backside paddled.

  35. Not quite related to your post per se; hence apologies upfront for the thread hijack.

    Parenting, they say, is the most important job in the world. I couldn’t agree more. But despite the best efforts of our parents, we as children at times find that our parents didn’t do it right. To quote Jesse from Before Sunrise, “Rich kids’ parents give them too much, and poor kids’, too less.” Not pointing an accusatory finger, merely making an observation. Having said that, I wonder how does one be a good parent? There is no instruction manual for this, and even if there were one, it wouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all thing.

    Consider this as an example: I sometimes think if I had a child, what would I tell her about religion/God? The best that comes to mind is something akin to this, “Look here kiddo, I don’t believe in organised religion or idol worship. God to me is just the goodness in our hearts. And I don’t want you to believe this just because I say so. Go and figure out for yourself what your God is.” Though this monologue makes perfect sense to me, I shudder when I imagine my imaginary kid going up to her friend and saying, “You know what, dude? My mom is so full of baloney.” 😉

    How do you encourage your kids to think for themselves without undermining your authority (for lack of a better word)?

    – Sangeetha

    Me: You know, at the moment I don’t know. Because they’re still young and I am still trying to get them to tie their own shoelaces and wash their bums. So thinking for themselves hasn’t come up. On the other hand, I think we can only teach our kids what we believe in. No? And then tell them okay – this is what I think. And now, if you disagree/feel differently, lets talk….

  36. fine dining is a thing of past for me. But i don’t quite miss it. We go for lunches on special days when mishmash is at daycare. And on evenings when we want to eat out, we always order in. yep, quite like your place, we are all sprawled on the floor, some candles burning somewhere, mishmash’s toys to give her company, while we watch a dvd.

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