A mother creates
the child; she bears it for nine months. The bond between mother and child develops before birth. Ostensibly, she is the better parent.
So is it my
I am prepared
to be pregnant, if only to save my wife the suffering that is mentally,
if not physically, as tortuous for the father.
But, say as
much as I may, the wife says I am saying this because it is not possible
for me to do what I have offered myself for.
Call it the
absence of pre-natal bonding, but I found that coming to terms with my
baby took me more time than it did my wife.
to trapeze with practiced ease the rounds of nappy changing, potty washing,
bathing and more, while I still haven't managed bathing my daughter though
she is a year and a half old now.
I call my gawkiness
a genetic aberration; my wife calls it a lack of commitment.
She is working,
so am I, so we spend as much time with our baby. There is no unfair advantage
of more quality time with her, except before birth.
I have tried
to think up as many explanations to my incompetence vis-a-vis my
wife, try as much as I may.
There is one
more explanation, apart from the pre-natal one. Don't mistake me as chauvinistic,
but I think I could be a better dad if my baby were a boy.
I know as I
was a boy once, what a boy wants, see the world through his eyes, a world
defined by me in a way that a guy sees it --- of playing sports, watching
porn, chasing girls, cycling, swimming and climbing hills. I have never
seen the world through the eyes of a girl, although there were several
girls I loved, but never loved them enough to see things the way they saw
it, until my baby came.
I ask will
she play golf, read Ludlum and listen to hard rock?
My wife never
does, but could I or should I teach my daughter to do the things I like
admire my role models, do I now need to study female role models? Who would
I like my daughter to emulate?
I am sure she
will go her own way and define her own rules.
It is my duty
now to see from my baby's eyes and define and study closely the world of
women leaders --- of Thatcher, Rowling, Sarandon and the standards they
My wife drowned
out the arguments.
is okay, but cannot take away from the immediate reality of changing nappies,
feeding from the bottle and doing it well," she said, and was right.
I tried hard
and without being immodest, I must say that I was reasonably okay by my
standards, though not as fine as my wife.
She heard the
baby cry in the middle of the night before I did, and do. She is up and
away from bed much before I am, or to make matters worse I was frequently
even slower than my mom-in-law in the next room.
I am good at
several things, playing golf for one. But, couldn't figure out why my wife
was better at this. Golf is a languorous sport; parenting is not.
I went through
another period of introspection and arrived at another answer.
I like to delegate,
provided the work is done well.
I want the
best for my daughter, and there is no one better qualified to look after
her than my wife. So I have delegated and am happy about it. I discovered
this when my wife was away on a business tour. I was good, better than
ever, never gentler.
I think my
mother-in-law sensed it, but has kept it to herself as in her eyes only
her daughter is number one, which is fair enough, as long as mother-in-law
is not number two.
But the tragedy
is, my wife will never know my real prowess, as whenever she is around
I delegate. This could be genetic. (I wish I had not read so many management books.)
I have decided
I will never beat my wife, but should at least better my mom-in-law.
She is good,
I am better, but my wife is the best.
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- The Indiaparenting Team