Dog On the Street

We were descending from the mall stairs, after buying grocery, when my daughter (2 years) caught sight of a dog on a pavement nearby. She got excited and started screaming "bow-wow". She started pushing my finger towards the dog. But I did not move, at least initially. I could feel the resistance gripping my body. My conditioned mind started giving me many reasons to not pay any attention to my kid's fancy - you have many unfinished jobs back at house.... its getting late, she might irk the dog and get herself hurt....its better not to complicate things, she might become more demanding once you give in to her desires and fancies.....its better you draw a line right now, people might think that you are being stupid to allow your child to play on the street with a dog.....who on the earth does that?

All such thoughts were running in the background of my mind when suddenly I could see the absurdity of them. "What am I doing? I am resisting the present moment just because of some imaginary fears made up by my mind!" As I became aware of this, I felt more powerful. "The unfinished jobs can wait for 2 more minutes. I CAN be careful enough to not let her slip in any danger. If at all she starts demanding unreasonably I CAN deal with it when it happens. I CAN spare a minute and let her enjoy no matter what people might think of it."

So we went near the dog. When it wagged its tail, daughter started jumping with joy. And when it started panting, she stuck out her tongue too euphorically. She was enjoying the dog and I was enjoying her. A minute got passed like that and I pulled her gently to go towards home. But she pulled away. "What to do now?" I was standing on the road carrying a grocery bag and covering her from the moving traffic. I could do that no longer. I felt a strong urge to lift her up and stomp off. But I knew the side effects of doing that - she will resist it violently which will make me upset for a long time. So I chose not to do that.

Daughter was still enjoying her dog show although the initial frenzy had dampened by now. "It seems to be the right moment to offer her something more interesting". I pulled out the receipt of the groceries from the bag. "Pihu, take it", I said. She looked over to see what it is. I added, "Hold this and hand it over to Papa, once we are home." She was delighted to have this new responsibility. "This looks something meaningful and adult-like", she seemed to be thinking. As she reached for it, I held her finger gently and started walking. I talked about what all is written on the receipt and what is its purpose. She was listening attentively and seemed thoughtful. In a little while we both reached home smiling.

Category: parenting