It takes wisdom to give life one’s best shot and then accept gracefully whatever fate or providence has in store, with total positive surrender.
– Fakir, by Ruzbeh N Bharucha.
The mantle of motherhood is phenomenal. Perennial worry, constant urge to give your child the best that you can give in education, living, character or simply food can be overwhelming. The kind that I am, I always doubt myself and my efforts. It’s never enough. It’s never good.
Before my child was born, I tried to learn everything from parenting books, classes and the mistakes of other mothers. And I thought I knew it all.
Yea, guessed it right. I fell flat on my face. Had them laughing at me for days to come.
Even before she could breathe in open air, her diet was decided. Loads of fresh fruits and vegetables, assorted nuts, whole grain, clarified butter, no chocolates, no sweets…. and in all this listing and scheming, forgot, the good Lord will bless the unborn with her very own palette and a mind of her own. I got a taste of my own doing once she was out
In a very short while, she spat out the ragi, flung the banana, nuts were strewn all over, spinach was given surly looks and I had myself at my wits end.
Boy! Does this great heavy cloak break your back. Or are they wings which uplift your soul and show you the grander picture? I’m still searching.
I unlearnt everything that I so smartly gathered from all the possible sources. Started from scratch. And still have such a long road ahead.
My daughter teaches me something new everyday.
One of the most prominent things she inculcated in me is patience and respect. Respect for her as an individual. Respect for her likes and dislikes. Respect for her own individuality. Respect for the fact that she is not me. Sigh!
So, she does not like carrots, I try not to fight her. The ‘mother’ that I am, I cheat:)
She hates nuts. I dry roast the walnuts and almonds and sprinkle salt-pepper and her highly savory palette laps it up. And when my mum eulogised the benefits of Euryale Fox Nuts or Daal-Makhane, I did not want to miss the chance of adding the calcium dense starchy white seed to my child’s diet. But of course, on her conditions.
I keep my highly twitchy fingers crossed and very lovingly offer her a couple of these dry roasted very healthy Euryale Fox nuts or Makhane. Although hesitatingly, she tosses one into her mouth, smiles and says “POP CORN”!
And this is how I win my battles.
Indian answer to the very famous Popcorn: Roasted Daal Makahne
- 2 cups makhane,
- 1 tsp ghee, or according to your taste
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp pepper powder
In a large wok, heat the clarified butter/ghee. Add turmeric and red chili powder, along with the makhane/fox nuts. On sim flame, roast the nuts for at least 10 minutes, mixing them once in a while.
Add salt and pepper. After 3-4 minutes, switch the flame off. Allow to cool. Transfer to an air tight jar.
The end result: Crunchy, crisp, salty savory snack/munchies.
My expectations from the child just because I was striving hard to give her the best of all that I could find was overbearing my little one. Just didn’t work.
I recoil. Give her some space. Give her individuality a chance. And slowly the cobwebs clear away.
Life is not a competition for me, or for her or for anyone. It is not about how intelligent or how smart or how rich or how famous you are.
It is about giving your best and leaving it to God.