My paediatrics prof used to say “Children are born to embarrass their parents in public” and when I was a child, I was told very clearly by mother that she will not tolerate any embarrassment however accidentally created.
So it was a life, perfectly orchestrated. If I was to attend a wedding, it started of with the gold chain, a frilly dress( that itches), black shoes that didn’t fit, and socks that made my feet itch even more. And then there were safety pins to deter the thief who might be tempted to snatch the gold chain. ( my mother had a knack of pinning the gold chain to the dress as well as the petticoat!)
So all in all, I was to act like a doll, even though I was itching all over and those silly safety pins were poking me. Oh, I forgot the hair. I had motta thala ( short hair) and to make me look prettier, amma would place an assortment of ‘gulf’ hair clips on the said mottathala and it was my duty to keep those clips on my head and not to lose them. I am sure my head looked like a beautiful Faberge egg.
I also am blessed with silky straight hair and imagine the directions the clips would take the moment I move my head!
I hated the pretentious childhood parents loved to force on their children. My entire childhood was for show..to show others what a good job my mother was doing in raising her 4 wonderful beautiful children !
When I had my children, I was determined not to torture them. No gold jewellery, no frilly dress, no ill fitting shoes !
All worked perfectly. So long as I let them wear what they want, and they didn’t cross the boundary to indecent outfits, there was no chance of embarrassing me. Yaya still wears necklaces as head gear, wear mismatch socks, even mismatch shoes. It is all part of her declaring her independence and I am fine with that.
Happily, we boarded the flight to Auckland.
As soon as the cabin crew came to check the seat belt, my son asked her
“May I please have a glass of milk”
Milk? My son wants to drink milk? That morning, before we left, I had to boil two litters of milk twice to make paneer ( I don’t have a bigger pot!) and I still had 3 two litter bottles of milk in the fridge because my wonderful milko insists on delivering the milk irrelevant to my needs.
The air hostess served my son a glass of milk.
He drank it in one gulp as though he has never seen milk before and was afraid that the hostess may not let him finish his precious milk. Then he asked for a second serve.
I am not sure what was happening..but I am only thick skinned to a certain degree of thickness. When my son tried to ask for a third glass of milk, I told him, I will make him drink the whole gallon that is currently residing in our fridge when we get back.
But to think that my son has never been given a glass of milk until he boarded the Quantas flight.. how bizarre!