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Being Dad and that too, in Dhaka!

  • Published at 07:30 pm November 26th, 2016
Being Dad and that too, in Dhaka!
"Life, with its infinite wisdom, will take its course and we can only try," said a good friend of mine. My son just turned 104 weeks, last week. It feels great! I have to admit that, I haven’t been a hands on dad like most, but rather a more observant commentator, who hadn’t been supportive enough when it comes to chores for our son. However, I have to admit that, this great feeling comes at a cost of some not so great moments. We had to often change our plans, because Xavi would get cranky during late hours, which was a challenge to our freedom, but then we saw the value in having discipline. Also, lunches and dinners at restaurants can be tough as kids just don’t like their mom’s eating and would be agitated, if enough attention wasn’t being provided. We remained patient and allowed him table food from a very early age, and that has really given us an extra edge for when we travel. Day care can be a tricky choice, and that especially in Dhaka, where the entire 160 million minus youself are your advisors. My son started his day care when he was just six months old. It wasn’t a tough choice for me, as I had planned it from before. I have to say, that the day care did a pretty good job to turn him into a friendly young kid. Dhaka can be a tough place to grow up, even for commandos, let alone little babies. Our son picked up most of his words while we were on our way to his day care or from there to home. We live exactly 7.4 km from his day care, and it's a full football match commute. He doesn’t like staying in the car for long but there isn’t much we can do. To add to the immense traffic, Gulshan is being renovated and in such a way that carrying my son across the roads can be dangerous. This isn’t what we expected. Given that we are so densely packed, and so competitive in almost every way, this can be a challenge for kids, as they have no time to chill from their first cry. I was quite worried about our son as his teeth weren’t coming out until he was 18 months, as most of the kids had theirs by the time they were eight months or even sooner. Every time, my son picked up a word, he had to repeat it in front of everyone he would meet until he picked up another word. Gradually, words and sounds turned into rhymes, but the consequences of learning something can be quite taxing for the little boy, for he needs to repeat it to his grand father and mother from either side and all of their relatives, to all our friends and their kids, to the drivers, and to the stranger standing next to me at Lavender. Things start getting really fast after the 52nd week. Xavi started picking up words really fast, to this extent that in a span of two months, he went from just “Baba” to “Baba doggy koi?” Every child will have some affinity towards something, ranging from sports gears to cartoon characters, to animals to people. Xavi is an animal lover and would do whatever it takes to be around animals, but that’s hard in Dhaka. Running across fields and chasing birds can only be done in synthetic resorts, unless you have a village which is accessible. As parents, we were quite strict with iPads, and luckily we were able to do a good job as Xavi is not too crazy about iPads. He would rather choose people and animals over iPads. This can be taxing for working parents. I have also seen that, too much iPad at this stage, really delays the average growth to some extent, especially limiting physical strength. With our limited experience of having a two year old, I can confidently say that, kids learn from the environment and do not necessarily learn from you or the mother, but rather from everyone. So attention is the key for me. As long as he feels that he is wanted, and that someone or the other is willing to play, it's fine. Lastly, always believe in life’s infinite wisdom.   Photo: Courtesy
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