My dearest son,
As I picked up your toys from floor for the fifth time today, a tiny voice in my head said, 'If you don't want to do this forever, it's time you taught your boy some discipline.'
Almost immediately, another voice argued, 'He's not ready. He's too little. He will learn in due course.'
But as my duty as mom to a fast-growing boy, I'm going to make sure that you get the right lessons, at the right age. So, mere laal (my darling son), here are some things I don't want you to assume or pick up, ever.
1. Cleaning up my mess is someone else's job
Cleaning up is a natural process that follows messing up. The earlier you realize it, the better. I do not want you to become the boy who expects his mother and then his partner to pick up after him. The rule is simple -
You party, you clean. I know it's not fun, but it is super important as it gives you a sense of orderliness.
2. I don't need to know to cook
Wrong. Hunger can make one go bananas, so it pays to know how to cook. It is a special skill that will find you many admirers, and is also cheaper and healthier. You need not know how to cook a seven-course dinner, a simple meal would do. But also realize that the art of cooking includes food shopping, knowing how to treat ingredients, minimizing wastage, and washing up later.
3. Housework gets done by itself
I know you would love to believe that the toilet cleans itself and the bed magically makes itself. But since they don't, I want to teach you to be responsible for basic chores at home. They can be as simple as laying to table, to begin with. And if you can change the iPad settings like a pro, you're big enough to pick up a responsibility.
4. The house help is getting paid, so she must do all the work
We need to learn this one together. We've been so used to getting help from that we cannot imagine our lives without the maid, the laundryman, or the cook. We do reach out for help because we can afford to, but I can very well see a time when maids will be scarcer than clean air. So let us be grateful for the help, but be equipped to function without any.
5. Doing a chore is so uncool
Chore does rhyme with bore, but since we have no way out, we can make them fun. If I look bored myself when I do them, remind me that we will finish the job with a smile. You'll see how cool you feel after you do a job well.
Hey, I don't mean to force you into bonded labour. You still need to be a child, yet learn. So let's steadily and gradually work towards making you independent and self-reliant.
In the future, when you set out to live alone, I don't want you to miss me when you see an unwashed pile of laundry. Instead, I want you to remember me for the good times we've had together.
I also do not care for a certificate from my future daughter-in-law stating that I've raised you well. All I want is for you to be responsible for yourself, for that is what will make me truly happy.
Leading image source: sensebin.com