Getting My Goat!

These aren’t those bleating goats. No Siree! They are those invisible metaphorical goats whose horns keep poking at you something fierce about stuff that irks you at the very least and makes you want to take a sledgehammer to stuff at times.

So back to all my irks…and there are quite a few…dirty nails, people who think from between their legs all the time, those who can’t hold their liquor and make crude passes, bitchy people…you name it and it irks! But an irk especially close to my heart is one about moms and their kids.

Let’s get something clear at the onset- NO ONE IS EVER READY TO BE A PARENT! Not in the truest sense. You buy into the idea but you never can imagine the gamut of the doodoo that comes your way; in and out of the nappy.

I have always had an extremely capable and proactive husband by my side while I make my way through the maze that parenthood is. I’ve never had a maid for my kid. Somehow it just didn’t click. Not for lack of trying either. It was one of those things. And for the most part I think the kid’s turning out ok. He wants to be a dragon when he grows up but no one’s perfect and life’s weird.

If life were normal, I’d be in Bora Bora with Hugh Jackman right about now! Anyhoo…*reluctantly puts fantasies in the box labelled “night-time fun”*

Today while my flesh and blood was frolicking in a kiddy play area in our complex after getting back from school, a nanny suddenly told me to watch her charge and vamoosed. Before I could blink she was making long-legged strides down the landscaped yard and going out of sight.

She had vaguely pointed towards the playground equipment and told me to watch the kid who till then I’d neither seen hide nor hair of. I took a peak around the corner to see a little boy, not even 3 years old, happily exploring the place and clueless about the fact that his caretaker was gone.

I called his name and said hi and apparently that was spooky enough for him because he jetted too; looking for his nanny and acting like I was the proverbial stranger that moms warn kids off from.

I chased the kid all the way to the place where the buses drop off our children and managed to grab his hand before he hurtled himself near an oncoming bus. Phew. My angry eyes did nothing for the tot or his nanny who didn’t even think to apologize.

I got the mom’s number from one of the other moms and called her and told her what had happened. Her thank yous were distinctly lacking in sincerity and warmth and that’s to be expected. No one likes people critiquing them or their choices; strangers doing it is even less welcome I’d imagine.

But while I don’t relish wearing the hat of the playground police, ever since I’ve become a mother I can’t *not* be anything other than a mother if any child seems to be in potential danger, negligent situation or anything that seems less than ideal.

Despite my gung-ho approach, my own child, close friends’ kids have still managed to get hurt, sometimes narrowly missing a major injury and therein lies the rub.

Maids, nannies end up being surrogates for parents but aren’t parents at all. Not to anyone else’s kids. They are hired help who may be good with our kids but handing them over to the kids without adequate checks and balances isn’t to our advantage and certainly not to our childrens’.

I don’t fault moms who have nannies. It’s a choice they make. And they live with it. I made a choice to go nannyless and it’s something I had to live it. Wasn’t easy by half! But try and have the measure of the person you’re handing your baby over to. They may love your child but be closet kleptos (as a dear friend found out recently), they may not have vices but their personal hygiene might entail a one-way ticket to a pig sty. Anything!

My personal view is this- safety in numbers works for us all. Adults and children alike. And when someone points out that your child wasn’t in the most secure position and was deliberately left vulnerable by the one person who was supposed to keep him safe; for Pete’s sake! keep your snit to yourself. People would rather be cuddling their own kids and sipping hot coffees rather than charging after a toddler barrelling towards an on-coming bus!

Loads of scary shit already going on in this world!

Here endeth the lesson.



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