Thursday, March 15, 2007

Partying Babies

Back at Sheetal's baby did not have to love disco to party hard and into the wee hours along with their parents. They believed children were always better served being with their parents irrespective of circumstances than left behind with baby sitters. They did not endorse the western world view.

I never understood what part of Bharatiya Parampara these folks so zealously supported leaving six and seven year olds unattended at the bar so they could mix left over drinks wily-nily with their soda and run upstairs to their rooms to play video games. Sheetal and Jay are hardly an exception. A lot of desi parents tow their children along like body appendages wherever they go. As the parents, chat and drink till 4:00 a.m., the kids fall asleep bored and exhausted all around the house. Saturday mornings don't start till one in the afternoon.

All around me, I see elementary school kids dressing and acting like teenagers. Childhood used to be a brief yet beautiful bridge between infancy and adolescence. Increasingly, it seems like parents and other adults in a child's life are intent on burning that bridge down with finality. J's classmate Kylie longs to be a big girl so she can drive a car and have a boyfriend just like her cousin Julie.

Her friend Alicia promises to serve drinks the next time she has a birthday party and have plenty of music to go along with it. At six years old you wonder if she knows what she's talking about until you see her do hip rolls and pelvic thrusts to something that sounds like Reggaeton. You worry if she had a pink lemonade or a daiquiri in mind when she said drinks.

Second graders at J's school have hair stylist appointments and wear clothes that would fit the "slutty" categorization for a woman. Barbie doll underwear waistband is the agent provocateur of kindergarten. Independent reading is apparently an optional skill for most of these kids. I feel like an anachronism raising a child like we still lived in the dark ages. I am not nearly up to speed on current mothering best practices and will most likely never catch up.

Child rearing seems to be a lost cause both in the East and the West these days. The old ways that served both cultures much better is no longer good enough. Makes you wonder what folks were thinking when they decided to tear down and rebuild something that was working just fine. For instance, what gap in a child's life was an adult trying to fill by taking her to a nightclub at naptime ?


Pawan said...

Rightly said. Fail to understand why people try to mix two cultures together. Wonder what kind of role model are these parents when they bring their young ones to parties that last till early hours of morning.

Heartcrossings said...

Pawan - Thanks for stopping by. I guess these parents are convinced they are doing the right thing and that is a real pity.