Monday, March 02, 2009

Judging and comparing...

...are two things that my ideal self would never do, especially when it comes to parenting. But then my actual self is far from my ideal one. And I also happen to be an avid people-watcher and love to occupy myself by creating personalities and stories around the people I see around me.

So, the other day I was at my fitness class and there was this young mother who brought her little toddler along with her. And I was torn between admiring her (and her well-behaved daughter) and judging her for various reasons. My thought process went something like this…

Whoa! Does that woman have a kid with her?

She's probably just here to find out about the various fitness programmes on offer...

Oh! She’s going into the fitness studio. Maybe she’s just going to check it out?

Oops! The music’s starting and the instructor’s starting to count. Better get into place.

She's still here. And she's sat the kid down in the corner. She's here to exercise! With the kid in attendance! Wow!

I wonder how long the girl will stay put where she's sitting!

Awesome! The kid is just sitting there. She’s not even trying to play with the free weights or exercise balls well within her reach. I can imagine the chaos that Ayaan would have caused in the ten minutes that have passed. And this angelic little girl is just quietly sitting there and watching her mom (and the rest of us) exercise

But man is this music loud and throbbing! I wonder if it is a good idea for a little kid to be exposed to these decibel levels??!

It’s twenty minutes into the class now and the little girl is still peacefully sitting there! Without even a bundle of toys or a bunch snacks (which I would have carried if I ever considered attempting this) to distract her.

Her mom’s going over to her. Maybe twenty five minutes are the limit of the kid’s patience? That’s not bad! In fact, it’s about twenty four minutes more than Ayaan would have allowed me to exercise.

Oh! She’s not leaving! She’s laid one of the exercise mats on ground and her daughter is lying down on it and looking positively sleepy!

But ewww!!! Those exercise mats are the same ones that the rest of us sweat all over when we do out abdominal crunches… Ewwww!

This child is nothing short of amazing! She is fast asleep! In the midst of the pounding music! And here I have kittens if the pressure cooker whistle goes off when Ayaan is napping!

And now the class is over and she is still fast asleep. I wonder how she’ll react to her nap being cut short abruptly. What?! No crying, not even a whine? Just a sweet, sleepy smile for her mom? Life can be so unfair!

I wonder why she brought the kid with her. She’s probably a stay-at-home mom, given that this is an afternoon class on a weekday. I wonder if she is one of those paranoid 24-7 mothers who cannot conceive of leaving their kids with anyone else for even an hour…

Or maybe this is a one-time things and she just didn’t have anyone to leave the baby with… the fact that she brought her along shows an impressive commitment to fitness.

But on the other hand, is a high-intensity fitness class (lots of sweat and germs, terribly loud music, weights littered around the place, people prancing around) really an appropriate place for such a young kid?

I came away from the class, laughing at myself. Look at how many things I thought about this woman that I never spoke a word too! Making snap judgements can be such fun - especially if the people in question have no idea that you are doing it!


  1. lol, ro. i laughed out at some of the things you thought :)

  2. Whatever you observed is true. But I am thinking what is most important ? The child's exposure towards the high decible sounds or the mama's health.
    Thinking !

  3. LOL, you judgmental mom you ! ;)

    I'm guilty of taking Poppin with me not to an exercise class, but to the beauty parlor. For haircuts and eyebrows. Possibly there's something wrong with it, but she's OK so..

    Yeah and I cannot imagine her going to sleep just like that. I am positively envious. Who cares about germs, I'd give anything to have her pop off and not be cranky afterwards!

  4. wow! thats a lot of judging done in little time! ever conisdered the reality show way?! :p

    but i guess its only natural! will you judge me if you see Cubby in the movie theatre sleeping off within 45mins and letting us watch the movie?

    or just be plain jealous! :p

    loved the post Rohini. Thanks for the laughs!



  5. [Serendipity/ Mona/ JLT] :D

    [Hobo] Yeah, but it's not like there are no options. She can always exercise at home with a fitness video or bundle the kid into a pram and go for a walk, na?

    [Poppins/ Mamma Mia] I am more likely to be envious than judgmental since I can never imagine taking Ayaan along to the parlour or a movie!

  6. Oh thats a lot of fun. Its still my favorite past time while waiting at the airport or any place where one has to .. well wait... :)
    And what a child! Seems too angelic to be true!!!

  7. u know, as soon as i read the bit about a mom getting her daughter to exercise class i thought a couple of these things myslef :) and I'm so jealous...i'd give a lot to be able to do something like this.

    this was a good one :)

  8. Thanks for the laughs Ro and for the company on being judgmental. I do this all the time when I have to er.. wait..

  9. Anonymous11:41 pm

    Huh - that's not a real child! I suspect tranquilizers! :) :)


  10. funny :) i think id have had much the same tussle going on in my head. and i too am on tenterhooks during naps..pressure cooker, mixie, bell, intercom, anything wakes up my 11 month son so everything is turned off just so that he gets a decent nap...

  11. [RT/ Kowsalya] It is fun! I could fill a book with all my observations!

    [Noodlehead] That's reassuring. I am not alone!

    [Anon] LOL!

    [Nina] At one point, we stuck a notice on our doorbell saying that it gives electric shocks :)

  12. what a riot you are. I do this all the time. But, Chip like Ayaan will not sit still for more than 5 mins. And with free weights and exercise balls around? no chance. But, tell me truthfully Ro, for all your admiration about the lil girl's compliance, don't you think Ayaan is far more interesting to be with?

  13. This is one of those vivid dreams K talked about. No such child exists.

  14. I am with you on this...I guess I would have about another million thots racing thru my mind in a similar situation. And more than judging it would be wondering how they do it!

  15. LOL. Just like Ayaan, my 22-month daughter too would have created a riot in 5 minutes. I wondere what that lady fed her daughter?
    I would have skipped the fitness class (I continue to do so)for her afternoon nap rather than making her sleep on an exercise mat with loud music blaring around. Ro, are we paranaoid parents who try to protect our children all the time?

  16. LOL!
    maybe it was just an exercise-induced state of imagining impossible things?

  17. [Dottie] Oh definitely! But I wouldn't mind it if he had just one measly hour of quiet time in a day... :)

    [Sue/ Choxbox] *looks stern* You'd be happy to know that I have not lost my mind... yet. ;)

    [Shobana] Seriously. I wanted to ask her. But thought she might have got offended. Like I do when people ask me how I manage being a working mom :)

    [Sscribbles] Yeah, we are a teeny bit paranoid... but I'm quite happy to be :)

  18. Loved the thought processes!

  19. Lol! So you were exercising your body and mind at the same time? Talk about multi-tasking! Jokes apart, I agree with Dottie - popol is in the same group with Chip and Ayaan - and though he drains me with his hyperactivity, these little busybodies make for more interesting company.

  20. LOL!
    I would have done just the same and been terribly jealous of her.

  21. I think my Gudiya is like that too:-)can't say the same about A though;-)

  22. ha ha ha ..this was hilarious. I often ask God why couldn't at least one fo the two kids I have be like that little girl. Jiya showed promise in the beginning but now she gives her brother tough competetion. *sigh*

  23. This is truely hilarious ...since I am an introvert I can never go and talk to anybody but I keep weaving all such stories about them

  24. Pretty hilarious!
    So many things about someone you never spoke to even once!

  25. A very cool post.. LOL! I'm sure all the mommies in that class must have had the same thoughts :)

  26. Whoa - what was the kid smoking? My daughter is pretty quiet...when she's asleep, otherwise she's literally climbing the furniture. A vision of her toppling scores of exercise balls which then come rolling behind the leotard-clad mom who're racing to get out their way is making me double up, at the mo

  27. Lot of people might have seen fun in this post; but I didn't. No one has got any right to make fun of anyone's parenting. This post is nothing but that. You may say that this is your blog and you have right to say whatever you want to say or write......And I take that...but have said whatever I wanted to say.