...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!