My child has always been a good boy. Sure, he gets tired, cranky and grumpy. And yes, he whines, cries and grumbles. But I’ve never thought anything of it – he’s only fourteen months old! I’ve never worried about taking him out. And I’ve never worried about how he’s going to behave when we *are* out.
Until last Sunday.
We took V to my aunt’s house for prayers. Actually, we *didn’t* take him, but she insisted Hub go home and collect him. The prayers had just started when they arrived and everyone (about twenty-five people, most of them friends of my parents) was sitting in silence and listening to the pandit (priest). Hub deposited V in my lap and sat on the floor at my feet.
I would have liked V to sit quietly. Instead, the first thing he tried to do was open the curtain behind me so he could see the parrot outside on the balcony. At first I resisted but he started saying, ‘Eh eh eh eh eh’. So I took him outside.
We came back in and as I sat down, he wriggled off my lap and went to his dad. For all of three seconds. He wandered around in the middle of the room, wondering what to do. One of the ladies gave him a pouch from her handbag. He was very happy with this. Until he realised he couldn’t unzip it by himself and then he became very unhappy. He took the pouch back to her and said, ‘Eh eh eh eh’. She unzipped it for him. He took everything out of it. Put each item in his mouth and then discarded it on the carpet.
Then he spotted her handbag. A Birkin. They cost between $9000 and $150000 *faint* He toddled over to it and stuck his hand in. Very slowly he took out one item at a time and walked over to me or his dad and gave it to us. I was too far away to stop him and Hub didn’t know what to do.
He soon got bored of the bag (thank God) and wanted to go out and see the parrot again. And again. And then again. Then he went back to the handbag. This was between eating a biscuit and crying because the thirteen month old baby that was there laughed too loudly and scared him.
Please remember that everyone was still sitting in silence, listening to the pandit. Actually, they were sitting in silence observing my son.
I could feel my cheeks burning and imagined everyone silently judging me for not stopping him from walking around, emptying handbags, saying ‘eh eh eh eh’ and generally being a pain the bum.
I *wanted* to, but I felt trying to stop him would only have caused him to make more noise and cause more distraction, which was not appropriate for the situation we were in. And, I couldn’t blame him for being restless. He was bored.
I apologised to Expensive Handbag Lady afterwards, and she was completely fine. She said her granddaughter does it all the time.
And I apologised to my aunt. Afterall, the prayers were for her husband. It wasn’t meant to be a light-hearted Puja. She said, ‘Thank you for bringing him. He was very entertaining. Yesterday was so boring, I almost fell asleep!’
I know that this was just the first of many embarrassing moments that will soon come my way; and I suppose I will have to learn to deal with each situation as it happens.
I just pray it doesn’t happen too regularly!