F for father

I have always been my Daddy’s girl. So much so that all through my school life, the moment the bell rang at 6:30 pm, I would run downstairs to welcome Baba back. In the three minutes that took us to climb back to the first floor, I would finish narrating my day at school. Ma found a special mention in case I had received any scolding from her. At times she would get so annoyed by it that she would refer me as his ‘chamchi’. I lost Ma seven years back but till date, my father is my biggest support system. 

Sr. T grew up in a joint family amidst his paternal grandparents, uncles, and aunts. He was shielded from any form of scolding by his grandparents. He shares the warmest relation with my mother-in-law. With my father-in-law, he shares a relationship full of respect including a comfortable distance in their involvement in each others’ daily life. 

After Tuneer was born, the general perception was that he would eventually turn out to be Mamma’s boy. Shattering another stereotypical thought, Tuneer turned out to be a complete Daddy’s boy (not a very pleasant thing to admit, I must say!). Sr. T had picked up his four days old son for the first time when the newborn continued hiccuping for a straight twenty minutes. That day had sealed a life-long bond for the father-son duo. 

Sr. T’s posting outside the city enables him to stay in Kolkata a day to two at the maximum. Every week, when he returns from his outstation posting, the two meet in a way akin to long-lost friends for a decade or more. In the entire duration of his stay, the boy refuses to let his father out of his sight even for a minute. Not that the father has any problem in such an arrangement.

Lift me up as I recah the zenith of joy
This is how they meet every week

In fact, the father is so indulgent that any effort to discipline him the boy is met with strong protests by both of them alike. Often, I am the less favored and unnecessarily strict parent between the two. The boy, despite his young age, is smart enough to understand his team of staunch supporters. Also, he has made it a point to understand the seniority hierarchy in the family just to ensure that he can complain about my scolding him to those elder than me (and doesn’t let go of any opportunity to encash on this). 

Once we the application process for school admissions were on, it was also time to start preparing Tuneer for the interactions that followed. Until then, any attempt to even remotely bring up the topic about interviews was brushed under the carpet by his father and grandparents. The family went all co-operative though none of them really wanted to put undue pressure on the kid.

Not having an option, I chose to be the monster mom here as I took on the responsibility of teaching and questioning Tuneer. My life had started revolving around what is your name’, ‘where do you stay’, ‘what is the color of your shirt’ and many more questions. The hyperactive state of my mind only had one question, “what if he fails to get through any school?”. I need to mention the enviable level of calmness displayed by Sr. T in such situations. Fear is a common factor that has acted as a bond among many parents. In Tuneer’s preschool, a few of the mothers grew close as we realized about sailing in the same boat with a probability of sinking anytime.

From experience, I realized that the room where parents sit with their kids for primary admission interviews comprises of four categories of people –

  1. The ‘I don’t really care’ parents – they are mostly very rich or have already got  their kid admitted to a certain school
  2. The there’s no end to learning’ kind of parents – here the parents will tell their child to revise one rhyme or ask one question the last-minute, even before entering the interview room. 
  3. The ‘highly competitive’ parents – they keep observing every parent and child keenly, trying to estimate who is going to be a strong competitor for their child.
  4. The ‘scared and generally well-educated middle-class’ parents – they are the ones who know the importance of getting through a good school, also because they don’t have means for education through donation.

For the first two interviews, I was indeed the scared middle-class parent with a fear of failure, not just for Tuneer but also as a parent. Over time, I learned to take a chill pill. Because like Sr. T said after every interview, “If he doesn’t make it to the list, he can still go back to preschool for a year. He is just three.” At times, the man also had dangerous ideas of relocating to any country that established five years to be the age to start school for a child (Read U.S. and Japan)

Of course, I didn’t give in to such silly ideas. So whenever, Tuneer made a mistake during the interview, I would get worked up. But in eight years, Sr. T has learned to pick up cues so well that even before I could get to the boy, he would become the human shield or a chowkidar (relevant in the times of elections this year) for his son. The man refused to believe that there was any mistake. His automated response had become, “You have heard it wrong. Tuneer has given the right answer.” and then proceed to take us out for breakfast or snacks (food makes me melt immediately and no one knows it better than Sr. T). The Z+ security that this tiny boy is already getting from his father makes me wonder if it is time to seek lessons from the CIA to break through this security blanket.

The solace in his arms
The solace in his arms

While writing this post, a floodgate of emotions opened up. The eighties were not the time when equal parenting was even considered a topic worth talking about. Yet whenever I recollect my childhood, I find my father’s involvement in every single step of my life. As I look around today and see quite a few hands-on fathers in my own circle of friends and acquaintances, it feels good to know that we have taken the first few steps in letting the world know that parenting is about taking up equal responsibilities.

I had intended to write this post as a humorous account of Tuneer’s relationship with his Babai his father and protector. But as the writing progressed, I didn’t want to let go of this opportunity to give a shout-out to all the awesome Dads out there. Fathers who give wings to their kids’ dreams, who stand tall in support of their daughters’ choices and who have no qualms in telling their sons about pink being just a color and it is okay for boys to cry.

Before I get any more emotional, let me conclude by saying that I will see you on Monday again with a hilarious post on G. In the meanwhile, you can check out my previous posts in this series here. Have a great weekend.

Author: Sonia Chatterjee

Who am I? An Ex-Banker turned Blogger/Writer/Solopreneur. Any qualifications? A Postgraduate degree in Chemistry followed by Post Graduate Diploma in Management. I am still trying to figure out how and when I can connect all these dots to what I do presently. Have I done any real work? If two years in Market Research and six years in Banking (three different Banks though) as Branch Head can be considered as real work. Where do I live? After a nomadic sixteen years in Delhi, Bangalore & Mysore, I am back to where it all started from - Kolkata. My favorite things - Food, travel, books and my three and half-year-old toddler son What is this blog about? Sonia's musings is an attempt to channelize emotions through words and pictures hoping they touch a chord with my visitors.

56 thoughts on “F for father”

  1. I lost my father about one n half year back… Reading each n every line of your post I couldn’t stop myself remembering those days.
    Nice nostalgic post.
    #ContemplationOfaJoker #Jokerophilia

    Like

  2. You know. Your child is so blessed to have such involved and supportive and loving parents as you and your husband. It is true you have different approaches but there is no doubt of the end result – the best you can provide for this little guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The post is quite a touching one. The equal share of responsibility of raising a child is really need of the hour due to rise in nuclear families & the rise in the number of having both the parents taking up their jobs seriously. It is very important aspect that you touched upon. Btw I love the candid moments that you share with us through your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My father also has a business that kept him away from home. And we used to favor him over ma whenever he would be home. Sr T sounds a lot like my father. And you with your nerves sound a lot like my mother too! This was so relatable! Lovely post, as usual.

    And your post made me realise we have reached first weekend! I am doing a happy dance! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was close to my dad too. I miss him everyday since he left 3 years ago. Do you know, he has never scolded us for anything at all? Not once! All the disciplining was by Amma alone. I am close to Amma also. But my dad was special.
    Great post Sonia.
    www,balconysunrise.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the bonding which Tuneer and his father shares. Don’t worry at some level of time almost all the mothers have to face it.Tuneer loves you so much but the only thing he couldn’t find the way to express his love more.Because nowadays mothers have to play that role also which a toddler don’t appreciate much.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is lovely and insightful at the same time. An almost clear demarcation in the ‘good cop, bad cop’ theme here for the little one 🙂

    Looking forward to G.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The photo is so lovely. And it sounds like the relationship your husband has with your son is similar to the one you had with your father. Your son will be fine. Don’t worry about the school thing. Easy for me to say, I know. Your son sounds very smart and will catch on rapidly.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful post. Yes father has a special place in a Childs life. Normally, girls are dads favourite and boys are mothers pet. Somehow, in your case things have changed. May be because father works out of station. Nevertheless, a sweet relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Being a Daddy’s Girl , i loved reading this post. I will share that it left me misty eyed too. I expected T to be a Mama’s Boy, and reading that he is not, is a surprise. If it is any consolation, kids are always more attached to the parent who is away 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We picked up 6 schools for him. Went for four interviews in three schools as one school had two rounds of interview. The experiences have been such that I can almost write a book about it now.

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  11. Cute, cute, cute post, Sonia! Feels so good to read about daddies who are more buddies than daddies to their kiddos. I was always so scared of my dad. Only after I joined college did he become ‘friendly’ with me. It felt so good to read about the bond between Tuneer and his dad….God bless your boys!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Well, my daughter is the typical Daddy’s girl and she never fails to wrap me around her little finger. This is mainly because my wife is a bit of a disciplinarian as she is a Maths teacher and insists on the child being up to date with her lessons in school. My wife has a very good idea about what schools are like and even suggested homeschooling for our daughter but I vetoed the idea as I Felt a major part of growing up is being with other children of the same age and the friendship and camaraderie that entails.

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  13. Such a lovely post! It’s like reliving those golden moments. It reminded me of my Papa; our hiding corner, Mamma’s support system in parenting. The mention of different types of parents is also so true. It’s a race these days unlike our fun-filled, gadget free days.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I lost my Mom 3 years ago. I was always close to Dad but after she left us our bond has gone through a sea change. He feels more responsible for me and pampers me silly.
    The love between Sr T and Tuneer truly made my eyes moist. My husband shows a smilar kind of love for our kids and I, although a bystander sometimes, love to see their bonding and chemistry.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Such a very well-articulated post, Sonia. Was such a pleasure reading it. I am really happy for Tuneer. Not all kids are lucky to have two worthy and wonderful role models in their parents. I am with you on balancing out the equation with a small dose of strictness. As he grows up, he will realise how lucky he is to be blessed with a mother like you.
    God bless your family!
    Best wishes….

    Liked by 1 person

  16. How beautifully you have penned the precious moments. When your little don grows up, he’ll be so happy to read this and know how much his father loves him. 😊
    #ishaspire #blogchattera2z

    Like

  17. Very emotional post, Sonia. I am more close to my mom, born and bred in a joint family I have closely seen how mothers were the last one to get mention and credit of any good. It gave birth to a new rebellious me in teenage years. My Dad was more on a quieter side, hence Mom and I developed this deeper bond of friendship. However, today when I see Kavya and her Dad’s bonding my heart feels the love we missed (being 80s kids) fathers were not very involved in parenting duties then, especially in Northern India where patriarchy is still a social issue. Lovely post on Father-Son love. God bless

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I loved your post. I am very close to my father, in fact, I am my father’s favourite child. He has always supported me at every step of my life. even now when I am upset, I don’t need to tell him, he just figures out. similarly, my daughter adores her father. I am the strict parent and my husband creates a security blanket for my daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I am enjoying your posts Sonia. They are fun and also a mix of many emotions. I agree completely as I am a dad’s girl too and now my daughters are also more daddy’s girls. I am glad that there are more hands on dad’s these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Loved reading about the father-son bond. My nephew also used to do the same thing… when my bhabhi scolded him too seriously someday, he would go to my brother (cousin) and complain… “aaj mummy pagal ho gayi hai!” :))
    Kids are really amazing.
    My sister’s 1YO had her mundan yesterday. So in the afternoon, during our video call with them, she was touching her clean-shaved head to show us that they took all her hair away! Hahaha! We had such a great time laughing!
    Find my F post @ 5 Must-Have Fitness Tools for Home Workout

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Hi Sonia, until I got married I thought I am attached to my mother only. But now I realize that I admire my father too. Whatever little research I do on motivating people’s life, I see those qualities live in my father!
    Good post on celebrating bonds with our dads.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. You have written a beautiful personal tale here! The bond between father and daughter/son is very special. In my case, I have been – my mother’s girl and at other times my father’s girl. We as children share unique bond with our parents. Though you may be the strict one, Tuneer will love you and respect you in ways you never know when he grows up. By the way, you have put a very nice pic of Tuneer and Sr. T!

    Read mine here – https://evergreenleaf.blogspot.com/2019/04/f-family-and-friends-atoz-challenge.html

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Loved this post, Sonia. I love my dad too a lot and now see the close bond that my sons share with their dad. The dad though calls them mama’s boys. It is really sweet. Heartening memories of your son and his dad and you with your dad as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Its always that kids miss the parent who is away from them most of the time. No wonder your kid turned out to be a father’s boy. But believe me, if you go away for a half a day or so, then he would realize how much your kid misses you. He is lucky to have you both.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Now that I am getting to know your family more through your posts, I realize I share similar thoughts as your husband. I really don’t want my son to go through all this sh*t at this young age. We are already continuing him in PreK this year. And, I am really tensed what will happen when we will go through the admission procedures next year.

    Like

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