Friday, December 01, 2006

Guilty as charged!

For as far back as I can remember – guilt has been an integral part of my up-bringing. Whether it was “If you’re a good girl – you will share toys with your brother” or “when has our happiness mattered to you”, I’ve been there and seen it all.

In the beginning, it was fairly mild. About small little things. The ubiquitous “after all we’re doing this for your benefit” invariably got attached to most sentences my mother uttered. But as time passed, I guess we got wise to my mother’s words. Or maybe I got tough skinned enough to resist it.

That’s when I think she took up by a notch. Now “all our life we’ve done things for you – now when we’re asking you to do something for us – you won’t oblige us” that’s what I got told when I refused to doll up for some “girl-seeing party”.

After I got married – I thought the guilt trips would end. But I didn’t count on motherhood. Didn’t expect it to hit me with such a huge whammy. As a stay-at-home mom, the guilt of not doing enough to secure your child’s future was an all-time companion.

What I also didn’t expect was for random strangers to fill in my mother’s shoes. We were dining at a restaurant – when the waitress came by and offered us some meatballs. Since I don’t want sonny to eat red meat – I declined. She insisted that kids were enjoying it. I demurred again. “O its really soft – he will be able to eat it”. This time I was firm – and said I didn’t want to give it to sonny. So she pats sonny’s head and says “O you poor child – your mommy doesn’t feed you well” What???!!

That and many more such guilt trips have ensured that I don’t miss my ma being near me.

O yes, this entire recollection was brought on because of sonny. Yesterday he wasn’t touching his veggies. So I told him “Sonny, if you love your ma, you’re gonna finish those veggies.”


O la la…the cycle begins again! And this time – I’m the driver!

10 Comments:

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Devra said...

Guilt, like so many other family traditions, seems to get passed along from generation to generation.

But do we really need another generation of resentment in our families? I know I can't do anything about having inherited the awful thighs so I think I'll try to harness the guilt as best as I can.

 
At 11:09 PM, Anonymous NZ said...

hehehe, I had forgotten all about my mum's tricks to make us do what she wanted !!

 
At 12:52 AM, Blogger Alan said...

The waitress was out of line, but meatballs are indeed soft and delicious. "Girl Seeing Party" sounds somewhat interesting. Is that a preliminary event to an arranged marriage?

 
At 7:02 AM, Blogger artnavy said...

RESIST lady. Both yourself and others on a guilt trip... look who's talking now!

 
At 1:50 PM, Blogger Something to Say said...

oooo..didn't know guilt is such a powerful bonding emotion ;)
Devra: post is a by-product of the fact - that I DON'T wanna guilt trip sonny - but sometimes you know - it just happens.

nz: Inspite of all my mom's trips and tricks - saat samundar paar (across the seven seas) i miss me mom! :(

alan: yes Alan, girl seeing party is a preliminary event to an arranged marriage. Pretty much like in Kal Ho naa ho (watched it yet?) there is a Sardar family that comes in to 'see' Preity Zinta.

Art: its soooo difficult, i tell you - not to send others on a guilt trip :)

 
At 10:54 AM, Blogger Twisted DNA said...

“O you poor child – your mommy doesn’t feed you well”
Tell me about it! I am in India right now and EVERYWHERE we go, people offer candy for the kid. We don't want him to eat too much sugar at one time so we insist that the kid is spared of the generosity. They all express their sympathies for the kid!

Glad that you are aware of the guilt trips and will be watchful

 
At 3:23 AM, Blogger iz said...

yep. Of all the things I thought I'd inherit from my mom, I never thought dexterity at emotional blackmail would be one of them. yet here I am now, getting all teary eyed when the husband doesn't eat the pulao!

 
At 10:10 PM, Blogger That Armchair Philosopher said...

wow. that really does sound deja vu-ish. Really.

 
At 2:23 PM, Blogger Something to Say said...

Twisted DNA: My friend, you are now in the land of the mighty guilt givers. On your guard now!!!

Iz: Welcome! The things we inherit from our moms! :) Seriously man, we need to really guard against passing it to our kids.

Armchair Philosopher: Reminded you of your mom, didnt I? :)

 
At 3:20 AM, Blogger the mad momma said...

I try really hard not to guilt trip my son because yeah, mom had me worked like putty with her'if you love mama..." statements. but i do hate ppl who offer advice and then criticise parents to kids even as a joke.. kids are not really aware of the diff between jokes and reality.

 

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