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My daughters attend one of the top schools in our city.  Their friends live in every district in the city.  It is not always possible for them to attend all the birthday parties and functions to which they are invited as their father is often out of town and not available to drive them.  But I try to send them as often as I can if a lift is available.

Recently Trisha (aged 9) was invited to a friend's birthday party at  mall in the city centre at Lucknow.  As that area is accessible from our home,  I pressed Yash to drive her there.  He was not in the mood at all.  Sunday is his only day off, and he was feeling rather tired.  However, I persuaded him to do so on the grounds that while she was attending the party, we could buy some of the schoolbooks and uniforms which we need for the coming school year, as many of the shops we had to go to are located in that area.  Also, I wanted to attend Sunday Mass, and the Cathedral is located there too.  It's nice when you can accomplish several errands in one journey.  We dropped the child to the party and handed her over.  I went to the Cathedral and Yash (accompanied by our youngest child, Nitin, aged 6) went to make the necessary purchases.

When I was at Mass I noticed my mobile vibrating violently.  I don't answer calls in Church.  When I realised it was Yash I went outside and took the call.  He was in a really bad mood.

"How long more is this Mass going to take?  Hurry up and come out.  I'm fed up.  I've done all the work.  Nitin is driving me mad.  It's very hot and mosquitoes are everywhere."  I assured him that it wouldn't take much longer and came out as quickly as I could.  Then we went down to the Mall (Saharaganj) to collect our daughter.

The children had eaten their meal.  The parents of the child who was celebrating her birthday had taken the children to a small amusement park within the complex.  The children were queuing up for a ride on some kind of apparatus.  It was some kind of simulated bungee jump.  Trish was third in the queue for her turn and was very excited.  I could see that it was going to take not less than twenty minutes to get out of there.

I tried to persuade her to leave immediately, but the child was so crestfallen that I relented.  I knew that her father was in tension and understood how he felt.  But I also know that children need to get out and have fun regularly.  Unfortunately, Yash is not in a position to take the children out as often as he would like.  So this time, I decided to put the child first and make her father wait.  So we waited.  I called Yash on the mobile and told him that we would be at least twenty minutes.  He was, as I had imagined, not too pleased about this.

We waited patiently for our turn.  Just as Trisha was about to get strapped into the apparatus, another woman, a mother of one of the other children, tried to push Trish out on the grounds that she was late and in a hurry.  I nearly exploded with tension.

"Excuse me Ma'am, I'm very, very sorry, but this girl's father is waiting outside with the scooter calling me on the mobile every two minutes.  We also live far away and are in a hurry.  You can go ahead when we are finished," I said, in what I hoped was a calm manner.  It probably wasn't.

When Trish was finished, we went straight out to join her father who was, understandably, not too happy.  I understood, but sometimes, you have to weigh up the interests of your different family members and see who has the greater need.  I know he wanted to finish this work and get home, but the child also needed to enjoy herself.  I hope to go back to that complex with all my four children during the holidays so that they can have a change of atmosphere.


  1. You were bang on target Gaelikaa. Well done. Lucknow mosquitoes can be brutal, particularly around Saharaganj. But a child's joy should come before such small considerations. You must tell Yash that it is donating blood for pregnant females that is being bitten by mosquitoes. I am sure that he will understand.

  2. You can never please everyone at the same time, but I think you did the right thing.

  3. Sometimes you have to do that in order to give the child a treat.
    Mind you, those mosquitoes sounded horrendous!

    Nuts in May

  4. You are an awesome mother! You did right by making the father wait! The poor girl just wanted to have a little fun. And what kind of father doesn't want to spend a little time with his younger son :(

    Love how you call the trip a "journey." Also, love the way you told that pushy woman off!

  5. I hate it when everyone is right and every answer is so hard. But I think I would have done the same thing. As a mother, you get zero days off, you know.

  6. Families are a constant balancing act. For what its worth, I think you did the right thung.

  7. I'm with you on this...your daughter needed her social time. C

  8. Well done for standing your ground on all fronts. I hope you manage to enjoy a return visit very soon.

  9. It's so hard to make everyone happy at the same time. Someone has to take a back seat now and then and too often, someone else pays the price. That price is usually worth the the happiness it brings...


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