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Children love whoever loves them – and their love is transparent. Why put them in a difficult spot by asking them, “Who do you love more, Mama or Papa?”
Little Aarohi is the cute, chubby, chirpy, and witty 4yr old daughter of my neighbours. Her parents are both working in MNCs. She has her grandparents at home, who take care of her when her parents are out at work.
Aarohi is very endearing to everyone in the neighbourhood. She goes to play school, and it is her routine to come to see me every day after coming from school. Awww…. I am totally in love with her! And she too reciprocates in her sweet voice, “I laaaabbbb youuuuuu too anty!” Yes, anty! Much love for this. My son and my husband also love to giggle and mingle with her. Sometimes she comes and stays for hours and at these times I totally lose myself in her sweet naughty talk. She talks about her school, her parents, grandparents (dada dadi, nana nani), and her friends. Her boyfriend in fact. Hahaha, she calls him her boyfriend, Aarav, her classmate. She talks a lot and I like her innocence.
Yesterday, as usual, she was sitting near me but she was not her usual self. I asked her “Why is my baby so quiet today?” What she told me got me thinking.
She said, “Anty why does dadi (parental grandmother) always ask me the same question?”
“Which question, baby?” I asked.
“Anty she askes me everyday who do I like/love most – Mamma or Papa? Sometimes she asks dadi or nani (maternal grandmother)? Dadu too asks the same question.” I was stunned. I continued listening to her. “Today again they asked. Auuurrr mujhe gussaa aaya baaada saaara. Maine joool se bola mein kisi ko pyaallll nahi karti hun! (I got angry and then I screamed aloud and said I don’t love anybody!)” And she started crying.
Ohhh! My poor baby! I felt bad for her. I tried to soothe her. I gave her her favourite chocolate and she gave me a kiss. Her love to me is precious. Yes maybe for her grandparents too, but in process of loving our kids, we overlook the truth. We are hurting them somewhere with our egocentric thoughts and talk. Children only understand love and show their fondness to whoever reciprocates it like them, unconditionally.
I always try to comprehend the sense of this question. I recall that the same question had been asked of me so many time even in my teens. And the same issue is approached with my son too. People ask him who do he love most! And yes, to tell the truth, this question is mostly asked by the grandparents or our uncles and aunts. Irrespective of paternal or maternal.
Parents are equally beloved to kids. Our ways to love someone may vary but love and emotions remain same. There was the time when my mother-in-law asked the same question to my son. And when he answers ‘mamma’ her expression is like, hell! And when he replies ‘papa’ she had that broad smile on her face and lots of blessings for him. Pathetic. My brothers too asked the same. But there he behaves smart. If he wants something, his love then is for the one who can get him that thing! As he grew older, he answers in a more diplomatic manner now: “I love both. I love all!” Hmm… maturity!
I agree that giving and receiving love from children is something peerless. But does it really matter – to try and find out who they love most? Even for a mother, all her children are equal, but still, sometimes comes a question “Mamma whom do you love most?” Sometimes kids do say you know papa loves my sister most or mamma loves my younger brother most. But do they really mean it? No. And moreover, when they are really young, their behaviour is innocent. But being the sensible adult, why do we try to kill their innocence?
Respect their love for whomever it is. Do not impose your thinking on them. They will definitely convey their love to you in their own way.
Image source: pixabay