Star signs, son shines

Illustration: Satheesh Vellinezhi  

Dear Agony Akka,

We are the parents of two kids aged 13 and 11, son and daughter. We have so far had a joyous relationship with our offspring. We go for family outings, father takes them for sports practice, mother takes them for weekend ballet classes, they go alone for tuition. We cook their favourite meals and order pizza-burger now and then. On birthdays we buy new clothes, cake and gifts. But now suddenly our kids are turning against us and making face all the time. They claim we are bad parents. It seems their classmates have parents who praise them on Facebook and worship them on Insta. But we do nothing. Especially on 13th birthday it seems my son was humiliated because he had no ‘welcome-to-teenage’ posts. We don’t know what all this means. Are we losing our parenting edge? Please help.

— Being a Parent Sucks

Dear BAPS,

Yes, your parenting sucks. Thank your nakshatra you don’t live in USA, because surely by now your children would have reported you to child services who would have taken them away and given them to foster families who understand the importance of social media.

Turning 13 is a big event. You really think cake is enough? First thing take bath in the morning and open Facebook, Insta, Snapchat, etc. Place one photo of said offspring, add flowers/ birds/ kittens in the border. Start writing. Call him your cherub, brightest star in yonder firmament, beautiful tadpole in wee garden, etc. Liberally sprinkle words like ‘joie’, ‘energy’, ‘wings’, ‘pride’, ‘comfort’ etc. If you are not fluent means take tips from greeting cards.

Next, talk about The Importance of Turning 13. Here is sample line: “Dearest angel, as you take a tiny step into the blip world of teenage blop, it is a giant leap for mankind and a mighty vault for your adoring parents. As we watch with our very own misty eyes, you leave our loving arms and tread the tender path of blah. We quiver with pride and blih as we see you bloh into the sunset with a bleh.” You have to go on in this blood-curdling vein for a good 2-3 paras.

You will get 800 Likes and Heart Emojis for this post and everyone will swoon because turning 13 is a rare thing for the human species.

Make a copy of text and save. Repeat and use for second child’s 13th, first child’s 18th, second child’s graduation etc, etc, ad nauseous. You can update photo and change border design as per occasion. At intervals, you can also upload entire childhood album and title it ‘My Amazing Progeny’s Journey Archived For Posterity’.

Any self-respecting parent knows that this process starts from infancy. As soon as your child burped the first time, you should have started broadcasting and never stopped. Every line it draws is high art, every piece of drivel it spouts is high prose, every drop of snot it emits is a tear from an archangel passing overhead. It is future artist/ novelist/ singer /gardener/ chef rolled in one, in short, Kamal in Dasavathaaram.

And the fact that you are not acknowledging this in public can cause lasting damage to your two children. They might even grow into adulthood without the world having ever seen them eat muesli. That would be a great loss.

But it’s never too late. Diwali is coming. Post one family photo and type, ‘Enjoying auspicious day with the two shimmering lights of our lives. Laddoos were made by blessed baby Blumenthal and alpana by cherished child Chagall.’ You can thank me later.

— AA

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 1:11:09 PM |

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