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The tale of the bath, elephants in barrels and schools.

After an unintended but naggingly expected hiatus from the blogging, I wanted to re-enter through curtains of rejuvenation. My writing would be finer for in my absence from my short-lived blog, I have read up on the works of the finest in literature. Some would call them trashy novels but I am not one of them. My new words would hold a certain flair and intelligence that I picked up on my worldly travels that would also be termed as a 3 week mad dash back to the home country with two under threes in tow.

Do you know what an amazing treat those hot towels you get as you enter the aeroplane after having to deal with the luggage and carting around extra hand luggages, are? I do not. Because they are not hot anymore and come out of a tiny packet that I am unable to open without ripping it off with my teeth.

Fortunately, I do remember how those felt because I got those hot towels when I was younger and travelled with my parents who did the lugging around for me. I desired one of those moments before I re-entered my sacred blog. Having seen a picture of a nice candle lit bath posted by a hopeful wife that stated in no subtle terms of what a nice surprise that would be if it ever materialised at the end of her day , I dreamt of the same.

candle-lit-bath

This is what I enjoyed before finally sitting down to some writing.

Not exactly this. Minus the champagne glasses for obvious reasons. Remove the chocolate truffles too; just because my bathroom maybe sanitised enough to perform minor surgeries does not mean I condone eating in there. Blow off all the candles; I have children and it would be a fitting case for child protection services if they exist here. Substitute the satin rose petals with brightly coloured rubber imitations of hybrid animals that float around.  And add in a quite tall toddler and a boisterous infant, both of whom got over-excited at “Umma in the tub to splash!”. Oh and did I mention that the surprise element in the sudden evening bath was that I filled the tub too? That picture above is still a fantasy.

Now for anyone having a lingering doubt of my hygiene habits, I shower daily albeit express ones since my 9 month old takes offense at me leaving him fed and clean for over 5 minutes. How dare I think of my cleanliness when I could be singing to him; behind those cherubic smile lies undertones of narcissism. (Since this is the internet and this line might come back in time to bite me on my back, I love you my darling Nuh, if you ever happen to read this.)

While I lay back in my self drawn bath and shut one and half eye to the sight of my children splashing and shrieking, I pondered about a very common situation.

Waiting for things to happen. Awaiting for someone or thing to finally start working for our benefit. Waiting for that thing to happen to ensure that we are happy.

If you are lucky, it would. If luck has never heard of you, it is in your hands to make it happen for otherwise the waiting never ends.

This epiphany led me to ponder on all the days I have wasted waiting around for things to happen. For instance, this very lukewarm bath I lay in was already helping my weared out being. After months of hinting at the benefits of herbal postnatal baths and the direct requests of wanting to soak in a relaxing chamomile bath (the dried chamomiles have been further dried awaiting their turn to relax me) and even going as far to “lead by example”, no relaxing bath seemed to appear in my horizon, surprise or otherwise.

Having had a glimpse of my pyjama clad self’s reflection on the yoghurt stained glass dining table, I decided I must take things into my own hands. Rather, I decided I must wash up. Filled the bath and dragged my squealing infant in with me and let my almost 3 year old be an audience for she suddenly claimed the water was too splashy (she joined in within minutes). Waiting around and grumbling that I had no way to relax meant I was never going to get what I wanted. Why not try getting it for myself?

All I wanted was a warm bath to lay in. Why was it not possible for me to fill it up myself? The merciless weather is such that the water heater need not be called upon too. All it took is to plug the bath and flick the tap. This is all I had to do to not have gone to sleep grumbling. Or just spitting mad.

Passively waiting for things to work out could mean you never really want them to or you are plain old lazy.

Accepting or doing something that you do not agree with or feel right, just because that is what you are supposed to be doing will not amount to any kind of satisfaction. Instead, it would merely leave a gap that would in turn be fed by another one of society’s demands..

Although I wanted to do a separate piece on homeschooling, it would be an appropriate mention here too.

Who made it compulsory that a child needs to attend a school, despite the capability of the school or teachers? We did.

Who is complaining about it? We are.

Why would you spend your hard earned money and send your child to a place that clearly does not impart a good education and then complain about it?  Why do we not take matters into our hands and go about setting right all the wrongs we have been doing to our children’s education?

We are awaiting something to happen to wake us from the trance like state we have fallen into. We wait to be jolted out of the monotony.

Every child needs an education, not a school to attend. Our society has forgotten and chosen to ignore that the first teacher for a child will always be the mother.

Children begin formal schooling at alarmingly younger ages and this demand has led to the popping up of toadstools fashioned as schools catering to them. If they knew what fate awaited them, I am sure children would dread the approach of their second or third birthdays for that is the milestone they need to hit before their frazzled parents rush to buy them back packs and matching lunch boxes.

A mother working outside the home has no choice but to leave the child under the care of another as she needs to set out to secure their future. What would be the excuse of a mother fortunate and privileged to be home or work from home?

What make an anxious mother force her teary toddler to go and spend few hours away from her when she could have done all those activities at home, minus the obvious benefit of associating with other children? Social pressure. It is to avoid the gasps and wagging fingers of people who would bash her for not enrolling the child in an establishment designed to turn out socially accepted and respected roles and crush any free spirit in the child.

I shudder in fear. Or maybe it is because the lukewarm bath is now cold.

The bathroom, a place for epiphany to strike since the beginning of times.

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