The right to choose. How important and how dear is that right. This is brought home to me each day by my two kids. Ah the pleasure of choice – to choose what they’ll wear, what they’ll eat (even with the limited options they have thanks to my culinary disability), what they’ll watch on the telly, whether they want to go down to play… choices, choices, choices …till I’m driven up the wall torn invariably between two different ones.
The irony of course is that it’s I who has offered and encouraged the exercising of these rights. Now I’m well and truly caught in a web of my own making.
What happened yesterday underlines how important the whole choice thing is. My younger one, though a habitual food-dodger loves khichri, only because as she says, “I don't need to chew it.. I can just swallow it." The older one has a more evolved taste in foods and doesn’t really stick with khichri. Naisha had an upset stomach and so the food preferences suited me fine. I made khichri for her and chapatis for Hrit.
At dinner time I asked Naisha how she was feeling – whether she would like to have khichri or chapatis (knowing full well she’d opt for the former). Predictably enough khichri it was. Just as I was serving them Hrit started up a howl – u didn’t let me choose. Uh oh.. how could I forget??? After trying to convince him that I KNOW he doesn’t like khichri and so had given him chapatis… I gave up. I asked him then, “What will you have Hrit?” And he replied, “Khichri,” only because he had seen the chapatis on his plate.
I know when I’ve lost a battle. I gave him what he wanted. And the boy who cribs forever about not liking khichri, has sometimes howled his guts out because I didn’t make chapatis, cleaned up his plate in a jiffy.
So much for choices.