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Raising children is like a roller- coaster ride. You are exhilarated to the brim but at the same time there are bumps which take you by surprise which make the ride all the more worthwhile. Last week, a certain academician, Professor Kelly became party to an intrusion which made him part of numerous memes and a subject of discussion on various theories swamped all over the virtual world. For those who have no idea as to what I am talking about (though the chances are bleak) it so happened, that Professor Robert Kelly was being interviewed live by BBC in South Korea. As he discussed South Korean politics, his four year old daughter barged in the room, followed by her little brother strutting in a walker. While Professor tried in vain to conceal his embarrassment and hush the uninvited guests, his wife made a frantic entry and took the kids out of the room. But, the interview that was gatecrashed by two kids found a way into the hearts of people all over the world. It appeared as a ‘comedy of errors’ which amused us owing to the sheer spontaneity and simplicity of it.
As I saw the video multiple times, I could not feel any less entertained by the four year old’s entry (who the Professor later on claimed was in a ‘hippitty hoppitty’ mood) and the toddler cutely following suit. While people mistook the Professor’s wife to be the ‘nanny’ as she was an Asian origin woman, which led to debates about how discrimination and stereotypes play unwittingly at the back of our mind, I felt there were many positive and beautiful take aways from this incident:
Parenting is a 24/7 job and it is ok to falter
Claiming that parenting is one of the most difficult jobs in the world, is not an understatement. In Professor Kelly’s case, his wife was distracted for a few seconds and that led to the children making their presence felt on television. But, I believe it truly defines parenthood. However hard you try, there will be times when things go awry. But, you ought not to question yourself. It was heartening to see both the Professor and his wife unapologetic about the whole episode and even laughing about it. Parenting sure does need you to have a sense of humour if you wish to waddle through with your sanity intact.
Balancing work and home is a challenge and we ought to respect people who are doing it
I have been working as a freelance writer for quite some time now, and boy, it is quite an ordeal. Though, you have the benefit of working from the comfort of your home and not harrowing about the well being of your children, it is no cake walk. Be it men or women, ‘work at home’ parents are slogging hard to make it work. Professor Kelly’s case is a glaring example of how things can go haywire in a jiffy. So, hats off to all the parents who are trying to make that Skype call while the little one is screaming at the top of his voice.
No blame –game
There was something wonderful that struck me as I saw the Professor and his wife’s interview after they had become internet celebrities. There was no blame- game that happened. Kelly remarked in a matter of fact manner that he forgot to lock his office door and as his wife was busy taking a video of him on the TV, the entire debacle happened. Also, the couple confirmed that post the sensational interview, they did not indulge in a tiff rather they merely laughed about it. This tells us about the harmony and self assuredness that is so very important in a relationship. I was touched by the way the couple handled the whole situation without any sort of animosity towards each other.
It was ‘real’
Why the clip went on to become an internet sensation and why we loved it so much? Well, it tugged on to our hearts because it was real. It was not reality- television, it was not a scene from a movie but it was real and it was life as it is mostly. As Professor Kelly himself said, “I think the reason why this went viral is because my real life sort of punched through the fake cover I had created for television”. It resonated with not just working parents but parents far and wide who maintain their sanity while striving to be ‘good parents’.
Not everything is debatable
During such times when people are looking to be offended by one thing or the other, wherein their patience levels have stooped down to an all time low, it was uplifting to hear the way in which Professor’s wife Jung-a -Kim took on the assumption that she was the nanny. Though, this clearly speaks of how deep ‘stereotypes’ are embedded in the society, but starting a propaganda is not always the solution. “I hope people just enjoy it and don’t argue over this thing”, said Jung-e-Kim on how it felt to be named a ‘nanny’. Her maturity was admirable and I believe the world would be a better place if we stop being edgy about everything. At times it is best to let go.
Finally, kudos to the wonderful family that brought a smile on our faces while inadvertently exhibiting the everyday squabbles of parenthood and life in general.