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As she walked by, Maria noticed her little one snatch his fancy toy car from another kid. She walked up to him and said "Karan, that's not a good thing to do, you must share your things." To this, the little Karan reacted saying "No, it's mine. Nani gave it to me. I don't want to share." Frustrated Maria Pulled the toy from Karan and gave it to the other kid who smiled and went away. Karan was highly disappointed in his mother. He frowned to stop his tears but, he was hurt so badly that he could barely contain them and tiny drops of water started flowing out of his big eyes on his chubby cheeks. He howled on top of his voice while Maria hugged him and dragged him inside a room. The mom-son duo hugged for a while before Maria could divert his attention to "something more interesting" and he forgot all about his car. He smiled happily and moved on to play again.
Later that evening when she again tried to explain Karan how it was important to be "nice" to others and how he would NEVER have friends if he didn't behave himself, he kept on arguing. A 5 year old questioning everything Maria had ever learnt wasn't something the mother in her was expecting. Finally she shouted and scolded Karan for not "understanding" how important it was to be disciplined. He cried again, she felt bad and both of them went to bed feeling sad that the other couldn't see their point. Maria couldn't sleep at all. She was proving to be a bad mom because she wasn't able to DISCIPLINE her 5 year old. She knew that her relatives and friends were going to blame her decision of being a single parent to the little boy for this intolerable offence of being undisciplined. She also knew that Karan wasn't wrong, his thinking was just different from the rest and he wasn't selfish, he just wanted to keep the things he loved, safe.
She got out of her bed and took her phone to see if she could find an article that could solve these disciplinary issues of Karan. Instead, she found the definition of the dreaded D word, "Discipline", it said 'The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.' This made her think and question the concept of discipline. She asked herself, "Am I trying to tame my child to obey the norms set by the society which in turn will make him eligible to fit in the frame of it?" This question changed her entire perspective and their life. That night was one that Maria would never forget. She learnt the best lesson of her life. This wasn't about Karan and his behavior, this was about her and how she wanted her child to be 'accepted' by one and all. She forgot that she herself didn't believe in 'fitting in' and so, the genetics were just playing their part. She always believed that if you don't fit in, you're doing the right thing. And so, her own little 5 year old, who seemed to be a rebel but, was just her own reflection.
She vowed for life that she will reflect before she said anything to her little bundle of joy. She understood that when she scolded him, he would understand that it was okay to shout if you don'y get your way. When she raised her hand, he would think that hitting was allowed. When she asked him to stop arguing, it meant he didn't have a fair chance to explain. When she would emotionally entrap him, he would think that his mother is playing up, and when power of being a parent was used on him he would think that he isn't loved the way he is and he wouldn't be accepted if he didn't change his ways (which weren't wrong anyway). She shuddered with the thought that the tears in his little eyes might dry up soon and be replaced by frowns and her tiny rebel might eventually become a bully. That's of course the last thing a parent would want.
And so, the newly dawned realization acted as an awakening for Maria. She knew that she was raising a child made of flesh and blood of her own and he was no piece of art put to the display to please others. She realized that she loved her little artists color across the walls instead of neat paint, she loved the messy house which proved that her kid was learning, she loved the way her son could fight for his beliefs, that he could hold an argument till he was convinced and moreover, she loved the fact that her child didn't fit in because he wasn't meant to. Maria walked in the bedroom in wee hours of early morning, got into bed with Karan and cuddled up smiling because she knew what was her lifetime resolution now.