When my son came from school, he was the best child ever. He did everything he had to do without my asking even once. We had a nice Mom-and-Son cuddling-and-talking session, we had a lot of laughs, and then he went out to play. He knew he had scored a few points with me.

But when he got back from play a couple of hours later, the tide turned. He wanted to watch TV and I wanted him to do something else. Some of those Mother-and-Son sparks flew. Lightning and thunder lurked behind the curtains, ready to make their appearance, and storm brewed in the horizon. All of a sudden I had this enlightenment that I did not want to yell any more at him, and gave in.

“Go watch your TV, do what you want,” I said in the most upset and resigned tone I could manage.
“Thank you,” he said, and ran off, my sarcasm and indignation totally lost on him.

When it was time for dinner, I placed chapatis on a plate and brought it to him. He looked up in surprise. I did not explain, and turned on my heel and walked away, my chin raised to show my displeasure in general.

My unspoken words, which I believed he could fathom, went like this: “I know I would have to yell at you to make you turn off the TV and come to dinner, and I don’t want to yell any more. I’m tired of yelling every day. So this is me being indifferent to you and punishing you for not listening to me earlier” or something of the kind.

His Dad walked in a few minutes later, and was surprised. “Hasn’t your mother told you so many times not to eat in front of the TV?”

“But she brought this to me,” came the reply. From the next room I could imagine his wide, innocent eyes as he spoke. I braced myself for what was to come.

“Oh! Why?”

“Because I was a good boy today when I got back from school and she was happy.”

Talk about perspectives.