“Hi, I am a lady bug. I am called the farmers friends because I eat the insects that kill plants". These were the lines that our daughter Hana had to learn for her big inter school competition. You could either come as an insect or a bird. So dressed as a lady bug and ready to win we went to compete.
I did not think too much about the dress or costume, you could say I was a total novice at this.
On reaching there I saw my daughter’s competitors and figured we got an easy win. Three peacocks, four penguin, five parrots 6 mosquitoes and a macaw in a pear tree.
Up came the first mosquito, and went on to give his speech at the speed of summer lightening in English and Hindi... I was impressed. Next wobbled up the penguin who went on to say how she is from Antarctica and how the water there is below freezing temperature. Next came the macaw singing her speech. There was also a bee who gave a huge speech on honey making and how pollen is extracted from flowers. And what life on Earth would be without the bees.
But the best among them was the glow worm, that kid's costume had a bright bulb hanging at the base. I was so aghast. That poor kid could barely walk with the weight of the costume forget the weight of its speech.
One parrot had her mother sitting in the front line saying the lines and doing the sing song from her seat. While the other parrot could not say his speech, you see the beak was so big that it covered his mouth and we could not hear anything.
What amazed me was the speed and length of the speeches that these kids gave. Parroted it's off to a tee. The competition was a prime example of how we as parents teach our kids their homework. The pressure to perform was huge. I could actually smell the war. The war was not so much with the kids as it was between the mothers. Elaborate costumes n wings that spanned from one side of the room to the next. We even had an owl that came with his own tree as a prop.
It's wasn't a children fancy dress competition ,it's was a costume making battle ,whose parent was better skilled at making a costume; Whose parent was more creative; who could make the biggest bug or bird .
I figured out, that today it's wasn't about Hana and how skilled or talented she is as a child ,it's about me and how talented and skilled I am as a mother As if being a working women , the guilt I feel is not enough ,now if she loses the guilt is doubled. Competitions like this that ask you ” how time in your day do you invest in your child". After seeing these ensembles I think not enough.
I could actually feel my little lady bug being crushed by one of the big birds.