Whoever coined the term nanhe mehmaan (little guests) for newborns was a farsighted genius. Flash back to your 'just married' days when life was blissfully peaceful till the arrival of your little bundle of joy.
You are delighted to have this little guest even if it is exhausting to meet his/her demands at the most unreasonable hour. You don't mind changing your priorities or day's schedule for this guest. You erroneously think of this as a temporary phase and bring home another little guest to give company to the first one.
Unfortunately, your charming cherubs grow up into the most exhausting and time-consuming guests. By the time they are in their teens, they become nosier, messier and most demanding in terms of your time and money. Soon you find yourself ferrying your teens to and from tuition and sports classes, cooking their favourite meals, cleaning up after them, helping them with school project work along with managing the domestic help and your little green patch.
When things begin to get out of hand, you decide to enlist your children's help in sharing household duties. It is now that you realise that your attempts at gender-neutral upbringing have backfired. Instead of getting your son interested in housework, you have ended up raising your daughter who is as keen on cricket as her brother but indifferent to housework!
As they say, this too shall pass. So very soon, the grown-up children leave home for hostel for pursuing higher studies. You miss them but also feel relieved, at least on the weekdays. Over the weekend, they land up at home with bags full of laundry for you to tackle.
While you try to make their life as comfortable as possible and try to meet their demands within reason, you wonder whether they acknowledge your efforts in their mind. But please don't worry even if they do not realise your input in their lives because time is a great leveller. Soon, they will have their own families with little guests and God will let you watch in amusement while they struggle to maintain sanity in their lives while juggling chores.
If you find it difficult to wait for Nature to take its own course, you may do what this parent did in order to get even with his son. A bright, well-employed youngster invited his parents to his newly purchased flat. The father, while surveying the rooms, switched on the air-conditioner, the fan, the lights, the TV and laptop etc. in every room before kicking off his shoes and plonking himself down on a sofa in the living room. "What are you doing dad?" asked the exasperated son. "Why son, you are upset in 25 minutes, while you did all this in my house for 25 years," replied the amused father.