Sometimes we sit on the slide. Other times on benches near to the pond. My favourite is on the deck, overlooking the swimming pool where there is a patch of grass for the kids to jump or goof around.
Our conversations cover an array of topics - from boring stuff like the humid weather to useful information on MIL-proofing the house. But mostly we talk about the kids.
"Does Gooly eat whatever that's being served?"
"Does Ada still cry when she doesn't get things her way?"
"Does Gooly turn on the Tv the moment he comes back from school?"
"Does Ada brush her own teeth?"
We are truthful and frank with our answers. By that, we don't mean to compare our kids like some crap people do. We just wanted to know.
Today at the deck, we were seated on wooden chairs, al -fresco - looking at the kids running at top speed to a halt at the edge of the pool, when she suddenly asked, "Do you think we see other kids' advantages more when we are not the parents?"
"You mean like you see a lot of good things in Gooly?" I seek clarifications, without feeling shameful.
"Ya!" she also answered un-bashfully.
That's a nice compliment. It doesn't mean she was making a comparison and concluded that her daughter is not good enough or as good as Gooly. She simply sees Gooly's good points and acknowledges it.
Most of the time, when talking about kids, parents brag about how well their own kids are doing. And when it's your turn to tell them your kids' achievements or talents, they respond with "uha" "ah" "mm" or any other mono-syllabic audibles which can only mean one thing - they don't care because their kids are still the best-est in the whole wide
.....which is not wrong. But it's just over-the-top and plain rude.
So when Ada's mom said what she said just now, I was immensely pleased. Now that's what I call a non-plasticky conversation, which btw lasted till the sun set and mozzies were buzzing in our ears.