TODAY’S WORD FEED FROM OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS is “motherese” – the speech normally used by mothers to infants when they are learning to speak. As I read it I was also naturally alerted to the fact that it is Mother’s Day today and I soon got lost in a train of thought thinking about maternal instincts and many things that are motherly….

MOST OF MY LADY FRIENDS ARE MOTHERS  – one in fact reminds me as often as she can that she is not just a mother but a supermom juggling as she does between a fairly busy 9 to 5 job and the care of her two sons.  Personally I have watched motherhood at close quarters – I stayed with my mother for nearly 40 years before work took me overseas and virtually every day I witness motherhood in action : my wife vis a vis our two sons.  At the workplace, my lady colleagues were mothers and it was always educative to watch how they deftly handled family responsibilities and official work without conflict.  They reminded me always that there is life after 5 before they rushed home at the appointed hour.

CHILDBIRTH HAS ENDOWED ALL MOTHERS the privilege of experiencing agony and ecstasy at the same time and one would like to think that everything maternal springs from this singular experience.  Fathers are probably just bystanders.  The interesting thing to also note is that even if one has crossed, say 50, and if one’s mother is around, one cannot escape being treated as a child. You will be reminded time and again if you have had your bath/breakfast, whether you have taken your medication, et al. “Take care, take care,” would be a constant refrain that is quite simply inescapable.  

MOTHERS ARE ALSO SMARTER THAN SHERLOCK HOLMES in  discerning  the faintest changes in behavior patterns of children – a child upset at school, an adult son or daughter in love, an unusual reticence or an unforeseen expression of happiness – all of this would be picked up by the maternal antenna (read maternal instinct) faster than Fathers can and the dogged insistence on full disclosure is inescapable although one hears these days of mothers discovering things about their children only on Facebook !

MOTHERS HAVE MY THREE CHEERS for their multitasking abilities and for their ability to conjure up a different menu unfailingly every day even if one is sometimes upset when they are overprotective of their children or blind to their faults or when they insist on what is good for their children even after they have disappeared into adulthood. 

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