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Too many things

One side-effect of being a parent is that you start using your ‘free’ time a lot better than you did before.

Pre-baby, I used to laze around after coming back from work, watch a little TV, just be a bum in general. Now, on the other hand, I scamper to change clothes as soon as I come back, and start getting dinner ready, so I have time to play with the kid as soon as he is back from daycare. Now that he is at a stage where there is one new word everyday, and new antics, I do not want him playing by himself in a corner, I want to be a part of EVERYTHING! We try to finish dinner by 7, so we just relax once the kid is asleep, which is about 8:00pm. It is after that, that my ‘me’ time starts. I read books, watch TV shows, and am fast asleep by 9:30 pm, only to wake up at 4:30 am the next day, to get my fat behind to the gym! Anyway, the point is, I am super busy till I fall asleep. At the end of the day, I hit the bed and am fast asleep! Anyone with insomnia or problems with falling asleep should have a baby, and see how their sleep problems vanish in a couple of months!

Moving away from baby-related talk. I am reading/watching too many things at the same time. Does that happen to you? Currently I am reading Moby Dick and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen on my Kindle, The Prophet by Deepak Chopra is sitting on my kitchen counter, I’m watching season 1 of Gossip Girl while cooking, watching season 5 of Mad Men whenever i have some time here and there, AND, finally, I listen to The Help while driving! Phew! Can you compete with that?

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Being a parent

Yes, I know, I have been away for way too long. This is my attempt at reviving my blog. I have not been super busy, just been lazy.

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Being a parent means you get unlimited love from the little thing you helped create.
It means sleepless nights, holding a sick baby, waiting for the fever to abate.
Being a parent means you mean the world to someone. It means his world is set right when he sees you.
It means you instinctively cup your hands to hold your baby’s vomit, and without flinching, too!

Being a parent means that you dance even if you have two left feet, just to see that squeal of delight.
It means braving breastfeeding, and countless diaper changes, when you are sleep deprived and not feeling too bright.
Being a parent means you are going out for a walk in 30 degree weather because your baby hates staying indoors.
It means you choose crawling with a 2-year old over household chores!

Being a parent means giving your baby a time out even though he doesn’t understand.
It means you cry when your little bub says uv you mommy and extends his little hand!
Being a parent means you feel proud that your baby is a reflection of your better half.
It means your kid’s rolling-on-the-floor-tantrum gives you a good laugh.

Being a parent means being a little crazy and very afraid.
It means you always have morbid ideas in your head.
Being a parent means you are on a roller coaster ride.
It means you are alive with your heart beating outside!

BABY KNOWS!

How the hell do these babies know who is holding them, cuddling them(or not cuddling them) when they are fast asleep? BabyN sleeps in his own crib but some mornings when it is too cold or he suddenly wakes up, he is brought to our bed to cuddle with mommy and daddy. Well, he promptly pushes away dad’s arm even if it so much as touches him. He turns towards mommy, his bum in daddy’s face and hugs me and sleeps. I have to leave for work at 6:30, so need to get up by 5:30am and get ready. Extricating myself from BabyN while not disturbing his sleep is a task I am still to master. It will take the best efforts of the best Olympian gymnasts to accomplish this task. More often than not BabyN wakes up, sits up and says Hi! There goes our morning!

The other night he was sleeping with us, but was uneasy because he had a cold and was struggling to find a good position. He rolled over to daddy’s side, went along the edge of the bed, fell down, said “UhOh” and came back up on the bed and fell asleep! I have a funny baby!

Apologies

I haven’t been blogging(as usual) but now that I see BabyN crossing milestones after milestones everyday, I feel like I should write these down for posterity.

So I am sitting on the floor by the bed, he was lying with his head on my lap, dad was sitting on the bed reading something. Normally when I ask him what his name is, he ignores the question, when I say Ninaad, he says Ninaa. Yesterday, I say in telugu: Nee peru enti? (What is your name), pat came the reply: Ninaa. And then he smiled the biggest smile ever!

Daddy brings him back from the daycare. I am in the kitchen, I tell him “beta joote nikalo”, he promptly proceeds to remove his shoes! This is a milestone, because we only talk to him in Telugu, and talk to each other in Hindi. I was amazed he picked it up!

Now he is stuck to me like a lizard as soon as he is back from the daycare. Reminds me of his maasi(my younger sister), who used to be perpetually stuck to my mom, so much so that people used to call her balli(lizard in telugu) and chipkali! Life, it seems, comes a full circle.

There are very interesting discussions going on in the blogosphere on motherhood.

IHM has blogged about romantic notions of motherhood and The Bride posted about how she had her husband buy her diamonds as compensation for her bearing, delivering and breastfeeding their baby. She received quite a lot of supportive comments, but there were also a lot of negative ones. Most people are shocked when a mother says she wants compensation for her having carried and delivered her baby because people associate romantic notions to the process of becoming a mother. Do go over to her blog to read the post and the comments.

Let’s face it, in spite of medical science making big leaps, and there being choices of painless delivery, the female body goes through a lot of upheaval during pregnancy and labor. The aftermath of delivery is also gruesome, most women bleed incessantly for days, their hormones are out of whack so most have some sort of postpartum blues, if not PPD. If the mom is trying to breastfeed, the first few weeks are pure hell, the baby sucking away at breasts that have barely started producing milk,

All this physical pain notwithstanding, most women’s career also takes a backseat, what with she being on maternity leave for at least 12 weeks, and the return to work is as difficult. The best workplaces manage to only provide closet-like windowless rooms to pump in, where she is locked up 6-8 times a day, then sneaking that milk into the fridge, doing this everyday becomes an ordeal.

If you complain about all this, most people would rudely tell you one of these things

– You knew all these problems with pregnancy and childbirth, if you cannot handle them, why have a baby? If you wanted a baby, why complain?

– There are so many women who would gladly bear all these problems and more just to have a baby, you should think yourself lucky you could have a baby, stop complaining.

– If you find breastfeeding that difficult, give him/her formula, just don’t complain.

– If you are so career oriented, why did you want a baby?

– Nature has given you this amazing ability to bring life into the world, you should be thankful for that.

I just do not want to say anything to counter any of these statements because these statements are just extremely offensive and lame, and nothing anyone says to these people will ever change the way they think. Basically people just want you to be smiling and happy, and not talk negatively about motherhood. I am sick and tired of people giving me lectures on how to be a good, accepting, happy while sacrificing, content mother. Well, face it, I am neither of these things. I love my baby to death, but I don’t appreciate the way my body has changed post pregnancy and post breastfeeding. I did not enjoy a baby sucking off my breasts 24/7, I do not enjoy changing poopy diapers, I did not enjoy not having time to even brush my hair when my baby was little. Complaining or not being a mamta ki murti does not take away from the experience one bit!

Why am I ranting about this? Because I have had enough of people judging mothers. Once you are a mother, you are damned if you do, damned if you do not! Take the example of Aishwarya Rai. The woman is extremely happy, enjoying motherhood, enjoying spending time with her baby, and people are criticizing her for not losing her baby weight. HER BODY HER WEIGHT HER WISH! Is it that tough to understand? She is not coming to you and telling you to look at her. She is going about her business, whatever it is! If she chooses to never lose the weight, or loose it at her own pace, what is it your business to poke your nose into her life? And the worst part is that I saw Facebook comments by women who chide her for being fat, saying how hard is it to lose weight! For one, again, it is none of your business. Two, you have no idea about her situation, she might be having a hormonal imbalance, or maybe she just does not care about how fat or thin she is!

For years our ads have told us things like – kaisi ma hain, laparvah – when the kid has head lice. Why not kaisi ma-baap hain? Then they asked the mother to give her kids Complan, where is the dad? The mommy smiles and does all the chores, only when everything is done, she rests, while daddy sits on his ass, reading the news paper. All he has to do at the end of the day is rub Moov on her back. All is well again, the slave is ready for another day! Ma this, ma that, ma ma ma! We need a Satyamev Jayate episode now, to talk about how women are burdened with the expectations of motherhood. That probably will make these people realize that mothers are a very stressed out species.

Life

It has been so long since I last posted, and a lot has happened since.

BabyN’s birthday party was a grand success, he had fun decimating his own little cake, the sugar rush that followed made for a pretty picture! The day after the birthday party he started daycare and mommy started fulltime work. Day1 was more difficult for mommy than it was for baby. I dropped him off, said bye to him, while he was merrily checking out other babies and eating his cereal puffs. As soon as I walked back to the car the tears started, tears of the mommy, that is. I called his a hundred times that day, checking in on him, and the manager said he is fine, planing, laughing, making merry. Day 2 onwards it was a little more difficult, as he got the idea that this leaving mommy was going to be an everyday thing. So he would cry at drop-off. One week went by quite fast and he had a fever the week after so he stayed home. We thought it was due to the change in schedule, little did we know that he was battling germs and a trip to the doctor confirmed that he had an ear infection! THE DREADED EAR INFECTION! He was on antibiotics for some time, and his ears had healed so he was back at the daycare after a week at home. Come Wednesday he caught a cold, and by next monday he had another ear infection. So to cut a long story short, he has an ear infection as we speak. It has been almost 2 months since we started daycare, he has been there only 4 of the last 8 weeks, the rest he was home with us because he was sick!

In the interim, we also went on a vacation of a lifetime! 11 days across London, Paris and Amsterdam saw us hopping on trains, walking on cobbled sidewalks, taking in the views of amazing structures, eating pastries and taking naps in the stroller, all while battling an ear infection. It seems like my baby has become a poster child for a daycare-germ-warning ad! Anyway, coming back to the vacation, it was an amazing time, and the three of us had fun like never before. We saw our baby transform from a homebody to a cool world traveler. he was taking in the sights and sounds, not fussing much, sleeping in the stroller when tired, and eating everything from croissants to chocolates and more! They say you are always smitten by your baby, but I have to objectively say, this baby is a cool candidate(kala teeka and all that)!

Needless to say we were sad to come back to reality!

The last few months have been nothing short of amazing. From taking gingerly steps to running full force, BabyN has come a long way. His smiles light up our days, and these days he has started running to us with his arms wide open, and giving us hugs! Of course he does not know how to stop his run and he literally throws his body on us! Warm hugs, bites, licks, we get them all these days, and his smiles don’t cease, neither do ours 🙂

They say child is the father of man, and this child of mine is teaching his father to dance! The father who always shied away from anything remotely resembling dance is now merrily dancing away, limbs splayed, to see the look of sheer joy on his son’s face. Way to go my baby! BabyN is also teaching me a few things. Patience for one. I am the most impatient person I have ever known, and now, things are changing. I would get irritated if schedules changed even by a little bit, but now with the baby things are in a continuous state of change, everything happens spontaneously, and plans usually go to dogs, so I am forced to keep calm and carry on!

All this is aww worthy and nice, but he is still to call me mommy! He even stopped saying dada now. Aajkal ke bachche 😦

So that’s how we have been in the past 2 months, in a nutshell(or maybe not a nutshell)! How have you all been?

PS: So much is happening around us that warrants posts, Satyamev Jayate – doctors asking for apology, Aishwarya’s Rai at Cannes, and so many posts at IHM’s. Everything coming soon!

A few days to go….

…and my baby, you will be one! For the life of me I cannot remember how the last few months just zipped by, and we are now knocking on one year! I started writing this post a couple weeks ago, but life(you did) took over and the blog got pushed to the end of the list.

Wow, ok, let’s see, the last time I posted was a little over 2 months ago, when you had just turned 9 months old. Cut to today, you are 11 and a half months a few days short of a year old, and knocking on the 1 year mark! How time flies!

There is so much I want to blog about. First there is the obvious, my baby is going to be a year old soon! I cannot believe how fast the last 1 year went by. Oh, well the first 2-3 months were excruciatingly slow, though. Those days of taking care of a new-born baby, I am sure not going to miss them…hehe. I remember when he used to be fussy and clingy and forever wanting to nurse, and I used to shudder to think what if these days never end, what if my baby is always like this….sigh! How foolish of me, right?

There has been so many developments since the last time I blogged about his progress, now we are running(waddling fast, more like), climbing couches and trying to jump off them. We are also not worried that mamma is leaving us every time she goes to the bathroom anymore. We are much more comfortable with the idea of mom saying bye and heading out the door, because we know she will come back for us 🙂

Some things haven’t changed at all, though. You still hate to take naps, and will resist with every last bone in your body, all attempts to calm you down enough so you can fall asleep. Night sleep is still a breeze(I might jinx it, now that it is all out on the blog), a last bottle and put away in the crib, there is barely a whimper and you are fast asleep, only to wake up bright next morning! Another thing that hasn’t changed? You still run to the door when nanna is home, wailing to be rescued from the evil clutches of mommy. You are so happy and yell shrieks of joy being roughed up by nanna. You don’t mind all the squeezing, tugging, throwing that nanna does to you, but you recoil in disgust when mommy showers kisses and hugs on you. You are already so grown up that you don’t want to be smothered anymore.

More and more mommy wavers between being the cool mommy of Jaane Tu ya Jaane na and ‘Momma’ from Sarabhai vs Sarabhai. On one hand she wants to be this hands-off, chilled out mom who you would love to hang out with when you are 15 and on the other she wants to be the center of you life and for you to be the center of hers. And she cannot, for the life of her, figure out what she wants! Just like you cannot figure out if you want to be a clingy, mommy’s boy or an out and out nanna’s baby. There are times you have refused to come to me, and wanted to be pampered by nanna, and times when you stick to mommy like cling-wrap. But I have to confess, the nanna moments have far out-numbered the mommy moments as far as I can remember. How unfair is that? Show me some mommy-love!

You have started gyrating to music now, and all kinds of it, too. Yes you are your mommy’s baby when it comes to enjoying rasta-chap songs and your daddy’s baby when your eyes light up to ‘real’ music as well. When you run towards the shoe rack to pick and choose what shoe to eat, all we have to do is play masakkali and you come running back, yelling all the way! Seeing you fidget with the buttons on your toys, so your favorite music plays, is a joy to behold. You sit there with determination until you start hearing the beginning of the tune, and the you stand up, click your tongue and do some squats. That is your dance – squats with perfect form!

Your birthday planning is in full flow and mommy and nanna are burning the midnight oil making the house ready for the big day. Of course you won’t understand or appreciate a thing, err, except maybe when we let you eat some cake! Yes! You get to eat cake for the first time ever, hell you get to eat sugar and all the related monsters for the first time ever this sunday. We have invited quite a few people who care about you, and hope that at least you will not feel tired and grumpy.

You show us lots of love, and more, and we love that mommy and nanna are the center of your world now. That will change come monday when you will start going to daycare, and I am already losing sleep thinking how you are going to manage there. For all I know you might not feel a thing. For all I know(and hope) the transition from home to daycare will be smooth, but I still worry. Will they show you as much love as we do? Will they care as much? Will you hate us for sending you away? (Please don’t)

Finally, I want to tell you how much joy you have brought into our lives. I was not one of those moms gushing over their babies from day one, but now I have eyes only for you, and so does nanna. When you are in the room we are constantly looking at you and wondering how you are so beautiful, and smart, and then you come running to us, to get squeezed, and to take a bite from us! Guess how much we love you? We love you to the moon and back, baby, like your least favorite story book says.

Here you are, in a contemplative mood: