Friday, February 23, 2007

(Almost) A Regular Pollyanna

I post a lot about Rahul, and often about V, and when I post regularly, I write about the daily events of my life. I notice though, I have more or less stopped writing about me. Even the last post (which I now realise was perhaps not of overwhelming interest to anybody who has never had to mash baby food) was less about me than it was about motherhood and attendant hardships.

Perhaps that's a good thing, but I don't know. Then again, the blog is living up to the tagline: I write about the days and the thoughts but not necessarily of the person.

The thing is, I have been getting a lot of spam comments all through my archives of late. I must have got close on a hundred these last few days. I get notifications of all comments at my email id, and all these had me reading through some of those old posts. I certainly wrote a lot about me then.

About a year ago I began a private blog. I know, that makes no sense, but I preferred typing to writing and blogging was more fun than maintaining a diary. That only lasted a few months but in that time I got out of the habit of writing my innermost thoughts out here. That and the trouble with the in-laws. I had enough on my plate without giving people more fodder for scandal -- "Do you know, she actually had the temerity to write about family affairs on the internet!" I still heard that accusation anyway, but at least it was and remained undeserved. No, I'm not giving any links here because although it's all in the archives I don't think it needs to really resurface.


When was the last I woke up early in the morning and felt well and happy and savoured the feeling of having nothing to do? Can't remember. Some of that, yes, but all of the above?

Rahul insists on staying up crying at nights and it's so exhausting. It's as much as I can do to just get through the day, most days. On top of that we are having water problems. It's really too bad.

But then, you do count your blessings at such times:

1. When you do manage to find some time when you can afford to lie back and do nothing, not even think of unfinished chores, you really appreciate it.

2. Staying up nights is the perfect excuse for not doing any housework or cooking or for being in a foul mood.

3. It certainly tests your endurance if not your love and patience. If you can keep yourself from walloping a bawling brat who just will not go to sleep even at 3 in the morning you are as close to being a monument of patience as you ever will be. And you all know, patience is not exactly my strong suit.

I can't think of any more so I'll stop rambling right now. I've stayed too long anyway and need to go make juice and wake up WB, not to mention V, and start their morning. On a parting note -- try operating a breast pump while surfing the 'net. I did, this morning, and have decided neither is worth the combined effort. So, since surfing will not nourish my baby, guess which will be cut out? *Sigh*

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Motherhood Being the Necessity for Invention

I believe the saying goes remarkably like that. If it doesn't, it should.

The Bhaeblet (I know I said I'd stop calling him that, but I can't!) has started Cerelac. I have written before, of the perils of feeding a Bhaeblet. Well, the difficulty is compounded when you have to deal with a larger baby, flailing limbs, a bowlful of runny, semi-solid paste and a distractingly shiny spoon. WB reaches for anything he sees, and the shine of the spoon is too much temptation.

So, I struggled with this backbreaking combination for one evening. Why backbreaking? Because I needed to contort myself into all kinds of strange postures just to hold the child down so that I could reach the spoon to his mouth. He is so eager to get at the Cerelac as well as the shiny spoon, he doesn't know what to do and kicks them both away in his impatience. And he still needs to be supported while he sits, so obviously I have to seat him in my lap. Oh, and he also got upset when I removed the spoon from his mouth to scoop up some more pap from the bowl.

In short, it was a ghastly mess.

Anyway, subsequently I resorted to the bottle-with-a-spoon I had bought to feed him juice. (Needless to say he refused to have juice from it and is thus given his juice in a regular bottle.) And it was a roaring success! He watches the Cerelac slide down into the spoon from the bottle with round eyes and I have one hand free to pin his arms down. He can still kick out, but I can avoid that if I'm careful.

But this led to another problem. To slide through such a narrow tube the pap needs to be absolutely lumpless, which means straining, and that takes forever, with a normal spoon. Also, since it needs to be slightly more runny, one has to add the extra water very carefully, to get the rigth consistency. This evening, I suddenly thought of the measuring spoons that come in his tins of formula -- they are shaped like little, deep tumblers on long handles, and have a tiny hole in the bottom to ensure that the powder doesn't congeal at the bottom. They turned out to be great at mixing and sieving the Cerelac too, because they help push it through the sieve and if you pour the water into the measuring spoon, it goes out very slowly through that tiny hole and it's much easier to maintain the correct consistency.

I know, I'm a genius. Just thought I'd share that knowledge.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I'm It, I See

For the first time in three years of blogging I've been caught. Beq has tagged me, in short. So well, here are lots of things you didn't really need to know:

Three things that scare me:
The idea of outliving the people I love.
Driving in big city roads. Or small town roads. Or village roads. Or roads.

Three people who make me laugh:
The Bhaeblet, yeah!
My mother's brothers, all four of them
V, when he goes ice-skating

Three things I love:
Shopping, even window shopping
Eating spicy junk food
Going for drives late at night

Three things I hate:
Bad punctuation, typos, grammar, syntax -- in short, mauling of language. You should only play with language when you know it well enough to do so.
People driving two-wheelers with kids dangerously piled on anyhow.

Three things I don't understand:
Why V doesn't see when it's time to end a fight.
Cats. Had some as a child, didn't understand them then either.
Why The Bhaeblet fights sleep.

Three things on my desk:
Don't have a desk. V took it over.

Three things I am doing right now:
Munching cheese and sausage sandwiches (courtesy V the Sleepy)
Wondering whether I want to cook today or let things slide, just for this one day
Feeling quietly, softly happy. V and Rahul are both asleep and I have decided not to think about housework today.

Three things I want to do before I die:
Learn to control my temper and with it my language.
See Europe
Have a home of our own, not a rented flat.

Three things I can do:
Work very hard and multi-task like you can't imagine (but I'd rather not, if it's all the same to you)
Drive a car. In theory, at least. I have a licence, so there!

Three things you should listen to:
A violin concert, live
The Bhaeblet's gurgly laugh
Irishmen speaking English

Three things you should never listen to:
Me singing The Cranberries
My brother singing
A peacock's call

Three things I'd like to learn:
French, properly
The gentle art of patience *sigh*

Three favourite foods:
Moong dal laddus!
Badam milk
Rice mixed with butter, salt and pepper. Maybe accompanied by softly mashed potatoes.

Three beverages I drink regularly:

Three TV shows/books I watched/read as a kid:
The St. Clair series (counted as one)
The Little Princess (because of the part about the Magic)
The Diary of Anne Frank (there was so much I didn't understand, but yet dimly identified with)

In turn I tag three people:
V, if he has the time

How I Have Been Spending My Time

It's been nearly a month since I posted. I've been told that a lot -- but I knew it anyway, see. The thing is, motherhood only just caught up with me in the nicest possible way.

It's a funny thing, this change of life. When Rahul was born, apart from the awe, I'm afraid my feelings were on the shallow side: I remember going to sleep that first night thinking, "How on earth did V and I produce a child so handsome?" And he was so perfect, you know, with perfectly red little lips, and so much hair, and such cute little hands. Afterwards, for the first 7, 8 weeks, as we got better acquainted, I found it hard to treat him as the very little baby he actually was. The boy had so much personality, and such forceful ways of his own, it was like dealing with someone my own age. So I found it hard that, for all that, he still wouldn't 'listen to reason' or 'do as he was told'. It's only now that he is edging towards his fifth month (and his rice ceremony) that I play with him all day, and find bits of my patience returning to me, and, well, enjoy his babyhood, if you know what I mean.

When he stays up howling of nights I still have second thoughts about having any more children -- but I no longer want to bundle him up in a garbage bag and throw The Bhaeblet out of the window.

And it's so absorbing. When I fight with V or am unhappy with the world or am just very tired, I still enjoy playing with him and talking to him. I begin to see the therapeutic possibilities of babies.

I remember, all through his first and second months I could hardly wait to get out of the house, even if that meant leaving Rahul with somebody else. Now though it's a wrench, and it's easier for me to take him with me wherever I go, than wonder if he's well and happy wherever I have left him.

It's like falling in love all over again. You know the person's faults and you have your issues, but you're willing to take it all anyway. And I know I don't love him because I gave birth to him or because I see him every day or because he's cute or any of those things. I love him because I know him. Whatever he grows up to be, and however soon he decides he doesn't need my apron strings, he'll still be this perfect person I learnt to love so completely. At times I worried, because I didn't want to be one of those possessive mothers. I don't think I'll get the chance to be that. Rahul is very much his own person and a very social little being at that. He likes company and is free with his affections. So right from the beginning I learnt to share him.

Kids are salutary lessons, I say!