Monday, July 02, 2007

Bringing Up Baba

I've had a lot of ideas for blog posts this last one week but don't seem to be able to focus and write one out. Baba's in the hospital, what with a nasty cold, low BP and high blood sugar. He seems to be doing better now, although we are not entirely happy with the doctor and the treatment, but I found the whole week very upsetting because suddenly, marriage and The Bhablet felt like very real fetters.

I'm not talking of the way I feel from time to time, when I think that the creaking sound around me is from my brains rusting away. You know, when I feel claustrophobic in our little flat, when The Bhablet is giving me a hard time and there seems to be no privacy or any space for me in here. Those times I definitely wonder why I ever got into the whole domestic thing, because singlehood may have been less fulfilling, but hey, it was more exciting. I think. Wasn't it?

This week though, I had to accept that my parents may fall ill -- but because they live 1500 km away from me, and I have a little baby to look after, not to mention a husband and a home, my first priority cannot apparently lie with my parents. Except for an emergency, I would not be expected to dash down, and they would rather I did not. I can understand their point of view. Every time I go away I come home to a visibly thinner V. (I promise you, skinny as he is, he can still manage to lose weight. But hey, this is where I have to own up that he has actually managed to bring himself up to 55 kgs. Round of applause there folks, because that is indeed an achievement for V.) And obviously, the whole domestic setup is usually shot to pieces and needs to be sorted out once more, including getting the maid back in shape. It's really irritating bringing a baby home to a place where the linen needs changing, where his clothes, bottles, diapers etc. are all covered with dust, where I can't put him down because there isn't a clean surface for me to do so. V is learning but there's plenty of space for improvement. If you want a more visual description of how much space I'd say perhaps the size of Europe? Not leaving out the Russian bits, of course.

It has been so difficult sitting here in Calcutta, dreading the phone calls, being unable to call because I've been so afraid of hearing the news. I'm usually a good person to have around in a crisis, but I'm no good at riding out the crisis from a distance, being unable to actively do something. And I was so angry with Baba for letting it all happen. You cannot control illnesses but this particular one he brought on himself. I watched it happen. He made me serve him sweets when he was here ten days ago. How does he think I feel now?

Bringing up parents is never easy, I accept that -- but I'm starting to think that with my father, I'll never be done.

7 comments:

Beq said...

There always are fetters...some days I feel horrid that I can't be with baba/ma. But there you have it...I just think that father of yours needs to listen to you and your mother a wee bit more. He's alright though...I like him :)

Grafxgurl said...

im always scared for my dad and mum. now that theyre getting older. its getting scarier.

dipali said...

Awww- it's really heartbreaking. These are the times when one wishes one could clone oneself. I've done the emergency flight routine a few times- now my parents are living with me, (driving me up the wall sometimes), its a generally better situation than long distance worry and helplessness. I hope your father gets well soon and behaves himself as far as sweets are concerned!Cheer up, Sue- and cuddle The Bhablet for me..

Rohini said...

Really sorry to hear about your dad. Keeping my fingers crossed that he gets better soon...

And I know just what you mean by motherhood in some sense putting fetters on you - but most of the time they are good fetters, aren't they?

Sue said...

Beq -- Well, he doesn't think he needs to listen to anybody, especially not his doctors, because what do they know?

Grafx -- That's what I mean. It was awful knowing that they were only two hours away and I still couldn't go.

Dipali -- I'm just about willing to have them (and the in-laws) in the same city. In the same house I would be driven to either suicide or mass homicide. They are all difficult to get along with on a daily basis, especially when there is a grandchild to be brought up.

Rohini -- He's much better, thanks. Was a nasty scare, although it was a long time coming to him.

The fetters are not bad but that is not the point. I fought all my life to throw off my family and in the end, it's all back once more. It's just a different kind of holding down.

dipali said...

Sue, mine are really old and my dad is practically bed-ridden, and my kids no longer stay at home either, so, as the phrase went in Rajiv Gandhi's time, there is the TINA factor- There Is No Alternative. We are generally OK, problems arise when they forget that neither they nor I are six years old. We are all meant to leave the parental nest- but sometimes the nest itself needs a place to roost. We still keep establishing the spaces in our togetherness for the sake of everyone's sanity. Had MIL for a while,also assorted IL problems- fetters change, but rarely is one's life totally unfettered......
Glad to know your father's better.

dipali said...

PS:All these fetters are part of having love in one's life- would rather have them than not. But it's not always easy.......