Friday, July 13, 2007

We Have a Problem Here

For the last two odd months I have been trying to get back to work. Now that in itself is not as difficult as it might be for those who had a fixed career before having a baby, I imagine. I have always been happy trying my hand at a little bit of everything. I mean, when I say I write, I really cannot define it any clearer than that because I write anything I'm asked to. A poem, an obituary, a script, an article, an interview, a letter, your homework, whatever. Some I prefer not to write for money (homework and poetry) but mostly everything else is fair game. In addition, I've always enjoyed having fingers in theatrical pies, so that gave me some welcome changes from time to time.

So when I started looking around, I began by telling everybody I could think of that I was back in the game. Did they need costumes stitched? A story written? Did they know anybody who wanted some proofreading done? And I came across several very interesting openings, including one as a part-time RJ on AIR. The RJing eventually fell through because what with the surgery and the family gatherings last month, not to mention the ever-demanding Bhablet, I just could not find the five clear days at a stretch needed for the training. Also, the lady I was to liason with expected me to hop across town every time we spoke -- even though I had explained that I had a small baby to dispose of and needed at least a couple of hours' warning before being called. After several stormy sessions with V (who was driven distracted by The Bhablet whenever I'd gone out) I gave up on the idea and asked around some more for writing I could do from home.

A couple of weeks ago I heard about Calcutta Walks, and was intrigued by the idea. Then I heard they were looking for guides, and promptly volunteered myself. Currently the walks are still being sketched out. So we went on some exploratory walks, and obviously, these were meandering and took a long time. The problem is, Rahul started crying soon after I left home, and continued to howl more or less until I rushed back. I just can't figure out what his problem is, all of a sudden. He's being left at home with V -- something he is used to -- and he has been left with his grandparents for far longer stretches when both V and I have been away.

My mother explained that since we've been travelling every so often ever since he was born, and usually V only joins us for bits of the trip, I've been the only only constant factor in his life and therefore he is bound to cling to me. But he managed just fine when I was away at the nursing-home for a night and a day for that wrist surgery.

I'm really at my wit's end. I consider it highly unprofessional to keep explaining that I need to rush home to prevent father and son from murdering each other, and also because The Bhablet needs to be made to stop crying. I don't want to feel guilty about looking for work because so far I have specifically looked at part-time jobs that need only take up a designated few hours each week. I understand that V will have to babysit for the 5,6 hours I may be away -- but since he works freelance, I do think he can work that into his schedule on normal days.

All this reminds of my worries last year, about how I would cope with work and a baby. And how crazy it had been, when I was trying to juggle home with a full-time job. Then, as now, I had only a part-timer coming in early every morning. She's both honest and reliable, but you need to be around to ensure that all the things get done, or she'll skip a couple of chores each morning. So I would wake up early, run around cooking dinners, packing lunches, doing the laundry, coping with the ironing man, the newspaper chappie -- you know, the usual run. And V would slouch down just in time to get ready and leave. If he were sulking (and he sulked a lot in those troubled times) he wouldn't even eat the breakfast I'd made.

Anyway, not wanting to dwell on (V's) past sins here. Am focusing on Bhablet's current ones!

Seriously... I just don't know what to do. How to make it easier on the little chappie as well as get it across to him that he is not being abandoned.


Moppet's Mom said...

Sue, this is really hard. The Bhaeblet must be going through some sort of separation anxiety...

I've been in the same situation myself. Moppet was born in bombay, then we went to ahd for about 3 months, moved back to bombay for 2 months, then the bangkok thing happened - so we moved back to ahd for a couple of months before finally landing up in bkk (!)

The first few weeks were a nightmare - since she wouldn't let anyone but me do anything for her (she was 9 months old at the time). It has gotten better now - although I am still pretty much the only one who can calm her down if she's upset.

I don't have a solution (yeah I know, long pointless comment!), but just wanted to say hang in there, it's hopefully just a phase.

the mad momma said...

I think its a baby specific thing. I did 2-3 months in three cities with the brat before he was about 8 months old but it worked the other way around he got so used to the change that he just went with the flow... Boo has the same observation to make abt Ashu.

That apart - I would say there is nothing much to do if you want to work from out of home but to maybe send him to a daycare for two three hours. that is if your hours are fixed. he will soon get used to the other kids and forget you. perhaps wait till he is walking maybe? then he can play on the swings etc... just a month or two more.. hang in there and know that i am doing the same!

Sue said...

Moppet's Mom -- I understand the logic of this separation anxiety but why was it not a problem when both V and I left him with his grandparents?

I know the nightmare you're talking about. Happened to me when we returned from Madras in June. V was so hurt!

MM -- The Bhablet likes the change and the company, not staying at home all day with just V and I. I suggested to V that if he kept crying, to take him upstairs to our landlady, or over to his parents nearby. Can't think of anything else. Obviously, that way V can't work either.

Rohini said...

Ayaan cried when I started work but since I had no choice, I just hardened my hert and left. My suggestion would be to just go ahead and go - he'll get used to it soon enough.

Other things that work (in the longer term):
- Never leave without saying goodbye. Sneaking out may seem like the easier way to leave but it just makes them more insecure.
- At the same time, keep the goodbye quick
- Do something special with him when you get back. Positive associations and all that...

Well, that's my two cents worth.