Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The pleasure and pain of paternity

Sunday my baby turned 6 months old!! Whoa!! Boy o boy, shes a big gurl :D

As I dressed her and gave her a bath, which I do with remarkable speed now, I could not help but wonder how time flew!!! And one thing that kept us sane in the initial days of her birth was the 2 weeks paternity leave of K.

K was a fantastic support after Chiyaa was born. He was fully hands on - ready for every nappy change, helping me in and out of the bed and being a major help in the kitchen too. As I look back, it will be him the total knight in shining armour throughout.
Some moments.....

On day 2 as I walked down the hospital corridor, carrying the meals, there were some other ladies too who were dragging their battered bodies :) And K was standing at the far end minding Chiyaa. Then he splurted - it looks like a slo mo race you know, all you women carrying the plates and walking real slowly. You never know we can even end up having a photo finish. Come onnnnnn you can do it. Inspite of my stitches, I could not help but laugh out loud.

After getting back home, the initial settling in was the hardest. K took complete charge of the kitchen, though he hated it. He most hated loading and unloading the dishwasher of course. He used to especially curse the 'freaking spoons'. The whole process was termed 'The Great Migration'!!

The first night was of course the hardest where we did not sleep a wink. She was just up all the time! Finally at 0600 she slept and we slept like we were dead. In spite of being in dire need of sleep, K dragged himself up at 0900 and got on doing all the chores of the house. One time he even searched the net and made tawa pulao!!! It was so heartening to wake up to the smell of something nice and be treated to a smashing lunch.

There were times when Chiyaa would just not rest on the bed. All she wanted was to be held. K spent many a nights just holding her and sitting. Of course he used to dose off - but never complain. 

Some evenings the little one used to especially fussy. K would try his level best to pacify her. But one time, he just could not and was loosing it. Then finally she tired herself out and slept off. He somehow felt he was not doing enough and felt very guilty. So much so I saw his eyes glisten :( Poor dear. 

The initial days were surely the hardest, but I would not have survived them but for K.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Super Sunday

There is something about Sunday isn't it? It always prefers being on extremities. It is either depressing, filled with dread and apprehension for the Monday lurking round the corner. Or it is lazy and idyllic filled with warm and fuzzy things.

Luckily yesterday happened to be one of the good ones! During the customary morning call with Chennai granny we were skimming through some old photos trying to ascertain whether Munchkin goes after her mom or her dad. K chanced upon some old pics of his college days. And he realised it had been eons since he had chatted with one of his oldest college mates. 

To get a hold of him, he made some calls to some other friends. Two hours flew by and he caught up with friends far and away                                                                            in the search of the elusive one. Even I had the opportunity to speak to one of his very close college pal who is also a new mom. It was mostly updates about our respective babies, but then, it was rather fulfilling to fill so many gaps. 

We managed to squeeze in some lunch after which K got on gossiping with yet another friend who is also currently in the UK. I busied myself with making some egg chops :) but could not help giggling at their conversation. They were on about old profs, quirks of friends and their shenanigans in college days. Seriously guys can roll on the floor laughing at such silly stuff :D 

As the egg chops got massacred with some chai K managed to find his longggggggggg lossssssssst kumbh mela ka saathi. They were talking like sorority sisters!! Yack yack yack yack. After talking for some 90 mins, they realised that omnipotent Skype exists! Skype connected - it was shocking to see his 20kg weight loss. It was pleasing to see his wife. It was awesome catching up.

For quite some time after the call K kept reminiscing. He was just so happy. Is there anything which can make you feel better than seeing the one you love so blissful?

The kadi mehnat se bane egg chops.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A gate at the stairs

I had never heard of Lorrie Moore. The synopsis said it had something to do with post 911 America ( I am never hard bound on them) I think it was Nick Hornby's quote "The best American writer of her generation" that made me pick the book.

The book is about a 20 year old student Tassie who gets into a baby sitting job for a child who is adopted by a restaurateur-scientist couple. The child is African American but the couple are 'white'. A good half of the book deals with Tassie bonding deeply with the child Mary-Emma. The couple Sarah and Edward being into very packed schedules end up paying not much than lip service into rearing the child. Another thread through the book is of Tassie and her family who live in the country.

The book does not have any monumental twists or turns. It for that matter lacks any purpose. Its sort of hearing a narrative from a very sarcastic person about mundane events. There is an utter tone of pessimism through the book as the writer etches the coming to terms with a new child and Tassie's study breaks spent in the country side. But what surely impressed me was the wryness of the author which was scathing but somehow had a point. 

Savour these :-

  • Adoption seemed both a cruel joke and a lovely day dream - a nice way of avoiding the blood and pain of giving birth,or, from a child's perspective, a realised fantasy of your parents not being your parents.
  • My brother's boy's life seemed lonely and hard to me. He still had one snaggletooth that poked out of his smile. This was because there had been enough orthodontia money for one of us, so it went to the daughter whose looks would matter(wasted on me! a smileless girl I felt no man would ever desire-not deeply)
  • "Awesome" I said in that particular way, I knew, our generation had of finding that everything either "sucked" or was "awesome". We used awesome the way the British used brilliant: for anything at all. Perhaps, as with the British, it was a kind of antidepressant: inflated rhetoric to keep the sorry truth at bay.
  • Would it have been so bad  to have remained a colony of England? I wondered fiercely with every bang. Would it have been so terrible if every dessert was called a pudding even  if it was a cake, to grow up saying "in hospital", to lose a few articles, to spell gray with an e, to resprinkle the r's, to have an idle king and an idle queen, and to put all the car steering wheels on the right? Well perhaps the steering wheels would be worth fighting for.

The book has a lot of conversations which leads to nothing. Makes you feel why is the writer dishing all this out? But then isn't that how life is too - aren't most conversations just a way to fill time? There is just one little snippet of anticipation - which lasts for 20 odd pages. Those are the pages where you are on the watchout for - what's going to happen next. Else most of the book is predictable. 

I would recommend the book for enjoying the play of words. And for having a taste of pessimism bordering on funny. Would I recommend the book - maybe no. Do I regret reading it - no. A boo to the book but whoo hoo to the author.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ingredients for a (near) perfect day

  • 20 mins of garma garam chai with Chennai granny on Skype
  • 20 mins of exercise 
  • The 5 month old falling asleep in the meanwhile with its dad for 45 mins
  • 60 minutes of rejuvenating chat with a dear friend ;) 
  • 45 minutes of respite utilized in making brownies while the 5 month old sleeps off again (The brownies look like gau maata's ahem excreta.... but taste fine :D ) 
  • 105 minutes of watching the Olympic Triathlon while ironing some much wrinkled clothes of the better half
  • 30 minutes of 'giggle time' with the 5 month old
  • 120 minutes of nap by the kiddo which gives you time to be just 37 pages away from the end of a book (yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy)
  • 60 minutes of chat with BBSR granny 
  • 45 minutes of vigorous play while waitingggggggggg with bated breath for daddad to return (something special for dinnnnnnerrrr)
  • 30 minutes of very very very very very and veryyyyyyyy anxious wait for the pizza
  • 15 minutes of hogging down the pizza at break neck speed and by miracle the baby is asleep so mommy can afford to eat the slices with both hands (yea I eat pizza with both hands :P )
  • A forever thinking how divine the pizza was!!! (Yes I am a true foodie and that was the highlight of the day :D  Even K told your stomach got some action after a long time so I can understand your feelings ;)   ) 

The book, the pizza, the Olympics and a sleeping baby

Added later - of course the brownies from Mars ;)