By the book

I’m moisturising the Bean after her bath – a ritual we follow strictly since her eczema diagnosis when she was born. Out of sheer habit I squeeze her nose bridge and as usual she says Owwww…

Bean – Why do you squish my nose, Mama?

MM: Because you have Mama’s snub nose and I’m trying to make it sharper… like… Cleopatra’s nose!

Bean: I don’t want a nose like Cleopatra

MM: Okay – like, Dora then, or Aishwarya Rai… or…

Bean: Β I don’t want their noses.

MM: So then what do you want?

Bean: I want my nose to look like it is!

Dear God, thank you! In a world of botox and concealing grey hair and nose jobs and fake boobs, I do hope the little monster stays just as she is…


While on the subject of changing attitudes, we’re walking to the bus stop and the Brat points out to two boys with their mothers.

Brat: Mama, don’t they have fathers?

MM: Of course they do, darling. Why do you ask?

Brat: Because I never see them dropping them to school or playing with them on the swings or taking them on the cycle or swimming with them… Β like my dada.

You go, OA!


57 thoughts on “By the book

  1. My son’s pre-school teacher actually thanked his father for taking out time for a PTM on a Saturday! Can you believe it – I told her not to as its equally his responsibility and he is as involved as me happily.
    Cheers to the REAL dadas πŸ™‚

  2. Some of us can’t see past the nose on our face πŸ˜› Meanwhile, kids notice EVERYTHING!!

    Go, Brat n Bean!

    P.S. The moisturiser ritual is adhered to v strictly around here too. Have you tried Eucerin? It works better for Div coz it doesn’t perfume n colour. Sorry for the unsolicited q πŸ™‚

      • Unsolicited validation from a Pharmacist πŸ˜› : Both Eucerin and Oilatum are very very good for eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and their cousins. Would swear by them. Another equally good one is E45.

    • Eucerin in very good, no doubt. The only thing I dont like about it is that it makes the skin extra sensitive to sunlight. (Read the warning on the backside). So I think it’s not the best choice for the Indian sun.

      I have tried the whole gamut and I still think the best one is Cetaphil. I use its soap (actually cleanser) for my daughter since she was a cpuile days old. I also use its creams and lotions for her – what with the whole variety of them avilable ranging from “mild moisturizer” to “intense hydrating” to “ultra hydrating”! And when that is not enought, for example in winters, I mix it with some almond oil.

    • haan – even i thought it was tangential. but i started off thinking of how we go by the book. we all learn to massage a baby’s nose and we keep doing it
      similarly – we all are so used to seeing only mothers with their kids that we dont realise how strange it is. the brat on the other hand doesnt know these socially acceptable things…

      • Good thing kids are born not knowing how to read the book. We get a fresh chance for change with every kid, just imagine!! πŸ™‚

        Sometimes I wonder if we should be going back to school too!

  3. A post after my own heart – 1, cos I have a snub nose and my Paati, for the longest time, out of sheer habit, would squeeze and tug at it too (we get the snub nose from her :)).
    2, cos the second part reminded me of my dad – I know I’ve said this before, but since it is never enough, I will say it again. He was the cool dad who bathed and dressed his 2 girls till they were 8 or so, packing them their yummy lunches (courtesy the super mum) in neat little baskets, ensuring polished shoes and neatly ironed clothes and dropping us off at school. For being the default parent at the PTA meets. And always, always surprising the teachers by pre-empting the ‘complaints’, they may have had. For telling them that his daughter ‘talking in class’ cannot be a complaint. And for thinking nothing of massaging his daughter’s bum knees and feet, even today, when she complains of knee-ache.
    Go, OA. Go, dads :D.

  4. Oh so u guys are also part of the snub nose club.. great. When I took my four-year-old son to get his specs fitted the doctor said “his nose is too flat.. it’ll be tough finding a good fit” How wierd is that! Oh and he gets it from me.:-)
    Cheers to OA..

  5. OMG! Isn’t it amazing how much children at brat’s age make of things like this? Who would have thought they would have even noticed it, correct?

    N of course bean is going to be a contented kid πŸ™‚

  6. of course the bean is a confident kid. she knows she is cool, snub nose or not.

    ps: i am a chappa mooki(flat nose) and my husband is one too. i’ll be grateful if my kids are born with a nose that’s visible to the naked eye.

    and that compliment from Brat is the highest praise a dad can get! I can almost visualize the halo around him πŸ™‚

  7. Aaah the inheritance! I inherited the famous nose and caterpillars! πŸ™‚ they lend “character” to the countenance! πŸ˜€

    And I can bet the brat will follow in the OA’s footsteps. here’s to role-models!

  8. Ha ha, i totally get the ‘by the book’ thing. My mother would insist we squeeze my boy’s capsicum nose (inherited from me) till it got the razor’s edge and i would remind her that she shouldn’t mess with genetics. And she would tell me, “no everything can be altered – nose, butt, ears, hair, everything. If you do it on time.”

      • mine insists that any body hair is becoz the baby didnt get a good “cream/haldi/besan” rub as a baby. mmm i think that it maybe partly true, coz that rub seemed a bit like depilation in massage guise! she did it for my son and i was not so persistent w/ my doter and she stands vindicated….is that pure chance?

        • you know, everytime someone gives me this argument i almost succumb to it. my son was massaged and has smoother limbs than the Bean who couldnt be touched, thanks to her eczema. but i think its luck. women from the north east have such smooth limbs. punjabi and haryanvi women are hairier. its just a matter of genetics and chance. or so i tell myself 😦

          • well yes and no – Genetics certainly does play a large role, but the haldi massage helped a lot! Anecdotal evidence from me: women of my gran’s generation, who used haldi everyday, vs. my mom’s generation (mom+aunts) vs my gen – I see a marked difference – genetics are similar for hair in each generation (i.e. the fathers are not more hairy than in earlier generations)

            • see, my cousin and i had the same massages but she is way hairier than i am. i’ve seen it in twins too. so i’ve sorta lost my faith in that argument.

  9. Great post MM….and Yayyy!! to the great dads who think it is as much their responsibility as ours to wipe a bum, drop off the kid or help them with the homework. I know there is still a lot of work to be done to change gender stereotypes, but in the meantime, I think at least some men are definitely going in the right direction and they need to be appreciated for that.

  10. exactly what me and my husband said when our son was born. We had enough people suggesting to pinch our son’s nose bridge, to line his eyebrows with kajal lest he does not develop eyebrows… what logic. Beanie seems to understand better at her age!!!

    How cute of the brattie. I am more impressed by his observation. Will be beneficial in the long run.

  11. You go OA indeed!! πŸ˜€ The world needs more involved fathers! Awww…you go Bean too. I have a snub nose too and in my family I was called Bocha- meaning someone with a teeny tiny nose. It always made me feel adored and set me apart in a family of regular noses. Though my mum tried all sorts of tricks with my nose, oil massages and cold cream squeezes in hopes of altering my nose, even old aunts promised my nose would grow when I did. It didn’t. And I don’t mind! When everyone compared who looked like whom I always said, “Why I look like me. I am an original!”

  12. Ummm. Hate to be the party pooper as far as the pinching the bridge of the nose goes. But apparently it IS a good thing to do for infants. It helps fully develop a passage that goes from the eye to the nose or some such thing.

    The doc asked us to do it for the shrimp when at 2 months she had that mucus/pus like thing coming out of her eyes, at times sealing her eyes shut by mornings.

    So, yes. The ‘sharpening the nose’ might be a incentive devised by great great grand moms to make sure parents did it religiously. πŸ™‚

      • oh yes, my baby girl used to get tears out of only her left eye all the time. She would also get sticky goo at the corner of only her left eye in the mornings, which meant that the passage from her eye to her nose was not developed. And guess what was the solution ??

        Massaged the nose bridge daily like paati said, and the prob went away, poof! just like that ..

        Apparently, the other option whould have been surgical – to insert a pipe into her tear duct via her eyes and open it out !! Imagine wat torture !!

        Paati vaidyam ki jai!

      • I don’t know about kids, but my classmate spent one hour each day during her last few years as a teen massaging the bridge of her nose with cold cream and her nose definitely became loads sharper. Of course, I got a rap from my mom when I tried to do the same πŸ™‚

          • crazy as it sounds, it is true. i’ve never really admitted to it but I was a vigorous nose massager for about two years around the time I turned 17. I didn’t really have a nose to speak off when I was born and it stayed tiny much to my disappointment. I don’t even know what got me started on the massaging, nobody told me to, but there was a noticable change in its size and shape in about six months. My mother remarks on it even now. One caveat – the massaging doesn’t come with the assurance of a prettier nose, just a more prominent one. Mine’s still kinda goofy looking.

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