Bringing up baby – 20.04.2006

THURSDAY, APRIL 20, 2006

Bringing up baby

(Pic of 8 day old Brat)

I  spent all of last night and pretty much most of today with my toddler sleeping on my chest. He’s almost a year old and I have spent most of the year begging, pleading and bargaining with God for an uninterrupted night of sleep, sweet sleep. I am yet to receive it.

Before I had my bundle of joy, frustration and hope, I used to read about instances of child abuse in the US and wonder how any mother could possibly harm her child. And then it came to me. The nuclear family today is just not geared for child rearing. Specially not if you find yourself moving city often.
You will find yourself moving into a new house with a huge belly, setting up home, tripping over your own feet doing housework untill you can organise house help and of course having to wear oversized clothing since maternity wear is hard to find, ugly and expensive.
And if you think this is the beginning of your troubles, you’re highly mistaken. You might think you will manage but you need to have atleast a dozen pieces of baby equipment that is neither easily available nor affordable in India.
You will also figure out that while strollers and prams of every size and description are available, you will rarely find a market where they can be used – unless of course you count the snazzy malls in Gurgaon. You might find a baby carrier but you will rarely find a corner to feed baby. Oh and if you need to change a diaper, dump all the paraphenelia on the floor because you certainly won’t find a changing table. I could go on but I won’t.
Be prepared to deal with squashed fingers, burns, bumps, bruises and bleeding and of course electric shocks. I am most often found seriously taping up a plug point only to undo it a few hours later to use it. Yes, my son has figured out that a little dedication can pull dummies out of a plug point. He has also discovered the pleasures of chucking toys off our third floor balcony only to watch Mamma scurry down to collect and come back huffing and puffing.
He has successfully dislodged the stay-put suction toddler bowl from his tray and flung the contents all over my hand embroidered table cloth. There is supposed to be a release tab that only adults can work – hmmm… maybe he has a job lined up in testing products. He has also managed to destroy a couple of very expensive break-proof baby toys. Yes, the other adult in the family has often wondered aloud why I bother to pick up such stuff. Kids get bored easily, says he. They need cheap toys that they can break and discard so that they can have new ones. Makes sense. In theory. But let him spend one day trying to get any work done knowing that his son and heir is busy pulling apart toys and stuffing pieces of them up his nose and mouth. I am only open to discussion after he has achieved that.
Having said that, watching him demolish each toy methodically is also a pleasure. Only a mother would see brilliance in the way her 10-month-old finds a way to get past childproof locks and genius in the way he tips over suction tableware.

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39 thoughts on “Bringing up baby – 20.04.2006

  1. I remember reading this — not when you first wrote it but may be sometime in 2007 or 2008! And I am re-reading it because so much is now applicable to me! I have been through nights of having A sleep on either my or R’s chest simply because she won’t sleep anyway else!

  2. Hey! I have stumbled across your blog before, and read quite a few posts. However, this is the first time when I am leaving a comment.

    First of all, thanks! Even though I am pretty far from being a parent, your blog helped me think about many parenting issues and how often we find ourselves struggling to find the right path.

    Secondly, all the best! Although, the phrase has been used so often, it has lost its meaning; I really hope that when you look back at your grown up children, living their lives, you feel content.

    Lastly, I am sorry for not leaving you feedback all this while. I tried to, but either due to laziness or…, okay just laziness, I didn’t. I hope to be around more often.

    P.S. Keep posting ^_^

  3. You can post whatever you wnat to.. but I am sure OA would feel offended…

    reason being.. I’ve been there and done that,.. OK so if OA was not there physically.. in the long term it does not matter….

    apne ladke ko maine bahut baar apni chhati par sulaya hai.. itana ki wify avoid karte hai.. 🙂

  4. It’s nice to see how your writing style has evolved over the years. This is much more journalistic, less intimate, even though the subject you write about is rather so.

    Thanks for putting this up, MM.

  5. oh god- do all babies look alike? for a sec i was like huh why does she have a pic of leila up? and where did she get it? so weird.
    i have an identical pic (or 13) of myself and my kids like this.

    i recently did a dear nadi post- this kind of felt like that 🙂 how have you been?? and wheres your address? how am i going to send you a christmas tree ornament??

  6. Oh Deja vu. That picture of the brat looks startlingly similar to V’s. and we had those moments too…I might be able to dig up a couple of (very similar) pictures…..

    🙂 thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  7. And this is about the time I started reading your blog. And your opinion about gurgaon has not changed in these four years.

  8. Gosh, how cute! Makes me nostalgic, even though it was just 18 months ago. Cannot imagine how quickly the swaddled bundle has graduated to giving the world high-fives. Time flies! Thank god for blogs and documentation!

  9. Oh my god I cried. I am a 15 weeks away from being a momma to a boy and am shaking in my boots. I am hoping your old posts will help me in times of distress.

    • aww… shilpa’s going to be a mommy. its funny. but just like you all have seen the babies grow, i’ve seen so many of you get married and have babies, just through the comments. its lovely

  10. Hey MM,

    I remember this post very well. I came across your blog in 2007 when I was expecting and read through all your posts in about 1-2 weeks. It gave me a glimpse of what was my life would be in the next few months. And absolutely remember all those sleepless nights myself that continued till about 1.5 years but consoled myself that other mothers also go through this all. Your blog not only prepared me for the responsibilities of motherhood but also for all the beautiful moments to come.

    Best,
    AW

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