Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The latest from Mangalkunj

One of our biggest nightmares is taking Adi for his vaccination. It happens every month and both of us start getting sleepless nights for at least a week in advance. In any case, most of our nights are sleepless, but you know what I mean. It is not Adi who is the problem, its us. Its parenthood at its worst, knowing that you must do this for the greater good of the child and forcing back nausea as you watch the doctor taking out that god-awful needle to poke into his plump thigh. To be fair, Adi didn’t cry much. In fact, I don’t think he really realized what happened. He appeared to be more pissed at having been woken up from a nice, comfortable, warm nap on his father’s belly.

What I am still recovering from is the fact that he is double the person he was when those doctors and nurses (unwisely) handed him over to us fifteen weeks back. We were convinced at that point that there was no way in hell we could do this right. But looks like he is growing well, if not because of, then in spite of us.

Interestingly, as Adi partook of the nap described above at the doctor’s waiting room, all the children present there, most of them toddlers or older, suddenly remembered that this used to be a good thing that they had been made to give up. Soon enough, one by one, tantrums were thrown, parents’ laps were climbed into, milk bottles demanded, thumbs stuck into mouths and overall mayhem ensured. And to think we believed that it is going to get better.

Milestones - Adi has managed to flip over a couple of times, much to everyone’s joy. We can now look forward to years and years of increased anxiety that he will roll over from his bed and thus put paid to our dreams of a contented retirement having sent him off to MIT or some such place. However, much to the acute consternation of the grandparents, he rolls over only when he needs to; for example, in trying to get away from the mother’s probing hands as she tries to massage every square inch of his delectable flesh before his daily bath.

He talks and gurgles and makes supremely intelligent conversation. “Ah-goo”, “Hfffcchhh”, “Grrrruummpphh” have become routine. Some “Khaaghh”, and “Aaayyy”s have been heard. And rumour has he has regularly been saying easier words such as “Paraphernalia”, “Rheumatism” and “Hippopotamus” too.

In aid of the “Save-Parul-from-going-out-of-her-mind-sitting-at-home” project, we have been stepping out of the confines of the 790 square feet (I love quoting this figure…there is a certain impact in the fact that the darned flat is not even a square 800!) of our living space. Other than eating insipid colourless soup and bland noodles in the name of authentic Chinese fare at the newly-opened Royal China in Bandra, a movie was also planned for the weekend. “Chak De India” has been earning rave reviews from the non-baby world and it was decided that the brave step would be taken and we would leave the baby at home (in care of the grandparents) for a full…GASP…..three and a half hours. Tickets were obtained on the internet, Adi was massaged and bathed and breast milk expressed. It was at this point that I became my mother and officially started suffering from inexplicable paranoia.

“How can we leave him alone and go away THAT FAR for THAT LONG? What if he cries for us?”

“It is just Andheri. It is not that far. He won’t cry. Let us go.”

“I can’t be a bad mother (?) to him already.”

“Oh, that makes sense. Ok, let’s not go.”

“No, wait! Lets buy tickets in black and go to a theatre in Bandra itself.”

Right. So the first round of tickets were written off (obviously to be recovered from Adi when he is rolling in the dough) and second round of tickets were bought and marginally less worried about Adi growing wings and flying off, we took off for the movie. Mind, we were doing this in style and had, for the first time ever, bought tickets to the hallowed BOX. A box is essentially the two highest seats in the theatre, somewhat boxed off from the rest of the plebian seats below and looks as if its been constructed with the sole purpose of providing hormonal teenagers a bit of private space for some necking. The irrelevance of the same for us will be touched upon in an alternate post. To get back to the story, armed with our popcorn and Pepsi, we started watching the screen in great anticipation. Chak De had not started yet and there was a war movie trailer playing. Mahesh informed me that the trailer was of a Steven Spielberg movie called Tranformers. I paid only half-attention as I waited for the movie to start.

Except that it didn’t. The ‘trailer’ stretched into first five, then ten, and then fifteen movies before it dawned on us with crushing finality that we wouldn’t be watching Chak De India after all.

To cut a not-so-short story short, we aborted the attempt and came back feeling like a pair of complete asses.

On reaching home, I swear I saw a certain glint in Adi’s eyes.

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