Friday, July 27, 2007

...and one more thing

...Adi can now laugh aloud. You should see the raptures that it sends grandparents into. I am of course the stoic mother who stands by the side and sees all these developments with all the excitement that I reserve for a cob-web. And that excited yelp that I let out was actually...just hunger pangs...or something.

Why cant I be more like Heather Armstrong?

Going through Time magazine's list of the 100 coolest blogs, I (unforgivably) belatedly discover the phenomenon that half of the civilized world already knows about for like the last 100 years. Yes, you got it, I am talking about www.dooce .com. (ok, ok, maybe you didnt get it. But you should have if you didnt want to sound as out of things as a new mom.)
There are parenting blogs and momoirs. And then there's Heather. Suddenly, I am paralyzingly aware of just how funny/bitchy (bitchy, therefore funny) she is and how interesting her stories. I am currently happily browsing through her archives and there are many, many laughs in there. Seriously, her daughter, Leta makes Adi look like an angel :) and thats saying' somethin'.
I have climbed on to the Last Harry Potter Book Wagon and through I am not exactly glued to this tome, I guess I should be able to finish it over the weekend sometime. I will of course resist from giving a review cos I really dont relish the prospect of repeating what has been said only a million times earlier.
Anyway - since this is my parenting blog, I should not digress so much from the Subject. The Subject loves looking at bookshelves. Fawning grandparents believe there is a little bibliophile hiding under the drool covered onesie. I don't have the heart to point out that he looks equally interested in the ceiling lights and fans (electrician?), the Monet print on the wall (artist?), the walls themselves (daily wage painter?) and let the Adoration of the Adi continue.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Not in my crib, Mother!

All my posts seem to be about Aditya's sleeping habits. And that is all very well, except that he suddenly decided to become sensitive to the traffic noises that constantly drift into our third-floor apartment. This is Mumbai, people are in a hurry, see?....and they aint going to be civil enough not to use power-horns. Resultantly, we are constant and unwilling parties to the mayhem that is Linking Road. To make it worse, we have two colleges as neighbours and with vacations ending and many rich papas fondly presenting their brats with cars, the decible level around here has suddenly risen multifold.
Frankly, all this never bothered me to date but seeing my little bundle wake up as soon as I put him down for a nap, after having rocked him while walking/jogging for 45 minutes (seriously, you should see my biceps) was enough to give me a case of road rage of my own. Always one for quick solutions, I had decided on a sack of large, heavy stones to be used at opportune times on happily honking motorists when my husband pointed out just how difficult it would be for him to bake a saw in a cake, given his limited culinary expertise. That decided me, but I continue to seethe inside.
Fortunately, Adi has now decided that he is a Bombay boy after all and has gone back to sleeping in his crib, oblivious to the F1 track downstairs.
One of our friends now has a Porsche!! Nothing to do with this post (except for motoring, mayhap) but I am excited nonetheless.
Speaking of excited, book #5 of The Dark Tower series has been done with and I am now only two volumes away from finding out The Secret of The Rose! Ah, the pleasures of a sleeping baby :) I know its not going to last for too long but boy, am I making the most of it while it does!
Next milestone - holding up his head. That would be really great. I think it will reduce some of my anxiety about him getting whiplash.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Gourmet kookies

One of the things that I really want to do in all-too-short stint as a SAHM is explore the various foods available in Mumbai. Many a time in my avatar as a busy office-goer I had day-dreamt of what it would be like to actually try some of the restaurants, cafes, pubs and even dabbawallahs that get reviewed regularly by lifestyle magazines (I just luuuuuurrrrrvvvvv those!).
I kick-started my resolution-to-reality maneuver by ordering some super-expensive, super-exclusive kookies from Sir Oliver Tryst's Kookie Kitchen. The girl who took the order had an impeccable phirang accent and I was terribly impressed. Wish I could say the same about the cookies (enough of the stylish misspelling) that arrived in a rather fanciful box. Each cookie was individually packed and the texture was nothing short of superb. But one bite - and you are left thinking - have they used salted butter? Why should a sweet biscuit (isnt that what cookies are at the end of the day?) taste salty...unless its pretending to be Krackjack or the newer 50-50? Or are the best cookies in the world supposed to be salty and its just me who is the ignoramus around here? I wouldnt know.
What I do know is that Adi's first cookie is not going to be coming from Mr. Oliver (yeah, I just de-knighted the blighted thing).
I have been trying all day today to cut Adi's nails. They grow faster than weeds, I swear. And obviously, there is no way in hell he is letting me anywhere near his nails while he is awake. So I need to wait till he falls asleep. Except that when he does fall asleep, I want to nap too! This struggle normally continues to the point where Adi manages to gouge some flesh out of unsuspecting care-givers with his claws. I have a feeling we are about to reach that point sometime this evening.
When I am feeling a little braver, I would also like to attempt cutting off some of his looong hair. I believe it makes him look like a miniature Amitabh Bachchan of the '80s or even better, a little baby girl. But it needs to go!

When baby cries

Most heard statements in this household when baby cries (and what they really mean)
  • "Must be gas." (You knew you shouldnt be eating beans for lunch, you pig!")
  • "He is trying to sleep." ("And you know darned well that you will need my help for doing so")
  • "Do you think he is hungry?" ("Appetite-wise, I can see he is taking after your side of the family")
  • "He is not thin, he is fit." ("Metabolism-wise, I can bet he has taken after my side of the family")
  • "Maybe he is wet" ("You dont change him enough")
  • "Maybe we should stop singing to him now." ("You know you cant carry a tune so just quit....NOW.")
  • "He has been crying for 10 minutes!" ("I am blaming you.")
  • "He is asleep!" ("I am taking all the credit!")

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Let sleeping babies lie







Adi through the day is such a delight that its difficult to believe that he is the same baby that we try to put to sleep at night!! As I write this at 10:30 pm, Mahesh is just starting on his nightly duty of putting baby to bed. No mean feat this...oh no...in fact, I would not trade my place with Mahesh for all the US made Pampers in the world (and I say this in spite of the fact that I take care of practically every other requirement that baby has).






The Ritual starts off with some play time with grandparents..often with Amma singing some Carnatic songs and Appa making all sorts of silly sounds. After this daily dose of entertainment, Adi is handed over to his Bumbling, Fumbling Parents (hereafter referred to as BFP). I first give Adi a nice, relaxing massage. He gurgles his way through this pampering and even obliges with some really cute smiles. We then give him a bath (his second of the day) with besan and milk in the hope that it will relax him enough to knock him out for a few hours. While I bathe Adi, Mahesh sings Yankee Doodle Dandee. Post bath, a long moisturising phase follows. Finally, Adi is put in his sleep suit ( a torture device specially aimed at tired moms with its 20 buttons staring at you like menacing monster eyes) and is handed over to Daddy.






This is usually when the kfun begins. Mahesh alternately walks and jogs with Adi swinging in his arms while at the same time trying not to go off-key on Adi's bedtime jingle of choice. On good days, this lasts for about 30 minutes. Adi either peers at the celing fan or lights or if he really wants to screw us, CRIES!






The massage and bath start taking effect after this and he finally starts slowing down. This is when Mahesh finally puts Adi on his belly and sits down on the sole comfy sofa in the room. In this posture, a tired Mahesh often goes off to sleep with Adi comfortably resting on him....asleep, if we are lucky.






So cute, you say. But wait, its not over yet. Once Adi is asleep, the trick is in getting up from the sofa and putting Adi in his crib without waking him up. While Mahesh makes what we fondly call 'The Switch', I watch with bated breath (I am not using this as a figure of speech, I really do hold my breath!). At least half of the time, Adi decides that he has not had enough and opens his eyes as soon as he is put down. At other times, this is really end of day's play. And on some excruciating days, we think that it is end of day's play, crawl into bed bone-tired, switch off the lights and just as we are drifting off, we hear a distinct sound - that of Adi telling us just who's Boss!!






There we go again :)









Monday, July 16, 2007

Of thumbs and virtual identities

As with all things Adi, we did some furious and intense research on the net regarding his thumb sucking. And were rewarded with the discovery that we had got everything wrong till now. Apparently stopping babies from sucking their thumbs only succeeds in making it an ingrained habit. Most kids who suck their thumbs even in somewhat advanced years have one thing in common - they all had to face a battle with their elders regarding the habit when they were smaller. Zowie Bowie - that means that our only bet to stop Adi from taking this habit to school is to letting him do it. Not so simple. We are also supposed to treat this as a signal that he is hungry, thirsty, bored or tired and approach it accordingly. So add that to our already full evenings. Now after ensuring that he is full to the point of bursting, is wearing a fresh diaper, has napped enough...we now start the Adi Circus. This is where we surround him with toys, play his mobile and music box, sing songs from genres as diverse as Indian Classical to Classic Rock and sometimes, just to keep the beat going, I take both his rattles and clang them incessantly!! The success rate varies from day to day but somehow we manage to make him forget about his thumb and worry about his imbecilic parents instead.
As for me, I have got myself yet another virtual identity on Facebook. Its amazing how friends who claim to have no time for each other in (so far) 'real' life send each other umpteen messages over such networking sites. I fear that by the time Adi grows up a bit, the concept of meeting friends every evening to just hang out and play would have gone ka-boom. All kids will do is shift from screen to screen - Playstation, TV, Computer - its a scary thought. The only consolation seems to be that he wont be the only kid facing the blurring of real and virtual lives.

Friday, July 13, 2007

My way


I think this blog and my writing in it is hugely unstructured. Thats because I have no time to actually plan on my posts. This is auto-writing at its best!


First, some interesting milestones : Adi can 'box' and tries to imitate boxing actions made by others. This is seriously cute :)


He also tries to grasp a finger or toy if it is held to him. He is not successful all the time but he tries!!


He continues to coo and gurgle and make "Ah-goo" type sounds....awesome indeed!


The thumb sucking continues as do our efforts to put an end to it. Some adults in the house are of the view that it will cease within a month or so...lets see...we live in hope!


His sleep patterns are all awry once again. There is no point even trying to document when he sleeps and for how long. They are just too different from day to day. But thank the Lord for small blessings - he does sleep at night and does not mix up his nights and days :)


The video equipment is finally set up (read, battery inserted into camera) after much prodding from the elders and now we have some ultra cool movies of Da Adi Man playing and acting cutesy!


A good thing about having a baby is that you dont need to wait for weekends...every day is equally hard!


As an aside - my memory seems to have gone under. Since I had the baby, I just seem to remember things. I dread anyone asking me 'when did you last feed Adi?' cos its a struggle for me to remember these short term things. Maybe its the chronic broken sleep or the deprivation thereof. Add that to my congenital absent-mindedness and its a sure-fire recipe for disaster.


Adi at bath is such a button. He loves the jets of water spurting over him. I cant wait for the time he will be able to sit up. I will get him a fancy bath tub, complete with baby jacuzzi...and bath toys...and bath bubbles.. and spoil him rotten!


I spend inordinate amounts of time every single day changing Adi's clothes. At least once every day - he spits up, I wipe him clean, dry him, put talc and baby lotion, put a new onesie on him, pick up him....and woo hoo....there is another spit up...repeat the process....pick him up...here you go, Mommy, here's another big one!! And then he smiles or gurgles and like an idiot - I laugh too :)


Yeah, we are fools in love alright! I dread the time he will grow up and wont need me to do all this stuff for him anymore. Hmmm...maybe should plan another one...


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I am back! Was a long time coming...but I got here ...and that is what matters.
EAT
Oh dear...he likes his food. Through the day, he feeds like a dream...a classic barracuda baby who latches on and doesnt let go till he has had his fill...then promptly falling asleep while milk-drools form whitish strands around his mouth and his belly looks nicely round.
Evenings, however, are a different story. He wakes up from his nap and then proceeds to scream at the top of his lungs. All the adults in the house look extremely distressed and tell each other that crying is good for his lungs (though not quite believin it). I cant get him to feed because he prefers weeping over eating. The mini-feeds that he does take in are followed up by massive spit-ups. Everyone takes turns at quietening him. He finally simmers down when he has had enough of this ruckus and then feeds and proceeds to sleep. As in other cases - BABY IS KING :)
SLEEP
My baby (or 'my chap' as Susannah Dean would call him) sleeps through most of the day. Not that we are complaining...no way! In fact, at 9 weeks plus, he has already slept through the night a couple of times. I get very worried when he does that, suffering from nightmarish visions of him starving himself....but thats me, not him.
Anyway, so having slept through the day, he wakes up in late evening, screams, cries, wails, plays, gurgles, coos, smiles, listens to various renditions of 'Yankee Doodle Dandy' and 'Bhaj Govindam' and as described under 'EAT' gives everyone some royal kicks on their sorry asses. Then he feeds and falls asleeps..usually at around 12:30 am.
MAMA OR DADA
Definitely Daddy's boy. He is such a picture when he sleeps on DH's belly every night.
SUCK MY THUMB
This is a new development. Let this be on record - he gets this habit from his daddy's side..heh heh :)
Its four adults trying their damned best to stop a tiny baby from sucking his thumb....and its still a tough match.
A quick thought - parents dont train babies...its the other way around.
US AFTER BABY
We are doing ok I think. Every day is a new experience of course and we have the moments when we feels like complete idiots who should never have been legally allowed to have a baby...but that feeling passes. All I know is that we try hard....real hard.
DH still manages to watch his F1 races every Sunday. I still do my crosswords and have read quite a few books as Adi naps. And Adi's grandparents still follow the market and watch tennis....so its all working out...sort of. We even go out for a few hours on weekends.
But all this has been possible only because Adi's grandparents are here...
Once they leave, the party will be over. Sigh...