Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Adi and the dining table

The least used piece of furniture in this house used to be the dining table. When we first moved to Mumbai, we (I) picked up a dining table with four chairs from Fab India. They rotted away. M is of the firm belief that eating while sitting on the floor, thali perched atop a small wooden stool, eyes firmly focused on the TV is the best way to aid digestion. I, on the other hand also like to watch TV/read while eating (okay, maybe not the other hand then). Yeah, yeah, very soon we won't be able to tell Adi to focus only on his food while eating. Not unless we practice what we preach.

Anyway, so the dining table was rotting away. Then in my last trimester, I got a severe attack of the nesting instinct and rejigged the entire house. At that time, I decided that while the dining table could hang on a little longer, the four chairs needed to go. I asked my handyman to break down the chairs and make little stools (as in small tables...not the other...oh, forget it) out of them. Great idea, because the stools are coming in very handy as end-tables.

Except that the table now looked very bare without the chairs. So I trooped off to Lifestyle and bought two chairs to keep the poor table company.

Why in the big wide world am I giving you the history of furniture in this house and not getting to the point?

SO, the point is - Adi has decided that the poor ignored dining table with its two chairs and two gaps needs some tender loving and has been spending all his time under the said table. When I enter the living room, I often see a forlorn looking Padma and a sad-faced Grandma sitting on the carpet, watching TV guessed it...Adi is under the table.

Every now and then, he bends his knees, takes a look at the outside world and then goes back to exploring his cavern. Most curious.

Many a times has 'dhumm' (noun, meaning: falling down and hurting oneself) happened under the table but the boy just gets up, brushes it off and goes right back to licking the table or whatever it is that he does there. Hours and hours.

I think the dining table is finally getting the attention that it has been craving all these years.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The return of the grandparents

The grandparents are back! In the six months that they have been away, a lot has changed. The little babe who could barely hold up his head is now crawling around like a little bug. He can stand up on his own. He can move around holding on to furniture. He can knock off spectacles in one fell swoop. He can yank the corner guards that his mother imported and chew relentlessly on them. He bounces up and down to music. He recognizes Nagada, Nagada on the TV (impeccable taste, I say). All in all, a delightful little person, just begging to be lifted and smothered with hugs and kisses.

Except that it is not so simple after all. Adi, being the ingrate that he is has completely forgotten that these two people helped him out the most when his parents were such novices at the game that throwing out the baby with the bathwater could have been more than just a metaphor. He now refuses to go to them. In fact, he sticks out his lower lip and starts bawling if we try to leave him alone with them.

Well, that puts paid to M and my plans to finally have dinner together. As I may have written earlier, Padma takes her holy presence away at seven pm and Kalpana brings her glorious aura in at eight pm or so to cook dinner. This means that M and I take turns in gulping down the goop so that the other entrusted with watching Adi can eat. We were sort of hoping that we would be able to have some 'happy couple time' (strictly Cosmo-speak, ladies and gentlemen) once grandparents arrived but NO! NO! NO! screamed Adi. Clearly the Amy Winehouse CD that I have been playing around him is having some impact.

That's fine, we say, we can live with that. More importantly, this has thrown the grandparents into the depths of despair. He doesn't come to us, they lament. Well, its been less than forty eight hours, his son, the esteemed M tries to console them, give him some time. To make matters worse, due to health problems grandpa is not allowed to lift heavy weights. Unfortunately, heavy weights include anything over a kilo and so that pretty much rules out Adi. Further complication - Adi is showing signs of thawing towards his grandmom but absolutely refuses to go to her husband. Her smug expression is not doing any wonders for poor grandpa's ego.

Let us see how this one plays out, shall we?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Temptations in the path of fitness

The day we came back home from the hospital after Adi was born, I weighed myself. I will not share the exact number with you but it was very, very high. I had at that time set myself the target of losing it all by the time Adi turned six months. Missing this deadline completely as I am wont to do with most deadlines, I extended it to the end of 2007. That swished passed gracefully too and I was nowhere close to meeting the target.

Well, nine months to put on and nine months to take off, I thought and to my credit most fitness websites agreed with me. Except that piling it on was so much more fun than losing it. Nine months post-partum and I still had a large amount of fat hoarded away in various folds.

My birthday, my birthday - I consoled myself. Thank you very much for your wishes everyone but I am unhappy to report that I did not welcome my thirty-first with a super-slim frame...ok, not even a slim frame.

That is alright, M tells me. You're getting a great body, look at how strong you're becoming. I think it lifting Adi that is giving me the muscles, I reply dolefully as I scan the multitude of clothes that are losing their sheen sitting around in the cupboard.

I have borne all this with great fortitude and continue to gym and diet with a vengeance. However, I do suspect there are some people out to get me. When the trainer barks 'COME ON, FIVE MORE!!' at me, I call to mind the last ounce of will-power that I have in me and somehow lift those weights again and again. When I see the remains of the fresh fruit birthday cake lying in the frig, I avert my eyes and pick up an apple instead. But this! A poor, tired, sweating woman who has fed a baby, given him a bath, run to the gym, lifted weights for forty-five minutes on the strength of a measly pear consumed in the is she expected to resist the call of the samosa?

Yes, my dear readers, I am greeted with the aroma of freshly fried kachoris and samosas as soon as I step out of my gym every single morning. The halwai shop next door choses that very moment to put the big, fat kadhai to use. The UP-ite in me screams, "What a yummy brekker that would make!! Who wants to go home and eat those insipid oats? Come on, just one hot samosa! Just one juicy jalebi! No one will know, come awwwwwwwwwn!"

So far I have dragged myself from jogging over to the shop and stuffing my face with the fried goodies. I don't know how long I will be able to keep up my resolve though.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Ides of March are come

...and with it come the exams. Lately I have been seeing a lot of kids going off to school to take their exams, books balanced on skinny knees, probably trying to cram some formula (hey, formula can mean something other than powder milk!) at the last minute or invoking a few thousand gods to come to their aid in the crucial hour of need. Sometimes I catch the same kids coming back after the exam, this time with worried expressions. The other day I caught sight of a question paper floating out of an auto-rickshaw with the words..'calculate the focal length..' and it was all I could do to stop myself from cheering loudly and saying BETTER YOU THAN ME, HA HA HA!! Yeah yeah I am mean.

Also, I have paid my dues.

In more ways than one.

Being born on the fifteenth of March means that throughout one's academic life, one's birthday must fall either marking the onset of exams or even worse, ON THE DAY OF THE DREADED MATHS EXAM. Sigh, what better way to celebrate one's special day than writing about Arithmetic in the morning and Algebra+Geometry in the afternoon? What indeed. God forbid the exam goes badly. It is all that is required to add a touch of splendour to an already perfect day. Of course burdened with the stress of exams, it is quite likely that one's friends will forget to wish the birthday girl, agonizing over questions on the lines of calculating the focal length.

So, what I am saying is - I may be firmly entrenched in my thirties now, I may not technically even be a birthday 'girl' anymore, the sight of a birthday cake may cause me to calculate the damage to my diet...but guess what, I don't have to write an exam! It is a happy birthday indeed!


Conversation with M.

Me: Y'know, a lot of people have started wishing each other because sites like Orkut and Facebook remind them of their friends' birthdays.

M: I don't know if it is a good thing. Remembering a birthday and wishing a person is great. Not remembering a birthday but being reminded and then wishing is not so good. Not remembering a birthday, being reminded and yet not wishing is the pits. I would rather they didn't remember, were not reminded and did not wish.

Me: Confused and silent


Oh and someone else is celebrating a birthday today. Bring on the party hats, there is still time for the school-going years! Go over and wish the little one who is now ONE YEAR OLD!


In case you missed it in the post, it is my birthday and I am accepting gifts of the PayPal kind.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A scratch for every itch etc

The adorable Krish's mom, Kiran tags me, this time to list out the things that make me happy. I could answer in one word but I get the feeling 'Loads of alcohol' is not exactly the answer this tag is seeking. I shall try to come up with alternates...

...Loads of alcohol. Rose champagne, Pinot Noir, Chianti, well-mixed LITs...aah...just writing about it makes me tipsily happy.

...a good book with a wry, dry, subtle sense of humour....a book that can make me chuckle to myself and I am a happy camper alright.

...Lying face down on my bed and reading comics in the afternoon. Regression into childhood = perfect recipe for happiness.

...Hearing the key turn in the door and watch M walk in, pulling a face to make Adi smile. (A couple of smiles for me would be nice too but I knew that I had been relegated to second place the moment this little guy was born. I am not sure I have reconciled to the fact though.)

...Talking to the family, gossiping and systematically bitching with the sisters and the friends about random people.

...The eve of holidays, the anticipation and excitement of going to see a new place (after the pain of packing and planning has been done with)

...a good cardio work-out. No, I have not suddenly transmogrified into a gym rat. A good cardio workout dissipates the guilt of not working out.

...lolling around with dogs, specially black labradors or German Shepherds. Memories, memories.

...lolling around with Adi, trying to confuse the hell out of him about everything. Like Calvin's dad, I deserve the child I have.

...watching re-run after re-run of my old and beloved TV shows.

...discovering new music that I really, really like (happens infrequently now) or rekindling the romance with the old faithfuls.

You know, I am re-reading this list and I think I find happiness in just one thing and all the above are just manifestations of the same - I find happiness in being child-like. Yeah, yeah minus the one about loads of alcohol of course.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pregnancy blues

I knew I would totally get you with the title of this post. No, I am not pregnant and thank the Good Lord for that but if you feel like congratulating women with bumps, you could try sending flowers to Moppet's Mom, Poppins Mom, Kodi's Mom and Lavs.

Ah, now back to the blues.

I know I want a second baby. Sure, Adi does not sleep and all that nonsense but that does not detract from the fact that another one like him would be a great development in our lives. Why do I want a repeat of Aditya? Well, because.... only child is a lonely child. And while we are handing out cliched proverbs, have you heard - Early to bed...aaarrgghh! What I am saying is - I don't want Adi to be lonely.

...I don't want him to miss out on the immense bonding that exists between siblings.

...I want someone to sit on him and straighten him out when he acts like a fathead. And I want him to have the opportunity to return the favour to someone else when the need arises.

...I would like a daughter. Okay, maybe this is the biggest reason and should have been mentioned first. After all, we can't keep calling Adi 'Rani bitiya', 'Gudiya' and 'Chhoti Munni' forever.

...I have seen some really solid guys who are only kids but I am not entirely sure that we will not end up spoiling Adi if he is our only one. Of course I am talking about M here. I am of course a strict disciplinarian.

...Talk about being a sucker for punishment but I miss the baby-ness of Adi even though he is not exactly packing up to go to college yet. But you know what I mean.

So what is stopping me, you ask. Well, couple of things such as...

...the fear of getting cholestasis again. The itching was bad enough to make me want to crawl out of my own skin. Once I got this condition in my last trimester, everything just went downhill from there on. Also, what if it not only comes the second time around, it comes earlier? *shudder*

...the fear of the c-section and all the pain that comes with it. Of course, one could try for a VBAC but that is no party either, right?

...the nausea, the puking, the inability to look at food while gaining weight like there's no tomorrow. There is puking and then there is really bad puking and then there is puking that makes you feel that with the next heave your guts are going to make a not quite graceful exit from your system. Mine was worse than the last. Get this, last week I bought the same brand of handwash that we were using while I was pregnant. M washed his hands with it and not only could I smell it in the other room, I started retching almost immediately. Some associations are STRONG!

...there are other reasons but they are so minor that I'd rather not count them in this list.

So that's me right now - in two minds and rather confused. Thank god we don't have to decide right now. Though I do have a feeling that I'll be harboring the same mindset two years from now.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A special movie

M and I were over at Sarvodaya - a DVD rental store in Bandra the other day and were looking into the display window. One of the rather racy looking DVDs claimed that "this was the best effort since SECRETARY to understand the subtle emotional nuances in a S&M relationship." Really, now. The description troubled me at various levels and although I know you're dying to know the details, I have nothing more to say.

Sarvodaya flouted my attempt to watch Amelie yet again, this time by giving us the DVD that contains the Special Features about the movie. Of course I am all for watching special features about movies but it would be nice to see the movie first. Just a thought. The guy who came to collect the DVD was most nonchalant about the fact that they had robbed us of a perfect Sunday evening watching a great movie by handing us Special Features instead. (Incidentally, it does break my heart to define watching a movie at home as a perfect Sunday evening but well...)

Me: Yeh movie ka CD nahin hai. Isme toh Special Features hain.

Sarvodaya guy: Hain? Hum Special Features nahin dete. Hum sirf movie dete hain.

Me: Arrey, main bata rahi hoon na. Isme movie nahin hai.

Sarvodaya guy: Par Madam, hum toh Special Features wallah CD rakhte hi nahin.

Me: Aisa karo...andar aa jaao, is CD ko player mein daalte hain aur dekhte hain kya aata hai.

Sarvodaya guy (hastily): Achha achha, theek hai, baad mein lekar aata hoon.

Another battle won. Who says world cinema is becoming more accessible?

A playdate with the pretty Peanut

If only Adi knew how much tougher it is going to get a beautiful girl home from here on....

So, the wonderful Y and her lovely Peanut came over for a playdate. By Y's own admission, I am stronger since I go to the gym regularly (yes, five times a month is regular enough for me, thank ye) and therefore, terrorized, she has ended up doing all the hard work and posted on it, complete with a picture.

Oh man, just looking at her (Peanut, that is) makes me want to have a daughter so bad....

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Oh, to be able to sleep

One of the basic jobs of this blog is to rant about my lack of sleep, the irregularity of my sleep, the broken-ness of my sleep and quite often in the last ten months, the non-existence of my sleep.

Yeah, yeah, last night was not so good. In fact, in the invisible sleep-o-meter that I've had installed in my hypothalamus since Adi's birth, last night would rank at a four. THAT bad.

For an entire week, Adi slept off at ten pm and woke up just once at three am for a feed only to drop off again and then finally wake up, dimples and smiles at eight am with the rest of the civilized world. I had started thinking that my dues of motherhood were paid.

In fact, I was telling Y of YonEarthNot just the other day about my good fortune regarding this beautiful turn of events.

Clearly hexing myself is one of my untapped talents.

Adi has reverted to his colicky ways these last three nights. He cries if we switch the lights off, he cries if we try to make him lie down, he cries because he is tired and needs to sleep. We feed him, he eats. We administer his colic medicine, he makes a face but gulps it down anyway. We try walking the floor with him, a tough task given increased weight. The entire episode finally reaches an end at midnight when he drops off. Not for the night, of course. He wakes up every two hours to make sure that all is in good working order and the machinery is well-oiled.

The war of weaning is also not going that well. He eats his food readily enough but is not taking to any other milk. He has rejected formula of course. I tried fresh cow's milk, sourced from a dairy, nay, from the cow herself by the vigilant Pramod. He threw up after having it yesterday. Given my inexhaustible capacity for guilt, I felt really bad at having given him something that evidently does not agree with him.

I have heard many mothers wish for things they had done more of before they had kids - travelled more, worked harder(?), gone out more often, spent more time with friends, pursued interests and hobbies a little harder.

Me, I wish I had slept more.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Curious Cat meets Birthday Cat

There are things in life that leave me completely and totally flummoxed. Being by nature a healthy, curious individual I am often left wondering about these things.

For eg,. what do newsreaders and news anchors do with computers? How come they don't look at them at all during the news bulletin but always turn towards the screen with a seriously focused look after the news-reading is done and they have said their goodbyes to us? Come to think of it, even earlier in the Doordarshan days they would just scribble something with the hitherto unused pen on some sheets of paper, probably just doodling or something. Anyway, as I was saying, I want to know what is on the computer screen. Heck, I demand to know it. What if they are just checking mail? What if they are bidding on an auction website or checking the score? What if that content is unsuitable for family viewing? Technically they are broadcasting it, right?

Sigh, you're right. I am losing it.

On to more cheerful topics. Day before was our own M's birthday. Even if I do say so myself, I gave him a great birthday and managed to keep it all under wraps till the B-Day. I got him a PSP and I took him to Busaba for dinner. Given that I am a measly freelancer, this was mighty generous of me. Another master stroke - I got his languishing violin restringed and bought a new case for the same. This was really difficult because I know nothing about either this or any instrument. Resultantly when the music shop owner threw a few queries at me, I was completely thrown. Anyway, he did the best he could, even if one of the strings is in the wrong

It was wonderful to see the glee on his face when he saw his new PSP and immediately started playing with it.

It was even more wonderful to have him play the violin for Adi and me. I mean, this guy is really good, though of course it could be love rather than good judgment talking. He did sound quite faultless to my ears though.

It was equally wonderful to see him enjoy an impeccably prepared meal at an upmarket restaurant.

However, what was most wonderful was the realization that all this creates obscene amounts of pressure on him to out-do me on my birthday. Also, given that my birthday is just a few days away, it leaves him with no time to plan and prepare. I really got him!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ten months letter

Dear Adi,

Considering that you hi-jacked my blog and got yourself many nice comments in the process the last time around, this time I am nowhere near late.

So, plenty of progress this time around. Standing up for a few moments without support, taking a couple of steps (Padma insists she has seen you do it....she really should stop drinking in the afternoons), repeating BA-BA, PA-PA, MA-MA quietly by yourself....all of this has been great.

However, what is truly outstanding is how your reactions and responses to things are maturing. For eg. listen with your head cocked to one side when there is a knock at the door (strict instructions to not ring the doorbell have been issued to the staff in order not to wake you....either that or they get to make you sleep...somehow they chose the former) and wait to see who has come. You greet the people you know with different types of smiles, a YOU AGAIN! for Padma, a HEY HOTTIE! for Kalpana, a SHOULDN'T YOU BE IN THE CAR? for Pramod and LIGHT OF MY LIFE! for Daddy. continue to be Daddy's boy, my dear. When he gets home, you crawl upto him, hoist yourself up using his pants (good thing he wears a belt) and then when he picks you up, you give him a hug!! WHAT THE HELL. Lets go through the basics again - I got fat to have you, I got cut open to deliver you, I gave up my career to look after you...and Daddy gets a hug?? Why are you giving me that 'Life is unfair' look? Of course your father has not missed a single opportunity to brag about this to anyone who cares to listen (or not). The creep.

...the moment I start singing 'A for Apricot, B for Bird....' you give me a grin and make a beeline for your alphabet poster which admittedly is rather strange. A for Apricot? What happened to the more desi apple? Anyway, the point is that because you move towards it with such enthusiasm, both your father and I are convinced that you are academically inclined, which is more than you say about either of us, so keep it up, love!

...while eating in your highchair (which incidentally ranks right up there with Fire and Wheel) you keep looking down at the floor, making it impossible for us to shovel in goop into your mouth. We have since discovered that you look up when some sort of music is played in the region lying a foot above your head. The mobile phone's tones came to the rescue. It was all very well till you started displaying a strict preference for a particular phone tone that goes under the rather dubious title of 'Belly Dance'. Really? respond readily to your name. This has been proved scientifically by conducting the following experiment. ADITYA, we will scream. You will look up from where you are sitting, eating a shoe or magazine or some such. ANTHONY, we will holler. No response. JAVED. Again, not a flicker of expression. Hence proved.

...of course with your four-four toothies and your crawling and your smiling, you could have fooled anyone into believing that you sleep through the night. Not so fast, buster. Although you do sleep much better than you did earlier, you are still prone to waking up at your regular time which is a rather inconvenient 3 am. Well, we will live with it. To borrow from your alter-ego Calvin, you have lowered expectations to the point that they are already met.

That's it for this time then, love. Let's go get you another shoe to chew on.



Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ode to an Apple

So I dithered and dithered and hemmed and hawed. Finally I gave in and decided that my new lappie had to be the Apple MacBook. It was the right decision because this thing, this beautiful, gorgeous machine is making me into a slobbering, love-struck idiot. I have a feeling that I will be spending even more time at the computer, if that was indeed possible, than ever before.

Of course I do miss the old one already....this is a little new shoes-ish, glamorous and shiny and catching attention but it does lack the comfort and familiarity of the oldie, specially because Ctrl A does not select anything, Ctrl S does not save anything, Ctrl C does not copy anything and Ctrl V does not paste anything. In fact now that I look a little more closely, there is no Ctrl at all. I hope that is only a figure of speech though. In the meanwhile, I have taken this picture on my phone, transferred it to the machine and inserted it in the post in what seemed like less than two minutes. All you techie-types who designed this splendid white thing, I salute thee. Bring on the instruction manual already.