Why haven’t I posted for over two weeks? Let me count the reasons…
To start with, we went home to my mom’s place for the five days. I thought I would get a chance to catch on the blogging while there, but like with all such trips with Ayaan, I came back feeling more exhausted than when I left. To give everyone their due, I had a lot of help from Jai, my mom and my brother but he still needed me around most of the time, thereby ensuring that I didn’t get the break that I had hoped for. I also realised that I have become completely unused to having him sleep in the same room as us – every noise that he made woke me up and any noise from outside had me fretting that it would make him up – so the plan of catching up on my sleep didn’t go as well either. Finally, he got a terrible cough on the last couple of days so you can imagine that I was pretty worn out by the end of my ‘break’.
Moreover, work has been pretty crazy. It usually goes through cycles and right now, it’s peaking. I was in office till eleven one day – the latest I have worked since I went back to work after my maternity break. Even on other days, I have been working late, carrying stuff home to finish once Ayaan’s off to bed and generally feeling stretched and stressed out (not to mention rather guilt-ridden about spending less time than usual with Ayaan)… That being said, it’s also been a satisfying couple of weeks, work-wise – so even with the periodic guilt attacks, I am quite at more at peace with life as a working mom that I have vere been.
With work and Ayaan taking up most of the time, the house has fallen into disorder – or so I think – Jai thinks I am making a mountain out of a molehill. Actually, it’s nobody’s fault but my own because there are things that the control freak in me will not submit to delegating to my over-paid, underemployed army of three maids. The laundry absolutely must be sorted by me (no one else can be trusted with the highly strategic job of putting the right colours together into a load) and ironed clothes just have to be put away by me. As a result, we currently have an overflowing laundry basket and a pile of clean laundry waiting to be put away, which looks like this:
To add to that, some of our furniture is breeding wood-worms and a couple of windows have been letting the monsoon into our flat. It’s all driving me batty! So blogging has kind of taken a back seat.
And if that were not all, I have been possessed by a seemingly innocent-looking book (no, it's not Harry Potter, though I have started re-reading the series) called the parents’ workbook. It’s a book that the teachers at Ayaan’s playschool send home every weekend with exercises that parents (read mothers) have to do with the kids to reinforce stuff that they were exposed to at school. Now firstly, they told us it wasn’t compulsory for us to fill in the books but I just can’t bring myself to send it back empty. In my mind’s eye, I almost see the teacher nodding her head disapprovingly and thinking to herself, ‘Tut! Tut! Another working mom’s kid.’ And worse that that, Ayaan feeling less that proud of his book. So I have been driving myself crazy trying to do the best job I can with each exercise, severely handicapped by my lack of even a smidgeon of artistic talent. I present to you some of my masterpieces:
This one was an exercise on finding shapes in the everyday objects that the kid already knows and relates to. This one cost me about three hours on Google and another hour cutting the objects out of the printout. (But the 5 stars we got on the page felt more substantial that my best performance review :)…)
This one on modes of transport was worth another couple of hours on Google and an almost equal amount of scissor time (the train took almost half an hour to cut out!). Plus I always do these exercises with Ayaan because even in my insanity, I know the main reason for doing this is to build on his learning. Given that he has a typical two-year old’s attention span, it takes a while to finish this part of the exercise as well – sometimes as many as 4-5 sitting of a few minutes each.
The number exercise turned out to be pretty expensive. I spent twenty minutes at the stationary shop picking out these stickers with my phone lying on the counter next to me. When I finished, I looked around to find the phone gone! And when I tried calling it, it gave an unavailable message so someone had obviously stolen it when my attention was diverted. Add another bunch of hours for rebuilding my address book...
And this was our exercise for this week – we had to illustrate a cow, along with what it eats (grass), where it lives (shed), what it gives us (milk), what it says (moo), what it’s baby is called (calf) and what it swishes away with its tail (flies). Simple task, you say? Well, not if you decide to get obsessive about the type of cow you want (Indian-looking, with tail up in the air to swish away flies, a matching calf...). Another couple of hours on Google - somebody stop me!
Anyway, in the end I felt quite validated in all my efforts when I stuck the grass onto the cow’s mouth and asked Ayaan ‘What does the cow eat?’ and he promptly replied with ‘Gaass’ (he can’t say his R’s yet so they are either skipped altogether or replaced with L’s), a word he has never said in front of me before!
So as you can imagine, a lot of free time has been going into getting this stuff together (not to mention my recently acquired Facebook addiction…)
And that if anyone was interested was my litany of excuses for not posting sooner. Thanks for the prod, Megha - your little nudge pushed me out my exhaustion-induced inertia…