People, the new daddy is back for his much-demanded encore. This one is titled 'Save Me From My Parents'... Over to Nikhil:
Suhana did not cry or wail for almost 5 hours after they brought her to the room. Her expressions were mainly of shock and confusion. Don’t blame her though – she spent 9 months in a cozy dark place, where she was the only person in the entire world and food came free without any effort. Now she was in bright light, had a bunch of curious giants peeping into her face making strange noises and the tummy did not feel so satisfied. The last time I felt this way was when I finished my management trainee stint and moved into Sales.
So, Suhana had successfully managed to fool me that she was a quite, peaceful yet energetic baby. I even made some ‘proud Daddy’ calls to friends and family, announcing that I had created an angelic child. But like many things in life before this, I was wrong!
It started around 8 pm, after all the visitors at the hospital had gone back. It was a little wail that was barely audible. However, soon wailing began to get louder until it reached a crescendo. The loud wailing was supported with just the right expressions – red face, frowning eye brows and rapid kicking of legs. Before we could even understand what was happening, she was in complete agony, as if calling out to people outside the room saying – “Save me, save me, my parents are cruel people!”
From our earlier research and conversations, we had figured that babies mainly cry when they are wet and need to be cleaned or when they are hungry or when they are feeling too hot or cold. No book explained that all these 3 events could actually occur simultaneously!! Anyway, I was prepared for this and did what was expected of me – I started making a nappy.
As a football fan, one of my lasting memories is that of the Brazilian footballer Ronaldo (he with the crooked teeth, bald head and highest number of World Cup goals). In the 1998 World Cup Final, against France, Ronaldo was completely off color and the story doing the rounds was that he had suffered a massive anxiety attack, just before the match, as the pressure of expectations got to him. I could not understand it then, but I sympathize with him now. Making a nappy (for which I believed I had a natural talent), under pressure from a wailing infant and its delirious mother, can be a harrowing experience. The creases were not joining, the folds were going haywire and I finally landed up making something of a cross between a mini skirt and a bandana!
Anyway, we quickly cleaned her up and then began the onerous task of positioning her for breast feeding. This proved much tougher than we imagined. A hungry baby is like a Vampire who just wants to have a go at anything within a 2 cm radius. Clothes, fingers, buttons etc. are all fair game! So I again did what I was expected to do – I opened the Bible - “What to expect when you are expecting”, and turned the page to breast feeding positions. As I began instructing my wife on how to position the kid, she shot back “I don’t need a lecture you @$$#o£€, I need you to put a pillow behind my back”.
Aye Aye Mam
Let me pose a very disgusting question to you – How many of you have munched on Subway sandwiches and milk shakes, while taking a dump in the Loo? Chances are that unless you were a particularly miserly kid in an all boys boarding school, your answer will be an emphatic ‘No’. I mean who mixes eating food with something as disgusting as taking a dump? The correct answer is – Infants! All kids poo while suckling and they do this repeatedly and sadistically.
So here we were, finally convinced that Suhana was in the correct position, satisfied in the incomplete knowledge that new parents have. And then it happened - a tiny sound, a little trickle and then a full fledged gush! There was poo all over the place. My mini skirt-bandana Nappy did absolutely nothing to hold things back. In fact, while finding the correct feeding position, we shifted Suhana around so much, that the Nappy had reached somewhere between her hip and shoulder.
As soon as she felt poo around her, Suhana stopped feeding and began to wail loudly again. This time it was meaner and scarier than before. I was panic stricken! What if the Doctors come into the room now? They will see a baby with a Nappy on her shoulder, poo all around, wailing loudly, while both parents behave like bumbling buffoons! What if they took her away from us? What if we were categorized as “unfit to be parents”?
That was the motivation we needed. In the next 3 minutes, I made what can be descried as the perfect Nappy, while Pallavi cleaned up Suhana. We then put on her Nappy, rubbed her back and almost instantly she stopped wailing. Her expressions changed from accusation to innocence. Those big eyes suddenly looked at us, as if to say “Who me? Did I do something wrong?”
And exactly at that moment (and this something that will stay with us till the rest of our lives), the pediatrician and his team walked through the door. What they found was a well fed baby in the arms of her Dad, peacefully enjoying the ambience. The Doctor completed her check up and said “You guys are doing great. Baby is fine and you can go home whenever you want now”.
Pallavi and I proudly looked at one another – we got an A+
Nikhil is contemplating starting a blog of his own but is not yet sure if he will. Otherwise, this outsourcing strategy is totally working for me, given my abysmal blogging frequency...
Either way, will keep you folks posted...