Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dethroned

When I was still pregnant with Tarana, I was desperately hoping that it would be a girl and yet accepting that a boy was just as likely, I came up with a list of reasons to convince myself that a boy would actually be better. It went something like this:

  1. Ayaan wanted a baby brother. And given that their age difference of four and a half years would already be on the higher side, the two siblings being from the same gender would work better to ensure a close bond between them.
  2. I was probably better equipped to deal with boys. After all, I am a stern, disciplinarian kind of mom. Who knows if I could muster up the broader emotional range to parent a daughter.
  3. Two boys would mean that my crown of the queen bee of the household would remain uncontested.

It is still way too early to comment on the first two. While Ayaan clearly adores his baby sister and has so far not even mentioned his previous preference for a male sibling, we will have to wait and watch to see how the sibling relationship develops and sustains as the years go by. As to the question of whether I will be able to be a good mother to Tarana, I’ll be lucky if I could answer that question many decades later on my deathbed, if at all because questions about how good a parent you are/ were can be tricky, can’t they?

The third one however can be answered right away. Not only is Jai showing signs of being wrapped around Tarana's little finger as she grows (he refers to her as his princess, need I say more...), the undeniable fact that my throne has already been whisked away is evident from the following conversation:

Picture this. The baby has just woken up and is stretching and opening her eyes. Ayaan and I are leaning over her cot and talking to her. It goes something like this:

Mama: Hi Sweetie Pie
Ayaan (perfectly mimicking Mama’s tone): Hi Sweetie Pie
Mama: Hi Girlie Whirlie
Ayaan: Hi Girlie Whirlie
Mama: Hi Baby Doll
Ayaan: Hi Baby Doll
Mama: Hi Little Pet
Ayaan: Hi Little Pet
Mama: Hi Princess
Ayaan (without missing a beat): Hi Queen

!!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Month and a Day of Tarana

Wow! I can’t believe I am already the mother of a one-month old and a month-old mother-of-two. You would think that the substantially reduced sleep would make time go slower, what with there being more awake hours in the day. But on the contrary, time seems to have whizzed by faster than usual...

Overall, things have been going well. To start with, Tarana did have her days and nights mixed up somewhat and she would sleep a LOT during the day and be bright and playful at 4 a.m. in the morning. But I have seen that settle down in the last couple of days. Her stretches of night sleep have been increasing from the initial pattern of waking every one and a half hours for a feed. It was as if she knew she turned a month old yesterday because last night, she actually slept a 4-hour stretch. I am going to wait and see if she repeats it over the next couple of days before declaring it a pattern…

Ayaan has been absolutely brilliant about the new baby. He clearly adores her and his first question when he gets home from school or waks up from his nap is ‘Where is the baby?’ Whenever she is awake, his aim is to get the baby to look at him and then squeal ‘Look Mama, she is looking at me!’ and to this end, he is quite happy to sit next to her and wave rattles in her face.

He has been quite accommodating with the amount of time he needs from me too. Other than a few sacred activities, he has been quite okay with doing stuff with Jai and/ or my mom – the non-negotiables being his morning milk, an hour of computer games when he gets back from school, the weekend cartoons and the bedtime story. Even for these, he is okay if I need to feed Tarana in parallel. I have to say that he has totally exceeded my expectations of him as a big brother so far and I am terribly proud of him…

His excitement at celebrating her first-month birthday yesterday had to be seen to be believed. He showed a great deal of initiative planning it out. He insisted his Dadda take him to a bakery where he picked out a cake for Girlie. Then he nagged us all endlessly till we got the cake and candles together. He took the responsibility of blowing out the candles on her behalf very seriously and blew out the candles three times before the camera was ready. He then proceeded to cut the cake with his very own orange knife and served us all miniscule portions of the same. It was all very cute. Here's a picture of him all set to celebrate :)

So far the challenge of balancing two kids hasn’t really hit me since my mom is in town and she helps out with one kid while I am busy with the other. Once she leaves, my sister-in-law is going to be in town for 10-12 days. Then we have about two weeks on our own before we go off travelling for the Christmas break – first to my in-laws place in Bangalore, then to my mum’s place in Jaipur. So it’s only when I get back in early January and get down to it will I truly be able to judge how well I can hope with handling the two of them…

There's so much more I wanted to say but I don't have the time or energy - I think it's time I went to bed. Also, I don't remember much of what I planned to say in this post. Blame it on the sleep deprivation...

I leave you with a picture that Ayaan took of Tarana seen from his perspective :)