Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Picture is Worth Three Stories

I clicked this picture a couple of weeks ago and then realised it has three post-worthy leads on it so here goes:

1. The Colour

As might be obvious to those in the know, Holi was played. I went for a grand holi party at an ex-boss’s house. We had a great time. The colour was mostly harmless gulaal till an evil friend turned up with this horrid turquoise blue fast colour which took up semi-permanent residence on my scalp, nails and skin. It’s mostly gone now though my nails still have a faint bluish tinge about them.

The last time I went for this same holi party was two years ago and I had liberally partaken of the traditional holi beverage of thandai laced with bhang. And went on a trip I am not sure I ever want to take again. To start with, I kept wondering what the big deal was since I only felt mildly buzzed, which I chose to remedy by imbibing more of the stuff. Bad idea! The stuff hit me hard all of a sudden and it was intense – all the colours suddenly became uncomfortably bright, the sun threatened to set my skin on fire and the music seemed to slow down so that it sounded like one of those obsolete Walkmans running out of battery. I started to feel really sick and caught hold of the friends who I had come with and requested that we go home. They took one look at me and readily agreed. They seated me on a chair in a safe corner and went off to say their goodbyes. They later told me they were away for less than five minutes but for me those were the longest five minutes of my life. I thought I was sitting there for hours and I started to get terribly depressed, thinking that my friends didn’t care. And even thought I was going to just die sitting in the chair there. It was really terrible – I still shudder when I think of those few minutes. Anyway, my friends did finally re-appear and delivered me home where I proceeded to bathe, throw up and fall into a long, dreamless slumber from which I woke up, not much worse for the wear. Never again!

This year, I was not even remotely tempted since I happened to be breastfeeding and there is no way I wanted to expose Tarana to any of that crazy stuff. So I was a designated driver and I had a complete blast. There is a kind of fun you can have only when you are the only sober person in a carful of drunk people. At times, I was laughing so hard I actually considered parking the car on the side of the road till I got the giggles out of my system. Some of the howlers from the drive back just beg to be shared:

  • What good curvature!’ (repeated endlessly in the time is took us to traverse the Bandra-Worli sea link)
  • Why did I carry this paper napkin back from the party?’ Repeated multiple times and interspersed with hysterical laughter.
  • A friend thought his jaw was locked and that there was an steady stream of imaginary beer dribbling down his chin. So he kept wiping his chin and mumbling unintelligibly
  • Another friend who alternated between laughing violently and then sobbing inconsolably

Funny and fun times!

2. The Ring

My engagement ring, which I wear on my left hand ring finger, stopped fitting me 6 months into my pregnancy. But I felt weird leaving the finger bare. Now, I am not very big on symbols of marriage – my thali has not seen the light of day after the wedding, I find toe rings excruciatingly uncomfortable, I find sindoor messy and I limit my use of a bindi to when I dress up for a wedding. I don’t wear much jewellery either, barring a pair of earrings, usually chosen to match with just about everything so that I don’t have to change them every day. But my liking for rings has somehow survived my disregard for marriage symbols and my indifference to jewellery. So I wear at least one ring at any point in time.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I didn’t want to blow mega bucks on a ring that would be loose on my hopefully normal-sized fingers in a few months, so I bought this ring while floating around and window shopping in Chennai with Sue, way back in July. It still fits, which should tell you that we are still not anywhere near pre-preggers size in these parts…

3. The Star

This star was awarded to me by Ayaan. I came out of Tarana’s room after putting her down for a nap and he stuck it on to the back of my hand saying, ‘Good job, Mama. You made the baby sleep without any crying’. Apparently, a pair of little ears has been monitoring my sleep struggles with his younger sister, watching my faltering progress and deciding that I needed to be rewarded to keep up the good work!!!

On to the sleep struggles… I thought I had at least the nights sorted out but now she keeps waking up every few hours because she has turned. But this I see just as a phase and I think she will go back to sleeping through most of the night once she has completely mastered turning (one can hope, right?)

The bigger and more longstanding problem has been her naps. She has a problem with taking them on any flat surface that is not my shoulder. If I hold her, she’ll have a full-sized nap but any attempt to put her down, even when she appears to be fast asleep, results in hysterical bawling. I have been trying some version of the Baby Whisperer Pick Up Put Down Method, where I pick up her up when she cries, calm her down and then put her back – repeating the process till she sleeps. But I have met with limited success and even when she does fall asleep, she rarely naps for long. It makes for a very grumpy baby and a totally exhausted mom at the end of the day…

I wonder if Wee Willie Winkie is available for hire in these parts? :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Judge Mom

The Plaintiff: Me, also known as Mama

The Defendant: 'Baby' Tarana

The Charges: Growing up too fast

The Evidence:

Exhibit One: The first tooth makes its appearance at four and a half months. To be honest, she was born with a little gum-covered stump, which receded somewhat with the first few weeks. But now it’s a proper full-on tooth that packs in a mean bite when she is done feeding.

Exhibit Two: She turned a couple of weeks ago. And hasn’t stopped turning since. You only have to put her down for a minute and she flips. This has seriously messed up her sleep routine. She had started sleeping an 8-hour stretch in the night but now she’s up every 3-4 hours. The minute she’s in a light phase of sleep, she starts trying to turn and that wakes her up. Not fun!

The Verdict: Guilty as charged

The Sentence: Life with no possibility of parole – sentenced to being Mama’s little baby even when she is old enough to have babies of her own… :)

Seriously though, there is a definite difference in the way I am feeling about Tarana's milestones. With Ayaan, there was undiluted pride and excitement. We were always waiting for the next phase and the next new thing to kick in and ticking it off on the development chart. With Tarana, I haven't so much as peeked at the development chart and when the milestones do arrive, they are greeted with a bittersweet happiness - my last little baby is growing up...