beobachtend

A Letter from My Infant

In Bangalore life, emotions, episode, random, Shubha Khaddar, thoughtful, Time on May 7, 2015 at 12:09 pm

Dearest Mama,

I turned seven months old today. I am now trying to hold on to chairs and tables so I can get myself to stand up.

I am getting used to this set up while I am yet to figure out a lot of things. I love sleeping next to you even though I know it is very difficult for you.

I am beginning to enjoy our bath time too. I love it when you sing to me and make funny faces and let me play in the tub with those colourful toys you and Dad got me. But Mama, what I love the most is the four legged brother of mine – uhm, ‘Jäger’ you say?

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Mama do you know when you are giving me a bath, he sits right behind you and watches us play with water. I have a feeling that the best part for him is when you wrap me in my towel and take me outside, he gets to sheepishly pick my toys. Well, when you hold me, you are looking in the front but from up there, I see everything that happens behind your back!

No Mama, I am not telling on him. I think he is adorable because he loves to follow me around and when I cry, gets all hassled up. He lets me play with his tail and even for such a strong animal, he doesn’t wince or snarl at me. Did I tell you just the other day I slapped his nose a few times? He is so patient with me Mama!

I know you worry about me touching his paws because he goes around in dumps, but Mama, you clean his paws every time he comes back from his walk so I think we are good. Also, I heard them say that living with a dog builds immunity too! #jussayin

Oh well, Mama, I feel sometimes he feels neglected. Maybe you should try and spend more time with him? I have noticed he picks my toys only when he’s not getting enough attention from you or Papa. I know I am quite a handful but maybe you should just let me be sometimes and spend time with your first baby.

I know sometimes you want to smack him because just as I fall sleep, he lets out a bark at a random sound from outside the house, leading to me crying and you, losing your mind because it took you so long to put me to sleep! But Mama, he means no harm. As you say, he’s a “silly billy boo!”.

You know Mama, even when I used to stay in your tummy, I could hear him bark and make funny noises all the time. I could hear your conversations with him when you’d tell him that he will soon have a younger sibling and he’d grunt curiosly. From what little I remember, he has calmed down a lot Mama. From an over enthusiastic jumping jack to a relaxed, patient and calm elder sibling, Jäger has matured.

Sometimes when I fall asleep playing on the floor, I notice he comes and curls up next to me, as if to protect me from all harm.

Yes, sometimes you find his hair on my head, and my toys in his mouth, an unused diaper tossed all over the house, my hand in his food bowl and his tail in my small hands but I assure you Mama, these are the things I love the most.

It’s in your nature to look out for us but for now, I love the uncurbed curiosity and unrestrained love in his eyes for me and in mine for him.

From him I will learn how to love unconditionally. I will learn to share my food, my space and my life, selflessly. I will try and enjoy life like he does – with unbridled joy.

Mama, at times I feel I will never need a teddy bear to play with because I already have a furry burly fellow to hug and squish when I am able.

I promise to love him forever because I know he will always love me more.

Okay Mama, sleepy sleepy.
I love you.
Ira

Life as We (don’t) Know It

In banter, dumbstruck, emotions, episode, Shubha Khaddar, thoughtful, Time on April 7, 2015 at 9:37 pm

I had to take a breather. So, before I rushed back home to my baby, I went to the terrace for exactly five minutes.

Scribbling a list of action items in my mind, the spring-green golf course that’s right outside my house caught my gaze. It lay there like a lazy land that didn’t want to initiate any conversation. The landscapes sprawled all over didn’t seem too interested either. Trees stood like dead pillars, tired and exhausted with the day’s ordeals. I empathized and took a deep breathe.

As I tried to peep from over the half-wall to see what it is to see things from a height, a lovely gush of breeze patted my face, refreshing my thoughts, reminding me of the dwindling obtuseness of the moment.  Oh well, I had three more minutes to go before I assumed the role of a guilt-ridden working mother and again that of a guilt-ridden struggling mother at work. Switching cloaks several times a day, I sometimes feel like a superwoman and at most other times, a glorified failure.

My baby turned six-months old today. She’s crawling and dashes a sparkling smile every time she sees me. She wants to fall asleep next to me but thankfully (at least, for now), when I put her in her cot, she sleeps for a few good hours without wincing. Nights are still tough but I have learned to live with the major sleep deficit in my life.

I know for sure that time flies faster than you think but it’s just the worst feeling in the world when you don’t even know how these months have passed because you’re so busy coming to terms with the big cuddly change in your life. Speaking of cuddly, Jäger has mellowed down so much. I already miss his crazy antics and attention seeking attempts. He chills out, which is awesome, but sometimes I feel he might be feeling neglected. Darn – there comes the cloak of a guilt-ridden dog-mama. “Hush, not now!”

Oh, I am hydrophobic though I am equally fascinated by water so I have decided to overcome my fear by joining swimming classes! I feel it’s a huge step for me to even stay in the pool without screaming my lungs out. “One step at a time, right?”

You know, amidst all the chaos and cribbing and craze and cuddling, there is a moment when you know it’s alright. You know that we are all in a race against time, trying to make a meaningful living and doing well for as long as we last. In that moment, you know that life is just a rough manuscript of episodes written and revised every day. You know that these words will linger in the air for as long as you want to hear their echoes. You know that at the end of the day, when you crash and collapse in your bed, it is the sweet sound of love, honesty and compassion of the day that runs its fingers through your hair and puts you to sleep at night.

As Emily Dickinson simply put it, “That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.”

There she is waking up from her power nap – my beautiful, beautiful six-month old child.

Of Mommydom and Other Related Things – Chapter II

In awestruck, banter, emotions, episode, Poetry, Shubha Khaddar, thoughtful, Time on March 17, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Star Gazing and Whatnot

The other day, a dear friend was talking about taking a short overnight trip to a vineyard near Bangalore. As she described the experience as something surreal, especially on a full moon night, I too was visualizing the whole thing.

While I cherished the thought of camping in the open, under a clear night sky, lying supine, letting time go by, I couldn’t help but wonder – “What if there are too many mosquitoes? And don’t they have snakes in vineyards? Where could I dispose off her diapers?”

That.

She is already five months old. Rolling all over the place, sitting up in a rickety manner then falling face-down on her feet. Time has been slipping out of my hands and I don’t even know how I have (struggled and) managed the baby, work and home in the last few months. It has been tough, of course, but now that she responds and interacts with her toothless smiles, it has definitely been entertaining. My phone has no more space to click and save any more pictures so I have been deleting all the pictures from before Jäger came home. My phone is all about these two these days… and I am not complaining.

The thought of star-gazing and sleeping in the open is beautiful no doubt, but the reality of my life whispers in my ear to remind me that I have other priorities in life now. (Oh, before you tell me about that other friend you have who’s got her infant situation in control and went hiking with the baby, I am glad she did but no two mothers are the same. I am still figuring it out; I might get there too but till such time…)

Watch What You Wish For

There was a time when I used to wonder if the baby knows me at all. I would cry thinking she has no idea who her mother is because someone from the family would always take her away as soon as I fed her. And now that she knows who I am, she refuses to go to anybody else (sometimes not even her father!) and wants me to hold her all the time. Well, I am still crying because that dependency, as enjoyable and ego-soothing it is at first, is driving me up the wall now!

I used to secretly wish that my two-month-old would suddenly say ‘Mama’ and point towards me, urging the other person to bring her back into my lap. Oh boy – Wish Granted! (No, she doesn’t say Mama yet.)

Does your 5-month-old baby also stare at your food with greed (and drool, literally)? Mine does it all the time. When she watches me chew my food, you can see she is imitating my actions in her mouth except there is no food in her mouth! It’s hilarious 😀

The Dog and the Baby

This makes for a separate post by itself but just to sum it all up… Jäger has thawed to the idea of a small something taking up all our time. Mostly he understands, so he sits by the bed or in the corner from where he can see us at all times. At other times, he forces his way in, literally, to come and sit between my husband, the baby and me. He successfully finds a spot and works up a magic technique through which he touches all three of us, as he continues chewing on his favorite bone with blithe unconcern. Dwindling between the moments of bonding and those 3:00 a.m. barks that wake the baby up… it is manageable.

Note: I dread the days when my husband has to travel on work because that leaves me solely in charge of the two and that spirited game, I hate to play.

Friends

I have a good bunch of friends who have been kind enough to ignore my obsession with the baby and my subtle nonchalance about everything that’s happening in their lives. I am grateful to them for not letting the little baby become a reason to drift away.

When somebody comes home, my face lights up like a Christmas tree at the simple thought that I can actually rest my feet up on the couch and indulge in harmless cribbing about my life. It’s fun.

They say time will take away the wretched pain of the surgery (and hopefully the stretch marks too!), but every time I look at her sleeping with her little mouth open in a unpretentious pout, I wish I could freeze all of this in a time capsule. I will grit and bear the aches and changes… Oh well.

Before I know it, she will turn into a difficult teenager, using the subtle art of manipulation on me.

******

As of now, I wish for this moment to stay. I start going to office from tomorrow and today is the day I just want to be. Before the rigmarole and necessities of life drag me in, I just wish for this moment to be.

“Mama,” she asks through her droopy, sparkling eyes

“Will you hold me as I sleep?”

I kiss her beautiful forehead and nod at her

“My love, that’s a promise I will keep.”

*****