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September 30, 2005

Needs me, needs me not!

9.00 pm
Wonders of wonders! Ashu went to sleep on her own today. I dont know if this is just a one day wonder or if it will continue. All these months, I always rocked Ashu to sleep. First on my shoulder and later on my lap. First loud "JO, JO, JO", then a loud lullaby. Later a quiet humming and now she does nt need me! My baby girl is nt a baby anymore, I guess. :(

12.00 midnight
Ashu woke up and then I fed her, burped her, changed her and rocked her to sleep! My baby needs me still :)

September 29, 2005

Playing GOD is nt as easy I thought it would be.

I have never been very religious. All my life I ve done what has been asked of me by my parents when it comes to religion. If there’s a word to describe a cross between an agnostic and a theist, that’s me! I never had the courage to say I am an atheist as I had lots of exams to clear and was too chicken not to trust God. Especially taking a major you did nt want to in your undergrad and then doing masters in the same field and then hoping to pass all these exams requires trust in God. It cannot be achieved otherwise. So I was like this until I graduated. I got married soon afterwards and blindly followed all the religious customs and traditions. Once out of India I had some choice for the first time in my life and I chose not to follow any traditions plainly of out my laziness. Then after a while I started missing home and all the stuff and started doing Poojas during festivals and mainly cooking all the goodies we used to make at home.

Now I am a mother and I have been experiencing a new revelation. Every time I do something for Ashu, I can’t help but relate it to God. It seems like every question I had about the existence of God and his ways if he does exist is being answered. So many debates I used to have with my mom and bombard her with questions and argue so fiercely that she will end up crying and telling me that I ll understand one day. I think that day is here and now.

Here are some instances.

--> When Ashu cries, I don’t know why she is crying and what to do to console her and I try many ways to soothe her

--> When Ashu cries, I don’t pick her up instantly. I wait to see if she will quiet down on her own.

--> If I am busy doing something, it takes a while for me to go to her. Yes, I can stop what I am doing and go to her immediately, but I don’t!

--> I know she will happy if I carry her all the time, but I don’t!

--> I know she will be quiet if I give her the pacifier, but I give it to her only when it will be convenient for ME.

--> She is the most important thing in my life but I want some time alone too.

--> She does nt know that it’s for her own good when she’s being vaccinated. She knows only the pain.

--> I desperately want her to be perfect among friends and family and gain a good name.

--> I want to be her best friend.

--> I love her unconditionally.

Hence the title!

September 28, 2005

High Five!

Ashu completed 5 months yesterday. (Sorry Ashu. I was in a complaining mood yesterday in my blog.) She sat without support for the first time and made us go crazy for a while. I propped her in a sitting position with her hands in front for support and she shocked me by sitting in that position exactly for 10 seconds before falling on her side and crying. She looked so cute sitting by herself and looking at us with a shocked expression on her new feat while we were clicking photos like maniacs. Last month, she rolled over and now this. I wonder what shes going to do next month when she completes half a year. It would be great if she starts wiping her own butt!

Google Logos.

This month Google celebrates it's 7th birthday. I know this because it says so in the logo. I have always noticed the logo going through cute changes on special occasions but only today it occured to me to see who was behind these good ideas. Dennis Hwang. What a cool job, I say!

Here are some of the logos I really loved:

On World Water Day- On Van Gogh's Birthday- On Valentines Day- During the Olympics in Athens- On Einsteins Birthday- Leap Year- Holi- On Hitchcock's Birthday- Check out if you want more.

September 27, 2005

Mother knows breast.

Why do we become public property just because we have a baby? Why does Tom, Dick, Harry, their uncle, dad and second cousin tell me how to or rather how NOT to bring my child up? WHY IN THE HELL WONT PEOPLE JUST MIND THEIR BUSINESS? (Deep breaths! in, out, in out!) Why cant they just say "the baby is sho shweet" and just shut up? That’s what I do. And then go home and say whatever they want to their spouse? That’s what I do.

This has been going on from the moment Ashu was born. Actually even before that but it's getting intolerable since the past 2 months. To be precise, ever since we started sending videos of Ashu to India. My dad who has nt seen Ashu yet saw the video and commented that we are "torturing" Ashu. WHY? Because she was in our arms and not lying down. Because I was wiping her drool with "excessive" force. Because she was crying. Because I was making her laugh by shaking my head vigorously. Yeah, right! How dare I make MY baby laugh by shaking MY head? Have you heard anything more horrific? How cruel of me for wanting my baby to laugh? How could I do such a thing? How, how, how?

And not to mention advice about breast-feeding. Men can talk about breasts but not breast-feeding is my humble opinion. If you think otherwise, get a breast implant, get pregnant, push the baby out(without Epidural), get a third degree tear, breast-feed and then come and see me. I will tell you where you are going wrong.

September 26, 2005

Paris,Photography,Yoga, etc...

Sis and BIL left for Paris today early morning and will be back on Thursday. The flat looks empty and very, very quiet. (You can hear my sis before you even see her!!) Ashu is looking and wondering where the nice people who always carried her went. Today it's back to being strapped in the car seat while Amma is cooking. Poor thing.

Sis & BIL have a digital SLR and we have a baby. So it’s not hard to imagine what happened. Some 200 photos in 2 days and then some more of the city and the Swans (and their behinds!) on the Rhine. How did we survive before digital cameras, I wonder? What do we NOT do if we don’t ve to pay for it? (My mom HAS to use the toilet if she sees one but she won’t if it’s a pay toilet!!)

I am always happy when Ashu does new things. But even I was not ready for something like this. This weekend we realised Ashu does Yoga to maintain her figure. (No wonder she was not putting on enough weight earlier!) Check out the photographic proof here.

September 24, 2005

All in the family.

Ashu and my sis are thick as thieves already and it is nt even 24 hours yet! My sister has always been a Tomcat and seeing her with Ashu is a different experience altogether. I bet she thinks the same about me as I ve never known I had a maternal side in me. One thing which really freaked me out(in a nice way!) was how my sis baby-talks to Ashu in almost the same manner I do and singing the same old rhymes and songs to her. Guess we are nt a family for nothing!

September 23, 2005

Crazy Cravings!

Today I started to organize my files in the laptop. I say started to because I ended up reading my pregnancy journal and other stuff I had written earlier all through the day and did nt do one bit of organizing. I came across a doc where I had written my cravings just before visiting India in January for my Valaikaapu-Srimandham function. (Bangle ceremony done during the pregnancy.) I have no remembrance of any real craving and I think this is a list I would ve made even if I was nt pregnant. Anyway, here's the strange list.

Vellari pinju

adai (the one mom makes)
bhel puri (the one mom makes)

manathakkaali vetha kuzhambu, sutta arisi appalaam
javvarisi karudaam

ribbon thengozhal
thattai seedai

ps. I am sorry but I am not able to find equivalent terms for these South Indian specialities except that "Vellari pinju" is baby cucumber.

September 22, 2005

Homesick :-(

Less than 48 hours and my sister will be here. I am all excited! I have missed her terribly since Ashu came into our lives. My sister who has shared every important part of my life with me was nt there to see Ashu when she arrived. And then for 5 months. She will be here only for 5 days and then I don’t know when we will meet again. The longest we went without seeing each other was 14 months. I hope we never break that record ever again.

Months since I saw my mom: 2
Months since I saw my dad, sis & In-laws: 7
Months since I saw my BIL: 14
Months since I saw my best friend: 14
Months since I had a quiet day: 5 (Oops! That kind of slipped in!)

September 21, 2005

Labour - comes from the Latin word laborare, which means "to be tired".

If I don’t write about my labour story now, I will never do it. So let me go ahead and write it now when I have no shame whatsoever talking about breasts, cervix, vagina, etc...! So here it goes...

After going through a pretty cool pregnancy I am waiting with excitement for my due date which is 4 days away. My mom and I go for a walk and some shopping. She tells me that it might even take a week or 10 days for the baby to come as I am not showing any signs and I am really disappointed hearing that. (My mom swore she said nothing like that after I had the baby the very same night!) Around 7 pm, I have some bloody discharge. So I call HD and ask him to hurry home. The very brief phone conversation we ve ever had, goes something like this:
Me: I am bleeding!
HD: Really?
Me: What do you mean really?
HD: I am on my way.
So he comes home in 10 minutes and we try to figure out what to do. I still might be days away from having the baby. So I call my sister and then my experienced friend and then again my doctor friend and all of them tell me "GO TO THE HOSPITAL". In the mean time, I am getting back aches from nowhere and it is mild in the beginning. My mom insists I eat something. I call up the hospital and they tell me to wait for the contractions to start. But by 10 pm, my back ache is bad and I call up my sister and friends and they tell me again, "GO TO THE HOSPITAL"! So I call up the hospital and tell them I am coming. HD and I take a cab to the hospital which is 10 minutes away while my mom stays at home. I tell her that I ll be back in a while as one of my friends was nt admitted until she was well into the labour. I leave my "already packed and ready to go" suitcase and just take a backpack with some essential things.

It is 11 pm when we go to the hospital and a nurse examines me and tells that I am already 3 cms dilated (the cervix has opened 3 cms wide) and asks me if I want to go home or stay at the hospital. I don’t know why I decided to stay because usually I hate hospitals and run at the first chance I get. So I stay. HD is wondering what to do when the nurse shows us our room which has a spare bed for HD. Cool, I am thinking! It will be like staying in a hotel! I have mild contractions and I think I am strong, this is nothing; I can handle it. The nurse says it might even take 10 hours to be fully dilated. (10cms.)

But by 12.30 am, the pain is getting worse, the nurse has finished her shift and another nice lady takes in charge and I ask her for Epidural. She examines me and says it is too early for Epidural and she is not so nice to my eyes anymore. I am also hooked to the contraction monitor and that thing is supposed to record my contractions. I had always imagined it will be like one of those earthquake recording devices going crazy with the graph and showing only peaks. But this prints out graph in a boring fashion. HD and I discuss if the numbers on the top is the baby’s heartbeat!

Things are getting worse. I start cursing like I never did in my whole life. I try to breathe properly but I don’t care anymore. The anaesthetist is called to administer Epidural and I am looking forward to it. I ve never wanted anything so badly in my life. I scream with pain and I am also bleeding a lot due to all the internal examinations. The anaesthetist says I ve to hold still for a minute while he injects it in my spine but I am not able to. Who can hold still while they are going through excruciating pain? And by the way who lets men tell women in labour what to do? By this time, I am almost 8 cms dilated and they drop the Epidural idea and prepare for the delivery. I am shocked in my already shocked state. I threaten HD to get me epidural or I will kill myself. He shouts at the nurse but they say they can’t help it.

At 1.30 am, my water breaks and as it is green in colour; the doctor and the midwife are afraid the baby might be infected and ask the paediatrician to be present. I am too long gone to care. My bladder is full but I am not able to pee. I crawl to the toilet and sit there as long as possible but the midwife takes me back. I hit the stainless steel counter with my fist and my palm swells. I scream and move so much that the IV needle breaks and my left palm swells too. I call HD all sorts of names possible while he calmly asks me to breathe and says it will all be over soon and that I am doing good. I don’t care.

The next two hours are the most horrible hours of my life. I wish I could just die instead of going through this horror. Then I set my mind on pushing as pushing the baby out is the only way I am going to end all this torture. The baby’s head is visible and HD sees it. The midwife asks me if I want to touch the head and feel. I ask HD if I can pull her out! After some million pushes, biting HD's fingers to pulp and kicking the Doctor and the midwife simultaneously, the baby is out at 3.40 am! Did I bother to look? NO! Did I see tears in HD's eyes? YES! Is it a boy or a girl? GIRL!

HD cuts the cord and the paediatrician takes her away to examine while a new Doctor comes and stitches me up! I have a third degree tear and it is horrible! The doctor who delivered me says she has not seen anything like this! While I ask why they did nt do an Episiotomy, she says she did nt know it will be like this! I forgive her for the only reason that I peed on her face and she did nt mind!

HD calls family and friends. Everyone is surprised that it is a girl as each one of them had bet their last penny that it would be a boy. HD takes photos and the midwife takes a Polaroid picture of us. She says I have been really strong and she has not seen such a sweet and caring husband before! She says our baby girl is lucky to have parents like us. Even though she might say the same thing to every couple, we feel special! Then I am wheeled to my room where I would be for 5 more days with an icepack in my underwear and bleeding like hell.

The first thing I say to my baby girl is "Welcome to the family kiddo" with a wicked smile! Check out Ashu's first photo

September 20, 2005

Sex and the city.

Last night I was flipping through channels and there was "Sex and the City" in one of them. Usually I watch only CNN, BBC and Cartoon network from the 100+ channels we get. OK, before you think I am full of it, let me explain. Every other channel is French, German, Italian or Turkish! Every Hollywood movie is dubbed in one of these languages and all my favourite characters in my favourite sitcoms speak gibberish (to me). Now that the situation is clear, let me move on. So as usual I started to change the channel while all of a sudden I see breasts. Those are nt that uncommon in that show you must say but this time they were being put to use for the specific reason they were designed for. Yes, there was also a small baby involved and Miranda, one of the characters was breast feeding or rather trying to! The baby was nt latching on and she was talking to Carrie. Carrie had this shocked expression looking at the engorged breasts and Miranda was struggling to make the baby latch but the baby would nt. At last something I could relate to in a TV show and that too in "Sex and the city”! I watched it until the baby latched on and started to drink and Miranda had this "relieved" expression and I could totally connect. If only I could understand what they were talking too. I don't think I can ever see breasts again in the same light I used to anymore.

Needle thoughts.

Today Ashu was given BCG vaccination. This is the third time she is being needled in less than 5 months and my heart skips a beat every time she curls her mouth and cries with pain. This time HD could nt come with us as he was held in a meeting and it made me all the more depressed. Also, the paediatrician could nt do it the first time as Ashu was already crying and kicking. He had to do it again. And I had to hold her legs and hands and stop her from moving. What would ve gone through that little mind, I wonder? A stranger causing her pain while her Amma just looking and doing nothing. I am sure there will be lot of situations like this one all our lives where I will be causing her pain because I love her and she will hate me for that. It was not long ago when my mom said some things to me because she cared and I hated her for that. What goes around come around, I guess!

On the brighter side, Ashu has put on enough weight and it is a huge relief.

September 19, 2005


Today I was checking my emails while Ashu was sitting on my lap. Once in few minutes I will show her the desktop wallpaper and she will squeal with delight looking at her photo. This one adores looking at herself, just like her Amma, I suppose! She’s on my lap and the laptop is on the table and I am surfing and all of a sudden she moves one of her teeny-weeny finger over the touch pad and moves the taskbar from the bottom of the screen to the right corner. So I try to bring it back with my one hand first. Failing, I try with both my hands and after a little struggle move it back to its original position. And here this infant managed to move it with just a flick of her finger. I wonder if she’s going to get a letter of admission from Hogwarts on her tenth birthday! And that’s when I knew one could actually lock the taskbar in its place! Motherhood sure makes you discover new things!

She is a Boy!

Today I realised I have been saying "SHE is a BOY" to every Swiss who cared enough to ask me if my baby is a boy or a girl! 6 weeks crash course in German at the Goethe institute and you would think that they will teach you the difference between a boy and a girl! A man and a woman, YES! But not a boy and a girl! The first time someone asked me "mädchen oder junge", I thought "Männer is men in German and Jung is young and Jungfrau is a young girl/virgin. Hence Junge should mean a girl and "mädchen a boy and answered "Junge"! And the second time, I was prepared and answered "Junge" without having to solve an equation in my mind and quite did nt understand the stare as my baby was dressed all in pink! And then recently while buying cough drops for Ashu, the nice girl at the desk asked me the same question and I did nt get her at first and then she asked me in English "Boy or a girl! And I go "Oh! Sie ist Junge" flaunting the little German I know saying "She is a boy"! How stupid can I get? In my defence, I quote Mark Twain,

"My philological studies have satisfied me that a gifted person ought to learn English (barring spelling and pronouncing) in thirty hours, French in thirty days, and German in thirty years. It seems manifest, then, that the latter tongue ought to be trimmed down and repaired. If it is to remain as it is, it ought to be gently and reverently set aside among the dead languages, for only the dead have time to learn it."

September 18, 2005

Meet the (God)Parents!

Next week, my sister and BIL are coming from the sunny California to this side of the Swiss to see Ashu for the first time. I am so excited that my palms are sweating while typing this. I want everything to go well and Ashu to be in her best behaviour and pass her "Perimma"(Aunt) test. Ashu is the first grandchild on every side of the family and there is a lot riding on her. My sis has seen more than her share of children what with living in CA for so many years and the competition is tough. I really don’t know how to prepare a 4 1/2 month old baby for the drill. Smile always, NEVER cry, speak when spoken to and sleep when you are not needed - will be few of the things I would want her to learn. If she learns to fold her own laundry and change her diaper on her way, I would nt mind that either. The least I would want of Ashu is NOT to cry when my sis picks her up. The reason being that the entire wardrobe of Ashu and her toys and other baby necessities for the past four months have been the courtesy of her "America Perimma" and I would nt want that to stop. (Compare the US price with Swiss and you will stoop that low, too! So don’t judge me!)

Anyway, I can’t wait for the most important girls in my life to meet. The rest is up to them!

September 17, 2005

And Life goes on...

Today, HD and I had that kind of a conversation which begins suddenly out of nowhere and ends abruptly. This time the topic was "grounds for divorce"! What would be the reason for divorce if we divorce. I don't know if normal couples discuss things like these, but we do from time to time. Last time, it was "will your ghost come and haunt me if you die and I remarry"!!

The Overcoat

Today I read the short story "The Overcoat" by Nikolai Gogol. Sadly, this is the first piece of Russian literature I am reading but glad I started at some place. (Few weeks back I read Jhumpa Lahiri's "The Namesake" and the novel refers to this short story by Gogol and the main characters name in "Namesake" is Gogol too. So I got curious and found the story.)

The story brought me almost to tears even before I finished it. I had a lump in my throat as soon as I started reading it and I cannot remember any other short story which has moved me so. It reminded me of O.Henry's "The Gift of Magi" but only the emotion I felt not the story itself.

"The Overcoat" is about a middle-aged man named Akakiy Akakievitch. He is an uninteresting man who leads an uninteresting life until he gets himself a new overcoat to protect himself from the horrible Russian winter.

"There exists in St. Petersburg a powerful foe of all who receive a salary of four hundred rubles a year, or thereabouts. This foe is no other than the Northern cold, although it is said to be very healthy."

A few hours of happiness for Akakievitch and it is all snatched away at the end of the day by a terrible event. The story does not end abruptly and I like the way Gogol goes on with it. That does not mean it has a happy ending either but at least it softens the blow and that’s a relief for softies like me. Also, Gogol writes a sad story with a slight funny note to it and that only adds contrast, in my opinion. Although the story is in the 19th century, the bureaucracy is the same we experience even today. The "Do you know whom you are speaking to" and "The Superiors not mingling with the people below their ranks" reminds me of the very same situation we see today.

"The Overcoat" is considered to be one of the classic short stories of all times and also one of the most popular, so enough has been said about it. And nothing, a person like me who does not know anything about classics, can add to it. This is just my "I read it too and I loved it too" report. I am looking forward to read more of such stories.

Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (1809-1852)

September 16, 2005

Why Baby?

I got a mail couple of weeks back from a friend asking my honest opinion on how a baby has changed my life, the downside of having a baby and if I would reconsider the decision to have a baby now that I have a baby!

Well, well, well! Indian women are sure coming to age these days! Imagine the same kind of thinking a decade or so back! Only the "villis in movies" had a similar thinking and you would be called a witch and be burnt if you even say something like this aloud to anyone! It’s not the case anymore and I really welcome this change! Rather than going about it mindlessly and adding to the already populated world, its better you sort out your priorities! But this does nt mean women don’t want children anymore! They just ask if they want it and just go ahead and have one (or two). Probably it will take another decade or so for Indian women to actually say "I chose not to have children"! Now, we are too involved with our family, we give in to social pressures and we really care what people think about us!

Coming to the question, I don’t think I can express myself correctly! I can say "It depends on the individual and the couple put together" and get away diplomatically! But I will try anyway! The first thought that comes to my mind is, you will never regret the decision if you decide to have a baby! One reason being we all have such enormous egos that we will never accept we made a bad decision or we are a failure! We will just make the best of what we have and go about it especially since it’s a decision billions and billions of people have already made, are making and going to make! So you are not unique! Also, the whole thing might turn out to be quite enjoyable and you might have one angelic baby in your hands!

Babies do change your world but that is because you change it willingly! I am not saying its easy being a parent in these days especially for a woman! It’s such a tough job that we start having renewed respect for our mothers and every mother in the world! What we thought was easy and simple will become the toughest thing we ever did! It still boggles my mind how things look so simple when you are not doing it!

Right from the pregnancy, things become difficult! Then the labour, a procedure which has nt changed since Eve gave birth to her baby! In this world and technology, you would think something would have changed to make labour easy and painless! But, no! That’s one thing God does nt want to hand over to us as yet or ever! And when you are physically battered and emotionally drained and hate the sight of your husband and keep asking the question "Why? Why? Why?" several times to yourself, there’s the new baby everybody is excited about except you and whom you have to feed and everybody is excited about that too except you! You read "Breast feed or die trying" almost everywhere you look and you try and try and try! If it’s easy for you, then you have one less worry!

If you have your mother or someone helping you at the beginning, life is a little easier! At least you don’t have to cook and there’s food when you are hungry! (Which is all the time!) If you are managing on your own, then I touch your feet! By the time you have got a hang on breastfeeding, you would have forgotten how the world looks outside and how fresh air feels like! Breastfeeding in public is a myth, if you ask me, especially if you are shy and easily embarrassed!

The only thing the baby knows is to cry and after a while you hear the baby even while s/he is sleeping and giving you a break for few minutes! You can’t take a bath leisurely, can’t go out without having to worry about a million things! Sleep is something you did in the past! Eating out was in your past life! Going out for a movie will be your ultimate desire in life! For the first three months, it is horrible! But the good thing is that time just flies by! By the end of it all, you are either used to all the stuff or life just gets better!

The first smile, the first laughter, the first time they roll over, the first bath you give them on your own, the first time they grab your finger, the times they baby-talk to you, the 100s of expressions they have already mastered - all these things make every struggle completely worth it!

You might ask "Why did I decide to have a baby" once in a while to yourself but it’s no different from the vain "Why did I marry" question knowing very well you could nt have got a better guy for yourself! Parenthood is also a very humbling experience! You become more tolerant and patient! The times you raised your eyebrows at babies crying and throwing tantrums and you thought the parents were doing a bad job, wait till you have one! Ha, ha ha! Life plays a very cruel joke on all of us!

And not to mention what your gene pool is going to unleash! Did your mother tell you that you were a difficult child, fasten your seat belts; you are in for a tough ride!
You are never prepared for this! You never know what you are getting into irrespective of how many books you read, how many moms you speak to! You just have to take the plunge! But just make sure you have a solid marriage before doing so! Spend a year or two and do the things you want to do just being a couple!

If you decide against having children, there will always be a nagging doubt whether you took the right decision all your life! (And there will be only million incidents to remind you about that) But if you do have one, you will never regret it! Yes, that toothless, gummy smile the baby gives just for you alone is worth everything in this world!

During the first trimester of pregnancy: Oh, I don’t feel any different! Life is great!

2nd trimester: Things are getting a little difficult, but not bad!

3rd Trimester: I can’t walk, I can’t sleep, I am always uncomfortable but it’s bearable!

Towards the due date: How long? I can’t wait for this baby to come out!

During labour: This is hell! What did I do to deserve this? I want to die!

After labour: Huge relief! Its over with!

Couple of hours later: "Adopt! Don’t get pregnant" advice to friends and sister!

Couple of days later: "When I meant adopt, I meant a puppy not a baby" advice to sister!

Couple of weeks later: When will the crying stop? Will life get better??

Couple of months later: Mommy, don’t go! Don’t leave me like this!

Sometime during the fifth month: A Second baby does nt sound so bad to me now!

Happy Parenting! :)

September 15, 2005

What is my love?

Click here here to read a wonderful speech by Steve Jobs. It's a little old, though. Really inspiring. If only someone could tell me what I really love...

September 14, 2005

Principles? What Principles?

My previous blog made me think:

How come the few principles I have in my life just vanish into thin air when it comes face to face with comfort?

Conscience: Be environment friendly and use cloth diapers!
Logic: Who will clean the mess, wash the cloth, sterilize it, dry it? No way! Disposables
are the best!

Conscience: Use more burp cloths and bibs!
Logic: When the baby is spitting up, I can’t go look for a "Spit-up
cloth"! It’s just a marketing ploy! Why else do we have tissues for?

Conscience: Warm the bottle in boiling water! Save water!
Logic: The baby is hungry and crying; warm it in running water! Save time!

Conscience: Switch off the TV if you are not watching!
Logic: I will forget to switch it on again during my favourite program! I need background noise all the time!

Conscience: Go for a walk everyday at least for 30 mins!
Logic(s): It’s raining!
The baby is sleeping/crying/hungry/cold/cranky!
I am tired!
I have work to do!

Conscience: Have SOME principles!
Logic: Who is going to judge me?

I am ashamed!

The Tissue Issue

Is it just me or every other new mom (How long am I qualified to use this word?) uses tissues more than the entire nose-blowing community? First we put a kitchen tissue roll in the changing table and then a tissue box! Then another tissue box in the bedside table, just in case! Then one on the centre table and another one on the dining table! It feels like I am always pulling out tissues to clean up either the spit-up or the drool or the tears and not to mention while changing diapers! An entire rain forest is being wiped out just to keep my baby clean! It makes me wanna cry but I ve to use a tissue to wipe my tears too, so I restrain myself!

Lifebuoy hai jahaan,tandurusti hai wahaan.

A strange thing happened today! I was in the shower and all of a sudden I thought of Shah Rukh Khan! OK, OK, before your imagination starts wandering, let me come to the point! I blame it entirely on the various articles I read about him and his Lux Ad! I am not a big fan of SRK! I am more of a movie liker than an actor liker, so yes I loved some of his movies, hated some! So it was a big shock for me that I am thinking about him of all persons and IN MY SHOWER! Do you realize what a big deal it is? I am scarred for my entire shower life!

Talking about the ad, I hope it still runs when I go to India in about a month! The two stills I did see in a website, one with the rose petals bath tub and another of a close up, oh Man, I don’t know what to say! The Expression he has looking at a bar of soap, you would think he is looking at Manisha Koirala just before the bomb explodes in Dil Se or at Kajol in DDLJ! He is a good actor, I will give him that! Either this guy is really confident about his manhood (Is there something like that guys?) or he was paid like a billion dollars! I don’t want to comment on his sexuality here! That’s something he, his wife and his boy friend have to sort out!

Call me old fashioned, but I would take the Lifebuoy ad any day!

September 13, 2005

Sleep Less

Four months of being a mother and I am wondering how much I have changed personally! There have been lots of changes but the most important one for me was waking up in the middle of the nights, early mornings, late mornings,..! I know it will sound so simple, a mother getting up at the wee hours of the night to feed her child, but it is not so! You don’t know me! I love to sleep! I mean I really love to sleep! Actually I love to sleep in the mornings so much that I actually sleep in the mornings! I just don’t get up!

When I was in school, I slept late, missed my auto rickshaw and slept back again until noon! During exams I studied all night, slept at 2 am, set the alarm at 6 am and got up at 8.30 am and rushed to the exam hall! During my undergrad, as luck would have it, I got into afternoon shift and college started at 1 pm! During post grad, struggled out of the bed at 9.15 am, got ready in 15 mins and rushed to college sometimes begging my dad to drop me off!

Post marriage, I got company! We got up late every single day of our marriage with few exceptions! (Very few! Can count them with one hand!) As soon as we knew we were going to have a baby, every ones advice was "Sleep now, you can’t sleep later" and we did! Oh, how we did! Then BANG!, the baby arrived and everything changed! She arrived at 3.40 am and I was in labour through night, so I should have known its goodbye forever to my precious sleep!

For the first three months, things were very difficult but my mom was here to help me out and I don’t remember much! But after she left us, that’s when the actual motherhood set in! I started getting up in the middle of the nights without an alarm! I woke at the sound of Ashu stirring in her sleep! Once I got up at the sound of her making potty and woke my husband and told him to change her diaper! And he was like, "What? How do you know that?" This is the same woman who did nt get up even if thunder fell on her pillow, whose family missed a train because she did nt get up, who did nt get up to say goodbye to a cousin she wont be seeing again for a year, who made a scene to get up at her sister's friend's parent's house before the whole family, did nt get up one Diwali morning when it meant the world to her to burst crackers at the crack of dawn and last but not least does nt get up to fix a decent breakfast for the sole breadwinner of the family!

So if this is nt the miracle of motherhood, I don’t know what is! And if I can do it, anyone can!

Cry baby

Is there any law against taking photographs while a baby is crying? HD says so! The other day I took a picture of Ashu crying and she looks like a lost puppy in that photo! She has tear marks and a drop of tear on her left cheek like a dew drop! I am sure this photo will be one of my most cherished photos of Ashu! HD thinks I am sadistic and no mother with a right mind will take a photo of her baby crying instead of picking her up and consoling! I differ on the sadistic part, not on the right mind part though!

For once in my life I made a right decision and did nt share this particular photograph with my dad! But I did send it to my sister and she can use this evidence against me to write my name off my Dads will! But who cares? Ashu is going to earn millions playing tennis anyway!

September 12, 2005

Federer, my man!

Watched the US open Men’s finals last night! It was midnight here in Switzerland and if I don’t lose sleep for this Swiss guy, it’s not worth losing sleep ever for anything else! It was an awesome match! Such a sweet guy Roger is! He’s the type you can never hate! I read somewhere that he was a very angry man once and the loss of a dear friend changed him a lot! It’s hard to believe this guy angry! Agassi played great too and every time the camera showed Steffi Graf, I felt bad for supporting Federer! The best man won, what else can I say?

HD and I have decided Ashu is going to learn Tennis and we have already made plans for the 1.1 million Dollars!

September 11, 2005

A few things about me

OK, I saw so many lists about so may people and could nt help but write my list too! I don’t want to die without a list!!!
So here it goes! Read them if you really don’t have anything better to do!

1. I love dancing.

2. I love to watch comedy movies.
3. I think I am doing an okay job as a mother.
4. I have married the greatest guy in the world.
5. My sister is my role model.
6. I started reading children's books only when I was 15.
7. Venice is my most favourite city in the world.
8. I lie for no reason.
9. I did nt make any best friends after college.
10. When I had a job, I wanted to quit and when I quit, I regretted it.
11. I am penny wise and pound foolish.
12. I am a good cook.
13. I throw things when I am angry.
14. I have cried and said good byes to friends whose names I don’t remember now.
15. I don’t drink coffee.
16. Last year, I was obsessed about Tutankhamun.
17. I cannot trust people easily.
18. I think I am 5'3"
19. I can never make up my mind about my favourite colour.
20. I am a Piscean.
21. In my dreams, people I love die.
22. I once owned a Labrador named Honey.
23. I love arranging flowers.
24. I am afraid of confrontations.
25. I once lost my straw hat in an airport and cried that it’s all alone in a strange country.
26. I can’t think of one original idea I have had.
27. I can’t sing.
28. I love snow.
29. I want to learn Salsa.
30. I always want to please people.
31. I love bunk beds.
32. I get up late every morning.
33. I like to drink water out of a bottle.
34. I have never been late to any appointments.
35. I make faces while talking on the phone.
36. I cry when old people are sad.
37. Hearing your child laugh out loud for the first time is Heaven.
38. I become deaf while reading.
39. I absolutely hate violence in the name of religion.
40. I saw Halle Berry at Heathrow airport.
41. I love getting Emails.
42. I used to look forward for my birthday until I was 25 years old.
43. I hate to peel boiled potatoes.
44. I love to surprise people.
45. I hate my hair.
46. I have been trying to lose weight for a decade.
47. I like tea.
48. I love aerobics.
49. I plan lot of things but never get around to actually doing them.
50. Making this list was exhausting.

Lots of Baggage

We are leaving Switzerland and going back to India in October! We have been living here for two years now! We have lived in and left countries before, it’s nothing new! So you must think I would have learnt a lesson or two, though! No, you are wrong! I have never ever learnt my lessons ever! So here I am, all panicky and tense and paranoid! Tonnes of things to dispose, tonnes of things to pack, tonnes of things I don’t know whether to dispose or pack, OH MY GOD!

I just want to know one more person in my situation and I will die in peace! Has anyone ever had this situation where you did nt have so many things you can cargo but you still have too many things to take with you in an aeroplane? Well, I have been in this situation all my married life! (I ve never flown before I was married, oh that blissful life!!!)

So here I am wondering how to pack my two year life in two suitcases and leave without a trace, so to speak!

September 10, 2005

Chilli Poppers!

After two years of living in this city, we just found out that there is an American-Mexican restaurant we have nt been to! We have tried another Mexican restaurant before but it was nt so good! Two years, including a non pregnant year and I find out only now, when I am going to leave this city for good in another 2 months! Last week, we had gone for a walk and I did a mistake of going by this restaurant and seeing their menu! Seeing CHILLI POPPERS just on the print made my eyes pop!!! So we decided to try it sometime and went yesterday!

We have taken Ashu to restaurants before twice and one was a total disaster! She was 6 weeks old then and cried the entire time! The second time was the "Pizza for a price" episode! So I was really skeptical! Never thought going out for dinner would be such a huge deal! Anyway, fed her, changed her, and took a bottle for her, a rattle, and the pacifier of course! As soon as we put her on the pram, she started crying! So we took the sling also for good measure! Once we started moving she was ok! But when we got a table and sat down, she did nt want to stay in the pram! Thankfully the entire crowd decided to sit outside and eat as the weather was good! So we were the only one inside and I felt good that I would nt be disturbing anyone by letting my baby scream!

For a while HD sat her on his lap and she was happy looking at the table setting and the lights and the waitress! As soon as we got our chilli poppers, my eyes were only on the plate and don’t know what happened in those 3 mins while I popped 3 poppers into my mouth! Then while I carried Ashu, HD finished his share of two while I was giving him the "Why can’t you order your own poppers" look! Just before the main course arrived, Ashu dozed off and I gently put her on the pram and did nt dare to look again until we finished our dessert, afraid I ll wake her!

It was the best dinner I ve had in a long time!

September 09, 2005

Letter to HD

Hi HD,

Thanks for your comments! But you don't have to do this because I complained that I have no comments for my blogs, OK? I have not become confident enough to share all these thoughts with anyone, OK? If I complain, its only because of my lack of confidence not because no ones reading my blogs! I know you do and your appreciation is enough!(at present!!)

And yes, thank you for all the encouragement and always saying "Its very good" even before you read what I have written! What would I do without you?


September 07, 2005

Baby sitting makes one think!

I am baby-sitting my friends 2 1/2 years old daughter today since the father is in the hospital with a very severe viral fever! She’s a little angel giving no trouble at all! It has made me think what will happen to Ashu if something happens to me or my husband! I don’t mean the "ultimate something" but something like this viral something! It will take a week or 10 days to our family to reach here as we are all countries apart and friends here are new as we are also new here! And I’m that sort of a person who hesitates forever to ask a favour from someone and then eventually I won’t ask! Also why would anyone take care of a baby less than six months old willingly unless it’s their own or their grandchild? HD and I were discussing about this last night and decided he will just have to manage alone in the hospital while I stay at home and take care of the baby! He had this "You don’t love me anymore" look on his face and I told him he can do the same if something happens to me! After all, our baby comes first, does nt it? You just can’t leave her with someone you don’t know!

Anyway, this experience has also made me think that having a second baby when Ashu is 2 1/2 years old won’t be that bad! Oh God, I never thought I would say that aloud! I never thought I would even be thinking about a second child after the horrible experience I had during labour! Well, that’s another story! Worth a very long blog actually!

Things we cant do while the baby is sleeping

This list was triggered when my husband asked me if we can go for a walk now that the baby is sleeping! It might seem like a harmless request at first but what he meant was "Let’s get out of the house while the baby is sleeping in her crib"! I was like "What? What about the baby" And then it hit him! He felt like an Idiot! The baby has got to him finally! (It got me while I was pregnant!!) We both are so used to saying "Lets watch TV, the baby is sleeping" and "Let’s cook/eat, the baby is sleeping" and so on and so forth, it was nt long before someone saying "Lets get out, the baby is sleeping"!!

So here’s the list:

1. Go out for a walk, of course!

2. Or go out for a movie!

3. To put it simply, can’t go out!

4. Cant do anything at a normal pace like taking a shower or cooking or cleaning or eating! Everything has to be hurried!

5. Can’t watch a thriller movie on TV if you are the "What happened, what happened, what did I miss" type!

6. Can’t start laundry if you have a noisy, earth quaking dryer!

7. Can’t start anything which you can’t stop midway! Like switching on the oven to bake a cake or try to clean the closet! When every piece of clothing is out, your baby will get up and you will find the house is much more messy now!

So the bottom line is you will be pretty much just waiting for your baby to get up so that you can just go about with your day!

September 05, 2005

Weekend of cooking, cleaning and sleeping!

I was tested big time on Friday! Friends were coming home for lunch and I overslept! HD offered to take off and baby sit while I cook! But I found that utterly silly and told him I can manage fine! Oh, if only I can go back in time! Anyway, I did manage but it’s just that it was nt easy juggling a baby in one hand and making a decent lunch with the other! And not to mention the cleaning up! Oh man, it was hell! I will put Ashu for one second down and she will scream and bring the whole roof down! And she has a cold (oh, did I tell you she has got her first cold?) so I did nt want her to cry for long! After all this trouble, the food was nt as great as I expected it to be! Survived though! Repeat performance on Saturday night except that HD took care of Ashu while I cooked peacefully and the dinner was awesome!

I have some thoughts here! My plan was to get up early on Friday and finish cooking before HD left for office! But it did nt happen, knowing me! I wonder why things which look so important the previous nights don’t look even remotely important in the early morning and the only thing you want is to sleep! Does it happen to everyone? At least to people in their teens and twenties? Because my mom gets up with the Sun and finishes cooking for a dozen before the dozen or so have even stirred from their beds! How much ever I try, I fail miserably at getting up early! I thought it will change after the baby but so far it has nt! (Five years back, I thought marriage will change that but it did nt as I married a morning-sleep-lover, lucky me!!) I hope Ashu wakes me up and says bye to me before going to school on her first day!

The protective side in me.

I never knew I had it but I have a lioness sleeping inside me and she wakes up whenever someone says something remotely not so nice about my daughter! It’s not like I am always in praise about my baby girl! On the contrary, I am always complaining! Every time I tell my friends, "She does nt sleep, she screams, she’s spoilt,” and they are always like "Oh, no! She’s quiet, she’s cute, she’s very nice,..." and it makes me happy!

But the other day a friend of mine heard Ashu cry and said something like "Oh, She can scream" and I got so mad, I could see my face turning red and I was about to tell her where to go but then quickly turned and walked away! I did nt know why I reacted the way I did! Does this mean I can’t take any criticism about my baby? Am I over reacting? Is it just me or every parent feels this way?

September 03, 2005

Mummy, I am on my tummy!

Ashu rolled over to her tummy when she was exactly 4 months old! But she has nt mastered the art of rolling over to her back again! So she will roll over to her tummy, look at the things around her in this new vantage point and after some time will get bored and start crying until someone comes and flips her! This has become a routine now! The first time she rolled over, we were so excited and could nt believe our eyes! The second time she rolled over, we were excited! And the times after that, we did nt even notice! But we wanted to record in the camcorder and were waiting like the cameramen in Serengeti wait for the Cheetah to start chasing a poor Gazelle!

Every time we switch on the camera, she will go like a statue and watch the camera without blinking! Possibly, she thinks it’s a game and does nt want to blink until the camera gives up and starts blinking when the battery is down! Anyway, couple of days went and still no video evidence of her rolling over! And then one day, I waited with my camera hiding from her view! She did nt move a muscle! After 20 mins of recording the boring unmoving baby, I gave up and started rewinding the tape to erase that part! When the camera was winding, as if on cue, this little devil rolls over and looks at me with a "Gotcha!" expression!

Also, gone are the days when she will stay where we put her without moving an inch! Now, it’s either her crib or the floor! Anything else is getting really dangerous! Oh, how my baby girl is growing!!!

September 02, 2005

Pizza for a price!

The other day we dared to go out for a walk and then for pizza! We took Ashu in the sling as she’s more comfortable (and a lot quieter!!) than in the pram! Tthe restaurant is almost bare as it’s the middle of the week! Hubby Darling (henceforth HD) sits with Ashu in the sling and we order! Then the waitress goes "Aahh" and "Ooh" looking at Ashu sleeping in the sling and rubs her cheek! Once, twice, thrice and then again for the fourth time! Needless to say, my baby girl woke and started crying! Where’s the justice in this world?

I curse under my breath that the waitress will have 12 kids all of them screaming all the time! So HD walks and tries to soothe Ashu and when it does nt work, out comes the pacifier from my pocket and into Ashus mouth! She is quiet immediately, immensely happy and goes to sleep! The waitress comes with our order and what does she do now? No, you will never guess! She advices us not to use the pacifier as it will affect the baby’s teeth! Oh yeah, like we did nt know that! Like we are using the pacifier all the time, like we are nt feeling like a failure every time we use it and swear never to use it again!

Anyway, HD sits sideways in the chair and I cut his pizza slice into small bits and he turns his head and eats his pizza taking care not to drop the toppings in Ashus head! (Do NOT try that if the restaurant is full!) We did get stared by a couple sitting 5 tables away!

While leaving, the waitress says Ashu is so cute and that she has a 4 year old who is such a menace and always talking and shouting! Well, at least 1/12 th of my curse had come true already! Of course, I tipped her! There's justice in this world afterall!
baby growth