Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Turning over a new leaf - Concluded

I used to think my software job was exhausting. And then, motherhood happened.

So we come home from the hospital to a rousing reception,balloons, aartis et al. Not to mention the "oohs" and the "aahs" over how adorable the baby is,from aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, neices, neighbors, basically everyone I ever knew and random neighborhood grannies that I never even knew existed. And a husband who is stalking me around with a video camera so intently that you'd start suspecting this guy has a secret night job of a paparazzo.
It's only when he does a playback of the video, later that night, that I realize, that I only had a cameo in his "movie" and the star of course was the little debutante bundled up in my arms all the while. Sure enough, I was relegated to playing the "hero's mother" now. Sigh.

And later that night, as I crawled into bed hoping to turn in for the day , he began his thing. No no, not the husband, you perverts. The baby, of course. You know, the thing. like all the babies of the world.
-Begin crying and mommy would guess you're hungry and feed you until you fall asleep again. -Half an hour later, just when mommy has laid you down on your bed and is beginning to just about feel her eyelids draw shut, start crying again.
-Don't stop until she holds you and if she makes that mistake of thinking you've calmed down and tries to put you down again, kick it up a notch and let out a wail so loud that even a mommy notorious for sleeping through earthquakes would be kicked wide awake.
-If things get too monotonous, demand to be walked around the house. Well yes, 3 o'clock is the perfect time for a morning walk, its 3 in the morning, remember?
-A few nappy changes and feeds later, just when mommy looks like she is seriously contemplating tossing you out of the window, decide it's enough fun and games for the day and finally go to sleep. Only for a couple of hours before its time for another meal and we start the loop again.

Addy(oh yeah -that's what we will know him as, on this blog) pretty much spent the first month perfecting this routine and in the process, driving mommy nuts. What was triple chocolate cake of pregnancy was now sleep, the one thing I truly craved for. All I dreamt of when I rarely got to sleep was , that's right, sleep. And of course, there's the the significant change in lifestyle(read house arrest) right after a baby, specially when you've had a pretty active social and professional life. You hardly have the time to notice that there is actually a world beyond the cradle. Life as you'd known it, gets kinda lost in a pile of poopy diapers.

So one such harried sleepless night,after I laboriously nursed Addy to what seemed like an 'All you can eat' meal he was working on (I later read about 'cluster feeding'), I was ready to put him down to sleep. But apparently, he had something else planned for mommy. One huge smile that had "You make me so happy" written all over it. I had never seen him smile the way he did, ever before. Babies have a weird sense of timing alright, but come on, who wouldn't melt to this?



I think I smiled back at him foolishly. I was kinda fuzzy from the lack of sleep, but I am pretty sure that it was myself who told me that night that this one visual makes all the bother well worth it.

And the journey that is motherhood continued to be scripted. Speaking of which, I have been tracking Addy's milestones quite eagerly . I must have texted every single person on the address book of my cellphone the day Addy rolled over for the first time. And screamed in delight on the phone to G the day he sat up and tried to crawl. And told every single person, even strangers I ran into, the day he actually took his first step.

But, all glorious tales of motherhood said and done, it is also a fact that I can be such a cranky baby at times. Throw a fit for random reasons and blame it all on the "stress" of raising a child.But it's such a blessing to have this guy for a husband who knows that sometimes, all you need is to be babied. God knows where he gets his endless patience from and I'd better be grateful for it. The focus of his handy cam "movie" might be on Addy, but he's never let his shift from me even for a moment. Whether it was making sure I ate right during the nursing phase or regaling me with tales of office gossip that I was missing all the while, he's been the perfect partner in this entire parenthood gig. Fumbling and learning along the way together, we've had some of the most amazingly endearing moments of our lives with this child. And it's only getting better.

And I'd be nothing short of a wretch if I don't mention Hampi here. Hampi is my mom's sister, my favourite aunt since my childhood.Or wait, I was her favorite child of all time. The one that almost adopted me when I was 5 ,since she had no children of her own at the time. She went on to have a son later on, yet continued to love me way more than him. And when Addy was born, there was absolutely no question in her mind as to whose care I'd be under for the first few months. She welcomed me and her grandchild into her home with open arms and did such a fantastic job of supporting us through the first few months, my Amma would be a proud proud sister.

Now when motherhood becomes your full time job, the one you used to have before kinda takes a backseat. Mine has too. Now I am not sure if things would have been different if Addy had a grandma, but the paranoid mom inside me tells me I would have probably taken the sabbatical that I did anyway. I still tell all my friends who ask me why I never went back to work after 3 or 6 or whatever months that I somehow never could bring myself to deal with even the thought of leaving Addy with a nanny. He always seemed "too young" for it and dying of guilt everyday is not exactly my idea of fun. Nevertheless, I cannot picture myself staying home forever to be with Addy and I plan to get back to my job this year. I know it's not going to be easy even then, but if I don't, I would be so unfair to that part of the woman in me who has always wanted to have a flourishing professional life as well. It's not going to be easy and I will have to learn the ropes of being a working mom even then. On the other hand, it's also likely that a break this long would put me behind my peers in the office ranks,but I'd know that the year and a half I spent with my son was way too invaluable in comparison.

I sound like I would go to the ends of the world for my family don't I? Well you know, I actually did.
In June last year, G heard that he'd have to travel to the client site to fill a certain position as quickly as he could. And that meant, we would have to get on a plane and fly to the other end of the world. To America. So we landed here in Minneapolis, a nine month old Addy in tow.
A whole new place for Addy, but landing here was a feeling of deja vu for G and I who had lived here for a couple of years in the past.
Almost eight months here now and well, time just flies.Faster than ever I guess, specially when you have a toddler who is a handful and more. Addy has had his share of fun in summer prancing around outdoors. Even got to make his maiden trip to Disneyland, where he spent most of his time wondering why mommy and daddy were acting like a bunch of excited kiddos themselves.And now in winter, he's finding new ways everyday to have fun despite the freezing weather and snow (Maybe I should do a separate post on that someday?)

I conclude, with pictures of my little imp through his first year..

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: One year of Addy!


..The year through which he laughed and cried, fumbled yet recovered, learnt something new from every experience. And in the bargain, did a whole lot of growing up.

So did I.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fabulous post! It was a great read. Nice pictures as well.

Anu said...

awww - addu is the sweetest ever :)

Parinita said...

Amazing! I loved the way you've ended the post. And may I say Addy's one of the cutest kids I've EVER seen? Really! :)

Anuradha said...

Hey Smitha, this just gave me a glimpse of what I go through in the next year!

Welcome back to office!!

Smi said...

@Anon - Thank you! I really enjoyed putting that slideshow together:)

@Anu - I know. Everyone says he takes after his mother :P

@Parinita - Welcome here! And thanks for the compliment, I will pass it onto Addy :)

@Anu - That's true, have a jolly ride yourself :) I guess you will be starting your maternity leave as soon as I start work though :)

Sachin said...

Hey Smi, am right here and kicking!!! Just that fatherhood and work have taking a toll on my blogging! But I promise to be back. :)

Congrats to you both on your little bundle of joy. Mine finished a year on Jan 24th as well!!! Guess we're running close to each other on that front.

Will share a similar 12-monthly calendar of my bundle of joy if send me a test mail on sachinshan@gmail.com. Cheers!!!

An Open Book said...

Hi Smi...thanks for stopping by my blog...you have a nice way of writing..loved going thru whatever little you have written...hope u keep updating..and ur lil fellow is adorable..

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Smi said...

@Sachin - Your daughter's so adorable! I love her smile, she's a real beauty.

@Open Book - Welcome here! And I am glad you liked what you read. Hope to see ya around :)

Nikita said...

Part 1 brought tears into my eyes... The second part seemed like a story to me...And the conclusion was simply superb...

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