Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The magic of the ordinary


If there is one thing we can learn from new borns it is the magic of everyday things. Every day is different, every night is unique, every toy provides new joy, every view is looked at from a different perspective.
The tree that sways outside the window, the grown ups in the house have forgotten its species or even what it looks like. It is a basic tree, standing outside our building, which can be seen through the window.
But for Aria, the tree is something more than just a green thing. Every day she looks at it with wonder in her eyes. It is difficult to understand how she can look at the tree with the same enthusiasm every day. It is like she discovers a new part of its being every time she looks at it and is thrilled by the discovery.

Every day is bright and full of curiosity. She can spend hours looking at the vehicles on the road. The make, speed or design of the cars and bikes does not matter to her. The details are irrelevant when faced with the joy of movement. Every passing vehicle introduces her to a new world - the world of slow cars, and fast cars, cautious drivers and rash drivers, women with scarves tied around their faces and men with masks on the bikes, the sun light dancing on the radiator grills, the smoke billowing out of the exhaust, the potholes and the way they make bikers swerve and cars slow.

Every day on our walks we cross the BSNL telephone lines red box and every day we need to stand next to it for a few minutes to admire its bright red color and see the play of contrasts of the white lettering on the red box, She does not need to understand the words written on the box, just their presence there in their pure white color, offsetting the bright red paint is enough.

What is the color of the fan in your bedroom? We know its there, doing its duty and circulating air all through the room, but try lying down under it and watch it rotate. You know the mechanics behind it that make it rotate, but just for a second forget that its a fan. We lie under it and coo at it as it goes round and round, the joyful cooing getting more frantic as the fan picks up speed. We have a dark brown fan that looks beautiful against our white ceiling.

Sitting on a bench in the park, look up instead of looking about you. Don't the leaves look different from here, don't the wings of the birds have a different color underneath? Who knew the sky was so blue and the clouds resting on it, as if stuck with glue?

Stand next to a door and feel the whooshing of air as it is opened and closed.
Look at the curtains that bang against the window, as the room door is opened and closed forcefully.
Marvel at the white 0 watt bulb, lighting up its surroundings and scaring away all things lurking in the dark.
Enjoy the music of the water in the bottle as it goes tumbling into a glass.
Wonder at the sheer hard work of the washing machine, for it to grunt and heave so.
Watch the tube light glow like a fairy's wand.
Ponder the dignity of the crystal ware on the shelf and watch as the light rays dancing across try to woo it.
Startle and be amazed by the clinking of the spoons and forks as they toss and turn in the drawer.
Pick out the beautiful patterns on the dresses of people you meet and be mesmerized by them.

Aria has introduced me to a whole new magical world, a world you will understand only if you are held by the guiding hand of an infant - the world of every day things.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

5 things i wish i could have practiced before being thrown into motherhood!

You can never prepare for parenthood, I agree.
But you can learn some skills in advance to make life a little bit easier. I wish someone would ahve told me these techniques.
If you are pregnant, and especially in your ninth month, when time refuses to move forward and the waiting game sucks the energy out of you, try and master these techniques. They will help you later when your little bundle of joy (!) is out.

1. One handed wonder - Now is the perfect time for all the ambidextrous moms to gloat! However, trust your dominant hand to hold the baby, and your train your non dominant one to work. It has had quite a lazy life till now, no more! It is time for it to gear up, work its ass off and master all the routine things that the dominant hand has been doing till now.
Look at me, writing this blog post with one hand. I feel like a super hero! I can make tea with one hand, fold my clothes with one hand, comb my hair and my most recent achievement - have dinner with one hand. Don't mock. It is harder than you think - try it.

2. Ability to wake up in an instant - The little monster is not going to wait for you to get up, rub your eyes, look around, get your bearing, and then feed it. It goes from 0 to 100 on the howl scale in less than a second, faster than even the fastest car on the planet can accelerate. Make this bit cool - pretend you are Bond, or a spy, working in RAW or CIA. Don't you read about their ability to fire the gun in their sleep. Technically, this is the same thing.

3. Ability to sleep in a second - If you are one if the lucky ones, who when they hit the bed instantly get transported to dreamland - parenting is going to be a piece of cake. After getting up in an instant and powering on through the feeding, changing, burping, rocking stages - you are wide awake. And the little monster is snoring softly next to you. Quickly lie down, close your eyes and without a thought in your head go to sleep, because you do not know when you are going to have to get up fresh again!

4. Love precision - Trust me, no matter how laid back you think you are, the one question that is going to bother you the most, and the one thing you are going to google the most - how much milk does my 2 month / 3 month....old need? Baby centre and Kelly Moms are going to help answer that question However, to know how much your little tanker is guzzling, you are going to need to keep a track of time if you are breast feeding and "ml s" or ounces of you are bottle feeding.
It is the same as keeping a track of your baby's kicks in the last month, just with more variables.
Here is a snap shot of my record - the top line is the amount of feed had by Aria and the bottom line is the pumped quantity (i am part of the exclusive pumping movement)
The next most googled thing will be - how many hours should my baby sleep? Again, to teh rescue comes my chart!

5. Master conversions - If you are living in India, or pretty much anywhere in the world but America chances are you will be used to milliliters, kilograms and kilometers. However, the most useful sites will have the all the relevant information in ounces and pounds. It is really frustrating to google "10 pounds to kilograms" every time. Instead just learn the conversion, and convert on the go.

Try and get  hang of these 5 things and see yourself transform into a super parent. Well, actually not. No matter what you do, how much you prepare, the real thing is going to be like a cricket googly ball in a baseball game.

Source: fowlplay

Sunday, June 5, 2016

A while ago, my husband asked me a very basic question. He was telling me how proud he was of the way i was putting my heart into taking care of our baby, Aria.
His question was - Do you find joy in it?
I did not understand what he meant, he elaborated - Do you do it out of a sense of duty or do you find joy in it?

Do i find joy in motherhood?
Do i find joy in my life being taken over by a 2 month old tyrant?
Do i find joy in spending 2 hours out of 24 cleaning poop and pee?
Do i find joy in not being able to sleep for 3 hours straight?
Do i find joy in dreading another sleepless night?
Do i find joy in being turned into a feeding cow?
Do i find joy in being worried continuously about ear, nose infections?
Do i find joy in forever wondering if Aria is getting enough to eat?
Do i find joy in holding her and rocking her till my arms ache and head spins?
Do i find joy in worrying about syncing milk supply and demand?
Do i find joy in not being able to attend the same social events as Sagar, because one of us needs to stay at home to babysit?

A resounding yes.
I would always wonder what mothers meant when they said motherhood changes you, and now i know. It changes you completely, in a way that there is no turning back. It is not something you can explain, or understand. It is one of those things that need to be experienced to be understood.
And that experience changes you, permanently. Even if you want to go back to being the old you, you cannot.
You are in it, hook, line and sinker.
It is not an off hand, you-feel-it-once kind of an experience, it is not a slow progression of emotions that take you to another level of being. It is a wham! happened to me in a moment and changed me forever kind of an experience.
It takes you by surprise, and leaves you feeling breathless, all in moment. And try as you might, you cannot re-create that moment nor describe it.
You come home from the hospital, you have a new baby to take care of, look after all the practical issues of feeding and pooping and sleeping patterns, welcome visitors, make your peace with unsolicited advice, often bordering on ridiculousness, take each day and attack it, trying to fit the changes into your old lifestyle and one fine night, it just hit me - there is no fitting or changing something into my old lifestyle, this is the new lifestyle. This is how it is going to be, because the little thing gurgling at you is yours, your creation, your child, your responsibility.
Every little movement, every little twitch mesmerizes you when you think about how you actually created this little ball of fire and love. You do not want to go back, you want this moment of clarity, of unconditional acceptance, of gratitude to last forever.
You know you are experiencing something truly magical.
You feel like a princess in the fairy tale, more like the fairy godmother, who with the swish of her wand finds her kingdom turned to heaven.