Baby Blues – a humourous account of mothering two toddlers
Having babies – every girl’s dream. Seemed exciting and even easy to me. And it was! The childbirth I mean. Easy – compared to what came later. I wasn’t quite prepared you see. I had been taken in my the innocent look in the eyes of the baby in the ‘Baby Book’. So the day I saw the little wonder in my arms, I decided that out will go the job (and the monthly cheques) and in will come motherhood. Little did I imagine that I would have to give up the leisurely baths, hot coffees, the morning swims and the cosy dinners!
Oh ofcourse, I’ve got the world’s best little girls – no matter if their personalities are…ummm…on the stronger side. Tantrums? They are only a manifestation of their determined selves (or so I keep telling myself).
Unusual food habits? Not really. Whether it’s sliced apples and bananas with tomato sauce or raw garlic pods and celery sticks with tamarind chutney, the doctor says it’s alright. And who’s to argue with the doc?
I do put my foot down during eating out however. I can deal with strange looks while ordering odd items from the menu, but I cannot tolerate messy tables, innumerable visits to the loo or FFO ‘s (Flying Food Objects).
I have to keep telling myself that my kids are normal. If they try to fly, or think they are tigers or try to push each other off the balcony, I have to tell myself that other kids do it too. That there are parents out there putting up an equally brave front, desperately trying to hide the fear that something is wrong with their kids.
At times I have yearned for the good old days, when children quaked in fear in front of their parents. Today, it’s us who quake…with the kids’ piercing questions and high expectations.
Deadly questions like ‘How come you are watching Santa Barbara when I can’t?’ or ‘What new thing are you giving in my tiffin today?’ are guaranteed to consume any new parent with guilt.
I haven’t mentioned grandparents yet.
One can ignore books, doctors, friends and even relatives, but not grandparents. They will never fail to remind you how heartless a parent you are if you don’t serve Campa Cola and potato chips for lunch.
It wasn’t long before I realised that I had exchanged one high tension job for another higher tension job. In advertising products were at stake, but here, it was human lives I was dealing with. The future citizens of the world. I had to be careful not to damage their minds permanently with my sharp tongue, and not turn them into stunted retards by feeding them junk.
Luckily my childhood friend who had continued to work right through her babies set me right. It was an eye-opener for me to observe her three-year smear herself with mud accompanied by happy laughter (from the mother I mean).
‘Relax,’ she told me. ‘Enjoy your babies. And forget the baby in the book.’
Looking back, that was the best piece of advice ever given.
(Published in the Deccan Herald, Bangalore)
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