Wednesday, June 30, 2010

S turns older!

My dear darling hubby S turned 32 today. I sometimes look back in time and feel very happy that our paths crossed. If I were to describe him here is how that would go -
                                                         He is tall, broad shouldered  and well built (though a little paunch sticks out from time to time). At first glance he seems shy or quiet. Some of my aunts call him mild-mannered and 'biba' (which in Punjabi means decent). He has a pleasant personality and smiles - most of the time!
                                               He is generous and big-hearted! He might bargain with the big electronic shop for a discount but to the golguppe wala on the street he will gladly give an extra 10 bucks. For him the old saying holds true "ghar mein jagah ho na ho, dil mein jagah honi chahiye" (which means "it doesn't matter whether there is space in the house or not, there should be place in the heart").

S is honest and has his head-on-his-shoulders. He can stay detached from a situation and yet give you practical advice. A lot of our friends really appreciate that about him. I get irritated with that sometimes because he cannot be the 'just-hear-me-out-don't-give-a-solution' kind of friend. Well then there are girl friends for that :)

Like a true cancerian he is very attached to his family - parents, siblings as well as N and me. Another cancerian quality is the "love for food". S is a true foodie and loves trying out new restaurants. His favourite cuisine remains apna desi Indian khana.

As a father S is great! From the time N was born S participated in every aspect of taking care of a baby. As a result I could leave N with S and regain my sanity by spending some time with my friends and by myself. Initially I used to interfere with how he handled N but I slowly learnt how to control those urges and let S handle N in his own way.

My mom had once asked me "Why S?" ~ Because he makes me feel loved! I am comfortable in my skin with him. I feel protected yet independent. I feel I can do anything in the world with him close to me.
Happy Birthday sweetheart!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Guilty or not?

It all started with my husband's aunt asking me about my 21 month old son N - "You haven't trained him to go poo poo in the pot yet??"
I started thinking of all possible answers and excuses.

"He isn't ready yet" ~ aka I am not ready to clean up all the messes he shall make.
"He just doesn't do it on the pot" ~ aka I don't have the patience to sing songs and clap and dance to entertain him while he sits on the pot.
"What if he poops on the cream coloured couch or the bed?" ~ aka I cannot watch him continuously for signs of going poo poo.

I felt so guilty of not being the "ideal mom" whose kids are potty trained as soon as they hold their first bottles. It was all my fault!
I should have started taking N to the bathroom every 20 minutes when he was a month old. That would have helped. Or I should have brought one of those poo poo song cds or dvds to motivate him into sitting on the pot for some time. Or maybe I should have rewarded him with candy and let him flush every time he used the pot.

The more I thought about it the more it stressed me out. After deeper introspection (read surfing the net and self assurance) I concluded that every kid has a different pace of doing things (I know we all know that). And so DOES every mom. I don't need to attempt to be a "super-mom" always. 
A couple of years down the line I don't want to remember this phase of life for all the mood swings and power struggles I had with N. I want to remember them for the small joys, the role play games and the cuddling together. And that will happen only if both of us are happy with each other. 

The world shall not come crashing down if he wears diapers for a few more months.
So now if someone asks me Why is my 21 months old son still in his diapers? The answer would be "Because I am not ready!" And I shall not feel guilty about that.

This post is my entry to "The Women's web 'Mommy Guilt' contest". Click on this link to see their article 'Fight that Mommy Guilt'.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

From tears to smiles

I walked down N to the bus stop or car stop (he goes to playschool in a car). I let him walk at his own pace today - stopping on the way to admire the red, puhple (that's his version of purple) and lellow (that's yellow) flowers.

He ran behind the butterflies and climbed onto stones. He shook hands with the perplexed security guard and waved bye to the daily wage labourer.

When his pick up car came he calmly went into the maid's arms. He then made himself comfortable in the rear seat, looked up at me and said "Bye mama". There was no smile ~ yet. I am hoping it will be there soon.

Cut to the first few days of going to school in the car. Neil bawled with big tears rolling down his cheeks and was upset about leaving mommy behind.

As time progressed (almost a month) the big tears gave way to smaller ones and then sobs and then just a sad face and then a straight face. Hoping to see a smile soon!

These little ones take time to trust someone but then they eventually do trust you wholeheartedly. He looks forward to going to school with "Driver bhaiya".

Monday, June 21, 2010

30 ROCKS!!

Atleast it wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be.
I turned 30 today err technically yesterday - 20th June. I was dreading turning 30 as if overnight I would have more gray hair, I would have more wrinkles on my face, I would add a few pounds to my already out-of-shape body structure. But none of that happened!

I didn't feel any wiser or more patient either. I was still running behind and yelling at N. I was still feeling crabby, irritated and short tempered when my birthday lunch plans went awry!

But then when I look back at 30 years of my presence on this planet... life's been great! I have taken risks, used my heart more often than my head. I have studied hard and made sure that I could support myself (the credit for that goes to my parents).

I have travelled, made friends, tried new cuisines, shopped like crazy, partied, read a lot (I want to read lots more and have a library at home), laughed and loved with all my heart.

I have had my share of heart breaks, have seen beautiful sunrises and sunsets, walked over sandy beaches and icy mountains.

I have no regrets in life. I am happy ~ thats what matters!
And I look forward to the next 30 years of my life.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Round chappatis anyone?

There is a section of our society that judges women on how good their cooking skills are.
So if you cannot make round chappatis or cook a meal for 4 in a jiffy or cut beautiful salad like they teach in cookery classes then you don't quite fit into the "good-housewife/perfect-bahu (daughter-in-law)" mould.
It doesn't matter that you are an individual with other talents or maybe you are a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none. 
If you belong to this club of "not-the-world's-best-cooks" then the aunts will roll their eyes and look at you in pity, the baaju-wali-aunty shall offer unsolicited advice on how to roll out round-perfectly-fluffed-up-pooris, moms and moms-in-law shall try to pacify you by appreciating the one dish you can make well aka the bread sandwich, the rest of the relatives shall tsk tsk and try to lighten the situation by saying things like "Its OK! after all she works" or "These days there is so much else to do, where is time left for cooking" or "Taking care of the kid is such a big task in itself".
What no-one says is that it is OK if you can't cook or don't like cooking. Not every lady likes to read or dance or play tennis or drive or fly or work so why does every lady need to like cooking?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Broken yet enough

My son N is 20 months old now. His vocab is increasing by bounds and leaps ~ almost  3-4 new words everyday. He has started broken sentences too which is kind of fun. S (my husband) and I need to put together a joint effort to figure out the meaning of some of these sentences though.

So the other day he came back from playschool and me being the average-curious-about her-kids-progress-mom asked him "What did you do in class today?" In response he looked at me with big round brown eyes with an expression which seemed like "How do I care ma? I go there to play" 
And then he said animatedly "Mam", "No cry", "Driver bhaiya" "peep peep".

All I could figure out was his teacher told him not to cry (which means he is still crying at class) and the driver pressed the car horn (which N loves doing in our car and his masi's scooter).

Am looking forward to more of this.... Even though the words are broken yet they are enough for us to communicate.  

My best friend!

I never had "one" "single" best friend throughout school, college and work-life. I used to fit people in my ring of concentric circles. The outermost circle being acquaintances aka the "hi-hello" friends, The next inner circle was made of people somewhat closer than the acquaintances - people whom I shared some common interest with and hung out once in a while. The next inner circle being "close" friends - who knew my secrets, with whom I could be my self and hung out most of the time. The innermost or core of this ring of circles was never occupied by a friend - not because I couldn't find someone to fit in there. It was because I already had someone who couldn't be replaced - my sister.
                                            She has been there for me from as far as I can think of. My earliest memory of this goes back to when I was 5 or maybe 6 years old. I used to be afraid of the dark. One day while we were playing hide and seek - it was my turn to hide. I went into the corner of the farthermost room in our colonial style army bungalow and hid myself behind a huge trunk. My parents were sitting outside on the terrace sipping their evening tea. Suddenly the lights went out and I panicked. My sister who by-the-way was 3 or 4 years old that time ran into the house. My dad followed her into the house, worried that she might hurt herself in the dark. But she was quick, she looked into all the rooms and found me crouching behind that trunk, eyes shut and ears closed. She sat down next to me and hugged me saying "Didi OK". I am not afraid of the dark any longer but this incident will stay with me forever.
Whenever I have been down and out through college - I was in a hostel during my engineering days - she was one person who could cheer me up and bring me back to my exuberant self. She just knows which buttons to trigger.
She has excused and ignored my shortcomings. She sometimes does not agree with what I say or do. And she has voiced her opinion in those cases. But she has the maturity to understand that it is OK for us to have separate opinions and ways of doing things. We can stay together and yet have our own space. We share common interests - going out, watching movies, eating and window shopping. She is my stress buster, my unpaid babysitter, my masseur (she is so good at a pain relieving massage along the back bone and shoulders), my 3 am pillow talk person, my confidante and my partner-in-crime. My sister - my best friend!


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