Thursday, July 31, 2008

A few tips for men....

...on how to treat their wives after a visit to the parlour.

* After your wife comes back from half a day spent in the beauty parlor while you pulled your hair out in desperation at being left alone with the progeny, she is watching you for your reaction every step of the way from the minute she gets down from the auto.

* At all points in time, keep looking at her face adoringly and with wonder as though all your adult male fantasies have come true in her. Do NOT try to do something as unimportant as taking your son to the bathroom as he hops urgently from one foot to the other. This move of yours may be misconstrued as lack of interest on her part.

* In the interest of your peace and happiness ever after, please PAY ATTENTION as she discusses what she is going to be doing at the parlor BEFORE she leaves home. There will be questions when she gets back and I know that its not in your genes to be able to tell when she got a manicure with colorless nail varnish and if you had just paid attention to what she said, you may be able to suitably admire and ooh and aah over her nails.

* Do not even blink or miss a beat when she asks you how her hair color looks. Whether it is a garish baby pink or the exact same shade as she always had, always, always say with great enthusiasm, 'Awesome baby!! I love it..'

* If you do not like her haircut and both of you have an open and honest relationship where you discuss everything, well, this just aint one of them...You just have to zip up till the hair grows back...

* She has spent the best part of the day wincing as her body hair got pulled off her legs and arms and eyebrows and upper lip....believe me when I tell you, its bloody painful. Do NOT tell her how boring shaving is and how lucky women are to be able to wax body hair off...You just may find your legs getting waxed as you sleep one of these days.

* Do not ask blanch, or show any negative emotion at the amount of money she spent at the parlour, if, for some perverse reason, you need to ask at all.

* And last, but not the least, do not commit the cardinal sin. As she looks at you expectantly after getting her uber-cool haircut which her stylist assures her will make her look like a bomb, if you do not want grievious bodily injury and loss to preoperty, do not innocently ask her, 'What, no haircut????'

Monday, July 21, 2008

A chumma post

No, not the Hindi chumma. The Tamil one, meaning Just like that. And did you know that's not even an original Tamil word?

Anyway, I digress. I have not posted in sometime and have some(ok, ok) 1 anxious reader asking if things are ok. Thanks for asking, dear friend, and things are fine and dandy at the Bangalore household. It was a combination of sheer laziness and lethargy during weekdays and total head spinning craziness over the weekends that have kept me from posting. Some random updates:

It's been a month since Hubby's MBA classes started. To say that its changed our lives completely would be putting it too mildly.

When kuttan was born 3 and a half years ago, the whole family celebrated. The parents and in-laws were elated. Aunts and uncles rejoiced and friends called up to congratulate. Hubby and I, on the other hand, went about in a daze, not quite sure about what we were supposed to do with the little screaming, pooping bundle that I had, with ample help from the husband, brought into the world.

We looked at each other and did'nt say the words but might as well have shouted it out to each other. 'What the hell have we gotten ourselves into?' Kuttan was born on a MOnday and things continued on the same exhausting vein till I came home on Friday.

I came home on Friday morning. That night, on kuttan's first night home, we sent my parents packing upstairs. And then we switched off the lights in the living room and tuned to HBO to see 'Clear and Present Danger'. Ah, bliss!! I cannot tell you how liberating the feeling was. We can still have a life after all, we thought to ourselves, as we grinned at each other like idiots, as our infant son lay sleeping in the crib near us. See, our life has changed but our hallowed Friday ritual remains the same.

Things pretty much remained the same over the last few years as well. Come hell or high water, the Friday night was sacrosanct. A week ended. Two whole days to relax and look forward to. Satuday morning to lie in and wake up at, gasp!, a sinful 9 am! The schedule never varied. Dinner outside. Stop by at the DVD shop on the way back. Pore over the collection and argue over which movie to watch for HOURS. Finally, as a compromise, pick a movie that NEITHER of us like. Come home. Give kuttan his milk and make him sleep on the couch in the living room. Bring the beanbag over to the living room. Turn off the lights and switch on DVD...ah, bliss!! It was a rite of passage followed most faithfully. Until last month.

Well, all that has changed now. Hubby has classes on Friday morning and Saturday morning at the UnGodly hour of 8. To add insult to injury, he has tests and assignments that are, invariably due on Saturday. And thus, a much loved ritual came to a quiet end in the BM household in the past month.

But the hubby has a loooot of gyan to share on microeconomics and strategy to make up for the missed Friday nights...what a GREAT trade off, would'nt you call it?? Grrrr....It's taking sooo much out of me to play the part of the supportive wife I tell you!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Where did my baby go?

Kuttan was one of th sunniest and most cheerful babies I ever knew. Not that I knew many but considering the mountains of baby literature I had read and the folklore I had heard from everyone from amma to my neighbour's maid about sleepless nights and crying babies, when the real thing happened, I found the going surprisingly easy.

One of my closest friends tell me I am the most optimistic persons she knows. She is 2 years younger than me and when she finally became pregnant, she came to yours truly for advice. How difficult is it, she asked me, a veteran who had a year old baby by then. Oh, no problem, I told her airily. Do anything you want to. Morning sickness? I had none. Tiredness? Drowsiness? The kind of lethargy that was usually a part of the first trimester? No, no and no again. The only time I puked was when I stuffed my face with a greasy chocolate cake from a bakery with questionable hygiene. Yes, yes, I was pregnant and still went around eating from places like these quite happily. You can do it too, I told her for good measure. Just as well that she wisely chose to ignore my advice.

The delivery? Was a c-sec. The easiest c-sec ever. I did not have a moment of labor. I went in and came out with a baby and that was the end of that. When the baby finally arrived, he was so quiet on the first day at the hospital that the nurses actually crowded around his crib to see this 'baby whi never cried'. I and amma as usual worried about it and begged and pleaded with his paed to check if everything was ok with him. The doctor told us in utter exasperation that we were two women who could'nt recognise a good thing when we saw it and he was surprised that such a happy baby had come out of me!! Anyway, all that changed on day 2 when kuttan decided to give us what we asked for and let out wails that were enough to wake the dead. All night long.

But apart from doing stuff that babies must ABSOLUTELY DO, like crying and peeing and pooping the MINUTE I sit down to eat, I have had it remarkably easy all this time. He started sleeping through the night by the time he was 6 months old and I have never had a chance to fret whether I will EVER get a full night of sleep. I have'nt had trouble weaning him or toilet training him. He has always been an extremely happy baby, at peace with himself and the world.

Obviously when things are so perfect that I am beginning to think I am all set for the next one, God thinks to Himself, oh no, not that fast. And sure enough, hubby and I have been seeing some remarkable changes in his personality over the last few weeks. And they are not changes I am happy with.

I have been observing an increasing amount of aggression in kuttan. Something which was also observed by his teacher and the neighbour's maid. Every play session ends up in a fight with the other kids with amma and appa having to act as referees. Whereas earlier he would cheerfully go along with the other kids and share his toys, these days he creates a ruckus. Where earlier he would charm the trees off the birds with his smile and sunny disposition, I see him talking back to people and not very politely either.

I see a streak of unruliness in him that was not ther before. And I am worried. I know that this could just be a phase where he is trying to assert his personality and eventually he will be ok again but I miss my baby. As usual, the spectre of working mom guilt rears its ugly head again and I talk it out with the husband till he claims his ears are ready to fall off. 'Maybe I should quit my job', I tell him. As my friend says, that's my solution to everything from the Iraq war to my domestic help's failed marriage. But I do not even know how much that will help. I do get back home by 5.30 and in the software industry that is a miracle by itself. And after that, I spend every minute with kuttan, taking him to the park, playing with him and the other kids, helping him with his homework. How much more will I be able to do as a Stay-at-home mom?

We have never enforced a very strict routine on Kuttan because he just kind of fell into our routine quite easily, without much effort. But I think it's time we instilled some discipline on him in terms of listening to what we say instead of asking us a thousand questions as to why he needs to do something and arguing with us.

A part of me knows what is happening. My baby is growing into a little boy. A spirited, intelligent boy who needs to do something because he BELIEVES in it rather than because amma asked him to. A discerning boy who will fight with his friend if he does not get his turn with the bat instead of allowing his friend to take all the turns himself. A boy who rebels against his mother as she asks him to do one more page of homework before going out to play. I guess I should be happy. But wait a minute....did I tell you he is only three and a half years old? Did the teens come a wee bit early for my son?