I sleep like a baby …

I don’t remember being an infant. I suppose most people don’t. But given my preferences now, I am not sure I would have enjoyed being the infant me. Well obviously, my parents tell me I was a happy baby, but I am just wondering. Let me tell you my reasoning…

Some people do it for economic reasons – it is their job, they get paid for it. Nothing else could make it worthwhile, especially if one has to do it everyday – day after day. So, they torture themselves and do it anyway. The night watchman waiting for something to happen in the still of the night while his eyelids are stretching themselves to see how much further it has to travel to close completely. It is a tense moment, another second for the eye to close completely when the sub-conscious, with that quirky permanence, reminds him of his duty and his neck jerks in that ungraceful manner and pulls the eyelids open again. There is little chance of conversation to help things along unless he chooses for his conversation the very person he is looking out for; a thief. I feel strongly for thieves too. It must be pretty rotten waiting with sleep gathering around them for the right moment to strike and then find a pesky night watchman jerk awake in the nick of time. I digress.

Anyway …. I have professed my love for the nightly snooze a good many times on this blog. I’ve sacrificed the restoring quite a few times – but I cannot pretend to love those long hours that stretch mercilessly through the night with a Production issue. I am not fond of interrupting my slumber by jerking awake. Yet, the call of duty is a tough one and I rise and shine … well rise dully and shine rather desultorily.

But infants have none of this. There is nobody paying them to keep awake. Not to be harsh or anything, but the world around them will function a lot better if they do sleep. Yet, you find these night warriors the most willing of folks to keep awake. They think nothing of going to that state of near sleep and plucking their eyes open. When sleep seems inevitable, they do what night watchmen cannot do. They cry themselves hoarse and awaken not only their senses but everybody else’s too.

Maybe the psychology of the thing to not do things asked of us starts early. When folks ask us to sleep, we don’t. When they ask us to remain awake, we’d like more than anything in the world to sleep. As for the adult me, I can do a straight 12 hour stretch anytime you ask me to – quite the obedient one what?

Well….till little Tucky learns to sleep like an adult, I get to sleep like a baby every night.

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Sundaes: Sorry – what flavor?

My mother is an accomplished cook (A well documented fact in these chronicles). She came during the precious last weeks of my pregnancy and let her culinary talents flourish. Meals I prefer to classify as feasts were produced at the slightest drop of a hat. Then, I went into labour and had a baby. About the same time a terrible metamorphosis seems to have happened to her as well. There is a distinct degenerative trend in her cooking. ¬†She spurns the occasional chilli, recoils from spices, and classifies half the vegetable kingdom as unfit for consumption. As if this weren’t enough, she upped the frequency of feeding me this cuisine. I only have to remain half awake to have some bland soup, or drink thrust at me with loving hands. The theory being that the extra nutrition is needed to feed the baby. She tells me of post partum mothers of the post Indian Independence era making ghee their best friend and drinking cups of it, while subtly deploring that I don’t accord it the same treatment. The general rule of thumb being that bland is the formula that is safest for mother and baby.

In spite of all this, there is the occasional discomfort that the newborn exhibits. Guess what this loving mother of mine does? After the immediate task of alleviating the discomfort of the infant, she then spends her considerable mental faculties evaluating and tabulating everything she fed yours truly in the past 24 hours. Then she proceeds to rank them by taste, and she boots the tastiest of the lot from the already shrinking list as the potential offender. Once, the tastiest thing I had eaten was an orange and they were on the potential list to be banned. They only survived because of my vehement opposition.

Why am I telling you all this? To prove that breast milk is one of the most thought about items on the post partum agenda. Grandmothers, mothers, aunts, great aunts are all full of tips on breast milk. So imagine my surprise when this rare commodity was featured in a news item alongside commercially sold icecreams?
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/02/25/134056923/breast-milk-ice-cream-a-hit-at-london-store


To be teased as the cow in the house is one thing; to make a career of it quite another.

To follow up on this news item, UK banned breast milk sundaes soon after.
http://allweirdnews.com/breast-milk-sundaes-not-allowed/

One thing still nags me : who is the target audience for this icecream? It can’t be the infants surely ….

Angry Birds

Angry bird developers would do well to visit my home for a little practical demonstration of angry birds. There is one outside the home aiming his attacks at the home and there are several angry birds within swearing at the unfortunate bird outside the home. I know the situation makes ones head boil a bit, but all shall be clear in a jiffy. Here…

What does that look like to you? It looks like stained glass to me. But, when I look at a rose plant, and know that it is a rose plant, I will correctly guess the flower to be a rose. You know what I mean? The same analogy here. I know that is stained glass and maybe, that is why it looks like stained glass to my eye. I wish to give the bird a fair chance before judging it too harshly. So, if folks agree that it looks like flowers, I applaud the authenticity of the work, but deplore the fact that it should be flower patterned instead of a random modern art effect.

You see the bird that I have around my house seems to belong to a rather dim-witted variety. He (or She) comes everyday, pecks twice at the ‘flowers’, and finding no nectar blinks looking disappointed. Maybe, the learnings of its youth conflicting with real life experiences. We all have them once in a while. How your parents tell you that it is not okay to drink water out of a tap while growing up in India, and come to the US to discover that water from the tap is just what your Doctor prescribes for glowing health. Something like that. Mama birdie probably spent night after night telling stories of how she procured food and nectar. “Go for the bright colored flowers. They are the real stuff. You don’t want to spend time and energy going after the ones nature intended to be mere flowers, but did not endow with nectar.”

Hard to ignore this kind of ingrained birdic knowledge. Pretty sound theory for birds to pick up too. Yet this bird finds that his thorough application of these learnings yield nothing. Zilch. So, he (or she), pecks again – twice for luck each time. Then, the same thought process seems to surface – always with the same intensity and the same conclusion. I know the bird flies away for a bit, circles around and attacks from various viewpoints. How do I know? Because the silences are always approximately the same length of time and then ‘Peck..Peck’ followed by a scrapping of feet and a fluttering of wings.

I suppose he could try a different set of flowers around the place, but these are so strategically located. No need to alter one’s flying altitude – conveniently located at sparrow flying height. Brightest in the locality. It has all the factors going for it, except for being unnatural, and having a family swearing at repeated attempts to extract nectar from inside the house.

The only suggestion I have for dealing with the situ. may not be suitable: throwing a stone at it – just to get the bird to dislodge. But, birds are smart that way – they fly away, leaving the path clear to the stained glass window. I don’t think I have the time to deal with broken windows at sparrow flying altitude now given that the youngest bird in the house is also highly fascinated by the same windows, and spends his waking ogling at them.

Sometimes, inaction is the best action. I have decided to see how long it takes before practical experiences overtake theoretical application in birds.

Peck Peck – Got to go. Couple of things to finish in the next five peck attempts.

Welcoming Tucky

Throwing my mind back, I cannot consciously remember the time Tucky entered our conversations. He was named Tucky because he was safely tucked inside my tummy.

“Is Tucky kicking you now?” became a common question from the daughter whenever my face contorted with a random jab from the little one in my womb. Tucky entered our lives in a far more real fashion when he was born last week. Suddenly, the whole pregnancy has become a blur and the immediate needs of a newborn have overtaken everything else. We had a baby boy last week and it has generally been a emotionally-charged action-packed week for all around, but I am glad to say that we are all enjoying the little one in our own different ways.

I gave pregnancy related humour a huge miss on this blog, but have some nuggets that stand out. Like how one morning, I looked at my reflection in the mirror and moaned about how shapeless I looked. The candid daughter – the apple of my eye; came up to me and said with complete sincerity, “No amma, you don’t look shapeless at all…”
I started to smile, and was just beginning to clear the contours of worry off of my face. I had barely let the smile reach the corners of my own mouth when she quipped, “You look like an egg! Like an Easter egg actually – I love Easter eggs!”
I am glad to tell everybody that I now know how eggs walk, and my sympathies shall always be with cartoons of eggs with legs in children’s book from now on. If it takes pregnancy to truly appreciate Humpty Dumpty, so be it.



Or the fact that one day I entered our train with a bunch of balloons quite late in my pregnancy, looking … like I really could use a break. My colleagues had thrown me a surprise baby shower at work and I was obviously looking like the balloon seller in Disneyland; when a cute boy with freckles pointed to me and asked his mother, “Oooh….why does that fat lady have so many balloons?”

I burst out laughing partly because I imagined how I looked, but also because of the way his mother looked. Appalled and apologetic at the same time, she mumbled a whole lot of sentences that set off her purplish pink complexion very nicely at that moment.

Please wish us luck as we try to find balance as a four member family.