Wednesday 31 December 2008

Yukta's 2 month doctor visit

We took Yukta for her 2 month checkup today (a few days early since she won't turn 2 months until the 5th of January). Her weight gain has been good; she now weighs 5.1 kg and is in the 72nd percentile for weight. I checked back with Advaith's medical record and found that he actually weighed more at the same stage (he was 5 kg at 6 weeks). We had a long wait at the Pediatric Injections clinic where Yukta was to receive 3 shots (Pneumococcal, HiB, plus a combination of HepB, DTP and Polio) and one oral vaccine (Rotavirus). When we were finally called, I put her on my lap and she got the Rotavirus oral vaccine first. She gagged a little bit but managed to keep it down. With the first shot, she made the saddest, cutest little face and whimpered a bit but stayed calm. The second shot made her go bright red in the face and she started bawling, not even noticing that the nurse was pricking her for the third time! She quietened down pretty quickly though. It is so pathetic to see unsuspecting babies being jabbed with sharp needles! The next ordeal (vaccinations) is after two months, at her 4-month checkup.

Winter break

Advaith has a 2-week winter break and anticipating cold wet weather, the impossibility of incarcerating him indoors, and the advantages of him having some exclusive “Daddy-time”, I drew up a vacation plan a few weeks ago. So far Ads has been to the San Jose holiday parade (which is apparently one of the best holiday parades in the US), Xmas tree-lighting at Mountain View, the Tech Museum at San Jose, the Children’s Discovery Museum at San Jose, the Oakland Zoo and the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo. Not surprisingly he was not too gung-ho on seeing the animals at the zoo (my son has a one-track mind; anything that doesn’t have a large noisy motor just ain’t interesting!). Other planned activities came to nought because we have had a wet cold spell all of last week and for the past couple of days, he has had a bad cold. Today he asked me when he gets to see the USS Hornet, an aircraft carrier that S had planned on visiting. I think that trip will have to wait a while.

Sunday 28 December 2008

To give or not to give

Advaith loves having visitors nowadays. Guess why? Because everybody who comes to see the baby invariably gets him a gift, mostly toys and books, very nice ones at that! Yesterday we were expecting a friend and his family to drop in and Advaith said “Avaa enakku gift kondu varalena, naa kochupein” I didn’t like him saying (or even thinking) this. Since when did kids develop this sense of entitlement? Since when has it been discourteous or insensitive to visit a house to see the new baby and not take along a separate gift for the elder sibling? I don’t blame Advaith for saying what he did. He’s only 3 after all. The broader trend of exchanging gifts at every possible occasion (not just birthdays, new babies and the like) only means that he looks at every visitor as a potential present-bearer.
Back when I was a kid, one only got presents at one’s birthday or whenever one’s NRIs relatives visited India. Because presents were so rare and much-awaited, the pleasure one derived from them was immense. I am sure that Advaith doesn’t get half the happiness and satisfaction from his presents that I used to get from mine. It doesn’t help that even friends and relatives who live far away, mail packages containing gifts for the kids. Why complain, even I do the same thing. The prospect of meeting a friend or a cousin (and their kids) is just the excuse I need to go on a very pleasurable shopping spree.
I wonder whether we are bringing up a generation of spoilt kids, all of whom have way too much?

Oops there’s the doorbell. Hmmm…..a package from Looks like someone ordered something for us. Yipppeeeee!!!!! Must stop blogging now…..see you later :))

Friday 26 December 2008

To capture a smile

Yukta's features have been changing quite rapidly, it seems. Or so said our cleaning lady, Hannah. She sees the baby only once in 2 weeks so she's in a position to observe the changes in her, something we tend not to notice as much since we are around her all the time. Of course I know that Y is a lot larger/heavier now, simply by comparing her photographs. The nicest thing is that she smiles so much nowadays. I run to fetch the camera every time she smiles but always manage to catch the fag end of the smiling session.

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Books and things

I started on the book “Perfect madness: motherhood in the age of anxiety” by Judith Warner recently and have been reading it in spurts and bursts. It’s an interesting read, talking as it does about anxiety-marked parenting expectations in the United States, and what could be the influencers behind American parenting culture. I could identify with a lot of the stuff spoken about in the book. Most American moms I know do have very high expectations, both from themselves and from their kids. Coming as I did from India and practicing what looked to the average American mom as an extremely laid-back (even careless) style of parenting, I found some eyebrows politely raised when it was discovered that my 2-year old son couldn’t feed himself, still shared a bed with us (and moreover, seemed to have no intention of moving out), and was not as well-behaved and disciplined as his other (white) friends. Thankfully our circle of friends doesn’t at the moment include any of the hyper-competitive, perfection-obsessed moms that Judith Warner talks about. But I do find from my limited understanding of the American culture that parenting is treated as an art and a science here; something that needs to be studied and absorbed. Parenting by instinct (isn’t that the only kind of parenting there is??) is not something that is understood or practised.
As an aside, services like family coaches/consultants are part of a $2.1 trillion industry that teaches you how to parent. They sometimes call it the "mommy market". How insecure do we have to be that we need a someone to teach and help us to do something as natural as raising a child? I simply can't buy the argument that the increased stresses caused by crazy work/family schedules and society's unrealistic expectations of what it is to be a good parent, are making such services necessary.
Another interesting book (though one that I thought could have been condensed into a few pages) was “The Mommy brain – how motherhood makes us smarter” by Katherine Ellison. She talks about how it has been scientifically proved that motherhood, contrary to popular opinion, actually enhances a woman’s perception, emotional intelligence, efficiency and resilience. Now I have a ready-made answer to all those people who ask me why I am ‘wasting” a B-school education to sit at home and look after my kids – I can tell them I had babies to just to enhance my “mommy brain”!!!

Saturday 20 December 2008

Letter to Yukta

Dear Yukta,
You are 6 weeks old today. Once again, welcome to your family! I can’t but help compare the first 6 weeks of life with you with the first 6 weeks of life with your big brother. Of course, you weren’t there when he was a baby just like you, but what the heck, you didn’t miss much. Did you really want to see your mommy all washed-out, exhausted and (occasionally) mildly hysterical? Your brother having colic-induced screaming fits for several hours every night? The unnerving heat of that August and September in Chennai? (It’s always hot in Chennai though. Point noted). I hate to say this, but you know what? Relatively and absolutely speaking, you’re easy. Or is it just us? Is it just that you are baby #2? Are you naturally chilled-out, or are you that way because we are chilled-out around you?

In the past few weeks, we’ve entertained at home, gone out to dinner and shopping (both twice) with you in tow, and lugged you to sundry other places where you weren’t really required. We hold you in the crook of one arm while holding the phone with the other hand, I cook one-handed while you look on with mild curiosity and we don’t bother to turn down the TV volume just because you’re asleep.

Being parents the second-time around means that we know that babies aren’t as fragile as they seem. Being parents the second-time around means that we are less paranoid, less anxious and more confident. It means we fuss less and enjoy you more. You have been giving us that 1000-watt smile for more than a week now. Did Advaith begin smiling this early as well? Did I, living as I was in a fog of post-partum pain, just not notice? Or is it just you?

Whatever the reason may be, you ROCK!

Stay this way, little princess. And keep smiling.

Your adoring parents

Art with Xmas holiday themes

Some of Advaith's latest "holiday" themed artwork.

Thursday 18 December 2008

Exciting news

A few days ago I got an email from my successor at Mphasis, giving me some really exciting news. MphasiS has won the 2008 MCPEDP Helen Keller Award for best employer. This is not my achievement at all, but I like to think I laid the foundation for making the company a more open and accepting workplace.

Monday 15 December 2008

Counting my blessings

A few days ago, as part of our club's hospitality towards new mothers, I was scheduled to deliver a meal to my friend F, who just had a baby girl (2 weeks after Yukta was born). When I stopped by her place as arranged, I heard something that upset me deeply. F's elder daughter is the same age as Ads. F and I went through the ups and downs of our pregnancies together. Apart from gestational diabetes and the need to adhere to a strict diet, she had a healthy pregnancy. Tragically, her daughter was born with Downs’s syndrome and sundry other health issues, including a suspected heart problem. Since the standard genetic screening tests had shown that she had a low risk of delivering a Down’s baby, F and her husband were totally unprepared for the shocking news that awaited them. What should have been one of the most joyous moments of their lives turned out to be the worst kind of nightmare. When I met F at her house and she was describing her experience, the thought running at the back of my mind was “This could have been my story”. We could have been the parents who received the devastating news that the child they had just had, the baby they had thought would be born healthy and whole, the baby whom they imagined would complete their perfect family picture, was in fact disabled. In one instant, my friend was thrust into a world she knows nothing about. The world of caring for and loving a baby who is not “normal”. Managing their own and other’s expectations, learning about the condition, fobbing off unwelcome pity and sympathy while welcoming genuine help from friends and family, all in the interest of raising a child who is independent and strong and resilient.
Knowing about people in such situations makes me feel, more than ever, incredibly fortunate. F related to me a very beautiful and uplifting analogy that her nurse-midwife had shared with her. Raising a child with a disability is not the trip you booked at the beginning but it’s a nice trip too, just very different. Read the original article here.

My motto for the day, the New Year and for the rest of my life – COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS, however small or big and remember that life is beautiful. You just have to keep your eyes open and find the beauty.

Retail therapy or retail stress?

Not being a big fan of shopping with a kid or two in tow, I blew up a whole bunch of money online a couple of weeks ago, mostly on clothes for myself (my valid excuse being that at present, I can’t yet squeeze into my pre-pregnancy clothes and neither can I be expected to live in my maternity sweats for months on end). But there’s only so much you can buy online. How, for example, do you buy trousers/jeans online since you don’t have any way of checking the fit? So, quite reluctantly, hubby and myself loaded the kids into the car and set off for our first shopping excursion. Bringing Ads along turned out to be a strategic mistake. He would have been quite content to stay at home with the grandparents but having told him that we were going to Target (his favourite store), we couldn’t very well backtrack and refuse to take him along. In any case, by the time both kids were dressed and fed, the weather forecast re-checked and sundry layers added and deleted from their clothing, we were already a half-hour over schedule. Yukta screamed as soon as she was strapped into her car seat and continued yelling all the way to the store. Her elder brother, himself strapped into his car seat, shouted across words of encouragement to stop her from crying; I wryly reminisced how, when we first moved to the US and I was a fledgling driver on American roads, he would freak me out with his screaming bouts when I was negotiating the car on a freeway at 100 km/h.

This is one of the things I miss about driving in India. A child strapped in a car seat cannot be soothed or nursed while on the move. And a child throwing a fit in the back while you are driving does nothing for your concentration or equilibrium.
So we reached the store, located a large shopping cart and stowed both kids on it (Yukta still in her car seat and mercifully now asleep). S set off for the toy section with both kids and I set about doing some of the speediest shopping of my life. Within half an hour, I received an SOS on the cellphone – Ads had pooped (what is it about Target that makes him go potty there EVERY TIME?!!!!). I rushed upstairs to clean him up. After clean-up, we thrust a banana in his hand while I headed back downstairs to resume shopping. My third time in the fitting room brought another phone call. Yukta was hungry. I went back upstairs, picked her up and went back downstairs, into the fitting room to nurse (irritatingly enough, this store didn’t have a designated area for nursing moms – how one gets used to such facilities whereas in India I have managed on far far less). After she was fed, I delivered her back to S and made one last visit to the fitting room. All this for picking up just 2 pairs of jeans! I quickly ran through the rest of my shopping list, picked up whatever I could and met S and the babies at the checkout counter. By this time, I was a little stressed and had wolfed down 4 cookies (I didn’t believe there was such a thing as emotional eating until I had kids!).

So that was our first shopping experience. It could have been far worse but for now I think I’ll stick to shopping online. All this running about ain't worth it.

Thursday 11 December 2008

My one and only Xmas gift – but so precious

Holiday party at Community preschool today. All the kids were asked to bring a goody to share and Amma contributed a batch of her famous burfis. Ads brought back a “gift” for me – a holiday tree crafted from aluminum foil and a Christmas card. I made a big fuss over his beautiful gift and ceremoniously stuck it in a vase in the living room. He was thrilled.

Wednesday 10 December 2008

Circle of friends

These days, we have four (sometimes five) toddlers living in the apartment. Advaith’s friends are called Jake, Steve, Bobby and Vishnu.
Oh, did I mention that they are a figment of his imagination?
They are imaginary to me, but to my son they are sometimes more real than the solid physical presences of mom, dad and grandparents. They sometimes go to preschool with him. Sometimes he orders them to stay back at home with the stern injunction not to touch any of his toys in his absence. When he doesn’t want to eat his morning ration of raisins, Steve (or Jake or Bobby...) says (in a cute falsetto) “Advaith's mommy, can I have some raisins?"
I’ve read that most 3-year olds have one imaginary friend (or several). Jake, Steve, Bobby and Vishnu are yet another manifestation of Ads’ super-heated imagination.

Out(fit) of this world

Today Ads went to the park wearing a pair of undies on his head. Nothing I said would sway him from this sartorial decision. The only saving grace was that the underwear was partially hidden under a huge sun-hat. I let it go; after all he regularly designs and wears outfits that are twenty times as bizarre.

Saturday 6 December 2008

Three night owls

Y has taken Ads’ place in the middle of our bed. Our night-time routine is highly predictable. S is in charge of diaper changes – well, most of the time anyway – sometimes he is so obviously exhausted that I volunteer to change Y’s diaper. Too bad that he can’t return the favour and feed her! We wake every couple of hours, more often if Y is fussy; and in between we fall into the deepest sleep imaginable. And sometimes, upon waking from such a deep sleep, we tend to be a little disoriented. Like yesterday, for example. I woke up and heard S muttering something. In my befuddled state, I did what came automatically – picked up Y who was fussing, and started nursing. A few minutes later, S opened one eye and asked what on earth I was doing. Apparently I had fed her just half an hour ago!!! What he had actually asked me to do was to pull Y’s blanket tighter around her and give her some body warmth. I hadn’t actually heard what he was saying (I guess he was muttering drowsily anyway) and so Y was quite amazed at her good luck in being fed twice in the space of 30 minutes!

Y is 1 month old

Y is now 1 month old. When she was born, she didn’t look all that similar to Ads. Of course all infants look somewhat alike, so whether the slight resemblance between Y and A was due to the fact that they are siblings or simply because all babies look somewhat ET-ish and monkey-like (what sacrilege to call my own kids such names!) was not clear. As the days go by, however, the resemblance is uncanny. She is several shades darker than Ads. She is heavier and chunkier. She doesn’t have his gorgeous eyelashes and eyebrows and her eyes and nose are very different from his. However these dissimilarities seem to matter not at all, as these 2 photos prove. I am amazed to see how alike Ads was, at the same age.
Quiz for the day -- which one of the above snaps is that of Advaith and which one of Yukta? Okay, I know this is a no-brainer; but please, no peeking at the date stamp!!!

Thursday 27 November 2008

On the first three weeks as a mom of two

Y is now 3 weeks old. She’s an absolute ANGEL – there is no other word for her (I hope she doesn’t make me eat my words anytime soon!). She is an angel primarily because she allows me to rest by herself sleeping close to 20 hours a day. A lower-maintenance kid I did not expect. She has to be gently prodded and shaken awake in the nights so that she can nurse. We actually manage to get solid 2-3 hour chunks of sleep. What a blessing!

I was wondering whether I would remember all the basics of infant/baby care. It seems so long ago that I had to care for Ads the infant. But I guess some things, you don’t forget (not for a while anyway). Nursing, burping, diaper-changes, soothing – all the old tricks came back without consciously trying to remember them. S and I have our night-time routine down pat. He sets the alarm every 2.5 hours, wakes Y up by changing her diaper (we found this was the most effective method because she abhors diaper changes), and hands her over to me to nurse. She invariably falls asleep after her feed, so all I have to do is burp her and set her down for another few hours.

She is beginning to look a lot like Ads too, especially when she is asleep. Unfortunately, unlike her brother, she has not inherited her father’s beautiful brows and eyelashes – what an asset it would have been for her! Physically she is a lot chunkier, a few shades darker than Ads and also has much larger eyes. Ads could have easily passed for a Thai or Filipino child at that age.

We have been at the receiving end of not a few temper tantrums and erratic behaviour by Ads. It is taking an enormous amount of patience and understanding to deal with him. There has been a certain amount of regression in some areas – more potty accidents, for example. His English language skills seem to have decreased somewhat and his teacher reported an inability to listen in class. I try not to be near him when I am nursing Y, and practically the only time I play with her is when he is at school or at the park or occupied outside the house. S and I try to be the ones to feed him, bathe him etc but the attention of four adults obviously isn’t enough for my little tyke, who’s been enjoying a monopoly over the affections of the household for the last 3 years!

Monday 10 November 2008

Yukta arrives

Our daughter Yukta arrived at 7.27 am on Nov 5th. My due date was the 4th and I was pretty sure she'd arrive that day. The 4th went by quickly, since we were all busy watching the US Presidential elections. My bag of waters broke at 11 pm, S and I were in the hospital by 11.30 and honestly thought that the baby would be out by 2 am. But my contractions were so mild and fitful that S and I actually managed to doze off for an hour or so. At 5.30 am, the doctor decided to introduce Pitocin to speed up the contractions. They came hard and fast after that, so much so that I was forced to request for a painkiller (there went my dreams of an all-natural, drug-free birth like I had with Ads!). Within 30 mins of taking the pain medication, I was ready to push -- it was with a deep sense of deja vu that I experienced the next 1/2 hour. I had dilated so rapidly that the doctors and nurses were caught totally unprepared and there was a mad scramble as they fought to get ready for the birth. The obstetrician, a young woman called Dr. Kane, was really nice. She got herself into position, smiled brightly and said "Get set to welcome your baby!" After 10 minutes of excruciating pain and pushing, there she was -- our little daughter. It was a very emotional moment for S and me.

We were in hospital just for a day and back home by the 6th afternoon. Yukta looks a lot like Ads at the same age, prominent nose and all. Big brother is slowly getting reconciled to the loss of his monopoly.

Wednesday 29 October 2008

Of Ads' English language skills

Advaith's English has improved considerably after starting preschool. His powers of observation are acute (not a trait he has picked up from me, that's for sure!). He can seamlessly weave in long words (which nobody has taught him but which he has observed people using) into everyday sentences, and he gets the context right 99% of the time although the grammar may often be wrong. Some samples:
"I am so interest in going for school", explaining why he wants to attend school all 5 days, instead of 3!
Another one (he asked me this before his birthday party) - "Are u exciting, mommy?"!!!

I was shocked a couple of days ago when he seriously explained to me that in case thanga-papa cannot come out on her own, the nurse will use a "vaccum set" to pull her out! I couldn't think of where he'd picked that up but then realized that he was innocently playing near me when I was watching a birth refresher slideshow on the laptop, and even though he wasn't looking at the screen, he must have been hearing every word.

The tiniest bit of impatience sets in

I had promised myself that I would not get antsy in the last few days/weeks of the pregnancy. After all, I've been through this before and know as well as anybody that the coma-inducing exhaustion following the arrival of an infant is best put off as long as possible. But I can't help myself fantasizing - fast-forwarding to the actual moment of birth, that huge incomparable adrenaline rush and the tearful bliss of holding my newborn in my arms for the very first time. So sometimes this impatience has been getting the better of me, especially on days when the back is acting up or when I am feeling especially tired.

Well....less than a week to go....must hang in there ;-)

Thursday 23 October 2008

On having my bed back again (after three years!) and losing it in one day...

We’ve always (like most Indian parents) been “bed-sharing” with Ads (I didn’t know that terms like co-sleeping, bed sharing or attachment parenting existed before we started living in the US. Names for what occurs naturally in Indian and most Asian and African cultures!) It has been a very cozy, intimate if sometimes somewhat uncomfortable experience. As he has grown bigger, he occupies more space and ends more nights spread-eagled diagonally across our super-size Cal-King mattress, leaving S and me clinging to the edges of the bed for dear life. For a while during the second trimester, I took refuge in a body pillow lent to me by a friend and effectively created a Lakshman-Rekha between myself and the father-son duo. Predictably enough, my state of nocturnal bliss did not last more than a few days; before long I found father and son cuddling up inside the body pillow and myself on the fringes. No matter – I promised myself, once my parents arrived, I would transition Ads to sleep in their bed and so end this tug-of-war once and for all.

For several weeks after they arrived, we had been trying to motivate Ads to move to their bed with no success. 3 days ago, he was bribed by the prospect of Naani relating “avalo” (“lots of”) stories to snooze him into naptime – in contrast to stingy old mommy who would only relate one or two stories – and he decided he was better off napping in the grandparents’ room.

One small victory achieved, we redoubled efforts to move him to their room at night-time. A full-scale attack was launched 2 nights ago with mommy promising him that he could sleep in the bright blue-and-orange sleeping bag which was dumped in the store-room, Thatha promising him lots of stories and Naani throwing in the appeal of a cozy cuddle under a brand new comforter (my son adores being cuddled and hugged and kissed, only by select people of course!). The little fellow got super-excited and insisted on kicking off his bed-time routine right then and there, so we rushed through the nightly pee-pee, change into pajamas and brushing of teeth without further ado and got him settled, amidst much giggling and excitement, into his new “bed”.

I must admit to a wonderful sense of relief on having my side of the bed to myself. S seemed to have separation anxiety though. He missed watching Ads staring silently into space for 15-20 minutes at a time before he finally drops into sleep (S keeps wondering what he could be thinking about!), he missed waking up umpteen times during the night to check that Ads is still under the covers, he missed throwing an arm over his son and resting his cheek against his……….as for me, the freedom to twist and turn any which way I please for these last few days before another little thing arrives to claim the middle space in our bed far outweighs these considerations.

However, I celebrated my "victory" a little too soon, because last night Ads insisted on me accompanying him to his new bedroom and whenever I made a tentative move to go back to my room, his lower lip would tremble dangerously and his beautiful eyes would shine with unshed tears. Soon enough, he asked me (in a heartbreakingly sweet voice) - "Can I sleep in my own bed with you and appa, pleeeeeeez?" Who had the heart to refuse?

He has bought time with promises to sleep with Naani and Thatha after "thanga-papa" (baby sister) arrives. In the meantime, we will try, try and try again until we succeed. S is secretly gleeful at the turn of events!

Wednesday 15 October 2008

Creative instincts

A sample of Advaith's artwork over the last few months. I'm running out of places to plaster them especially as he now goes to preschool three days a week and invariably brings his craftwork home.

My little helper

I try to get Advaith involved in as many household chores as I can. An example is when I enlisted him to help me clean and prep all the baby gear yesterday - stroller, car seat, rocker, bassinet and so on. All I have to do is give him some wet wipes, soapy water and a sponge and he is occupied for atleast 30 minutes! He has been very good with things like separating mint leaves/grapes from their stems, mixing dough for chapathis etc when I am expecting company. Of course all this creates extra work and mess for me to deal with after he's done but it's worthwhile to see the sense of accomplishment shining on his face.

Tuesday 14 October 2008

Countdown to Labo(u)r Day!

Eaxctly 2 more weeks to go until my due date. The last month of pregnancy has to be THE honeymoon period for the fortunates like me. An array of help in the form of mom, dad and spouse ensures that I have to do nothing but RELAX. I have been spending time reading books and magazines, watching DVDs and indulging in my favourite activity - tidying up the apartment and clearing out all the junk. This pregnancy has also been a lot easier - mentally and physically. The minor aches and pains are as nothing compared to the overwhelming anxiety I experienced with Advaith. My hospital bag is packed and now we just wait.

First day of preschool

3rd Sep arrived. It started off badly enough. A had woken up in the middle of the night, in the grasp of a night-terror. It was obvious to us that the thought of school was making him apprehensive. In the morning, he maintained that he would NOT go to school and he would NOT get ready. It took a lot of cajoling and bribing (I’ll buy you a firefighter costume if you get ready for school!) before he would get dressed and eat breakfast. He obligingly posed with a smile for the camera as I crouched behind it, feeling horribly sad and terribly proud all at once. I’d chickened out of dropping him at school, fearing he’d never let me go so S had to do the honours. We were saved by the bell – the fire-truck bell! As soon as they entered the classroom, A saw a fire-truck and a firefighter’s costume and he was set for the day! S lingered for 20 mins and silently made his exit when he saw that A was playing happily in his corner. I was skulking in the car, feeling miserable and edgy (for no reason, as it turned out). When S came back to the car with a smile on his face, I knew everything must have been smooth and that’s when I stopped biting my nails. Much ado about nothing? That should be the title of this blog post!

Since then, he has loved going to school and Ms Pam is one of his favourite people. He doesn’t allow me to stay for more than a couple of minutes at drop-off time. I am dismissed with a casual wave of the hand and a perfunctory kiss.
As they say, the separation anxiety is always more for the mom than for the child!

Build-up to preschool

Advaith started part-time preschool on 3rd September 2008. For months before this event, I had been walking around with a lump in my chest. A lump of fear, not sadness! A has always been a fairly clingy child, more so after we moved to the Bay Area and I was the only adult around 24*7. On playdates, he would start wailing if I as much as went to the bathroom. S had suggested that I leave him for an hour or two at a friend’s place, a couple of times, to get him accustomed to the idea of mommy not being around. That never happened. So it was with extreme trepidation that I awaited his reaction to the separation that school would entail. I prepared him by reading aloud a lot of books about the first day of school, and by talking to him incessantly about all the fun he’d have there.
S (who happens to be right on most things, most of the time!) has always maintained that A is a “big-game player”. “Hmmm….let’s see”, is what I said.

Friday 10 October 2008

Why I'm blogging -- and why I should stick with it!

I am writing this blog for the same reason every other mother does – an online record to supplement the ever-increasing and selective memory loss that comes with the passage of time. Advaith my elder one is 3 now and sometimes I can’t remember specific events that happened when he was a baby or even a toddler (which, after all, was not so very long ago). I maintained a baby book for the first year of his life, and was it a dedicated effort! Every milestone and every toothy smile, every minor illness and every vacation, was faithfully recorded for posterity. But the only effort I have been capable of for the last 2 years has been a disciplined compilation of photographs which are then uploaded and organized on Flickr/Picasa. I’d like to do more with the second one on the way, and S points out that I have the fairly unique perspective of having parented a child in India and now in the US, and therefore I might have a different take on many issues. Perhaps.