The relationship between a husband and wife cannot be complete without an argument, a disagreement or a cold war. The reality is, most of the times it’s just a way of renewing the love and affection that has faded or is lost somewhere in the midst of the various responsibilities that the couple are burdened with and the rat race they are part of. But, there is one serious side-effect of these not-so-serious disputes, and that is the damage it does to the children.
Every parent has their own rough phases when it comes to parenting and the joy of parenting lies in overcoming each of these ‘obstacles’. I have heard from many parents including mine that the time when your child is an infant is the easiest period for parents. All that needs to be done is – Change, feed, burp, put them to sleep and then repeat all four again. On the contrary, much to my surprise and dismay, when I look back, our toughest was the first three months we had our first baby.
Parenting is a joint responsibility and nowadays it is not uncommon to hear expecting parents say “We are pregnant / expecting”, unlike the earlier days when it was the mother who would say, “I am pregnant” while the father will try to cling for a few more months on his boyish ways. Remember, Hugh Grant in the movie Nine months?
This year was my grandson’s first Diwali. It was a quiet celebration with four generations and twenty-five people getting together to introduce the newest member of our family to the festival of lights. Obviously he is too small to know the difference between one day and the next and till he actually goes to school and out into the big bad world every day will be a party for him.
As I ride behind my husband in the bike, with the son sandwiched between us, I gaze at the twinkling lights dotting the houses lined along the road. Homes, shops, even chai-walas, are adorned with rows and rows of serial lights, all dancing to different tunes, and huge paper lanterns in different shapes hanging in the middle. It is Diwali time, and the lights that came up a couple of days prior to Diwali are bound to remain put at least till the New Year. A whole month of happy lights!
Any parent will vouch for the fact that food is serious business as far as kids go. Even before the little ones learn to open their mouth and say Ma and Pa, they learn to clench their teeth and refuse to open it to the next spoonful of baby food. More baby food has been spilled on mother’s dress and floor than has ever gone in to the tummy of a kid.
… the mice are not out to play. Or are they?
Daddy has to go away sometimes. Travel for work as they call it. Boss says go for a 3 day conference, daddy goes for 5 – conference plus travel time plus reaching home in the middle of the night. 8 pm on the first day of his absence and you can see the child waiting for the bell to ring. Papa will come in a little while, you say. Dinner is had on the bed. Who will dip my roti in the daal, he asks a little perturbed.
Popping a baby alters your mind and body in significant ways. It’s easier for the body to get on with the motions: breastfeed, burp baby, rock, clean poo, wash nappie, take a bath, bathe baby, breastfeed, clean poo again, change nappy, breastfeed, eat your lunch, breastfeed, burp, change nappy, oops take a loo break yourself, breastfeed again, burp, sing, make funny faces, clean poo again. This time check colour of poo because you forgot last time, and damn, have you written down how many wet and soiled nappies? So write it down. Wait a minute, where is that bloody diary you wrote in yesterday?