Monday, June 19, 2006

Sweet Surrender (of a whole new kind!)

After dinner you are mine. No TV, no music, no chatting in the background. Just you, me and the peace and quiet of the upstairs. You are fed, cleaned, you look the picture of contentment…a toothless sleepy grin is my prize. I know the best way to get you to sleep is to leave you in your crib when you are drowsy so you can drift off. And you have shown us you can do that easily. But I take you on my shoulder and we walk from room to room, so you can continue to form your pictures. Pictures, which will one day, form your earliest memories. You look around, alert and bird-like, with your head bobbing ever so little, cooing at random. Slowly, you nuzzle and nudge your way into that favorite spot of yours where I can feel your breath on my neck. Your arm finds the comfortable perch of my forearm to hang off from (Something that you learned to do in your second month. When you were a newborn you slept like a koala with your hands curled tight underneath you). You are tucked into the crevice of my shoulder forming a perfect semi-globe, your little butt supported by my arm. There is a dull ache in my shoulder, one that keeps growing with your growing weight. One, which I have long ceased to pay heed to. As I arch my neck to make more room for you, I can feel that slightest shift of your weight. You are asleep, I can tell before I do my customary walk to the mirror to check if you are indeed, asleep. There is something infinitely trusting, infinitely innocent in that final give to sleep. I lay you down in your crib.

This has done me more good than it has done you, baby! Sleep tight. The pleasure, as they say, was all mine.

Now, if only ever night were this idyllic.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Electronic Babysitting

Mr.G: “Is it OK for him to be swinging for so long?

Mrs.G: “I didn’t find anything against it online

Mr.G: “Tell me you didn’t look at just the Fisher-Price website

OK so I didn't look too hard. But we all grew up in those jhulas ourselves didn’t we? They are omnipresent in a household with babies, every once a while spilling over to non-house locations too (Recall Indian Railways, any class, as long as you have parallel sturdy berths, there’s a sari/dhoti make-shift jhula quickly knotted up and in no time, a blissful baby can be found fast asleep inside)

Five years from now, for the Maharaja’s sake, I hope and pray some random study doesn’t end up with this in-situ result showing a close relationship between slower kids and the ones that spent an unmentionable number of hours in the Fisher-Price Nature’s Touch™ Baby Papasan™ Cradle Swing. Because this swing rocks. Not just in the way swings are supposed to but as in “It ROCKS my world”. It allows me to shower, eat, watch TV, talk on the phone and need-I-say, blog! It allows Gabby to catch up with her whole other non-mommy life and doesn’t make her feel like a bad mommy one bit. The baby is napping, and that’s good for him, isn’t it? He smiled in his sleep too, there you go.

I suspect my thoughts on this approach to buying oneself some time would have been very different 3 months ago. Let this be a lesson to me and to the person who grimaces at short-cuts in parenting, at crying babies in crowded flights (you feel cramped, bored and impatient yourself don’t ya?), the person who raises one eyebrow at pacifier-happy babies, who wonders about the need for security blankets in a disapproving tone or who wishes family-friendly restaurants mean you can bring your child but check him/her in with your coat at the door. You really need to be on the other side of the fence for this one.

Now when I pass mini-vans with purple dinosaurs dancing in the darkness, I don’t cluck my tongue or shake my head. Instead I wonder if these can be coupled with vibrating car-seats. You know, to cover the transitional stage.