Friday, September 28, 2012

Three years!

The son turns three. I think that is a big milestone in the early years. Of the three years, this is the second best year (the very first year beating it purely because of how many milestones it crammed into it and how completely sickness-free it was ;) )

He has gone from a barely speaking toddler to a non-stop talkative young boy! Sometimes I find it hard to imagine that there was a time when he did not know how to talk! :) Every day he surprises, entertains, delights and enlightens with something new to say.

Last year, I had just one prayer for the coming year and all years on. Little to no sickness. And for that reason this year has been one of great reliefs. Except for a serious bout of sickness when my mother in law was last hospitalized, when he had to be on antibiotics, kept throwing up everything we fed him and what not, he has not had any major incident. On and off, one or two days here and there, fevers, runny noses have been there, but I can count them on one hand. Touch wood. I hope it continues on this way.

His eating habits continue to be a concern. He seems to hate chewing at all. Even when he does manage to chew something, he gets bored mid-way and either spits it out or gulps it as is. Because of which his food still has to be mashed and given. And at the right ambient temperature. One good thing about it is that he does not eat any junk food at all. No chips, fries, ice creams or anything outside food at all. Even if we visit somewhere or go for dinner, his meals are always freshly packed home made ones. We have to coax him to have ice cream and that too after one spoon he won't touch it again because it is cold ;) Feeding him is still a big ritual, but I do manage to give him small meals every two hours.

He lost one of his grandparents last year and for that, this year will be always remembered. This is his first birthday without a full four:(

I am often amazed at how empathizing and understanding the guy is. (I also saw his teachers write the same comments about him in his school record, but I guess they write nice things about everyone). He is amazingly caring, shows an immense grasp of situations which is more often than not, very adult-like. Just yesterday, I told him to watch over his baby-cousin while all of us had our dinner since the infant was sleeping on the couch and my sister had to finish dinner before he woke up. The guy dutifully watched 2 minutes of his Mickey show and threw a glance at his cousin, and went back to watching his show and then again threw a glance at his brother! Amazing. One other time when he made me particularly proud was when my brother-in-law's family was visiting - I was particularly apprehensive to keep the house quiet for them through the day since the younger cousins had come from afar and were jet-lagged. My mother in law was also at home for a brief spell at that time and so it was all the more critical. I used to tell him to stay quiet so others can rest and he actually, regardless of how sick he was feeling or how frustrated his weakness made him, would always comply.

That way he is a very complying kid as well. He understands why you are asking him to not do something and he stays away from it. Don't like to call it obedience, but for the lack of a better word, I tell him he is a very obedient kid ;) The other day he cried while I dropped him off at the daycare after almost a year!! I told him how, if he cries when going to school, Amma becomes sad and Amma also cries and calls the teacher again and again to make sure that he is OK. I told him, if he goes to school without crying, Amma is very happy (Normally he goes very quietly, stopping all the way about 4-5 times, to turn back and wave. And I wave very enthusiastically back with a beaming face). So, the next day he did not cry and in the evening actually asked me "Amma happy?". I was overwhelmed:) I really hope he only improves on his already excellent temperament. It is so evolved already that I sometimes fear it might only go downhill from here.

Sometimes, I also wonder if he has aged too fast. He stays away from playing in dirt and in general doesn't mess around. He always tucks his toys and clothes back where they belong and is a stickler for cleanliness. If there is something on his person that doesn't belong there, like a drop of milk or a spot of food, he won't let me hear the end of it till I clean it up. I actually wanted a kid who was like me in that sense so I would not have to clean up after him/her (pure laziness) - I guess my wish was fulfilled ;)

Physical injuries, has been one big-bang injury a year so far :( The first year, he dropped a 6 KG transformer on his big toe. Second year, some kid pushed him in school and he had a big gaping gash on his chin. Third year, he ran round and round, hit himself on the couch and split open his lip, with blood strewn all over the house. All of the injuries bear visible marks (the ones on the face are very sad to look at especially :( ). I hope for this year, in addition to no sickness, he also has no big physical injuries.

How far did we come as parents? I don't know the answer to that. I am a lot more patient than I was four years ago. I shout at him much lesser, get frustrated much lesser, am able to use presence of mind to steer and divert attention rather than use confrontation more often :) (Although I forget still, instincts rule most times) So I guess they are my big achievements. I still obsess about his food though. This obsession has to be seen to be believed ;)If he has not had anything to eat for two hours, I get all jittery. I have to feed him SOMETHING. And I hate doing anything else in the middle of his meal-time routine, even attending a small phone call or answering the door-bell. It is an obsession I have been trying to get away from. But old habits die hard. It was stuck in my mind since he was an infant that as long as he has had enough to eat and enough to sleep, everything else falls in place. And so it carries on. Subhash I think was always perfect, I don't think that guy can improve much on what he already is. The best dad :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A full house!

Mom went back to Hyd last week to sort a few things (patients, home etc) and is back today with my sis and her new born. Once again, it is a full house! It is simply lovely to have everyone around, parents, father in law, sister, her new born. Rohan was super excited on the way back from school today in the anticipation of seeing his pinni and ammamma.

Rohan's birthday is this Thursday and we have managed to have all the family together for this day so far every year. Hoping for many more years ahead.

The nephew seems to have taken quite a liking for me ;) He gets easily consoled when I carry him around and try and soothe him. He smiles when I make gestures for him and what not ;) Of course, I am bragging. I feel good about being able to quieten him when he is crying, so one's gotta brag ;)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Of making babies

I was talking to someone who is going through a bad mis-carriage phase right now. It is tough on folks, both partners in fact. Not just the physical stress and pain but also the mental trauma, especially if this is not the first time it is happening.

But this is a phenomenon that is here to stay. When a good chunk of my friends were having kids, I saw so many of them go through multiple mis-carriages that it started to seem the normal thing to happen. And I had seen them (especially the women) go through hell. I was telling this guy the other day, that it is hard for his wife additionally since we are all subconsciously conditioned that the ability to make babies is the only thing that makes us complete as women (I don't know how many of you remember that yuck number equation in a movie called Sundarakanda where Venkatesh neatly sums up at what stages in a woman's life, points are added to her womanhood, till finally when she has a baby, she gets 100 points, thus making her the complete woman - I always found it nauseating, even as a 11 year old kid)

But in my mind it was always a feminine topic. That only women suffer such mental trauma. But what I realized is, it is no different for guys. In fact it is probably worse. When a man figures he cannot make babies, I think it hits his ego way harder than it does a woman. It is a question of his man-hood much more than it is for a woman a question for her woman-hood.

Infertility is a growing problem. The number of infertility clinics is on the rise. Even movies are being made about them. But it is still a taboo to talk about it. If you go through infertility treatments, it is always a hush-hush. There was much appreciation in Bollywood when Aamir-Kiran declared their baby was born via surrogate. And everyone admired them for coming out in the open and admitting it. But really, considering no one had seen Kiran ever getting pregnant with a big belly, they would have had people speculate anyway. The only thing they did by announcing was to kill speculation. A smart PR move. Bagged some brownie points for being embracing and honest about infertility treatment etc. If it was a more discreet method, like say IVF, I wonder if they would not have passed it off as a normal conception and pregnancy.

So I think, the bottom-line is, as human beings, we are still tied to the most basic and raw elements of pride. That of making babies and furthering the human race! We can go the moon, Mars, you name it. But if we discover the inability to have babies, we feel inadequate. Like not worthy human beings, men or women. This is what I have found at any rate. So much for being the most advanced and refined of all living species.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A day of indulgence!

The salon at Leela has moved to UB City because the facility here is undergoing some much-needed maintenance. I was debating if I should go back to my old hair-dresser who is now in Koramangala or to just go to UB City. Finally figured, since we never visited UB City, might as well go there.

The mall is great. We loved the atrium area. Need to go back once again to check it out at leisure. Yesterday we were too much in a hurry to do anything peacefully. My monthly routine plus son's haircut plus mom's routine etc. Subhash was the ultimate in chivalry and indulged us all very patiently. My mom's pedicure was very well done and totally worth the time spent there. I loved the way her feet looked. I have always seen them with cracks and this was very neat, very nice.

The son's haircut sessions become more and more haircute! He looks so sweet perched on top of that salon chair with pillows etc with the cape around him and patiently getting his hair cut. It overwhelms me like little else. Yesterday his session took 45 minutes since his hair-dresser had to hop between appointments as he started late with him. Yet, the son sat in his chair and waited and got it done all very nicely. Proud!

And in all that crowd at the M&W UB City, I was happy, I mean genuinely happy and delighted when I saw my usual faces - the Leela staff. Now, I've been going there for three years and it is a far cry from where I started with this post. Now they are more friends, recognize when I call for an appointment and in general make you feel welcome. Maybe I have turned Page3 now? ;)

Friday, September 07, 2012


So a colleague recently came back from the US and kept getting us Lindor Truffles everyday. Day before yesterday, I was feeling fattened by them, so I decided to keep them in my office to eat later. There was also a Ghirardelli Square (86% dark, let's just call it GD)

Yesterday morning, I checked and both Lindors were gone, along with my bag of raisins, which I normally stock (mostly for eating with Lindt 90% dark chocolate - if you have not tried it, you are missing something). The GD and the bag of dates were intact.

So I sent an email to campus security, notifying them of this incident. Since I assumed, the folks who ate the other stuff were not interested in the dates and GD that they left behind, I let them be where they were.

This morning, those also were gone. I sent them an email again and lamented the incident. In 15 minutes, two officers were in my cabin, explaining that the night cleaning crew had admitted to eating stuff. Normally they are accompanied by security officers while the cabin is unlocked and cleaned. Apparently the food was shared with generous good-will amongst everyone (partners in crime). And they also informed me that both parties were terminated. Terminated! I felt a jolt and a pang of guilt. I just caused two folks a job-loss :( I repeatedly asked the security officers if they cannot just let them go with a warning. They said they cannot :(

This is the classic dharam-sankat. On the one side, there is the argument that this time it was food, next time it can be something more precious (I have lost photographs earlier when I was occupying a cube, since which I stopped putting anything outside, till I moved into a cabin, assuming that since I lock it, the stuff is safe). Or that it was the right thing to do so more people don't start seeing thefts. But then on the other side, was a little bit of food worth a job for a couple of men? :(

I guess the midde-ground is that I stop stocking any food, so I don't tempt anybody into flicking it off in the first place. Is that a win-win for everyone?

Oh god!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

This day that year

This year, the Labor Day holiday in the US seemed to ring a vague bell in my mind. I went back and checked the calendar in 2001, it was correct! In 2001, when I started my MS course at Madison, Labor Day weekend was the same, September 3 was Labor day! Madison always started the Fall semester right after Labor Day weekend and Sept 4th was the beginning of classes. Some dates just hover in your mind I guess ;)