Thursday, June 12, 2008

Daytime blog

Off late, I see that I am writing more about serious stuff like philosophy, trust and taken-for-gr anted women. SO I thought I'd write about something different. The difference is not that this topic is not serious, but it is just that it might not be as serious to you as it is to me and that would make a not-s0-serious reading. You might laugh a bit, but sense of humor is not a must have for a woman anyway since sense of humor is like beauty for men and women need to have beauty no matter what (and I'll kick but of humility and admit just once, that I am not horrible looking! LOL)

So, after my long enough prologue, (yeah, I talk a lot) I'll announce what I am writing about. It feels good to blog in the afternoon, under the endless cathedral ceiling of our formal living room when sunlight peeps thru the maple wood blinds creating a candle light effect on things around me. Aarti is watching her infant hood tapes, and before her attention span burns out, I better put my touch typing skills to use and finish off with this venture.

A day in the life of a Toddler's mom.

(disclaimer - I am blogging about an average day with average timing of things we do. It may be better or (usually) worse than what it is depicted to be.

8:00 hrs - I try to do some stuff before she gets up, but usually I just end up brushing and nature calls and browsing thru a fresh copy of the Wall Street Journal (if sarat didn't already take it to work in hopes of reading it on BART)

8:30 hrs - My reading bliss is punctuated with guilt of not doing the laundry or last night's dishes so this is not exactly the bliss one imagines it to be.

8:40 hrs - Toddler stirs in the bed impatiently and displays her lung capacity by yelling to me in repeated intervals. I drop the messy newspaper on the floor and run to her rescue. Toddler still feels lazy to get out of bed. She forces me to cuddle with her and tell her the story of Hita's birthday party for the millionth time in my life. I oblige hopelessly!

8:55 hrs - I convince her that she needs to brush her teeth before she could listen to any more stories. Our fight for the day commences with the teeth brushing routine. Toddler has more collection of brushes and tooth pastes than Purutchi Talaivi allegedly has jewelry or shoes. I offer her choices, she picks up a pink or blue paste and the Dora or Soccer ball brush. after a good 20 mts, the process of selecting brushes, paste and brushing with an attempt to minimize swallowing happens. The whole process is sprinkled generously with stores about having to go the doc if tooth brushing routine is not followed. The doc story works like a charm. Dr. Homer our super sweet pediatrician has no idea, poor man, that he is the substitute of Gabbar Singh in our daily routine!

9:15 hrs - Now the battle to give toddler a bath starts. Toddler is very fond of water, so bathing her is not as big a challenge as making her to make me give the bath is. The fun and freedom loving toddler wants to empty the water resource in Dublin paired with the bottle of Aveeno bath gel before she decides to get out of the tub. Toddler's recent obsession is the bubble bath that I foolishly introduced her to. Now after every attempt to use the big potty, toddler insists on a bubble bath instead of a "wash/wipe butt routine.

9:45 hrs - after the long process of bathing is done, the process of selecting a towel to dry the toddler starts. Toddler usually prefers a fresh and colorful towel after every bath routine. No, she is not concerned about the greenness of our planet - unfortunately!

9:55 hrs - It'll take me a good 25 minutes and lots of exercise to the lungs and legs before toddler gets herself moisturised, sun screened and dresses. I am skipping the part of messing the closet selecting her outfit because you might think that I am dramatizing details and I do not want people to get me wrong :-)

10: 20 hrs - Easily the worst part of the day. Getting the toddler to eat the first meal of the day. She would have had her glass of milk on getting up, but getting her to eat something like cereal or some crackers with string cheese is like a torture of first degree. I try not to give in but I usually do probably due to lack of will power or patience or sheer perseverance or probably because the toddler did not inherit the lack of these qualities form her mom!

11:10 hrs - The day is still not even into early noon and the stress starts showing on how I handle myself. By now, my hair is all frizzy and my complexion is all ruddy and the stress eating gets a jump start as I polish off the barely nibbled string cheese and barely touched honey bunches of oats with a cup of organic milk, leaving no trace that needs to be cleared in the wash basin. Toddler decides to munch on the apples that I diced for myself in an attempt to lose the seriously post-partum ponch!

11:30 hrs - Toddler wants to either get her face painted, or read a book with amma or meddle with amma's tolietries or pretend play and make amma some coffee in her kitchen. The reader should notice that 'AMMA' is the buzz word in all these activities. Amma usually ends up doing a 2o time imposition of any chosen routine including the face painting thing (yes, including the face painting)

12:15 hrs - Amma realises it is past noon and time to take a shower. Toddler takes advantage of amma being locked in a shower. Toddler pulls amma's glasses out of the night stand, puts on amma's moisturiser all over her feet and in the process on the area rug in the bedroom, toddler tries to pull out amma's nikon form its case to capture herself or just plain pulls out all the neatly folded laundry that amma postponed to put away last night in a desperate need of sleep.

12:25 hrs - I walk into a scene that resembles more of a battle field and less of a bedroom. Unable to decide where to start, I leave the mess as it is till another bout of energy hits my nerves.

12:35 hrs - I finish my preoccupied daily prayer as I am trying to consolidate the things to be done in the coming hours. Toddler insists on blowing the candle I just lighted to make the home get rid of the morning's cooking. Toddler goes crazy spotting a candle since she is looks at a lighted candle as an opportunity to sing a happy birthday song!

13:00 hrs - After making the toddler do all that she wants to do , I attempt to eat my meal before feeding her hers (it has to be in this order for the mom to stay conscious to feed the toddler)

13:10 hrs - toddler orders for a complicated dish - usually aloo or gobi paratha. I make it diligently without complains as I save my complaints for the evening when toddler's dad comes home.

13:25 hrs - the tougher than the toughest part comes to play. Toddler comes up with all types of creativity to skip lunch. Toddler wants to feed while climbing up and down stairs, walking in the front yard and playing with the water faucet in the kitchen. I obey with mouth shut and nerves grating, but mouth shut as I'd said. The project-feeding is never a complete success in spite of all the climbing up and down stairs and playing with paint and water and creating a messier than messy kitchen and living space.

14:30 hrs - Dead meat me is in for the binge of her life. Gulping everything down that the pantry and kitchen has to offer. Food therapy is the best therapy of all.

14:40 hrs - Toddler insists on watching something on TV. Toddler never watches anything seriously but the volume has to be full and the program has to be always teletubbies or kelly kubbies. Some freaky looking alien like creatures bombard me loud and clear with something to the effect of "lala's ball, lala's ball, lala's favourite thing of all" times one million two hundred and twenty. The little grey matter that grows back in sleep everyday is dead by now and I am waiting for the toddler's dad to arrive home.

15:00 hrs - I call toddler's daddy to see when he would come home. The calls is answered by a freaky sounding shrill lady's voice that asks me to leave a message. Desperate, I cut off the line hitting the fridge for more strawberries and cream from Coldstone.

15:10 hrs - Toddler wants to go out and play. I drag her with one shoe on and one sock off to chucke cheese's or super franks or Barnes and Noble. The toddler is usually hyper in public places and runs like a little chicken on loose bumping into people who look at me like I need to take parenting lessons. I conveniently ignore that looks discounting them as too old to have forgotten their own kids' childhood or too young to have kids of their own.
Toddler puts up a fierce fight to get into the child restraint after the said outing. I manage to get her there with minimal force and threats in a fear of being mistaken for a child abductor. Toddler sulks for some time before she gets into the "gimme attention" mode. I use the time to quickly go thru mail and collect the bits of Lego block and toys on the floor before toddler's dad comes home.

17:30 hrs - toddler gets on the small trash can and uses it as a step to the big trash can and gets on the island while I cut veggies for evening dinner. I freak out and yell to keep her hands off of the cutting board. Her inquisitive side kicks in. We get into a playful 'what is this' mode asking questions and giving silly answers. Toddler learns a few new words of the day.

19;00 hrs ish - After repeated phone calls and tracing, toddler's dad finally shows up. Toddler jumps ecstatically at the sight of dad and runs into her dad and looks at me like she'd seen a crazy monster (me) for the first time ever in her life.

19:30 hrs - toddler's dad shows signs of fatigue already from being toddler's primary care giver for half hour. Heated arguments and name calling follows in a language that toddler cannot follow (responsible parents you see:-)0 and I agree to take toddler away for a while so that dad has some breathing space.

20:00 hrs - ( Details edited ) In short, the third and final meal of the day progresses at a snail pace punctuated with lots of extreme scenes where toddler's dad and I exchange verbal weapons (edited to keep the blog PG 13) and after a good hour and a half, I win half and lose my last ounce of patience and sanity.

21:30 hrs - After a quick bath and shunning the delicate white gap dress that metamorphoses like the rag I use to clean counter tops, Toddler chooses her tooth paste, brush and night dress. Dr. Seuss comes and goes a million times in the form of sleep book , cat in the hat and green eggs and ham before Toddler decides to sleep for the day. Not to mention, the practise for my vocal cords singing turtle dove and shiny Dinah a hundred times each.

22:30 - toddler is asleep and toddler's dad is co-ordinating with his off0shore team. I get to re-cap with PG Wodehouse for the fifteenth time since I'd rented it from the library. Deciding that library books are jinxed, I started buying the likes of Jackie Collins and Sandra Brown.

00-00 hrs - Toddler's dad and I settle on either side of toddler, sharing stories about her cute ways and little tantrums and looking at a peacefully sleeping toddler in the middle of the bed. For those who are curious when the toddler will have an infant sibling, this should answer their question.

Note: I omitted the regimes of diaper training and art and craft projects for easy reading.

Note again: I'd taken twenty three (no exaggeration) breaks and three re-boots of my lap top to complete this blog. rather, I'd taken 23 little breaks form being a toddler's mom to complete this blog. For those of you who are curious why my blogs are usually late-night, this should answer their question.

Yet another note: For all those who wonder what I do at home whole day, and if I work - Yes, I have a schedule tighter and more nerve wrecking than an average career woman and yes, I do work without the luxury of having a paycheck deposited in my account every other week. Mind you, I am not complaining. As my good friend Valentina once said when I was considering taking up a job, Money will certainly come but the time spent with a child at home being a full time mom is Priceless!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Sometimes it is hard to have trust. Actually a lot of times. I hear my friends sharing something with me and repeatedly telling me that it is classified information. Okay, why just my friends, I do that too! So my point of ponder today would be 'trust' or 'faith'. As a teenager when I was travelling alone in train, I met a young man who was my fellow passenger. I was leery of talking to him, let alone trusting him with something. He was a plain, normal young guy like me, almost of my age I guess. "Don't trust strangers. Don't eat anything anyone would offer" my mom's words rang in my mind loud and clear and I was looking at this guy like he is a threat to human kind. So, at a major station, where the train halted for quiet sometime, this guy got down and disappeared for sometime. He came back with a bunch of fruits munching on one. I tried to look away. He offered me a fruit. I took it, just to be polite. I didn't eat it.
"Please have the fruit" he urged me. "You look tired and it'll be a bit before we reach our destination" I didn't budge. Didn't think how concerned he was. I was plain rude and kept insisting that I was not hungry. After a while he stopped asking me and just put me on ignore. I probably deserved it:-)
It happens to us all the time. We are way to scared to trust people. We are scared of our trust being deceived or it might be some kind a defect that human beings have acquired in the modern world. Or it is just because words like trust don't make any sense in a endangered world where people look for opportunities to take advantage of others, or it is just because trusting someone at sometime had gotten us bad results.
My MIL, bless her heart, is a very kind woman. So after she retired from her services she wanted to sponsor a needy student. Who does she get to help? A loafer who lied to her about studying in some polytechnic college and kept on his highway robbery time and again asking money for fees and books till she learned one day about the deception. Now she thinks twice before she offers help to anyone.
So somewhere in between being trustful and trustworthy, we all lose the balance. It is a pity that we are advancing so well in many fields and that Apple guy outdoes himself with the IPhone ever other day but we seem to be so primitive in our basic things as trust, love and faith. We are in constant doubt about the people around us, even ourselves and most pitifully about the Almighty. I try to seek answers to these dilemmas in vain!
I'm often tempted to stop my car and give a lift to the guy eagerly looking for one but who knows if he would strangle me for money? The beggar around the corner of the block is probably buying drugs with the spare change he collects form people. The shopkeeper is probably cheating me on the price of the hiked rice - These are a few thoughts that cross my mind when I look around the world.
I once read in a book written by Swamy Vivekananda that we have to be filthy to notice the filth around us. There was an example quoted by him - something to the effect of saying a little kid would not identify a robber even if the thief does the robbery before the kid's eyes since the kid does not have a robber in him. Those words stuck me hard. We look around and form our opinions and look down upon all the bad things that happen around us. It is ironical that filth is everywhere including our own minds and we behave like a bunch of hypocrite bastards.
I do hope though, that Aarti would live in a world where being trustful or trustworthy does not come with a baggage and hope that I would not have to warn her about not trusting her own fellow human beings. I know I am dreaming but a mom can dream. Right??