Thursday, June 30, 2011

Of tears and fears

I dont think any of us recall our first day at our very first school. Well really the first time we went at a fixed time, on a fixed day, to a fixed place, where Mommmy was not around. Do we rememeber the tears? Probably not.
Well I did not know how much I cried, if at all. I am told that I skipped off to nursery without looking back because I was seriously bored at home by myself.

So the time comes to get back to work and send 'my precious' to the nursery. After having his company - 9 in and 12 out - it was hard to let go. To let someone else know how to look after my precious, how to soothe him, make him smile and feed him, how to lay him to sleep, how to wipe his nose and when to give him water. It was hard just thinking about it. The time approached for him to be left at the nursery and so I gathered the troops - the husband was booked on leave for the first day at nursery, and who else did I summon - but my mom, yes I needed to hold her hand in mine, while I let go of my other hand and handed over precious to his key worker. The husband and I smoked a sneaky stressed out 'this-is-hard cigarette' and that DID not help at all. We both felt and looked quite helpless and pleased at the lack of tears, but felt a giant punch of emotion at leaving precious in the nursery for a few hours.

There are few, if any, things that a parent would do, that would make their child unhappy and cry..and this is one of them (the other being medicines and vaccinations). And it was hard to say bye, watch his face turn upside down, and leave. The fact that I cried hard and long enough for my contact lenses to actually fall out..did not make things better. Perhaps some day I shall laugh about this. But for now we are trying to settle in and learn to live apart! All this time I worried about precious having a hard time and crying..and I forgot, well honestly, I did not even think/imagine how hard it would be for me as well. But hey I am all grown up and should behave so. WELL!!!

So this grown up, ofcourse turned to her mother and told her, almost enlightened in her approach, that it is hard to let go of a child. And she nodded sagely back at me, smiled and said, 'I know'. And I am well over the 30 mark, and yet I still thinking, ma knows everything!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Women We Become

This is from Maggie O'Farrell's new book - The Hand that First Held Mine. Found it touching. Here is goes.

The Women We Become After Children:
We change shape, we buy low heeled shoes, we cut off long hair. We begin to carry in our bags half-eaten rusks, a small tractor, a shred of beloved fabric, a plastic doll. We lose muscle tone, sleep, reason, perspective. Our hearts begin to live outside our bodies. They breathe, they eat, they crawl and - look! - they walk, they begin to speak to us. We learn that we must sometimes walk an inch at a time, to stop and examine every stick, every stone, every squashed tin along the way. We get used to not getting where we were going. We learn to darn, perhaps cook, to patch the knees of dungarees. We get used to living with a love that suffuses us, suffocates us, blinds us, controls us. We live. We contemplate our bodies, our stretched skin, those threads of silver around our brows, our strangely enlarged feet. We learn to look less in the mirror. We put our dry-clean-only clothes to the back of the wardrobe. Eventually, we throw them away. We school ourselves to stop saying 'shit' and 'damn' and learn to say 'my goodness' and 'heavens above'. We give up smoking, we colour our hair, we search vistas of parks, swimming-pools, libraries, cafes for others of our kind. We know each other by our pushchairs, our sleepless gazes, the beakers we carry. We learn how to cool a fever, ease a cough, the four indicators of meningitis, that one must sometimes push a swing for two hours. We buy biscuit cutters, washable paints, aprons, plastic bowls. We no longer tolerate delayed buses, fighting in the street, smoking in restaurants, sex after midnight, inconsistency, laziness, being cold. We contemplate younger women, as they pass us in the street, with their cigarettes, their makeup, their tight-seamed dresses, their tiny handbags, their smooth, washed hair, and we turn away, we put down our heads, we keep pushing the pram up the hill.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Time does fly. And its been flying superfast for the past few months or so.
I have done nothing much apart from being mommy and doing my best at that. And that I can tell you is a lot of work. this time. I have spent the longest time ever in India in the past 11 years..spent a whole 3 months wallowing in the nothingness at home. enjoying afternoon naps with mommy, eating lovely food with MIL and not missing the husband as he kept dropping by..because he 'missed us' though i think he dropped by because he thought he was 'missing out' on something!

Apart from that..i missed out the cold cold snowy part of London..which somehow i wish i had not..i like the cold. the colder, the better for me. I missed new year coming in and going out. I still dont think of Cameron as PM and the CSR in India recently dawned on me. So I am have missed on feeling of elation, surprise, delight, disgust and indignation.

The boy went to India as a cute baby, got the delhi-belly business and came back thinner, longer and now turned into an ape. tail-less monkey indeed. Impossible is nothing. well he gives this cliched line a proper shot. from copying me by trilling, grabbing what he cant/shouldnt etc. and also discovering his yelling voice. ah. that at 3am! go figure!

I have missed not being at work. I have missed the banter at work and the feeling of not being home, so finding returning home...well something to look forward to and something i liked doing. I miss not wearing smart clothes each morning and walking out of the door. I also miss not being able to get out and about on my own. to not be able to talk and call people when i want. I miss the feeling of being one of the commuters on the train to work, with alarm clock woken eyes, damp hair and a newspaper. I have missed out on the news and dont know much about what happens outside the little world of baby and me. Have stopped playing with my iPhone. Just a lot of things have gone. Life has changed into something beyond recognition.

yet. I have the time to read, slow progress and no book gobbling happening..but yes I do read. I like that.
Yet. I have the time to talk my family, quite often. I like that.
I sometimes have the time to speak to my friends who have not abandoned all hope of my reappearing. i like that.
Some family and friends drop by, invite me to meals, to give me a break. I like that.
I escape to watch the odd film, chat till late night over pizza with friends while baby is with his papa. I like that.
Plans on work in kashmir continue to be made. I like that.

Life has changed. Sometimes the degree of the change gets to me and I am desperate for a breather...and I dont always get one. But imagining a life without my smiley bubba with his 1.5 teeth is not possible. I guess the fact that he shall go into a day care centre sometime soon..keeps me sane. Its all fun being around a baby, but its tiring and you do need a break. Lets hope I am not the one who cries more when i drop him off at the nursery.