Friday, May 23, 2008

Moppet v2.0

It feels like I have a new child in the house. Apparently, Moppet turned into a little girl overnight, the morning after she turned 2.

Suddenly she's not talking in sentences any more; it's paragraphs.
Mama, Papa, Moppet go swimming pool. Papa go swimming plant. I kick-kick-kicking. Moppet, Mama play with penguin. Moppet go DUM. Then uh-uh-uh (a coughing sound). Tha'one Moppet wed towel. Tha'one Mama blue towel. Where's Papa towel? Mama Papa sharing towel.....

Suddenly, pronouns have made their appearance, albeit not always, and still a little mixed up.
You go kitchen, I comeback drink dudu ok?
Mama, help you carry stool!
(meaning 'help ME carry the stool')
Shall we go libary? Yes? I shopping shopping books.
Iss waining! We need umbella!

Suddenly, she's bilingual, with the Hindi bits spoken in a hilarious Angrez accent.
Mama, where's Dora, kiddar hai Dora?
Mama, tha'one ladki iss girl!

Suddenly, she's a backseat driver.
Mama, you driving! No talking!
Now is green light turn. Now we go. Now is wed light turn. Iss stop.
Where is Papa driver? No Mama driving! Ok I driving driving.

Suddenly, she's fascinated by all things potty
Mama look! I making yellow potty!
Mama, are you prrrrrr? Moppet also prrrrr from the bum-bum.

Barney, are you potty? Yes?

Suddenly, she needs to do everything herself.
I making, I making!
I said no help you!

I still cannot fully fathom the changes she's gone through. Sleeping by herself in her own room, completely diaper-free during the day including at school, singing songs like Eechak-dana and Nani teri morni, having a conversation with her father at the breakfast table - I tell you, if you told me that an alien spaceship had swapped my baby with another little girl, I would half believe you.

There are clues that she's still my baby, though. She's as stubborn as ever. The mischief she gets upto sometimes looks like deliberate defiance - a testing of limits. The resistance to trying anything new is still extremely strong. The tantrums get more and more spectacular each time. She's getting better at sharing, but is still extremely possessive of me. And though she no longer cries when she's around adults she doesn't know, it's obvious that she prefers that they ignore her, just as she ignores them.

On the plus side, I've introduced time-outs and they seem to be working, at least for now. Most of the time, she's open to some reasoning and negotiation. Overall, this new and improved version is great. I'm not complaining, oh no.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Ten Commandments of New Motherhood

Sleep-deprived mother of two,
A Harried and Chaotic Moment, Manic Street,
The Near Future.

Toddler-survivor and mother of one,
A Calm And Reflective Moment, Zen Street,
The Recent Past.

Dear Mags,

In just a few weeks time (hoping all goes well) you will be upto your ears in bawling babies and excited family members, and calm reflection on second time motherhood will be the last thing on your mind.

So I thought I'd go over those mad first few weeks with Moppet and make a list of what I'd like to do differently this time around.

In those early days, when you feel like everything is spinning out of control, take a 10 second time-out to consider these Commandments:
I. Thou shalt not assume that thou art the only one who can do things just the way they need to be done for the babe. Thou shalt give thy partner a real chance to be a hands-on parent.

II. Thou shalt be more sensitive to thine own needs. Thou shalt not put thy body through the wringer trying to do it all. Thou art not superwoman.

III. Thou shalt call down lightning bolts on anyone who approaches with the babe, saying 'it must be hunger' within 5 minutes of his last feed.

IV. Thou shalt be more flexible about the babe's routine and not let the rest of thy life come to a complete halt.

V. Thou shalt not shush the entire household and tiptoe around the baby while he sleeps. [Ignore this commandment at thine own peril. Dost thou really want TWO children who wake up at the sound of a mouse's sneeze?]

VI. Thou shalt be more relaxed. Babes are tougher than they appear to be.

VII. Thou shalt make time for thy partner. He needs thy love and attention as much as the babes.

VIII. Thou shalt not let random comments about the size, shape, looks, and behaviour of thy babes affect thy sense of worth as a mother.

IX. Thou shalt make time to exercise, even if it is only for 15 minutes a day. The reward of good health and spirit alone is worth it. [But if thou needest material inspiration, consider also the brand new wardrobe thou canst purchase.]

Thou shalt not burden thyself with the worries of a future unknown. Glory instead in the sorrows and joys of this moment now and share in it with thy loved ones.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Because YOU'RE so nice...

Mother's Day conversation in our household:

Me: Did you know it's Mother's Day today? Huh?

The Husband: What? No, I didn't.

Long pause, pointed and laden with meaning on my part; completely peaceful, back-to-reading-online-comics on his.

End of conversation.


Some days I feel so taken for granted. Sure, it's a cushy life I lead - staying at home with the kid, full-time help, no money troubles - I know I'm luckier than most. But it's also a lonely life, and those jealous twinges that I get when I see batchmates and juniors update their professional profiles with fancy designations are painfully real.

The husband doesn't quite get it, I think. Because his life hasn't stopped. He still gets to travel, meet people, and apply his mind to something other than how to get a 2 year old to eat a decent meal, sleep on her own, and pee in the pot.

He's been really busy with work over the last month or so, and will continue to be till the end of this month. While I know it's because he wants to be as free as possible by the time Munch comes along, it also means that I've had to do a lot of the preparation for the new baby by myself. When I contrast it to how we did everything together with so much excitement when I was pregnant with Moppet, I feel terribly sorry for myself and Munch.

And though I'm looking forward to D-Day, somewhere in the back of my mind is the fear that it will somehow all fall to me to deal with both kids and that I just won't be upto it.

So anyway, for the last couple of weeks I've been chipping away at my to-do list, picking up all the small things, doing research on big items like car seats and prams, nagging the husband for feedback on my research, getting impatient 'don't panic, we'll do it next week' responses, making useless threats on the whole name situation, rubbing my aching back as far as I can reach on my own and wallowing in self-pity.

I have not, in short, been feeling very nice. So this 'Nice Matters Award'* from Sue, Lavs, and Null Pointer cheered me up tremendously. As did all the emails and comments from all of you asking what was up. Thanks again.

I swear if I hadn't found all of you I would've gone completely insane by now.

Passing it on to Sur, JLT, and Kiran.

*In the words of the originator of this award: This award will be awarded to those that are just nice people , good blog friends and those that inspire good feelings and inspiration! Those that care about others that are there to lend support or those that are just a positive influence in our blogging world!