I always seem to be out of breath. As a two year old’s Mom, with a work from home model (it is not easy, those who do it will concur), a home to manage in the absence of the husband currently living overseas, the solemn promise to self to stay fit (its important, I am a late parent and I have years of work ahead of me). It is me and the baby and her nanny. Someone would say “ C’mon its not that bad.. Stop it already” …Agree…But you know what, its not all great. Time management. And I am progressively getting insomniac. Post child birth my brain refuses to shut down. I wake up if a cat treads on my neighbours rooftop…You get the drift. And I hate that despite working from home I give my baby a consolidated 3 hours on weekdays. And of course the whole night of covering her every two hours , turning the fan off and on, switching the mosquito repellent on because I fear fancy diseases ( those who know me well will famously recount hypochondriac tales where muscle sprains have led to CT scans ) and turning it off (because FB posts on aerosols spur more hypochondriac-ism in me).
I feel like going for movies. When I do go to one, in the movie hall I feel miserable for being this awful mother for leaving my baby alone. Guilt is my favourite perfume when I step out of the house. You can see it more than you can smell it if you pay attention to my frozen facial muscles and unfocussed eyes. If you just told me your female dog is a nympho maniac I may laugh out the loudest but trust me I was also thinking if I ordered those diapers after all…. If you told me how awesome your vacay was I would make a point in my head to read up more about the place but all I end up reading (cross eyed of-course) is the thermometer grading.
Then the husband calls and to his hello I end up saying “Gotta go, our -cutie is turning into a scary thing”. Mom calls to tell me how her help got her traditional sesame laddoos whereupon I whine on how nothing is ok with my part time help who took the Monday off after I duly give her every Sunday off and how I am petrified that my full time nanny will feel used .I have never ever pampered anyone the way I have pampered my baby’s nanny. I give her a looooooong leash. Of course I clinch my teeth at times to the point where my molars look more bevelled than Victoria Beckam’s layered bob but literally eat away angry words and thoughts and force myself to see that lovely halo on my nanny’s head. Everyone has one I hear. Never seen it but I do see one on my nanny. I love her. At times my toddler showers her with such adulation and kisses that my innards singe with jealousy. But I still have that beatific smile on.
And what I am scared about? Being alone with my own child…without help. You see everything is about practice. About routine. What if she bawls and I am paralysed with mortification in a public place. What if she wants something and I can’t understand her demand? Such were some of the thoughts that circled my mind when I recently was supposed to travel and stay sans hubby and nanny. I was all alone with little cutie and my suspicion came to light. The little cutie is adorable when she is alone with one primary care giver. I think its self-preservation. This little tot, all of two, turns her charm on full blast when alone. No tantrums. No driving poor hapless baby caretaker up the wall. Simple. There is no audience to entertain. Meals go into the belly, self-soothing ensues, self-entertaining gets on auto. She is remarkably well behaved when alone. To be fair to her, I am relaxed too. I am able to give her time and am feeling great about it. We have been taking walks together. I have said yes to most of her requests. She does try and push the envelope but she comes around. I have never discussed this with friends or other moms mainly because I was not looking for advises or suggestions because we all eventually figure out things for ourselves. I am happy I did. They are right when they say “no one can reign in your baby more than you”. Its like you are primed to know them.
Also I guess it helps us when we know the buttons that turn us crazy. I cant keep cleaning constantly after her. I do it every three hours than every 30 minutes. Luckily the country I am visiting grants me access to great food all the time at affordable rate. So I feel pretty chuffed taking the elevator down to the condo clubhouse that offers various food options. I have figured what she likes to eat and have long made peace with the fact that she is not to be led by my choices. I give her exactly what she wants. I have realistic feeding goals. She is not a big eater. If she has managed ten spoons of her food, it is good. Anything more is a bonus. You don’t get a bonus every day of the year do you?
All in all after a long time I am feeling relaxed quietly tucked away in a spartan house with bare basics. There is no agenda. Time is feeling tangible. No rush and no boxes to tick off. It helps at times to take one day at a time. With my little girl and me. It is here I revisit the theory of how little we need to stay afloat. How the business of living unfortunately takes away the very essence of why all that business is done at the first place. And how a baby can teach you to live in your moment.
Bless her little soul. While I was penning all this, she was playing all by herself, with occasional baby needs. Not saying such tranquillity will last forever. But till it lasts, its bliss. Time for milk and cookies