Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A new day everyday

If I thought that Atri sleeping soundly for a minimum of 2 hours after his massage & bath at 12 was the only constant factor in my life, well I said it too soon. Either that or that our little boy is growing up. From the time we came back from the hospital till he was 4-5 weeks, he would be totally doped out after his massage, falling asleep even as the massage 'maushi' was swaddling him (there's a lot to be said about her, which could be featured in many posts, if I find the time). Later, she had to put him in his cradle and rock him to sleep. Then after 2 more weeks she had to rock, pat and sing to him and he would sleep. Now the massage, bath, swaddling, rocking, patting, singing has an effect of max 45 minutes, after which he is wide awake - sometimes crying, or sometimes just saying baa, boo or whatever it is in his vocabulary that 'look, i don't want to sleep anymore'- and there goes my chance of eating a peaceful lunch as I catch something on the telly and then an hour's snooze to refresh me for the rest of the afternoon, evening and night.

Another change has come about in our lives in the sleep department. Since Atri turned two months old, he started clocking the magical 5 hours at a stretch at night, qualifying for the 'sleeping through the night' crown. How 5 hours is called sleeping through the night, especially for us tired adults, beats me, but hey it is much better than being woken up every 2 hours or so. The funny part is that this has led him to awake (and crying?) for a few more hours in the day - so it compensates more or less. The night sleep is divided by a feeding session anytime between 1.30 am and 2.30 am depending on when he went off to sleep in the beginning. He then wakes up anywhere between 5 and 6 am so we really couldn't be complaining as regards his nocturnal protocol. He's being quite generous in letting us 'sleep through the night' even before he completes his 3rd month. A huge "touch wood" here, as I really value the 6-7 hours of sleep I get at night [Hey, whats with us new parents wanting to touch wood all the time, I was never a "wood toucher" before Atri came along!!]

The other thing that he's really caught onto is sucking his whole hand and sometimes both of them as though his life depended on it. Thankfully I am not obsessed about pulling his hand out or trying to wean him of thumb sucking (as he doesn't suck just the thumb!!) - or it would be one more thing to obsess about. On the contrary I find it rather cute - especially the noises that come out of it - and sometimes they are so loud that even as he's at it in his crib in our bedroom, I can hear it in the living room with the telly on. My doc says this mouthing phase is natural, a development milestone in fact and nothing to worry about. No wonder I read that sucking hand or mouthing is no longer a hunger cue once baby crosses 8 weeks. Yeah right, after that it is just their idea of fun. Atri gets so obsessed with his hand that sometimes the hand slipping out of the mouth is a reason to break out into a LOUD wail (series of them). Little dude, you'll learn soon that saliva makes things slippery and your hand is bound to slip out :) and one of my best friends is a dentist so I am not worried about any teeth imperfections if your hand-sucking habit persists.

Ever since my in-laws left for Madras early this month, I have been learning to manage stuff on my own. I finish all chores including my bath and cooking lunch plus most of dinner prep before 8 am - eat breakfast before 8.30 am - that's when S leaves for work. Then my whole day is at the king's disposal. The confidence boost that one gets in being able to manage a new baby on your own is really big. The depression and anxiety I felt when my inlaws left has slowly given way to a new calm and bonding with baby - where I can talk / sing / dance for him without feeling conscious. Well, the calm and bonding is there for most of the day, except on some evenings where the boy decides that mom has had too much calm for the day, hey - it's wailing time and I start to cry again. So my avatars correspond to my son's. When he is peaceful and good, I am a confident mother in control and when he is uncontrollably crying, so am I :)

Today maushi came in a second time a while ago to give Atri a sponge bath ( I called her in as the hubby is going to be late today and he usually manages baby in the evenings) , and she even managed to put him to sleep. But our boy is not going to be fooled to sleep so easily. No sooner had she shut my door and reached the lobby of our building than he woke up gearing for an evening session of crankiness. I am typing this as I am rocking him with my foot under his rocker and for now he is quiet (hand in his mouth of course!)

Yesterday for dinner I made eggplant caponata and dear husband (encourager of my food blog) insisted i make a start with that divine dish. So I am planning on resuming food blogging hoping that it will make me feel better and more connected with the adult world :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

We've been busy here :)

Each day is passing by so soon and I feel guilty that I have not been keeping any record of the happenings in the land where Atri rules. So many lovely moments are rushing past like a film on fast forward mode - so fast that if I don't record now, these memory files will be soon replaced by newer ones and unlike computer files, it's not going to ask my permission before it gets replaced. Some of those memories are so beautiful that I cannot bear to let them fade into oblivion. Hence the desperate attempt to get back to this blog - to preserve these precious moments forever.

Dear Choturam*,

You are in your 12th week now - well there's still time to reach the landmark of completing 3 months, when you'll no longer be called a newborn! The week and month disparity has baffled me right since pregnancy. (I'm weak in mathematics anyway - so you know whom to take your Maths homework to!)

Your social smiles that started at around 9 weeks have blossomed into goofy smiles, noisy smiles (would that qualify as a laugh?), winking smiles, gummy smiles (I can't say toothy, that's why) - and lots more. You knows to smile as the occasion demands - and since your dad is not much of a 'smiler' (more the strong and silent types) - I can proudly say you get your smiling genes from me.

Your movements are more co-ordinated than before, and the cycling / boxing movements get really fast and furious when mommy stands in front of you :) If this is your way of thanking me for all the prompt nappy changes, you're welcome darling!

We bought a carrier from Mothercare, choosing the 3 way as per your dad's wishes. Trying to go with something simpler I thought the 2 way would be a better option. It does turn out that with all the velcro fasteners and tight buckles, putting this contraption on is more like putting on a space suit. It took me two days to learn how to get this thing on myself and 5 days to figure out how to get you into it and 2 more days to figure out how to put on all the fasteners without getting your hands or toes squeezed inbetween the straps and buckles. Each time I tried to do a practice session carrying you inside, you would start howling, not having the patience to wait for mom to search and put on all the fasteners. Finally yesterday afternoon we decided to take you for a mall outing (rather take ourselves for the much deserved outing - see humanity at large and get back some semblance of our past lives) putting you in the carrier as mom and dad look around in the shops (turned out to be just mom as dad was busy carrying you). It was a bit scary trying out the thing at the site with no prior practice, almost like giving an extempore speech. However, we managed pretty okay in the parking lot (putting you in the carrier i mean) and you did not seem too angry with us for doing this to you. It was fun actually, and for a full 65 minutes you let us roam in peace, watching the shop windows, entering some shops, buying stuff (things that normal people actually do :) ). I said 65 minutes, not rounding it off to the nearest whole hour - very deliberately, as every minute of being able to roam free counted a lot towards making me feel better. Just looking at the hustle bustle of people around gave my mental state a good boost. Since you were so co-operative with us, we plan to do this a lot more in the coming weekends.

I've been home alone with you since exactly two weeks now and I must say the going has been pretty good. I'm not as scared or worried as I was 15 days earlier as to how I'll manage by myself. My self-confidence and bonding with you is getting better and better. I'm actually learning to have a good time with you as a little person, whether it's nursing you or cleaning your messy bum, remembering all the time the wise words from one of my dearest friends - "Consider parenting as a gift and not as a responsibility and you'll feel a lot lot better". I must make a special mention here that the beautiful heart-melting smiles you shower me with help me a lot when I'm stressed.

Here's to my little stress buster!

Love and cuddles

*This is to state that Atri, Choturam and Bumble are one and the same. His name keeps changing as per his parents' moods.