Atri turns six months old on 4 June. And if times were flying fast earlier, now it's at supersonic speed.
I've come to know more people in my building in the last two weeks that I've been taking him down for a stroll, than I've known in the 3 and a half years that we've lived here - and I mean from ages 2 to 85 - not bad eh? How is it that a baby in your arms makes you more likable to others? More approachable rather. Earlier I was aware of only 3 kids other than Atri in the building and I just discovered there are two more, and the moms have been kind enough to offer me their no-longer-in-use strollers, Baby Bjorn etc. - not to mention tips to find a right maid and some more useful advice.
A baby is always a good starting point for a conversation, even with complete strangers. Besides, earlier I would never be loafing around the building in my free time, just to chumma hava khaane (just enjoy the breeze I mean) - of which there is plenty now a days. Thank God for a decently bearable summer with lovely sea breeze in the evenings - especially because my boy is pretty heat-intolerant, developing furuncles (boils) in his ear and now nose with some regularity. Antibiotic therapy is something we are growing used to, and I no longer lose sleep over the fact that my baby is being dosed on 'strong' medications. If we have to live in a polluted, hot and humid city, we just have to take this in our stride.
We successfully spent a night by ourselves (Atri and me) - and I overcame my fear of staying the night alone with him (I thought I could only manage the daytimes). This was when S had to leave for a London trip for two weeks on a Sunday and my mom could make it here only Monday morning. Well, that is one fear less now (actually two, first one was fear of dosing antibiotics). My mom's time here was a good break for me, as in I could take a nap without keeping one eye and one ear open (if it is possible to nap like that) - she could spend some quality time with her grandson. Unfortunately it happened to coincide with some irritation in Atri's life (lets attribute that to teething for now) - and we started him on Denton homeopathic pills - which made him much sober and less keen to pounce & bite (with gums of course, no teeth yet) my ear, nose, chin or cheek, whichever was closest to his eager mouth. So I'm assuming he was in a kind of teething phase and the pills helped him cool off a bit. After that, it was more or less smooth sailing for granny and grandson. As much as I was waiting for S to come back and the two weeks to pass off soon, I was also sad that it would mean the end having mom around to free my hands and eyes for a while to do and see other stuff.
~~~~~~~~~~~~Anyway, it's two weeks since then and we are back to being by ourselves. A building friend has kindly passed on her stroller to us. The first use of the stroller, which I discovered quite accidentally was when Atri napped off while being taken around the house in it, and this was when he was a bit cranky to sleep mid-morning. So I now use the stroller as method no. 79 to put him to sleep. This method has just placed itself one position higher than the earlier discovered 'Radio-gaga' method, wherein we had to start the FM radio (Worldspace Jazz channel or some soothing CDs wont work here) on full blast with surround sound in the living room, clear up the floor space and dance to the music wih Atri on shoulder until he fell asleep, unable to bear the torture of the St.Vitus' dance. This is was a foolproof method that worked 98.97% of the times. Only that it turned out difficult to use this for putting him to sleep at night after a good dinner, where a full belly presented an impediment to free-style dancing (with weights). So the stroller method turned out easier for times like these.
At just over 5 months of age, Atri's become a big brother to my cousin's son Sumedh - who was born on May 6th. I can foresee a lot of bonding between the two boys as we are going to be living close to each other soon.
~~~~~~~~~~~~We tried a dinner at a proper Italian restaurant with baby in tow a few days ago - we did all the things 'What to expect' asks us to do - Calling ahead, warning about baby, going in early etc. - and we managed to eat one course when he got fed up sitting on his bouncer chair throwing those little hangings around and we had to pack up and leave, only to finish the remaining food at home. I had the foresight to inform the waiter about this too. The restaurant was not to filled at that time and I didn't get any angry glances from people around, so I'm willing to try this again sometime. Otherwise, we went to the neighbouring Crepe Station for breakfast yesterday and it went pretty okay. My friend, S and me took turns holding him and eating, and Juhu people were busy sleeping at 9 am on a Sunday morning, so a few cries and no harm done. Another big event attended with Atri was my med college reunion on the last Sunday (24th May, coinciding with IPL finals). There was DJ music (very loud) and a big crowd (for us anything more than 3 is a crowd, and there were over 50-60 people there), S carrying Atri in his carrier. I managed to spend over an hour there catching up with classmates whom I hadn't met in the last 9 years. Most had come with their kids - and I was much appreicated for coming in with a small baby ;) and a very caring hubby! It was funny how the boys from my class (now big physicians and surgeons) were treating S like a damaadji telling him that "dinner will be ready soon", "don't leave without dinner" etc. A lot of contacts renewed and it felt superb that I could make it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~I have also started doing some work off and on - taking up some writing assignments from friendly people who give me easier deadlines and accept my excuses like ' nanny joined and left' etc. More on that in the next post.