Let girls be girls : The myth that is Gender Equality!

child-1728836_1280

One thought that was been implanted deep into my unconscious being from the time I was little was – I am in no way lesser than my male counterpart.

But somehow as I grew older I interpreted the same as ‘I am equal to my male counterpart.’

I would have lived through this fallacy all my life had it not been for Motherhood.

Duhhh!!! The fundamental difference between a man and woman is the latter’s ability to reproduce – Like we didn’t know about it!

Read More…

 

Damn the DNAs!!

When you are pregnant, you generally have a wish list for your baby.

Your mind flies past allll those faces in the family and sort of comes up with an algorithm for how your baby should be. Your nose, husband’s height, dad’s complexion, mom’s smile, in-law’s nothing (you know the dynamics there don’t you!)

When I was pregnant with Dhruv, my inner voice (God) sort of told me: ‘You love little girls don’t you – Ha! I will give you a little boy who will grow up and bring home a girl (hopefully) who you will hate!’

That is how he decided to get back at me! So I knew I was having Dhruv long before he popped, through my instincts (a clarification – Gender determination is banned in India – just so that I don’t get jailed here!)

CuddlyCoo

So I filled my room up with pictures of oh! so cute baby boys and wow! so handsome grown up boys!!! My room looked a confused mixture of a mom to be and a teenage girl! Why? Because I thought if I stared at those pictures long enough Ill convince that thing growing inside me to look like them!!

Every mom dreams of her son being a responsible, well behaved, obedient, humorous, talented man of honour (the list is Never exhaustive!) I dreamt the same plus I hoped Dhruv will look like a movie star riding a Harley Davidson with shades on and all the girls drooling over him.

So I meticulously penned down precisely what features I would want him to get from each family member (and the poster people)

  1. Sabarish’s height and built
  2. A combination of both his and my complexion -too fair is not what I like..
  3. His teeth and smile
  4. His hair
  5. My Dad’s and Sabarish’s attitude in life generally (Live and Let live bla bla…Beyond me!!)
  6. My sense of sarcasm/humor (Well?!) and so on..

God thought this was his chance no 2 to get back at me. Dhruv popped out and gradually filled out…to look just like my dad and me!!! Being a mom, it is a matter of pride. BUT what it translates to is:

  1. Desperate need for braces (me)
  2. A laser surgery for vision correction (me)
  3. A hair transplant surgery (Dad)
  4. I hope science develops a cost effective body elongation process in another 20 years or he’ll end up being a guy of umm..average height (Dad and me)
  5. A therapist to put his arrogance and ego in place (All of us put together!)

As I now figure out, all my hoping and gazing may have been a total waste.

These damn DNAs apparently just follow their guts and pair up in whatever way they fancy to churn out products which could otherwise have been master pieces…all they had to do was just follow the mom’s instructions!! But No, it decides to do what it pleases like a defiant teen.

And now see what you have done you DNA!!! I still console myself saying that all that gazing into posters will heed some result sometime later, so he can grow up to look nothing like what he does now. At least that gives me more time to hope and dream of pointing at that dashing young man on the soccer field and proudly saying – ‘He’s good isn’t he? That’s my son’..

But if he doesn’t become that ‘dashing young man’ will I love him any less? Nah!! Because the oxytocin (or one of those ..) in my body forces my mind to believe that the mine can never be not cute and he is sooo mine!!!!

So he shall remain as cute as cute can be in my mind’s eye! (sob sob..)!!

These moms I tell you!!

The memories of how Dhruv popped out of me is becoming vague now. But there are some things I remember – mostly blunders – quite precisely… After the popping out process, I got transferred to a private room in a humble nursing home, which is about 5 minutes from my mom’s home in Cochin. My mom, aunt, the new born and I were in a room. I was in a haze and it was raining like crazy outside. I drifted into sleep every now and then, occasionally look onto my right to see the new born.. Till that night I had never ever had such a close encounter with a new born. CuddlyCoo He wakes up with a start sometimes and falls back to sleeping mode. He needs to be fed every 2 hours they say. So we have to pinch him, rub his ears like he were a puppy, blow near but not onto his face and so on – being very careful, all with just the right intensity to awaken him. And then we have to desperately try to get him to latch and feed himself! That has been the most painstaking encounter I have ever had in my life. By now 2 my fancies of a new born were completely broken. Cute Chubby Baby, pliable, easily fed and the rest would take a week or 2 to be broken… During one such session that night, after he was fed, he took a deep breath in and let it out. Yeah Yeah he sighed! What is the big deal anyways? We sigh all the time. We sigh when we are tired, irritated, sad, maybe when we just need some extra air, even relaxed or after a satisfying meal… Hmmm..but why would a new born sigh?? Satisfying meal?? Nahhh!!! My brains switched to active mode. I looked at my mom and we knew we were thinking the same thing… She quickly kept her finger in front of his nose to check if he continued his breathing streak…what if he thought one big breath and he could take a break for a while?!?!? What if he thought coming out wasn’t a good idea and chose to go back to slumber?! I had a million ‘what ifs’ running in my mind that one split second. I pushed her finger off and kept mine – like the transformation from a pregnant woman to a mom a few hours ago would magically make me sensitive to the minutest air tremors from his nose. Nope.  Couldn’t feel a thing. Realized God hasn’t given me that ‘moms always know’ powers yet.. We were paranoid. My mom unwrapped him and we stared at his small tummy intensely trying hard to figure out if it is inflating and deflating. Stared harder. Nope. Not a sign. Oh Boy!! We were all looking at each other and then at him frantically for some sign. I was welling up, my mom was about to push the panic button when he finally thought it was enough of torture for us on the first day and he stretched – taking in all the air he forgot to take in the last few seconds. He stretched and crawled like a bear after hibernation and then went back to his sleeping mode, very pleased at his accomplishment of freaking the hell out of us. I stared at him and thought ‘You have it all figured out don’t you – Ill figure it in a bit – and then we shall see..’ SO now he falls off over and over again from midway of our stairs or off the window grill, I look up, raise a brow and get back to doing what I was doing. Ha! The fake cry will not budge me. No No Not a puppy face. Don’t you try that on me! Damn! You win again! I find myself running and picking him up. These moms I tell you!

Parental Syndrome : My baby cutest.

SO you are pregnant…and past that phase of shock or surprise and in that phase of dreamy delight, where you expect your bump to pop and you be handed over with the cutest baby ever.

If you are the sorts who pick up every baby you can lay your eyes on and say awww sooo cute….irrespective of the absolute mismatch in the head to body ratio or the creepy tiny hands and feet, you will safely remain happy.

There can only be 2 possible outcomes for your bump:

Case 1 : You are among those blessed many who pop out a chubby cute ball of snow…with the perfect complexion, pink lips cute small eyes and just enough hair…

Thank your stars. You are truly privileged.

Case 2: You are  thrust upon with a screaming squeaking creature whose hands and feet remind you of umm…never mind..

Hold your breath. It is just your karma firing right back at you. Yes eventually it will fill out and look umm..cute..well, lets hope..(Forgive me for my insensitivity…You may want to throw your shoes at your monitor. Go ahead, do it. I probably deserve it for calling a spade, a spade!)

I must admit I had very limited exposure to new borns, till I had Dhruv. So I was pretty disturbed when I saw what I had produced!

Till he was 4 months old, nobody but Sabarish and I could say he is cute.

So every visitor who came to see Dhruv and me fell into the same trap.

We thrust the baby onto them and then indisputably ask the most hated question ‘Isn’t he adorable???? Doesn’t he look like an angel?’

And they tighten their grip on the chair, table or whatever they can get their hand on at that moment, and reply : ‘Absolutely! He looks just like you!’

There! Am zapped! Really?? Do I look like that?!?

From then on, I have never summed the courage to repeat the routine!

After my own, I cant help but laugh at all of those; who force the words of fondness out of  a visitor’s mouth and compel them to be the ‘faker’ that they probably are not!

So being as judgmental as I am, I conveniently hide all the pictures from his birth till 4 months in folders within folders till they are lost; and anyone attempting to find them will grow tired of opening folders.

That’s my Dhruv, Ladies and Gentlemen!!!(Just so that he doesn’t get mad about this post 15 years from now!)

Dhruv

Awww…Isn’t he cute!!! (Agree – NOW!)

Dhruv, I love you baby! In my pursuit to be unconditional I will continue to hide those first few photos of yours!

The perfect recipe to mothering..

baby-165067_640

So we have this pretty picture of motherhood and cute chubby babies instilled in us.

Remember that adorable photo shoot of you caressing your bump?? <sigh>  Those were the days!!

Well, all is well till the bump pops and you realize you have churned out a blob of your karmic ruins.This amazing cute little thing could wake up the devil in you which will in turn rouse the little devil in him!! And then those animated scene of transformation begin – The picture perfect home will transform into a battlefield of  lunatics, age no bar here!

I am certain there are tons of other women out there who walked into motherhood expecting it to be just another phase of life, only to realise that it will be the only phase of life henceforth.

A bit of seasoning should help make this phase palatable.

Ingredients:

1. Love – How cliché’!

2. Patience – You may need to borrow some from your mom, mom in law, friends, neighbors and even strangers!

3. Energy – Buy it in wholesale. Tons of it.

4. Will Power – You will need to keep refilling this from time to time or it loses its flavour.

Seasoning

1. Ability to have fun

2. Ability to let go

3. Ability to forgive, forget and smile.

Instructions:

1. Take a huge bowl.

2.Peep inside. You will find lots and lots of Ego. Scoop it out. Leave some around the bowl so that motherhood does not make you totally devoid of I and me.

3. Pour all the Love into the bowl. Then add in Patience and Energy. Beat it all together till it is nice and fluffy. Let the air bubbles stay so that there is room to breathe. Sprinkle Will power on it from time to time.

4. Now let this mixture ferment for the first few months of motherhood; till the baby is about 4-5 months old and starts doing the fun bit.

5. Then add the seasoning of ability to have fun, let go, forgive, forget and smile – It is important so that you don’t miss out on this golden period worrying and cribbing!

6. Top the dish with lots of hugs, kisses and cuddles!

Voila! You are ready mommy!

Note: You may find that your dish is probably overflowing the bowl. That is precisely what motherhood is all about – overflowing emotions!

Go ahead and take a bite. It will be sumptuous and satisfying. I promise!

I will grow up just fine Mom. I promise!

 mother-

A new mom is often overwhelmed, so much that a rash or a hiccup of the new born could give her sleepless nights.

Worry becomes her first self, first before any other thought or feelings.

I was worried to death anticipating situations before they actually came about. I fear many moms may be faced with similar situations. For instance:

  1. While I realised the challenge of breastfeeding, I was already worrying about weaning!
  2. Dhruv was only 60 days old and I was worried to death why he wasn’t trying to roll over! (Courtesy my lovely (read crazy) relatives)!
  3. I used to count the number of times he poops and pees like I was counting precious diamonds falling down the sky!
  4. While I had a good 8 months of maternity break, I was worried about leaving him and going back to work from the first month. How would he cope? (now I realise it was more of how I will cope than him!)
  5. I found co-sleeping the only way to get him to sleep through night, but I was already imagining him being 10 and still so-sleeping!

These are just a few…millions of things worried me then. But when I look back, it was all needless.

I failed to understand that if the miracle of child birth was so fool proof, The Divine Being could not have gone very wrong in child rearing as well, so while he has put moms, dads and relatives to take care of the new born, He knows when to time those milestones for your baby. And if they aren’t milestones then they definitely aren’t worth worrying about are they?!

Give your little one time. Let him be at his own pace. Do not rush him to be the baby you want him to be (it doesn’t work anyways!) For if you try to then frustration sets in.

He will wean, eat solids, be toilet trained, sleep by himself and finally grow up – just fine.

This is probably when you learn your Lesson no 1 of motherhood:
While the pressure of being the perfect mom bringing up a perfect child (whatever a ‘perfect child’ that means!) sets in, you may want to remind yourselves that you cannot make your baby what you want him to be. A lot of unknowns mould him. You can only try, hope and pray. You can only guide but not rule.

And for all those vain moms who think they have the perfect kids – we may have babies gifted beyond just discipline! We may have heroes in the making. Those that question,think for themselves  and then decide what they want to follow.

Those that make history.

You have been gifted with a baby who is perfect for you, not for the world. For he and you will make this world perfect for you. Together.