My older one turned ten a few days back and my mind churned up a bunch of memories. Is it really ten years ago that all of this happened?
My first baby memory is going shopping for a birthday gift for a friend and then feeling too ill to go to the party. Then eating Maggi as we had given the cook the day off. Having crazy pregnant feeling and finding unconvinced spouse at the other end feeling particularly foul after the party miss and Maggi dinner and being very unimpressed by my symptoms – real and imaginary. Going to the hospital the next day and being given the unbelievable-after-all news. A baby was coming!
Then my sister (already a mother) giving me advice on finding an ob-gyn and telling me to chuck the doctor I was seeing at the time on account of her name (what doctor has a name like that? Please ditch and find someone proper) and after a few iterations, closing in on the wonderful Dr. Fatema Poonawaala.
Going for the first club outing (a weekly thing at that time of life) and finding friend rounding on self with the whole ‘family’s putting pressure, wait till he comes home!’ spiel. That last bit being about her clueless hubby who was travelling at the time.
And then listening to above friend’s husband complain a few months later about being taken in by peer pressure as a third friend’s husband smiled sheepishly. We knew, but the complaining one did not, that a third baby had been signed on board in less than six months so peer pressure was certainly through the roof!
I remember the last days and feeling really fed up and plotting with my husband on how to convince our doctor to ditch the normal delivery and go for a c-section since I really could not take it any more. And then going to the doctor and hearing her say the same thing herself.
Going to Lalita’s parathas for one last rout before I was put on the lauki-tori new mom diet and eating up a storm.
Checking in to the hospital with half our earthly belongings. Some useful, as suggested by sister. Some completely bizarre as mined from what to expect and the net – including Friends DVDs to keep me calm and happy!
I remember we had the bassinet ready to welcome our new addition. We had some sort of idea of a warm cute little thing coming home while the rest of our life continued as before. Well, ha!
We were in the hospital for the better part of a week while our friends dropped by to cut cakes, drink copious amounts of tea, sit on the driveway wall and marvel at how grown up we were getting as I struggled with feeding, burping, picking, calming and staying sane.
In a week or so it was clear that our baby was colicky. I remember sitting up all night holding the baby, who would scream if put down. And I remember my mother in law coming in the morning to take him so I could get an hour or so of rest. Then brushing my teeth before turning in even as the neighbours began amping up their Venkatesh Suprabhathams and feeling like my life had upended.
And then the milestones. The first vaccinations. The first laugh. The first sitting up. The first meal. The first steps. The first word. And things slowly getting back right way up before I knew how!
More milestones! The first major getting-hurt episode. My chitti telling me it was a badge of honour to show me I had raised a child. Playschool. The strange disappointment when he didn’t cry. The end of playschool when I cried. Big school. Prizes. Sports days. Notebooks. An increasing blur of teachers. Learning. Discovering talents. Nurturing talents. Tantrums. Playground fights. Making close friends. Discovering the term arch-enemies! Birthday parties. Dinosaurs. Sharks. Discovering a shared love of books. Finding music. Going to the mall and recognising the song because it is on his playlist. Getting dismayed by early glimpses of teenage rebellion.
And then there’s the stuff I can’t remember.
When did weekends become less about well dressed dinners and more about art classes and badminton? How did my reflexes get so cool I could catch a baby falling of the bed in mid-air – while half asleep!? When did Kung Fu Panda and Toy Story become movie classics? How did my library get colonised by Geronimo Stilton? At what point did my career become a job?
Ten years is a long time, how can it be so short? My boy’s ten! But also, it is ten years now since we stopped being Vikas and Somya. Since we became, like we introduce ourselves to doctors, teachers, librarians – oh a bunch of people – ‘Hi, we are Rohan’s parents.’