I seriously have run out of topics. A mild dose of Indian politics might amuse you but I cannot afford to discuss it without throwing in a handful of ahem ahem.. swear words then and there. So today the focus is on some of the monotonous tasks of my life as a stay-at-home mother. Fasten your seat belts for another prolix experiment with my run-of-the-mill lifestyle.
This phase is an epic voyage star-studded with surprises, struggles, fortunes and setbacks as well. The days either seem to go too slow when I’m exhausted or whoosh by in light’s speed when I am all geared up for the playtime. 1.4 years and it’s only now I’ve finally figured out a routine that works for the two of us without having to compromise on other priorities. A typical day goes like this.
Baby D wakes up at five thirty, the time when most toddlers remain sprawled in the bed. The church bells ring, when it ends, loudspeakers from our street temple play the mystic chants of subrabhatam, my day slowly kickstarts under the shades of this diversified divinity. No, I don’t wake up with a fresh face or smile like those Pears or Dove mommies. My yawn breaks tend to take me back to the comfy pillows, my puffy eyes refuse to open wide but I don’t concede anyway.
Milk, breakfast and morning walk – it all happens with a wee gap in between, usually the sun-baking ends before the clock strikes nine. I have to confess, not all mornings go as per plan, sometimes we cancel the walk altogether when it rains, we also procrastinate breakfast and incorporate something else within this time span when baby D gets cranky.
Since mom is home, I get to spend more time with the kid these days. After a nice, cosy bath (kidding! Boy becomes a boisterous monster upon entering the bathroom), I rock him to sleep, later get in the shower myself. It is only when mom drops by, I get to shower like real people do by devoting good few minutes to oil the scalp and save the pigtail remains from falling out.
I also mop the house on alternate days while the baby naps. By this time, mom finishes the lunch preparation. She is a mediocre in cooking but I cannot ask for more. It’s a fortune to simply have her at home, every other errand she runs can be counted as a blessing in disguise, if you ask me.
So when baby D wakes up, most of the important household chores get over. The mopped floor will be super dried by now, toys scatter themselves in every direction possible, piping hot lunch awaits our attention while the handwashed clothes continue to bone-dry under the naked afternoon sun.
We eat, play, yawn and laze around the house until the baby shows signs of tiredness. I wait for this golden hour to thrust into his bird-like mouth a few ounces of milk. Half ingested and half spilled, the mission somehow winds itself up as baby D slouches aside to sleep.
Kid’s second nap is a period of liberation for the two of us. Mom indulges in kitchen cleaning. The huge, unused vessels enjoy a rejuvenation for no specific reason, the gas stove sparkles, its edges twinkle like the uncut diamonds they show off in TV ads. It’s her favorite activity to do in the house although she acts as if it’s the last thing she would do on a holiday.
When the naptime is over, I take the baby to my grandma’s house which is only a stone’s throw away from mine. She is getting weaker day by day. Her back is bent like an inverted U, her skin looks all too wrinkled like a crumpled satin cloth, the only feature that hasn’t changed a bit is her smile. The incisors are nowhere to be seen though.
Baby D isn’t a social bee, atleast not yet. We never take him out often these days, even if we do, he clings on to me or Dr.H throughout the sojourn. However, as I have been frequenting my visits to granny’s, he is getting more comfortable everyday. Touchwood.
We return home before dusk, the eat-play-throw tantrums routine continues until 11 pm. Our cumulative energy drops to a single digit by this time and we drift off to sleep. Sounds simple in words but it is during this very last hour of the day my physical unease reaches its crescendo. A few light years later, baby D falls asleep. So do I, letting subtle memories and important people (the other adult who couldn’t join us on vacation) steal the daffodil dreams of my starry night.