Monthly Archives: March 2008

Getting her off the bottle

She won’t give it up. I get a firing from her pediatrician every time I meet him – he’s convinced that each time she gets a stomach bug, it’s because of the bottle. I don’t necessarily agree, knowing how anal I am about her sterilizing. He, however, remains unmoved (and unamused!)

But, try as I might, my daughter won’t relent.

I told my husband, who is subscribes to the let-her-do-what-she-wants school of thought, that the next time I have to take her to the doc, he’s coming with me! But see, my husband does not have the time (something I don’t grudge him, no honestly, I am not shy about telling him when I do!) he’s got to keep the home fires burning and he’s at work, so it’s not something he can help. What he can help, however, is not being so soft on some issues..the bottle being one of them. I find it hard enough, as it is, because she wails and wails and I feel bad too, because I can she that she’s really upset, as opposed to times when she’s generally throwing a tantrum and trying to look more hurt that she really is.

So, I find it hard, and so far I’ve not been able to give her the glass – she hates the sight of it. But when I do try and be strict, my husband gives in and tells her that he’d give it to her!! She’s only just about two, but she knows who to plead to in this case.

Anyhow, I’ve decided to defer it a little, I’ll try again when she’s two and a half. And if in the meantime I have to go to the doc again (touch wood), my husband’s coming with me!!

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I complained that I had no shoes, till I saw someone who had no feet..

The heading says it all. I met a friend yesterday who was in town for a few days and we caught up after a long time. She lives in a joint set-up, in-laws et all. That’s never easy and in her case her mom-in-law is kind of from the stone age, you know the sort: does not want her to work but wanted a well educated daughter in law..

She vented all day and I didn’t know what to say to her. I mean I knew what to say but knowing someone’s reality, you can’t just dole out irrelevant advise! Her husband is living in another town for work and will do so for another six months, at least, so she’s at home with her four year old, her in laws, including the sister in law – recipe for disaster if you ask me. And they all want to tell you what to do and how to do it.

I would’ve cracked, so it’s amazing that she’s still sane. The interference is so much that even when she feeds her daughter dinner, her mom in law will tell her what to feed and what not to. She does not have a moment to herself since she works too (a very sore point with her mom in law), though she’s back home by the afternoon as she’s a teacher.

She’s stuck in a situation and her husband does not see anything wrong with it, tells her not to crib and be happy, while he prefers to stay out and not be involved. Convenient, really.

I felt bad for her and in a strange way, it made me appreciate my own situation, which is no where close to hers..

Am not feeling crabby today at all!!

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When do you move them out to their room?

I’ve been good about putting my daughter in her cot, and she loves to sleep in it. The next phase of moving her to her room, however, is going to be difficult.

In India, it’s kind of normal for the kids to sleep in the same room as the parents till they are five or six, sometimes even later. I am not sure how I feel about it. I mean, I know it’s good to move them out sooner rather than later, but when I actually do it, would I be worried about her at night? Will I go to her room five times at night to check on her? And I am not even getting into how she’ll take to it, or rather not take to it, knowing my two-year old!

It’s easier when there are two kids, I guess. I have two siblings and we used to sleep in our room as kids. I, being the youngest, was always happy to be with them, we’d joke and laugh (and fight!) at night and I loved it. But, in the case of my daughter it’s going to be different, since she’s the only one, and, because I’ve been a stay-at-home-mom, she’s quite clingy.

But thinking about it, I’ve realized that it’s as much about me as it is about her. I first need to be ok about it and only then will I be able to convince her. Kids are really smart about knowing how serious their parents are about something they want them to do. If she detects uncertainty, or even leniency, in my voice when I tell her, she won’t do it. She knows when I mean business and when I don’t!

So I have to think about it a little more, and then break it to her only when I am sure. But, I have to say, I will miss her at night (see what I mean??) – miss peering into her cot to see if her blanket is still on her and to see her angelic sleeping face – aren’t they so very angelic when they sleep!

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Potty training the husband!

My daughter is now two and I have to say that training her to pee and poo was very very easy, I guess I was just lucky, but I also tried hard – used to put her on the pot first thing in the morning and to keep her there I would sing and tell her stories, till she got used to it. She was fully trained at a year and a half. Now it’s only the night diaper that needs to go.

But, that’s where my luck ends. I’ve not been able to train her father!

I was in my room the other day and my daughter said “mama potty”. Now she says potty even when she needs to pee, so I told my husband to make her sit on the pot, since I was busy with something. He took her to her bathroom and after about two minutes I heard him screaming for me and for the maid, who was eating her dinner. My heart sank. In the five seconds it took me to get to them, I had imagined all sorts of gory scenarios.

I ran into the bathroom, as did my maid, our hearts in our mouths. He looks at me and says “she’s doing the real potty!!” he was close to hysterical.

I stopped in my tracks and blinked. “Potty?, that’s it?”

“Real Potty!” he declared again.

My daughter was amused:”Mama, dad does not know how to clean potty!”

My maid looked at me and started laughing (it lightened the mood I have to say, I was pretty mad)

I could not believe it. He looked at me helplessly, and said: “I don’t know what to do”

Me: “Don’t know what to do!!! Stick your finger in her bum and wash it!” (In India we use water to wash)

He handed her to me, saying: “I am not good at this stuff”

Me: “I was not born knowing what to do, try washing, it’s really not that hard!”

He could not do it, has not done it once in these two years and I guess he’s not about to start now.

Go, guess who was left holding the baby? Yup, yours truly.

I could train an eighteen month old, but that’s not possible for her thirty-something father!

What can I say, except “aaaaggghhhhhhhhhh!!!”

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My greatest fear is getting bigger..

I’ve given up work for my daughter, now two. It’s something I wanted to do, but also, it’s not like I really had a choice either. I could hardly leave her to a maid for the whole day, since none of her grandparents, for some convoluted-yet-understandable reason or the other, could baby sit her. In India, let me add, it’s very common for the grannies, especially, to do so. But in my case, it was not to be.

So, I quit work and sunk deep into domestic life, and you know the thing about that, it’s like quicksand, once you’re in it, you only sink deeper – you’re at home, so you handle everything, there’s no escape. Before you know it, you’re up to your head with all sorts of home-running issues, you have no time for yourself, you don’t care about your appearance and life runs you by.

Then, one day, you meet an old classmate who heads some firm or the other (everyone heads divisions in companies these days, makes you wonder where all the followers are??) Anyway, you meet this all tip-top (Indian phrase for someone nattily turned out) person who tells you how hard she’s working, but how great the money is, and all the rest of it. That’s when you look at yourself and wonder where your life is heading, and that thought does not lead to anywhere good, you don’t like what you see in your future. It’s when your mother’s words ring loud in your ears and you try and brush them away – that in a few years your kid will be grown up and would not need you that much, but by then you’d have been out of the race (it’s all about being in the race, unfortunately) too long and people would politely tell you that, sometimes not so politely.

But what can I do? I am not sure. What I know is that I am going down a path I never thought I would, and my biggest fear is that a few years down the road, it’ll hit me and I’ll lose it..it’s my fear and, what’s worse, is that I know it well might happen, yet I keep walking down that road..

Men don’t understand it, they never will, because they never face it. It’s not fair.

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