Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wait till you have kids..

You know how parents always tell you when you are child-free "Wait till you have kids, then you will understand". I used to find such people extremely annoying and used to mentally promise myself that I would never turn into one of them.

Well, now I have become a parent myself. While I will never ever unleash the "wait till you have kids" line on hapless souls, I can now understand where those parents were coming from at least in some scenarios.

I used to be anal about being punctual. I used to the be the first arrival at any gathering. I used to wonder just how the tardy people could be so disrepectful of other people's time. Short of being hit with a truck or something on the way to an appointment, there was no excuse for being unpunctual in my world. Then arrived Baby A. In short order I realized that A (i.e. me ) proposes, BA disposes. In a baby's world there is no concept of time. BA eats when he wants to, sleeps when he wants to, poops when he wants to. If it interferes with your plan of getting somewhere at some particular time, too bad. In the intial days we thought we were doing pretty good if we managed to get to at least doctor appointments within an hour past the scheduled time. Nowadays, we have become more efficient and start the getting out the door process about an hour before the actual time. However, getting anywhere on time is no longer a given.

Talking about baby
I never thought I could have so much to say about a tiny little being who communicates mainly by crying, who cannot get anywhere without help and who spends the majority of his time eating and sleeping. But I do. I marvel at the way he curls his little fingers, at the way his ears are perfectly formed, at the tiny toes at the end of adorably chubby feet and can talk about them for ages. However, I realized I still generally find other parents gushing about their respective offspring quite boring. So I limit my gushing to the BA's grandparents and immediate family who are more then happy to listen and infact encourage me to gush. I am also pleased to report that I refrain talking about baby to the other folk till they bring up the topic themselves. So, formerly being at the receiving end of baby-gushing still has some effect!

Taking pictures of baby

My phone has hundreds (literally) pictures of BA and several videos as well. I love looking at them. I sometimes take 10 or 15 shots in a row, each of which differ from the other only in the slightly different angle of the baby's hand or the way his foot is placed. Yet I save all those 10 or 15 shots AND love looking at all of them too. Babies look adorable in every snap! Only saving grace is I do not upload them all onto Picasa and send the link out to all my contacts.

Being paranoid
Till BA arrived on the scene, I barely noticed when anyone coughed or sneezed. Now, I am keenly attuned to any sign of illness around me. I  obsessively use sanitizer and wash my hands and give a wide berth to coughers and sneezers. The other day, someone at work was coughing quite a lot and I found myself getting really angry - why could they not stay home instead of spreading germs around? I was quite surprised at just how badly I wanted to march up to that person and ask them to please go home since I could not afford to pick up their germs and then pass it onto my baby - thus acting like one of those totally crazy, obsessive and paranoid parents. I blame it on BA being an ex-preemie and how it is very important for him to not catch infections during the early years. But I suspect I would have been the same regardless of BA's preemie status.

I always knew that the parenting gig was not a walk in the park. But it has taken actually living through it for me to realize that you are on-call ALL THE TIME. And that means, you cannot simply take a day off because you are too tired or too sleepy or just because you needed a break. This was especially hard the first few months since both S and I were constantly short on sleep and I very badly wanted to be able to sleep in at least one day. Now we are more used to it and of course, BA sleeps for longer as well (touch wood) and it is easier.

Forget about you unconditionally loving your baby - your baby unconditionally loves you and you are the center of his world. This is an indescribably warm and great feeling. But it also comes with a huge sense of responsibility. Yesterday I managed to do a small screw up which left the baby uncomfortable for a few minutes. I was miserable and picked up the baby to comfort him. I turned his face towards me to say sorry. He took one look at my face and smiled broadly at me through his discomfort. He was simply so happy to see my face! I thought my heart would burst with happiness and guilt at the same time. I love that little boy and would do anything to protect him.

There are a lot more little things - will save them for another day.


Anita said...

Ha ha. I hear the 'being paranoid' part. So far in office, I have rather undiplomatically jumped several feet back when people have coughed near me and practically said 'whoa back off. I can't afford to pick up the germs'

Priyanthi said...

Welcome back to the blogging world, Archu. Good to know how much you are enjoying your son. Hopefully we'll get more regular updates now?

SK said...

Archana!! Please continue to write! :--)
And amen to this post :--)

Anonymous said...

So true that they love you more, I have a 3 year old son. Yesterday, I spilled a bowl of rasam on my shiny hard wood floor. As soon as that happened, I was like S%^&, oh god! then, my little one comes by and says "Iss Ok mommy, Iss OK, don't worry, I will clean it up". I felt so ashamed of myself, had he done that, I would have given him a stern look and would have even reprimanded him. He has always smothered me with wet kisses all over my face since the time he was a year old. Take care of your beautiful son! They grow up so soon. Sigh!


J said...

:-) how old is he now? mine will be 2 in Aug.