Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Bumbling Mum Diary

Picture courtesy: artlung.com
I had been waiting nine whole months of my life, for her to arrive. I happily chewed on lettuce leaves, bid adieu to spicy food and grew so fat that I couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror.

Babies had always been my weakness. In the school I taught, I would often wander off to the primary section just to feast my eyes on those cherubic angels. Ah...I could spend hours just tweaking those cheeks. Perhaps sensing the longing in my eyes, I was once sent for substitution in one of the junior classes. Within minutes I had three kids approach me with imploring eyes- they wanted to go to the loo. Soon I had a procession of “thirsty” kids, kids with legs crossed almost buckling over....”Ma’am please?” Of course sweetheart and pretty soon I was sitting in an almost empty class. The kids were soon herded back by their harried supervisor....Purba, how can you be so gullible, the kids just need an excuse to be out! The 40 odd minutes that followed were perhaps the most harrowing of my life. 35 hyperactive kids with a multitude of complaints, requests, tugging at you, demanding your attention - when the bell rang I almost I ran out with relief. Kids are adorable but only from a distance. 

Now it was my turn to have my very own bundle of joy. On D day, I waddled into the hospital with an armful of Tintins, the husband and Mum in tow. A few hours later, my pile of Tintin comics lay untouched and my labour pains had me screaming so loud that I had managed to terrify every single Mum-to-be in the vicinity. Damn, it’s such a lot of hard work, no wonder they call it labour. Twelve hours of extreme agony and what- the- hell- was- I- thinking introspection later I lay sweat-soaked on the bed. The Doctor approached me with the miracle I had managed to create. But did I act like a filmy Mum, hugging her close, shedding tears of joy and wailing ‘’meri betiiii’’? Naah... I just managed one long look at her and flopped back in exhaustion. Why does the happiest day of my life have to be so agonizingly painful? 

When I finally held her I felt more fear than joy. She looked so tiny, so fragile, fists clenched so tight, a mop of jet-black hair framing her pink face....Isn’t she pretty I managed to murmur to the beaming husband.



And then the bubble burst, just the way it did a year back in that classroom. The first night was just a trailer of the things to come. She cried non-stop and so loud that the nurses from the nearby nurses-station would often rush into my room giving me sympathetic looks. How could a baby so tiny create havoc so great? The joys of motherhood were soon revealed to me – my bundle of joy needed to be fed 24 times a day, peed 48 times a day and pooped copious amount of icky stuff that I was supposed to clean up. And it didn’t stop here. Her cry could make buildings tremble and no force on Earth could make her stop, making her burp had now become the most important thing in my life. I couldn’t recollect the last time I had a good night’s sleep. I looked like a cow, felt like a cow, smelt of curdled milk, would spend most of my day in a sloppy gown and barely had time to run even a comb through my hair. But unlike a calf that goes gambolling the moment it’s born, my baby needed to be nurtured, soothed and cared for constantly with no tolerance for error.

When the husband would return home in the evening, I would burst into tears. He was the reminder of our carefree days, when we would whiz around the city without a care in the world. It was much later I found out from an article in a magazine that I was suffering from a condition called motherhood blues.

But if motherhood makes you blue, it also makes you realize how boundless love can be, what selflessness means. You toil, you crib, your life is not yours anymore, your favourite haunt is the paediatrician’s clinic and your preferred piece of literature is Dr Spock’s guide on childcare. But when your baby looks at you with those trusting eyes, so full of love, your heart gives a lurch, one dimpled smile and you wonder if it is meant for you. You clutch her tiny hands, hold them close to your heart and fall into a deep sleep, dreaming of nappies, poop and pee.


38 comments:

  1. this is so beautiful.....
    so different from your usual satirical rants! a very pleasant surprise!
    loved your excellent sense of humour as usual!
    the concluding para is the clincher!!

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  2. Hmmm...something different. But humourous nevertheless.

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  3. Beautifully expressed. Loved reading your mum diary!! Brought back some memories!!!!! :)))))

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  4. magiceye...The daughter got a lil upset with a why me?

    Prateek..Yupp humour is always the intent

    Deepak & M S :))

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  5. Shilpa...When it comes to our kids, we have loads of memories.

    Rajashree.. :))

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  6. This is so beautiful Purba! So very well written. I've seen this happening to my sister and her lil boy is in his terrible two's now. And we sit back and think about when he was a little boy, and forget it the instant he comes up and says 'Peelu, come.' with a smile.

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  7. You have a peculiar style of expression,serious as well humorous.

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  8. This was such an 'aww' post. I guess I'm not qualified enough to make a comment but I've heard similar stories from my mum.
    Made for a lovely read!

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  9. Humor without the usual sarcasm was nice..! It was different & well written.. :)

    When I marry, I never want to have a baby..!
    I love children & I'm good with them, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to cope up with the pressures!!
    I'll adopt a 2 yr old, it'll help in reducing the population atleast (even .00000000000001 % reduction is good)!! :D
    Babies are cute & cuddly & all, but I dread to think of the sleepless nights they bring & the constant fights b/w the spouses!!
    (My mum has long stories about the fights for getting up late in the night & all those other gross stuff)

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  10. Mazingout...Terrible two's...ahhh... I could write a book on that.

    B K Chowla...Yupp, that's me in real life too.

    Samadrita...I keep pestering my daughter to write a post on"Bringing up Mum".. Why don't you?

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  11. Sahithi..Glad you liked it.

    Girish..Never say never. Come and tell your story ten years from now.

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  12. The joy of motherhood can best be understood by the mother only but that joy when shared with others gets doubled.

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  13. Loved the post... :D My first visit here! My constantly relives these stories from my childhood. Mothers are special beings. :)

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  14. S R Ayyangar..It felt so good reliving those memories.

    Nikita...Oh, those stories NEVER stop. I keep hearing them all the time (the mum and mum-in-law stories).

    And they keep getting embellished with time.

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  15. Hilarious! Good to see that you have managed to keep your sense of humor. Every new parent have had their share of sleepless nights with their new born. That is the way the new born trains his or her parents to get ready for the next 15 years or so. Till the time the kids will be grown up to start taking care of themselves on their own :)

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  16. That was a very nice way of looking back -- with humour. not that we retain the sense of being overwhelmed and irritable after some years as we grow with the kid, but still humour in retrospect is great, ain't it? You might like my Lord and Master posts. I would love to read your comments!

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  17. I have been away from blogospere for a while. Now back. Missed few of your posts. Will read them soon.

    Now, this one is cool. Your humor sense always stands out in whatever you write.

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  18. Gautam...As a parent you are never free of responsibilities and when your child is old enough to take care of herself she is ready to take flight.

    Zephyr..I intend to read all your L&M posts.

    Joshi...Glad you found it "cool" :))

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  19. I have only 1 word- Awwwwwwwwwwww!!!

    Beautiful, unexpected, disgusting but true, funny, howl-arious would also be some apt words ;)

    One of your best one so far!! My god, i don't understand how you manage to bring out SO MANY *(&^#^%8&%$^ EMOTIONS at the same time!!

    To be read again n again n again :D

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  20. I especially LOVE the description of the day you gave birth and the little kids in class :)

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  21. wow thats some ordeal u went through..posts like this make me pay more respect to my Mom & Pa :D

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  22. I finally managed to read your article and figure out how to comment there- less of a blogger person I am. I like your humorous, terrifying yet heart warming post on child birth, and kids. Lol on "I looked like a cow, felt like a cow, smelt of curdled milk, would spend most of my day in a sloppy gown and barely had time to run even a comb through my hair."
    Responded faithfully by my promised post, both here and on Dristi.

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  23. Marriage, kids and old age look so good from far away but when you are into it, no outsider can guess the sweet pain all three can give us...I guess its the question getting used to them and learning to enjoy the tears and the joy of it all.
    Once the kids are grownup, and don't need us to wipe their running noses, is when we enjoy them the most and are able to remember the trying times with a silly grin on our faces!

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  24. Avi...Motherhood is an overwhelming experience. It's only now I can look back and recount those days with humor.

    Those lil kids were MONSTERS!

    Rinaya..Exactly!!! It's only when you become a mom you respect yours even more. It's like ...she had to go through all this to bring me up!!

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  25. Garrimaa...Terrifying is right!! LOL
    Will be reading your account :)

    Nalini...My article was previously titled, Agony and Ecstasy. But I wasn't too sure how many would get it. For me motherhood is a trial by fire :))

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  26. totally love this post!
    motherhood is when we finally bid goodbye to our own Childhood :))

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  27. Varsha...The child in me unfortunately is still alive and kicking.

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  28. Woh.

    You seemed to have upped the ante - I never knew a blogpost can achieve such a strong after-glow!

    This is not a novel, not a short story, not a column either. A perfect sweet-spot that has maximum impact.

    On a different note, you're a Tintin fan? OHNOES! Asterix is, and will always will be, phenomenonally better! Ha!

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  29. well the post is just awesome great way of expressing ur thoughts....

    nice and unique subject also...

    but its really true motherhood(which i would never know) is a great feeling and does make you feel really special some times ....


    (P.S- The danger part for me is that this post was recommended to me by my (very soon) would-be wife and for her giving birth means even more difficult than climbing Mt. Everest bare footed with only a hanky to avoid cold.

    if you can please tell me how to make her feel that this is gud.)

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  30. Kartikay..Tintin is what I could lay my hands on. Me is an Asterix fan too.

    Sagar...A preview of the joys that await you??

    She has to be ready for it first and believe me when she is, she will let you know.

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  31. Well written (as usual)!!!

    I am always amazed by how women transform themselves from carefree souls to 'mothers' as soon as a child is born. They 'rise to the occasion', I guess!

    I can't imagine how my mother managed the two of us together at the same time (yep, I am a twin!). Only makes me respect and love my mother more. :-)

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  32. Vijitha...Managing twins is a herculean task. You Mom deserves an Oscar.

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  33. I am one of ur regular blog reader Purba. Though I haven't written any comments till now. But this time I cudn't stop myself to tell u that its has been written beautifully. Just wanted to tell u that I like all ur posts.Keep Writing. :)

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  34. Thank you Ajay, motherhood does bring out hitherto unknown emotions.

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