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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

always there and not here?

Many evenings I catch myself wanting to hide or pretend I am not there when Ana whines, "AMMA, kummeee" (kummeee = come here), when none of the usual strategies for distraction - sing her favorite Mother Goose, or recite Left Foot, Left Foot, or crawl around on hands and knees trying to play "Catch The Baby" - seem to work, and when my head threatens to explode any minute.

Many evenings, I am glad I can plead, "Appa! Baby wants you..." and find sanctuary in the bathroom.

Many weekends, I catch myself wanting to finish a sewing project or a crochet project I started weeks ago but not moving a muscle due to sheer exhaustion.

By the time breakfast/brunch is cleared away, my mind has jumped to the eternal what's for dinner? question, while trying to organize the many thoughts that have been stewing over the last few days waiting to blossom into pixels in my blog garden.

I secretly hope Ana would keep herself busy for the next 3 hours until lunch time so I can do my own thing. I feel a little exasperated when in the middle of writing a post, I hear a disturbing whine at almost glass-shattering frequency.

Now, it is not the sort of scream she lets out when hurt, or when she feels sad. I can at least differentiate that much. So, I try to ignore the first few "waahn..waaaahnn" hoping she will work it out on her own so I don't have to stop what I am doing... then, the little inner voice wearing the sparkling white with a brilliant halo starts tut-tutting "What kind of a Mommy ARE you?", "You don't deserve to be a mommy if you cannot give your entire self to your baby!", "Are you just going to sit there?!"

Thankfully, there is the blue "SAVE AS DRAFT" button. Click. With gnawing guilt I hurry along to check on Ana. As suspected, she couldn't get the puzzle piece just-so or couldn't reach the top of the bookshelf where I keep things I don't want her to get to... and she was just letting out her frustration. So, I play with her a bit and sneak away to get some lunch ready for her.

Nap time follows lunch and I can feel my pulse racing in anticipation: baby will probably nap for an hour or so - plenty of time for me to get to all the things I have put on hold...

Stifling my yawns after reading a whole book of Collected Tales From Asia in a monotone, when Ana still wants to prattle on, I simply leave her in her crib and walk away, taking a deep breath.

Five minutes later, "Uh-oh, uh-oh ditty diapo, amma, ditty diapo, ana ishio diapo na-wedd..."* brings me rushing back to the crib to find a stark naked baby holding a soiled diaper trying not to spread the "joy" all over her bedding!
*ishio=want, na-wedd=new, diapo=diaper

Diaper change followed by cuddle time seems to have recharged Ana. She puts up a strong fight, I give in and let her play. Bye-bye nap time.

While filling the "Ana ishio kah-fee-doos" order, I dream of a steaming cup of cardamom chai. A sweet but direct "What's for dinner, cariad?" jolts me back to reality.

Chai will keep me awake anyway, I am better off without the caffeine, I justify, while standing with the fridge door ajar, looking for nothing in particular.

Voices ring in my head, "This should be the most joyous time of your Life", "You have a wonderful blessing, a lovely baby to hold and cherish", "Why are you always looking to do OTHER things when you should be waiting hand-and-foot over your baby?", "What else can be SO important that you would rather focus on, than your wee little precious bundle?"

A dainty tug at my pants and a delicate, "Amma, Up? Up!" automatically parks the 25 pound baby-doll on my hip and I realize, Of course I am delirious with gratitude and joy now that Ana is here... nothing else really matters.

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At 1:49 AM, Blogger Kavs said...

Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading all your blogs. :)

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Tharini said...

Story of my life too. I cannot tell u how guilty and hollow I have felt at trying to get that time for myself. It seems like all day long...that's what I try to accomplish. Get so excited when my mom takes Sathya upstais for a diaper change fr that means at least 5 min of not being a mom. *sigh*

You write it all so beautifully. It just flows like a gentle brook..

At 4:34 AM, Blogger sailu said...

Yes, Sheela, your so right..'nothing else really matters'.:):)


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