Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dadhood and how - Managing my son

As a father I soon realized that taking care of my son is not so easy matter after all. Doing it helped me understand how Padma, my wife abstract it from me day in day out. My hats of to every mother out there who does the same and to every dad who manages to do it. My son is a cuddly tyke and cyclone mingled into one. A week ago my wife took to the sick bed and what with the swine flu scare in Pune and the rains playing havoc with my son. He took to common cold. The ten days she was recovering from illness I was pinned at home. No working from home either. It was taking care of wife and kid. Those ten days showed me what housekeeping is with a cyclone in your midst. I admit I failed miserably in the attempt. All ten days i was feeling something or the other beneath my feet - biscuits, water, dosa, bread, grains, vessels, toys, clothes and lot more knick knacks. Cleaning will ensure that you only get more. I thought selling cigarettes, bar tending was back breaking work but actually they are nothing compared to taking care of your son. Oof! my back still hurts with the cleaning, picking up things, stopping him from throwing things out of the balcony. A few days back he threw a new bottle of oil out and I could only helplessly watch it fall and break; thankfully not on anybody's head. I did not know his timetable and wifey dear was out of commission to help me out and so it was all trial and error. Early morning milk ,10 AM breakfast cereal or cerelac, 1 PM lunch (typical south Indian) 4 PM - fruit, 6 PM evening milk, 9:00 PM - dinner only chappati (unleavened bread) mind you and nothing else. 11 PM bed time milk. For all these things you have to sit with him. Especially feeding him solids - he will take a bite and start goofing about, try to catch him, he skips and gives you a sly smile. Get hold of him it is all shrill thunder tearing my ears asunder. At bath time, it is a pleasure to watch him play with water and a frustration to get him away from the secrets inside the commode. But all of these frustrations vanish when he sleeps in your arms and when there is a draught blowing in, he curls and snuggles in my arms, I can only let the dam break and tears fall on their own. Tears of happiness.
He is yet to start talking and my wife is worried that he might have a talking problem or a listening problem, but I know (and I also know that I can never convince my wife) that he is alright because he responds to me quite well. He throws liquid down, I ask him to mop it up and he goes to the laundry, gets the mop cloth and mops the floor (not properly though). Before marriage I thought I had a theory about bringing up our child, after marriage, I have a child and no theory at all. I realise that raising kids by theories and philosophies is a big mistake.
Once Padma complained that Arudhra ignores her and I remembered Ogden Nash's opinion "
Children aren't happy with nothing to ignore, And that's what parents were created for" (Parents, 1933). When I dared mention it to her, all I got in return was being transparent to her for some time. In these ten days I was exasperated by him often but once I could take it no more and I gave him a rap on his bum with my palm. Boy did it hurt (me I mean to do it). The guilt haunts the living daylights out of me. Next time and everytime I am inclined to raise my hand again on him I will remember this quote "Never raise your hands to your kids. It will leave your groin unprotected". It pays for you to remember the same.