Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A brief respite from the Vicious Vaccines

We took Nikki to the ped's today for her last shot for some time to come. Or till end November at least, which is a good two months away. Hurray! Given the fact that ever since Nikki was born we've had to give her some shot or the other almost every fifteen days, I can't help feeling hugely relieved.

Our first tryst with Nikki's vaccines (barring the ones she got immediately after birth in the hospital), was particularly nasty. Being pretty good at dealing with injections myself, I wasn't expecting to get rattled when we took Nikki for her first round of shots. In fact I even breezily remarked to P as we drove to the ped's that I hoped Nikki would imbibe the calm and fortitude that was my trademark in the face of the jabs.

All that changed when we reached the ped's. We were greeted by a multitude of wailing infants shrieking at different decibels and covering between them an impressive range of sounds and pitches. One child in particular was letting out such blood curdling yowls that I entered the room he was in to see if some form of medeival torture was in progress. Only to find that the child in question hadn't even been administered the vaccine yet. The howl he let out when the jab was actually delivered could've blown the roof off. Nikki however remained obilivious to her surroundings and was babbling away happily. Enter the ped with his retinue of two pimply faced nurses. He smirked at Nikki, happily gurgling on the couch. "She's happy now", sneered he, " she doesn't know that she's going to get a jab! Aaaahahahahaha!" "Abhi bahut royegaaaa!", said one of the pimply faced gumboils nodding in agreement. I paled visibly displaying a marked lack of afore mentioned calm and fortitude. "But but we paid for the painless vaccines!", I sputtered. "It won't be too painful for her right?" "Painless means less-pain" cackled the merry wit passing off for a paediatrician. "Aaahahahahaha!" One of the pimply faced gumboils grabbed my poor Nikki's legs and the other one her hands, and the ped swiftly delivered a jab in her little thigh. And then as she howled in pain, he gave her another one in the other thigh. It took all of my will power to stop myself from beaning the ped and the two gumboils and knocking their heads together like a couple of coconuts. The fact that P had a vice like grip on my arm, holding me back, may have also helped. The c & f now having made a speedy exit I grabbed Nikki and beat a hasty retreat. "See you soon!" boomed the ped as we left.

And soon enough it was, the next round of vaccinations was due a fortnight later. This time however I had a Plan of Action. As we entered the clinic the now familiar pimply faced gumboil slithered towards us. "This time we will hold the baby", I barked at her and she retreated into the corner. When it was time for the jab I held Nikki's legs while P made silly faces and kissed her, distracting her from the prick. And as soon as the deed was done we whipped out her favourite toy and began dangling it in front of her. Sure enough Nikki handled the shot a lot better and only cried for a few seconds, only to dimple and gurgle happily again at the sight of her toy.

After that our experience with the shots has been a whole lot better. We've also moved to a new place and now go to a different doctor who herself handles the vaccination bit rather well. For one she's the first doc I've seen who spends a fair bit of time engaging with Nikki and playing with her and enquiring after her general well being. She also remembers her name and the fact that she is NOT a boy! So all in all the vaccines are a lot less vicious these days and the c & f are among us again. I still don't like taking Nikki for her shots tho and I don't exactly look forward to these appointments with the ped. So am pretty kicked today knowing that we won't have to till November. Of course I know it'll only get worse as she grows older coz right now she remains blissfully unaware of what is to come and is easy to distract. But maybe by then I can figure out a way to pass on some of that c & f!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A babbling we will go

Its a bright and sunny Thursday morning. The Mommy Woman, newly inspired by the latest expert advice on 'how to help your baby babble' from BabyCenter, heads to the bedroom where Nikki has just woken up.

The Mommy Woman: Good Morning Nikki!

Nikki: Aaaaaaaaa! Ah-goo!

The Mommy Woman: Say good morning to Mama! Good Morning Mammmma! Maaa-Maaaaa!

Nikki smiles encouragingly but remains silent.

The Mommy Woman (undeterred): Let's try again honey! Ma Ma! Mammma! Mamamamamamaaaaaaaaa

Nikki: uhhhhhhhh PAH! PAAA! PA PA PA! Pupppah!

The man in question, The Papa Man emerges from the shower, right on cue.

The Papa Man: Smirk Smirk Smirk

The Mommy Woman: Oh buzz off! Don't you have to get to work anyways?

The Papa Man: Not before Nikki spends some time with her Favourite Person in the Whole World!

The Mommy Woman: You are NOT her favourite person in the whole world! And anyway she just babbles indiscriminately. She doesn't know what it means!

The Papa Man: Why then, pray, are you trying so hard to make her say mama?

The Mommy Woman (loftily): Coz as her primary caregiver I want to expand her repertoire of babbling! Right Nikki? Maa-Maa!

Nikki: PapapapapaPAPAPA!

The Papa Man: Aahahahahaha!


Evening falls and darkness slowly spreads her long fingers across the fading blue sky. The Mommy Woman is making one last brave attempt to make Nikki say Mama.

The Mommy Woman: Nikki look at me darling, see how my lips move? Maaaaa-Maaaaa! Mama!

Nikki (whispering softly): ppppppp pah, pah, pah

The Mommy Woman: Dammit! Oh all right say gaga then! Anything but papa. Ta ta? La La? Lalalala!

Nikki: rumble rumbe PAAAPAAA!

The Mommy Woman: Oh honey!

The Papa Man, bounding through the door: Yessss? Is my Nikki calling for her Papa?

The Mommy Woman: Yeps! She's calling for you loud and clear! Aaand she just pooped. I think she wants YOU, her favourite person in the whole world to change her nappy.

Nikki: Pa Pa!

The Papa Man: Aaaaarrghhh!


Friday morning, 4 am. The Papa Man & The Mommy Woman are deep in slumber. Li'l Nikki however seems a little restless in her crib.

Nikki: rumble rumble. Ah- goo! Paaa paaa, papapapapa, pap-pahhh

The Mommy Woman: Oh honnneyy



Friday, September 11, 2009

Sleep or the lack of it...

---seems to be the recurrent theme in our lives these days. For a 5 month old, my little Nikki seems to get by on a lot less sleep than I had expected! When I was a blissfully ignorant mum-to-be, I had full faith in all the pregnancy tomes I read which assured me that all babies in the first year of life spend most of their time sleeping. At 5 months baby will need 13-15 hours of sleep a day, they said, 10 of these at night and the remaining spread into 3 one hour naps of an hour each. Three one hour naps of an hour each! Bah! Nikki does adhere to the three naps a day rule, only the naps are not more than 15-20 minutes each, maybe 25 if I really get lucky! And the amount of time and effort it takes to get her to take that darn nap in the first place is probably harder than training for a marathon!

It all begins when I first notice the classic signs of sleepiness: crankiness, ear pulling, eye rubbing. Gleefully I pounce on Nikki and begin rocking her gently, hoping that she'll nod off quickly. No Siree! As soon as the li'l munchkin realizes that all this gentle rocking is designed to pack her off to the land of nod she fights back with a vehement protest. First comes the grumbling and crankiness: How dare you?!! I want to PLAY! NOW! I ignore this and carry on rocking. When she realizes this ploy isn't working she bounces back with killer smiles, adorable goos & gaas thrown in with a few pa-pa-pa's (the latest addition to the babbling repertoire) and desperately tries to engage with me. Woe betide me if I ever give in. Endowed with a fresh spurt of energy she gets all wriggly and squirmy and tries to jump out of my arms. So I ignore this display of affection and carry on rocking. Then she deals the trump card: pretending to be hungry and trying to suckle. This is a tough one. I have to use all my finely honed mothering instincts to second guess her and figure out whether she really is hungry (you BAD mother you!) or if this is just an act. More often than not its the latter. Which I find out when I give in to the guilty mom conscience hard-wired in my brain and try to latch her on only to get spurned by a fit of giggles. And then begins the rocking all over again.

Sometimes she even starts singing, cooing actually, in a desperate attempt to stay awake. All of this while her eyes are literally drooping with sleep and she's blinking hard to force them open. Very adorable actually if I hadn't been so sleep deprived! Finally after many manic minutes of zombie like rocking, when I'm all ready to crash myself, her eyes FINALLY begin to close! This doesn't mean its all over of course. There are still many more minutes of rocking left to ensure she goes into deep sleep, thereby enabling the seamless transition from arms to crib. And once put down in said crib there is always that dreadful moment when she opens her eyes, stretches, looks well and truly awake and gives me a smile; hey there Ma, wanna give it one more shot?

If after having been put down, she stretches, sighs and carries on sleeping, I breathe a sigh of relief and totter out of the room on tiptoe, a skill I have mastered since Nikki''s birth. Some me-time at last! For 20 minutes at least. Coz as soon as those blessed 20 mins are through I am summoned to the bedroom with some ga ga ga, ah-goos by a bright eyed, super active all- over- again baby, newly rejuvenated by her power nap.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First time here!

I've finally done it! After months of wanting to write a blog I am finally writing my very first post. Yippee! I'd always meant to start a blog after the birth of my daughter who is now five months old ( I know its shameful, but I am truly the Queen, no make that Empress of procrastination), to chronicle the wonderful journey that is motherhood, but just didn't get down to it till today. Well better late than never as that wise saying goes. And to justify the delay, oh all right, to save some face, I had also moved cities soon after her birth so that was two BIG life changes and it was tough coping. Which is when all the wonderful blogs I've been reading for some time now stepped in like old friends and made up for the feelings of loneliness and being overwhelmed in a new city as a new mum.

So am very very happy that I am now actively participating in this exciting blog world and not just being a passive reader :) This blog is meant to share my journey with my baby girl as we discover life together with baby(hers) and mommy (mine) steps. Oh and while we're at it we're also going to have loads of fun and hopefully make some friends!