...who's inching towards toddler-hood with a rather alarming alacrity these days. *Warning: Long barmy parent post ahead!*
Ten months, three weeks and four and a quarter days, 'Circle of Moms' wisely informed me as I logged on to Facebook last night. 46 weeks!!! screamed the thousand newsletters that regularly flood my mailbox every week (they would of course, given that 46 weeks ago, awash with the maternal hormones raging through my system I signed up for all the newsletters of all the parenting sites available like a perfect chump).
46 weeks!!! I repeated to myself in wonder. She'll be a year old before I know it! So I decided to do some serious introspection on whether this blog is doing justice to its raison d'etre, namely, capturing Nikki's babyhood and I've realized that if there is one area where I fall woefully short it is the updates.
I suppose ten months, three weeks and four and a quarter days is not the best time to do an 'update' update, but address this chink in the blog armor we must and I'm going to settle instead for chronicling a typical day with Nikki, given that we seem to have fallen into a rather nice routine these days. Dear God, please let me not hex myself by writing this.
Anyway, getting back, when Nikki was about five months old I set out on the path of getting her into a routine with an uncommon zeal and vigour. The well spaced out daily feeds, day time naps(we know how that went, but you can't blame me for not trying!) and evening bedtime routine were all given a valiant shot after extensive perusal of the omnipresent newsletters that were only too glad to tell me how it should be done.
It all blew up in my face of course, but you already knew that didn't you? After a few days of wiping Cerelac out of my hair at 11pm (which is when the baby was supposed to be in sweet slumber, nicely tucked in her crib) and being rudely kicked awake at 3am for a feed (which of course the baby shouldn't be demanding at all, having settled rather well into her new routine)I threw in the towel with a disgusted scheduling, schmoodling and fell back into the easy life, where days have no set pattern. And then, just like that Nikki fell into a routine! And with the exception of the occasional off day when she awakens at an unearthly hour or insists on not taking a single nap though the day, just to ensure that the old parents don't get too used to the easy life, the routine pretty much seems to have stuck on. Dear God, please let me not hex myself by writing this.
We begin the day to the sound of gentle coos and babbles if Nikki awakens with mild stirrings of hunger or more vigorous ma-ma-maas! if the hunger pangs are more pronounced, anytime between 6 to 8am. After a quick (sob!)nursing session, Nikki literally shoves me out of her face and gets on with the significantly more enjoyable activity of kicking P awake if he happens to be dozing nearby. Mission accomplished, she spends the next half hour playing with P while he gets ready for work and generally zipping around the house on all fours trying her best to get close to those fascinating objects worthy of only the most reverential pursuit: the shoe rack and the dustbin.
I try and get another nursing session in midway, more to soothe my own battered ego than anything else and am more often than not curtly told where to get off by an indignant Nikki, angry at being diverted from the riveting activity of attempting to chew the broom.
Humbled, I make Nikki's breakfast and at 9am she has her first solid feed for the day:a bowl of Cerelac with a mashed egg yolk. The twin onslaught of a well fed tummy and a feeling of tiredness, what with all the pre-breakfast activity, augurs well for the battle weary sleep fairy and Nikki takes her first nap soon after breakfast. The nap ranges for anywhere from twenty minutes on the tough days to an hour and a half on the truly blessed ones. Post nap Nikks is up and about again, so we either go down to the park for some lolling around in the sun or stay home and play with the ever growing collection of toys that is threatening to overtake our home. At noon Nikki's khichdi is served up for the midday meal and we begin the onerous task of feeding her; who wants to eat khichdi when you can instead explore the wonderful contents of the shoe cabinet? My household help S, who otherwise is remarkably competent at getting on my nerves, redeems herself each day at lunchtime by staging a (screechy, but helpful nonetheless) song and dance performance for a sulky Nikki while I quickly shovel in spoonfuls of khichdi. A bowl or two later, we're done and I plonk myself in the balcony with a well fed and content Nikki in my lap. We spend a blissful half hour in the mellow afternoon sun before heading inside for Nikki's daily massage and bath.
The massage bit is usually full of activity as Nikki rolls over as soon as she's placed on the massage mat and trots off speedily in the opposite direction, with me scrabbling around trying to get a grip on her, no easy task at the best of times and even more tricky with hands dripping with oil. The relaxing, warm bath that follows post massage is relatively easier with Nikki firmly ensconced in her bath seat (thank you Carter, how about a large bath seat for toddlers next?)and we follow this up with some fun time in her baby bathtub. Much splashing and giggling later I fish Nikki and her plastic fish and ducks out of the bath and attempt to towel her dry. I say attempt, because as soon as she's placed on the bed, Nikki does a replay of the roll over and trot off activity, protesting vehemently against all attempts at being dried and clothed. Did I mention that the bath is intended to relax Nikki to the point of sleep? Important point that, because it tends to have the exact opposite effect in Nikki's case. While sleep may be the logical next step for other babies after a massage and a bath, all it seems to do for this child of mine is make her bounce off the walls. It does have a lag effect though, for half an hour or so later we do manage to settle her down for a nap and this one usually lasts for an hour, sometimes two! Dear God, please let me not hex myself by writing this.
Refreshed yet again after all this napping, Nikki awakens to some porridge or a fruit smoothie at 4ish. Much excitement follows soon after as we wheel out the pram and Nikki figures we're going out and we make an appearance at the park amid much squealing and merry shrieking. That would be Nikki & S of course, I follow them at a respectable distance, maintaining only the highest standards of decorum. We spend some time strolling around the park and while we're at it try to bung some formula into Nikki from her new sippy cup. A few rounds of the park later we perch ourselves in a shady spot so Nikki can watch the other kids play and run around. I send my daily request to the Almighty that Nikki will start walking soon so that she and I can run around the park too, in spite of warnings from older, wiser and significantly more weary mums who insist I will look back fondly on the days before mobility descended on us. Then its time to head home again for some story telling or listening to music, before the last feed for the day followed by bedtime. Nikki has settled into the happy practice of going to bed by 8.30ish and these days is quite content to sleep though the night. Dear God, please let me not hex myself by writing this.
If P gets back before Nikki goes to bed he usually spends some time playing with her and puts her to bed himself, and we then pretty much have the evening to ourselves. This, combined with the sleeping through the night bit has significantly reduced the anti social, snappy behavior observed in these parts earlier and the 7-8 hours of sleep (hallelujah! I did live to see the day!)I've been getting has revived the rusty resolve to get back on the fitness bandwagon.
So all in all, with this happy routine we seem to have settled into, life in Nikki-dom right now is pretty darn good. Dear God,... um you get the drift right? Please let this last!