- My social butterfly: Nikki was always a rather happy baby, smiling away pretty much from day one. Of course the doctor rather unkindly told us as we fawned over her adorable newborn smiles, that all newborn babies smile when they pass gas and not coz their parents are doing a good job. Thereby dashing any hopes we may have had of being naturally great at this parenting thing. Nikki soon graduated from the gassy smiles to smiling at the ceiling fan & lights. You’d think they were long lost friends, those fans and lights, as her face would light up and break out into a million dollar smile each time she caught sight of them. “Look Nikki!” P & I would yell, poking our respective mugs in her line of vision, “Mama! Dada! Give us a smile honey!” Only to be rebuffed for the fan or tube light, whichever happened to be closer. I soon developed an intense hatred for that ceiling fan. Lucky for it we moved soon and I didn’t get a chance to do it any damage. But soon enough, we found to our delight that Nikks was smiling at us mere mortals too! At first we would be the ones initiating the smiling, but very soon she was the one smiling at us first, and smiling all the time! First thing in the morning I would greet a sleepy Nikki and get rewarded with a big smile! Change of diaper (even the 4 am change), change of clothes, and feeding time, all brought out large grins. Playtime and bath time elicited giggles and delighted shrieks even. But the biggest smiles of all were reserved for when Daddy got back from work. A wide grin would radiate across her face as she caught sight of P and she would then proceed to smile and thump the nearest available surface with great gusto, thereby resulting in a rather endearing welcome home jig. This gregarious phase continues as I write this. Now everyone from our maids, the dhobi, and the mailman to random strangers in malls are treated to a liberal dose of Nikki’s jaadu ki smileys. And it works too! We’ve got warm smiles in return and strangers have struck up conversations, all charmed by Nikki’s cute baby smiles. I certainly hope this phase lasts for a long long time!
- The pearly whites… are a poppin! Sometime between the completion of months five & six I noticed that Nikki’s baby teeth were gearing up for their debut. Soon enough little white buds were sprouting, first the top two front teeth, followed closely by the bottom two. Thankfully she hasn’t had too much trouble with teething (please don’t hex me dear God) yet so we’ve managed okay. A lot of people have been recommending homeopathy to avoid the teething troubles but I haven’t tried it so far, not being very knowledgeable about the entire homeopathy jig. Anyone out there reading this who can give me any advice? Is homeopathy recommended for babies to deal with minor ills like coughs or colds or teething troubles?
- Personality Plus: Yup she’s got a personality all right! Maybe I sound like a barmy parent but I could see Nikki’s budding personality pretty much from the start- she showed strong streaks of being a go- getter, no nonsense taker, right from when she was a few days old, whether it was resisting breast feeding and insisting only on formula (those were dark days but I triumphed eventually) or showing her immense displeasure at a delayed diaper change. The nurses at Lilavati Hospital, where Nikki was born, had even coined a few terms for her: “yeh chapter hai chapter!”, “drama queen!” and “cute cutlet!” The last one is testimony to the fact that no matter how trying the episode, one killer smile from the little ham is always enough to melt anyone into gooey mush. She knows how to get her way, this one.
- The daily half a dozen:
- Sleep: The battle continues unabated. On some days I think maybe the combination of solids and massage plus warm bath are actually making Nikki sleep a little better (today is one of those days and that explains this long post) and on others I think I’m just deluded.
- Eat: We plod on through the land of solids gingerly; applesauce, pureed peas & carrots and rice cereal have been conquered, khichdi is the next big milestone. Nikki’s reaction to these varies between eager slurping on some occasions to all out resistance and extreme displeasure on others. The evening feed is usually the trickiest but once we’ve filled ‘er up she does sleep a lot better at nights. It sure is messy though! Each feed calls for a fresh change of clothes and Nikki’s bib all crisp and clean at the start of every feeding session is always reduced to a soggy, limp rag at the end. And while we’re on the subject, administering the iron & calcium drops continues to be a nightmare since Nikki usually clamps her mouth tightly shut and stubbornly looks away each time. When, after much effort, I manage to coax her mouth open and shove the drops in, she unfailingly sputters it all out with brilliant fountain like effects. Both of us are going to need new wardrobes soon.
- Bath: The little water baby continues to enjoy bath time! Nikki’s loved water since she was a newborn, surprising us at her very first bath time by being all tranquil and zen like and dipping her arms into the tub! It’s a lot more fun now since both she & I are a lot more experienced and fun props such as floating fish squirters have been introduced. She also really loves her massage and the daily massage and bath sessions still top the list of fun time bonding for me & her.
- Play: The Papa Man continues to excel in this arena coming up almost daily with fun new tricks to entertain. Peek-a-boo and blowing stomach raspberries continue to be the favorites followed closely by pretend flying and swinging. The toy du jour is a new sing-a-long book gifted to Nikki by my friend N, which teaches numbers and animals with lots of song and music. Nikki’s also getting squirmier and wrigglier with every passing day, desperately trying to crawl and sitting up wonderfully with little support. I can see my days of relative carefree-ness drawing to an eminent close as she inches towards mobility.
- Poo: Stinky but unavoidable, the poop tales demand telling. Since the introduction of solids, the innocent days of sweet baby poo have been replaced with rather more vile successors. Without getting into gory detail, let me just say that I still prefer just one a day of these, to the days of yore when we had eight to ten dirty diapers a day, no matter how innocuous. I reserve my right to change my mind however, as we progress along the path of still more solids.
- Babbles continue to grow and delight! The latest addition to the ever expanding repertoire includes “kya hai” pronounced kyaaaiii, expertly tutored by P & the brother in law, and is now used all the time. Last night I was feeding Nikki as part of her bed time ritual (it works sometimes) when she pulled away with an indignant kyaaaiii!! She is now also saying mama, albeit sparingly. Guess my habit of speaking the M language (myou must’ve mlayed mhis min mschool?) is working.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
---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
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!