Daddy Journals

Of hair and toddlers

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Kids. They often find the strangest things attractive and develop affinity for weird things as they grow up.

My son, for instance, has this affinity towards hair. If you’re anywhere in his vicinity, he will nonchalantly (and very secretly) put his little hand into your tresses and slowly start to roll the strands of your hair around one of his fingers. A mostly harmless activity, unless you happen to have long-hair, of course.  Because one of the challenges, once he’s done with this ‘hair-rolling-and-clumping’ is the struggle to ‘unknot it’. And having seen the pain my sister, mother and wife experience while trying to play Houdini and break-free those knots from their hair, I know it’s no child's play. Even if, a child did do it in the first place.

Since I’m follically-challenged and suffer from rapidly thinning of hair (though rapidly-disappearing would be a more appropriate phrase here!), I make sure he doesn’t get a chance to pull my hair at all. Because not only does it hurt a lot, I’m often worried about the possibility that I’ll be left with a Bruce Willis or Jason Statham-like hairstyle. And believe me. I cannot carry that look off, without looking like a thug. Of course, the fact that my hair is almost eternally out-of-bounds for him, is something that angers my three-year old a lot. And if you have toddlers, you’ll know that they are not used to taking ‘No’ for an answer. Not from their parents, anyway.

[bctt tweet="Toddlers would rather jump off the eighth floor rather than listen to their parents when they say ‘No!’"]

The only two instances that my son gets access to whatever-little-is-left-of-my-hair are:

One: when I'm forced to carry him on my shoulders; he holds on to my hair for support, inspite of my numerous warnings and repeated requests to hold onto my neck.

Two: to balance himself when he tries to wear shoes or shorts; though I fail to understand why he chooses my hair of all things.

Otherwise, I’m largely safe from this game of ‘knots and braids’ that he subjects most people to.

A few days back, I had one of my blasted migraine attacks. For those of you, who may be fortunate enough not to have experienced this malady, a migraine attack can only be described as a glorious medical condition where you feel like your head is being frequently pounded by Thor's legendary hammer while 'The Hulk' crushes your cheek bones into pulp. You sort of lose total focus and even concentrating on a single task is something ridiculously difficult. When I get such attacks, , I often resort to the use of a strong painkiller that is quite literally, my army in shining armour that puts the migraine in its place. However this time, it wasn't the case. I was travelling and had used up my quota of painkillers. So there I was - pacing up and down the room, like a caged beast, grunting and growling, in the hopes that I could 'scare' the migraine away.

My three-year old, who hadn't previously met this 'Mr. Hyde' side of mine, was visibly confused. Whilst he had often been privy to the 'angry-Hulk' side, this was something new to him. But based on my reactions and grunts, I believe he figured out that something was wrong with my head. Or so, I believe.  So, as I thundered around the room, I felt a little tug on my pyjamas. I looked down and found him giving me a wide-eyed stare, with a twinkle in them. Now, do forgive me for this particular 'thought-process' and for having the audacity to be honest about it. But at that moment, the last thing I wanted was to deal with whatever it was that he wanted. So I glared down at him, almost daring him to ask for what he wanted. Now, if you're a parent, you'll probably know that when it comes to toddlers, threats often fall on deaf ears.

[bctt tweet="Threatening a toddler is like negotiating with someone who is a cross between a terrorist and a politician. "]

 Either way, you'll probably walk away thinking you won, when in reality they were holding all the cards to start with. 

Paying no heed to what I said, he ordered, "Papa, come with me!", as he turned around and ran off into the bedroom. Sighing loudly to express my discontent at having failed at 'my threats', I follow him into the bedroom where he sat crosslegged on the bed. As I wondered about what he was going to do next, he gestured for me to come over and lie on his tiny lap. For a brief moment, I stood there - both amused and astounded by his reaction. Of all the things I've expected my little one to do, offering me a place to lay down with my head on his lap, wasn't definitely one of them. All of a sudden, I felt a bit overwhelmed and a tiny tear escaped from the corner of my right eye, that had started to fill up rapidly.

‘Papa, come and lie down and I do this’ he said, his little arms making gestures that indicated something reminiscent of a head massage. Fighting back the tears, I obliged and placed my head on his lap. As he gently started to massage my head, running his nimble fingers through my hair, I felt drowsy and nodded off to sleep. 

When I woke up, about fifteen minutes later, he was missing. I could hear the high-pitched nasal voice of the narcissistic Mickey Mouse, singing the famous 'Hot Dog' song, so I naturally assumed he was watching TV. I was also pleasantly surprised to notice that my migraine had disappeared - perhaps because of the power nap; or perhaps it was on account of those tiny little magical fingers of his, that had cured me. Either way, I was extremely refreshed. So, I got up from the bed, stretched and called out to my son, who responded with his own rendition of the song.

As I slowly ambled towards the hall, I caught a glimpse of myself in the hallway mirror. And this is how it looked. (Ok, it looked much worse; this was taken after I finished a yell-session with him and then a 'semi-detangling' session)

The result of my son's hairstyling

And then it dawned on me. He asked me to lie down on his lap so that he could knot strands of my hair into little clumps like these.

Kids. They’re freaking unbelievable.


Just a side note to apologise to my readers because I've not been as 'active' as I'd like to be. Let's just say I'm not feeling 'like myself' at the moment and hence writing anything is an arduous task these days.  Promise to be back soon.

Want a Happy Baby?

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No, don't worry! I'm not selling babies  - happy or otherwise ;) People often say a lot of things about parenting. Some say it's hard, some say it's emotionally and physically draining, some say that it's the perfect thing in the world. Of course, the opinions will vary depending on who you catch hold of and on what day. But here's something that every single parent will agree to:

 

A happy baby is just god-given perfection.

The peals of laughter that erupt from their little mouths or the joyous (and often, toothless) smiles they give us when they're content and happy - nothing can beat the sanctity of that moment. You feel so much at peace and if you could, you would want to preserve that moment forever.

 

When we had our son, I was still a corporate slave and working ridiculous hours. But every single moment that I could afford to spare, I would sit up with my little one. And needless to say, I discovered both the joyous (and not so joyous) aspects of parenting. But perhaps the most important takeaways from my initial lessons were how to ensure our baby was happy and content. So, for the benefit of any new/fellow parents who may be reading this, I'm going to share these:

 

Establish a routine Yes, I know. It doesn't sound as fun and silly, but it's perhaps one of the most important things for a baby. If they have an established pattern or routine for sleeping and eating, that's half your battle sorted.

 

Never underestimate the power of a good quality diaper. Of course, since babies are not potty-trained, ensuring that they feel comfortable in a diaper even if they've managed to dirty it, is imperative. A good dry diaper, such as the new Pampers Baby Dry Pants, can ensure that the little ones are happy and content, regardless of whether they're sleeping or awake. Need more proof, check out the video below:

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTlVOdovIZ8[/embed]

 

 

Entertain them While you possibly need to entertain them so that they aren't bored, here's another simple truth. A baby's laughter is perhaps the most amazing music that your ears will ever listen to. And it's easy to get them to do that. These are few  of the things I've done to make my little one smile and giggle nonstop.

  •  Unusual Sounds Think of the strangest sound that you can imagine. Something extremely unusual. Even a different tone or voice. And then just speak to them. I can guarantee you that in no time, they'll be giggling away. I would often use a balloon and use the air from it to change my voice. It used to send my son into giggling spurts
  • Tickle them pink.  And I mean it. Most babies are really ticklish and since they can't understand what the sensation is, most of them just end up giggling. And of course turn pink in the process. It works especially well during bath time. I'm sure there's a scientific reasoning behind it, but it just gives you so much pleasure to see them laugh away.
  • Blow Raspberries  To an onlooker it looks like the silliest activity one can engage in, with a baby. But from experience, I can tell you that it is perhaps the most effective. The 'prrrt' sound  (that's the best imitation of the sound that I can come up with!) against the baby's skin, especially on the tummy can make them squeal in delight.
  • Laugh with them Perhaps there is nothing more contagious that you laughing along with them. Even a fake laugh can elicit genuine cute chuckles from the babies.

 

 

So in short, make sure they're clean, well-fed, have enough sleep and some 'entertainment' time, and your  baby (and you) will remain happy always! So simple, isn't it?  
   
This post is written for  the 'Dry Baby, Happy Baby' campaign in association with IndiBlogger Happy Hours

Image Courtesy : Freedigitalimages.net/photostock.

A little optimism

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I watched him pick up his toys and lazily amble towards the center of sand filled playground. It had not even been five minutes since he had been thrown out by the elder kids, because he was too small to help them build mud castles. But heart filled with optimism, he made his way once again. I spotted one of the elder kids, perhaps about nine or ten, point towards him and laugh along with his friends. For a moment, I wondered if I should step in. After all, he was my son. And I was a duty-bound father, who swore to protect him at any cost. But something stopped me. Perhaps it was instinct. Perhaps it was just the curiosity to see how far he would go. Whatever it was, I continued to sit down and watch my almost-three year old toddler march towards the battalion of elder kids, armed only with his sand pail and a plastic spoon.  

With bated breath, I watched him enter the circle that the elder kids had made and calmly put his pail and spoon down. The biggest one of the lot, perhaps just shy of his pre-teen years, took giant steps towards my son, who was less than half his height. For some reason that I could not fathom, my son turned back and looked at me. And then he did the strangest thing - He smiled. Rather, it was a grin. A full toothy one, no less. Behind him, the other kid stopped a few meters from him. I tried  to gauge the thoughts of the bigger kid by observing his facial expressions. But like an expert witness, he remained impassive. 'This was it!' I thought, 'I'm going to have to go and get my son out of there. Or else, it's going to be a rematch of David v/s Goliath. And this David was not going to stand a chance in hell!'

 

As I stood up from the bench I was sitting on, the bigger boy moved closer towards my son. Before I could rush towards them, my son suddenly hugged the elder kid. I stopped in my tracks, confused by my son's unexpected reaction. And as I watched, partially amused by the scene that was playing out in front of me, the elder boy knelt in front of my son and hugged him back. Within minutes, my son had disappeared into the midst of his new-found friends. It took me a few minutes to understand the impact of what my son had done. Instead of being deterred by the attitudes of the bigger and elder children, my son had decided to focus on the end goal of getting into their gang. He had embraced his earlier failures, learnt from them and adopted a new approach. And he had broken through their defense with merely a smile and a hug.

 

I sat back on the bench, happy and relieved. As parents, we had inculcated the right attitude and beliefs in our son. That come what may, be optimistic and you can find a way to succeed in whatever you do.

 


This post was written for the 'Look up Stories'  by IndiBlogger Happy Hours

Image courtesy : www.HDWallpapers.com

Winners and Losers

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Picture this.
You’ve just loudly announced to your toddler that it is almost bed time and that he will need to pick up all his toys and put them back in their respective places, or else he’s not getting a bed time story today. And surprise - your young one completes the activity without actually complaining. ‘Win!’ you think, and contemplate sitting down for a few brief seconds to rest your tired feet before you hear a loud crash from the bedroom. Reluctantly, you get off the sofa and walk up to the room and peek inside. Suddenly, the place looks like a war zone. Except, that the war is just about to begin. 

If you’ve been following Daddy Journals for a while, this isn’t going to be the first time you’d have heard me say this. But for the sake of the record, let’s pause for a moment for effect and let me reiterate:

‘Parenting is bloody hard work'

 

Sometimes, I think that we don’t realise we have a temper till we have kids. Okay, that may be an incorrect observation. I’ve always been on the higher end of the temper scale. And patience has never been one of my strong suits. But raising a toddler can just be a very strange experience.

On one hand, you have good times and the ‘firsts’ of many life activities - words, walks, eating alone and what notsOn the other, you have your uncontrollable rage when everything just goes slowly from good to bad to worse to …well, you  get the drift. When things are good, you are quite literally on the top of the world. And then when things get out of hand, you feel awfully depressed.

To quote Jennifer Anniston’s character, Rachel, from FRIENDs, you feel like :

“It’s like there’s rock bottom, then 50 feet of crap, and then me!”. 

 

If you’re one of those ‘goody-two’ shoes parents who has NEVER lost your patience with your child or if your little one is a blessed angel who has never pushed you over the edge, kindly take a minute, while we applaud you. And now, look away. Because you’ll probably never understand the points that I am likely to discuss ahead.

For the rest of us ‘normal’ parents, you may continue.

The simple truth, I suppose, is that people yell. Yes, some of them might dress it up as having a loud voice, but I am yet to find a person who hasn't yelled. There’s no point in beating up yourself over it. Sometimes yelling is the only way to get out all that frustration in you. But if you must yell at your kids (or anyone), remember these four points:


 

Yelling 1

Yelling 2

Yelling Rules 3

Yelling 4


Now, I am not (nor will ever be) an expert when it comes to parenting. Honestly, there are days where I sincerely wonder how I would have fared, had there been a test for parenting. Probably would have failed. But here’s the thing. A toddler who is in the middle of his/her tantrum phase can break even a saint’s patience. Of course, Zen mothers are exceptions.

Coming back to the topic though, never in a million years would I have imagined that someday I would write a post about feeling bad because you yelled at your kid. But well, here I am. Parenting does make me do weird things.

But perhaps the most ironically humorous part of parenting is how it makes you feel at times. It is perhaps, the only kind of relationship where :

If you win, sometimes you're actually losing.

And sometimes when you lose, you're actually winning.


 

Author's Note:

I usually don’t share posts. So when I do, that means it’s touched a chord with me.

Here’s a post by a dear friend and mom-blogger, Shailaja, about her travail with yelling. One of the things I love the most about her blog (not just the post) is the little widget in the sidebar that says how long it has been since she last yelled. It’s an amazing ‘visual indicator’ that makes you think and realise that you could be a lot closer to ‘Zen’ Mode than you think. If you must know, my counter has just reset. Hopefully, I can go a while before it resets again.

Happy Parenting, folks.

Guilty? Or Guilt-free?

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Recently, I spoke to a friend who is all set to embrace motherhood in all its glory. Now, I’ve known this person for a long time, and she loves what she does for a living. And mind you, she’s pretty darn good at it. But the more we discussed parenting and how life changes after kids,  the more it became evident to me that there was something she wasn’t telling me. As people who’ve known me for a while can confirm, I usually diplomatically manage to coerce get the person into revealing what it is. Anyway, as it turns out, while she was ecstatic about motherhood and everything associated with it, she was also concerned about a few things. One of these things was ‘returning to work’. Because as I mentioned earlier, she is someone who enjoys what she does and for her to not be able to put in the same amount of effort post-motherhood, would - in all sense of the word - kill her.

Curious, I asked her - why should her becoming a mother, affect the way she worked? After all, people successfully do both. She looked at me and said “Guilt”.

And her one word answer, got me thinking. I’ve heard the phrase ‘parenting guilt’ being thrown around quite a lot, and perhaps one of the reasons that I wasn’t too affected by it, was because, well, I rarely feel guilty about anything. For starters, if I did, I wouldn’t eat so much cake and be such a rotund person. (Yes, I noticed the smirk.) Perhaps, it is also because I don't think I've done anything that wasn't justifiable in my book. But I couldn’t let go of what she’d said; so I pondered over it for a few days wondering if others felt the same way.

I started to ask other working mothers in my group - friends, fellow bloggers and ex-colleagues. And I was surprised to hear that at times, a lot of them felt guilty in some way.

Some felt guilty about not being able to spend as much time as they would have liked to with their kids. Some others felt guilty about actually enjoying their work, despite having a little one at home. Yet some others, felt guilty because society made them feel  like they weren’t doing enough. And some others felt guilty about the fact  that sometimes they felt the urge to have some ‘me-time’.

And that’s when I realised that I had an example - a fusion of these, perhaps - right at home.

So to my lovely wife, who is both a career woman as well as a doting mother, and every parent who may have at times, felt guilty about not being there 24x7 for your kids, this one is for you:

Not everyone can juggle all the different roles as you can, with such relative ease. So relax, you are doing a splendid job. Yes, I know - at times, you may feel like you’re not doing enough for your kids or sometimes even feel left out of the little ‘ecstatic moments’ of joys that you may otherwise get to share with the kids. It’s only human to feel so. And of course society will lay down their rules of what’s the right way to bring up a child and what isn’t. But pay no heed. You’re all superstars.

And since we’re on the subject, remember that while your kids are a pivotal part of your life, there is no need for your world to revolve around them all the time. The presence of your kids should augment the sweetness of  your life, like how a spoon of sugar can do for a cuppa, not shackle your conscience.

You deserve to take some time off for yourself. So the next time, if you feel you’re not doing enough or being there enough or giving enough, remember that it is okay to go out for a meal or a movie or even a mini-vacation, just by yourself or with your better-half while leaving the kids with grandparents or extended family. Or to take time off to do things you like - be it writing, reading, painting, or even just lazing on your couch, watching your favourite TV show. Or even just enjoying the work you do. And most of all, it is okay to ignore what others may think of you as a parent. Your parenting style needs to be shaped by your situation and the environment that your family is in, not by some social expectation, external pressures and unwritten rules of how to bring up your child.

Regardless of what the ‘parenting police’ say, remember that there is no ‘Perfect Parent’ award. So just be a real one. You are a human being, not superwoman (or man). It wont do you any good to be riddled by guilt set by expectations or to be anxious or exhausted. Instead, what time you do have with your kids, make sure you become a happy, good-humoured role model showing them that it is perfectly possible to balance priorities in life.

And as for the kids, they'll turn out just fine. After all, you are amazing parents.


 

I'm curious - What do you think? Do you think parents need to feel guilty about working? Or even having to want some 'me-time'?

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So, you want kids?

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Indian society has a problem. We somewhat detest the live and let live’ philosophy. Rather we’re followers of the live and let’s tell others how to live their lives’ movement. And true to this ideology, if you happen to be a single person on the slightly northern side of the age scale that begins at twenty-one, it is highly unlikely that you haven’t been asked even once - “So, when are you getting married?”. And even if you somehow manage to run away from that question and eventually with someone you want as your better half, they come up with the next question - “So, you’ve been married for ’n’ years - no kids yet?”. Sadly, there's nothing much we can do about it apart from silently mouth, 'Mind your own business!' Or deliver that witty and sarcastic one-liner we've been carrying around.  

As the father of a 33-month old cuddly, yet at-times overly active toddler, I have my hands full. Pretty much all through the day. Anyone who says that looking after young one(s) is not considered as a ‘job’ in the real sense of the word - kindly get a rectal examination done - your head seems to be stuffed all the way up your behind. Because, trust me - it’s the mother of all jobs. And hats off to every single mother on the planet for making it seem so effortless. I guarantee you - it isn’t as easy as it seems.

 

Ever since we’ve had our little one, there have been times that we’ve questioned the sanity of our decision to have kids. Yes, it is incredibly delightful - sometimes like living with walking, talking, laughing, utterly cute and cuddly teddy. But at times, it is also a rather dreadful experience when neither you nor the kids know why each of you are throwing a tantrum or bursting into tears over something as silly as a broken glass vessel. Yes, it’s a mixed bag of emotions, feelings and experiences, to say the very least.

 

During my pre-fatherhood days, I’ve often mused about this whole parenting thing.

What is it that a kid brings to that already healthy equation of two loving partners who mean the world to each other? Is a kid necessary for you and your spouse/partner to complete the picture of a ‘perfect’ family? Or is it because you are really worried about your lineage and that without kids, it may stop with you? Or is it because you love your parents so much that it has been your life long dream to give them grand kids?
  There were plenty of such questions running through my head when we were trying to decide if we wanted kids. And to be brutally honest, even as we waited for the home pregnancy test unit to show either the plus that would make us jump up for joy or the minus that would just make the optimists in us try again, I still did not know the answer of many of these questions.   I got around to writing this post because over the past year, ever since my ‘Daddy Journals’ started gaining a bit of popularity, I’ve had a few friends and readers ask me this question - if fatherhood/parenting is so awesome as you make it out to be, then why aren’t more people taking it to it? I could be plain blunt and answer that question with the charismatic smirk of a know-it-all diplomat and say ‘To each one their own’. And while that as a phrase is as good an argument as any, on a more personal level, I can only tell you what I’ve learnt.   For what it’s worth, I’d like to share it here:  

Do not let anyone rush you into this parenting thing. Because once you’re a parent, your very life as you know it, will change. You will still have late nights - except that the drinking and dancing will now be replaced by a feeling of helplessness while trying to figure out what a confused little soul wants. Oh, did I mention a confused ‘crying’  little soul? Enjoy.

Parenting is complicated. It always will be. People will try to 'un-complicate' it for you, but remember this - only YOU can do that. Because every kid (yes, even each of your own) is different.

There are no shortcuts or right ways to parenting. And no, there are no coursebooks. It is mostly a learn-on-the-go kind of practical lesson and you must be open to trying out what best works for you, your partner and your kid(s).

Having kids is like trying to eat your favourite ice cream while trying to navigate a heated obstacle course filled with LEGO bricks and other every day objects. Yes, if Daddy Journals ever got made into a movie, LEGO bricks would play the supporting cast.

If you’re lucky, until they grow up and are ready to clean after themselves, every day will involve either dirty diapers, poop-y behinds, sniffling noses, watery eyes, various bumps all over the body, chipped tooth, messy clothes, wiping drawings of Picasso off various surfaces such as walls, tables, sofas and sometimes even your favourite white shirt, projectile food and picking out stuff from your hair or pockets and being held to ransom over going to bed and wanting to play.

If you’re extremely lucky, you may get to see all of these in a single day. Sort of like the weather in magnificent England.

 

However as with everything in life, parenting has this balance which you must experience to see the blissfulness.

Like in my case, I was happy as a person before I met my wife. But having her in my life gives it a whole new meaning - a new dimension of happiness that I cannot begin to describe. And with my little one added to the mix, I’m now happier than ever. For it is a strangely humbling experience to realise that you will do everything in your power to make your kid’s life as perfect as you possibly can.  And despite the constantly messy, confusing and exhausting life that I have now, I am richer and feel more loved than ever before.

 

Plus you have the perfect excuse to eat ice cream almost all the time and play with toys and video games.

Jokes aside, there is no right or wrong answer to why you would or wouldn’t want kids - there are just careful, deliberate choices. So if you do end up having kids, make sure you give them the best you can. And if you don’t want kids, well, you can always be the fun uncle or aunt - all the fun but not much of the pain.

 Image courtesy - shutterstock.com


"How does it feel ?"

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When I became a father, a few male friends asked me a question. A question, if I had to confess, I just hadn’t thought about. It might also be worth pointing out that these friends were largely unmarried twenty-something men who were in semi-serious relationships. Anyway, the million dollar question was: “How does IT feel?”.  

The first time I was asked this seemingly good natured query, I was rather perplexed. For I didn't quite know what he was referring to. My idle mind honestly thought that either he was referring to the timely procreative act that had successfully borne fruit (kids - if you're reading, you're too young for that now!) or  about having survived the nearly out-of-body experience of actually helping a doctor and a set of maternity nurses hand-deliver my little one.

 

Yes, I'm very aware that my 'experience' isn't even a drop in the ocean to what my wife could have possibly endured, but more on that in another post. Anyway, since I was usually in no mood to discuss either of those two points, in the interest of giving myself an exit window from the clutches of the above-mentioned question, I would usually just smile and shrug my shoulders, as if 'IT' felt like the most natural thing in the world.

 

Eventually, after a lot of contemplation (read as: man-ing up and asking my wife), I figured out that what they were actually referring to was in fact, 'How does it feel to be a father?' And truth be told, I did not know. For I'd never really given it any thought. I mean, how does one define these things? These feelings to be precise. It's not as if you've just been given a bar of chocolate and had to decide whether you want to eat it slowly or devour the whole thing at once. It is a wee bit more complicated than that.

 

How does one describe the feeling of realisation that you have just been elevated from the role of a normal, happy-go-lucky chap to someone who is now responsible (at least partly) for this new life form that you now hold in your arms? And that the little person you're looking at, with those tiny little fingers, toes, snouty nose and crinkled up forehead, is perhaps going to decide your schedules and social calendar for the foreseeable future. Also that while there may be times when their smile could make you feel like you're on the proverbial cloud nine, there may also be times when their shrill cries could keep you up all night wondering how you ended up in such a pickle in the first place. 

 

No. I did not know how to describe that feeling. And I still don't, even after 33 months of wholesome and hands-on parenting. But here's the thing. To me, fatherhood has been a discovery of sorts.It's a journey of constant learning, adapting and yes, sometimes just thriving.

 

There are times when you can be both amazed by and angry at the same little person. At the same time, that too. Other times, you discover that you have this storehouse of patience that is the only thing stopping you from wanting to bang your head against the wall. There are also moments of self-discovery when you surprise yourself with how good you are at telling stories, sometimes even making them up as you go along. And then of those pangs of jealousy that you feel when you kid temporarily chooses someone else to bother. 

 

And that there will be times when you just want to go to the supermarket under the pretext of doing some shopping, just to get some 'you-time'. Or how your inherent radar just goes off when you spot other parents with kids in the same age group. Of course, there are also moments of joy, when you discover that your ability to make the weirdest noises is a source of entertainment for the little one. Or the strange looks that people give you when you are busy having strange and intimate conversations with inanimate objects. Sometimes, the discovery is something more simpler. Like replacing your otherwise overpriced cup of latte from Starbucks to plain, strong coffee in a mug that says 'Daddy, you're the best!'.

 

And sometimes it is the fact that you can actually hear your own voice, after they sleep.  Or how you're constantly trying to evolve from being the guy hanging out with your best mates to the guy that your kid wants to hang out with. Or that even the simple act of getting out of the house with a child requires more planning that your annual vacation. Often, it could be  a more serious realisation. Like how this little thing called 'money' is suddenly a criteria for everything. Or how sleep, something that you managed without for days at a stretch, is now a luxury that you'd gladly give an arm or a leg for. Or how your relationship with your better-half changes. When sweet nothings become all the more important and every chance that you get for the simplest conversations are more precious that all the talk you've ever done before. 

I could go on and on, but I won't. The thing is - 'Everything in parenthood is a discovery'. For no parenting book or journal can truly explain what you're getting yourself into. Only that you'll always come out stronger.

 

And as for this said 'feeling'. that takes on new dimensions ever so often. Sometimes every day. And at times every other hour. I suppose, it is pretty accurate to say that depending on the time of the day, you may receive a different answer for that question. Right now for example, as I sit nursing my wounded pinky toe, that 'feeling' is :

 

I can't wait for him to grow out of the 'I shall leave my Lego blocks lying around so Dad can step on them' phase. Trust me, they hurt!


Father and Son

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I’ve often heard people say that “Parenting is the toughest job in the world”. And now that I’m a parent, I agree. The hours are weird, your employer has crazy demands and despite having a hot teammate, you’d find yourself wanting some “you-time”. Add to the fact, that if you are a full-time parent to a toddler, you no longer have a sense of time - weekends are the same as weekdays; 9pm is the new “bedtime” and your definition of a date is a “two-hour” chat with parents of other toddlers discussing potty training and what happened in the last episode of “Chota Bheem”. Yes, parenting is difficult. And for a good reason too. You are now responsible for an entire person (or people - gulp) and everything you say and every action that you take will set an example  - either good or bad.

But here’s the thing - it’s not all doom and gloom. Your little one can make you feel thankful about a lot of little things, that we often tend to overlook. So today, I’m dedicating this short poem below for my little mischief-maker.

P.S. It’s the first time I’m attempting a poem.  Special thanks to Jaibala Rao  for her advice and help.

 

 

Thank you for being my inspiration To write every word with conviction.

Thank you for teaching me The virtue that patience can be.

Thank you for being my reason To wake up without regrets every season

Thank you for driving me nuts and To keep me sane and focussed.

Thank you for your smile That which can nurse any wound of mine

Thank you for showing me with all the seriousness That a little silliness is always needed.

Thank you for making me slow down To enjoy the little things in life

Thank you for teaching me how To unconditionally love.

Thank you for showing me That it is okay to be imperfect

Thank you for teaching me resilience To keep trying till I succeed

Thank you for showing me that I can show what I feel

Thank you for showing me it is fine To ask for help once in a while

Thank you for making me remember That little child in me again

Thank You for coming in my life and Teaching me how to live life again.

Sid & Rishi

 [This post is written for the Project 365 program at We Post Daily aimed at posting at least once a day, based on the prompts provided. Pick a letter, any letter. Now, write a story, poem, or post in which every line starts with that letter. I've chosen the letter T ]

 

A guide to wacky baby gear

A guide to wacky baby gear
The world of baby products is truly magical. You have all kinds there - weird, wonderful, innovative and often just plain bizarre. It is a world, where marketing is king and one where new parents can usually drown in. But as with everything, there is always a line. A line, that if crossed, can lead to some wacky and strange products, like these.