Swades Time for Little Leo
Littloo’s Punjabi homecoming is everything that was expected- and more.
Born Ready-Made Punjabi
You know that son of mine? Turns out he’s a proper “son of the soil” Punjabi.
At six months, he’s laughing raucously, loves food, and is so gregarious that he treats me as his feeding/nappy-changing point as he moves from favourite aunt to favourite uncle to friendly neighbour to the kitchen help and back to his great grandmother. Yep, the boy is blessed with a great grandmother who loves checking everything I do and questioning most of it, as if I got this baby ready-made in India, and haven’t actually been responsible for keeping him alive the past six months.
And this is my very own grandmother… meaning she should know better, afterall we share the same temperament, but few things go as well together as oldies and endless gyan, so I have to keep my signature eye-roll in check. It all comes with the territory I guess, of being loved, Indian style
My Child, No Rules
I’d decided that I’d be very firm about his diet – he was ready to start solids, and my family would have to do things my way. My Child, My Rules. Well, for full two minutes, maybe. And then both Littloo and family blithely ignored me as he happily lapped at some banana covered in custard. Next came some karah prashad from the Gurudwara, bits of mashed boiled egg, potatoes with cream and what not. His favourite aunt (mine too) gives him bits of literally everything she eats, be it a paratha or bread or rusk dipped in tea. He grabs it tight and aims for his mouth. That I guess, is the important part. Most of it ends up on his face and on the floor, where the dogs do a good job of cleaning up – no wonder they never leave his side (it can’t be just because even they think it wise to keep an eye on me!).
Love, Laughter…But Life
We’re not exactly a large family back in Punjab, but given that in London Littloo just has Darling Husband and me to entertain him, Punjab probably feels like living in a TV soap opera for him – there’s always someone grabbing him, making him laugh, rattling things at him, offering their beard to pull, carrying him off to their bike or car, him trying to grab the dogs and vice versa… what I mean is that dull moments are rare.
But there are limits to how much people can do for you. When he wakes up cranky at 2AM and refuses to sleep, it doesn’t really matter where in the world you are, it’s once again just you and your baby. And so I’ll end with this: Mums-to-be, use your time to do everything you want – watch trashy TV, eat out, go to the movies or just do nothing. Because once the baby is born, there’s no “you”. There’s always “you and the baby”. Even if it’s your husband’s turn to feed/change, you’ll always be thinking about the baby. Fact.
But hey, sleep deprivation caused by children never killed anyone, so just hang in there because it’ll be over sooner than you reckon. I get woken up at night, and still think damn, he won’t be doing that soon. Yep. Me. I know!
(Simrat Ghuman is Head of Communications and Marketing at Anthemis Group in London. A former TV journo, she has just taken her first step into motherhood and will be serialising her quirky take on motherhood in the ‘Leopreet Ki Ma’ blogposts. You can read her (hilarious) journey through pregnancy in the Preggers blog below.)
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