When I look back at my motherhood journey which started way back in 2001 with the birth of my lovely daughter, I see a mother with grand expectations and slightly unrealistic ambitions for herself as a mother. Just like any mother, I wanted everything to be just right for my baby whether it was the decision to exclusively breastfeed till six months of age and not starting cow’s milk supplement until the baby was one, I had followed everything to the T.
What with the paediatric records with milestone tracking, growth curves and weight charts and graphs…unbelievable.
I guess first time motherhood does come with its own idiosyncrasies. So much so, that I would put up a counter argument for every age old traditional method suggested by my mother rubbishing it to being superstitious or non- scientific; from deciding when to start solids to using cloth nappies, everything was well researched and nothing was left to chance.
No hot baths for my baby…how could you be so cruel, you have made my baby cry and turn red.
No Johnson’s baby soap for my baby, only kadala maavu (gram flour)
Don’t hold the baby this way…
No sippy cups…said my paediatrician and after careful research, no it is.
No Cerelac or any other tinned baby foods, only nutritious millets kanji (porridge).
No gripe water or the old paati vaithiyam “vasambu” for my darling.
No honey as they might contain allergens which could be potentially life-threatening…
For all of the above statements my mother would just roll her eyes and mumble something under her breath, which is better left unsaid. Imagine my mother’s plight for having a daughter who wouldn’t take any of her advice seriously. I would often hear her throwing her arms up in frustration saying “Ennamo ival thaan adisayama pula pethu irrukka” (let me try translating that for you, though not so accurate) “As if she is the only woman who has given birth, a great miracle indeed”.
Oh the shenanigans I threw around…but I guess I was spared as I had given them their first grandchild and thus the doting grandparents, uncles and aunts just tolerated and put up with my nonsense for the sake of their darling…the apple of our eyes.
And what about the second time around, you ask…hmm…well that’s for another time…..