Eating out when still not a Parent
Eating out with a toddler
I’m hiding under the covers to write this blog post. Otherwise I risk the possibility of having the post written by a 16 month old who thinks all gadgets owned by mom are automatically his.
Summer is finally here. What a relief, it seemed like the cold weather was never going to end this year, what with the delayed spring rains and muggy weather even at the end of April. This has and will always be my favorite season. During childhood it was all due to the endless holidays, goofing around with the cousin army, mangoes and eternal lazing around. Summer in US is totally marvelous. The drive with open windows and breeze in my hair is worth any bad hair day I can have afterwards ;) The husband always teases me that all that remains is me sticking my tongue out while doing this, then I will be truly one with nature. I might just test that theory out one of these days.
Now that I have a little one, seeing this season through his eyes is such a delight. We go on walks every evening and I am slowly remembering what it is to observe every single thing around you. I had forgotten to stop and smell the roses, I’ve rediscovered it with the little darling. The other day while we were taking a walk, he let out this huge shriek in my ear. I was alarmed that he probably is hurt, turns out he was having a conversation with a bird that was shrieking overhead. These days his regular speech is an amalgamation of various animal sounds and I am somehow supposed to understand what he means. I am telling you this is tougher than any exam I have ever given in my life :P
It is true what they say about re-discovering your childhood. Who else would be this excited seeing a squirrel, pick up a wilted flower and gift it to mom like it was a million dollar gift, fall flat on grass and look at the sky with wonder, call out to the moon , send flying kisses to cats and at the end of it all give mommy a big fat hug?
Being a mommy means I don’t get time to exercise (I never did exercise, this is a good excuse though, cough, ahem) . Well, to start off with, I was on what the husband calls “rabbit food” all through pregnancy but still had to put on enough weight. How did I lose it? Effortlessly when you have a toddler running around. Here is the daily exercise routine:
1. The warm up - starts each morning when he gets up , on the gong at 7 AM. Multiple trips from and to the crib over mommy, each time pinching her nose, patting her cheek, putting smelly pee filled diaper on her nose. I toss and turn trying to avoid, this burns enough calories.
2. Up and down - He now wants to decide each morning what he wants to wear. It starts off the same way everyday: instead of picking the clothes he wishes to wear that day, he throws everything else out. What is left in the hamper is the choice for the day. The rest of it has to be put back by mommy (who else?). She goes up-down up - down. Oh if I do put it before he makes a choice, it all comes down in a tumble again.
3. Running - choosing clothes is one thing, wearing them is another exercise routine altogether. Mom removes wet diaper, make her run one round around the house. This kid is fascinated running around the house naked I tell ya! She gets the shirt, make her run another round. She catches her breath and searches for the shorts that got lost somewhere in the melee, wait until she finds the shorts, run again. You get the idea. By the time the dressing finishes, my breakfast is completely digested. Don’t even get me started if it’s to go out. The shoes , socks , jacket = food digested even before I’ve had the chance to eat it.
4. Heavy weightlifting - a.ka. lifting the baby. His highness wishes to be lifted, kissed and patted on an average every hour. Since he is currently showing severe signs of mommy-it-is , she gets to do the heavy lifting once every hour.
With all this, why do I need an exercise routine and visits to the gym?
You know you have a one year old at home when
1. You trip over a toy every third step you take.
2. The living room resembles like a tornado went through it, at all times of the day. It always strikes after you organize everything into some semblance of order.
3. A new location is discovered almost every week that should have been baby proofed, inspite of spending 3 months on the said task.
4. You are taught to do breakfast according to his highness’s standards with pointing, grunting and disapproving looks that could put a school principal to shame. Also, if the food isn’t tasty, you are called to order, made to extend your hand and receive the chewed spit out. All with a grin of course.
5. You are fed half chewed on biscuits with such adoration and happiness that you cannot say no.
6. You never get a kiss when asked, no matter how much you beg. You get a really slobbery one sometime when his highness has the mood. You have to walk up to answer the summons when the said event happens.
7. You have to regularly fish out assorted things from the trash basket - like the TV remote control, several toys, hair brush, socks etc etc.
8. Crows suddenly become very interesting objects to observe on daily walks.
There is a funny thing that happens when you become a Mom. You automatically enter the group of people that wear a board around your neck that screams “Unsolicited advice welcome”. It’s a privileged group that attracts attention from everyone , young and old alike. They see the tummy or the baby with you and go full steam with should and should not. I admit, there used to be a time when I would get completely offended by these. Now I just ignore every one of them and have a good laugh. Here are some I received
1. “Have a normal delivery if possible” - Right…I will exercise my choice and command my body to behave. Never mind that its the kid inside that decides it. And I even heard, if its C-section, decide an auspicious time. Unfortunately, the baby is not very good at giving me schedules prior hand. He isn’t well versed with project management :)
2. The feeding - This attracted the most attention from anyone and there is now way you can win this one. Not breastfeeding is a sin by itself. It’s a little redeeming to be breast feeding but then it has its own set of caveats. Everything from posture to quantity to time of feeding is under the scanner. And somehow everybody thinks it’s alright to give opinions on such a personal matter, even if you are tight lipped about your choices. People usually ask questions, assume your answers and proceed to advice. This is a classic example of monologue ;)
3. The sleeping - oh lord. If one more person tells me to let the baby cry it out, there will be some tears and it won’t be that of the baby. I’ve also heard the “don’t encourage by petting and rocking the baby” , sure I won’t do it when he is 6 months or a year old because he will want to be rocked and petted when he is 10 years old. Makes a lot of sense.
4. Let him feed himself - sure, while I’m at it, I’ll also teach him how to mix his formula, heat his milk, cut and puree his veggies, cube his fruits. He should be independent I tell you. All this before he turned a year old. By the time he turns three, he should be making meals for the entire family!
5. He is too active for his age , something is wrong. Huh on which planet? I thought on earth, not being active is worrisome for a kid, not the other way around. Pardon me.
6. Rest when the baby rests - in the initial months. While I do understand the philosophy behind this, its beyond me how this is practically achievable. Unless you can drop to sleep at the drop of a hat and have 10 other people to take care of your other chores.
I’m sure this won’t end. If anything it will only get more interesting as Aarush grows.