There was a time when I could see images of the labour room in my sleep. I still shudder at the memories of the heaving and panting and enormous pangs of pain. My fingers were pink and aching on holding on tight to the edges of the obstetric table. I cannot recall anytime before when I had to put tremendous amount of energy. Even after the whole ordeal, the recurring post-partum pains made me oblivious to that tiny being in our midst. Only when I was moved to the ward a couple of hours later did I have a good look at my baby.
He was such an angel, blinking innocently and trying to understand the world into which he had suddenly been thrust into. My sister helped me to nurse him and I watched pitifully as he didn't even know how to ingest his new source of nutrition. For the next couple of days, I went on a panic streak. My baby would go into bouts of continuous crying that no amount of holding and nursing could pacify. It actually took five days for him to learn the art of feeding. Of course, what could I expect from a half metre life form, who had been enjoying the pleasures of tubular food intake for about nine months? Anyways, once he got used to it, there was no stopping him. Without doubt, mother's milk is the best for babies, so the stiff back and aching hand muscles were for a good cause.
Slowly, he started growing inch by inch, putting on weight gram by gram. No matter how much my elders and well-wishers forced me to switch to other forms of food, I could just not abide by their interests at all. How could mother's milk alone be sufficient for the child, they argued, that too, it will not be an appreciable quantity at all. Bottle feeding and other supplements cannot be dispensed with; we have all done the same for our babies. I stubbornly lent a deaf year to all their comments and did not start on solid food till he was over five months old.
Now, after stages of sitting up, crawling, standing without support and walking, he is, at 1 year and 8 months, a highly mobile, sparking bundle of energy. Keep moving, never stop at anything is his motto. Not for a second can I be spared from his nagging, unless he get engaged in something that I've specifically told him NOT to do. I have feeling that all that energy is definitely not coming from the few morsels of food I managed to squeeze into his mouth in the midst of his action-packed toddler rites. Some invisible force is prepping him up for all the jumping and dashing he rocks us with.
But in spite of being such a menace, having a child is one of the greatest blessings from the Almighty. These antics won't last for long, and the thrill and enjoyment you experience at this stage is unique. As kids grow, they lose on their playful nature and become caught up with the serious requisites of life. I thank God each and every day for giving me the joys of motherhood.
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