Okay, a lot has happened since the last update on the warrior princess that I posted in early July. Friends who read my blog would have read some of these updates on Facebook, but I still wanted to keep everything in one place on the blog for archiving purposes.
- The big news first. I quit my awesome awesome job at the prestigious 204-year-old publisher. :( But... but... but... I have a new job. My new boss is extremely demanding, likes to play politics, makes everyone work overtime, talks nonsense, wears tiny outfits and is often spotted drinking or napping. But she is very generous with the bonus -- a huge toothless grin reserved only for her mommy. Yep, that's right. I have decided to be a stay-at-home-mommy until Xena's hospital visits and medication stop. Even though I will miss the career I had painstakingly built by breaking free from the shackles of engineering and bulldozing my way into publishing, Xena needs my company more than a company needs me. We thought long and hard about it, and decided this was the best for her. Her special needs mean that we can't place her in a childcare centre or have a nanny. Though one set of Xena's grandparents will be here most of the time, we did not want grandparenting to be so stressful for them. They should not be measuring medicines and running to the hospital and keeping note of the baby's throwing up. They have already had their share of stress in life, and should now just spend time agoo-ing with their granddaughter.
- Xena is still on a lot of medication and supplements, which need to be given in very precise quantities (sample this -- 2/3rd of a 2.5-ml spoon, 8 times a day. What the...?!), and if she throws up (which she does regularly), it needs to be adjusted in the next feed. So I have to do weird calculations like this, "Hmmm... so she threw up about half of her feed, which means at the next feed, I need to add 1/2 of 2/3rd of 2.5 ml, in addition to 2/3rd of 2.5 ml. Aaaaaa!" And of course, hope that she doesn't throw up again, or I'll really need to engage the services of Shakuntala Devi.
- She showed the first classic sign of being a party animal when she got drunk (on milk) and threw up in a cab. She also haq se threw up on my dear dear friend Starbreez when the latter came to visit. Well, as I said, Starbreez can now truly consider herself as family. Ladies and gentlemen, I now live in constant fear. Fear of the ultimate WMD that Xena comes fitted with -- projectile vomiting.
- Xena is now outgrowing the word 'agoo'. She sure has said that a lot in the last few weeks, and now only uses it sparingly, when she's very very happy about something, such as erm, pooping. Speaking of 'agoo', when she went to the hospital for her last blood test, she smiled and chuckled at the nurse and said 'Agoo'. The nurse smiled back and the very next second poked her with a giant needle. And that is why humans learn very early not to trust one another. :|
- These days she wakes us up at 5 AM with her Carnatic classical singing. We have no option but to politely listen and applaud. Sometimes I pitch in, but I get a look of disapproval. It was hilarious when Mom handed her a tiny bolster. It looked like she was playing a tanpura to accompany her singing.
- I spend a lot of time thinking up novel ways to entertain her. Once I staged an intense fight (with sound effects and all) between a toy moose and a toy dog. She loved it. Viv says I am a violent mother.
- Speaking of violence, Xena has now started pulling my hair with violent determination. She's like a tiny Tarzan using my hair as vines. Thousands of mothers have been bullied by infants into cutting their hair really short. I am still standing strong. Let's see.
- She is still not allowed into air-conditioned crowded places, so other than her hospital visits, we only take her for short walks. We did take her to the beach once for a dinner outing, and to our surprise, she was a very well-behaved baby, interrupting the conversation of the grown-ups around her only to put in a humble request for milk.
- Even though Mom is fully aware of my intense dislike for gold, she got a gold chain, bangles and get this, A RING, made for Xena. A gold ring for an infant. Ya allah! She made Xena wear everything for a picture ('only for the picture', I told her), and I just stood there shaking my head at my child who was now bearing a close resemblance to Bappi Lahiri.
- Sometimes it takes an incredibly long time to put her down for a nap. I have to hold her close to me and then... I rock. (Yeah, literally and otherwise. Hehe!) Sometimes I get bored because she has already half-closed her eyes but is not fully sleeping yet. So I start reading up on the iPad about baby care. As I say, it takes more than just parents and grandparents to take good care of a baby. You need google. You definitely need google.
- Even though she's a real gundi, she is reinforcing every stereotype about women. She uses tears to get her way, starves herself or throws up because she probably thinks she's too fat, and it's impossible to figure out what she wants.
- Xena is quite adversely affecting my dressing sense and I am pretty sure I am gonna get arrested by the fashion police soon. She insists I only wear clothes with cartoons on them. She only finishes her bottle if she can tug at the cartoon on my T-shirt. On days when I wear 'normal' T-shirts, she gives me a disappointed look and refuses to drink milk.
- It's amazing how she can sleep through the sounds of the construction next door, but wakes up crying at the rustle of a chocolate wrapper. Perhaps she is trying to tell me something in a diplomatic manner? Excuse me, missy! I have lost all 13 kgs I had put on when you were inside. I deserve my chocolate now!
- Lately, she has started trying to eat her hands, even though the doctor has said no solids till she is 6 months old. It's amazing how she rejects the bottle as if she's very full, and then proceeds to chomp on her fingers. I nearly fell off laughing when Clueless referred to it as 'finger food'.
- I had never thought how much work taking care of a baby is. Yes, Xena has special needs, but her regular needs are enough to keep me on my toes. I really salute the mother of twins, especially my friend Karen who is taking care of premature twins rather admirably.