Thursday, February 19, 2015

Rituals for happiness

My son when he was six months old

Life changes with the entry of a little one into our lives. Very soon, our entire world becomes our child, every moment we think about him/ her and not a moment passes when you have not been thinking about them. Their happiness becomes your happiness, their tears becomes your tears.

 Gradually we learn to understand their likes and dislikes, their favorite food, their favorite toys, their sleeping time and also what makes them ANGRY or HAPPY.
We develop our own sacred rituals to appease this new god in our world. After a grueling and tantrum filled day, we require a good night’s sleep and hence nighttime rituals are de rigueur of the hour.

The most popular among the tactics are lullabies- either played through mobile phones, television and laptops or sang by Papa- dear or mamma-dear. Next comes bedtime stories or picture browsing.

When my son was born, I was a confused soul. I was scared like hell as all new mothers are, as to how to manage the delicate being that didn’t seem to have a clue about my confusion. He snuggled near me for warmth and food. I had sleepless nights where the ritual would be breast- feeding him and changing nappies. The elders of the family insisted that I should use cloth napkins and that readymade napkins would harm the skin of my baby.

I forgot the idea of a sound sleep soon. My son would wake up every hour or so and would wail helplessly as the wet sheets (which he had peed on) would disturb him. By morning there would be buckets full of wet white clothe nappies that would make our room smell like a public toilet.

I decided to adopt Pampers and boy, wasn’t that what changed my life? Though during daytime, mostly to keep the mouth of elders in the family shut, I used cloth nappies, night times were always pampers times.

Every night after wiping him clean with baby wipes, I would make him wear Pampers. As pampers kept him dry all night, he would sleep well. I too could sleep properly.
When he was a little more older, I think about two months, he would get excited when I made him wear pampers as it would either signal that we were going out for a walk or it was his time to swing on his cradle –it was time to sleep. I would watch fondly as he would kick his hands and legs into air while a he flashed his toothless smile at me as though he was asking me to hurry up and finish making him wear the pampers.

Now he is grown up, a preschooler, but there still are many nighttime rituals.
He would ‘help’ me make bed. And would finish brushing his teeth, empty his bladder and would drink a glass of water before going to bed.

I have to read his favorite bedtime story before sleeping. I shouldn’t merely read, I should solve the puzzles involved in the story of three Billy goats gruff, trade turns with him for solving it, otherwise mamma is too mean. I cant even cheat by skipping a few lines or a puzzle. He knows to read now.

“Feeling Sleepy is a bad good excuse; I should do my duty, because you are my mother! And of course, I have used the magic word ‘Please’ as always. You shouldn’t cheat. That is a bad habit.”He insists and I wonder when in the world did my little one, who delighted me with toothless smiles had become this cranky pre-schooler.

 During summer months, he insists that I carry him and stand directly beneath the fan so that he feels cool. I should be singing his favorite lullaby non-stop too. Cuddling is another thing that induces sleep. He wants me to snuggle into his blanket and cuddle him close; he insists he feels safe that way.

And sometimes he would roll towards me at night in sleep, snuggle close and whisper ‘I love you mother,’ and my heart would melt. I then thank the creator for giving him to me.

This post is written as a part of and Indiblogger Happy Hours

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