Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I've got it all worked out

Some time ago, I met two classmates from my Master's course in 2006, and both of them said they thought I would be the last person who would quit her job and stay at home for a baby. Yep, I have heard that before. My schoolmates too, are a bit surprised, that I chose to be home. Sometimes I am surprised myself. I was always fiercely ambitious; always working towards nailing that one-promotion-each-year target. But now I don't feel bad about having stayed at the same position ("Mommy") for more than a year now. I guess we change with time. 

Every now and then, I do think of when and whether to go back to the working world. I also wonder how the workforce would be when I do join back. Would I be able to return to a managerial post, or would I have to start from scratch again as an editorial assistant? Would I even be in publishing? If not publishing, where would I be?

And that's what made me come up with this list. The day I feel I'm ready to join the working world again, there is a whole host of industries and vocations I shall be highly suitable for, based on my Xena experience. Here they are, in no particular order:

Burglar - I would make a kickass burglar. You see, as a mother of a baby who wakes up for reasons such as "mommy breathed", I have now mastered stealth. When Xena is napping in her cot, I can slip in and out for whatever chore I have at hand, without making any sound at all. I think this will come in really handy if I wanna rob houses while the inhabitants are asleep. 

Night-watch person - Or I could take the alternative option, which is socially a little more responsible than burglary. My sleep has become so light and my ears have become so sharp that I can wake up if a hair on Xena's head moves. Of course, the fact that she wakes up at really weird hours also means that I am capable of staying up at any time of the night too. Jaagte raho!

Guinness book entrant - I can enter under many categories, but the first that comes to mind is 'fastest consumption of a meal while child is napping'. I have also had my hair pulled by Xena so much that it is now super strong. So I can also enter the contests where you pull a truck by your hair. 

Sheep-herder - When Xena is on the bed and I'm doing a chore, such as folding clothes, I have to keep an eye out that she doesn't go too close to the edge. Though she's adept at carefully climbing down, there's no telling where she will go once she's on the floor, so it's better for her to stay on the bed till I finish. So I have to use sheep-herding tactics to make her change her direction if she wanders off. These tactics include things like tossing the iPad to the middle of the bed to entice her into staying in a safe, central location.

Deep sea diver - I can really hold my breath. Like really. When Xena is sleeping and I need to go into the room and get something, you could have the world's best sensor in the room and it won't detect my breathing. There is no change in the O2-CO2 ratio in the room because of me. I treat the room like the sea. I take a deep breath outside and enter, and breathe out only after I have made my exit.

Cab driver - Some days, it's really really hard to put her to sleep. Like really hard. Like I-wanna-pull-my-hair-out hard. And what works? A cab ride! You put her in a moving cab and she drifts off to sleep almost instantly. To avoid cab expenses every night, I should just become a cab driver with a license that says I'm allowed to keep my baby in a baby seat at the back all the time. Fine print: Passengers may occasionally be handed a bottle and asked to feed the baby.

Subaru Impreza WRX challenge contestant - Ok, so the Subaru Impreza WRX challenge is an annual insane contest held in Singapore where contestants have to keep a hand on a car for as long as possible (day and night, with a 5-minute toilet break every 6 hours) and whoever keeps their hand on the car the longest, wins the car. If you remove your hand deliberately or accidentally, you're immediately eliminated. For the last few years, the winners have all managed to keep their hand on the car continuously for 60-80 hours! Nights are the more difficult part because your hand may slip down on its own if you're too sleepy. Now if you're a mother, you may have noticed that sometimes, your baby will only sleep as long as you keep patting her. Your hand goes off, she wakes up immediately. It's a skill to sleep while keeping a hand on the baby all night without it slipping off, and many mothers have mastered this skill. We would make great contestants for this challenge. 

Any other ideas you can think of? :) 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Catch-up #2

All right, once again I need to write one of these 'catch-up' posts to, err... catch up.

Yep, I've been busy. Busy with Xena stuff, which I'll steer clear of in this post. And busy with other stuff. Such as planning that trip to the US to see my nephew whom I haven't seen. Like ever. We were all set to go in July because Viv's cricket schedule has a 3-week break, and we had almost booked the tickets, but thanks to mahabali google devta, we found out that NYC in July is going to be as hot as Singapore and oh my goodness we are so not going anywhere where the weather is as hot as Singapore. So now the trip is tentatively pushed to September and I really really hope it happens because we have a ton of people to meet!

Speaking of trips, Mom's coming here in two weeks so yeay! I'm counting down and making and receiving calls that mostly sound like this - "No, no, don't get new clothes for me. I have more than enough. No, no mithai either! Nothing. Just come!"

I've also managed to get some more freelance projects lately and I sneak away to work when Xena is napping. If all goes well, my new book should be out by August. Before you jump and think of me as one of those cool children's book authors, let me clarify that I don't write the kind of fun stuff you usually associate with children's book authors. I write hardcore syllabus stuff. In other words, padhai ki kitaabein. Ugh, right? I know. The stuff that makes kids hate me. Some day, some kid is gonna point to a book and ask Xena, complete with a disgusted look, "Didn't your mom write this?" And she's gonna come home all upset and say, "Mommy, how could you??"

Viv and I managed to catch Vicky Donor in the theatre some time ago. I wanted to do a review on the blog, but now the moment has passed. It's quite a fun movie to watch, except that the lead actress can't cry for nuts, and the lead actor just makes me wanna say "Naha le yaar!" Viv and I have also started watching Mere Brother Ki Dulhan on DVD and honestly, I don't know why they compare Imran Khan and Ranbir Kapoor. Ranbir Kapoor is a way way better actor than Imran Khan. 

And lastly, I have been busy clearing the house of LTF stuff. What's LTF, you ask? You don't know what's LTF? Ha ha, how would you, when I coined the term myself? Well, LTF stands for stuff which Lies There Forever. Unless you clear it. You need to do something about LTF - donate it, sell it, throw it - because if you don't, it will, you know, Lie There Forever. Sample this. Open a shelf or a drawer which has an assortment of objects. Examine each object carefully. Some of it is stuff you use, some of which is stuff you WILL use (some day, at least that's what you think) and the rest... Well, the rest is there because, you know, it is there. And that's the LTF stuff that's driving me crazy now. Like we say in Singapore - buay tahan oredi!!! ("I can't take it anymore!!!")

And that's what I've been up to. What about you guys? :)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

And then the bubble burst

Ever since the time we had a family reunion and I blew bubbles for my niece Aish, who scampered around in delight trying to catch and burst them, I've dreamt of the day when my kid would do the same. Xena is, of course, too young to scamper around and burst bubbles, but I have bought a bottle of the bubble solution anyway. Yesterday, she wasn't feeling too well, so I thought I'd take her downstairs in her stroller and cheer her up by blowing bubbles around her. So I blew the bubbles and she gave me a bored look and I blew more bubbles and erm, she got even more bored. Just as I was about to give up and come back, two toddler twins ran towards me yelling, "Oh look, bubbles!" They came up to me and scampered around, bursting the bubbles. Then Twin 1 asked me very politely, "Can I blow the bubbles?" "Sure, but you must wash your hands afterwards ok?" I said. She nodded and I gave her the bottle and the cap with the loop. She blew bubbles for a while, and Twin 2 ran around chasing and bursting them. Then Twin 2 took the bottle and blew the bubbles, while Twin 1 chased and burst them. This went on for a while, and I had a real blast watching them. Then I turned to Xena and said, "You see this, Xena? When you're a little older, you can also run around chasing and bursting the bubbles!" She simply rolled her eyes and looked away.

Twin 1 was now trying to blow bigger bubbles and was finding it hard to concentrate on holding the bottle and the cap, so she asked me to hold the bottle for her. I did, but I had to constantly bend down when she wanted to dip the loop in the solution, and she did not like this 'delay'. So she asked Twin 2 to hold the bottle so it would be at a height more suitable for her.  I just followed instructions. Apparently that is all that is required of grown-ups in a scenario like this.

Suddenly Twin 2 held up her hand and halted play. "But wait," she said. "If I'll hold the bottle and you'll blow the bubbles, who's going to run after them and burst them?"

Then they both slowly turned and looked up at me. Meaningfully.

Xena had suddenly discovered newfound interest in the proceedings. She sat up in her stroller with a "Bring on the popcorn!" expression on her face.