I am delighted to announce that the days of the tribal dance are over. As soon as Anika completed her third month, she started adjusting to the fact that a dark room means that she is supposed to go to sleep. Then, my sister-in-law sent her this miraculous gift all the way from America and everything fell into place like a jigsaw puzzle.
Now when she has to sleep, she starts rubbing her eyes as if she is hell-bent to claw them out which is a signal to put her in the cot. Then we switch off the lights and switch on the hallucinator (that is what we have named the device) and she goes to sleep within five minutes.
Anika completed four months on Earth on 21st September which means she has completed one-third of a revolution around the Sun. She has started turning sideways. She laughs now and for some spiritual reasons, loves to put her whole hand in her mouth. A few days back, Geet and I took her to her nani’s house. She stayed there for four days. When we returned, my family pounced on her like hungry vultures as they have never lived without her for so long. We were hardly inside the doors when my mom and dad swooshed her out of our arms and started cuddling her. We were scared that she might get crushed between them. Now Anika was confused as they had been erased from her memory in the last four days. Dear Diary, you cannot imagine the ruckus she created. She screamed like the bathroom lady in Psycho for half an hour and leaked a bucket-full of her tears. We were perplexed and kept checking her for any injuries. It took her a day to re-adjust and understand that no one was trying to cook her for dinner.
My daily schedule is so tiring that I am hardly able to spend much time with Anika. I leave home at 7 and come back by 8:30 at night. By that time, I am donkey tired but I do try my best to hover over her and remind her of my face. I can see the difference now. She laughs much easily with people who are with her for the whole day. She has difficulty placing me at times. This really scares me. I don’t want to be like those filmy fathers who earn money for the family and are distant from their children. Twenty years down the line, I don’t want Anika to turn around and tell me that I was never there for her when she wanted me, that I was always busy with my work. God knows that will kill me. I have to find a way to be around her and my family, to give them more of my time. I know she will need me more and more as she grows up.
I do not understand the men who say that they are working hard to provide a better future to their children. What is that supposed to mean? Isn’t this what our parents thought too? But we are still working hard, aren’t we? What about the present? What about spending this moment with your child? Diary ji, people might call me unambitious but I will prefer that to my daughter calling me distant.
Anika has developed a strange habit. She can’t stay still. At any given point of time, only her head and torso is visible because she is flailing her arms and legs like one of those mutants in X-Men. Now this poses a great difficulty when she is to be fed. Geet and I magically fell upon the solution one day. You have to kiss her feet for her to stop. Keep kissing both her feet and she turns into this obedient entity. I hope this practice does not continue till adulthood.
Time is flying. A few days back we kept aside a few of her clothes that are too short for her now. It was such a surreal moment. She was such a small tiny girl weighing 2.6 Kg when she was born. Now she is 6.5 Kg and 14 cm taller. Isn’t that amazing Dear Diary? She is such a calm kid, laughs all the day and is a perfect recipe to raise your spirits. After my hectic day, all it takes is her smile to drain out all my tiredness.
Life is beautiful. It really is.