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The Baby And The Buddha

Posted: May 16, 2012

“When the baby comes, your life will change” is one of most clichéd statements I’ve ever heard. Yet when he did, nothing could prepare us for the way he completely took over our lives.

I am not about to rave on the agonies and ecstasies of newfound motherhood – it’s too long to be contained in a single post. But I’d love to take you on a tour of what motherhood has done to the house. The living room, to be precise.

Sitting by the candlelit Buddha, I had often prided myself over my living room interiors. Done up in earthy tones of brown and beige, the hall exuded a subdued elegance that came with order and a spartan furnishing. And an expansive sense of space.

I’d curl up with a book on the settee, hours at a stretch, or watch a good old Hindi classic. My favourite sanctuary was however the aforementioned Buddha where, between sips of tea and vacant musings, I savoured many moments of repose.

A Year Later

Welcome to pandemonium. A house where four adults strive each day to keep pace with an extremely hands-on baby.

The monochromatic has given way to a happy scramble of colourful baby ware – flaming orange, plumb purple, fuchsia pink, turquoise blue, vivid yellow, apple green, capsicum red.

Sample the idle blue divan on which rests a red diaper bag, used black knickers, a grey flask cover, a toy brick set in an orange bag, pink baby wipes, a brown/green/cream tote bag (now that’s mine), white diapers, green knickers, gripe water and a make-do toilette box (yes, the baby has one) overflowing with baby lotion, Johnson’s powder, nappy cream and bright building blocks. I register the mess and the hues.

Getting to the hall is more of an obstacle race where you navigate your way through a feeding bottle, a toy console, a T-shirt inside-out, a ball, the play gym, a steel spoon, little pools of water and Cerelac (remnants of a feeding struggle), a magic snail, a singing teddy, a tawny dog that’s lost its bark, a romping chicken that goes ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star’, or the baby himself on the walker who wants to get into your way and say hello.

Things are no better up on the display cabinet. A random audit the other day revealed a fly swatter, a sewing kit with spools of motley thread, a bell sans the balloon, an ear plug and a pulp magazine sharing space with porcelain knick-knacks in the upper echelons, away from the reach of the baby.

What happened to the house that had a place for everything and everything in its place? I wonder.

The living room has undergone a few ergonomic changes too. After all, sharp edges and scented candles aren’t conducive to an infant’s newfound mobility. Thus, the centre table has been relegated to the corner. It now serves to stack toys and baby food.

The laptop has become a permanent fixture on the dining table, to be easily accessed when the grandparents/aunt want to see the baby.

The Buddha is nowhere to be seen. In its stead is a fish tank – the only concession for a bewildered spouse who has lost his ‘wife’ to the ‘mother’ of his baby, and now finds solace in goldfish.

As for myself, it’s been months since I read a book or saw a movie end-to-end.

Do I miss the quiet?

Repose comes in a new package. It is an adorable baby fast asleep in the pram beckoning me to give him a tight cuddle.

Pic credit: Boost Ventilator (Used under a Creative Commons license)

New mommy on the block. Bookworm, nature-lover and wayfarer in the suburbs of imagination.

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