Friday, March 20, 2009

Completing one year in Tykesville - I

My living room is an obstacle course. Everything that can be reached on tip-toes has to be brought down to add to his collection as he toddles around. Welcome to Tykesville, the little darling is asleep now and how! I had to walk him to sleep, then rock him a bit, just as I bent on the bed to put him down, he sensed abandonment and started crying. Then another round of walking, rocking and another failed attempt at putting him down. Third time lucky and now he's cutely tucked in bed. Nothing in the world can be as angelic as Tyke in repose, but such moments are rare...and Alhamdulillah, getting increasingly rare.
Last year, exactly a year ago, I was an over- tired, perpetually sleep deprived, super-achey new mom. And the Tyke slept at least 20 hours a day, literally in the day, come night time he woke up crying and proceeded with it for at least an hour or whatever time it took me to forget sleep and get alert and active to attend on him, long after he'd slept back. My sister told me it would be difficult in the first few day, it was terrible, then the first ten days passed by and I'd gotten somewhat used to erratic waking-ups. When a new born cries in the middle of the night, the whole house may wake up, but it would do no good, 'cuz what it wants is his Ma, and nothing but Ma can attend on his needs, dietary or diapery! So after ten days, the moment Tyke slept, I went into deep slumber too. It was a relief, those two hours of undisturbed sleep. My days and nights were spent tryingto figure out a pattern/routine that the Tyke followed. of course there was none, how can a tiny being, just arrived in this world, faced with all those alien, lod, scary sounds, possibly keep up with staying peaceful? In a month I only figured out that he fed at two hours, on the dot, and that I could ONLY sleep when he was sound asleep. This holds true even today, I may be ready to drop dead but if the Tyke is as little as stirring in his sleep, I can't close my eyes and rest in oblivion, simply can't. Once I figured out that he needed feedings every two hours, I started getting up before he did, sometimes I got up and fed him without his even realising the he was hungry. I felt good, useful...and at those times of the night, as if I'd accomplished something, blessed. Those were the days that I was glad that Z was by my side through-out, he was with me during the painful show and he was forever warning me to be strong and not get into depression and not fear that we won't be able to take care of the blessing Allah had given us. And there were days when I hated him, for sleeping through out Tyke late-night crying sessions. Z snores when he's tired and in those early days, he snored like a truck, long after Tyke was asleep, his Ba's snores would keep me awake and I had to get up and go across the room to tell him to sleep on his side! Then try sleeping again...till Tyke's next feeding time came and I managed only half an hour's sleep!
Z and my Ma were around for the first two months of Tyke's arrival, so I had to household to look after at all. They did the cooking, cleaning up, and general worrying about. My worry and sole job, they said, was to take care of Tyke. They even took care of his diaper changes and baths and joyously presented their services to play with him while I napped. I couln't sleep without him by my side. The best I managed was a shut-eye rest.
Cut to a year later. Tyke sleeps most part of the night, only getting up crying for his feedings, and naps twice a day. The rest of te time is spent toddling around, treasuring his favourite things in an unaccessible corner. He will throw, edge, push, catapult things he likes in that corner behind the TV console, where wires snake around, with the amplifier wedged between the console and the side table. Instead of now asking him where he's put the TV remotes, we now go to the corner and find stuff. Just last night, after I put him to sleep, I retrieved his feeding bottle, his Ba's cell phone, two remotes, his wooden stacking tower and the centre piece of my rolling pin , his changing pad and a spoon from his treasure chest. I no longer rush to bed when he's asleep. Instead that's the welcome time that I spend with the laptop, catching up on facebook, browsing recipes and videos on youtube, going through his albums from day one. I can never tire of seeing his pictures and videos from the time he was born, marvelling at how quick time has passed, which while it was passing, seemed like an eternity. But a he's a year old now, and fast becoming a little man with clear likes and dislikes....and when it comes to him, I clearly am in deep deep waters! I wanted to kind of encapsulate his year, from infancy to toddlerhood, and I ramble.
At two months Tyke started getting aware of his hands...he loved his time in his gym staring at the toys hanging from the bar. Sometimes I positioned him so that he could reach out and hit the hippo...the first time he did it, he was surprised, his mouth was a perfect, kissable O, then he did it again, but it was some days later that he got to regard his hand and part of his being. Then he started trying to roll over...and completed his first turn at three months. Oh the joy, the excitement we had at the feat! I put te video camera on and left it just in case he decided to roll over while I was in teh kitchen. I think I have hours of video, with him in his gym, just waving his little limbs. Then came the belly wait, before that he'd perfected his 360 turns on his belly. He put him down on his back and he'd flip over, then place his hands in the direction he wanted to gaze at and wiggle his bum...voila, a change of views! He was mobile then, with his belly/bum wiggle. At six months he was crawling on his belly, slowly at first and then the perfect targeted crawl of a commando. Again there was much rejoicing (what can we do, us two perfectly boring people, confined in a one bedder with a little child?). At seven and half months Tyke was trying to get on his knees and crawl with his belly raised comfortably off the ground, he was also trying to stay sitting up for some time, but then the temptation to move and do some mischielf overcame hsi desire to stay seated and he'd flib on his tums again. We were in lahore at the time, with Tyke's Dado and Dadi and Chachoos and Chachis. He'd also found a new love...the enabled him to run and get things!

He's awake now, more later!

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