From the very first moment that I held my newborn daughter - I was convinced that she had something to say.
I was excited!
Wow! This was a first!
A newborn who wanted to talk - she must be brilliant - I thought.
And, why not?
She was my daughter after all.
OK - I am not brilliant. But I do talk a lot.
With pride in my voice I conveyed the news to my husband.
He was pensively calculating how he was going to get his sleep that night between changing diapers and following my nonstop instructions - and as I made this announcement - the look of intense concentration on his face morphed into one of dread.
The look he gave me said it all. It said - “Oh dear! Now a mad wife - to add to the chaos.”
“Go to sleep. You must be really tired - go to sleep” was all he finally managed to say.
The implied message however was loud and clear.
I looked at my baby - I was certain she looked indignant too.
“Yes Mamma” she seemed to be saying “of course I have something to say”
Not one to give up easily on conversations -especially when they smelt promising - I mulled over what this hour old creature could possibly have - to say.
“Hmmmmmmmmmm…………. there was no way I was giving up on this one”
Through sleepless days and nights of exhaustedly and yet proudly feeding and changing my new possession - I mulled and mulled over this mystery.
And one fine day when I was sufficiently sleep deprived - it hit me.
This baby that I thought was just a few days old - was in fact just as old as me.
She was that one cell who had made it from the ovary to my arms when so many others hadn’t and as a cell she had been born as soon as I was born.
What adventures she must have had! No wonder she looked like she had so much to share!
It must have been so tough for her - a little cell in an obscure corner of my body - with such a big dream!
I was certain hers was a story worth chronicling and I determined that I would do it.
But how would I know what she had to say?
Hmmmmmm……… it would have to be my Embryology and Obstetrics textbooks to the rescue.
It was such an important story - I could not possibly be technically inaccurate.
Between being Mom, doctor, wife and myself (where my procrastinating self has certainly been at the forefront) - this book has taken me a while to write - but at last it is done.
It tells the story of a cell in the left ovary who suffers with fortitude through her boring uneventful childhood - survives the trials and tribulations of her Moms teen years - and hopes and prays to meet her Prince charming - and one day finally does.
Marital bliss with her Prince charming morphs into an exercise in cell resource management and meeting of deadlines - as she hurtles towards her dream of being born a little baby and making it to her Mom’s arms.
After several - “Will I make it?” and “How will I make that happen?” she finally realizes her dream.
Read about it in my book.
"Before the First Breath - The Memoirs of A Newborn"
Find out all that happens before you finally get to hold your little one.
It is really strange how one’s priorities change in life.
Ten years ago - if I was to contemplate falling in love - the object of my love would certainly not have been an OBJECT.
But being a Mom changes so much.
You fall in love with things - things that keep your family healthy and make your life easier - in general make you a better Mom without your doing too much.
And today I am writing one such love story.
Being - Mom, Parenting and Wellness Consultant and Infectious Diseases specialist all rolled into one is not easy. And I am all three.
As Mom - I want the best for my daughter………..
As Parenting and Wellness Consultant - I know what the best is…….
And as Infectious Diseases specialist - I know when the best things are really not good enough to give her!
And because I am all three - for the longest time - a daily battle raged between the three of me. Especially when I thought of MILK
As Mom I was insistent upon serving my daughter a glass of milk every day. The Parenting and Wellness Consultant in me agreed that it was a good idea because milk is a complete food. But the Infectious Diseases specialist in me was always sceptical.
“Milk that is likely to be unsafe because it has germs in it or has been adulterated -is best not consumed. Drinking such milk does more harm than good” - is what she had to say every time we served up a glass full.
So Milk usually had the three of me frequently disagreeing.
When my daughter was about a year old - all three of me reluctantly agreed to serve up milk that was sold in sealed plastic packets. And though debates still raged in my mind between boiling for long enough times to destroy the germs and short enough times to keep the nutrients intact - I still managed to live in an uneasy calm.
Until one day - by virtue of being the wife of an officer of the Indian Air Force - I had the privilege of setting up home in Jorhat (Assam) - 300 Km from the China Border.
The milk available there was just terrible.
I had never trusted milk supplied by milkmen. So, there once more - I turned to milk in plastic pouches.
In Jorhat however the milk in plastic pouches travelled such long distances to get to me that by the time the packet reached me - it looked battered and dirty itself.
Unlike in the cities and towns where it arrived with clockwork accuracy in time for me to start my day -here- depending on the prevailing road conditions - it arrived at any odd time of the day. Sometimes even past noon.
By the time it reached me it had usually been in transit for so long that it was beginning to spoil. And even when it wasn’t spoilt - it looked dirty and smelt funny.
It was milk that I was compelled to ban from my house.
It was depressing. And for the first time ever since I became part of the Air Force family - I began to regret moving with my husband to the back of beyond.
Fortunately - my regret did not last for long.
Browsing the stores one day for supplies - I chanced upon Tetra Pak.
The brick shaped carton looked sturdy - it said it was tamper evident - the milk in it looked and smelt fresh - it was preservative free and it didn’t need boiling.
I couldn’t have asked for more - I fell in love - in love with Tetra Pak.
I have been a big Tetra Pak fan ever since.
In the years since - even while living in the Metros I have been unable to let go of the goodness of milk packed in Tetra Pak cartons.
However, I discovered a lot more about the company that makes the product I love so much and its commitment to providing safe food and making it available everywhere - at the seminar they organized on Food safety - last Friday in Bangalore.
It was for Moms like me.
They told us how they pack all the nutritious food we want to give our families - in 6 layers of packing!
And because they are so careful while packing what they pack - the food they pack does not get spoilt even though they don’t put in preservatives. All you need to do with food packed in Tetra Pak cartons is - cut (open the carton), Pour (it out) and Drink.
It is my dream come true.
If you are a Mom - I am sure health and happiness are what you dream of for your family.
Get both - just open Tetra Pak and pour them out.
In my practice as a Parenting and Wellness Consultant “picky eating” or “refusal to eat” is the most common Parenting problem I encounter. I have therefore written a series of posts for mycity4kids in which I offered tips and tricks to help suffering parents cope.
Tips and tricks for the parents of picky eaters
Tips and tricks for the parents of picky eaters - Tip2
Tips and tricks for the parents of picky eaters - Tip3
Tips and tricks for the parents of picky eaters - Tip4
Tips and tricks for the parents of picky eaters - Tip5
Festive picky eating
Tips and tricks for the parents of picky eaters - Tip6
Recover rapidly from an excess of festivities
Tips and tricks for the parents of picky eaters - Tip7
Tips and tricks for the parents of picky eaters - Tip8
Tips and tricks for the parents of picky eaters - Tip9
Tips and tricks for the parents of picky eaters - Tip10
I hope parents find these tips and tricks valuable and are able to help their children get over "picky eating".