Some days…

Some days, you are The Universe’s puppet.

You wake up slouchy.

The alarm fails you.

The coffee- maker stutters and dies.

The milk boileth over.

There is a mammoth, God forsaken jam at the petrol station.

And a scuffle in the parking lot.

Sambhar stains your crisp, white linen shirt.

And your colleague let’s you know.

Size six gloves are out of stock.

The printer doesn’t work.

The consultant is grouchy.

The patients are extra whiny.

Messrs Eczema and Acne decide to made it a “double whammy”.

And missing the morning run seems to be a bad, bad idea by mid- afternoon.

Just when you start to think it is ‘almost over’….

The nursery calls….

Till next time..

Dr J.

What’s on my night- stand?

I may have already done a post on night- stands before. I have a “thing” about nightstands/ side- tables. Given a chance to peek into somebody’s home or life, I will first scan the contents of their fridge and then immediately move on to their night stands. This little space in one’s beddroom reveals so much about them and  their habits.

This weekend, I wake up before the family does and sneak in some pictures. Hope you learn a little more about moi from my nightstand!

It's a tad short on space these days.
It’s a tad short on space these days. I have to share it with one other person 🙂
The early morning rays fill me with optimism and excitement. And it's the weekend too!
The early morning rays fill me with optimism and excitement. And it’s the weekend too!
The night-time work horses.
The night-time work horses.
The filo-lamy combo- my trusty companions.
The filo-lamy combo,  my trusty companions.
The Sisters from different fathers- Missy Windows and Madame iOS. They follow me EVERYWHERE...
The Sisters from different fathers- Missy Windows and Madame iOS. They follow me EVERYWHERE…

Have a lovely weekend folks!

Till next time..

Dr J.

Ma Wednesday! Mommy pangs.

Ugh. This is turning into quite the mommy blog. I seem to write about Zoe and my Mummy adventures more than anything else. Apologies, if you find these mommy rants boring and repetitive. It’s just that, even though I have a dozen (read half a million) other things going on in my life, this one aspect of me (or my life) seems all consuming.

Nothing else worries me, irritates me, gives me more joy than motherhood does. It also sucks me dry. Tires me like nothing else does. Honest to God, running a marathon IS easier than taking an 8 hour flight with my little one. NO joke. No exaggeration.It sounds utterly rehashed and cliched, and I’m one to stay away from cliches but I cannot put it any other way.

Irrespective of how I interact with people in real life, I try to remain true to myself here, on this blog (I shall not share my “swearing, short- fused” self though!). Therefore, even though I wish to appear as an uber- cool, fuss- less, manicured, soft- spoken, poised Mum who always has a handle on things, I sometimes end up being the stereotypical, routine, blubbering, weary, confused, screaming Mum who can’t get her scrambled eggs done.

All said, we contemporary Mums seem to make a lot of fuss and noise about parenting and motherhood. Our parents and the generations before them did this too. With far less brouhaha. We need to step down a notch or two I assume.

I digress from what I wanted to address today- me missing my “little one”.

Oooooh! I miss her so much.

I love my feisty, boisterous, destruction-on-two-legs, crazy 14 month old, but I miss my cuddly, cooey, calm, less-mobile little baby. I was so caught up in the storm of things, her first year of life seemed to have slipped by.

I feel like I did not cherish it enough. The picture of her in my mind, as a newly born, miracle six and a half pounder, already seems hazy. The sleep deprivation and the poo explosions at 3 am is now a distant memory. And it has barely been a year!

The sands of time slip away, ever so hastily, while I try my best to reign in the chaos and hold on to a precious few moments to cherish and enjoy each day.

I feel this eerie sadness, for the passing of her infancy; I can only imagine the state I’d be left in when she leaves the home to go to college or to pursue her own life and dreams. I dread that day.

I also look forward to it!

She is no longer the sedate, content baby, and getting food into that tiny belly is more difficult than fixing a really, really bad fracture; but she still surprises and delights me each day with her spunk and personality.

The very attributes that drives me up a wall, are traits that will one day stand her in good stead. Single- minded, stubborn, willful, ever- smiling, and not- easily distracted from task at hand- I can slowly see fleeting snippets of what she may grow up to be.

The Mister who until recently called me a Diva/ Drama- Queen has to now reckon with a whole new level of Diva- ness! She has him hooked around her little finger. Lord bless the poor soul 🙂

Extremely vociferous, with a uncanny knack of letting us know exactly what she wants, even with the limited vocabulary of hers; I know these are priceless days. And when she is in her terrible twos, I will sorely miss my crazy but loving one year old. I will possibly even miss her terrible twos when I have to trick her into doing her pre- school homework!

I see a pattern developing here. So, I need to step back and vow to always (or at least sometimes) try and live in the moment. Each day, unbeknown to us is a blessing that we will not receive again. Every day is unique, and one that shall never be relived or repeated no matter how much we want it to. A day may be mundane, exciting, joyous, miserable or boring; but it can never “be the same” as yesterday, or the day before that.

I hope I remember my vow, even when I have a glass of milk thrown at my face with tiny hands!

Till next time..

Dr J.

The struggle is real folks.

I have heard and read how babies are constantly changing, evolving. How they are fluid, and unstable. How their young minds and bodies are seeking individuality and uniqueness. That they are slowly but surely becoming “them”.

I had heard of toddler tantrums and terrible twos. I have smiled sympathetically at my cousins and aunts as they struggled with their little ones. I have tried to remain calm and unaffected while little humans went berserk at train compartments, airplanes and shopping malls.

I was told they might not always be the sedate eaters that they first seem to me. Or the gentle angels they are as a sweet and cuddly six month old.

All said and done, I was not prepared. I AM not prepared.

Tantrums would have been fine. Crying might be tolerable. But a hyper- active 14 month old on an extreme diet bordering on starvation… I cannot quite stomach.

I’m told this is a “thing” with little people, mostly people who are in the second year of their lives. This whole fussy- eater syndrome. But I tell ya folks, this ain’t just “fussy”. This is full blown war. A war where there are no rules for one party, while the other is fighting blindfolded with their hands tied behind their backs and their feet in quicksand.

Every time I mention this to any body, I’m given loads of well- meaning advice. Short of voodoo and ‘let- her- go- hungry’, I seem to have tried everything else. I’m praying/ hoping/ wishing that this is a phase. A phase that doesn’t last long, because I’m hanging on to the last threads of my sanity.

I really want my little baby back. The one that squealed and jumped at the sight of her bowl, and relished every drop of water like it was the most exquisite drink in the universe. That baby loved rice, and stewed apples, and bananas, and lentil soup, and carrots…. She wanted food to be placed in front of her, and she wanted to eat them like Mama and Papa would do.

This high- chair hating, water- detesting, food throwing, spitting, eating-nothing- but-two-strawberries-a day little antigrubzilla I don’t recognize.

Of course, the minute I get the food out of her sight, she is my sweet, delightful, little angel again 🙂

* I shudder at the thought of the day when strawberries go out of season, and they disappear from store shelves ….

Till next time..

Dr J.

Read HER version http://jaznajalil.com/2015/04/12/of-alter-egos-and-food-battles-3/

Ideal husbands.

Marriage is incredibly hard. We were told to look for tall, dark, rich, intelligent and handsome. Now fast approaching my thirties, and seven years into marriage, I know for sure that I was told wrong. The media is wrong, the fairy tales are full of bull-crap, the movies are absurd, the perfect man/ husband/wife/ woman is a big old urban myth. So when my 13 year old cousin wishes for a six foot two, clear- faced, Maserati  owning golden boy, I’m torn between letting her be in la la land for a wee bit longer or dragging her back to harsh but essential reality.

I will someday tell her, to not bring down her standards but to modify them. I guess it applies to all the young boys too. Beauty might be the overriding criteria for them now, but a life- partner needs to be so much more.

So, when do you know you have snared a “good one”? What the requisites that make an ideal husband (I might be entering dodgy territory here 🙂 )?

1. He is a good handyman. He can fix a leaky tap, a dysfunctional flush and a clogged sink, no sweat. He can tweak around the circuit box without electrocuting or killing himself. A burnt fuse should not take him more than a couple of minutes to fix, even in the pitch dark. Even a jammed washing motor should not be too intimidating a task. Because good plumbers and electricians are an incredibly rare species. They are also never available when you really need them, it’s best to have one at home.

2. Be tech savvy. I am not a tech- cripple, but I lack the requisite patience and perseverance to solve all the minor techie- hassles that rear their ugly heads everyday. So yeah, find one that is a tech- god. Will save you tons of money, time, energy and retyping and reworking several papers/ presentations/ designs.

3. Should not be queasy around bodily fluids and regurgitations. Or should at least be able to look away and stop breathing but still stay on the scene, hold your hair away and rub your back while you purge into the toilet bowl or bring a human into the world. This trait also is paramount to sharing childcare duties. Poo explosions and curdled spit up is not every man’s cup of tea. Of course, you could always marry a doctor, because they have most likely performed a rectal exam on a stranger or had atleast one OB posting/ rotation, so they can mostly stand anything.

4. Be a good pretend listener when needed and switch to actual listening when required. And most importantly, know when to do what.

5. Should be aware and cool with the fact that women and men have different shopping styles, habits and methods.

6. Naturally have, or learn the art of discerning when advice is “actually” being sought, and when to just look commiserate and nod while mouthing “Honey you are doing the right thing, you are just an incredible, super, fantastic woman”.

7. Be forever willing to drive you anywhere, at any time- day or night. And to never bother you while you park, even if you do when he does.

8. Be willing to learn how to color match and co- ordinate baby clothes. And yes, very important- know how to plait, braid, and know the difference between a pony tail and pig tails (and not associate then with the animals).

9. Be willing to answer all questions pertaining to their bank accounts, knowing fully that they will never be privy to the details of the comings and goings of your bank contents.

10. Be a good bed/ blanket sharer.

11. Use up the least possible space in closets. Duh! We need “some” space in every closet/ cupboard/ drawer/ wardrobe in the house.

12. Make an effort to look dashing, intellectual, James Bond-esquely poised but Brad Pitt-esquely causally- chic at every wedding/ party/ work- do that you drag him to. He is arm candy after all.

13. Give in to the truth that all that is his is yours, even if the vice-versa may not be true always.

14. Never count how many bags, shoes, scarves, watches, lipsticks or coats you own. Ever.

15. Never question or keep track of how many times in the week he put the kids to bed. Chances are, you have done that more times that him every week though.

16. Be forever willing to turn into a swing, rocker, elephant, horse, camel or whatever else your wailing little one wants him to turn into while you type/ cook/ read or do whatever else you have to finish.

17. Should remember to put the toilet seat down (I really thought this was one of those untrue, hyped media- creations) every time, without a post- it note being stuck on the flush.

Aah! I could go on…..and on…. Shall halt for now.

Hopefully will have The Mister present the man’s perspective.

Till next time..

Dr J.

TO read how women and men shop 

Troubles. And a mid- air chat.

The trouble with trouble is that when you are in the middle of it, it seems insurmountable. Life ahead seems inconceivable. You use terms and phrases like never, ever, why… They become a mantra. You fail to appreciate all the things you have going for you. All the things in your life that make it inherently better than so many others’. You do the worst thing you can probably do in such a state- compare yourself to someone in a “better” situation. 

“Better” is so relative. My better may not be really be better than your better and vice versa.

We wish for trouble to pass us  by. We wish for it to vaporize, to cease to exist. But we often forget, or fail to realize that every change, every great day, every fabulous occurrence in  our lives have been preceded by trouble. So trouble is a rite of passage. A way of life testing us in preparation for something bigger, and usually better.

I was told last night, by a well off (in every sense) friend that I am ‘living the dream’. Ha! Really? Who would have thought! And yet…

When did the dream life stop being enough?

We all lead weird, twisted lives. In an era of the ever- connected, where nothing is personal anymore; we all chose to show only the fluff and gloss to the world. We show the best snippets of our life to the world. Hence, we all go around believing the other is happier, luckier, leading the more fulfilling life. What a shame!

Hey folks! Hope you all have been well. And hope Zoe has been keeping you folks engaged here 🙂

Four things usually get me all contemplative and broody- dawn, dusk, the sea and flying. I started typing this post, at 36,000 feet above sea level, on a really cramped economy seat, with the laptop precariously perched on one knee and a ‘finally asleep” one year old sprawled on another.

I was done. Spent.

Done with the travel, the endless packing, the distances, the train stations, bus rides, weary transits, the baby- food prepping, the juggling of many lives….

I was hungry, exhausted, and almost near tears. I am not one for public displays of tears and tantrums, so I needed to vent. I almost posted this then, but good sense prevailed. And thank heavens I did not connect to the obscenely expensive mid- air, on board wifi. Phew! I might have had to get rid of my jewelry to pay for it.

I am at a cross roads in life. At the cusp of huge change. Two very, very different paths lay ahead of me. And for once, I do not have to make the choice; destiny will do that for me. I’m a puppet in her hands now. It’s eerily liberating to submit to fate and let go… to renounce control.

Till next time..

Dr J.

Mum’s packing again.

Mum’s packing again (we have to do it more than once a month it looks like). And I tell you, it’s the funniest thing. Even Papa finds it comical.

Her antics are the same every time. She starts off with a proclamation that she will pack light. That she will not carry a single, unnecessary thing with her. That we will make do and compromise. And then she whips out a small little strolley. Then stuff starts coming out of the cupboards….

They come. And they don’t stop coming. It’s a relentless parade of bits, bobs, the necessary, the trivial, the insane. She is torn between every two things. This or that? Or both? We see her despair mount with every item that she has to can. Like an addict fighting his inner demons, she resists her every urge.

Maybe one sweater will do. Oh, what if Zoe spills something on it. Naa. I shall manage.

I have my tablet sized phone and my suitcase sized laptop, can I squeeze in my iPad in the handbag. The changing bag perhaps. 

Of course Zoe needs those. What are you saying Mister!

And yes, I will read on the trip, and during the flight, and on the train ride too. Duh!

The turmoil mounts. And reaches a cresendo. Then the explosion happens.

Ugh, We are paying those buggers at the airline aren’t we. We might as well carry everything we need, want, potentially need and desire. 

Poor Mama. 

She then goes completely dotty and drags a humungous bag into the room. She then furiously rolls up every item in sight and stuffs it in the bag. After she’s through, I am positive there is no room for a single air pocket in there.

Papa sniggers covertly. And he whispers in my ear ” Mama is a lovely woman dear, but please I beg you, don’t pack like she does!”

Well. I have no idea who I shall grow up to be. Until then I shall watch the drama unfold between my two diametrically opposite parents.

Till next time..

ZOE.

P.S. I do my bit to help. I get into the case, and help Mama arrange stuff. Some things that I deem unnecessary I throw out. I also think I need some items of my own, so I bring in my favorites pots and pans from the kitchen and dump them into the bag as well. And yes, I know how a zipper works, so I can rearrange stuff when Mama is not in the room 🙂

Of alter egos and food battles- 3!

I think food is disgusting. It’s a vile, despicable monstrosity which will one day lead to the downfall of humankind. Really!

It causes sheer wastage of anywhere between 5- 6 hours of my day. Hours which could be put to great use otherwise. I could run around in circles, climb up and down the couch about ten thousand times, chase the Barbie Ball endlessly, tear up Mama’s notes, fiddle with and poke at Papa’s wires and stuff….. and generally create “mayhem” (as Mama calls it). Heck, I might as well sleep (though it is another human activity that I’m particularly fond of)!

Eating was fun- about six months ago. It was novel and stimulating. Now, it’s utterly boring. Stuffing my face with puerile, unexciting calories is no fun I tell you. Mama labors over my meals and serves them with a lot of love. I wish I could tell her to not bother. Just give me some protein pills and calorie supplements please. Oh wait! I might not like that too. You see, I think I don’t like the act of swallowing. Spitting food is so much more piquant.

I have mastered the art of food spraying by the way. You tell me where you want it to land, and I shall oblige. On the floor next to Mama’s flip flops? Perfect. On the remote lying on the coffee table? Done. On the iPad in front of me? Done that. On Mama’s head? Brilliant I say!

I might detest the taste and smell of food in general. But I do love the feel of it. The squishy, mushy, slippy, firm, watery, rubbery….. I love ’em all. And oats make a great face scrub (full body scrub if you so wish). Chicken shreds look fantastic as hair adornments. I also save Mama some time by rubbing yogurt onto my hair- so she does not have to bother with oiling and conditioning my hair. 🙂

Everyday, Mama (or Papa) have a battle of wills with me at mealtime. Don’t want to sound like a brag, but I win everyday, hands down. I know I’m driving Mama up the wall, but she needs to get my point- serve me strawberries thrice a day lovely woman!!! Yes. Those darned, red little things, I can stomach. Give some to me on a plate, washed and cut into bite sized pieces….I shall polish them off in no time. Thank you very much. Everything else can go straight to food purgatory (or to landfills or wherever else it is that food goes to).

Mama is legendary across family circles for her love and passion for food. I don’t understand it, but to each their own I guess. Just don’t expect me to trip over some cooked chicken or salivate because I spotted some weird looking cake a mile away.

Sigh!

WP_20150404_11_04_41_Pro

Till next time..

Zoe.

I am alive.

I am alive folks! I have not fallen off the face of the earth, naa. Just suffering from a serious case of preoccupation and scatterbrained-ness that does not allow the processing of a single coherent stream of thought. I have about half-a-dozen incomplete and senseless posts lying in my drafts folder. Many long pending posts (on cloth diapering, baby wearing, weaning, toddler food) too are in the works.

Hopefully soon…once the dust settles.

Meanwhile, I shall let the little one take over for a bit. She shall take you on more plane rides and airport trips and beach experiences. She gets more vocal everyday, and is itching to have a go folks 🙂

Till next time..

Dr J.

The Ladies Lounge- Precious great hair days.

Hella Ladies,

This might seem a shallow, trivial post. But as someone who has dry, finicky, extremely fine, curly hair with a sebaceous scalp; great hair days are few and far between. To add to my woes, I invariably end up living in either a humid place, or one that sees too much rain.

I have abused my hair in every manner possible. Chemical treatments, heat styling, coloring and just general, overall lack of care. I am never too keen on oiling my hair, nor can I bothered with DIY or even store bought hair treatments and masks. They deserve so much love and affection than they actually receive from their owner.

I work out most days, and I work at hospitals. So I end up shampooing and washing my hair about twice a day everyday. I am not sure if that does any damage.

Post- Zoe, I had neither time nor motivation to bother with hair “upkeep”, so I chopped it off. More than a foot of it!

So why am I ranting about my hair today you ask?

Because I know how women like me struggle with their hair everyday. And recently I stumbled upon a couple of products which have been working great on my hair- I’d like to share them with you folks.

If you like fuss- free hair care. Or if you are someone who shampooes her hair more than once day, or is really, really strapped for time; then these are for you my friend.

They are not insanely priced or overtly advertised. Of course they might not work for you, but the shampoo seems gentle on my hair and conditioner has just enough “weight” to tame my sometimes unruly, sometimes gorgeous locks.

Try them if you will… 🙂

3

Need to use a little more product than your usual "adult" version. Does lather, but does not foam.
Need to use a little more product than your usual “adult” version. Does lather, but does not foam. No fragrance to speak of. And does not strip your hair dry. Might not be great shampoo for someone who does not wash their hair everyday, or if your hair really “needs a wash”.
If I can be bothered, I use this on the ends after rinsing the shampoo off. Complements the shampoo, does not weigh- down fine hair and makes curls less frizz prone and more manageable. Beachy, summery curls ensue...
If I can be bothered, I use this on the ends after rinsing the shampoo off. Complements the shampoo, does not weigh- down fine hair and makes curls less frizz prone and more manageable. Beachy, summery curls ensue…

Till next time..

Dr J.

P.S. My hair DOES look exactly like the cover picture!