The best memory

I think the most difficult question a mother faces is this:

"What's the best memory you have of your baby?"

Is it laying eyes on her for the first time?

Is it seeing her smile in her sleep?

Is it seeing her master the art of rolling?

Is it seeing her come crawling to you for the first time?

Is it seeing her gummy smile every time she looks at you and recognizes you?

Is it looking at her faltering steps?

Or Is it hearing her call you "Amma" for the first time?

Yes, the last one just happened. And I'm the proudest mother in this world.

The answer to the question is "All the above".

Moms, what is your best memory?

Mommy Wars

Note:  Mothers, no offence please :)

Mommy wars? I've never even heard of this until I had a baby.

The Mommy wars started right from the day my beautiful baby girl was born. A lot of visitors came to see me and the baby at the hospital. And the first comment usually was, 'Wow! She's so small. 2.4 kgs only? May be you didn't eat well during your pregnancy. You know I used to eat dry fruits, apples and healthy food throughout my pregnancy. And my baby was born 3.5 kgs!' 'Really?' I wanted to ask them sarcastically. But no, there's no point in arguing with mothers. All the mothers always know 'the best way to raise a baby'.

And the next 'best' one comes at 3.5 months: 'What?!! The baby is still not rolling? My baby started rolling at three months only. Of course, every baby is different,' they add a little smugly.

At five months, all mothers are full of advice: 'You should limit feeding her milk now.She's ready for solids. I used to give my baby healthy food like Ragi, dal etc., from four months only. We make a special kind of powder with Ragi, all kinds of dals, which is really healthy for the baby. I'll give you the recipe.' At four months?! Aamir Khan has been trying to change the mindset of the people with his ads that mother's milk is best for the baby until six months. But, it's not having any effect on the psyche of older generation.

This one at six months: 'What?! You are allowing her to sit? It will bend her spinal cord and she'll walk hunched the rest of her life'. My expression * full of horror*
This, I get all the time: 'You are using disposable diapers? That will make her bowlegged.' *Rolling my eyes*

'You're not talking enough. How will she learn talking? I used to talk to my baby all the time. And she started talking at nine months.'
'Has she started crawling yet?'
'Doesn't she wave good bye? My baby started waving at ten months only.'
'Is she standing on her own now?'
'Her hair is very less. May be you drank coconut water during your pregnancy.I used to tie a rubber band to my baby's hair when she was just six months old.'

And the list goes on... As a mother, what a girl expects from a fellow mother is reassurance. But what a first time mom generally receives is never ending advice on how to raise a baby 'the best way' and all the while she always hears anecdotes of how the other mothers successfully raised better babies.

We all want to brag. And after the time and effort we put into babies, we want to show 'the right path' to the ignorant first time moms. But ladies, control yourself in front of a first time mom. This is not a competition. You need not mention how 'early' your baby did everything. All babies grow up in their own way. Reassure a first time mom, don't scare her!

Okay, the entire post is for other's benefit. Now that I'm an 'experienced' mom, any first-time pregnant ladies out there can come to me for advice :P

Thirteen reasons why

It has been a long time since I wrote a book review. Now I'm back with another moving(and rather disturbing) book-Thirteen reasons why.

The book starts with Clay Jenson picking up an unknown package addressed to him. In that package, he finds seven loose audio tapes with numbers on them. He starts listening to them. He jumps in disbelief when he hears Hannah's voice in the tape, because Hannah was supposed to dead. In those tapes, Hannah tells the world the thirteen reasons that had driven to commit suicide. Clay later comes to know that Hannah recorded those tapes as a punishment to the people who she thought were responsible for driving her to the extreme measure. She also made sure the tapes will be passed from one person to the next,  among all the responsible people, after her death.

That's an interesting premise for a book. Hannah gave thirteen reasons, some of which looked silly, and some of which were serious. But at the end, I really felt sorry for her. If only she'd waited for another year, life would have been different for her. What she didn't realise was - life doesn't end at high school, or college or anything. Life has to move on! The book gave me a good insight into the teenagers' mind, how they behave so self-centered, and how they blow every small problem out of proportion.

The book never promised a happy ending. We knew that Hannah died right from the start. But it ended on a hopeful note - when clay decides to reach out to skye.

The book had several hidden messages,but the most important one was: You never know how your actions affect others. So be careful! Often we see people spreading rumours and gossip without any concern for the involved persons' feelings. I always hated that but after reading this book, I hate the rumour mongers even more. Sometimes, we see a person who we know clearly needs someone's help. We can sense that he/she is lonely. But we ignore them, thinking that it's none of our business. May be if we reach out to the person at the right time, we can prevent atleast some suicides.

Books which make us think, and which are capable of bringing a change in the person's thought process are rare. This book made me think. So, I highly recommend it!