At the crack of dawn everyday, for little over a month I hear the patter of tiny feet down the hall. Moments later, I see faint light from the hall slip in through the ajar bedroom door and the silhouette of my little boy Nish at the doorjamb with his wild mop of curly hair standing against the light. He gently slides in. Like a cat his darting deep black eyes glow in the dark. He spends a few seconds deciding on which side of the bed to crawl in from. He mostly chooses the side his dad lies on. Roy mumbles in his sleep as he helps Nish climb across and snuggle in between us. He stretches out his hand and instinctively hugs his wife and son as we nuzzle closer to him. My boys immediately fall back to sleep and their rhythmic gentle snores sync in harmony. I sniffle Nish’s sour morning breath and my maternal heart shrugs with the familiar ache. I’m overwhelmed with strange euphoria.
Nish has been an independent child mostly. Form day one he has slept all by himself in a crib and ever since he turned 2, he sleeps in his own room. So last month when he crawled into bed with us for the first time I let it slide. He’s an early riser and I assumed he had come over to wake us up. But in a few days when this had become a habit I began to notice that he was falling back to sleep the moment he snuck in. There were fleeting moments of doubt when I wondered about the propriety of this routine. I’ve seen red alerts on co-sleeping in plenty of childcare books and you know how my antennae go pretty cuckoo with reception from these bibles. But, unlike before I dismissed these qualms without a second thought. Because very much unlike before, this time I was high. High on this strange medley of emotions I’ve never felt in all 34 years of my life.
A month of this ritual and now I’ve turned myself into a full blown emotional junkie trudging through the whole 9 yards of intox and detox. Every morning at around 5:45 I stir awake hoping to hear the heartwarming patter down the hall. I get restless if there are no signs of his coming and lie depressed wondering if he could have outgrown his endearing habit. Other days I awake to find him already beside us and I struggle hard to ease my fervor. There is usually only less than 30 minutes of sleep time left before the alarm goes off at 6:30 and we need to begin our respective days. Every day I wish I could play God and hold that big needle form moving. I know it can’t be done. I know this is temporary. I know I’m addicted to this safe haven. I know he’ll grow up. I know I’ll have to struggle through deprivation. But for now, I feel much peace, quiet and well being. And I’m going to nestle under those covers for as long as I can.
This simple dal with shallots, ginger and tomatoes, is what I call the soul mate for idlis. I know idlis are officially married to sambars and no doubt they make a handsome pair. But according to me their divine, spiritual and natural love totally lies in this dal …[read more]