Here’s an Indiblogger Happy Hours topic I’m really qualified for… It’s sponsored by Pampers and all I have to do is write 450 words about what makes Chotu happy. The only catch is that I didn’t get the time to write an entry because of Chotu and I now have an hour to submit my entry but I’m going to try my luck anyway. 🙂
It’s easy to figure out what newborns need. When Chotu was born, the nurse told me to first check his diaper when he cried and if the diaper was clean, to feed him. Fair enough, right? Before Chotu was born I was like any other first time mom who wanted to keep things “all natural”. My son would be disposable free I declared but obviously, it wasn’t to be. Forget the laundry difficulties in a tiny apartment, we all needed sleep. Desperately. And the last thing I wanted was for us to wake up for was a diaper change.
Once the baby stops crying we can start thinking about actual happiness. Unlike the need for a clean diaper, everything else changes on a daily basis. The only thing that hasn’t changed since he was born is Chotu’s love for music. Nothing makes my little one happier than cuddling up to someone and hearing them sing. When Chotu was little, all he wanted was to be carried for hours while being sung to. We had to take turns each time he woke up at night and while it was exhausting at the time, it’s nice to look back at all the variety in the singing.
My father used to hold him for hours reciting sanskrit shlokas. I think the rhythmic chanting soothes newborns because Chotu would sleep peacefully listening to them. Occasionally, dad would branch out a bit and sing this song here:
or this for a bit of variety. Don’t miss it if you’re a Telugu speaker. It’s a classic:
My mother would sing this song over and over again.
Once Chotu outgrew the newborn phase we decided to retire the song because of the line “Radha kyon gori, Main kyon kaala”. We were pretty generous because the song was never allowed in my brother’s house in the first place (they live in New York). My mother now sings this song instead, well minus all the classical-ness:
The Hero has always been, erm, musically disadvantaged. So, he sings only the two songs everyone is forced to learn in school. One is the National Anthem. The other is “Hum Honge Kaamyab”.
My mother-in-law sings the same Annamacharya song over and over again – one she learned especially for her grandson. It’s called “Chinni Shisu” (little infant) and my MIL sounds much more cheerful than the gentleman in this video:
Interestingly, no one is allowed to sing the songs claimed by others. When he was about eight months old he would protest by squealing. As he grew older he would try to close our mouths. Once he learned to speak he would say, “Ammamma” or “Nanna” and let us know quite firmly that they were to stick to what they started with. And so, my father sticks to what he started with and the grandmas can never exchange songs.
The only exception to the rule is Amma. I am allowed to sing whatever I remember from my old music classes – bhajans, songs from old Hollywood musicals, Annamacharya keerthanas, free-flow alaap based on the time of the day or night, silly rhymes, songs of my own invention, whatever catches my fancy that night. Once in a while, however, a song I sing catches his fancy and I have to sing it over and over again in a loop.
I once sang “Do Re Mi” fifteen times before he fell asleep. I’ve probably sung the song more times than the original cast of The Sound of Music:
Another time I had to sing this rhyme continuously for about 20 minutes:
We also went through a phase where I had to sing
D se hota hai Dancer
I se hota hai Item
S se hota hai Singer
C se hota hai Chorus
O se orchestra
Chotu can sing that too now :-). Here’s the whole song in HD glory.
Speaking of dancing, have you watched this Pampers ad with dancing babies? Oh, all right, I know that was very contrived but the bit about the Mithun songs is actually true. I’m ok with putting a Pampers ad on my blog because we actually use these on Chotu at night (he’s diaper free in the day time. Yay!) and they really work. It’s easier to put pants on a wriggly toddler and these diapers keep him dry all night which means less waking up and more sleep for everyone. Chotu and I have a regular morning routine where I pull the diaper off him every morning when he wakes up and I pretend to collapse under its weight. That gets him giggling and kicks off the day on a nice note. 🙂
I know we eventually need to begin our night time toilet training. However, that’s a milestone we’re willing to be patient for.