ArTales Legends- 3

CHRONICLES OF ALMOST SINGLE MOTHER Read and rate this story.

“I begin to love this little creature and to anticipate his birth as a fresh twist to a know which I do not wish to unite.” – Mary Wollstonecraft

I scrolled through the news feed. It was spammed with such flattering messages. These mundane messages.

I am so tired of it. Preaching and piece of mind. You unenlightened freaks.

Is it tacky or am I being edgy? They say motherhood drive you nuts. Is it?

Although we planned it meticulously, wheedled medically and then waited endlessly. Then called it a miracle to us. We mothers!

But I did forget to plan afterlife. Did I not imagine it all color my happy tale?

And look at me today. Messy hair, careless clothes and chaotic nest.

Maa assured me saying, “you will get used to it soon.” How sooner, she might have missed.

I am not a milking machine. Stop sucking, you little monster. There is nothing left inside. Manufacturing takes time. Even the doctor said, “feed him every two or three hours. Look for the sign of readiness for hunger like sucking finger or lip smacking.”

Oh, so technical. She did not mention anything about round-the-clock suckling ones.

Hey you, I was just a minute late. Stop fussing over it. Now come here, I will soothe you. My frantic, over-dramatic baby. Dare you sleep before bringing out winds.

He slipped into his dreams, already. Minutes ago, you were wailing like a wolf. Hey, do you run manually or am I missing any switch?

Now since, he is asleep, let me get rid of this stained nightdress. It has been two days. It stinks. Laundry. Yes, his clothes have piled up. Half-an-hour, and it is done.

Bottles need sterilization. Run on your toes.

This stench, oh no. Diapers. I forgot to dispose it yesterday. Finish like a ball out of hell. It’s been an hour. Already.

Did I hear him stretch? Run.

I never have time for shower.

“Are you not tired of using this phrase, like hundred and twenty five times during the past six months?” Finish the five-minute clean-up. It tastes salty. Tears. But why. May be exhaustion.

Oh, the warmth of water. Stop relishing. It is not a luxury. Not for you. Remember Sheetal said the other day, her baby fell out of the cradle while I was not around. She hurt herself badly.

Be careful. No less than Nancy Drew. Smell the silence. He is still asleep. Let me dress-up fine and dandy. I will take him to park today.

Day before yesterday I went in those unfitting pajamas. And what those senior citizens were talking about, yeah, some attack. We lost our soldiers. I am so ill informed nowadays. But why revenge? No loss is easy to bear and neither are the aftereffects. Government should try diplomacy. We have history.

Government is sensitive. About Women’s issue too. It should increase paid maternity leave. Like Canada or Iceland. Six more months. And with poor sex-ratio it may turn up trouble-free. Female are almost one crores, out-numbered. Amongst them 50% are adult and teens. Rest amongst them, 25% works salaried. If 10% of them are pregnant in a year, government’s economy will not be burdened.

Burden is the tax on sanitary pads. I am paying lots these days. I know. I see. I ignore. We are the ignorant ones.

Did I hear him yawn? Do not ignore, hurry.

“I do not have one nice and clean dress to wear?” Aargh, stop dancing in that towel. This heap of cloth. Please, one clean-decent dress. Okay any washed nighty. Any top. Gotcha. Dump yourself in quickly in that ancient stripped top. Hey, there is a stain. Next time soak it in hot water. Sheetal told me that soaking overtime removes stain and odor. The fragrant detergents might help…

Blue suits me. I still look good. Just a few layers of belly fat..this double chin..saggy eye bags. It has reduced though. Theses dark circles have subsided too.

“Stop flattering yourself”. Am I overweight? Do I look attractive anymore?

I do not need the world’s approval. Certainly not yours. You are not family. Not anymore. Do you even exist? Through those skype and voice calls? Not to me.

Stop fooling around, he is omnipresent. In this house sealed in my heart. And it hurts, like those needles pricking subsequently to relive the pain in that labor room. And failed miserably. Why did he choose his work over us? On-sight project. I wonder sometimes, he gained or he loose.

The cry baby is fully awake now. I am here. Let me come in your vicinity. Do not look at me..your puppy face. Awww. Your eyes, it reminds me of him.

Shake it off. He is not here..by your side. In the most needy hours.

Is my brain strained? Keep it occupied. Busy. Paddle hard. Let him not slither.

His hands clutched hard on my waist. It hurts. But you are my little bundle of joy. Suck till you are contended and stomach is full. It is so small. Then why it turns empty? After every hour.

Is it because he pees a lot? Excess precipitation? Or maybe dehydration? That is why he is hungry often. Or maybe I am not lactating enough. My diet is taking a toll. Shall I add Masoor daal in the grocery list? Or an extra cup of milk.

I should first check with Maa.

He stopped. He chuckled. Oh, he must be full. Let me rock him first. Burp baby. Oh, it sounds heavenly.

Play time. Story telling. Time for chit-chat. He reciprocates. He giggle.

When will he speak? I wonder what he will say first. Everyone says, Maa. Nani sounds great too.

Maa asked me to be watchful. He started changing sides. He can fell down. Bed is too high, too. The cradle is fine. But what will I do, the day he starts crawling and jumping out of bed.

Is he smiling at me? But he is staring at the fan. Maa told me once that babies talk to God. That is why they cry or laugh by themselves. Good no, someone is there to listen and understand their feelings when we mothers cannot.

Some motorist passed by. S/he honked. He is all excited. Cycle-cycle. Unmatchable speed. No I am not taking you at the balcony. The pigeons and dogs comes wailing their tail whenever he is out there. They flapped. They barked. He looked amazed through his big round eyes.

Did I hear him puke? Run. Bib, no bib. Towel. Anything. Why does not he warn? Or signal? Oh, it covered his cloths. It stinks. You stink. I stink.

Changing vomit-soaked clothes is humongous and gross. I need more of this baby powder. Oh my shining tiny armor. Stay clean for another hour. Let us go for a stroll.

We need air. Some micrograms to freshen up and some to feel alive.

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