Not a baby anymore

On Sunday when he had his Mundan saṃskāra Asher officially left behind his baby self. The wonderful Rami (The same pundit who officiated our wedding. He has his own website if you want to know more) explained to us that this was the beginning of his spiritual life and the official end of babyhood. It was a lovely ceremony, Asher was amazingly calm and good (which I attribute to Pundit-ji's chanting) and afterwards we ate great food from Billu's catering and chatted while kids ran around and pestered their parents to be allowed in the pool. I think that as far as these big Indian parties go it was fun, and everyone seemed to be having a reasonably good time. There will be photos up on Flickr in a day or two.

The actual hair removal happened after the ceremony - Tim used Elia's clippers to give Asher a 'Number 1' but the lack of sleep, heat and scary buzzing was a bit to much for Asher by that point so the haircut's a bit patchy. I'm going to drop into my hairdresser this afternoon and see if we can't smooth it out a bit - we don't want the little guy looking like he has mange! He does look quite different now though - less like a little Martin child, like me at the same age, and more like a Chhabra. His head is larger than I thought it was and his jaw is somehow fuller. At first he felt a bit like a stranger and I think it's going to take me a few more days to get used to.

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Tomorrow we get the keys to our new house. I would say that posting here is going to be patchy until we settle in but it's already so patchy that I can't see anyone even noticing. I'll let you know what I think of the new place once we've moved.


The kindness of strangers

Today is Blog Action Day and unfortunately I don't have the energy to get serious writing about an environmental issue. When I've got so much else on my mind (Asher's Mundan, parental birthdays, moving house, not to mention the election) I don't have anything left over for the bigger issues (but please, reduce, reuse and recycle while thinking globally and acting locally) so I want to take this chance to thank some people that I've been meaning to thank for ages now.

'Trail angels' are those who help people when they are walking a trail. This help is unexpected but greatly needed and I believe the consensus is that 'you know one when you meet one'. I heard the term first referring to the Papua New Guinean 'Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels' who helped Australian soldiers on the Kakoda Trail during WWII but I have since learned that long distance hikers often refer to unexpected helpers as trail angels (Google yields results). Since I've been travelling on public transport with Asher I've met my fair share of Public Transport Angels.

Today was a perfect example - on my way into the city to meet Bindy for coffee with a fairly grouchy and recalcitrant child a guy helped me lift the stroller onto the bus. It took him a few seconds and not so much physical effort but it saved me getting Asher out of the stroller and convincing him to stand and hold onto me while I packed up and then carried toddler, bag and stroller onto the bus. Help on and off the bus is great, and I don't think people realise how grateful I am when it happens but I've also had people entertain Asher when he and I are both tired and over it, a friendly but scary looking guy with tattoos help me carry the pram down flights of steps when the lifts were out of order at Central Station and on one notable occasion I've two very kind Islander women help me get Asher in the sling when he was very sick and I was debating getting off the bus as we passed Royal North Shore Hospital (they did fret about him being cold and tried to get me to put more clothes on him).

So next time you see someone struggling with a pram or hear a child complaining loudly on public transport instead of silently hoping that they will get out of your way and keep quiet please, if you can, offer your commiserations and ask the parent or carer what you can do to help - you may just make someone's day.


Blog Anniversary!

Well, the anniversary itself was actually a few days ago, and considering my tardiness generally with this blog, I think that five days late is perfectly acceptable as 'on-time'.

I was lying on the couch a few minutes ago (feeling terrible - I'm coming down with something that feels like the Black Death. I hope Asher doesn't get it from me), and wanting to get up and blog but only having an amorphous swirl of ideas of exactly what I wanted to write about, when I started wondering why I bothered writing here at all. Now, although that sounds like a terribly melodramatic and depressive thing to think it actually wasn't, because I recognise that I get something out of blogging but I'm really not sure what. Anyhow, I thought drag myself from the couch to the computer and check when the anniversary of the blog was so that I could craft an excellent 'what I've learned from blogging' type post, but since I'm already late I'll just cobble something together as usual, and probably go to sleep tonight thinking of ways it could have been a better post.

I guess the first and most wanky benefit of the whole blogging thing for me is that I'm slowly, slowly, finding a voice. Since high school some time I've believed I'm a poor writer and although that hasn't gone away I feel a little more confident about getting my ideas across. I wouldn't have been able to start writing if I didn't have Asher to write about - I didn't start this to muse and ponder, just to record the little guy's developmental milestones and perhaps my state of mind, in lieu of a baby book. A budding confidence in writing is a happy side effect.

Ironically, I also have told barely anyone about the blog. In a burst of enthusiasm I told a few 'internet friends' (and IRL friends who I see more of inside the computer than out these days) and Emma and Brendan, because they were away for an extended period of time and writing their own blog, so I thought I could keep in touch and still maintain my record as worst long-distance friend (which reminds me, I should 'fess up to the Irish Cousin about the blog!) but I haven't told my family or anyone else and I avoid mentioning it in front of people (er, not that there's much to mention!). So for all intents and purposes I have no readers, and I can't work out whether this helps me to feel more freedom when I write, or whether it is the overwhelming contributor to my extreme slackness in posting. Perhaps I should open up a bit now? Perhaps I'm concerned that my lackadaisical attitude to posting will irritate or disappoint? Why should I care?

On a completely different note I've also discovered that having a separate blog for dealing with food, wine and cooking is absolutely pointless, so any further discussion on such matters will be posted here. I'll also try and post Asher development updates more regularly - all about Asher's growing vocabulary coming soon!

Sanjay is in the kitchen. He's bathed Asher, read bedtime stories, and put him to bed and has just cooked me dinner - I'll sign off for now, with a small self-congratulatory grin. I'll eat my dinner, watch some TV and worry about how I'm going to look after Asher tomorrow if my headache, aching muscles and oversensitive skin turn into the flu they are threatening.


Bad to the bone!

Bad to the bone!
Originally uploaded by karmakeda
My child is just like a two foot high redneck travelling somewhere exotic. He complains about the food, he whinges at his tour guide and when I don't understand him he just says the same thing, but louder and louder until, in a burst of parental telepathy I work out what he wants or he dissolves into another tantrum.

At least he's cute. Really really cute.


In the interests of not letting this blog die of neglect...

...I'm just going to mention how much I hate school holidays! I always thought that school holidays only affected parents of school aged children (except for the decrease in traffic and lack of obnoxious high schoolers on public transport int he afternoons) but the affects seem to be much more far reaching than that. Most of the playgroups seem to shut down during school holidays, so the normal pattern of our week is interrupted. The zoo, the indoor playcentres and other fun places to take little kids are really busy and unpleasant because Asher and his little friends practically get trampled by the 'big kids' who are on holidays from their preschools and kindergartens.

We still go to the park or for a coffee in the early mornings (we often leave home at the same time as Sanjay to minimise the opportunity for tantrums) and we still meet up with the baby club gang on Thursdays but we miss our favourite Tuesday afternoon TAFE playgroup.

At least this holiday is only two weeks, and hopefully Clare will come and hang out with us a bit while she doesn't have classes. I wonder what other parents of toddlers think of school holidays? What are the favourite distractions for really little kids that don't involve extra crowds?