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The birth of a baby is a life-changing event - for the baby (He is being born after all, what can be more life-changing than that?) and for the mothers. The seemingly cool and carefree ladies change in the course of the growth of the baby, and frankly, not for the better. Some become paranoid and borderline obsessive, and some, *shudder* become preening peacocks.
Preening peacocks are initially the "I was born to be a mother", "I have too much love to give" and "life is incomplete without babies" kind of ladies. Somehow, in the course of 9 months of trouble and a painful delivery, the end-product, the wrinkly bawling-for-what-its-worth babies achieve a near-Godlike status. They are the Lord's incarnation - his ultimate gift to mankind (Common sense should say that the ultimate gift to mankind cannot be another person, but who cares?). Through their heart-melting smiles and really-cute games, they are admittedly a joy to behold. However these "too-much-love-to-give" mothers don't help matters much by:
- Baby bed overload: You'd think that a baby "needs" a lace-and-satin bed with a lot of soft toys in and around it. No. Just, No. All they need are simple and clean cotton sheets, just like the rest of us. The soft toys, though look oh-so-sweet, are a potential SIDS-risk.
- The monochrome: Something about a baby screams fragile (the pink-tipped toes and fingers have a lot to do with it) - but they don't scream whites, pinks and blues. The connection of anything remotely baby-ish to these washed-out colors is so disconcerting. Worse yet, recognizing a mother's weakness, all the baby product manufacturers have gone into unnecessary-but-pretty white product overdrive - feeding pillows, white-velvet horse-rides, cloth wipes, blankets, hanging insects and what not.
- The Purchasing power: All the fancy rattles, electronic books and activity tables does not reduce the importance of (or are preferred over) a mechanical monkey beating drums, books, a cricket bat and a tricycle. I don't understand parents who buy all the fischer-price products and miss out on the simpler, local and infinitely more interesting little toys.
- The birthday parties: This is a pet peeve of mine. I remember where birthday parties were simple affairs with samosas, chips and a lot of talking. The parents had their get-together, and the kids were screaming all the time. Now, it is a "themed" affair - there are art-and-crafts workshops, face painting, temporary tattoos and a lot of ego building. Not only are the parents opening themselves to a lose-lose situation with these extravaganzas and the resulting comparisons, they are building mutant-egotists out of their children.
- Photography: This collective obsession is killing me. I, like thousand others, don't want to see a wrinkly new born on my timeline in Facebook - neither do I want to see blurry images of a baby in 12 various angles at the same time, on the same day and in the same dress.
- Baby Talk: Being a mother, I still cannot digest the baby talk. I don't mean talking to your own baby in gibberish - everyone does that. It is when it comes out of that sphere and you start talking in baby-talk to adults that it becomes bizarre - kind of like the cat (kitteh?) language; like a mother responding to a picture saying - " *Insert baby name*
says this is so cute". Don't put words in his/her mouth woman!
- Baby Pride: Mothers, kindly hold your horses. Please don't start talking about your genius little dumplings until someone asks what the said dumplings are up to. More importantly, never EVER give the phone to them. I don't want to hold awkward one-sided conversations with a suddenly silent-and-sullen child.