Helping Hands

Last week or so, after I came to work, P pinged me on IM and said ‘I am very sorry, Dil’. I knew what she was apologizing for, but I asked what that was about. I can never be sure with what P is feeling bad for. (You know, you could have just met her and if you looked sad, she would think its her fault and she will feel bad for ever for that.) Anyway, it turned out to be what I was expecting it was. The week before, I think I was getting less sleep than usual, so I felt quite more tired. The night before this, I gave up on washing dishes, cleaning kitchen etc and just had to hit bed early. For some reason, I did think P would take care of the cleaning that night even though I didn’t ask her. She usually offers me help, but I don’t let her do anything. I like doing all these chores as long as I have the energy (even no time is fine). I woke up next day to find kitchen as-is 😦 . Despite, hitting bed early, I didn’t sleep much, was still tired and now I had a load of dishes to wash, clean and prepare meals for Abhi and Achu.  But, I didn’t say anything. Later, when P apologized, I tole her she didn’t have to apologize and it was fine.

At lunch, I was mentioning this episode to my colleague and she asked me, why I was not taking extra help from P as much as I can and as long as she was with me (She has the problem of having some relative stay at her place and not helping at all). The reason is what happened during my India trip. I always wanted to write about my day when I was in Hyderabad for those 4 months. My trip began with the horrible/tiring journey of a life-time and that was only the beginning of me being tired. My day began at around 6:30 when Abhi woke up. Change him, feed him (which he would religiously throw up minutes later), so change him again. Achu would be up by now. Same routine. Minus the vomit (most of the times). At 9 or so, I would give Abhi his bath, get him ready, feed him and put him to bed for his morning nap. I used to leave him on the big bed, surrounded my pillows and he would sleep on his own. Next was Achu’s turn for bath, dress her up, feed her, rock her to sleep (which mostly takes for ever) and put her to bed. Since they both are sleeping on the same bed, then I would keep praying that one of them wont cry and wake up the other one. Some of the days I slept too. Around 11, I would start preparing their lunch, would wake them up at noon and feed them both their lunch. Phew, feeding them used to tire me so much. 😦 We would now play for another hour or so. At 3 in the afternoon, feed Abhi some milk and put him down for his nap. Achu’s turn next. After they are up in about an hour, we used to play. I would make their dinner, feed them, play and entertain again until 9. Then, Abhi goes to bed, later Achu. Abhi, almost always, slept through the night. Achu used to wake up every 3 hours and needed to be rocked back to sleep each time.

This was all after Abhi and Achu got into a schedule. Bringing them to this schedule was another tiring thing. Add to all this, constant nuisance of people around me, being so disappointed and lonely all the time, everyone around staying so busy and not helping me much and me not getting a break much. (Now, that I wrote the schedule down, I can’t believe I did that continuously for 4 months. I am kinda of proud of it. )

Switch to now, my life is so different. P has been living with us from day 1 after we came back. First month was quite tough. Adjusting and everything took its time, but we got over it soon. During day time, after nanny comes in the morning, I start cooking for Abhi and Achu (and also for us). I get both lunch and dinner ready for them. Nanny looks after kids for everything after that. After I go home, I try to finish some of the chores before nanny leaves. And then I am with kids full-time until they sleep. After they sleep, I do the rest of home chores and get things ready for next day cooking. At nights, P takes care of Abhi. Achu is with me. Weekends, Murali is here; He takes care of kids in the morning while we get some extra sleep. Even the rest of the day, P and I feed kids together (sometimes Murali entertains them and we feed). Later, I am cleaning kitchen, Murali or P is cleaning up Abhi and Achu. If we are stepping out,  we get kids ready together. There is so much work sharing compared to the time I had in Hyderabad for those 4 months. Most of the times, I don’t need a helping hand in the kitchen or anything, but I feel happy that there is someone giving Abhi and Achu direct attention, instead of me trying to entertain them while doing my work.

That’s the reason, I don’t ask of more help from P. I think she is already doing me so much help compared to me not-having-any-help at all. I couldn’t ask for more. She is still my guest. She doesn’t have to take care of one of my kids all night. Yet, she does. Its okay, if she doesn’t help me anymore than what she already is. Each time I feel like getting more help from her or Murali, I remind myself of what I didn’t have. I remind myself to not take what I have now for granted.

Saturday night, Murali and I went to watch a movie. By the time, we came back, living room was messy as-is and kitchen the same. I got frustrated a little, but not at P. Like, I said, I don’t mind cleaning my house at 12:30 midnight, but people taking me for granted for getting these things done on my own, bothers me. What’s more annoying than washing dishes that late is no one caring that you are doing it. I did feel bad for myself, but I have moved on, remembering the point of this story. Because the way I see it now is that there was no one watching my kids while someone else took me to watch a movie before. That’s why all seems fine.

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