Two steps forward, one step back

My laptop stopped working last month. It is possibly beyond repair, though the husband is trying his best to get it fixed. I am quite heartbroken; it was my very first laptop, my very first joint-present from my then-boyfriend and parents and it served me well. No laptop meant no blogging, and I was heartbroken about that too, because I had been working hard to churn out an article a week and was in a pretty happy place, blog-wise.

A casual chat with a friend revealed that I could blog from my phone. Its a smartphone, duh! “Just download the App.” Of course! I was embarrassed for a minute and laughed at my own silliness and promptly started. Easier said than done, it was hard to gather my thoughts and type away from my cell phone so I wrote a few lines and then kind of gave up.

“What if this is it?” I asked my husband with my customary pressed-lip worried look? It took him a minute to realize that I was talking about my blog being “over” coz I had no laptop, before he howled with laughter at my silliness and ‘dramatic behaviour’. “What do you mean this is it?” he asked, still choking. “I can’t think of stuff to write. I’m not able to do it on my phone. I think, my blogging may have reached its peak with that Milind Soman post” I said, laughing myself.

The husband, being the angel that he is (or simply prompted into action by my dramatic sighs and hints), took off with my laptop the next morning and got it back “chakachak” (as good as new) with a new OS and stuff, so here I am, happily typing away.

December was delightful, as only Decembers can be, filled with lots of events and festivities. We had a fun cricket-themed, surprise party for Sushant’s (my BIL’s) birthday. The husband’s birthday present two weeks later was a Polaroid – he constantly talks about how we don’t print photos nowadays. He also sang in his annual “Silver Bells” choir and it was lovely. We missed Rumi at the choir but I did not want to take her along after last year’s fiasco where she screamed “Baba kade jaychay” (I want to go to Baba) right before Abhi’s solo. I had to leave the auditorium with her and miss out on his angelic singing.

Things with Rumi have been more delightful than ever, ever since I stumbled upon the not-so-new-or-original but still eye-opening mantra of “two steps forward, one step back”. This means: being mentally prepared for the fact that every day is an absolutely new slate with a child, and yesterday’s behavior may not have any bearing on things today. I have been expecting Rumi’s growth to be linear but if charted in a graph, it is anything but a straight line. It is more like those heartbeat lines they show in the movies – up and down and up and down, all jagged.

She has a good week, where she’s contently playing on her own, eating well, sleeping on time and laughing throughout the day and just when I beam with pride at her independence and her ‘growth’, comes a day where she will cling to my thigh like a monkey, scream, hit me, and refuse to be put down for even a minute. Sometimes, she happily thrives on a clockwork routine; on other days, she upsets all my plans and work. Just when I claim to have figured out what makes her tick, she surprises me by doing a 360 degree turnaround.

Our best days are the ones where I am in no hurry to be in someplace else. In such times, I am completely available to her, ready to build with blocks, paint, or just lie under the covers and tickle and kiss. It is uncanny how she picks up on my mental state. It is precisely on the days that I have a long list of to-do things that she takes hours to eat and wants to be carried. On such days I feel grateful about being a SAHM because I can afford to put off doing the laundry or dishes without it being a serious setback. Not that being at home is less work, but most of the work can be adjusted according to my child’s needs. Now that I am working from home, I do have days of frustration where I can’t seem to get anything done on some days, but on most days it is a joy to have Rumi around in my workspace, trying to imitate me sewing or cutting.

Just like Rumi, my work also goes two steps forward and one step back; a day of beautiful patchwork and picture-perfect stitches followed by a day of pulling and tugging and unpicking. The same goes with the blog. It’s a good mantra for the new year and I’m chanting rhythmically: two steps forward, one step back, two steps forward, one step back….