Helpless

Last night was one of the most nerve wrecking, emotionally draining, turbulent times I have recently faced. I have been noticing this phenomenon happen regularly in the past few days, but yesterday was the climax of it all.

It is about Pari’s tantrums. Every evening she enjoys playing and watching TV which follows dinner time. All goes on fine till then. Halfway through dinner suddenly she’ll start demanding everything in sight, including hot food pots and also things that she knows are lying in her room. The crankiness is directly proportional to the delay in handing her the object she fancies.

A no is something she never takes at times like these. The crankiness in no time changes to angry, tearful outburst and she refuses to stay any second longer in her high chair. Anger is one emotion she finds impossible to control and I have slowly begun fearing such moments.

The angry outburst if left unattended for a couple of minutes results in her throwing down all the items she had collected on her table and will cry till I rescue her from her high chair. This was the original form of the tantrum-throwing-around-dinner that started early last week.

I took this very seriously and thinking maybe she gets very hungry by the time we eat dinner I tried to feed her earlier, but in vain. Tried changing the sequence of events that usually precede eating dinner, but things didn’t change. A day or two passed and her dinner-time tantrum started getting extended to half an hour post dinner to one hour in matter of three days.

Needless to say, everyone in the house was worried and my parents much more than me. The point to note here is, I am not saying that Pari doesn’t throw tantrums or anger fits at any other time, she does and I am aware that is normal for her age, but these evening to late night anger-tantrum-crankiness attacks are scaring me to no limits.

Yesterday night, I was busy baking a big cake and was also intending to frost this multi-layer cake. While still busy with the cake, I had Pari enjoy the frosting and the cake mix while playing around. There were some issues with the ingredients and it being Sunday I had to bake with the things available, requiring lot of time and effort to get the desired outcome

After a tiring baking session all I wanted was to go off to sleep as soon as we were done with dinner. Pari was very excited after having had a generous dollop of the chocolate frosting and was enjoying the dinner when the usual dinner-time crankiness hit home.

I being very tired decided to take her off the high-chair before she got any more upset so that things would calm down in time But, last night was destined to be etched in my mind and memory forever.

I took Pari for a stroll in our portico and she was calm in no time. I misunderstood this momentary peace and failed to see the storm lurking over me. I made the critical mistake of returning her to her high chair and within the count of three, she started crying.

There is one peculiar habit in her that whenever she gets very angry she tries to bang the back of her head against anything near her. Be it wall or the back of a chair, and there is no stopping. It scares, worries and irks me to extremes but still I try my best to stay in control, dropping everything I have in hand and rush to lift her in an attempt to stop her.

Yesterday evening when she started crying, she seemed to have made up her mind to not give up till all her energy reserves were exhausted. From rocking to swinging to giving her every possible thing she likes and might like, to singing and dancing to all insane item numbers and lullabies, to trying to make her sip water to drink milk, we tried every trick under the sun, moon and stars just to see them fail and fall headlong.

She cried non-stop in heart-wrenching shrill and after failing miserably to comfort her, I started crying too. It was very painful to see her so miserable in a fit of anger and only to throw a tantrum that lasted till midnight. When she was finally exhausted and could cry no longer she finally slept.

I was far more exhausted emotionally than physically and couldn’t sleep for hours after Pari slept. I couldn’t keep from worrying and wondering how would I have managed these difficult times had I not had the support, love, care and wisdom of my parents to guide me. I couldn’t help but feel scared and helpless worrying how will I take care of Pari as a single parent in the times to come.

Something pinched me deep and I failed to sleep beyond an hour last night. Though the tide has gone but the sediment of doubt, worry, fear and helplessness it has left in the shores of my mind are making me go sick with anxiety. I am aware that all these are part and parcel of parenting and growing up for babies, but my already shaken emotional stability fails to see these happenings as milestones of parenting.

I sincerely hope to become so strong that no-matter what challenge life might throw my way, I’ll be able to face it and swim through the rough waters to help my daughter have a happy life ahead. In the meantime, I am trying my best to bid goodbye to the helplessness that has gripped me tightly.

Edited to add: Ipshita shared a very useful link about understanding and managing behavior issues in toddlers >> A toddler’s need for boundaries – No walk in the park

The song on my mind: Chotti choti raatein ~ Tum Bin

Beauty and its side effects

I have been trying to avoid this topic from a long time. But, Pepper’s post forced me to give my thoughts a vent so that I could be at peace, once for all.

We all crave to be beautiful. This is a fact that none of us can deny. Though the definition of beauty depends and varies from person to person. Mind you, by being beautiful, I am not talking of heavenly beauty or Greek gods. But, overall pleasant appearance with striking features and the like.

Without plunging in the depths of the characteristics of what actually makes a person beautiful in my opinion, let me add that for this post alone we will be considering only physical beauty. So talk about a beautiful heart or mind isn’t happening.

I have often been complimented for my beauty. My beautiful eyes, sharp features and the like by many people. I have this habit of ending it all with a plain thank you and forgetting it in no time. So when I got married to someone equally good-looking (though at that time I used to rate my to-be-husband a 7/10 in good looks) things went out of control.

The trouble was, my ex-husband was very proud fond of his looks. He’d gush at every compliment and loved admiring himself in the mirror every time he crossed one. He would take much longer than me to get ready for every big or small occasion.

When I first stepped in my marital home, in no time the admiration of my looks changed to sincere advise from everyone in my in-laws. They’d say, I should in no way let my beauty and fair complexion (mentioned specifically) stand to compete with my husband’s good looks.

At first, it was confusing and a very stupid thing to hear for I had no clue about the deeper meaning of those advises.

Slowly the true meaning came to fore. They meant that never let anyone compliment me more for my beauty than my husband. He should be the sole receiver of compliments for I had been the lucky one to be married to a fair, dashing hunk as against the norm of dark, dull and ugly men around.

For someone like me, who was least interested in talking about beauty, being asked to compliment her husband generously each time he got ready was quite a task. Initially, I tried to be upfront honest about my opinion. But, I soon learnt the art of being honey-coated- sweet-yet-mechanical in my compliments for the truth wasn’t liked and I had to suffer severe repercussions of being honest.

What I wore, what make up I used, my hairstyle for the formal occasions was often dictated by my husband. He wanted me to compliment him ( by wearing complimentary tones according to the clothes he would wear) in every which way and not shine on my own. Thinking about it now, I sometimes feel disgusted of myself for having tolerated such behavior for so long in vain hope that someday it will change.

Anyway, so we were a beautiful couple at least by the looks of it. Trust me, it is a very painful position to be in. All my sisters who were compared to beautiful me all their lives now had another reason to envy me. People who used to call me blessed, being the daughter of a gorgeous mum now started calling me the lucky wife of a handsome man.

Was it patriarchy or plain stupidity, but it was a place I disliked being in. The agony of it all didn’t end with my marriage. For now, my ex-in-laws and my ex-husband uses my beauty very cleverly as the major weapon of character assassination (marrying a beautiful girl comes with the high risk of her having extra marital affairs, leading to the divorce by their innocent son and other such filth).

While it hurts to be called ugly or being endlessly compared with one’s gorgeous siblings, it can actually be more painful to be beautiful; for it then puts you in a position to be an eye sore for everyone around. You are envied by those who are compared to you and deemed less beautiful and are considered a rival by those who are prettier than yourself.

The rat race never actually ends. Just like greed for money, I think the lust for beauty is something that can never be satiated.

No-matter where you stand on the beauty scale, you are bound to be criticized by people on both the sides. So be happy with whoever and however you are, for God made you that way with a purpose. If he had wanted you to be any different, he would have made you that way. This is the philosophy that keeps me going.

The song on my mind: Gore rang pe na itna guman kar ~ Roti