Ear-buds are NOT exactly your buddies! – Day 3

And I learned it the hard way when I recently went deaf.

Well almost deaf, if not for a kind ENT specialist’s timely help. If he hadn’t dug into my ears and pulled out a tiny tuft of cotton, I would still be a religious user of the deceptive bunch of sticks out to mislead everyone. It was a scary revelation to say the least, when the doctor explained how my addiction to the buds could harm me beyond repair.

Yes you read that right. Addicted. I was addicted to the buds so much that a huge box of ear buds was invariably a regular item in my monthly grocery list. They had become an integral part of my everyday life. Every time I would get an itchy ear, I stopped thinking straight…as if nothing was right. I would be overpowered by an uncontrollable urge to run to the box, pull out a stick and push it in my ears until I felt calm. There was an insane pleasure that tingling of buds in the ears brought about which kept pulling me towards them and I kept getting drowned in their spell.

Image Courtesy- Google
Image Courtesy- Google

I kept at it without realizing that a mere tending to an itchy ear was actually having an adverse impact. Until the sounds and noises started to blank out around me.

Fortunately it wasn’t too late. The doctor treated my blocked ears and advised commanded me to throw the box of buds out of the window!

I learnt from him how a regular usage of buds could lead to infection and permanent hearing loss. Some of us do produce excess wax which needs to be removed, but for most of us it need not be removed. Ear wax is essential to guard our ears from bacteria and water. So removing it will make the delicate skin more susceptible to infection. And pushing it with earbuds into the ear could further puncture our eardrums as well.

It’s funny and yet scary how these ear buds- no thanks to Johnson & Johnson– were constantly featured as a gift item for babies. I remember, when Namnam was born, we used to receive these gift packs and most of them would have a bunch of ear buds too tucked in a corner. I never used them on her though. Thankfully she has never been drawn to buds till date. Ironic I know, considering my addiction!

I shudder to think how potentially dangerous the buds could be if used on small kids!

Hopefully they will never be back into our house ever. I have learnt my lesson. Although I do feel the itch at times, we have managed to keep the buds far and away, thanks to the timely warning from my doctor ringing loud and clear and still echoing in my ears.

To see something in everything…Day 2

Phew! Finally here, a good 2 hours late.

I had planned to be here at about 8, right after I had packed Namnam & R to school and office respectively. Because then I would have some quietness and the laptop all to myself. I had the perfect plan to perch myself in front of my comp and start tapping some letters to make a post. In fact between yesterday from the moment the publish button for Day 1 post was clicked and today I must have cooked up some 100 prompts in my mind to write about.

As Rekha so rightly observed in her post, its funny how a blogging marathon can make us sit up and look at everything that comes our way as a probable fodder for post! There was a post sticking out of that line of ants which went marching past me ; the spilt milk cried out loud for a chance to grace my blog ; even the biggest news about a certain news anchor calling it quits had a prompt LOUD enough to befit a blogpost!

But whats equally funny, in my case, is when I get down to turning all those prompts into a full fledged post, they all come crumbling down to nothing.

See now for instance, I started out with a grand plan to tell you all how and why I got late in logging in here. But as always dragged on with the hows, with no sight of the whys. So let me get to the why before I lose you to sleep.

As I geared up to kick start the second day of the marathon, a friend dropped by for a quick hello. Once she left, the computer beckoned again, and this time I got lost in a pool of pictures of an adventure camp that Namnam had been to last week. So a good hour or more was spent looking through those 1000+ pictures, trying to spot my kid, doing a jig each time she was spotted and then sharing them with the rest of the family back home.

Then once that was sorted, I closed all the tabs, kept my phone far away with Whatsapp/Facebook/Twitter temporarily gagged (at the risk of gasping for my own breath), so there’s no room for any further distraction, and landed here and spent another 2 hours to cook up a non-post, which is what you have just read. Now off I go in pursuit of some fodder for tomorrow.

Before I sign out, a peek into what my li’l camper was up to¬†last week…

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Dear Namnam, you’re 10!!

It’s a milestone! A double digit age! Can you visualize Amma with both her hands on her cheeks, mouth agape and her jaws dropping? Yup, that’s what happens every time the fact hits me.

Where did all the time go, da?

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Much as it may sound cliched, it does seem like yesterday when I had gone for a regular check up, with you safely cocooned inside me, and Dr. Rakhi told me that I was ready to bring you out to this world. Rather you were ready to come out, though you didn’t give me any signs aside the casual pokes and kicks. Was I nervous? Was I in pain? Well I can’t really remember being in pain or any discomfort for long. You were a wonderful baby, you didn’t give me any trouble all the while I was pushing you to come out. In fact I was prancing around the hospital ward all happy and gay, chatting with your Ammamma who was by my side all through. Your Ammamma was more tensed than I was. Mothers I tell you!

And then just like that, in a few hours you were placed in my arms.

I didn’t even know what to expect at that point. It took us sometime¬†to sink in that the moment we had been praying for, waiting for, was finally here. Although your Papa & I knew much in advance that we were going to be blessed with a daughter, we didn’t know what else was to come. We weren’t even sure if we were holding you right!

We were as new to the world of parenthood as you were to¬†babyhood. When you discovered the perfect nook to sleep by snuggling in to our necks, we discovered the immeasurable joy of just watching you. You learned your ways around your world while we learned to guide you. You learned to talk, we learned to read you. You learned to walk, we learned to chase. You learned to eat ( fussily at that) and we learned to savor your leftovers…and gain some pounds too in the process! And the stage of fussy-eating and savoring-your-leftover still continues ūüėČ

We learned to get used to being called Amma..Papa while you learned to get used to not only Namnam but all kinds of pet names that we could think of. We learned all the baby talks and cuddles that we could possibly shower on you, you learned to decipher them and respond to our crazy lingo with your dialect!

And now. Just like that. You’ve turned 10.

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You’re not a minikin anymore. You’re not that one year old who had screamed her lungs out when she heard those thunderous claps of so many people known and unknown, coming at her as her first birthday cake was being cut!

You are a young girl now on the threshold of what they call “preadolescence”. I didn’t even know that a word like this existed until recently. As if adolescence wasn’t scary enough a term. Now there’s preadolescence or preteen or tween to get us parents to hyperventilate even more!

Much as I am glad that you are well over that phase of stranger anxiety, much as I am glad to see you shaping¬†up¬†stronger, much surer of yourself and your surroundings,¬†much as I am looking forward to knowing how much of a fine person you will grow up to be, I can’t help wishing¬†there was a way to¬†hold on to the time dashing¬†past. Then and now alike.

You’re growing up so fast!

So fast that I sometimes tend to refuse to let you grow out of my fold. Papa always tells me¬†that I shouldn’t be mollycoddling you so much. You are old enough to be treated in a more mature manner. While I am still grappling with the speed at which you are growing, I do realize that he is right.

You are blossoming into a wonderfully accommodating, practical, sensible girl with a terrific sense of humour. An avid reader. An ardent watcher of YouTube shows, so much so that you are turning into a potential insomniac.¬†Psst…the insomniac bit is not said in a very celebratory tone, note that ok!

You’re a bundle of energy, always ready with questions and opinions bursting¬†through your curious mind.¬†I look forward to our dinner sessions because that’s also the time when the three of us converse on a range of things.¬†It’s a different matter though that while Papa and I eat AND¬†converse, you…you only converse. And you know what I find most amazing? That you think of the most interesting, relevant questions to ask when you have a plateful of food to finish!

That said, I cherish the wonderfully interesting discussions that we have been having about Greek Gods and mythology and how they have got you to draw parallels with Indian mythology and mindsets of those times.

Oh I hold dear even those peculiar questions that find their way to our dining table. Like when you want to know how you behaved when you were in my tummy. Or if it was your finger or toe nail that did the scratching or poking from inside. Or how could we be so sure that your first word was Amma. Or why is there no such term as a person-made or human-made? Why do we refer to a creation as man-made? What if it was created by a woman?

Namnam, please don’t stop asking questions. Ever. Peculiar or not. Relevant or not. Asking questions is a beautiful way to widen your horizon. To rubbish prejudices. So ask away. Whatever you want to. Whomever you want to.

The other day you wanted to know whether¬†people judge others solely by their looks? It was an interesting topic to broach. And I could tell where you were coming from. Why you sounded so affected.¬†You hate, you tear up¬†when someone calls you tiny or short to belittle your capabilities. You wonder how anyone can judge you merely by how short or tall you look without really knowing how capable you are. You are right, Namnam. They cannot judge you. They shouldn’t. But how people judge you¬†is not¬†in your control. They may judge you for the choices you make, for a certain way you behave, for the accent you talk in, for the way you eat, for the way you dance. What you can control is¬†whether you¬†choose to get¬†affected by them. If you choose not to be affected by those shallow judgments and take pride in what you are, being confident in your own capabilities, you are proving those people wrong already.
Let me give you a piece of advice that your Ammamma used to drill into me and Raghumamu while growing up. Something that has always stayed with me.

Put your heart and soul into whatever it is that you do or wish to do or desire. Give your best and it will come your way, come what may.

Having said that, don’t ever expect for things to come your way on the very first try. You need to keep trying and pursuing. There’s a slight chance that they may not even come to you. You are not to give up on hope if that happens. Do your best. Keep trying and if need be explore other pastures. But don’t ever give up.

With that the birthday special edition of advices comes to a close. The next batch shall be offered in another week. Okay, okay..not for another month. Now  go ahead and enjoy your day. Celebrate being you.

Always know that Papa & I are ever so proud of you. Ever so blessed to have you in our lives. We love you more and more with each passing moment. Always will.

Happy 10th, darling ūüôā

Amma