Today I have new found respect for all Ayahs, Jhappas, Nannies and nursemaids. Till May 2015 I was the happy grandmother of Wow Dinga, a cheery 2 year old boy. He and I spent hours in each other’s company till his mother came home every evening and picked him up from work.
Two months later my hands were full! With two nursing mothers and their babies “recuperating” at home, life was literally going down the boob. Wow Dinga was confused with the changes in his life ( he had also just begun school in June), Little Miss Papaya and Baby Roo were just beginning to open their eyes and see the world. They were also confused with what was happening.
Every now and then, I’d hear the words “why is the baby crying? ” ( I wish I knew or why don’t you ask baby? were the answers waiting to spill out of my pursed lips) or “if there’s anything I can do , just ask” ( just shut up and stop looking so judgementally , I say only mind). And of course, I’d get endless bits of advise from everyone who had a mouth right from the kaamwali Bai to the snooty Mr.G who normally never cracked a smile.
Since then life has been crazy. There hasn’t been a time my hands have been still. Either I’m dandling a baby, washing the bottles, folding the clothes, wheeling the pram or just simply doing the other things that I do in my life ( which translates as NOTHING for non-working folk).
“Why don’t you get a maid?”
Duh! Do I look that dumb? Of course I want a maid but I can’t have anyone walk off the street can I? After all this person will be coming to my home and handling my most precious possessions. But sadly,the maids I’ve been interviewing seem to think otherwise and turned the tables on me.
“Two babies and a child?” they’d ask in horror when I explained that I needed some assistance in looking after three children for the better part of the day.
“And who will sleep with the baby?”was another question that would annoy me.
“Can I rest in the afternoon ?” but what about ME? I want to ask in desperation. Do you think I’m dumb to pay you to sleep while I work?????
And time just moves on. Miss Papaya has begun to sit after just having mastered the art of Rocking and Rolling all over the floor. Little Roo is slowly turning and has just flipped over. As for Wow Dinga, he looks on with the wisdom of a two year old going on three – gives one a smack on the lips and the other a tap on the head. They both begin to wail. I look around for their maids. They’ve gone for a lunch break . I lift my hands heavenwards And he looks at me with love that only a two year old can give.