Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Yours, hormonally

Yes, I’m back, and no, motherhood hasn’t mellowed me, much to the disappointment of some and sundry. It’s as though they expected me to acquire this ‘touch me not’ aura that new moms seem to cultivate, avoid expletives and questionable language (one of my friends who can only speak sentences that begin and end with the f… word told me he stopped using it for a year after becoming a parent), and turn all soft and somber, chuckling only at baby-related things. Sorry, but that isn’t happening, although I find my little boy Rehaan quite amusing, as he alternates between his Manoj Kumar pose and his Rahman pose.

Which is why this column is not turning into ‘Mumwit’ any time soon and I am not going to be writing about the different hues of poop or the nine ways of tying a nappy, or burping a baby or interviewing a maid, neither am in going down the clichéd yummy mummy road.

Two weeks post my turning mom, people in my universe are surprised when they find me taking calls, reading while nursing, shopping, cooking, answering emails, logging onto facebook, uploading pictures, changing status messages, lustily rooting for Roddick with my baby in tow, while the whole world (including the husband) went ga ga over Federer. I reason it out in my head by thinking, “As long as I am performing my mommy duties, there’s no harm entertaining myself on the side, is there? After all, I have a life!”

Their reactions range from shock to disbelief. “What? You are up and about?,” said one who came to the hospital.

“I can’t believe you answered the phone,” said another. So dude, why exactly did you call me.

“What’s a good time to visit?,” is another common enquiry. Well, I am still figuring that one out, but if you can come and hang in there, or entertain me while I perform my motherly duties, you are more than welcome, any time of day or night.

“Motherhood has not mellowed you one bit,” remarked a third, on my acidic response to a comment on facebook. No, and why should it?

Blame it on the hormones. Fortunately for me, the feel-good ones took over. So oxytocin and prolactin and more estrogen won over corticotrophin and the other bad guys, and as my uterus shrinks back to normal, here I am, feeling bouncy, with no visible signs of post partum blues exactly two weeks after birthing. (My poor mom! Her last chance to sober me down has also gone down the drain.)

My point is, I would have the benefit of doubt even if I was feeling any other way. Like my best buddy J says, “Hormones are a girl’s best friend.” What makes hormones such a great thing is that they tend to legitimize every conceivable state of mind—a privilege that men don’t have—and this unfortunately, is a conversation I cannot have with my little boy for a long, long time.

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