I am so excited to share with you that last month I got blessed with a cute little baby girl. Yes, I am a father now! And through this post I would also like to convey to the kids in my neighbourhood that they are now free to address me as ‘Uncle’, I won’t mind it anymore…
“Remember, you used to frown at me whenever we discussed who would clean the baby’s poop when we become parents,” she said with a smile.
“Ya, I know. I used to hate the thought of having to clean the poop,” I replied. “But now that our baby is here, I don’t feel any displeasure.”
“You are a nice dad.”
“Maybe, but I thought my baby would never poop, not in the pajamas at least.”
Hehehe! She laughed. “That was your usual boring Joke.”
As we talked through this, Ustad Bismillah Khan’s Raag ‘Raat Darbari’ started out loud in the background – the baby was up and crying. Our baby cries a little louder: just like the Ahuja loudspeaker in a marriage band. I don’t know what woke her this time, my joke or her mother’s laughing.
Our newborn will cry for three reasons: either she is hungry, or wet, or she has some problem. So being an optimist dad, the first thing I checked was: is the baby wet?
No, everything dry.
“Sweetie, I think she is hungry,” I told my wife.
“She is not hungry!” she replied. “She just had milk at 8:00 pm.”
“Come on! It is 9:30. See, how hard she is trying to suck her fist.”
I won the argument; wife took the baby, and everything was settled now.
The baby gulped milk like a hungry rabbit for half an hour and then she was asleep with the breast still in her mouth. Both of us took a sigh of relief. I prepared the bed for the baby. Everything was kept at an arm’s distance: five pair of pajamas, three diapers, wipes, squeeze toys, and the feed formula.
Wife put the baby to sleep, and I moved on to switch off the light. The room went dark and silent. As I stretched out on my bed, I realized my arms, neck, and the back were hurting. My eyes soon became heavy with sleep and before I could start snoring, there was a thundering noise. I jumped to put on the light. The baby was crying like never before. Her face was red, her arms and legs were up in the air as if she was trying to get up on her own, and her eyes were filled with tiny tears. She was crying with all she had – a sight no father could bear.
I checked her diaper, and this time it was wet and heavy. The baby got a new diaper, and now she was happy and cheerful – as if she just woke up after a sound sleep. I checked the time, it was 10:30. I took her into my lap to put her to sleep, but now the baby was fascinated by the tube light. I moved her to the left, then to the right, but each time she would turn her head to the tube light.
“Give her to me!” wife said.
“No, no! You go to sleep. I’ll take care of her…”
“Is she hungry?” she asked again.
“No….. I think she is bored of sleeping,” I replied. “You sleep, I’ll manage her.”
Now father and daughter were together. Father looking at the daughter if she had closed her eyes or not, and the daughter still fascinated with the tube light.
I kept rocking her, but the baby had no trace of sleep. It felt like eternity. Finally after few hours of rocking, she closed her eyes, passed a smile, and went to sleep like a cub…… I put her down, checked the time – it was 2:00 am – and dropped dead on the bed.
Startled by someone’s voice, I woke up in a hurry.
“Can you hold her for some time? She has been up since two hours. My arms are hurting,” my wife said.
I checked the watch, it was almost five in the morning. The last hours of the night are generally the toughest to manage.
“Ok girlie, come to daddy!” I took the baby on my lap.
“I’ve fed her twice, changed her diaper, and I’m completely exhausted….. Can I sleep?” wife asked.
“Sure! You sleep now….. I’ll look after her.”
Wife was snoring soon, and the baby was smiling at the tube light. Whereas her daddy’s head was wobbly and his back was hurting more……
While the above ordeal has become a routine now, no feeling can replace the feeling of being a father of a daughter. Because a daughter sleeps best in her father’s lap, and for the father she is the cutest thing to look at.