Sleep is something that I’ve never really been too keen on. Nani tells me that even when I was just a few days old I’d keep her and mama awake all night in the hospital. She’d walk around with me for hours together and the hospital staff would drop in for a chat in the middle of the night. Dadi says I fight a constant battle with sleep and wrestle to keep my eyes open even when it’s coming on like a deluge. Honestly, it’s such a waste of time.
Day n Night
I used to find this thing about day and night pretty confusing. Where we came from, one could sleep when one wanted and be up when one wanted. But things changed once we were born. I took ages to get the whole concept. When we were in Lucknow I used to be up by 4 regularly. Even now sometimes I wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning ready to play. All I get is a host of sleepy people shaking me on their knees or shoulders, patting away and singing, trying to get me to sleep. Masi is quite a sport and so is papa. They are almost always ready for a game but Mama’s the biggest spoilsport. She can scold everyone. And they actually listen to her. Even Papa. So all I can do is go back to sleep.
It was Nani who discovered my preference for the ‘caterpillar position’. You see I was too young to talk so people would have to struggle to find out things about me. Anyway the caterpillar was such a hit that everyone from Mama and Papa to Nanaji, Dadi and Masi took it up to put me to sleep. You know what was the funniest part – everyone would tell everyone else “don’t let her get used to sleeping like this, it’s a bad habit” but one wail from me and there I was perched on someone’s stomach!!! Boy! Was it comfy!
Stomach to bed..
But now I’m a big girl so that’s a thing of the past. I sleep on the bed, with Mama. When I was younger I’d sleep with one hand on my head, which everyone called the ‘dancing girl pose’. But I soon discovered that sleeping on my stomach was even better. In fact since the day I learnt to turn over, I hardly remember a time when I’ve slept on my back. Normal is boring, right?
…. And then the crib
Have you ever wondered why cribs are called cribs? Well that’s because every kid in the world cribs about them. Just as I was getting used to sleeping on the bed, the crib raised its ugly head. The other day Mama watched this programme on Discovery where a couple was found sleeping with one son each in separate rooms for eight years. That scared her so much that she’s been trying to make me sleep in the crib. I say that’s blatantly unfair. Mama is really one for over-reacting. For Godsake the kids in the show were eight years old and here I am just eight months old!! Can’t she see the difference??? In my opinion channels like this, that profess to know everything about everything, should be banned. Bring on the saas-bahu sagas for me any day. At least they don’t make one think and analyse things unnecessarily.
It’s lonely in the crib. I desperately miss snuggling up to mama. But I’ve worked my way through the problem. I just wait till everyone is asleep and then turn over once or twice and hey, there I am, right next to mama! And she’s so sleepy that she simply lets me be! Smart girls get what they want! The only catch is that sometimes I myself doze off while waiting for everyone to sleep. Then when I wake up in the middle of the night I get terrified because I’m all-alone. Thankfully mama or papa always come rushing.
I’m a really light sleeper. As Meena did, who helps out mama, says “Mera neend bahut patla hai’. One loud sound and I’m up. A dog’s bark, a loud horn, the loo flush, bahi crying… anything can wake me up. It was tough getting used to papa’s snores. Lord! Does he snore!! I constantly turn over too. Mama complains that my head is never on the pillow and the sheet is never over me. But then, like I said, normal is boring.