I on the other hand am the mother of a hyper-active toddler. Managing a one-year old without the support of elders in the family is no easy task. I rarely have my meals on time as there are a lot of things going on at once in our house. My day is spent cooking and cleaning after my little one who constantly likes to mess up things and eat stray things on the floor. Obviously his diet is of concern since he shows a lot of interest even for inedible stuff. On the other day I caught him chewing on a strand of hair.. Ewww.. Disgusting, isn't it? I know. So I have to police him around all day and the only time I catch my breath is when he takes his daily nap. I long for some kind of support so that I have lesser aching arms and more free hours.
So when my sister comes home, I feel relieved. At least I can have a cup of coffee uninterrupted if not anything else. She arrives pulling a long face because yet again she is upset about the lack of cleanliness in her hostel. I cook a special meal just to cheer her up. It takes me the whole morning. IN between I run errands for my little one. I'm dreaming of taking a nap in the afternoon. By noon, I have a mountain of vessels to wash. In addition to that I have all the other house hold chores waiting for me. I do it one by one juggling the baby somehow. My sister is constantly spending her time on the phone. I'm just waiting for her to relax. She needs coffee every two hours and is very careless with her things. My baby is having a grand time spilling her make-up on the floor and smearing his face with lipstick. She yells at him and asks me to take him inside. I feel disappointed at her lack of care. I have been working from the moment she walked in without a moment's rest. It is already evening. I did not even have a minute's rest let alone nap. Atlast my baby is tired of playing and wants to sleep. I put him to sleep and try to catch up with my sister thinking she would be angry for not spending time with her. But when I peek into the bedroom she is happily sleeping. I just sit for sometime all by myself. I have so many things to talk with her. But this is the only chance for her to relax. From tomorrow she has to put up again with her dreaded hostel and lifeless roommates. She wakes up an hour later and drinks some more coffee. Then she settles down with a book. All my attempts at making a conversation go in vain as she simply nods her head to whatever I say.Then it is time for me to prepare dinner. The baby needs feeding too. My husband comes back from office and the rest of the day is a blur. By the time I make my bed everyone is fast asleep. Lying down in bed, I think about my day. I have the feeling of juggling two babies instead of just one. I want my sister to understand how I'm feeling about things. But she is occupied with her own set of worries. So this is how her every visit is going to be. Maybe I should stop expecting from her. After all she is pretty much young to know about parenting and the stress associated with it.
Then out of nowhere I think of how my cousin's face would light up every time I visited her while I was studying. Sometimes her relief would make me confused. She has two kids two years apart who constantly bring the house down.Now I perfectly understand how she must have felt. Though I was not as detached as my sister, I now think I could have helped her smile a bit more.