Was reading Sunitha's post on how she has this family friend who's very curious about what she feeds Joyce. And was transported back in time.
To give you the background- I stay in a flat that must have been built on a site which was the location for a putra/putri kameshti yaga. ( a puja done to beget offspring) I got pregnant within 2 months of moving and within 6 months, all the women of the flat(who were of childbearing age!) were expecting. So that made it a total of 7 pregnant ladies. Most of us first timers, except three, and all scheduled to deliver their babies 2-6 months apart. One of the last ones the stork visited was this lady, Ms. Nosy.
At the time, we were all SAHto-be-Moms. With the result that we had all the time in the world to do whatever it was we wanted to do. So we shared notes on experiences with pukes, looks, books, doctors, granny tales...lots of stuff. But this was when we happened to catch each other out on walks or when one happened to bring the other some especially healthy food-for-preggies she'd made. Life was delightful, inspite of the puking 20 hrs in a day. One by one, all the little bundles of joy tumbled out- some late, some early, some boys, some girls, but all healthy.
Ms. Nosy was second last in the list.
I missed out most of her pregnancy tales because, I was under bed rest after my 5th month, then I went off to Kerala post my 7th month and then I came back only after Sonny boy was 3 months old. so when I came back, Ms. Nosy had gone for her delivery, I think, or she had just come back.. Dunno, I was too wrapped up in Sonny boy to remember the details.
But Man, she compensated. And how! She would keep asking me what I did with Sonny boy, on ALL things- from sleep to bath, to feed( breast and bottle), to wails, gurgles... Gawd! She did get on my nerves. And she would keep comparing- her little baby apparently never did anything the way Sonny boy did- why was that? Lady, because you and your husband made her, and I and my husband made Sonny boy!
Now I am a pretty take-it-easy kind of Mom and I was never too bothered what Sonny boy did or didn't, so long as he was a happy baby and his doc thought so too. For any doubts, my first recourse was my Mom, (usually the only) then his doc and then last on the list came my flatmates- senior and junior Moms in the same boat.
Ms. Nosy too asked her mom and her doc. But she also asked all the rest of the flatmates, her MIL and then, she asked me. My ears were the repository for all of her woes and joys. Inititally, I didn't find it a bother. But then, she would catch hold of me whenever she caught me outside my door. And she just wouldn't let go.
She would tell me that her baby was not drinking milk, had a cold, had fever, was teething, had yellow potty, green potty, was not doing potty, was puking, was colicky... the list goes on... And she would ask how it was with Sonny boy.
I would tell her what I did, from what I remembered. And she would say that her doc said not to do that. So lady, why do you ask me then?
And she would ask me if it was ok to do this/that? And I'm like- I' m no doctor, nor have I had brood of kids yet, so I don't really know enough to advise you. But it doesn't get into her head. Or if it does, she still wants to get an opinion from me.
Then she would get into how her MIL gave her advice that she didn't like. So I would tell her not to follow it if she didn't want to. And then she would ask me how she could do that. Wouldn't the MIL feel bad? Wouldn't she think she was bad? Lady, why do you want to make my day bad?
And then she would get into a list of what the other 6 mothers did in similar circumstances. She would go on and on, driving me nuts. I would be alone at home, and I would have finished most of my work in the moning before my maid left, so I couldn't really use work as an excuse and get away. And Sonny boy liked the baby, and would gurgle and jump in expectation when he saw Ms. Nosy's baby, so the lady would come right into my home.
But I thought enough was enough when she asked me one day what to do about drooping breasts. Apparently her husband was upset, and she didn't know what to do.
Now I have absolutely no qualms about discussing the nitty gritties of sex, but it had to be with somebody on my wavelength, broadminded, with a sense of humour, with whom I was comfortable. She was none of these. And I had nothing at all in common with her husband either(!!!) And I did NOT want to get into details about their sex life. And then have the lady asking me about mine. For I did not know how to get away from her questions, save snubbing her or going to the other extreme and telling her that we had a wild time in bed. That we had group sex occasionally with our friends. My husband had an eye on her- would she be interested in an orgy?
Well, that was when I thought that maybe leaving Sonny boy alone and going to work just MIGHT have its good side. It would save me from this emptyheaded woman, who droned on and on about what this lady did and that. Who asked and gave me advice, both unwanted. who knows, after some 10 years of listening to her, I might just start being like her? Shudder!
Now that I am home only for about 5 hours in the day, I don't have to worry about her coming in. Even if she did, I would send her packing, with the excuse of having to finish my chores. And Saturdays and Sundays, I tell her that I have to catch up on cleaning and tidying.. Or we go out.
She's not terrible, actually. Maybe she would have got on like a house on fire with some others. But she and I are just not on the same wavelength. We share absolutely nothing in common, except that we have children of the same age. So for now, we live and let live. In peaceful harmony. I smile brightly at her on my way out to office. And the few times that we stay and exchange pleasantries, it is ok. I can be genuinely nice to her, and enquire after her babies, without the fear that I might have to stay there half the day.
PS. I hope she never gets to read this. She would be devastated to think that I thought all this about her. And I would be devastated to think she knows.
4 days ago