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Yippee! We are back to Nani’s house again and the fun has just begun! Every three months we pack our bags and set out happily for a happy three month vacation at our favourite place. The place where I was born, where I had a childhood that will be cherished for a lifetime and the childhood that I want my little one to live!
Living in a metro city, where space to live is a luxury, we are left with very few choices of what the child can do. Keeping an energetic toddler engaged is a tough job and I am stressed to figure out activities that would interest my child. Only the mother for company all day, just a few hours of outdoor play time and the same toys indoors everyday becomes monotonous. Keeping the child off from the television and gadgets is one hell of a challenge. Those were our days when we lived in a huge family, had a team of cousins and never missed having friends and life was not bound by the constraints of the time table. That is the life that I want my son to live. So here we are; chasing butterflies, spotting squirrels and catching birds.
The memories of our last trip are still afresh. We bid adieu to the scorching heat of Ahmedabad to enjoy the lovely summers of Dehradun. From plucking leechis from the trees, collecting mangoes from the orchard to the dip in the little kids pool at home in the mornings and evenings; everything was just what my little toddler loved doing. However, things don’t always happen as you imagine them to be. The road trip from Delhi to Dehradun turned out to be a nightmare. A cab without an AC is the last thing you would want to have and we were unfortunately left with no choice. My son got fever on the way, puked once and developed red rashes all over his body. The 6 hour ordeal finally ended and we were at home, a great relief for my baby.
On the visit to the doctor the next day, he was diagnosed with Atopic Dermatitis. Hearing that the child suffers from a medical condition can turn your world upside down and here I was, who had not heard of this term ever before. In simple terms, I was told, he was hyper allergic and could catch infections too soon from just about anything. He needed to be protected from allergies and kept moisturised at all times. A restricted diet chart was handed over to me. My world almost came crashing down. Keeping him protected would mean imposing restrictions on the baby! Would he never get to climb trees, play in the mud and dance in the rain? Alarmed, I started my research on how to protect my baby. But, at times, experience wins over all knowledge and I really thank my stars I had so many experienced mothers at home.
He was left free to do all that he wanted. Play in the mud, swim in the pool and every other thing that could catch a child’s fantasy. I became his playmate just like our mothers did. I became his protector like our mothers were. We played in the rain, sang along and then I took him for a bath. A few drops of Dettol antiseptic liquid in the water and we were sorted. I started using the liquid for washing his clothes too. After the usual wash routine, I soaked them in the water with the liquid for some time before rinsing it off. Evening hours were spent in the garden, planting and nursing trees. He loved the feel of the wet mud in his hands and I loved the smile on his face. I made him wash his hands with the Dettol liquid hand wash. We were having our share of fun and at the same time I knew that I was keeping my child away from all kinds of germs. My mother followed the same hygiene routine for us when we were kids. She had trusted Dettol for years for killing all illness causing germs and passed on the trust to me. With time, it became a habit and now he knows the hygiene routine we follow very well and does not miss it ever.
It has been almost a year now, since he was diagnosed with the condition, we have been living every moment to the fullest. We plucked leechis from the trees, sucked juicy mangoes from the orchard, jumped into puddles of rain water and splashed in the pool. It’s winters here now and it’s time to get some wood for the evening bonfire from the orchard. He is all excited and looking forward to all the fun. I am giving him memories that he will cherish for a lifetime and reliving mine. Proudly I can say that the mother son bonding has grown stronger and so has my son!