Lil' General has always been a very good sleeper. And, I think we as parents contribute in a big way to that. I often hear friends and other members of the family with small kids comparing their children to LG and complain that they don't sleep as well as LG. So that makes us lucky parents, they say. I say that's ridiculous. You don't expect your kids to go to bed if you don't establish a bedtime routine, if you keep your mobiles' ringtones blaring at the highest volume setting available and if the entire family decides to camp in front of the TV at 10:00. Still better if you came up with the novel idea of dining at 10:30 p.m. in the neighborhood restaurant. Nothing wrong with any of these. That's the lifestyle you are used to and have consciously made the choice to continue with the same even after the arrival of your child. Kids will grow up fine. They accustom to the environment they are brought up in. If you are the "late to bed, late to rise" kind then they will grow up to be just the same. My only grouse is that please don't blame it on the kids for not sleeping well.

We or rather I, might be stretching it too far when it comes to LG's sleep routine. But this is what works for him, me and us.

- he has been in bed by 9:00 p.m. every night from the time he was 2 months old, usually dozing off between 9:15 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. He associates the yellow light with sleep time. I can just recollect one day - the day after Diwali when he wasn't asleep even by 11:00 p.m.

- between 5 months and 9 months he slept once in every 2 hours, the duration of the naps varied depending on the time of the day. He had 3 to 4 such naps during the day - the longest being 2 hours and the shortest of 45 mins.

- the interval increased to 2.5 hours between 9 months and a year. The number of naps stayed the same at 3 but the morning nap duration decreased further and the afternoon one prolonged to 2.5 hours.

- it has all changed now that he has crossed the 1 year milestone. The morning naps are slowly going away. Some days he sleeps, some days he doesn't. It has been replaced by one long afternoon nap of 3 hours followed by a short late evening one.

- The time he wakes up in the morning has also changed. From waking up at 6:3 0 a.n. every morning, he now stays in bed until 8:30 a.m.

What we do to help him sleep better:

- First rule, our phones are in discreet mode which means we miss many calls and call back later. I know it's annoying but works for us.

- Loud noises such as washing of utensils, water taps and running the washing machine are generally avoided during this time.

- The volume on TV and music system is pretty much under control.

- Screeching doors are always kept well oiled.

Don't worry we do have a life!

If he sleeps better, then he wakes up happy; plays a lot, eats well and is a happy child. Else he gets cranky.

The ded footiya (1.5 foot) at home has decided to take a nap after being on a damage mission for 4.5 hours. And, there is nothing more calmer right now than seeing your toddler take a break, which in turn means I can rest my bones before he gets up all charged to be on a troll.

I am aging and I hate to admit it but I'm no match for his energy and enthusiasm. He is on his knees the whole time he's awake; it's a struggle to keep pace with him. I'm blank right now; can't think what to do - there are tons of work that needs to be completed - assignments to be sent, stories to be submitted and money to be made but all that will have to wait. I can barely manage to get words out of my head and mouth.

Over and out until I get my energy back!

Quite a few people who've been down the I've-raised-a-child road have told me, "It's easy until your child is 5 years old." My mother has a different viewpoint, "It's never easy. Every age of your child brings with it a new problem - if it's eating while young, then maybe it's studies later on and marriage when you are grown up." I think I may have been a tough child to my mom."

Pregnancy and Parenting has not been easy from the day LG was conceived. But I've seen people go through more tougher times so I'm not complaining. The past month or so has been rough as LG first through a cough-cold-fever cycle which was naturally accompanied by refusal to eat periods. Then he got well until Christmas when he got all excited on seeing the plum cake and literally snatched it out of my hand. I felt bad eating in front of him so I let him have a piece. That did it. It was bad food for him and he got a stomach bug that troubled him like mad for a week that finally led to fever again. Constipation, refusal to drink/eat anything, pursed lips was all we got to see for a week. When things don't go per schedule it gets taxing. I was all the time making and throwing food. For over two days, he drank nothing but formula and ajwain water. I didn't have any choice. Milk wouldn't have helped his already upset tummy. Finally we gave in and took him to the Ped. A digestive tonic called Sorbiline was prescribed and that seemed to have helped him. Normalcy is slowly returning and so is my sanity. It's funny how a small kid can frustrate adults and lead to arguments in an otherwise peaceful house - blame it on exhaustion.

A quick list of what I do once the fussy eater returns:

The first indication that all is not well is when LG refuses to eat. He is a non-fussy kid when it comes to eating. He will eat so long his tummy gets filled. Whe he starts acting up, I know something is boethring him which is either a bad throat or tummy. If it's a bad tummy caused by constipation then -

  1. Loads of water to drink. Two or three spoonfuls of home made ajwain water with little sugar two times a day.

  2. Make him chew black currants

  3. Banana, apples, soup and lots of roughage in the form of vegetables.

If it's dysentery then,

  1. ORS or salt sugar solution prepared at home.

  2. Stop milk. Stop Cerelac - heavy to digest

  3. Boiled Sabudana mixture.

  4. White puffed rice.

  5. Banana and curd.