Distribution of Labour & Fruits of Labour

Last week was filled with moments of nervous anticipation & hectic activities. If you think this post is about Indian elections, you are mistaken… I’m only referring to the events that unfolded at my daughter’s place in the USA. She was expecting her first baby and it was past the due date. The doctor gave a date for getting admitted to hospital and we were all getting set for THE day. Pointing to her husband, me and my wife,  my daughter said: I’m going to give a role to each one of you. I asked her curiously what would be my specific role.  She said: ‘I don’t know, it depends on what you are good at’. I explained, as if to prove my employability, that I’m good at baby sitting and also at changing diapers. She was not convinced and said: ‘I will have to check that out with my sister’. Luckily for me, my other daughter who gave birth to a baby only a few months earlier gave me a good testimonial!

She then added that I could also be her 24/7 chauffeur to commute between the hospital and home to ferry men and materials. I was happy with that because I came prepared to do this and even carried an international driving licence in anticipation. But I felt a little nervous when she observed that it would depend on how well I fared in the driving test she was going to conduct. She promptly gave me the car keys and put me in the driving seat. I failed the first test because I forgot to stop completely at the STOP signs. Besides, according to her, I drove too close to parked vehicles. I explained in defence that it is due to years of conditioning in India where STOP signs just do not exist in most of the intersections and even if they do, all vehicles keep moving as though the roads are empty! I assured her I would improve very soon in this respect. I did improve in my second test but I failed once again since I took the wrong turn(route) while going to the hospital. She grudgingly passed me in the test with a provision that someone has to sit by my side to show  directions while driving. When I protested, she silenced me saying: ‘I’m the one who decides’! She added, tongue in cheek, ‘Should I not be repaying you in the same fashion as you did 10 years back  when I was learning in India’. Anyway, my role was more or less set by now.

Her mother’s role was pretty much clear since everyone  knew her expertise and competence in these matters. Now the next question was the role of her husband. What would he be doing? He shall be her coach for pain management during Labour. I was curious  to know what would be the strategy. She said: Use ice pack, encourage to do yoga/breathing exercises and a few other mind distraction techniques like reading, showing a movie on TV etc. Besides, she said,  massaging the neck or back might also help. I interjected: What about yogic meditation techniques wherein the experiencer of the pain, the pain and the experiencing become one? In this process, you are knocking out the mind altogether instead of distracting. My daughter dismissed the idea saying those are meant only for the saints. I agreed saying it does need a lot of training and practice.

Finally, what about the role of my daughter? There is no ambiguity on this either. Her role was to deliver the goods literally and figuratively!

Now that the ordeal is over, I would like to think that every one of us has worked hard and played out  our roles successfully to enjoy the fruits of her Labour. As we now celebrate the arrival of the little prince, it crossed my mind that while everyone is rejoicing the moment cuddling the baby and actively exchanging greetings, the poor mother looks on completely fatigued and exhausted. She can hardly carry the baby for more than a few minutes. I guess it will take a couple of days more to recoup her energy fully and partake in the celebrations.

Published in: on May 19, 2014 at 11:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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