This year, in March, my only sister got married. The timing was a bit unusual considering the annual human mating (ceremonial) season is between November to February. It was a joyous moment for all of us in the house, especially for my wife and I. We have been eyeing her room for a really, really (I mean really) long time, now that we have a kid of our own. Don’t get me wrong, she is loved by all of us, but by the end of it we are Indians and getting a household member married off is our undeniable right.
Let’s focus on the real issue here – my daughter had just turned 6 months and against all our hopes, prayers and wishes the little critter still refused to sleep the night at a stretch without waking up at least four times. This was a big concern for us, because as we all know, Indian weddings will never end with just ONE function! We had 7 functions. At one end, we were so happy for my sister, but at the other end, we were scared shitless for our child. But we got through it (I think), here’s how:
- Learn to let go. With Z turning 6 months, this was our best chance to observe how she would do with so many guests; strangers, in her eyes. Surprisingly, she did remarkably well. Don’t get too stuck up with not handing your child over to people, whether you like it or not they are going to grab the kid, so learn to stay calm.
- Kids are unpredictable and so are their routines. Never, ever expect that a child will follow routines. When you least expect it, she is going to change her routine. In our case, the daughter dropped her third nap of the day and stayed up like “I… AM… SPARRTAAAAA…”. This can have adverse effects on both the child and the mother, especially at nights when they can’t get uninterrupted sleep.
- Prepare to make sacrifices. My wife would leave at 10.30pm every night so our daughter can catch up on her sleep and be ready for the next day. It was a tough decision to make but with a child around, you have to make a choice, no matter what people say.
- We made sure she was always wearing comfortable clothes. Mumbai is relatively warm in March and humid too, so we made sure that our daughter wore airy, cotton clothes. The last thing you want is a hot, cranky, uncomfortable child surrounded by a few hundred people. We also changed her into her trusted nightie as soon as it neared her bedtime.
- The mother needs to get as much rest as possible. Since Z is a completely breast-fed baby, my wife was not getting her daily quota of sleep and during a family wedding, sleep was hard to come by, so it was important for her to get as much of it as humanly possible. That’s where our guests helped us a lot. Because Z wasn’t afraid to go to people, my wife would readily give her away to whoever wanted to babysit her and that’s how she managed to catch up on her sleep
All in all, we had a great time. The wedding was perfect. Z is a very social baby; smiling and playing with everyone and capable of staying by herself too.
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