This past year I had a baby. So everything either seems to be about that or feels miniscule in comparison. I am trying hard not to fall into that trap of believing parenthood is the only thing that matters. But it’s early days. So here’s my annual round-up. Much harder than usual to come up with, lots to do with the said topic, and a few other things too.
# A cold winter evening was spent listening to Coke Studio at a pseudo dhaba. For a change C enjoyed it too as he found good chai.
# I got addicted to Wordle. It isn’t even fun anymore. But I am still addicted.
# I got severely deficient in vitamin D, which was followed by low iron levels. Much of the year got spent taking supplements to feel like a normal human.
# France gave me a two year Schengen visa even though it had previously given me a five year visa. I know Indian passport holders should be grateful for even a two-year one. But I am still upset about this demotion. And it’s all the UK’s fault as my permanent residency here has a stupid ‘expiry date’ on the official paperwork.
# I enjoyed the process of informing people about my pregnancy as it was mainly an anxiety-ridden secret till then. I am in the club that believes that the first trimester shouldn’t be a secret and everyone needs to grow up about losses that can come anyone’s way. But I did what society does.
# Watched a film on a big screen for the first time in two years. A private viewing and sofas made it even more fun.
# Nehmat and some friends came over one afternoon and we measured everyone’s wingspan just so I could prove I have disproportionately short arms. We’re weird like that. And I am now a certified T-Rex.
# It has been a long year of being sober. I can’t wait to have some JD and Pimms and wine next year. Fake gin and fruity mulled wine just don’t make the cut.
# YES Bank annoyed the life out of me for a stupid KYC update. It is shocking what they expect non residents to do!
# I only bought a handful of essential maternity clothes and each time it felt odd and cute at the same time.
# Being pregnant brought with it an endless dose of blood thinners. It was small in the bigger scheme of things, but I HATED it so much!!! I still believe I didn’t need any of it.
# I had saved large-sized clothes from my large-sized days to wear during pregnancy. And I gave those away to charity within weeks of having K. Nobody told me raising a baby is such hard work that you end up rewarding yourself with chocolates and pizza every other day. In short, I should have held on to those clothes.
# As always, I got too sick of the winter by February. So this year we went to Tenerife. C doesn’t particularly enjoy beachy holidays where there isn’t much else to do. But this one was even slower than our usual ones. I was haaappppyyy in the sun. We also went whale and dolphin watching which added some thrill to the trip.
# C and I played life size chess and I lost. You might remember I don’t appreciate losing.
# We also played darts and I think I did better than I expected to.
# We tried continuing our weekend squash games but sadly that felt undoable quite quickly.
# There is absolutely no way to describe the joy I experienced when I had golgappe at Yadav’s in INA. Absolute best moment of the year.
# There was a meal with the popular view of the lit-up Qutub Minar one evening in Delhi. I’m finding I am often not comfortable or happy where I think I ought to be.
# Professionally done mehandi happened after several years!
# It was another Delhi trip where I didn’t have time to meet the people I’d have liked.
# Oooh… three A&E trips this year. Plus one for K as well.
# I have a love-hate relationship with my extended family. I think the love is largely based on nostalgia magnified by living so far away from them. One evening with most of them and I was happy and annoyed all at the same time.
# Sam showed me SO MUCH love this year! She’ll always be my little baby sister.
# Avan and I continued our one long chat this year too.
# I introduced C and his mom to Carnatic Cafe. That’s had a domino effect.
# Pregnancy glow is a real thing.
# I started a new photo folder called Home Inspiration.
# I absolutely fell in love with a house but we couldn’t buy it.
# There was a maternity photoshoot in which I was in front of the camera. That was awkward, of course.
# I tried beetroot in a smoothie. Nope.
# C took me to The Ritz for our seven year anniversary.
# Ruhi and Nehmat threw me the sweetest baby shower. The cake and decor were perfect, and so was the day.
# I got yellow nails!!
# And I bought yellow wellies!!!
# There was a last adults only trip to Oxfordshire in June. We didn’t do much except eat and drive around. And that’s all I needed.
# I rediscovered a love for Domino’s pizza. Artisan ones are all nice and special. But there’s something about Domino’s that says comfort and flavour too.
# The Queen died and too much drama ensued. I get that she was a queen and had been around long. But she and the entire institution really are just irrelevant in 2022. That’s me being polite.
# I visited Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat farm shop. The man is inappropriate at too many levels, but that farm shop came about in a rather interesting and entertaining context.
# Some work friends came home for lunch. One had tears in his eyes because my food reminded him of his dad and home.
# I found a group of like-minded people, all of whom had babies within three weeks of each other. So K has a group of six potential friends already.
# I however am too old to make new friends.
# Colleagues gave me such glowing feedback this year that I think I re-read it at least 10 times.
# I also had a really lovely shower/send-off from work!
# Many ice creams were had during the Great British Heat Wave of 2022.
# Panic attack of the year was WHILE I was in labour at the hospital. Nobody including me realised that that’s what it was. This scar will be tough to get past.
# Labour was a testing experience. I’ve been meaning to write about it. One day soon, I hope.
# Six weeks are nowhere near enough to recover from childbirth – physically, mentally or emotionally.
# I hoped breastfeeding would be a fulfilling experience. It has been the absolute contrary of that.
# I had to let go someone from work. That was a very strange and uncomfortable experience. It got followed by some rude words from the said person.
# Ruhi brought the most thoughtful gift – a toy pup to go with C and my Sheru-Rangeeli set of doggo and T-Rex.
# Tarun planted a tree for us. Top of the list of gifts too.
# People around me were generous beyond imagination when it came to preparing for the arrival of K.
# A LOT of osteo and physio sessions were had. Suffice to say the body went through way too much pain and discomfort this year.
# I researched and sent some gift hampers to a select few loved ones as soon as K was born. I impressed myself with the content and timing of that one.
# I had SO MUCH chocolate this year that I think I’ve drifted into that category of people who cannot appreciate other types of desserts.
# Missed making the annual berry picking trip this year. I was too pregnant and it was too hot.
# Someone with autism reported to me at work this year. The experience gave me perspective and brought with it a lot of learning.
# Kaddu completed 20,000 miles this year. Wooop!
# I experienced a whole different level of exhaustion (#parentlife), which feels like it won’t go away any time soon.
# Six years after living at my current address, I moved to the local GP service and what a decision that has been! The doctors are all really good here, especially if I compare them to the last GP.
# Mom and Dad came for physical and moral support this summer. The only thing that got them to leave home in that first week was the prospect of buying plants for the flat. And they really took care of those plants throughout their stay!
# C’s mom joined us in the autumn. She’s the doting daadi K will grow up to love!
# There were lots of baby firsts every other week – first time he peed on me, first time he smiled, first time he went on a drive, and so on. These things matter to new, first time parents like me. Also because the rest of my life is currently on hold [she says tentatively, not knowing how much of that other life will ever come back].
# A road trip to Peak District in winter! Thanking my stars that the baby doesn’t mind being in the car.
# Diwali tradition of having Ruhi and Patel over for lunch maintained. Two new family members made it more fun. I made stellar rabdi too.
# Visited Ruhi at her new Manchester pad.
# Phone is full of baby photos and videos already. I think I might need to buy more storage.
# Missed more weddings in India. This is when I hate being so far from home. No saree, no naach gaana, no mehandi, no chaat, no loud laughter. The wedding junkie living a truly dreary foreign life!
# Bought second hand clothes for K and tried selling some of his too. I am becoming more of a believer now when opportunities to waste stuff have multiplied.
# This year’s work Christmas party was different. I was on mat leave, took K along and was seated at the end of the table. Too much to feel and process about this one!
# Christmas lunch at home was spectacular! It was the third consecutive year of not travelling at this time of the year. C did some serious baking and I seriously overate.
# While March in Delhi crossed 40 degrees, December in London had heavy snowfall. Neither were normal. Neither were nice to experience. Neither’s good for the future.
# I sat on a wish to do something meaningful with some of the money in my bank account. I can’t make a decision.