When we moved to Rhinebeck in the summer of 1977, my older son was three years old and my younger son was a couple of months old. It is very easy to take care of an infant. They say in India that even a blind person can take care of a baby up until six months of age. So until the baby started crawling, it was very easy. As soon as he started pushing on his stomach he became really ambitious. He wanted to hang out with his older brother and did not want to stay behind in anything. Before we knew, he was crawling like a racer. The house was an old fashioned, side hall colonial with beautiful hardwood floor and beautiful wood railing and huge windows. Now you think I would be thrilled to live in a place like that? Man, the beautiful landing after twelve steps had me on my toes almost round the clock. When I told my grandmother my situation about the safety of my son, she suggested a playpen. No way was I going to put him in a playpen and make him miss out the fun he could be having with his brother who would never confine himself in a playpen at the age of three. So, the only thing left for me to do was limit my other chores to a minimum. I did that. I would cook a basic entree and rice for dinner. For breakfast and for lunch we limited ourselves to cereal, sandwiches and fruits. Our friends and relatives could not believe that being from India I have become so basic. I would some times eat cereal for dinner too, so my husband could have the leftovers for lunch if he wanted to. This way while my two boys would play in the hall running and crawling on the steps, I ran after them as well.
Earlier this week they said in the news that a young mother left her two kids in her car so she can shovel the snow. By the time she finished shoveling, the two boys had passed out because of the fumes. How I wish that I was her neighbour so I could keep an eye on the kids while she was taking care of the snow. With my daughter, I was lucky to have two older brothers who watched her in case I had to do some chores while their father was at work.