I had been on maternity leave from 1st week of March 2004 since my OBG had expected me to deliver around 1st week itself. But who knew betu had his own plans. So almost 1 month of maternity leave got wasted waiting for the D-Day.
By the time my maternity leave got over, betu was just about 2 months. As I had been working with this company since quite a long time I had accumulated about 40 days of leaves. So we decided that I will use them as well and join back work a month later. All got settled and my extended leave started.
This is the period when we started to try formula feed for betu since I would be joining work full time. From one feed a day for a week and gradually increasing it, betu did just fine and adopted to this other form of milk as well. Although I had to try many a shapes and brands of bottle nipples from Indian makes to imported before he settled on one. It was Avent and only Avent for him. Nothing else. DH used to say that betu doesn't settle with anything but the best! It was around 6-7th month that he started drinking from other shapes also.
Time passed and the day the came when I was to join back work. I was so nervous inside as I had never been away from him for more than an hour and a half. And here it was the question of 9 hrs. Somehow I went to work and got busy and everything settled fine. It must have been 2 hrs since I must have been in office when I heard a baby cry somewhere outside of our office. On hearing it I got so anxious and started to miss betu soo much that at one point I almost had tears in my eyes! I waited for lunch time as I used to come back home during lunch hour to feed him and also as I needed to relieve myself.
This went on for a month and then I spoke to my CTO saying if I could work half day from home and the second half from office. He understood my problem and agreed to this arrangement. I couldn't have asked for anything more. So this arrangement went on for 4 months till November when I decided that I should be working full time now as he had already started on other food items since long.
We started his diet other than milk when he was 4.5 months. We first started with daal and then with rice, banana when he was about 5.5 months and after 2-3 weeks we started his cerelac too. So many a things were added to his meals gradually like daliya khichdi, mashed potatoes, thin soup, suji upma although quite watery and what not. Whatever he liked, we gave. He was particularly not fond of sweets. So all tryouts for various meals for him were salt based.
Most of the times he was quite a good boy and would eat almost everything without making a fuss. And sometimes meal times would involve singing poems, songs and making voices of various animals and birds. That would distract his focus from the food and he would eat fine. When he grew older this method also would not work all the time and then I would put a cheeseling or a rice puff on every spoon of the meal. That used to amuse him a lot!
Till First week of January, we used to drop him off along with our full day maid at my SIL's place and in the evening we would pick him back. But by this time we had had a lot of problems with maids and their unplanned leaves that we decided to look for a daycare. After looking at 2 which were nearest to our house as well as work, we chose one that was walkable distance from my work.
Betu was 9 months and a week when we sent him to the daycare. It was a very tough decision for us to send him to place full of strangers. Handing over our baby to the unknown is not an easy thing. Myself and DH both felt that we had to be stronger at heart more than the child. He would get pacified after a few minutes of crying by playing with other children. For quite a long time everyday at the drop off time he would start crying. Probably crying is a softer word. He used to wail like crazy.
After about 2 months he got adjusted and the cryings would usually happen only on Monday's because of 2 day holiday of Saturday and Sunday. Everything went on smoothly till his ayah at the daycare left. She was quite a good lady and to quite a large extent our feeling satisfied was also because she used to take care of betu. We had built up great confidence in her.
So as things progressed we decided to change his daycare. And we changed it just a few days before he was to turn 2 years. The premises were much more spacious than the earlier one and since he was 2 yrs, we started his play school activities as well. Betu took about 10-15 days to settle down in this new place and then the time came when he would so happily jump off the car and wave us good bye when we used to drop him off at this daycare. Sometimes Monday's would not be as smooth again because of the gap of 2 days and little bit of crying used to happen. But nothing major for us to get disturbed about.
We could see remarkable change in his personality within the month of him joining playschool. That made us feel good that we had taken a good decision. A big relief and satisfaction for any parent I'm sure.