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To d3 or not to d3 – on sleep, hypochondria, sunlight and mothers

Posted by on January 24, 2013

The biggest casualty of motherhood as we all know is sleep. I last slept a good night’s sleep nearly a decade ago. My nights, since the arrival of my children have been filled with episodes of conscious sleepwalking and like any somnambulist, I am fatigued and sleepy in the morning.

Part of the reason I wake up often is because my younger one is a *somniloquist and my older one is a raging **hypochondriac who gets her aches and pains mostly at night. She has the rare gift of identifying a dengue mosquito from an ordinary one because “it is fatter”. According to her, the mosquitoes that follow her around are mostly the ones carrying the dengue pathogen. She also checks her own temperature with the ear thermometer routinely just to be sure her temperature is well within the normal range.

Last night was another one of those nights when I could not get enough rest as my little hypochondriac, woke up several times with leg cramps induced by a tetanus injection that was administered to her yesterday. I had barely managed to catch up on some sleep in the wee hours when it was time to be up again to get the girls ready for school. I was sleeping in an upright position at 10.30 am when I was woken up by the whimpering dog who was eager to have his day started with the usual Marie biscuit dunked in (my) tea.  So much for being a concerned member of the family! You would think after all the years of me taking care of him and running up salon bills for his upkeep he would be more sensitive to my needs. But all this dog cared about was his Marie biscuit and chasing after petrified kittens in our building compound.

My mother had already called me a few times by the time I woke up and after none of her calls got answered she wrote an SMS to me asking me to be honest and tell her what was it that ailed me and kept me in bed this long. “You will not hide anything from me, promise me,” it read further.

I had recently mentioned to her that I had a vitamin d3 deficiency. My mistake. Turns out that with each missed call from my end, her fears for my health had escalated. I had to call her back as soon as I was done feeding the ungrateful canine to assure her I was fit as a Punjabi and there was no health related information that I was keeping from her. Relieved with my answer, she then asked me if I was pregnant. Before I could react she tried to salvage the situation by telling me good-humouredly that she was only asking since pregnant women overslept and are easily tired.  Her generalization was touching. As far as I was concerned this conversation was over and it was time to start my day.

I received a few more text messages and urgent phone calls from mum soon after, to draw my attention to the percentage of vitamin b12 in mushrooms and vitamin d3 in celery. Imagine my state, struggling to open one of my eyelids that was still shut, and I had to concentrate on a lecture on nutrition, no less.

And finally, she brought in my dad into our one-sided conversation. “You must go and get some direct sunlight on your terrace, don’t ignore this. I asked your dad and he also said there is nothing like the direct sun.”

In the universe of my mother, a point she is making to her children can only be validated further and made official if my dad seconds it. “The earth is round, dad also says so.”
“We are in 2013, I checked with your dad and he agreed with me.”

“I feel you don’t know how to discipline your children. I was speaking to your dad about it and he also said, “Shunali does not know how to discipline her children.””

“Manmohan Singh does not speak much. Dad was also saying our PM is a man of few words.”

You get the drift.

My mother then went on to dictate the recipe of sautéed mushrooms to me which I jotted down half heartedly, mostly because EVERYONE knows how to sauté mushrooms. If I wasn’t so groggy, I might have even been offended with my mother for assuming I did not know how to toss around a handful of mushrooms in a pan. I wanted to tell her that I might not have been a domestic goddess but I wasn’t a domestic retard either and that even Kim Kardashain must know how to do mushrooms.

Soon after she had ended the conversation with me, I crossed my fingers and Googled all the diseases that D3 deficiency could lead to. On realizing that I had most of those life threatening symptoms already, I sprinted to the terrace of our building to try and prolong my lifespan. Sitting there under the half-past-noon-sun, with beads of perspiration erupting all over my face, I pictured myself looking like Alok Nath breathing his last.

I sat under the blazing sun till I was dizzy and my sebaceous glands had outperformed themselves. Only when I was convinced that I had improved my chances of survival did I finally return home dehydrated. Tomorrow morning, I intend to reach my terrace by 8 am. If I manage that, I will be spared two things:

1. Harsh rays of the afternoon sun and the subsequent dehydration .

2. Sermon on nutrition/parenting/gardening or general living from my mother.

Oh wait, but I live for those sermons.

(Mamma, if you are reading this, I love you and your sermons. Do keep them going, it gives me material to write.)


* Someone who talks in his or her sleep.

** I am told the hypochondria gene was passed on to the child by me.


9 Responses to To d3 or not to d3 – on sleep, hypochondria, sunlight and mothers

  1. Saurabh

    So, wen r u making sauteed mushrooms??? 😉

    Simply looooooove ur sense of humour!!!! Interesting and funny as always!!!

    Moms will always b moms…for them we will always b kids…guess dats y sum1 said…they r living angels!!!

    Nd u too do keep writing…we too wait to hv a hearty laugh once in a while!!!!!!! 😀

    • shunalishroff

      Thank you Saurabh. Especial thanks for your comments on this site. I wish more people commented on this page rather than on Twitter. Am glad my blogs can make people laugh, once in a while. Though I am not sure my mom will be laughing today. 😉
      I shall make the mushrooms as soon as my mother teaches me how to light up the gas.

      • Saurabh

        Fr me those144 characters r always a pain…even before u think to tweet,u hv to start thinking bout the lenght…and its logical to reply here as going to Twitter aftr reading the blog is lik listening to someone talk and then giving him a phone call to reply…

        And am sure being a Punjabi ur mom must b enjoying ur blogs…Even ur dad will confirm it 😉

        Reminds me of a joke, told by a Punjabi only……Thr was a Priest who will close the temple exactly at 6:55 pm…one day he was getting late nd panicking…seeing this a guy asked him, why is he so worried…

        He said,”Thr is a bus at 7:15 and if I miss it, the next bus is full of Sardars”.

        The guy asked,”Wots the problem then???”

        Priest,”The problem is that they ask everyone who gets in the bus to crack a joke and all the jokes I know are on Sardars.”

        Unfortunately he is late and has to board the same bus…as a ritual he is asked to crack a joke…he thinks hard and starts,”Thr was a priest……..”

        The moment he says priest, whole bus pounces on him…and kept thrashing him till his stop comes…while getting down he asks,”Why did you beat me?”

        The answer was, “Saale saare sardar mar gaye they jo tune pandito pe joke maara???”

        I have many friends frm ur community and must say dat they r most fun loving, down to earth ppl…as sum1 said,”One who can laugh on himself can never be short of amusement…

        Surely ur mom must b reading it so wud request her to teach u how to light up the gas so dat we can have a big Sauteed Mushroom bash!!! 😉

  2. Penny Kontakos

    How I love your mom, she knows she is overly concern and adds your dad into the discussion to convince herself it is not only her who is worried but also your father who probably most of the time does not know what has transpired between you two. If he knew, being a typical logical man would say to ease off as you are no longer that carefree girl who they gave away on the day of your wedding. I remember my dad wiped his hands after giving me away to my husband on the day of my wedding and said to all present “now she is out of my hands and not my responsibility anymore” to the surprise of the people around, though I knew he did not mean it in a bad way but I can imagine all those sleepless nights from the day he left my mother to go to Greece to find a young Greek man to be married to and it took over two years to find a worthy one and I was already the ripe old age of 23 years old and already considered an old maid then!

    Every time I see a young lady expecting for the first time, I emphasize to her the importance to sleep as much as possible before their child is born because after that she will never have a peaceful night. Most young girls naturally assume the husband who shows so much joy when they learn their wives are pregnant will do their utmost to be good fathers, but alas most find an excuse to avoid getting up at night such as they have to wake up early to bring food to the table and provide all the comforts for their children. It does not occur to them some women do work too like I did, but even if I didn’t like one of my sister in laws who kept having migraines and losing weight because she never had a moment’s rest as house chores can be more tiring than a factory job and I should know because I have done all of them. But the worst is the house chores are never appreciated as work and most men have the gall to ask their wives what they have been doing all day without using their eyes and brain to see the house is spotlessly clean and the food on the table for his majesty, the head of the house. Most men also leave their wives for all the decisions dealing with the kids and if anything goes wrong it is always the woman’s fault. I dread the day when I will not be working and only having my husband to take care of who so far is managing quite well on his own in the village and whenever I visit the place people keep asking me how I left the poor thing alone to fend for himself as if he is an invalid. Every summer, all the family gets together and it is ‘mum this’, ‘mum that’ and ‘wife I am here too don’t forget me!’ and in the end I say ‘who cares about me’, and they look at me puzzled as if I said something strange. I am glad my mother went back to Australia after a short visit in the village as she kept reprimanding the kids and my husband telling them to ease off and help me. I was afraid if she stayed longer she would have big arguments with the lot of them and I told her not to worry about me as I was a grandmother now, and she replied ‘no matter how hold you are you will always be my little girl’.

    One of the best medicines for hypochondriacs is to get into activities which helps the mind to think of other things such as learning to play a musical instrument, join dancing groups and anything else that keeps someone busy in other things but entertaining at the same time. You are probably like me who enjoys travelling and going to a nice restaurant where there is music and dance with my own friends and without the husband. My daughter who is the biggest hychondriac of them all, has a lady to take care of my 1 year old grandson, and besides working a lot she finds time to meet up with friends which her husband does not like as prefers they do everything together which can be boring, has joined aerobic classes and finds time to take the baby to the park and sit down with friends at the cafe outside. She also has arranged her 9 year old son to take up music lessons who started at first with the harmonium and typical Spaniards have started him on guitar lessons which looks like it is bigger than him, and also goes every Saturday to the football club and now recently has joined on Sundays the school’s gymnastics team as he came first in the long jump. So they are always on the go and no time to think if they have a temperature or a headache. About somniloquist dear, most have them at a young age when they have experienced or seen something bad to terrifying in their vivid mind and dwelve over it in their sleep and my husband still has it even at his great age. I personally always try to listen in to see if I can understand what is troubling them and in the morning without mentioning what I did would ask them how their day was at school and if they met anything unusual. I can’t believe you are not eating healthy food because from your look in the photos you look very healthy to me but like my daughter you have a very active mind that keeps you on your toes.

    “Attention to health is life’s greatest hindrance.”-Plato, ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician, 424/423 BC – 348/347 B

  3. Manasi Joshi Roy

    Shunali ! You are howlarious :)

  4. Kiran Manral

    You nut. Just take Vit D pills. Aren’t moms the best though?

    • shunalishroff

      Moms are undoubtedly the best. D3 pills might work but there is nothing like the real thing. So i have now taken to the sun in a big way. Very soon I will look like a sun baked bhoot.

  5. abhilasha

    very funny !! although very soon aunty will be writing a blog on your phone call to her on how to cook dahi vadas. hahahhahahahahah

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