Repent, The End Of Yet Another Year Is Nigh

It is June 30th, 2015; half the year is over. Depending on your age, you will react to this news with indifference or a curious mix of panic, terror, and melancholy. My reaction, as you might guess by my decision to write this post today, veers–sharply–toward the latter. Forty might be the new thirty, orContinue reading “Repent, The End Of Yet Another Year Is Nigh”

Bertrand Russell On Toddlers, The ‘Little Devils’

In ‘The Superior Virtue of the Oppressed’ (Unpopular Essays, 1960; Routledge Classics 2009, pp. 60-61), Bertrand Russell writes, Children, after being limbs of Satan in traditional theology and mystically illuminated angels in the minds of education reformers, have reverted to being little devils–not theological demons inspired by the Evil One, but scientific Freudian abominations inspiredContinue reading “Bertrand Russell On Toddlers, The ‘Little Devils’”

Biological And Adoptive Parents

There was a time when I did not understand how adoption worked. Didn’t you have to have a biological tie with your offspring to be truly, deeply, emotionally bound to it? Over the years, I came to think not–at an intellectual level. But like many other theses, I became convinced of its truth only afterContinue reading “Biological And Adoptive Parents”

Lucid Dreaming: A Pleasant Side-Effect of Sleep Disruption

A disrupted night’s sleep is one of the unfortunate concomitants of parenthood; rumor has it that so terrible is the toll that it extracts that some are scared off procreation altogether. Rare is the parent of the infant or toddler who has not tendered a complaint about sleep deprivation to his bored, unsympathetic, childless friendsContinue reading “Lucid Dreaming: A Pleasant Side-Effect of Sleep Disruption”

Making the Abstract Concrete

A few weeks ago, I posted the following quip as my Facebook status: You don’t really get _Civilization and its Discontents_ till you bring up a child. And then, a week or so later: Apropos of my recent comment that you don’t really get _Civilization and its Discontents_ till you raise a child: I don’tContinue reading “Making the Abstract Concrete”

The Vale of Tears: From Babe to Adult – II

A year or so ago, I wrote a post on how my infant daughter’s crying sometimes provoked, in me, thoughts that seemed considerably weightier than those one might have imagined as being occasioned then. On Monday, a spell of night-time crying triggered a chain of reflection that felt similarly cosmic. A little background: my daughterContinue reading “The Vale of Tears: From Babe to Adult – II”

The Year That Was, Here, On This Blog

The formal two-year anniversary of this blog was sometime back in November; as I was traveling then I couldn’t put up a commemorative post; this year-end dispatch will have to do as substitute marker for that occasion. 2013 was a busy year for blogging here, though I blogged on fewer occasions than I did inContinue reading “The Year That Was, Here, On This Blog”

Babywatch: First Year Observance

New parents are barraged with a series of sage observations on, and homilies about, the parenting experience by those who have been through the grinder. Among them is one that is part warning, part rueful exclamation: ‘enjoy the kids, time flies!’ Well, time has flown. My daughter is one. She was born at 5:55 AMContinue reading “Babywatch: First Year Observance”

Children and Nostalgia

I often find myself talking or writing about nostalgia. As I said here a little while ago: I’m an immigrant; nostalgia and homesickness are supposed to be my perennial conditions. In that same post, I remarked too, on the particular manifestations of both kinds of nostalgia–restorative, which concerns itself with returning to the lost home and reflective,Continue reading “Children and Nostalgia”

Babies, Personalities, and Power Dynamics

One of the central, and most familiar, ironies of the parent-baby relationship is that despite the seeming imbalance of visible physical power, its actual contours are quite clearly regulated and determined by the child. Indeed, the very ‘weakness’ of the child, its utter and total vulnerability and dependence on the parent  grants it this power.Continue reading “Babies, Personalities, and Power Dynamics”