Passionate Souls to Paneer Rolls: Post Baby Romance

My husband asks me, “Should I remove the foil before eating the paneer tikka roll or eat it as it is?” I can’t believe what he’s asking me and I make him repeat himself several times. And then it hits me- it’s the most romantic thing he has said to me in years! After being married for over a decade, I find that romance is hidden in these silly statements.

The flowers have gone. The gifts are rare to come by. The last time my husband visited an Archie’s to purchase a card had to have been when I was his girlfriend. Now he doesn’t even sign his name on the pre-bought cards that are yellowing in our drawer, which I discreetly leave by his bedside on the eve of an occasion. All the romance that I had been taught of, by movies and Sweet Dream novels in my teenhood, has ceased to exist.

After the arrival of a naughty little girl into our lives, cuddle time has turned into muddle time as we try to awkwardly hug each other around her sleeping body, lying between us. And the last time I heard him whisper sweet nothings to anyone, it was to Baby A, after she had indulged in her daily paternal-buttering-up, telling him that she loved him to the sun and back and then some more, while plastering his face with butterfly kisses.

Nandy (my hubby) has never been an overly expressive individual and he’s someone who strongly believes that actions speak louder than words. I, being a writer at heart and a literature student by degrees, have had a hard time understanding actions as a form of romance. What about love letters quoting Keats’ poetry or songs dedicated to me on Facebook?

And time has only made us increasingly complacent in our marriage. We have become an old married couple that even forgets to hold hands sometimes at the theatre, but we just cannot function without each other. We have become extensions of each other, fiery in our separate opinions (which results in frequent arguments) but merged in our need to have the other’s approval in what we do. How else can you explain a 37 year old man, with a great amount of familiarity with rolls and food packaging in general, asking his wife whether he needs to take the foil off before eating? When, in my defence, I haven’t ever been the mothering wife who likes to feed her husband or make each golgappa with her own hands before placing it into his mouth (for fear that he might injure his delicate finger as he jabs into the crunchy puri, or gets too much channa in but not enough aloo, throwing him off- balance).

Every weekend, Nandy asks me what to wear and he earnestly inquires as to whether his Sunday ensemble (a white shirt with purple pants and black chappals) looks good, even though it looked the same every Sunday before that one. He asks me to proofread and approve of every SMS that he composes casually for a friend, or any Facebook post that he wishes to put up. Nandy asks me if he should visit the loo when he leaves the restaurant or when he gets home!

Now I know that the common consensus among everyone reading this would be that I’m a crazy, controlling wife who mustn’t be letting him breathe without my permission, but I’m really not. I have never told him what he must wear, how he must eat, how he must write or anything else! It’s just that we have been together forever (from high school sweethearts to post-baby grouches) and so he feels more comfortable after taking a second opinion from me- for the most inane things. He usually does what he likes anyway, but this need to know what I think is what becomes the romance in our relationship.

Romance evolves, just like our marriages evolve, and I can’t help but feel a warmth in my heart (very similar to the one I felt when he wrote me silly, rhyming poems that told me why he loved me- mostly making fun of me- in college) when he sits confused now, curling his hair, and then turns to ask me, “Should I have a cold coffee or lassi?” I smile, knowing how much he loves me, and reply “Lassi” knowing fully well what he will say next. And I’m right.

“Ramu, ek cold coffee banana!” (Ramu, make me a cold coffee!), he shouts, as I cuddle up to him, knowing everything in the world is right where it should be.

20 thoughts on “Passionate Souls to Paneer Rolls: Post Baby Romance”

    1. Ha ha! So happy to know that guys are following my blog too… And liking it… And commenting. Really appreciate the compliment.

  1. WoW…what an amazing read 🙂 I love your blog, have read every article & this one’s my favourite. I sooooo much relate to this.
    N so ya….I used to find it funny when my husband would ask.. Can I go out & meet my friends? ( while he would ensure he meets them & his friends would think I am a teacher type wife)..or something like… Can I go to the loo? ..I would tell him why are u asking me these redundant questions?
    And so… now when these are a practice, I so know in these lie simple expressions of love & its just sooo cute 🙂

    1. So glad you have been following and enjoying the blog. I started thinking if no one reads, then at least my daughter will enjoy it.
      And it’s a great feeling when people say they relate to it! Ha ha— all these men seem the same

  2. So true…totally relate my life wit yor experience…my hubby does same…nd vry well said that romance is not fairy evolves wit marriage..

  3. Amazing. Whoever read this felt that same thing is happening in their life. I can also relate me to this… Enjoyed reading this…

  4. Same boat.. I am such a better place than a year back.. Wanted to share my story ( for some strange reason I m a closed book never share deep feelings with anyone other than my dearest hubby) – my post partum story. I was his center of the world, after knowing each other for more than a decade people could notice immediately that we were so much in love , always considerate of each other. Making each other comfortable, holding hands, never miss a chance for hugs n kisses. Respecting each other spaces.. All in all perfect picturesque love story… My family was over whelmed see us so happy. Then the big news and 9 months flew and our new hope has come into this world making us the happiest parents in the world. For the first 3-6 months I forgot that I was a wife, daughter or a friend my day/nite everything was my baby. Slowly coming to the reality. I wanted to spend time with my husband. All of a sudden I felt that I did not get all the attention that I m used too. Our daily duties, baby, tiredness took over our personal time. Depression that my husband does not like me because I m fat now post baby. He does no understand me. I thought I was jealous of my baby and I the worst kind of mother. On the contarary, my husband after hectic day at work would come home help me with house hold chores, take care of the baby at nights coz he knows that I was with the baby all day and I m tired. Gives me 1 hour of my time to get a relaxed bath , pray and some times even watch movie while he watches the baby. My harmones could not understand these gestures at that time. It was awkward when we watched a movie, instead of watching the movie I would be waiting for him to make some move.. I don’t know I was silly, too much of expectation. I was sahm at that time. Things changed after we took a vacation, all the extended family help has left. Finally we were just 3 in our house. Had a deep conversations with my hubby. We worked together on our relation. Now we are stronger than ever. We make time for us. We will take anything and everything baby sleep time, family or friend who can help with baby to sneak out a movie or dinner. I love my daughter to death but happy parents happy kids.

    1. SC- I completely agree with you. My husband and I had the same experience. I sometimes felt guilty for craving time with my hubby but I had to prioritize my child as she was small and needed me more. But as you said rightly- it’s important to be able to take help from outside when someone offers it to you- so that you can sneak in some time where you are able to have some alone time to reconnect with your hubby- going for movies or dinner dates.
      Thank you for sharing your story! It’s always good to know that we are having similar experiences going through mommyhood.

    1. Thanks HS! The biggest compliment to a mommy blogger like me is when people can relate to what I write (and don’t think of me as some kind of crazy psycho mom *wink*) ha ha!

  5. omg! this is my story.. Me and hubby behave like this… he asks me things like, should I make the call now or later? He will put up my fav song when we take our little daughter to her doc appointments because he knows I am nervous. He would ask me how many roti’s should he defreeze! … so can relate to your story and you have put it beautifuly.

    1. So glad people relate to this! Sometimes I think, this romance is so much more rewarding … And not fleeting like the fairy tale type. So much more stable and long lasting.

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