One

Little C

My son cuddles up to me, still half asleep, his little body warm and fragrant in a way only babies know how to achieve. He smiles, then nods off. I wonder of what he will dream. I have a hunch it will be his favourite lion king.

When he wakes up, my boy gives a massive squeal of excitement. Crawls so quickly into the living room you would think they were dishing out free chocolate cupcakes. He pulls himself up on the couch and proceeds to dump all the cushions onto the carpet methodically.

My little one had a birthday a few days ago. He is now one year old, and my oh my, he already seems to have transformed into a toddler. Throws mini tantrums if you don’t let him nibble at your food. Screams when you hold him down to change his diaper. Acts overly sweet and smiley when he wants to bite your nose.

Already, he is happy to wiggle about from room to room, climbing, exploring, err, re-organizing. He cries ‘B-Byeeee!’ if you open the front door only to take out the trash. Holds on to my hand and hums as he walks, looking up quizzically when we encounter an obstacle in our path. Babbles ‘Ma-Ma-Ma’ when R shows him old photographs. Giggles when R clears his throat in the washroom; he even attempts quite an accurate imitation.

Where did my baby go?! He would fit entirely in my arms when he suckled at my breasts and struggle to keep his eyes open. You could place him on the bed, under a play gym, and read several chapters from a book. You try that now, and he would have unloaded the laundry basket, emptied the pantry, and uncorked all the bottles before you could finish a page.

I know exciting things lie ahead in this second year of his life. Little C is growing up fast, and as his mum, it fills me with joy. But with each passing moment, my baby becomes more independent. There will be a day when he won’t come tugging at my pants when I do the dishes in the kitchen. He will wish to play with his toys by himself, hang out with his friends – possibly even be embarrassed by his mama. He will want other things in life than just his mum’s proximity and the comfort of her touch.

Allow me to end this post right here as I return to cuddle up with him once again. The days do seem long sometimes, but when put in this perspective, I realize they are way too fleeting. I want to soak up the smell of his baby-soft skin and the warmth of his breathing. It needs to last me for the remainder of my life.

Seven Months

Seven months have passed. More than 210 days since I last had eight hours of uninterrupted, blissful sleep. Since I went to the movie theatre and munched on some popcorn. Since I idled over a meal while watching the television, unafraid of things abruptly ending because of a beep from the nursery.

Taking care of a baby can be excruciating. Sometimes, it seems harder now that my son is seven-months-old as opposed to when he was a newborn. Dressing him is a daily battle; I have to sing and jostle and recite poems to keep him from being a nudist. Getting him to nap is an Olympic event. He may yawn incessantly and rub his eyes from exhaustion, but hey, won’t sleeping take away from his enjoyment of the world? What if the lion on his pillow leaves for the jungle when he naps? Preparing meals requires elaborate recitation of the recipe and constant “hey, mama’s now doing this” from the kitchen. Encourage independent play, they say. My baby loves his own version of playing-by-myself-as-mama-sits-next-to-me-on-the-dratted-playmat. It is his favourite kind of play, next only to biting-mama’s-boobs-during-the-third-lunch-of-the-day.

Not too long ago, R and I were worrying about NST reports that depicted his breathing rate. We discussed labour and induction and mode of delivery for hours on end. Today, we discuss solid foods, how our baby is learning to sit up, how he giggles and squeals when we meow and woof. How time flies!

Today, my baby is seven-months-old. I have been a mother for seven months. Have I adapted to it? I don’t know. Will I ever? I don’t know. On some days, all I want to do is lie on the bed and read a book and drink a huge glass of wine. On other days, I spend hours gazing at my baby as he chews his rattle, babbles nonsensical sentences and tries to get my attention with little squeals of delight. When he is such an angel, it doesn’t infuse me with a sudden surge of maternal hormones or a gallon of energy to face all that parenthood entails. But it does make me feel warm and loved. A better person than I give myself credit for. A more hopeful person who anticipates greater gifts on the horizon, never mind the greater challenges.

Maybe, just maybe, I got this.

If Mom Had Been Here Today

If Mom had been with me today, she would have made me a hot cup of coffee in the morning. She would then have forced me to go and sit in the sunshine and listen to the birds as she soothed my baby into his nap. I would have felt the sun warm my skin and my soul. I would have stretched my arms, sore from rocking and holding the baby for hours on end, and smiled up at the blue sky. Continue reading

The Incredible Reason I’ve Been MIA

Ironically, the last post on this blog was about reaching a personal zenith (completing the April Blogging Challenge) and veering dangerously toward zero immediately after. Today, more than 2.5 months since that post, I am here, accepting that life indeed throws zeniths and zeroes in quick succession (even simultaneously?). But behind this absence lies a reason that I am still struggling to fathom. To comprehend. To believe. Continue reading