I’ve realized that the reason my son has finally decided to move on from bellying like a snake to crawling on all 4s recently (hello milestone) is because he’s been tickled and motivated enough to be chasing after my wriggly toes.
So just when I thought I must have some really cute toes to boast about, I realized it was the pink glitter on it. He was practically all ready to frolic those nails (gross) when he finally got to them faster than I could do some acrobatic move and tuck them beneath my butt one day in the play yard and so in a desperate second and last attempt to avoid having those cute baby pink lips against those pink glittered toe nails, I chose to let him kiss his play mat instead. Young master chungkin wasn’t too happy as the wails ensued but toe nail vs. baby play mat, I think I made the wiser choice.
Now back to what I was really here to blog about for the future me to read back some day…
I think I might have fallen into the trap of over-parenting in the past month. So I’ve been told.
When the Bo & I first got together and talked about our ideals in a future family during one of our dates, I remember telling him how I wanted my (didn’t know if we were going to make babies together) future kids to “just have fun”.
When we had plans to start a family, I knew that I didn’t want to be the momzilla that most of the mommies I knew were starting to morph into – subconsciously or not.
And when we finally had our first bun in the oven, I was affirmed that I was just going to take it easy with the whole parenting thing. I was even “labelled” for being too relaxed, not placing our unnamed kid on any school’s wait list when he was at 6 months gestation or not even having a plan of sorts for the enrichment classes that we were going to enroll him for.
I guess all I wanted then was just a healthy, full termed baby to be born.
After my first 2 months as a new mom and surviving it, I gathered enough courage to take chungkin on his 1st play date. Yes, the moms were the one who needed the break of sanity more than the bubs but it certainly boost my confidence of being out with baby alone & it got easier, taking the baby out on subsequent play dates and even managing to have tea while at it. Through play dates, I had others commenting to me how chungkin had no qualms about being carried or surrounded by other people. I guess by the tone and repetition of these comments, it was a good thing.
While I could do reading and exploration with the little man, socialization with other peers was something out of my reach. Soon the moms I had playdates with were starting to return back to the grind, and that’s when I started looking at little gyms.
I went for trials, not wanting to commit any packages since I wasn’t sure if chungkin would enjoy that and turns out he did, right from the 1st time we stepped into the gym. He was clearly fascinated by the colorful soft playground set-up, the puppets that were animated to life, the familiar tunes of children’s songs that were sung coupled with dance, a flying parachute full of colors and his favourite – bubbles. And as with most parents who smile when they see their babies smiles, we signed up for more classes. Through those classes, papa & grandma got to spend some quality time with the little man on the weekends so it was a win-win.
Soon a few moms on Facebook started to discuss about music class. Coming from a music background, I didn’t think much of what a then 7-month old could possibly get out of it (since we do some music activities with the little man at home too) till I attended a music trial with some moms. And golly, this teacher could sing. She sang like she was out of a Disney story and her accompanying animations just made the giggly little man sat up in anticipation for her next move all the time. We went for 2 trial music classes, both of which he had a great time but even then I couldn’t part with the additional cost since he was still in the gym class.
On chungkin’s 9th month, with one last gym class left, some free days to spare & a pursuit to expend that growing energy of his, I took him to a 3rd music trial class. I was sold. He was still as enthusiastic, if not more throughout the entire class. He even bellied the most he’s ever done around the class, and seemed to really enjoy being hands-on different musical instruments. The videos I caught of him in the act were amusing, and it definitely brought a huge grin to whoever I showed it too. Especially grandma who kept playing it on loop while on her way to work every day :p
In between, I still attend trial for other classes. Swim. Art. More gyms. More music. Some are free – yay. And some are outright disappointing. These days I can see from chungkin’s face if it was an instant yay or nay without needing to think up of a “maybe he’s just cranky today” excuse.
The wonderful moms on Facebook continue to open my (newbie mom) mind to more fun classes to do with the kids. I draw the line at trying anything too academic or committing to anything long term. The rest, I take it as an outing with the son if we’re up for it. Instead of heading to the zoo which I know he will soon appreciate in a matter of months, we’re in some colorful decorated class engaging in waddler-focused activities at nominal or no cost.
The same people that used to say how I am such a “slack and too relaxed” mom some 2-3 months ago now accuse me of over parenting. I can’t quite figure if it’s because I’m now unavailable most of the times unless we prearrange something of course, or I might have taken up their spot in the wait list.
Am I any different from the moms who don’t want their kids to “lose out” at the expense of possibly overstimulating ? Or am I still being the parent I want to be, letting the chungkin enjoy his babyhood filled only with activities he looks forward to participating in.
One thing I’m sure is that Liam & I are quite happy with the current arrangement. I get to spend a few hours out of the house, take a breather, grab that much lusted cup of caffeine and maybe cake to go along for days when I feel like a sugar rush. Little boy gets a good lunch nap before playing starts, interact with his little friends with pats that seem like smacks, chew on more variety of toys available, expend all that never-ending energy in the afternoons, come home to a wholesome dinner and therapeutic bubble bath …and end the day with a 12-hr sleep. Win-win.
We don’t fill every day of the week with activities, but on days when there are things to look forward to, we’re in high spirits.
Now, ain’t that the true joy of parenting & childhood?