There are mornings when I’m happy to be leaving the home for the office, bid farewell to my little guy, collect some thoughts en route, have conversations regarding anything sans the baby with colleagues, learn something new and feel smarter and look forward to going home to my ever-active-abound-with-energy-and-giggles toddler when I’m back home in the afternoon for quality time together.
And then there are mornings when I’m happy albeit a little annoyed to be woken by his demands to be carried onto our bed, roll around with my little dude, hear him say “papa!”, “mama!” and then point to the milk bottle and fiddle with our bed hair.
I guess a healthy balance is key in everything we do to preserve each other’s sanities and while it’s not always easy (because when one change occurs, everything else needs to evolve along pronto as we’ve so witness recently with my work vs. mil travel arrangements), it can be done. Although it is also easier to theorize everything. While I utterly grateful for the wonderful things that the good Lord has done for me and the family in the work front, it is also here that I’ve recently been challenged. The Bo has been straightforward in letting me know how happy he is to have the work aspect back in my life and because of that, declining 2 other potential “let’s have a chat” emails last week is putting me on me a guilt trip. It feels great to be wanted despite being out of action for a while. It feels good to have been working these last months. Maybe there’s a decision made up somewhere in my subconscious but the whole guilt of placing Liam in a full day school x 5 days is weighing a ton on my shoulders. How do you working moms do it?
I applaud my friends who are FTWM for doing what they do and yet still maintain such close relationships with their kids. I told a friend just this morning that there are days when I have to ignore Liam (and ask him to self-play) because I’m working and then there are days when I ignore him because I’m busy on my phone…to his displeasure. Amazing how my 16-month old can express so well to me that he does not like me + iphone to be together even if its on the pretext of taking his photos or videos. He just wants my company, my wholehearted attention and when I do give him that he in turn surprises me with more “new” things; which makes me re-think how much more beneficial going to school would be for him. As oppose to learning how to count by picking up hangers and putting them into the laundry basket at home. Or having a conversation with our pooch. Plus he’s starting to play well with peers his age. Yelling “gorgor” and “cheche” to older toddlers and gently stroking younger babies whenever I tell him to show his “love”.
Yet like a nail on the head my friend responded that I probably have to really ask myself how much I can let go. If I’d be okay not putting Liam to bed every night (thankfully my mom has been taking care of 80% of that since 2 months ago as part of her bonding with her grandson). If I’d freak out with him falling ill (which has been uncommon in the household). Because for the fact that I’ve been so involved in my little fella’s life since day 1. She couldn’t be more right. But with that, how is he going to “grow” up, develop & mould his own character which he will eventually need to.
On a less-mulling note, with little fella getting more and more stable in his walking and attempts to do little sprints; we’ve been doing lots more of the outdoorsy stuff which I’ve promised myself to include in our bonding time together (which reminds me, a post on that is due). He picks up things rather quickly from his friends, and is yakking a lot more which is cute yet too-much-for-me-to-handle during my most tired moments because I can’t don’t respond to him in the name of wanting to constantly encourage him (okay, sometimes I cheat and ask him to repeat it to daddy or porpor instead).
He continues to surprise me with his cognitive development – he got tired climbing up the slope that we walk everyday on our way home and one of those evenings, hung his little arms on the railing to “pull” him up instead. And has such great attention span with his little library of books – sitting for span of 30 minutes morning & afternoons that puts my almost-zilch recent reading habit to shame. He recognizes which books tells him about the animals he has great interest in (which is basically every and any animal), which book shows him about nature, which ones for weather, which ones are the ones that never fail to tickle his funny bone with the likes of Dr. Seuss, and has a particular favourite book which is a Chinese one (which I got at a steal for $3!).
Still pretty much a fish than I will ever be, he was recently awarded his first swim certification in being proficient with swimming short distances on his own, floating on his back, jumping and climbing out of the pool safely, breathing/blow bubbles underwater and probably more which I can’t remember. He’s got a lot closer to the Bo from 3 terms of swim class and I still enjoy watching him swim at every lesson. It’s amazing, the progress he makes week after week…and the smiles that goes on his face each time there’s some splashing or jumping off involved.
Food is growing into a challenge for me as I attempt to try new recipes and ingredients to stir up his tastebuds. Which is a nice challenge since his quickly expanding repertoire of food means that I can prepare more variety for the adults too although most of the time Liam ends up polishing it all up including what’s on my plate.
Soon he’ll be 18 months in less than 2 months and that will leave us in the last quarter of 2013 (again, where has time gone to?!).
I’m definitely looking forward to more adventures with my little tyke.