17 February 2014

Eighteen months old.

The Bubs is one and a half years old today, and I shall mark the occasion by penning down some thoughts about parenting before the time passes and slips through my fingertips.

***

My dearest baby girl,

How time flies! 18 months ago, I became a parent for the very first time. I wasn't sure if I could love someone I've never met face-to-face before - ultrasounds didn't count. Would you have your daddy's eyes and my toes? Would you have a sense of humour I could relate to? Would I genuinely like you and would I find you adorable? I mean, I know I HAVE to love you; it's the socially acceptable parent-y thing to do.

I also didn't know what kind of person you are, besides the fact that you liked to kick my rib cage during the day and that you did belly flips whenever I heard applause in my surroundings. I was also hardly interested in babies; kittens were cuter by far than babies in my book.

"I'm afraid I won't love my baby," I confided in The Hubs more than once.

When you first popped out, I heard a loud loud cry and thanked God that you were healthy. After the necessary measurements and weighing, the nurses pushed us into our room where we could finally rest after a gruelling and intense six hours.

As I drifted off to sleep, you cried loudly and inconsolably. It must have been really disconcerting, all the bright lights and strange smells. Your daddy placed you next to me and I put my arm around your tiny 3.05kg frame. For the first time, you slept next to me instead of inside of me. And for the first time, I experienced the unpredictable sleep cycle of an infant. We would drift off, grateful for the much needed rest, and you would cry out piteously. No matter how bone tired we were, your needs had to come first; all the time, any time. The world as we knew it screeched to a halt and unnaturally, awkwardly started arranging around your needs, one sleep deprived day at a time.

When did I start having those fuzzy gushy loving feelings about you? I can't put a specific moment to it, it crept up on me and swallowed me whole when I was not looking. Your dad proclaimed his effusive and enthusiastic adoration for you much earlier than I. When he gushed about how much, how very very much he adored you, I said "Huh. Sure." It was not that I didn't like you nor that I didn't care, far from it; I just was not "headily in love" nor "hopelessly infatuated" as other mothers seemed to be.

I didn't enjoy changing the bedsheets each time your poop overflowed from your diapers, but I would do it anyway with nary a frown. I didn't like the long time I took to recover from the birth process and the backaches that never went away, but that I accepted too, without any negativity. I also didn't know what to say to you or how to do the whole baby talk thing when you looked at me and I looked at you. Conversations were stilted and one-sided. "I love you, sweetheart", I said, trying the sound of my words as I waited for my heart to catch up with the emotions that the words promised.

But one thing I always knew even if I didn't always feel it - you are beyond precious. Off the charts. Nothing, no accomplishment, no accolades, can compare to how very precious you are.

You are so precious that I would go through the birthing process even though I had no idea how someone so big could exit my body into the world without causing serious pain and injury to the vessel. You are so precious that two selfish bums would put aside sleep and sanity to tend to your discomforts, real or imagined. You are so precious that anything that hurts you, hurts us too.

My heart melted when you smiled your first smile at me, and whenever you giggled our hearts would sing. But it was one day when you were several months old and sleeping peacefully that I looked upon you, that my heart just welled up with indescribable joy and love and it continued to overflow into my eyes and I cried, knowing that I love you with all my heart.

And I realised, this is but a poor copy of the way God loves us. How humbling, how comforting, how heart-breaking. Truly, to love another person is to see the face of God.

My dearest baby girl, we thank God from the bottom of our hearts for the precious gift that you are.

Are you considered a toddler now that you have gone past 18months?

Are you going to be a teenager in a blink of an eye?

Will you soon be taller, stronger, and smarter than me?

No matter how big you grow though, one thing's for sure.

You are always our dearest baby girl. The one whose poop once overflowed from her diaper onto the floor of a cafe. But that's a story for when we want to embarrass you in front of your friends next time.

9 comments:

ms krong said...

another lovely post, kai. the joys of motherhood. :)

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