Beyond my Little Boy’s “Kulit”

My husband and I love going to the grocery. And in the past months, we have noticed the little boy become interested as well.

While going to the grocery is therapeutic and considered a family bonding, the little boy thinks of it as a trip to the playground. While before he used to run around frantically, now he stays in one of the biggest push carts, occasionally reaching out for canned goods and boxed items. At times we get annoyed because it gets mixed up with the items we really intend to buy. Moreso, he stacks them up only to step or jump on it. At times, he throws a few stuff here and there. When we get to the toiletries area, he usually motions to his Papa to get him out of the cart and bring him to the step ladder instead – yes the ginormous ones men use to stock items on upper shelves. He climbs those up and down.

I used to get infuriated because the supposedly relaxing trip to the grocery becomes a run-after with the toddler. But over the weekend, I saw him take out these toy trains out of the display bin and line them up on the floor.

It made me realize that my child’s kulit is more than his annoying activities. It is, in fact a manifestation of learning. I was in awe at how the edges were connected, (Shocks! Magiging OC ata sya like Mama!) at least before the line up gets curved a little in the end. And since he’s lining up the trains, he could be thinking of actual train cabs on a rail. While I know he stacks up canned goods at my parents’ house, I now have better understanding of how aisles and aisles of canned items makes him happy. Same way with the boxes. And only now have it crossed my mind, maybe he was actually sorting the goods (like odd ones out) when he throws items out of the cart. And of course, his climbs are but his usual excercise and a nod to his kinesthetic intelligence.

As parents, sometimes, we’re too preoccupied with our own businesses and we tend to overlook what our kids do. Sometimes we diminish their activities into exhibitions of hyperactivity and tantrums, when in fact, these are actually moments of vital play and learning. And best is that, it is not something pushed on to them, but is self-initiated – thus appealing more to their imagination and senses.

I don’t really post my kid’s achievements or milestones or learnings on Social Media (because I believe he is beyond those), but I am making an exception on this one just to remind myself and some other parents out there to be patient and look further into their child’s kulit and play.

As for my little boy, I always always say this: Never lose your wonder. Never lose your fun.

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To my Firstborn

My little Thirdy,

Feels like yesterday when I first held you in my arms. You were tiny and fragile, yet you took away all the pains from giving birth. There are a lot of metaphors on my head right now in my attempt to describe the moment, but certainly, there is none that can suffice.

Now you are two (years old). Yet you have given us so much – tears, joy, fear, laughter. You have enabled us to feel the most of every emotion, and my favorite, forever will be, is love. You taught Mama to love unconditionally – to be patient when you blow things up, to be kind when you are beyond control, to be understanding when your actions are frustrating. You changed Mama, a lot. I used to throw my own tantrums and rant furiously at anything that frustrates me, but you, little human, taught me that there is nothing love cannot do. You are my clingy little furball, though you lack hair. Hahaha Your little ways – hugs, profession of love (agoogookoo aka I Love You) before you kiss, taking my hand when you want to be cuddled for sleep, snuggling on my side and on my legs, make my heart melt. Your tiny little feats are also my triumphs – your first step, your first walk, your first run, your first climb, all your words, your dance steps, and your Disney songs (or Greatest Showman and Bohemian Rhapsody). Sometimes it wears me out because you are ultra needy and hyper active, but at the same time I just have to cherish this phase, you’ll never be this tiny and clingy again.

You make me believe that there is no “Terrible Two”, annoying sometimes you may be. I understand that you are just exhausting your energy running around, bouncing up and down, dumping, building then destroying things around. With all the love you have afforded us to have, we will turn all the terrible to adorable.

I love you, my little boy. And I will never grow tired of telling you and showing you how much I love you from the smallest to the grandest of gestures. While sometimes I wish you’d be this tiny and adorable forever, I, at the same time am really looking forward to your first day at school, up to the day you’d receive your college diploma and so on. Seems like a long haul, but I will be there with you and all other instances in between and beyond. I will always remind you (like I always do when you are asleep) that you are meant for greatness, and that there is no one to make you feel otherwise.┬áMama will be your friend and your foe (you’d get irritated at me at times, LOL), your biggest fan and worst critic (HAHAHA!).

And now you are two (you and your little baby sibling on the way). I know you will be a great Kuya. With all the love and affection you have shown me and your Papa, you sure would never mind extending to your little sibling. Of course, you would even teach your younger sibling all your kulit and kapilyohan too. It’s true what your favorite movie, Boss Baby, says, “There’s plenty of love to go around“. You and your sibling have already made my heart grow bigger. Once it only accommodated you, now the two of you. My love will not be divided between you two. It will not come less. It will be more than enough for the two of you. Matter of fact, it will overflow, brimming at the rims of each of your glasses.

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And as I always say, I love you everyday, I love you always, I love you forever. I love you, my Thirdy Patootie.

Baby Steps to Motherhood

I promised I would hit “Publish” on all my pending drafts posts, however, I would like to take a certain detour just to over/share some already dated news.

I have been oversharing on Facebook and Instagram about my pregnancy the past months, and six months ago, I gave birth to a tiny human. I am still in awe, disbelief even, how I was able to keep a human being inside me. Taking him out to the world is another matter I keep wondering about.

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This Instagram post kind of sums it all up. I was fresh from our launch that week and was already having signs of an early delivery. I made sure to visit my doctor that weekend to check on me and my baby. The doctor assured that nothing from those signs were alarming and that I might give birth later that week. However, on the wee hours of Sunday, I started having contractions. It continued throughout the day on a fifteen to thirty minute interval. Monday morning, my water broke. The entire bed was bathed in blood and water.

I was admitted at around five in the morning same day. I can hardly move as the contractions do not seem to end. Nurses even ask a lot of questions and details which, really, can be asked some other time anyway. I never imagined going through so much pain and getting asked how may times a day I change feminine pads when on period. Unbelievable! Hours went on though I barely recognized what time it really was. It felt like forever and all I wanted was to get over everything and let the baby out. I was transferred to the Delivery Room and was given the Epidural Anesthesia. It took away the pain though I hardly felt anything waist down when it was already time for pushing. I was doing the J Breathing Technique hoping I was doing it the right way. After four pushes, baby came out five minutes before nine o’clock in the morning. My husband was there too, holding my hand, all smiles gazing the baby resting on my chest.

By noon I was already in my suite with my tiny human in a bassinet beside me. It was really the first time I caught a good glimpse of him. His face was beaming, as if he was surrounded by a hundred angels. The pain of giving birth and recovery vanished. I was just brimming with pure joy and love.

Six months thereon, I still feel the same. After all the toils of breastfeeding (which deserves a separate story), of sleepless nights, crazy diaper changes, and a whole LOT more; I still look at him lovingly each day and wonder how a person this small can take up so much space in my heart.

Mother’s Day Random Ramblings

Last week, a colleague congratulated me for my first Mother’s Day celebration. I totally forgot about it until tonight that I’ve gone too emotional watching “Mom” videos on my newsfeed. Funny how becoming pre-occupied as a first time mother leave you with remembrances, realizations and emotions at random times (like now while having breaks doing the laundry).

Honestly, I haven’t imagined myself a mother until the moment I got confirmation that I had a tiny human inside. I was not ready, but I guess you’ll never be really ready until you get there. I deemed myself a mother as early as then. After all, I was already nursing and nourishing him. I had to change diet, skip vigorious activities, and even obey weird traditions roughly suggested by the oldies.

Pushing him out to the world is another story. I was never as frightened. I was not only scared for myself, I was scared for him more. But again, when you have no choice but to be courageous, well, you got to be. Imagine my relief when I saw him for the first time lying on my chest.

And motherhood doesn’t end there. Somewhere I’ve read said that real motherhood comes after you leave the hospital and take the baby home. Sure was right! My baby has been around for almost three months and I can no longer count my tears and sighs out of frustration, fear, paranoia, etc. Knowing there’s a lifetime ahead of him, God only knows how much more I need to bear. But I am not complaining, he’s our best gift (cliche, I know), our most terrible weakness (how can you say “no” when he puts up a cute crying face?), and my husband’s replica, only waaay more handsome (if I loved my husband’s annoyingly happy face, how can I not love my son’s?).

You know in art when they put together totally unrelated things to communicate one solid message? That’s how motherhood is like. It’s always a crazy unpredictable mix of emotions – some intense, some so-so. But unlike art which emanates multiple possible meanings, motherhood comes with but one message. It’s always the same every time – Love.

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Happy Mothers’ Day to all the moms out there, most importantly, to my Mama. Now I know the truth in your rants! Hahaha Sending greetings to my husband’s mother as well, for raising such lovely man.

Props to my boys, too, for this wonderful and exciting journey. I love you both.