Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sugar and spice and everything nice...

I grew up in a a non-"touchy feely" family environment. We don't hug nor kiss each other - not parents to children, children to parents... or even worse (horrors)... sibling to sibling! Probably the only family member whom I got most kisses from would be my youngest brother - and that's just because we were 9 years apart, and I was actually old enough to remember when he first came out as a baby. And babies are always kissable, right? 

Not only are we not touchy feely - we also are not expressive, even with words. We don't say I love you out loud to each other. It's not to say we don't - we just are not comfortable with it. At most - we would put "love, so and so" on the annual birthday and christmas card (or email) - and I am sure we all meant it, when we said so.

Fast forward to today - I am now raising a daughter almost two and half years old. I am proud to say that somehow - she's turning out to be very expressive with her feelings. Is it because she's a girl? And all girls are made of sugar and spice, and everything nice? Or it could be because my husband and I have never been shy to show affection in front of her as well. Whatever it is, I am proud that she's turning out the way she is!

Here are some of the signs that seem to say she's going to turn out to be a very affectionate little girl.

Sign #1 In the mornings, my husband is usually still in bed when I leave for work. K would be awake by then, and I would take her with me for her to have breakfast. I'd always kiss my husband on the forehead before leaving, and say "bye hon...." Recently, K has also started doing the same thing... and she's got the routine down pat... down to the "bye hon."

Sign #2 The other night, before going to bed, we called up her dad who was in Batangas. After chatting for a few minutes, I said it was time for her to say goodnight. While staring at her dad's caller id picture, she said in a very sweet voice "dude [good] night papa... i wub [love] you."

Sign #3 As she was seated on her potty... she suddenly said "I kiss you mommy..." and held my face with her lips pursed. And after that sweet kiss... I also get an "i wub you."

A kiss, a hug, and an "i wub you..." - these are the simple, priceless treasures of being parents. I wouldn't exchange these for anything in this world.
"i wub you, baby"

^^^^^^^ August 3, 2011 ^^^^^^^^^
Tonight - sign #4 came - while slathering lotion on to my belly - K kisses my belly and says "i wub you, baby." At 37 weeks and a few days, baby number 2 gets assurance from big sister that he/she is definitely loved!
Kissing the 1 week old Baby S

Originally posted on July 30, 2011.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mommy's Turn

My daughter and me - bonding before bedtime...
Recently, my daughter has started using this expression to mean that she wants mommy to do whatever it is that needs to be done (in relation to her) at that time. These activities range from holding her hand to walk with her - to taking her to the bathroom to pee - to washing her cute little bum, when she had done more than peeing! When she utters "mommy's turn na!", this mommy's heart turn into little pieces and I literally do anything to be able to accommodate her request. Needless to say, I would bend over backwards for my little girl - just because I know there is no such thing as spending too much time with her.

When she was first born - no matter how busy I would get in the office, I would aim to get home by 7pm - from then on, the care for her was almost entirely mine - until I needed to go back to work again the next day. I would feed her (I directly breastfed her) and put her to bed. In between that - I change diapers, clean up poop and/or spit ups, play storyteller, act goofy, sing off key, kiss booboos... the list is never ending. During the course of her 1st 18 months - K and I were pretty much on our own for about 3 weekday nights a week, while her daddy is out of town some days of the week. Sometimes, one of the two grannies will be with me for an hour or two to help out, but at the end of the evening, it was always K and I who will hit the sack together, cuddling each other to sleep.

In a way, I think K got spoiled with all this attention. The question is - is there really such a thing as spoiling a child with attention? Today, as she is able to better express herself through words and actions, she is becoming more demanding of my time. In the mornings, I cannot leave for the office without K sitting on my lap, leaning on my chest sleepily, wanting to be hugged just a little bit more. These days, she knows to say "no" when I say I need to leave for work. When I get home from work, she is all over me as I have dinner - playing with my hair, hugging me from behind, or just babbling illegible sentences with "mommy" interspersed into them. She has reached the stage when saying goodbyes are not as easy as they used to be.

We have our share of misunderstandings - a 34 year old and a toddler! I am constantly correcting her or telling her not to do certain things. She's not always happy when I do that. When I saw she has started to understand my instructions - I started giving her short time outs whenever she wilfully disobeys my instructions. Both of us exhibit the eldest child syndrome (because we both are) - or maybe it's the stubbornness in us (she was born in the year of the ox, under the sign of aries; i was born in the year of the snake, under the sign of Taurus). We always spend the first few minutes of our "misunderstanding" not talking to each other doing our own thing - and then we both melt, and then kiss and make up. At this age, I can see my daughter has an implicit sense of awareness about emotions - she knows when she has made me feel bad, and uses her charms to win me back.

I am selfishly happy with all this. I know this will not last forever. My little girl will grow up and will want to do other things without me. She will want to be free from my watchful eyes. But all those are things of tomorrow - what's important is today. Today, she's all mine - and she wants it to be my turn. Oh, how I cherish today!

"Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot. To him we cannot answer 'Tomorrow,' his name is today." - Gabriela Mistral

Originally written on July 22, 2011.

The Corporate Housewife Mom

What is the corporate housewife mom? I've been obsessing about it for the past few days. I like to think of myself as that - because I work almost 10 hour days (yes, i read my mail while eating lunch most days), own a company issued blackberry (therefore i am accessible 24 hours a day), aspire to be the best mom I can be to my 2.2 year old daughter (and baby number 2, now 8mos in my tummy), and the best wife I can be to my 35 (almost 36) year old husband. I AM A corporate housewife mom - but not necessarily in that order.

These 3 roles do not necessarily meld together like coffee, cream and sugar... unfortunately. There are days when I really wish I did not have to leave for work... especially when my daughter wants to cuddle in bed, and tells me with eyes half closed... "still sleepy...". On sundays, I wish I can always make a nice breakfast/brunch for hubby - but I also like spending sunday mornings chatting with him in bed. I wish I could spend a few hours each day tidying up or organizing things at home... but I only have 24 hours in a day. When I get home at 8pm - the priorities are my husband and my daughter. The days when I need to stay late at the office, or attend an office affair... my mind is always revolving around what time I can escape to spend some precious time with them.

I have to remember to check on my daughter during the day - but I usually forget as I get involved in meetings, answering emails, worksheets and the like. I have to check on urgent email in the evenings... but I cannot always do so because I am too involved in focusing on catching up with my husband and spending quality time with my daughter. In the office, I would sometimes have to think about what food I can prepare to send with my husband, when he goes to work. At home, I would worry about issues I am facing at work or a report left unsubmitted.

People have succeeded with alternative work strategies - some spend a few days working from home to be able to spend more time with their families. Some bring home work so they can work late into the evening. I fail miserably at bringing home work - so I have not even considered going into alternative work strategy. I salute the people who have succeeded... It just is not me. I still like the clear delineations between the office and the home... weekdays and weekends... workdays and holidays. 

I am lucky to have a husband who understands (most of the time) that I like working and what I do. I am lucky to have people who help me to take over the roles I am missing as mommy and wife - my mother in law, my mom, the nanny, the cook, my husband (as mommy). I am lucky too that my boss understands too the importance of my family.

Whether as a wife, a mom or a career woman - I know I am not perfect. I fail at a lot of things but I have had my share of successes. At the end of day - even if I cannot give all my time to one role - I try to give all my best into each role. I am a corporate housewife mom. 

Originally written on July 9, 2011.