29 March 2018, by Flora Isabelle
It’s been 6 months since Nate’s arrival and I don’t know how, when or why, but boy, has he grown SO MUCH!
He’s learnt how to express himself (mostly by going mmmm! when we give him his frozen strawberry treats), how to roll to get to where he wants and the joys of pulling my hair, literally.
He has also started school! Just playgroup, 3 times a week, to keep me sane.
He’s the smallest in the class (obviously I mean age, not size. Look at him!) and in the world of mothers’ talk, it means that he’s still not very good at sitting up, nowhere near being the Gold Olympian of crawling and makes the biggest mess when it comes to snack time. Don’t even get me started on the paint activity we did in class yesterday, I never knew paint could get INTO nostrils?!
And then we have his classmates who are a few months older than him and demonstrate much stronger physical and cognitive abilities. One Mommy of a 10-month-old even said that her daughter can now dive under water and swim to her, unassisted, in the pool. TEN MONTHS OLD okay. Sports Singapore, you might want to look out for this next Joseph Schooling over here.
People tell me don’t compare, but can you really?
Sometimes I find myself inevitably saying “I can’t wait till he gets to that age! Then it will be so much more fun to play with him!”
And then you have the older folks, who tell you not to carry him so much (“or he will always want to be carried”), who tell you to sleep train him (“or he will be too sticky to you”) and who can’t wait for kids to be kicked out to their “big boy’s room”.
In the first weeks of Nathaniel’s life, he was an absolute koala. He could only sleep when carried and we tried so many ways to get him to transit to sleeping on his crib – from the Tula, to the CocoonaBaby, to white noise… I even borrowed a yao lan / sarong/ cradle from a friend! But nope, it didn’t work either.
Then one day when he was about 4 months old, he got really angry halfway through his sleep (while being carried) and that marked the start of him sleeping by himself in his crib.
My heart ached that day – that he has grown up in his own 120-day-old way. That he didn’t need Mommy (sorta) anymore. Soon, he will be enlisting into NS and graduating from university before I know it lol.
So anyway, I’ve since come to appreciate the neediness, and all the carrying even if my arm and back hurts. I don’t want to wait till he’s two or three or four before I play with him, because he will be twenty, thirty, or forty way too soon. It doesn’t matter if he walks a little later than his peers, and that he doesn’t understand the concept of using a paintbrush yet.
Because at the end of the day, babies don’t keep.
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
—Ruth Hulburt Hamilton