Mothering Monica: Year Three

And the discoveries and milestones went on. My baby who used to just coo, cry, and laugh turned out to be an unstoppable chatterbox. Welcome to Year 3!

I remember enjoying this toddler stage so much. Everything Monica did and said were fascinating and amusing. I remember being so surprised at Monica’s words each day; words that turned to phrases and eventually sentences.

I remember Monica running around our condo amenities area; I remember her playing with her friends while I sit and watch with my fellow moms, too. I remember her going home with dirty feet and hands, sweaty but really happy.

I remember giving her just chicharon and rice, or, sabaw and rice, just so she would have “food” in her stomach. I remember this stage as the peak of her “problematic” eating habits (or so I thought).

I remember the first time our baby attended a “free trial” in school. I remember being so excited for Monica because we wanted her to develop some social skills. I remember leaving Monica on her “first day” of Day Care and got surprised because she did not even cry. I remember having my so-called “ME TIME” for the first time because Monica was left in school for an hour.

I remember us hoarding books for her. I remember Monica being so giddy whenever we visit a bookstore. I remember Monica trying to read and copy everything she sees in her book.

I remember Monica being sooooo interested about excavators, trucks, trains, even road signs. I remember her knowing different types of vehicles and eventually used it for her play. I remember getting Monica all sorts of toys that are related to cars. I remember hearing people say “Bakit nyo pinapayagan maglaro ng cars eh panlalaki yan?”

I remember working part time at night and some writing gig on the side. I remember pouring my heart out in every article I had. I remember patting myself on the back for doing everything at once. I remember being part of a mom community online. I remember being excited to share snippets of motherhood, product reviews.

I remember bringing the twinning moments to another level. It became part of who we are as a mother and child.

I remember breastfeeding Monica still day in day out. I remember wanting to wean her off but later on decided to just wait for her to do so.

I remember handing my phone over to Monica just so I could rest. I was so sick and all I needed was a little bit of sleep. I gave my phone to Monica to entertain her at least. I remember relying on gadgets just so I can breathe. Yes, this happened to us, too. I know how it feels.

I remember Monica being potty-trained in just a week! All it took was her readiness and a little bit of accident here and there.

I remember this year as another stage of trial and error, discoveries and victories. A lot has happened in Year Three, but when I try to recall, it feels like a blur. How come it went by in a flash and now it’s Year Four?

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Mothering Monica: Year Two

The newborn and infant stage went by quickly; one day you were rolling over, the next day you are everywhere.

“You can do it, Monica!” “Wow anak!” “What is this?” “Let me video you, anak. Can you say it again?” These are the words I remember saying in the whole toddler stage. Too many milestones, too many moments to cherish and keep in my heart. I may not recall all, but I have ones I’ll keep to my core.

I remember when you first walked, you were confident and fearless. It’s a moment your daddy and I will never forget. We both witnessed it and fortunately, documented it, too. It was a joy to watch you explore, tumble, and got back up on your own.

I remember you going up and down the bed with no help at all. I remember all your movements here and there, under and over. I remember the first time you went down the playground slide alone; my heart skipped a beat because I was too worried you’ll get hurt. But I remember not showing you how scared I was and just cheered you on. I remember the smile you gave me after as if you’re telling me “Mommy, I did it on my own!”

I remember talking to you every hour of the day; describing almost everything we see, hear, and feel. I remember how your words turned into phrases and later on turned into sentences. I remember you playing around with your books and pointing at each object you see. I remember your daddy reading books to you day in day out. I remember when you learned about letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. I remember feeling proud because “wow our daughter is so smart.”

I remember the first time you said “I love you”. It was music to my ears. I remember you enjoying Disney songs your daddy lovingly sang to you.

I remember the first time you used your imagination to play. I remember you choosing cars over dolls. I remember you getting fascinated with anything that moves. I remember you finding joy in watching baby shows.

I remember bringing you to playgrounds – indoor and outdoor. I remember having play dates. I remember you having fun with your “friends” and us parents, having fun, too! I remember meeting up my friends with you in tow. I remember going to the salon with you in a baby carrier. I remember doing everything with you in my arms.

I remember buying so many dresses and shoes for you. I remember spending Php2000 for your pair of shoes and yet spending Php300 for myself seemed a hard decision to make. Lol. I remember getting excited about our matchy clothes. I remember the first moments we went out in twinning outfits and have our photos taken by daddy. I remember our smiles — even if you probably did not understand.

I remember going on trips with you. We never had a helper and it was always just you, daddy, and I whenever we go malling or go to places. I remember bringing almost all our stuff when we went out of town. I remember bringing a bulky bag and a baby carrier each time. I remember bringing you to the grandparents and I remember the joy and smile on their faces. I remember the first jeepney and tricycle ride; the multiple Grab and Uber rides because we didn’t have a car.

I remember working at night after I put you to sleep only for you to wake up and continue sleeping on my lap.

I remember not just the beautiful days but also those that made me scream in exhaustion. I remember being SO SO SO stressed because you never liked eating. I remember being so envious of kids your age eating like a true champion whenever I saw them on social media. I remember trying every method I learned in feeding you; offering every food I came cross with. I remember being hard on myself, blaming myself for raising a picky-eater child. I was so down because all you wanted was to breastfeed from me and not eat anything I wanted you to eat. I remember all those days when I thought I was not doing good enough.

I remember your daddy and I finally getting better at adjusting as a married couple with a kid. I remember appreciating all his efforts instead of competing with him. I remember being resentful on days that I was so tired without acknowledging the long hours he put into his work, too. But I also remember the day when I finally realized that we are both doing our best. I remember praising your daddy for his efforts and I remember him praising me more.

Year Two was all about discovery, milestones, acknowledgements, and lessons. It’s a manifestation of God’s love in letting us witness a life so precious unfold each day. And in just a blink of an eye, Year Three is saying “hi!”

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