Mothering Monica: Year Four

The words you say now all make sense; you express what you feel, you say what you want. What a feisty yet sweet little girl you are turning to be.

I remember your first day in school as an official student, not “saling-pusa” anymore. I was nervous but you were confident – happy and excited. Never a trace of separation anxiety.

I remember celebrating your 3rd birthday in school which you vividly remember till this day – the Jollibee chickenjoy, the Red Ribbon cake with traffic signs as toppers, the birthday song from your classmates.

I remember feeling a bit frustrated because you never liked doodling, coloring, or even touching your pencil. I remember feeling a bit jealous about other kids your age because they color oh so fine. But I remember stopping myself from feeling the pressure and instead wait for you to be ready. I remember you writing on your own a month after your 3rd birthday. And you did it without any help at all. I remember that day so well; you held your pencil and paper and wrote the word CHEESE — just copying what you saw from a chips wrapper.

I remember feeling so ecstatic because you finally learned how to write. And since that day, you were unstoppable. You hated tracing letters and numbers but were always game to write freestyle.

I remember the first time you read sight words. You were 3 years and 2 months old. I purposely did not mind it because I know kids tend to memorize fast especially words they are familiar with. But deep inside, I remember feeling so proud. I remember you finally reading for real at 3 years and 6 months — from simple sentences to long paragraphs. I remember you reading 5 books a night and you just won’t stop. I remember getting a lot of questions from others on how we taught you how to read and all I could say was “we just let her.”

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I remember all the school activities we attended. You became more confident in front of many people. You were not scared to dance and sing. You were not a very assertive child but you know how to express how you feel and what you want. I remember you being friendly to almost anyone you played with. I remember you being sensitive when someone is happy or sad.

I remember taking you out to a lot of Mommy and Monica dates. We would eat out, play around, window shop, try on clothes, ride Grab or jeepney together. You and I were always together. I remember going to the coffee shop with you; I will finish my article and you will color and play on your own. I remember bringing you to palengke or supermarket and you will just smile ‘to people we’ve come across with. I remember taking you to events, you would just behave and let mommy “work” while you play.

I remember having a much longer time for myself whenever I go out because I can already leave you with daddy without you making a fuss. I remember you being okay not to breastfeed for a max of 6 hours and just play with daddy the whole time.

I remember how our family would always go to the mall, but this time, no more stroller or carrier for you. I remember you walking in the mall like a big girl already. I remember bringing you to toy stores and allowing you to play but not buying everything you want. And I remember you being okay with that. I remember bringing you to the cinema. I remember the Frozen fever. I remember family dates, either just us three, or with another family.

I remember this year, we have successfully eliminated the use of gadget after almost a year of being a slave to it. It was not a good influence at all so we decided to cut it out completely and the result was amazing. You’ve never thrown a tantrum, your focus improved, and your imagination was superb.

I remember so many accomplishments and milestones this year and so are the kulit and away moments. You’re still a child and sometimes you test my patience so bad. But I remember you saying you love me as if I never shouted at you. You would still embrace me even after getting into a fight with you.

I remember having so many plans for the summer and your 4th birthday but the pandemic happened. The great outdoors suddenly became a threat to people especially to kids like you. I remember feeling bad about this but we had no choice but follow. We maximized what we have inside our small home. Every corner was utilized just so you not feel left out. Thankfully, you understood what’s going on but my heart still aches because we want you to have fun outside. All of a sudden, we’re forced to stay home and not meet our families and friends. It was hard for adults, more so for kids. I felt like you were robbed of your childhood but you thrived. You never whined, you never complained. You went with the flow. That’s how you maintained your glow.

I remember this year when I thought it was all just about read and write, but with the things that happened, you proved that you’re more than just that. And in just a snap, we will be entering Year Five.

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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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Happy 3rd Birthday Monica

#DearMonica

Happy 3rd birthday anak!

Celebrating you today and everyday as you’ve been a constant source of joy and pride to your daddy and I. Forever you will be, remember that.

It’s been three years of being with you 24/7. I guess I have taught you a lot of things but you have no idea how much I’ve changed because of what I learned from you.

You taught me how to do multiple things all at once and even though I get tired often, I get things done. All because of you. Because you are the reminder that I have to go on.

I know I lose my cool often and sometimes I forget that you are just a child but you’ve never shown me remorse, instead, you still cling to me and look at me as if I am the only one you need.

Anak, they say I make motherhood look so easy, but they don’t know it’s all you who makes it look and feel that way.♥️

Daddy and I love you so much anak.

Love,
Mommy

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#DearMonica

#DearMonica,
A year ago, I gave birth to you. For one whole year, I breastfed you, nourished you, took care of you 24/7. There were times that I cried because of exhaustion, depression, and loneliness. You see, motherhood is something new to me. And I am learning everyday. And though I prepared for this, I feel that I am still lost at times.
Anak, it’s not easy but you are worth it. All the sleepless nights, body pains, messy days, and more are nothing compared to the happiness you bring to our lives.
Yes I gave birth to you. But you have also given birth to a better version of myself. I never thought I could do the things I am doing, now that I am mother. Anak this is the best of me, this is my happiest. I know it’s only been a year but it feels more than that.
Thank you for all your smiles and giggles. For your contagious laughter and sweet hugs. Thank you for your kisses.
Happy 1st Birthday, our Monica.
I love you anak, sobra.
Love,
Mommy, 24 June 2017
 
PS: I would not have survived the first year if not for a very supportive and loving husband and daddy. I love you Beejay.
 
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