Monday, October 25, 2010

The Papa Also Rises

Over a midnight snack of leftover pasta and iced tea, Tats told me how worried he felt about Nacho... particularly how he would fare around other kids.

We came from a rare get together with 3 of my bestest friends from college: Tams who has 2 kids, Mau who's a new mom and Ivy, a bride-to-be in two months. Nacho wreaked havoc in Mau's house, challenged Tams' maternal instincts and terrorized Ivy into wondering if she can handle the whole motherhood gig. He made no connection whatsoever with any of the other kids around.

Being the only grandkid from Tats' side of the family (where we deposit our son 2-4x/ week), Nacho is more used to playing with adults than with children. Previous encounters with older kids usually ended up with the bigger ones grabbing the toys and Nacho moving away to his own play area (usually the stairs). Tats explained to me how it breaks his heart to see our son get upended but also feels proud how he moves on unaffected.

My husband wants what we had with our respective siblings - primary happiness within the family circle that the rest becomes supplementary. He cites the protective shields of Ethan&Yaz, Lois&Carlos - it would be great for Nacho to have a brother or a sister but not yet anytime soon. Right now we want to fill him up with our undivided love until he has enough to share around.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Weaning and Losing

As a first-time mother, I occasionally try to pry myself from entertainment reading (fiction, food blogs and travel magazines) and take to child-rearing literature… apparently there are tons out there preying on a big market of insecure parents like me! No wonder parenting magazines command higher ad rates than the seemingly aggressive Playboy or Cosmo.

Out of all the information mish-mash, the one that struck me was about how “a parent should not control a child but should set a clear path so he doesn’t get lost”.

There are so many things my husband and I want for our son but first we need to narrow our list down to specific and achievable core values we want to develop in him and we identified; JUSTICE, which sums up how he should relate fairly to the people around him, and PRODUCTIVITY, because the good Lord intended for mankind to make full use of His gifts. I don’t have a blueprint for execution yet but what I am sure of is I have to have a strong sense of self first before I can set my son off to anything.

The opportunity for check and balance of “me” came in the form of some friends deciding to merge with two teams to be able to compete in the Camsur International Dragonboat Festival – it was the perfect opportunity to assess how I would fare away from the two most important men in my life.

At 14 months I still breastfed Nacho, the race was in two weeks and I had no intention of taking “dairy express” breaks so I decided that it was time to wean him. He’s fine with daytime formula feeding but evenings were “our” time so on the first attempt at independence he angrily pushed the bottle away and cried out in hunger. After two agonizing nights and four bottles of wasted milk, Nacho finally accepted his defeat and with it the formula I have learned to prepare in total darkness.

Lactation does not stop automatically so on the fourth night when I offered to feed Nacho to empty the tanks, a confused look crossed his face and he pushed me away, my eyes welled up… it was the most bitter success to an accomplished mission.

I know now that my son will have to break my heart with every step he takes towards becoming a man. So for him to grow strong… I have to be stronger.