Last week, I received news from a dear friend of mine that she’s pregnant. To say that I was thrilled for her is an understatement. I was just so so happy for her. It hasn’t been easy getting that little bun in the oven for her and it took me right back to those days when you were such a faraway dream. Those days of hankering, wanting, wishing, wondering. Those days of heartache and emotional upheavals.
I clearly remember holding you in my arms seconds after you were born. You were…so tiny. It did not register in my head that at that very moment, you made me a Mummy. Your mummy. I don’t think it really hit me until we left the hospital a couple of days later and for that, I blame the drugs and lack of sleep. The first few months went by in a blur and if I could, I wish I took more videos of your little gurgles and inhaled your baby scent that much more. Being a first-time mum meant that I was just focussed on getting through each day and keeping you alive.
Two days ago, you turned 2 years old. While everyone else was telling me about the Terrible Twos (or Terrific Twos, if they were really positive), I realise that it is easy to forget that just 2 years ago, you were an impossible dream.
It is easy to forget that long arduous journey. We forget as we get caught up in the daily grind of work and this thing called Life in General. We forget that before you came along, Daddy and Mummy, before we became Daddy and Mummy, were 2 beings standing strong together for each other. We could not crumble because if one did, how would the other go on? We wanted you way longer before you even existed.
These days, we scramble every morning to get everyone out of the house so that we can get to work on time. We give a cursory kiss to each other before Daddy rushes off to catch the bus to work. We barely chat at work because we are trying our best to finish our work so that we can be home with you early. I rush to get off work on time so that I can pick you up from your Ah Ma’s place. Is it tiring? Of course. Were there at any point at all when I wished for a split second that we were still childless and had the luxury of sitting on our sofas watching TVB dramas on loop? To be able to watch a movie whenever we wanted? To eat a meal leisurely?
Ok, I’d admit it. Sometimes, I do miss leisurely hot meals where Daddy and I can partake in conversation instead of wolfing down my food.
We never have, and never will, ever, regret our decision to have you. Despite the rush and and hectic schedule, we would not want it any other way. Some people have also remarked that we “only have 1 kid” so it’s “easier”. Maybe. But I don’t think just having “1 kid” makes it any less tiring or exhausting. Of course, we can farm you out to your doting grandparents and run off on date nights but honestly, we already spend so much time at work and away from you that the rest of the time we have left is oh so precious.
Now that you are 2 years old, we have been getting the “So when’s number 2?” question. I guess it’s expected, isn’t it? “One child is too lonely”, they cry. “Go have a girl”, they say. I am sure they come from a good place, with good intentions. But every single time someone tells me to “give you a sibling”, a tiny piece of my heart breaks.
It would be lovely if you had a sibling, dear Elliott. You are wonderful around other children. You smile in their faces (a bit too closely at times), you reach out to shake their hands (even when they don’t want to), and you even share your favourite toy car. We have seen you with babies and you are adoringly gentle with them. You stroke them gently, and insist on lying beside the baby.
But truth be told, this sibling business may come easy for everyone else but for us, for various reasons that I will tell you about when you are older, it is going to be challenging. So for now, we brush aside reckless comments thrown in my face about “going for #2” and will always remind myself that you are already our miracle child.
At 2 years old, you are becoming a little person. No longer a baby (sniff). We engage in conversation where you say little gems like “Mummy eat noodle” and “Bubu go swee-ming”. I wish I could record every little thing you say because you are going to grow up (big sniffs) and start speaking in proper sentences. You can also match pictures to the actual items and when praised for doing it correctly, you let out the biggest grin that fills my heart with unspeakable joy.
We do see shades of “Terrible Twos”. You get upset when things do not go your way. When we had your little birthday celebration at home, you cried – complete with big fat tears – when your grandparents left. You cried like it’s the end of the world but usually, in about 3 minutes of so, you stop as suddenly as you started. I marvel at how you can turn on and off the water taps so easily, my child.
Since my last note to you, we also celebrated your second Chinese New Year. Your Ah Ma made you practise saying “Gong Xi Fa Cai” and you sounds ridiculously adorable. You haven’t quite grasped the concept of ang pows but I can assure you that every single ang pow you received went into your fast-growing savings account.
In a couple of days, your routine will change. You will be starting school and it makes me a little weepy. Silly of me, I know. My gut feel tells me that you will enjoy the activities at school because you love hanging around other little people, as well as singing and dancing. But I also know that separation anxiety will hit and your cries of “Mummyyyyyy!” will make it very hard for me to turn and walk away. But I promise to try not to cry on your first day 🙂
And yes, you do love singing. We catch you singing nursery rhymes to yourself as you tinker with your toy cars, and sometimes, you even make up random songs on your own using familiar tunes. It is really cute to watch. When the mood hits, you also enjoy “dancing” vigorously to pop-ish tunes. I use the word “dancing” loosely as you are usually just a mess of tangled legs and arms.
You are still learning how to jump and hasn’t quite mastered the art of lifting your feet off the ground. But you try. “Jump! Jump!” you say, as you bend your knees and lift your arms. In your own time, my son. You will be jumping high one day.
I joke that you are my little monkey and you truly are. You are still loving your gym classes (that cost a small fortune) and would look forward to each weekend when you can hang from bars and walk on beams. I do look forward to accompanying you to gym classes because it is our special family time together.
On the eating front, you are now a little more adventurous and would like to try whatever we are eating. You still shun away from large pieces of meat and vegetables so we have to chop them up into tiny/soft pieces before you’d ingest them. You’re still a huge fan of “noodles” and will always want a couple of mouthfuls when you spot us having noodles.
You freely give out hugs, high-fives and even kisses to all and sundry but it makes me smile whenever you give me a kiss or call me “Mummy” (with a huge smile) randomly. I wish you’d remain my little baby forever but we all know that’s impossible. You’re growing well and for that, we are truly thankful.
Happy 24 months, my dear boy. We have now officially entered the
Terrible Terrific Twos. Here’s to more adventures!