At 18 months, the Lil One started to show signs of new emotions. One night while the dad and I were washing her as part of bedtime preparation and we told her to stay still, she surprised (and baffled) us when she for the first time frowned her face, then tears welled up in her eyes, her eyes turn around the corners as if trying to look up, and then silently cries. I guessed the feeling of embarrassment/sulkiness has been newly introduced to her innocent heart.
This occurs at rare occasions when new (or even old) things seem to upset her and stimulate new emotions within her or perhaps, finally, she is now fully aware of her environment and how it can stir up emotions within her. For example, she’sd show off something and after not getting our attention, she’d burst into this silent ball of tears. Or when she’s being reprimanded. This kind of reaction is new for us for if she is upset or troubled, she immediately at a whim holds her breath for long (long enough her lips start to turn near blue), then lets out a big scream at the top of her lungs with fat tears dropping from her eyes. Now it has turned the opposite.
At 19 months, it still shows continually: once when her dad walked her to the grocery aisles and thought she was being reprimanded for having to walk, once when a toy was taken away from her. It shows continually until we realize our firstborn, our precious Lil One is growing up emotionally. Sometimes we are careful not to upset her and when she starts to show signs of embarrassment/ sulkiness, we try to make her laugh and entertain her even unto the parents’ folly.
For some strangers, they find it cute. I for one admit it is sometimes cute until I’d see those big fat tears again it makes me want to cry too. Oh a mother’s heart! Once we were in a furniture shop, she was cheerfully and laughingly playing in one of the sofas while the dad and I were talking to the saleslady. Perhaps realizing she’d been playing for a long time alone or she suddenly was stricken again with an anxiety of strangers aka the saleslady, she suddenly stopped playing, turned her back on us, became silent, and then I knew she’s on it again. Her frown, stares, and tears afterward say it all. I explained to the sales lady why the Lil bub is crying all of a sudden and said that was ‘cute’. I again admit it really is. Except for the tears. At mother’s instinct, I scoop her in my arms and want to squeeze this cute little bub in my heart. Oh how innocent and how mundane it may seem to us adults, but for little hearts, all these emotions are new and very real to them.
Also starting at 18 months, she has started to show shyness and anxiety of strangers. I first noticed this when there was a party held in the house we were temporarily staying. There were a lot of new faces, new voices, new approaches. At situations like this, she would normally not mind, would play, would simply look at strangers. But that time, she buried her face in my chest never wanting to let go of my hold. Many wanted to talk to this little girl. But the little girl simply ate fried chicken while burying her face in my or her father’s arms. Alas when she saw the little sons of one of the visitors, she started playing with them, running, and staring at their faces, even wanted to go home with them! The worries and joys of motherhood!
I say worries because it is normal for mothers to worry. But I feel deep in my heart, she’s gonna be fine. I have entrusted her to the Mother of mothers, there’s no room for baseless worries and scruples. Shyness is perfectly normal at her age. But oh boy, when she’s around people she knows, she is one big ball of playfulness, laughter and cheers.
And yes I say joy, for the joy is overwhelming. Last night, when I say ‘Where’s papa?’ she pointed to her father. When I asked where mama is, she pointed to me. When I asked where ‘baby’ is, she pointed at herself. Such simple but overwhelming joy. There’s no other place I’d rather be. Motherhood. They say motherhood entails countless sacrifices. Indeed it is true. But it does not feel sacrifice out of sorrow. The sacrifice is the happiness itself. BUT there are hardships and difficulties. That’s for sure.
At 19 months, the Lil One keeps winning my heart over and over again. And friends’ and strangers’ too. Sometimes while waiting for a train and killing time, we let her dance her favorite song ‘wind the bobbin up’ or ‘if you’re happy and you know it’ then she would perform the actions mentioned in the song. Strangers would sometimes take a glimpse at this dancing bub and remark how cute she is. Some not wanting to attract attention would steal glances and smile on their own. Yes, my Lil One, you have made a lot of people smile. You make your mother so proud.
I really hope you grow up to be how we want you to be. Ultimately that is you love God with all of your heart, mind, and soul.
Happy 19 months my darling. From the very first time I saw and heard your heartbeat in the ultrasound, my life has never been the same again. Beautifully never the same again. Love you with all of mine.