It’s one o’clock in the afternoon. The Lil One is taking her usual afternoon nap. Lying on her left side, her right chubby arms become more pronounced. Her hair covers her eyes and her cheeks are at their usual roundness. ‘She’s a year old now. If I were still breastfeeding her, now would probably be the proper time to wean her. Nah. Perhaps until she’s two.’
An hour later, she woke up. I left to buy groceries while my mom babysits. As i was in the milk section about to get the formula milk I usually buy for her, i said to myself ‘My baby is a year old now. I should be looking for the formula milk intended for one year old. Wew. This milk is cheaper. And the instructions say feeding is 2-3 times per day only. I should give her more solid foods this time. I’ll go get some meat, fruits and vegetables then.’
At home, while I was washing her baby bottles, i said to myself, ‘She’s one year old now. I should probably start using the sipping cup, or any regular cup. I hope she’d learn to like those kind of cups this time.’
And i was suddenly taken aback by own thoughts. I felt a subtle ache in my heart as those thoughts escaped from the deepest recesses of my brain. Yes, indeed she’s a year old now. So long newborn and infant stage. Hello toddlerhood. I can’t seem to say it loud. Toddlerhood.
‘My baby is still a baby, right?’ Though more often she is always on her feeble yet tenacious attempts to walk, self-feed, and express herself. ‘But still, my baby is still a baby,’ the sentimental mother in me protested.
What an amazing and challenging year it has been for her, and for me as well. As she was growing through those twelve months, I too was growing, learning, and thriving amidst all the euphoria and struggles. And i’m grateful more than ever to see my child’s first year before my eyes. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s a parcel of time that is forever etched in my heart.
If you perceive time from then to now, you could say ‘how time flew so fast’ or ‘it only seems yesterday’. Yet when you are in the actual moment, oh how time moves so slow, wrecking your excitement and patience levels. You see, you were pregnant for nine months yet every single day seems a drag as to when you can finally meet your Lil One. Seeing her in the ultrasound monitor is enough to make you elated for another week or month.
Then you finally give birth and every single day seems like a drag as to when she can finally walk, talk, and eat. And when she finally can, you wonder where did the time go. ‘Phew, how time flew so fast’ you would say ironically.
It’s 10 o’clock in the evening and she’s gently biting my nose, mouthing its edges and licking the bridge. She’s making her magic laugh now… shallow, short-breathed, or can i say a laugh that sounds like pretentious and content to making her mother gasp. This child is a wonder. Then she reached to pinch my right jaw. ‘Oh no, not the pimple honey’, I said. Then she reached for my chin. ‘Ouch.’ Too late.
‘Let’s sleep, darling.’ Then she suddenly arises and tosses around. Maybe she thought this bed is another playground, eh? She’s a year old now and her sleeping habits hasn’t changed still. This child is a wonder, indeed. And i felt at ease with the familiar and mysteriously happy with the moment. ‘Let’s slow down going to toddlerhood, shall we? I still want your infant stage. Your newborn stage flew by so quickly, and for awhile, ended at my absence due to my work abroad.’ So I’m still holding on to this infant stage a little longer where you are still a baby, technically and physically. Let me hold on. A little longer. Pretty please.