Lucas turned two last March. It was also his second birthday in quarantine (let me rephrase that — he has never had a “normal” birthday!). Again, it was just us, his ate, and some of our guys who were bubbled in our compound. We had a simple Pinoy celebration, complete with a sorbetes cart, pancit, lumpia, and Goldilocks cake. The little fella ran around while eating ice cream. He was so happy.
For dinner, we dressed up the house a bit for a Cars-themed meal. The boy loves Disney’s Cars now and adores Lightning McQueen. He also likes seeing fireworks (he calls “toktok” for paputok) so I bought mini sparklers for his cake and Dragon fireworks which we lit up after dinner. He was so happy.
This birthday is different. I’m sure Lucas still doesn’t understand the concept of birthdays, but I think he knew we were celebrating something that day. Only means that we don’t have a baby anymore. You know when moms say, “please don’t grow up too fast?” I don’t say that. I want Lucas to grow up at the right pace. Sometimes, I’m even guilty of wishing him to grow up faster, to hit milestones sooner. I check myself, but it’s really because I’m excited to see all the amazing things I know he’ll do one day. Mama’s here, I always tell him. I’ll always be here to watch and silently applaud and encourage him.
But today, I choose to reminisce the moments I’ve had with him as a baby. Before I officially close that chapter of my life, I want to put into words those precious memories I’ll never get back. Because the boy is growing up too fast, and it’s alright.
Here are 5 things I miss about having baby:
- Baby Smell. Ahh. This. Babies smell like a warm glass of vanilla-flavored milk on a cold, rainy afternoon. I wish I could bottle his baby scent to remind me of new mommy bliss. Now, my toddler smells like a real boy!
- Breastfeeding. I’ve missed this since he was 5 months old, when he just stopped and refused my milk. We tried re-lactating, but we weren’t successful. While having him weaned early does have its perks, I sometimes yearn for that special bonding only I can have with my son. SOMETIMES. ;-)
- Bath Time. Bath time used to be a relaxing routine. I put him on the tub’s net, we’d with bubbles, and then I’d dry him off with his towel. And then I’d massage him with honey-scented baby oil. Sometimes I’d sing him a tune. Now, bath time is a constant tug of war. Lucas hates bath time. He hates water. I think he takes after a cat! So now that he’s mobile, he’d refuse bath times until I get frustrated, and when he finally concedes, he’d be so scared of the water that he would thrash around and get me wet!
- Being able to hold him all the time. Sure, I’m happy Lucas is now walking and slowly becoming his own person. But sometimes, I miss that first few months when I was all he ever needed, for everything. I often marvel at how much he’s grown, and distinctly remember that I used to be able to carry him in one arm. Now I think he’s grown four times his newborn size!
- Waiting for the first words. And all the small firsts. The first time he said “Mama,” the first time he sat up, the first roll over, the first crawl, the first step. All these firsts are so precious. I hope I won’t ever forget them.
I’ve already packed and given away Lucas’ baby clothes. I may have kept a few for the sake of nostalgia, but I’m also really glad that the infant part is over. Maybe I’d be more sentimental if I’m younger, but I’m a middle-aged first-time mom. I’m so glad to call it a wrap!
Here are 5 things I definitely DON’T miss about having a baby:
- All that puke. The only time a baby doesn’t smell like an angel is when he’s covered in puke. And boy, Lucas was a puker. At one point, he vomited with so much projectile that I panicked and took him to the ER!
- All that heavy carrying. Going back to what I said about missing the feeling of holding him all the time–OKAY, maybe not all the time. He’s gotten so huge and heavy that I’m so relieved he’s now walking on his own!
- Waking up every 2 hours at night to feed. This may be the most challenging struggle I ever faced as a first-time mother. Late-night feedings, waking up every two hours in the middle of the night. I seriously thought it would go on forever. For moms still in this stage, hang in there. It will be over. Not before you know it, but soon.
- Wet poop and excessive diaper changes. We’re still not fully potty trained, but we’re getting there. We’ve definitely lessened our baby wipes consumption, and I can’t wait for the time when I don’t have to spend for diapers anymore!
- Baffling cries. I’m glad Lucas is also more expressive and communicative now. He says dede when he wants milk, poo-poo when he needs a diaper change, and he identifies what he wants. He can also effectively say if something’s ouchie, and WHY it’s ouchie. Bump head, bump knee, bump toe…Things are no longer a guessing game for us and we are less frustrated. I think he was most frustrated around 16 months, when he was already starting to want things but couldn’t say them. As a result, he would have tantrum bouts and I was always at my wit’s end. I am so relieved we passed this stage!
Hug them extra tight tonight, Mamas. They really do grow up too fast. As they should. But we could always have the memories. <3