The “Yaya” Struggle

So my two household help (I shall refer to them as “kasambahays” from here on out) arrived today and I lost it. I was able to keep it together until we stopped for gas and then the waterworks started. Up until that point, I was actually awash with relief that finally, we had found kasambahays to take care of our house and our son while we were away at the office. I was secretly looking forward to date nights and more peaceful trips to the mall. But that feeling of giddy anticipation was quickly replaced by fear the moment the two girls set foot inside our home. Suddenly, all my biggest, bleakest worries surfaced. All those horrible news about children, as young as 1 year old (which happens to be my son’s age) being abused by maids blared in my head. An image of my son languishing in front of the T.V. all day or falling down the stairs flashed before my eyes. Dude, I was so distraught, I forgot to bring with me my newly purchased Owl Instant Coffee which I had been looking forward to enjoying today and had been, ironically, making mental notes not to forget to bring to the office (total bummer).Basically all the worst case scenarios became clear as day when I realized there really is no turning back. The kasambahays are here and I am going to have to completely entrust my beloved baby to these people who look innocent enough with their wispy frame and shy demeanor but could be actual psychopaths capable of unspeakable acts….

Whoa.whoa..whoa. Allow me to calm myself down for a second before I continue….

Okay. I’m good. Where were we?..Oh yeah, that part about my kasambahays being psychopaths capable of unspeakable acts of atrocity. Great.

Now, I am fairly certain I am not the only mother who feels the same way. After all, nobody ever thinks the worst things can happen to them until..well, they do and all that could be done is to suffer the damage wreaked. And it is also not wrong to distrust strangers, especially when the people we love are involved. But what truly terrorizes me is the aftermath of whatever treachery or honest mistake my kasambahays might make. I watch my son every day and my heart flutters when he runs around exploring his surroundings with the fascination of someone experiencing everything for the first time. His innocence is the light that brightens our lives and the thought of it being snuffed out scares me more than anything. I can handle getting hurt, I mean, I’ve been through some dismal s**t in my life but the one ordeal I may not be strong enough to handle is my son’s innocence stripped off prematurely and harshly by abuse or neglect. I can take all the crap life pelts me with but if my son had to take it, I just wouldn’t know what to do.

When I started tearing up in the car, my husband offered his sympathies despite his obvious discomfort and confusion (for some reason, a woman crying always renders men helpless). Just like any man would, he tried to refute my fears through cold, hard logic. I love him, and he’s 90% right, but at that moment I wanted to punch him in the nuts. I already know I sound ridiculous and the last thing I need is to be reminded of that. It’s like being told I have a pimple on my nose. It’s on my fu***ng nose and it’s the first thing I  see every time I look in the mirror so yeah, thanks for the heads up, genius.

But I digress….

My husband wanted me to feel better and I appreciate that but I may need some time. I wish I had the choice to stay home with my baby. I wish I had superpowers so I can be at 10 places all at once. I wish I can always watch and protect my child so he wouldn’t know pain and confusion and fear…yet. But none of those things are even remote possibilities for me. So I literally have no choice but to let go. Lately, I have been praying to God to grant me kind kasambahays who will love my boy as much as I love him because I understand that this is all I could do. Every morning before we leave the house, and as we drive to work, all I could do would be to whisper a prayer to God to please cloak my son with his protective embrace so no harm shall befall him. Every afternoon when we clock out and drive home,all I have is a prayer that my son will be the same effervescent toddler that he was yesterday. I pray that whatever happens, my son will be safe and his light will continue to shine. I pray because, really, that’s all you could do in situations like this. And maybe God shakes His head in disbelief  because for all His wisdom and omnipotence, He cannot believe the ridiculousness my brain farts out. But He understands. He understands that He cannot give me a great, wonderful, precious blessing and expect me to just enjoy it. And as warped as it sounds, I need to worry about all the potential disasters that could go down  until my brain explodes because, you know, LOVE.

If you are waiting for an insight then I have to tell you, I have none. I’m as scared as I was when I started writing this post. But I suppose, THAT could be the insight. That fear is part and parcel of parenthood, if not life itself. At times, it is our impetus, that nudge we need to step up and do something for the preservation of all that we love and cherish in this life. And yeah, I could do without fear but maybe if I were bereft of fear, I wouldn’t feel the love I have for my son as intensely as I do. I would not feel so strongly about protecting all the things that matter to me if I weren’t afraid of losing them. And in effect, I would not value them as much if not for the fear of their absence. So yeah, fear, in its own weird way, is good for us. I’m sure my fear is only going to make me more vigilant and courageous in the face of whatever scary, nerve-wracking event transpires. And the best way to handle my fear (so that it doesn’t screw me up completely) is to move on from being a cowering fool to a no-nonsense mother who will not, I repeat, will not take your shit lying down.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to look up toddler self-defense lessons online…

Regards,

Scared Shitless Mom

Baby No. 2, Am I Ready For You?

    Hold your horses.

    I ain’t in the family way…Yet.

 But I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought about it lately. I’ve neither seriously contemplated nor broached the subject with my husband ( save for some random, PMS-instigated SMS professions of wanting another child) because it remains at the bottom of our priorities. But, on occasion, I feel pangs of longing  for another child. And I must admit, my resistance to the idea of being a mom a second time is not as palpable as it was a couple of months ago. If you asked me why I seem so enticed by the premise of another child when, not too long ago, I seemed so put off by it, I’d be hard-pressed to give just one definite answer. I mean, why DO I want another kid? More importantly, should I have another kid at this point in my life?

I suppose,  I’m  having such a blast with my first born that the idea of having another little runt with whom to rough house is just so tempting. Also, witnessing a human being evolve is the most magical thing in the world and getting to watch it all over again is a pretty exciting prospect. Like lifetime free passes to Disneyland!

 I reckon my desire for another kid can also be chalked up to  the  fact that after a year, we’re finally about to move out and transfer to our new house. Living with my parents is a blessing, sure, but nothing beats having your own space and taking control of that space. And it’s not only the extra room to run around that makes it conducive to having another kid but also the freedom to make decisions that I’m constrained against doing  now as deference to the owners of the house we live in: my parents. Don’t  get me wrong, it’s not like we’re being stifled by my parents but the dynamic is just different. And as a mother and wife, I want to be able to call the shots without worrying if I’m, in any way, overstepping boundaries.

Or maybe I just want  a do-over. God has been so good to us and my child is steadily progressing, so far, but if I could, I’d do some things during and after my first pregnancy a little differently. Granted, I never did or felt anything a first time mom wouldn’t  do or feel (i.e.  worrying constantly , perpetually not knowing what the hell to  do etc.) but I just wish I could’ve enjoyed the pregnancy and prepared a bit more for all the stuff that happens after. Case in point, my breastfeeding struggles. When I was pregnant, I was so fixated on just basically keeping my unborn baby safe that I didn’t even consider what I needed to do after I’d given birth. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that per se, but I cannot help but wonder if I would have been able to exclusively feed my child breastmilk if I learned more about the process prior to giving birth. Thank God, my child is faring well otherwise, I’d still be beating myself up about my “breastfeeding fails”. So,wanting another child, is partly due to that itch for a “perfect pregnancy” or at least my own version of it.i

Now,it’s not really a question of whether or not I truly want another child, because I do. What I need to establish is if I am in the right headspace to have another child. After all, 9 months of gestation is pretty much peanuts compared to a lifetime of regret and well…..prison visits.  So, how do I ascertain if baby no. 2 is a go? I really don’t know.

This is where I say, it’s God’s call. Because it really is his call to make, not mine or my husband’s. We may decide that we’re ready but if God believes we are not, then it’s not going to happen. And we should be so thankful that God intervenes and averts potentially disastrous decisions because if we always had latitude to do things our way, can you imagine all the stupid stuff we’d regret in the end? I remember, before having my first-born, how angry and frustrated I got every time I failed to get pregnant. I’d sulk and complain about how unfair it was that I can’t get pregnant when all the other women I knew made it seem so easy. I even lashed out at God. Yes, I did. I LITERALLY screamed at the high heavens because I couldn’t get a baby in my belly.So it’s sort of funny, that when I did become a mom, I found myself asking God why he chose me to be someone’s mother when I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. God must have been exasperated with me. I thought I needed a baby right away because that’s the natural order of things. You get hitched, you get knocked up. There’s no waiting period otherwise, you’re a failure. Now, I’m constantly learning that God wasn’t punishing me by making me wait because motherhood is HARD, y’all.

 Just to be clear, I love my son so much that no matter how challenging it has been to raise him properly, I wouldn’t want it any other way. But I was so fixated on my need to be a mother then that I neglected all the other great things in my life; like my husband and our freedom to go out and do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. In retrospect, I should’ve just enjoyed my pre-parenthood phase and allowed God’s plan to take their natural course. Then, maybe I wouldn’t miss that lost time so much and simultaneously feel guilty for doing so. Maybe I’d be the kind of mom my son deserves now if I had been kinder to myself then.

So yeah, I do want a do-over. If I’m going to have another child, I want it to be God’s sole decision. When it feels right, we’ll start trying and leave the rest up to Him. I refuse to treat having another baby as just another goal to tick off my list rather than the fun, exhilarating journey that it should be and miss out on anything. I ‘m going to go out on more dates with my husband. I’m going to make sure the time I spend with my son is time he will immensely enjoy. We will go on road trips and have movie nights at home. We’re sometimes going to have pizza for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. I will have “me-times” and I am going to savor them. We’re going to take countless pictures and I am going to pore over them every chance I get. We will make memories so beautiful that when my son is 40 years old with children of his own, he will look back at his childhood and his eyes will light up  the same way they did when he was a little boy, and mom and dad pretended to be zombies chasing after him.

I will relish every memory we make and exalt ourselves for the smallest triumphs (like leaving for work without waking up our kid) and then when God finally says, “Yep, they’re ready.”, the new addition to our little family will be born into this world and the first thing he will see is three beaming faces, gazing at him with a world of love in their eyes, as if to say, “Hey there little one, are you ready for the ride of your life?”

 

🙂

Good Mom, Bad Wife

Before my husband and I got married, I was all over him. I was exactly the girlfriend that I used to be repulsed by. I was clinging to my man with a tarsier’s resolute grip. I enjoyed every single minute of our togetherness. When we got married, the passion was even more enkindled by our independence. We could do whatever, whenever.

And then came our baby boy.

When I found out I was pregnant, we were ecstatic. I mean, it was what we had always wanted. A little family of our own. We knew it was going to change our lives. We just didn’t know how much and in exactly what ways.

So there we were, 9 months later. We were basking in the bliss of new parenthood. But the excitement was not to endure.I’ve read many a testimony stating what a great blessing parenthood is,  despite the difficulty. And we couldn’t agree more but I must have overlooked the part where new moms find themselves feeling detached from their husbands because I did not prepare for the toll this wonderful blessing, this gift from heaven, took on our relationship.

Let me clarify that I am only speaking from my perspective. Far be it from me to assume my husband felt the same way but I’m fairly confident he noticed the stark difference in our relationship subsequent to the birth of our first child. The stress of moving back in with my parents, the obligatory sleepless nights, a bout of horrible eczema, breastfeeding challenges and hormonal surges was all too much. Suddenly, I couldn’t stand him. Our kisses felt perfunctory and our conversations were stale and sparse. Intimacy was out of the question, especially for me. I was not attracted to this man any more. When I looked at him, all I could see were his flaws and how sub par he is as a dad. I had neither the  interest nor the energy to attend to his needs. And when I construed his requests  as selfish demands for my attention, I resented him more.From my vantage point,there was a cloud of dissatisfaction looming over our marriage. Meanwhile, I was crazy about my son. Caring for him was my life now and I simply could not describe the love I had for him. But it was that same love for my son that depleted the love I had for his father.

Essentially, I  was a good mom, but a bad wife.  Parenthood has taken over our lives and while neither of us would ever want a childless marriage, I was secretly pining for the old us.

In a research published in a WebMD article entitled, ” Kids can Make a Beautiful Marriage Ugly”, it was found that the “birth of children has an immediate negative impact on even blissfully happy couples, raising stress and reducing satisfaction levels”. The researchers of said study, Brian Doss, PhD.of Texas A&M University, Galena Rhodes, PhD., Scott Stanley,PhD and Howard Markman, PhD. of the University of Denver,

“studied 218 young couples , 132 of which had their first child in the first eight years of marriage and 86 who had no children. Marital satisfaction declined in both groups, but more suddenly among those who had children. There was a significant decrease in marital satisfaction for both men and women after the birth of a child. Sudden increases in problem intensity and poor conflict management, and decreases in relationship confidence, were seen in mothers after birth; a sudden decrease in relationship dedication was seen in fathers. In the couples without children, declines in marital satisfaction occurred gradually over time.”

Another article, featured in psychcentral.com, cite the 3 relationship pitfalls that married couples face upon the arrival of their child. Among the three pitfalls that include sleep deprivation and lack of intimacy, the most prevalent problem among couples appear to  be the division of labor. “Resentments inevitably peak when one partner feels like they’re tackling more tasks and working harder.” Psychotherapist Joyce Marter, LCPC, was quoted in the article saying that couples ” ‘may compare and become competitive or defensive about their responsibilities, schedules or the pros and cons of their work or role.’ ”  Marter also says, “‘They may glorify each others’ positions.’ A stay-at-home dad might think his wife’s day at work is filled with swanky business lunches, interesting projects and a quiet commute, while he’s dealing with temper tantrums and dirty diapers. His wife might imagine him playing, cuddling and connecting with their child while she deals with a difficult boss, endless deadlines and concerns over job security.’ She adds that ” ‘ when an issue like who is going to do the laundry comes up, the misunderstandings have created an environment ripe for conflict.’ ” 

So much for children enhancing  a relationship, huh? Kidding! I mean, children are not to blame, of course, but the inherent changes in having them can precipitate discord and dissatisfaction in marriages, as I have so experienced. I can totally relate to feeling that my husband is shirking his fatherly duties every time he tells me he needs to do something else or he can’t go straight home from work even for legitimate reasons. Naturally, sleep deprivation and crazy hormones only exacerbate my outrage at my husband’s illogically perceived infractions. And if I may speak for my husband, he probably also resents that he is made to feel guilty about the most innocuous things and that his love for our son and dedication to his new role are constantly questioned.

And to think roughly 2 years ago, we were professing our undying love for each other. Yikes.

Nonetheless, it’s a relief to know that this is common place and that my husband and I are not alone in our struggles. But if we are determined to raise a well-adjusted son who functions well in relationships as well as on his own, then the hubby and I need to shape up. After all, the best gift we can provide our child is a strong, loving marriage that will serve as his yardstick for future relationships. I shudder to think what kind of man my boy will be if all he sees growing up are mommy and daddy stewing in a festering pot of disdain and exasperation.

In a 2003 article entitled, “Staying Lovers While Raising Kids”, Philip Cowan, PhD.,and his wife Carolyn Cowan, PhD., both professors of Psychology, were interviewed about how couples can sustain happiness in their relationship and, in effect, their children. In response to the question about how some parents remain happily married, Dr. Philip Cowan said that “‘ the key to  marital satisfaction lies in how couples manage the decision-making process. It’s not whether the couples have problems, because every couple does. But when babies come along, there are a lot more issues and differences of opinion to negotiate,and a couple’s ability to do so with cooperation and respect can make or break a marriage.’ ” Dr. Cowan also posits that ” ‘It’s also important for partners to hear each other’s outbursts without immediately firing back or engaging in blame ‘.”  Dr. Philip Cowan also shares the following astute tidbits in effectively hashing out conflicts:

  1. “‘ Work on issues when you’re calm–not at 2:00 am when the baby won’t sleep. Often after couples have had a fight, they’re reluctant to bring up the issue again. But if you don’t, it can linger and resentment can build.’ “
  2. ” ‘If you argue in front of your kids, tell them later that you worked out your disagreement or show them that you did by calming yourselves down in front of them.’ “
  3. ” ‘Make time for the relationship. You may not be able to afford a sitter or be ready to leave your baby but you can check in with each other for at least 10 minutes everyday. That can be done after you put the kids to bed or even on the phone while you’re both at work, as long as you’re sharing what happened to you that day and how it’s affecting you emotionally.’ 

Essentially, it’s all about staying  a team amidst all the challenges. It’s not the absence of problems  but the ability to overcome them that will fortify the marriage and, in the process, make spouses better parents. Perfect individuals don’t constitute a great marriage but individuals who are both willing to stick it out, even when that proverbial spark has died out for the time being.

Now, my husband and I still have a long way to go. There are still days when I’m too exhausted to care about his needs or to even ask him about his day. Days when we both feel frustrated and tuckered out still abound. But then , while we’re in the middle of a particularly bad spot, I remember that day when he rushed home to me after, in a state of utter desperation, I told him I was at my wit’s end because our baby won’t stop crying and my eczema was at it’s worst. I remember the efforts he continues to make to please my parents and prove that he is as good a father to their grandson as he is a husband to their daughter. I remember him dancing, jumping around and engaging in all sorts of tomfoolery just to get a laugh out of his little boy. I remember those days and I realize what a great man I married. And though life overwhelms us sometimes, it does not diminish our commitment to our marriage and our child.  There will always be bumps in the road, but we’re just gonna have to hurdle them together. And if either one of us stumbles to the ground, we’ll pick each other up and proceed.

And though we feel like strangling each other sometimes, there’s really no one else in the world we’d rather strangle. Now, isn’t that sweet? :-p

See ya.

References:

Doss, B., Rhoades,G., Stanley,S. & Markman, H. Study: marital satisfaction takes a dive when baby arrives”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.  Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com-relationships/news/20090414/kids-can-make-a-beautiful-marriage-ugly

Kruger,P.[Interviewer], Cowan,P. [Interviewee] Cowan,CP.[Interviewee]. (2003).Staying Lovers While Raising Kids [Interview Transcript]. Retrieved from http://www.parents.com/parenting/relationships//staying-close/staying-lovers-while-rasining-kids1/

Tartakovsky,M. 3 relationship pitfall when entering parenthood and pointers to help. PsychCentral. Retrieved from psychcentral.com/lib/3-relationship-pitfalls-when-entering-parenthood-pointers-to-help/

 

My Favorite Shows (Sorry books.)

Being a mom to a rambunctious 1 year old means keeping my eyes trained on him at all times lest that I look away for one second and he hurts himself from all the climbing, running around and whatever new motor skill he’s discovered (which by the way, happens a lot now). My downtime is normally when he’s asleep and this doesn’t allow for relaxing activities that take a long time (e.g. massages, mani/pedis, trips abroad..hehe). And the most viable form of relaxation I can manage to sneak in on my “mommy breaks” is to watch downloaded episodes of my favorite T.V. shows on my trusty tablet.

Admittedly, this is not the healthiest use of my frequently brief respites but, hey, I already get enough exercise from chasing after my son and books just aren’t my thing at the moment so, cut me some slack here. So, anyway, here’s a rundown of all the shows I am currently hooked on (for your consideration) 🙂

Criminal Minds

  1. Criminal Minds- According to Wikipedia, “Criminal Minds is set primarily at the FBI’S Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) based in Quantico, Virginia. Criminal Minds differs from many procedural dramas by focusing on profiling the criminal, called the unsub or ‘unknown subject’ rather than the actual crime itself. The focal point of the series follows a talented group of FBI profilers who set about catching various criminals though behavioral profiling”.  If you’re a fan of police procedurals and the psychological thriller genre, which I am, then you’re bound to love Criminal Minds. At the risk of sounding scary weird, I have always been fascinated with the behavioral/psychological facet of crime. I am piqued by the perpetrators’ motives, especially the origin of their perversions. Criminal Minds explores the dark abyss of a killer’s mind in order to predict and thwart his next move. I love how the characters can tell what the killer will do next just by analyzing the pattern of his criminal behavior as well as when they unearth the tragic backstory that triggered his descent into crime.If you want the kind of rush that you get from edge-of-your-seat action and mind blowing twists, then Criminal Minds is a definite must-see.Law and Order SVU2. Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU)- As mentioned earlier, I am a big police procedural show buff. I like the mystery and the suspense of the whole crime-solving and ensuing legal process, even if it’s a fictionalized and, probably embellished version of the real thing. Law and Order: SVU is another show that gives me my police procedural fix. Wikipedia describes the show as “an American police procedural, legal, crime drama television series set in New York City, where it is also primarily produced. In the style of the original Law and Order, episodes are often ‘ripped from the headlines’ or loosely based on legal crimes that have received media attention.” The show is a spin-off of the successful Law and Order franchise and focuses on the exploits of the Special Victims Unit of the fictional version of the 16th Precinct of the New York Police Department as they try to solve New York’s most heinous sexually based crimes. I’m still on Season 1 so it’s probably too early to tell but so far, Law and Order: SVU seems to be less action and more drama. At any rate, the complicated criminal justice system and the emotional toll it often takes on the victims, as well as the cops, still make for a gripping watch.
  2. 30 Rock 23. 30 Rock– Hands down my favorite series of all time. Crafted by the genius that is Tina Fey, 30 Rock is a comedic masterpiece. According to its Wikipedia profile,the series, “loosely based on Fey’s experiences as head writer for Saturday Night Live, takes place behind the scenes as of a fictional live sketch comedy show depicted as airing on NBC. The series’ name refers to 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, the Comcast Building, where the NBC studios are located.” The show, essentially, centers on Liz Lemon, the head writer/executive producer (I’m actually not sure) of the fictional show, TGS. Each episode sees Liz deal with the antics of her motley crew of friends and co-workers all while trying to keep her T.V. show and her personal life together. The dialogue is quick and witty and the actors are just superb. It’s so much fun watching Liz fumble and blunder through the zaniest situations and in the end live to fumble and blunder another day. The show is silly but relatable and just downright hilarious. So if ever you just want a good laugh or to feel better about how embarrassing and frustrating life can get, give this series a shot.

Unbreakable3. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt- 30 Rock actually wrapped in 2013 but I am glad Tina Fey and Robert Carlock (the same producing team behind 30 Rock) created this sitcom to fill the void 3o Rock left. According to its Wikipedia profile, “The series follows 29 year old Kimmy Schmidt as she adjusts to life in New York City after her rescue from a doomsday cult in Indiana where she and three other women were held by Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne  for 15 years. Determined to be seen as something other than a victim and armed only with a positive attitude, Kimmy decides to restart her life by moving to New York City where she quickly befriends her street-wise landlady, Lillian Kaushtupper, find a roommate in struggling actor Titus Andromedon and gains a job as nanny for the melancholy and out-of-touch Jacqueline Voorhees.”. The show centers on Kimmy Schmidt, a woman who’s spent the last 15 years of her life in an under ground bunker. Upon her rescue, she decides to reclaim everything she was deprived of with the vibrancy and effervescence of a child seeing the world for the 1st time. In the process, she meets and become friends with people who seem just as out-of-touch as she is and together they attempt to survive a much bigger bunker, New York City. Now, the plot is quite bleak ( I mean, kidnapped and kept in a bunker for 15 years,people!) but the writers masterfully explore it with the kind of irreverent humor that does not appear distasteful inasmuch as the scenario is a very truthful one (e.g. Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Dugard). Essentially, it’s a hilarious and poignant tribute to the resiliency of the human spirit in the face of darkness and the perfect reminder that, as the show’s opening song goes, we are all “strong as hell.”Veep 24. Veep- I took a chance on this show and I don’t regret it at all because it is flat out funny. In fact, I was watching it alone once and I could not stifle a belly laugh. It’s that good. Here’s an except from its Google profile:

  ” …’Veep’ follows the new VP as she puts out political fires, juggles her public schedule and private life and does everything within her limited powers to improve her dysfunctional relationship with the Chief Executive. Meyer’s trusted–and some not-so-trusted- aides include Chief of Staff Amy, spokesperson Mike, secretary Sue and right-hand man, Gary.” 

   Selina Meyer is the 2nd most powerful person in the United States and she constantly feels that way: second. She is relegated to jobs she detests and often embroiled in embarrassing situations, mostly of her own doing. The show takes a satirical look at the convolutions of politics and the people who will do anything to be at the top. I’m not well-versed in the political landscape so some references go way over my head but from what I understand so far, politicians are fundamentally, just buffoons. And I am thoroughly entertained. So if you’re tired of raging over how inept and egotistical politicians are, watch VEEP and laugh at them instead.

There you have it. My top 4 shows at the moment. And if you happen to catch me cringing or laughing by myself while staring fixedly on my tablet’s screen, please know better than to strike up a conversation. Mama’s on her downtime, so please…just walk away. hehe..:-)

References:

Wikipedia

Google

Hair Wars: Episode I

Last Jan. 24, my husband and I took our son, Rafa, to get his very first haircut. As we were waiting for his turn, I was silently psyching myself for the entire process which I was anticipating to be painful. As we waited, I let my husband take care of Rafa while I mentally prepared myself to handle a screaming, thrashing baby. I knew I couldn’t lose my s**t.

A screaming baby was acceptable. a screaming mother, was not.

After roughly an hour, my son’s name was finally called. And so it had begun. Hair Wars: Episode I.

First, he put on his robe. It was fairly easy because there was no resistance. Then we sat him on his chair which I think was originally a toy car that they rigged and turned into a barber’s chair. Pretty ingenious, actually. And convenient because my son loves pretend-driving and I think the toy car chair put him on a really good mood.

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Daddy putting on Rafa’s robe.

 

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” I. CAN. DO. THIS.”

With the preliminaries done, the barber started snipping at his hair. I really thought the tantrum will commence as soon as the cutting did but I was pleasantly surprised that Rafa remained cool and collected. It helped that the salon we chose, Cuts4Tots, was a specialty salon for children, hence, the toys, colorful decor and children’s videos to keep the kids distracted and entertained. Once my son started getting restless, the receptionist just popped their Mickey Mouse Clubhouse CD in the player and, voila! Tantrum averted.

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The barber started snipping away but Rafa remained calm and still.

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Snip, snip, snip while our little guy was distracted with this giant abacus-like toy.

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Rafa oblivious to the big man with the scissors.

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At one point, Daddy had to carry a semi-annoyed Rafa so the barber can finish cutting his hair.

Save for when Rafa started getting annoyed at having to sit still for too long and swatted the barber’s hand (“Ugh, stop touching me!”, is what I imagined Rafa wanted to say), the experience was not as arduous as I had expected. And now my little guy looks like this:

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Hi, cutie!

And no, I did not keep a lock of my kid’s hair because I’m not sentimental like that but Rafa’s first salon trip will always be memorable mostly because it was one of my son’s first real life experiences. Getting his hair cut meant (and this hurts my heart a bit) my baby is, well, no longer that. It was his first foray into an activity people participate in routinely and to me, it symbolizes my son gradually easing into the world. Soon, he will be introduced to more “people experiences” and I am both excited and terrified. Much like his 1st first hair cut, I can never ascertain my son’s response to whatever life throws his way. He could crash and burn or waltz through life like a pro.  All I could do is to prepare myself for when he either fails or succeed and offer my love and support so that he can pick himself up and keep going.

Aaaaaaand that’s way too much “hugot” for a haircut.

See ya.

 

The Road to 30

I am turning 30 in 6 months and because this is such an eagerly awaited milestone (no matter how unfathomable, I mean why is 30 so different from 20? Poor 20 year olds with their totally insignificant age.) I decided I’d start counting down to my BIG DAY.

And what better way to do that (no matter how seemingly irrelevant) than to create a list of things I want to accomplish on, before or after my 3oth birthday. I shall call my list “Giddy to be 30” because I am indeed giddy to be 30 but mostly because it rhymes.

So here we go:

The “Giddy to be 30” List:

  1. Start a travel fund.–My husband and I are not big travelers. The mere thought of packing and unpacking completely puts us off traveling but there’s a big beautiful world out there and I’d love to see some of it in this lifetime. Since traveling can be financially draining, I’m going to stash a certain amount (depending on what is feasible from month to month) every payday on a travel fund and choose one place (domestic or local) to visit for vacation every year.
  2. Start and sustain a blog- My mind constantly runs with a myriad thoughts and I’d like to channel them into a forum where I don’t have to worry about censoring myself. Let the cursing commence! hehe…
  3. Donate to an orphanage- I’ve always loved children. And ever since I became a mom,my soft spot for them just got….softer (?). Anyway, we made a donation to C.R.I.B.S. for my son’s 1st birthday and my husband and I decided it ought to be a regular thing for us to visit or make charitable donations to orphanages or any children in need. Children deserve a life of comfort and opportunity, not abandonment and destitution. And because I don’t have Oprah money (yet) I have to trust that the little that I can give will go a long way.
  4. Start a mommy support group- Okay, now, this is a huge MAYBE. Motherhood has been crazy amazing, so far. But mostly, it has been crazy. And any mother (new or seasoned) should have a strong network of support form other women in order to stay emotionally stable enough not to raise a future serial killer..or politician. I’ve been toying with the idea of forming a support group, the logistics of which I have yet to decipher. Hopefully, It comes to fruition because I am in love with the prospect of mothers gathered in a room talking up a storm over coffee and pastries and leaving feeling a world of relief knowing they’re not alone.
  5. Write a book- I’m not sure what kind of book. Right now, all I can think of is a compilation of prayers for different situations. I’m not gunning for a Palanca award or anything (hey, I know when and when not to toot my own horn) but to be published would be freakin’ awesome.
  6. Make my house Pinterest-y- Construction on our very own home (thanks mom and dad) is underway and because I cannot make it look like the house of the 3 bears from Bananas in Pyjamas (bummer), I will settle for making it look like a Pinterest pin. This  means, wooden dining table, kitchen island, walk in closet, christmas lights artfully strewn along the wall, a wooden trunk as my coffee table, vintage decor…..aaaand money I hope I have to buy all that stuff.

So my “Giddy to be 30” list ends here, for now. If ever I am taking a dump or walking to buy my lunch and I think of something good to add to it, I will update the list.

See ya.