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As bubs cry for the second time tonight (thankfully I’m still wide awake Cuz it’s only 9.45pm now), searching for his comfort suckle, I quickly scoop him up and cradle him. He nurses easily and naturally in the warm embrace of my arms. Would be better if he doesn’t perspire buckets from where his head makes contact against my arms but oh well, it’s still nice to hold him.
Pumpkins is almost 14months old and no, he is still not sleeping through the night (STTN).
Should he be STTN? Certainly, that’d be supremely lovely, especially since I adore, lust and need my daily 8h of sleep, but if he doesn’t, he doesn’t. I don’t see a need to sweat it and make myself feel lousy by comparing to other “good babies” that STTN at a few months of age.
人比人气死人！That said, I believe that if it wasn’t for the damn bottle rejection issue, I reckon he’d be STTN by now, seeing as he was sleeping stretches of 6h at 3mo after my successful teaching of the difference between “day and night” sleep. But oh well, life always has curve balls and that’s what makes life interesting, isn’t it?
I digress. The reason why I’m writing this is because as pumpkins was crying for comfort, I didn’t feel frustration or fatigue, but instead, felt an incredibly strong will to live.
“This child needs me. Nobody but me will do.”
That thought lit a huge fireball of pride and responsibility within me. In that glorious instant, even if only for a fraction of a second, I felt so wonderfully humbled by my role as a mum to this innocent little babe, who entrusts his life and happiness wholly to me (duh I know. How else and who else can he entrust it to?)
Just as I was revelling in my self-inflated pomposity, he pulls off the nipple and with a seasoned arch of his back, subconsciously indicates that he wants to be put back down on the bed, which I do.
I switch on the torch function on my iPhone (oh how I love this function! Supremely useful for caring for a sleeping child at night while trying to find my stuff/cut his nails etc) and lovingly gaze upon that perfect little face. His eyes are firmly shut, his lips are pursed together in a loose little pout.
Sure, there are days when I’m dog tired and feel positively delirious from the lack of sleep, wishing fervently that I don’t have work the next morning and can weave myself into a cocoon and hibernate for a month.
But today is not that day. No siree. Today is a day when I feel thankful that this child was born. Grateful that this child has chosen me as the person he seeks comfort from in the dead of the night over and over again. Today, I feel more alive than ever.
Dads and mums out there, I know how crazy parenthood can be. It’s a lot of hard work and is especially daunting to a lazy bag of bones as myself. I confess to threatening Pips with all sorts of danger just so that I can secretly bum around and read manga till the guilt eats at me or my arse gets kicked or baby hollers for me LOL (I love you Pips! This is sorry compensation but better than nothing!) Then there are days when I throw my hands up in despair just like you do, a prime example being the dark ages of bottlefeeding hell that was once my hell away from hell.
The great thing about parenthood though is that there are countless perfectly imperfect moments that dot and connect the mundane in everyday into an instagram collage of beautiful, beautiful memories –
– that proud parenting moment when bubs pushes your hands away and takes his steps tentatively before falling into your embrace
– that sleepily happy moment when he wakes up every morning crawling up to you, saying “eh” with such a refreshing curiosity and eagerness at the fact that it’s another new day, and this completely melts the morning grouch in you into a happy puddle of gooey gob.
– that slobbery kiss he pecks on your cheeks… and so many more moments!
So when you are pulling your hair out at all the frustrating parenting moments (bound to have many!), I wish for you to know that it will pass. Sooner than you think.
I wish for you to know that the day will arrive when your baby walks by himself, eats by himself and sleeps by himself. Sooner than you think
I wish for you to know that when that day comes, perhaps you will surprise yourself when you start reminiscing fondly of the countless nights of interrupted sleep instead of feeling relieved and free as you expected to.
Because those moments have come to pass and will never be again.
So cherish these moments of being depended upon so heavily, my friends, for they don’t last long. Our duty is a great one to bear, and the weight upon our shoulders can be crushingly heavy, (droopy eyelids definitely succumbing to gravity law all the damn time) but there has never been a duty greater and more honorable than being called “mama” and “papa”.
I love you baby. Thank you for teaching me about a love so selfless. Thank you for helping me find that selfless love within myself. Thank you for all that you are. Mama loves you, truly, madly, deeply!
Note: Sunday, 8 Feb: As if to test my resolve, bubs woke up from 1.30am to 3.30am that night. Gawddddd, it’s been such a long time since he woke up proper in the middle of the night like this so that was tough. He was pretty good though, quietly nursing in bed beside me (nursing is such an awesome thing as long as I get to sleep) while i drifted between slumberland and wakefulness LOL. Ok baby, mommy is writing an article on sleep but I don’t need you to ‘proof’ my writing like this, alright?
To add to that, he also refused to take his afternoon nap despite being obviously tired! Scolded him a little and after reasoning in babyspeak for some time (which I didn’t manage to capture on my phone) and seeing the futility of it all, he resorted to crying!
Babies do understand tone and are also starting to understand words, so try to watch what you say in front of bubs (x__x). See how he shakes his head when told to sleep? Tsk tsk.
After I hugged him, he nursed somewhat grudgingly but when he finally had those few moments of quiet, he went to sleep pretty quickly. Little babies…Sheesh. If only my (real) boss chases me to take naps, I’d be delighted… Hmm on second thoughts, if that happened in real life, I’d probably be shit scared hahha
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