RI's comment on this post threw me off guard. It got me re-reading the pregnancy and motherhood stories I have posted and I realise I am decidedly flippant and irreverent on them. Hardly inspirational to moms-to-be when one writes about developing a nervous tick on becoming a new mom.
Admittedly I was a bit nervous to have a baby in the house again. It has been 15 years since Zimmie was a just a wee little one and I guess at the time society did not obsess too much about parenting. There wasn't a lot of pressure to be an uber mom as it is these days. There are seriously tons of literature on how to be a perfect mom.
I never got to writing about the joys of motherhood. I didn't mention how strangely wonderful it feels to unconditionally love someone you've only just met. How it melts your heart to see that first smile, be it because of gas or a real smile reacting to silly baby talk. I know we are not supposed to talk to babies in baby talk but speak in an adult manner because of a million and one scary reasons, but I can't help it. I often speak to Mimi like how my mother Nana and grandmother would speak to me when I was a baby and I don't think it has impaired my speech, has it? Sayang dusyuk Mama.
I should tell RI that whilst society these days are just chock full of uber moms and their uber methods of motherhood and parenting, you/I could just be a good enough mom and hey, that's okay too. As Meghan Townsend succintly puts in her article on the Good-Enough Mother:
We want to believe we are special, and our children are special, and the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of us are hopelessly average. It’s hard to accept, but really, you either have it, or you don’t. It’s unlikely that Abraham Lincoln’s parents pushed him to join junior toastmasters. Do you think Bob Dylan’s mommy took him to early childhood education music class? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Genius is genius despite the circumstances. The same is true for mediocrity. There are varying degrees of mediocrity but all that leaves us with is a whole lot of light gray mediocrity or dark gray mediocrity. And a few geniuses that were born that way.
Anyway, I digressed, and I digressed a lot.
It has been a while since I last posted a letter to you. The last time was when I wrote about your birth and then about how your father slaughtered a handsome lamb in your name, how you could smile so widely and how much like your father you look.
You have learnt so many things since then and you still look like your father...
Your new thing is that you can prop up on your hands while on your belly. You can now laugh, gurgle and coo with conviction. You have slept through the night since we've moved to our new home. Really you are an easy baby (not to mention a self-soother) and I hope you stay this way and not give me agro when you are a teenager.
Your father and I think you like your TV too much. We suspect your Auntie Nips have been watching too much Baby Einstein and Playhouse Disney with you. You enjoy Handy Mandy. No habla espanyol? Si! I do apologise if in your later years you have to go on Oprah and tell the world how your childhood was marred by the fact that your parents did not listen to The American Paediatrics Association when they say children should not watch TV until they are 2. Well at least its Baby Einstein, you know another language and you have gotten on Oprah.
Your father brings you for a walk every morning and I put you to bed every night. This is our own thing with you. But even after all the walks coupled with the bracing morning air and a running commentary of the foliage around our house, the bedtime stories lovingly told, we think you favor your Abang Azim more.
Love, Your Mama xx
ps/ Your father thinks you can be a bit moody sometimes and to that Mama says you are well on your way to becoming a little human being.