The seventh month

From the moment I brought you home, I lived in constant fear of dropping you. I wondered what would happen. Would you burst like a watermelon? Well, it finally happened.

Tobias, you fell off the bed 13 days into your 6th month. That thud you made will haunt me forever. It’s the sound of a heart breaking. I did everything in my power to stop that from happening. I made sure you were always lying between us or had some kind of a buffer but it still happened. Finding you face down on the floor is not something I will forget easily. It reminded me how a tiny mistake can lead to such devastating consequences. I cried while you cried and I just wanted to hold you forever and never let you go so you never have to get hurt again but I can’t. I can’t stop you from growing up. But you fell off the daybed on April Fools and I realized that I needed to accept that you were going to get hurt.

You have started to interact with each other more. Holding a thigh, a foot, I saw Liam touching Tobias’ hair once. Grasping, learning. You gurgle and coo at each other and make funny noises. You also smile and laugh at each other. You’ve both started doing this high pitched call. Tobias more than Liam, but you two sound the same.

For as many similarities that you two have, you have just as many different ones. I noticed that when Liam feeds, he does so with both hands clasped or down by his sides. When Tobias feeds, he always has one hand in the air, searching. Pulling my hair, grabbing my shirt, tugging a finger. Even if his eyes are closed. Liam cries as though he’s the most piteous little kitten and Tobias shouts at the top of his lungs with fat tears squeezing out of the corner of his eyes as though he’s angry he’s crying. Liam is all smiles in the daytime where Tobias reserves his biggest and sweetest smiles for the night.

Oh, you smiled at me after the whole ordeal of you falling out of bed and broke my heart all over again. You didn’t know that I was to blame.

One thing I learnt about having children is that you always want to be better and do more. Your kids help you grow up. They teach you empathy. Patience. They give you the motivation to seek improvement. You turn away from your bad habits, you try to instill new ones, better ones. You read and learn about the physiology of a child, their developmental milestones, how they think, what they need. You learn to put another’s life above yours. It’s a transcended love. Agape. Children teach you unconditional love. You simply want the best for them. Even if it’s at your own expense.

That’s why when mothers complain about having the worse job in the world, it gives me pause. It makes me wonder why they treat it as a job at all. Isn’t it a blessing, a miraculous experience? They didn’t ask to be born, they are your gift.

I used to agree with those videos and articles and memes that say that mother is the toughest, most thankless job in the world. You never get any off days, even when you’re sick. It’s full time and it’s permanent but nobody gets a puppy and expects to be thanked for being a good owner. Why do we expect thanks from our own flesh and blood?

I have to admit that sometimes I get annoyed because I still selfishly want my alone time. I get angry that you won’t play by yourself when I’m reading a book or playing a game. Sometimes I forget that I am your whole world and I should be more patient because this will pass. You’ll grow and you’ll learn that the world is bigger than just you and I. One day you’ll want more than my attention. One day, you won’t want me at all.

Even though this Covid19 MCO is a pain in the butt (and extended yet another 14 days!) but I got to see your dad be a dad. He’s been bathing you guys (I think he secretly enjoys it) and taking care of you more than me. I am your conversation and storyteller, photographer and documentarian. This month you’ve both gotten your first tooth. Liam spontaneously decided he loves the pacifier which has made all our lives so much easier. All we have to do it pop it in your mouth and off to dreamland you go! We’re still learning to see what you like, Tobias. For now, it’s snuggled between us but we’re going to break that chain tonight.

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