I can honestly admit that before becoming a parent, I thought I knew everything. Now that I am a parent, I can confess that I know nothing. Absolutely nothing. I was going to be this great parent, whose child NEVER stepped out of line, who always ate homemade, sugar-free meals and would reach all of his milestones early.
My pregnancy was tough. I was basically on an antibiotic every second week due to a variety of different illnesses, some of which I never knew even existed. Nearing the end, I had to cut out all sugar. The gynae was concerned about baby's size as his legs seemed to be several weeks behind the rest of his development. We worried endlessly.
On 25 October 2016, I woke up to a wet bed. Thinking I had just wet the bed, I got up to go to the bathroom but the water kept coming. I gave my mom a phone-call and she had the feeling this was my water breaking, which was a little concerning considering I was only 33 weeks pregnant.
We rushed to the hospital and little Nunu was born shortly after. He spent 9 days in NICU - read my full birth story here on the blog.
Tomorrow my boy is three. Three whole years. As a parent, I think we are all acutely aware of how paradoxical time can be - how it can be fleeting and fly past or feel like seconds are hours. It is easy to feel lost and alone during those newborn days. I remember sitting in the early hours one morning, rocking Nunu in his nursery. The crack of the door was just wide enough to reveal the vinyl sticker I'd stuck up on the dining room wall the previous day - Family is everything. In that moment I felt the loss of my independence and freedom deeply. As mothers, there is so much pressure placed on us by society that we feel immense guilt at admitting how much we need to sacrifice. We find it difficult to voice our difficulties because we are expected to be so joyful and grateful for becoming mothers. And of course we are. But it is a journey where we as individuals have to find our way in the world again, now as moms.
I feel incredibly blessed to have this boy in my world. I may be biased, but he is incredibly beautiful and the love I feel for him is overwhelming. I cannot imagine a world without him. My husband and I often stare at him while he's sleeping and say to each other, "WE MADE THAT!" The privilege of being his parents are not lost on us. We are so so blessed.
The trials that come with parenthood will test your patience and mental state. The terrible twos brought tantrums, tears and the eye roll. Nunu is strong-willed and knows what he wants which makes disciplining a taxing task. I can tell you, both Duron and I have had our fair share of disciplining children. Between us we have over twenty years of teaching experience over a range of ages and genders, but this two year old that belongs to us tests the boundaries (and our patience) daily. It is hard when you're in a shopping mall and your child is losing the plot because they want a box of Smarties and the entire shop seems to be staring at you and your 'bad' parenting techniques. Do you buy the box of Smarties or do you have a showdown in the middle of the Pick n Pay sweets aisle? Do you smack him? Do you reason it out? I can tell you what I did... I bought the Smarties...!
We have accepted that Nunu is independent, brave and determined. As an adult, I have no doubt that he will command an authority of greatness, an air of grace and go on to achieve amazing things. We have had to accept that his spirit is free, and no amount of beatings (we are totally against corporal punishment) or negotiating is going to change his mind. As he is becoming older, he is becoming more open to our instructions.
And now, on the eve of his third birthday, I just feel so much pride for this little human I get to spend every day with. Happy birthday, my darling boy. Your mom and dad love you endlessly. We are blessed beyond measure to have you in our lives.