4 years ago and a few months, he made his appearance into the world. Tiny, wailing, kicking his tiny feet and of course looking very , ermm, yellow. That was before his melanin-producing cells started working overtime and I now have a dark handsome 4-year old. I know how cliché it is to be told, “they grow up so fast.. cherish the moments..” yet when I think about it, this is actually true.
One day I was busy changing diapers, wiping drool during teething and introducing foods (which he took on really well, thank God). The days through the foggy phase that Postpartum depression (PPD) and in retrospect, the grace that kept us safe, through the sobs and smiles that were far and in between; through potty training and piping hot tears when he could not get it right; through wondering how we were gonna make it when he starts school, to hearing him doing his homework with remarkable ease. For great reasons, I am actually looking forward to his 4th year, and beyond. I am savoring and soaking in each precious (energy-packed) moment and absolutely loving it! Here’s why!
- Past the dark dreary 1st year when I was deep in depression, past the terrible 2’s and way beyond terrific 3s
His first year was tough, I was yet to get the hang of motherhood, and it took a while for me to realize I was actually depressed. I do not have many memories of this period 🙁 and I can only look through photos and try piece up what looks to me like a jigsaw puzzle. Terrible 2’s can only be described in one word: TANTRUMS!! I don’t miss that stage, quite honestly.
It was characterized by outbursts of anger, losing my identity as Samoina and just… exhaustion. Terrific 3’s was a stage when LO tried pushing every damn limit there was. The best thing about this stage was that the fog of PPD was just starting to lift… I could see hope in the horizon, that kept me going. 4, or as my friend Blythe loves to call this stage, fourlospher is here! That we got past all those stages is reason to be excited.
- We can have a coherent conversation!!
Just how amazing is it to actually move from the incoherent syllables and mathogothanio (blurb) to an actual flowing conversation? And while this often morphs to some weird questions (like why that guy hanging on the chopper doesn’t do it daily.. ), I am glad that I can get a glimpse of what his personality is at the core, converse about school, his friends, his dislikes (pumpkin and sweet potatoes) and everything in between..
- He expresses himself well.
Of course with the ability to converse coherently comes the fact that he can articulate his thoughts perfectly well and express himself. The other day I told him I needed to shave his head ‘coz it looked shaggy. He gave me that quizzical look kids have and asked whether his hair was as shaggy as mine… (ermm, I am in this phase of natural hair I am trying to figure out what hairstyle to put on). What amazed me was just how honest he was when he asked that. I looked at him wide-eyed. When did this boy grow up?
- He is, to some extent, independent of me J
He can feed himself (no more boobie-food), he is fully potty trained (no more butt-wiping!), he can sleep without having to be rocked, he can tell me when he is feeling unwell, he actually returns his toys to his toy-bag every night… It is the simple things that make this 4th year so exciting.
- He is learning virtues and vices
The fact that he can follow through stuff, say when we are watching news, and pick up vibes about something is quite… ‘grown up’ for lack of a better word. It reminds me of the need to instill virtues in him. Teach a child in the way he should grow, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. As a parent, I realize the immense responsibility of raising a little human to become a responsible member of society. It will take grace, wisdom, love, patience, and undoubtedly experience on the go.
Bonus point: He still cherishes mama’s hugs and kisses, and often reminds me when I forget to tell him “I love you”. 🙂