You have given him the best time of your day while at the back of your mind you know you got to leave. You have a 9.30 am meeting with your team and you can’t afford to be late. After all, you want to be exemplary at work. But he wants you. He looks to you, he gives you the biggest grin you are going to get this whole day.
You smile back, you kiss him on the head and tell him to be good and you make for the door when he starts to cry. Heartbreakingly you turn to look at him one last time before you venture out your day, knowing he will be well as he’s in his mother’s care.
You come back home after a labourious day at work. Your body yearns to just shut down and take a break. You make a few steps into your humble abode and there he is again – giving you that same felicitous smile that you got in the morning. He grins and gives you a big acknowledgement with a cacophony of gurgles, squeals and coos as you come over to him. You are the best thing he has seen all day and he makes you feel so.
Hardly 10 seconds later, he whimpers before unleashing a torrent of bellows and wailing soon accompanies his cries as it converges to send shrills to your ears. You wonder what went wrong. He was perfectly immutable just a minute ago, and now he is inconsolable. For a split second there you wonder…you wonder if it’s your fault, that perhaps maybe you did something to disconcert him. And your experience gets the better of you and assuages you that its almost bedtime and he is just tiring. He rubs his eyes. You are absolved.
You bathe him preciously making sure you wash every puny finger of his as you attempt to distract him with his bath toys. Some days it’s a Breeze, some days, no amount of cajoling and wheedling will placate the child. You quickly stay determined and finish up bathing him before rushing to put his bedtime clothes on.
He looks at you indifferently sometimes wondering who you are as you fuss around to get him into his sleep suit. You then hand him over to Mother for comfort, as per his bedtime routine.
If you are lucky, and that’s very rare, mum can work her magic and in 10 minutes he’s left this painful and difficult world for a temporal bliss. Mum gives you a smile and you sometimes get a high-five, signifying our teamwork has produced fruit, but more importantly, we have some sliver of tranquillity for the night.
It is only but a sliver. It doesn’t last too Long. Akin to clockwork, he cries at the right time, alerting both parents. Mother leaps into the room and continues comforting him. If fortune favours us, he continues to sleep after his late-night snack. If fortune isn’t with us for the night, he remains stirred and insinuates that he wants to play. Mother looks at you and you know you may just be heading into yet another sleepless night, punctuated by more cries and unexplainable stirrings.
We take it one day at a time. I know Noah is growing up, day by day, night by night. Every cry, every sleepless night is one day closer towards him becoming a toddler, and for us parents…well its also us being one day wiser than the day before. We know it will be worth it at the end. That these temporal discomforts are but only temporal
Noah will one day leave us. Just like any boy, he would want to play and socialise with his friends, make new discoveries with his friends from the neighbourhood and share with us his serendipitous findings. He’s already developing precociously thanks to Mother’s instinctive nudge to adopt a baby-led weaning approach. While infants develop shyness around his age, Noah is never short of giving everyone he meets a smile, even if its just a little. That little act already is enough to convince me that we are doing the right thing for our little boy and we are on track to raise a loving child.
At the end of the day, it will all be worth it.