Motherhood has been pretty gratifying for me. I guess it helped that Bea was such an easy baby – hardly ever fussy and we could bring her everywhere. If there were any sleepless nights during her infancy, there weren’t enough for me to remember. When she was younger, she was not at all a picky eater. Julio and I took her with us on our Southeast Asia tour and I was quite surprised at how easy it was to travel with her. She ate whatever we ate, slept wherever we slept and hardly complained. My daughter will be two years old next Saturday, and I often find myself wondering where the time has gone. Bea is, of course, still my baby but in some ways she isn’t anymore. She’s starting to test her independence and sometimes it makes me a little sad when she won’t let me brush her teeth because she wants to do it on her own, or wants to use her utensils by herself. I’m still who she looks for when she wakes up in the morning, and she’s very attached to me. I suppose it’s because she and I are almost always together.
I work full-time for my dad and our office is in his house, so I bring Bea with me to work every day. Now that she’s older, she’s more mobile and more vocal. Many times she comes to me while I’m working, saying “Play, Mama!” or “Mama, carry!” Sometimes I’ll stop what I’m doing and play with her for a few minutes, but there are times I’m working on something that can’t wait. I tell her Mama is working and, more often than not, she’ll throw a fit.
Who else whips out their iPad or throws in the TV card when this happens? Anybody? Is it just me?
That’s where the guilty feelings come to play. I tell her that Manang Angie (our helper) will play with her, or tell her to go watch Baby TV, or give her the iPad. And I know I shouldn’t, that I should be taking the time out to play with her. I tell myself I’ll play with her when we get home. But when we get home, I have to prepare dinner and she hangs out at my in-laws’ house until it’s time for bed. There are also times I’m not doing anything important, just surfing the net or checking Twitter (fine, and Facebook) and Bea will come to me, asking me to carry her or play. Most of the time I’ll do it but there are days when I just don’t want to be bothered, and I’ll turn on the TV and plop her down in front of it or hand her the iPad.
At the rate she’s growing, the day is going to come when Bea won’t want to play with me anymore and I’ll end up being the one imploring her to spend more time with me. So I guess work can wait even 10 minutes while I go cuddle and play with my little girl when she asks me to.