Motherhood

5 lessons I learn from my daughter

 Mathew 18:3 “And He said: Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”.

She maybe four years but she seems to be older and wiser than me sometimes. She brings me back to reality and takes me back to lessons that my adult self has otherwise forgotten or simply chosen  to ignore. In her, I am reminded each day on how to live. Yes, she humbles me and each single day she reminds me that I am mom. And being mom comes with so much adult responsibilities which are mostly centered around her. She shapes my decisions. Ever since she arrived in my life four years ago, all my decisions that I make are influenced by her. I weigh each decision carefully and if it doesn’t favor her, no matter how good and alluring that situation is, I let it go. It doesn’t favor my daughter, I don’t take it. Period.

She is also my source of great leanings and constant reminder of how life is intended to be lived. So, today, I will share 5 things that my LO has taught me.

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  1. Little faith moves mountains: She is little. She is simply my baby. Daily she reminds me that all I need is a little faith to conquer my biggest mountains. When she asks for something, she knows mama has heard and I will provide. She will ask me with so much simplistic sweetness. “Mom, buy me a doll”. That’s it. She has asked. She has faith that mama will get her a new doll. It’s as simple as that. She will ask and she knows she will get. Other times it will be, “Mom, stand here, catch me. Am going to jump”. And she jumps from the top of the seat directly to my arms. At the back of her mind she knows mama will catch me, I will not fall. I mean, it doesn’t occur to her that I will move aside or decide not to catch her. It doesn’t occur to her that she will fall. She has simple faith, mama will catch me. That’s it. I learn to have simple faith from her. It’s in the way she asks for things. It’s in the way she talks. She knows it will be provided. How will it be if I just have that simple little faith like my daughter towards my father in heaven? How about I have that little faith in my self? How about I put some faith in my work? In my life? Nothing much. Just a little belief. Pure. simple. No doubts. How many mountains am I gonna move in my life?How many mountains will you move in your life if you just adopt your child little faith?
  2. Forgiveness: Forgiveness is hard. I am not here to demystify it. I struggle with forgiveness daily. Of deep hurts. Of deep wounds. Of simple unintended hurts. My daughter teaches me forgiveness is freedom. I have seen a couple of times that she runs into the house crying that a certain friend has taken her toy, or they have fought and she cries saying she will not play with them again. Just as she starts crying she stops and after a few minutes she’s outside the house playing as if nothing happened between her and her friend. The next day they are playing ball and laughing. The previous day incident is not mentioned. Its dead. Not spoken about ever again. They are friends yet again. But what does our adult self do? We sulk for ages after a fight with our friends. We cut off ties. We carry grudges for years. We keep a log of dates, time and the hurt. We carry un forgiveness baggage. Imprisoning ourselves from happiness. We cut off relations that would otherwise have been beneficial to our future. I have learnt to forgive, let go and build great relations while at it. There is an excerpt of music from one of her favorite cartoon soundtrack Frozen that we love to sing along to, that says”..Let it go, let it go…” 
  3. Persistence: When she started walking she would fall down several times. Sometimes she would cry frustrated. Then she would decide that she would do good if she just crawls. She will crawl for two seconds then stand up and try walking again. Over and over again she tried walking, these days she runs so fast! It was the same thing when she was learning how to ride her bike. She fell off a couple of times and at some point she said she didn’t want that bike. But the next day she got on it and these days she’s an expert. When she wants something, she doesn’t give me peace. She will sing of it until she gets it. She will persist until I give in. How many times do we give in to persistent cries from our LO? She reminds me yet again, if I persist in search of that which I want in life, will I not get it? What does God say about prayers again? Pray without ceasing. How many dreams have been deferred? How many ideas have we shelved? Its time to pick a lesson from our kids and get back to them. Persistence is key to success.
  4. It’s never that serious: She laughs silly. She laughs so loud. She laughs at anything. At anyone. She laughs at herself. She is a bubbly girl.  I may come home at night tired. looking haggard and misplaced, then she will just burst out laughing.” Mom, you look funny”. At that moment, my days challenges are nothing. So, we laugh. She would make funny faces and we laugh. She will go through old photos in my phone and laugh saying she was very tinny. Nothing funny about the photo but she will laugh. Again, am hit with a big reminder to dance in my storms. To laugh at myself. To laugh at my problems. This little person reminds me to be silly. She reminds me to live. I have learnt to laugh hard and to laugh deep. It’s never that serious anyway.
  5. No discrimination: In my daughters world all kids are the same. We can be at a function and somehow she finds her way to other kids and start having kid conversations and immediately play starts. There is no class in the kids world. No discrimination. Unless an adult who feels he is more of an adult than others comes in and tells the kids not to associate with certain kids. Otherwise for a kid it is all kids. That is how they see each other. To her, it is a kids zone. It is all play, kids talk and having fun while at it. Wouldn’t it be great if we adopted a world that we are all friends? No discrimination by colour, social status, education, size etc. It would be great to embrace each other and view each other as kids view kids.

She may be little but she got lots of wisdom within her, she doesn’t know it, but she inspires me each day. Each day I learn from her and more than anything am reminded she learns from me. The learning she takes are not from what I tell her but more so from what she observes in me. As a mom I strive to be her best example. I hope all moms can take lessons from their little ones and make better a world for them too.

What lessons do you learn from your little ones?

 

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Motherhood

I choose to enjoy my child, Now

It’s been raining cats and dogs the last couple of days in my home town. Being a coastal town, we are used to hot and humid weather. But the last one week or so, we have experienced weather changes like I have never seen before. At least not in the recent years. Flooding has been reported all over the media in some residential areas  and sadly there has been some loss of lives as a result of these heavy rains. It has been a dull, cold and wet situation. But am not writing about the weather.

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So today, am sitting in my office, with my laptop open just staring at it as if waiting for some command from the virtual world on how to carry on with my day. My hot black coffee is right by my desk, untouched. The weather is cold and cloudy. It’s threatening to rain heavily. I need to keep warm. I know I should take a sip of my coffee. But for some strange reason, I dont bring myself to. Needless to say, I love coffee. I love it rich, strong, black and sugarless. Not today though, I don’t feel like coffee. So, I power my laptop and on comes my daughters picture. Saved on my desk top as my wall paper. Here she is a day old. I stare at the picture longer than I should have. On any usual day, I barely see the picture. I usually power the laptop and off I go straight to work. Not today. Today I just want to stare at this beautiful tiny image.

She’s one day old. She looks so peaceful. Her skin is pink in colour, her cheeks are round. She is asleep. Wrapped in flowered blue and white baby shawl. She is carefully wrapped that the only thing visible is her face. Two tinny puffy eyes, a pink nose and a small mouth and bright pink cheeks. She looks like an angel. I remember this day, she lies in one of those glass hospital baby cots. I take a moment and just savour the picture.

Am starting at this picture with lots of pride and love. Am thinking to myself my baby girl is growing up real fast. Very fast. Too fast, I say to myself. Today, she’s 4 going 24. Soon she will be out of the house and on her own. I straighten my back and reminisce of our journey together. I realise with a sense of pride and an almost sad feeling that I will miss her toddlership, so to speak. I will miss the sideshows, the tantrums, the dramas, the playtime, the tears, the laughter, I will definitely miss everything that this little person did. Then again, I may not miss it as much because I will probably be dealing with the joys and pains of her next growth stage.

I say to myself, there are certain things that I will definitely miss. Obviously.

According to my LO I should be available to her at anytime that she needs me. To her it doesn’t matter what am doing or where I am. She thinks it’s her birth right to be attended to by her mom whenever, wherever she wants. Well, it is her birth right. Sort off. Sometimes we moms must draw the line in meeting our kids demands and say no to some of what they ask. She has a stand though, and that is to have her mommy’s attention when she demands it.

I will miss her interruption of my shower moments. Like the other day, I was in the bathroom, after a long day at work, enjoying my warm shower, happily singing off tune to songs I barely knew, while breaking into some funny dance, then, baam! Am rudely interrupted by a toddler! Abruptly she flags the bathroom door open, just to show me her homework. “Mom, look what I did today!” She said excitedly. I had soap on my face. I could not open my eyes. I was butt naked. But she doesn’t seem startled. “Mom you are not looking!” I will definitely miss these moments.

This other time I am doing my business in the loo and she bangs open the door, extending her crackle packet. “Mom, open for me please.” I gently tell her I will do so as soon as I finish and I have washed my hands could she please go and close the door behind her? With determination in her eyes she says, “I will wait for you.” Thinking she will leave, she didn’t. Nothing can move a determined toddler. So, I finish my business as she waits patiently, right there before me.

It was then that I decided that was enough of banging bathroom doors. So, one time I locked myself from the inside. A mom needs some privacy. These toddler bang-ins will not hold anymore. So, this time am in the bathroom and she bangs the door open, as usual. Only it didn’t open. Then she starts the endless knocking, the pounding. “Mom, open the door. I want to tell you something.” “Mom, I want to talk to you,” making it sound like an emergency, “Now!” Clearly she doesn’t understand the meaning of privacy.

I will miss all those bathroom moments. The privacy that I never had.  I will miss the audience that I had during what should have been the most crucial alone moment. I will miss the door bangs. I will miss the cries at the door simply because I refused to open. I will miss it all.

Then again, because they grow so fast, I dont want to project my thoughts and fears to the future. I want to enjoy my daughter now. I purpose as her mom to be available to her in all possible ways to me. This is the time I believe is very crucial in bonding with our kids. At this stage when they are young and in learning stage. The best gift as a mom I can give my child is my time. Be available.

I inhaled deeply. Then I opened some program on my laptop to get to work with renewed strength to be the best mama I can be for my daughter. I took the first sip of my coffee. It’s pure niceness. Exactly how I love it. I took another long sip and I deliberately let my lips linger a little bit longer on the brim of my cup as I took in the strong aroma. I closed my eyes for a few seconds. I listened to the soft sound of rain as it begun to pour. I took another long slow sip. Heavenly.

 

Motherhood

Where do babies come from?

I knew this question would come up very soon. In fact with the inquisitive nature of my four year old I would say, she delayed way too long in asking me. Way too long. So it didn’t come as a surprise when she broached the subject. It was rather interesting how she brought it up.

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I come from work, and my wide eyed toddler was looking at me with curiosity in her eyes. I could read the way she was looking at me as I walked around the house that something was up with her. I at first thought she did something that was making her have those guilty toddler moments. You know those ones that they look at you thinking that you already know what they did and at the same time they are trying to hide it from you? She had that look.

When I was about to probe what she’s been up to, she couldn’t contain herself she asked me in an excited tone.

“Mom, which supermarket did you buy me from?”  I was thrown off balance. Then she looked up at me. Expecting a ready answer. I almost chuckled. Seeing the seriousness in her eyes, I tried desperately to hide my laughter. I looked at her and decided it was time. She needed to know where she came from.

The day, I gave birth to my daughter, I made a promise to myself that I will do my level best as her mom to make sure she gets the right information from me. Information on her sexuality, her life, her family, her schooling, her friends, her health etc. I want to be the source of right information for my daughter. I promised myself to educate her on all matters that affect her as they come in a way that I will be able to tell her the truth but at the same time be able to explain to her in a way that she will be able to understand it at her age without me being overly explicit or complex for her to understand. As a mom, I wish to be straight forward with my child. I want to be gentle in explanation. I want to be open with her. To school her. I want her to run to me first when she wants information. When she is being bullied. when she cries. When she needs understanding, I wish for her to know her mom has her back and she can come to me first.

Truth in my motherhood is very essential. If I don’t school my child in this age of internet and knowledge from the streets, she will still get that information. Information that she would perceive it indifferently. It is very important for me to create that balance as a mother and what she will learn from the world.

So I asked her where she got that idea that I bought her from the supermarket. She said that one of her friends mother had just given birth. During one of her visits to her friend’s house, the second time mom told them that babies are bought from supermarkets. I could only imagine the questions the kids might have asked. You know how curious kids are? Toddlers for that matter. I could imagine, they must have been staring at the new baby with utmost awe. Maybe they were curious at how tinny he was. Oh what tinny head he has! Oh, what small hands he has! Oh, what tinny body he has! Oh, what tinny feet he has!And then maybe came the question. Probably from her friend to her mother, “Mommy where did you get this baby?” Or maybe it was my daughter who asked more daringly. “Where do babies come from?”

I gently took her in my arms and sat her down and smiled. Motherhood is hard. Really hard. Explaining some issues to a four year old is the hardest. But like I said, its important for me to explain the truth to her in a language that a four year old can understand without being explicit or loose meaning.

I explained to her that babies are not bought from supermarkets. I emphasised that I didn’t buy her. I had to  be really careful with my next choice of words. Taking a second to pause in between words, checking her reaction and level of understanding. At the same time bracing myself for further questions. Our conversation went something close to this.

Me, holding her hands, “God put you in my stomach”. Pause. Searching  her eyes. Holding my breath dreading her next question which I thought would be something like, “How did God put me in your stomach?” Sigh of relief. She didn’t ask. I wasn’t ready to explain the “How”. Oh God.

Me, using gestures, “My stomach grew big, like this”

Her, “Inside here?” Touching my stomach.

“Yes. When it was very big. I went to the hospital and the doctor removed you from my stomach.” Pause. Searching her now wide open eyes. I knew she would ask the next question.

“How did the doctor remove me?”

I lifted my blouse and showed her my C-section scar. “The doctor gave me medicine. I slept and then he cut me here and he removed you then he put glue and closed me up”

“Did blood come out?” She sounded terrified.

“Yes. Blood came out. But the doctor cleaned it.”

She almost jumped out of her skin, “So babies are cut from their mommies stomach!”

Me, “No baby. Not all babies are born that way.”

“So their mommies buy them from supermarket?”

“No sweety.” Trying so hard to be gentle. Pronouncing each word slowly and deliberately. “All mommies get big tummies. Then they go to the hospital and they give birth and then come home with their babies.”

Her nodding. We getting somewhere.

Me, “So, all babies are born in hospitals.”

Her, “Which hospital?”

“Do they cry?”

“Was I tinny?”

“Did your mummy go to hospital?”

The focus changed from where babies come from and the conversation trailed off and finally to an off topic. I know that would not be the end of her questions. But each day, as she grows she will ask more and more hard questions. And as she advances in age, curiosity and knowledge, I will expound my answers more and explain as clearly as possible in a way that she will understand. I know one day, we will have explicit conversations as mother and daughter.

Till then it’s baby steps. Literary.

How do you handle hard questions from your toddler?

 

Motherhood

Her thoughts on breastfeeding

I love this mama’s thoughts on breastfeeding. It makes you take a moment and reflect. How well do you connect with your baby when they are breastfeeding? I am a pro-breastfeeding mama myself and having successfully breastfed my 4 year old. Yee! I am guilty too as well. Sometimes I would breastfeed while trying to cover something else. We women call it multitasking. Breastfeeding when eating. Breastfeeding when reading a book. Breastfeeding when watching a movie. Breastfeeding when writing etc ..LOL…Guilty. How often do we take time to be still, just you and your baby enjoying the moment? #Reflection

Read on..Awesome read.

 

 

I breastfed both my children. It was a choice I made before both were born, something that felt right for me. I knew I wanted to support them as naturally as I could concerning their immune system, building a relationship with them and cradling them. I did not know what this looked like in reality […]

via Reflections on Breastfeeding – How Connected to our Babies are we? — Women in Livingness Blog

Motherhood

Toddler Tales

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This is my definition of a toddler; Little people below the age of five with the ability to change into anything they want in less than a minute. In less than a second, a toddler changes into someone that you hardly recognise and instantly change back to the sweet adorable baby that you know. They will terrorise you, raise all the inches of your hair, drive you up against the wall, and within an instant you have lost your mind. They put you in a situation that, you begin to believe that it is you with the problem and not them. I mean, why would you be angry at a laughing little one who just dipped his cup in the toilet bowl and drinking from it? It is fun after all, to have an open water supply, is it not ,mom? His small eyes seem to ask you.

Just when you want to scream at him, he jolts out of the bathroom to the living room and that’s when you realise his legs have poop and he is staining your well manicured floor. Now, you are going crazy. You are insane. You want to shout ,stop! Baby come back here! Let me wash you. But what comes out of your mouth is a horse whisper “Oh my God!Now who will clean this mess?” You ask yourself under hot breath.

Instinctively, you run towards him. He sees you, these little people have compound eyes. They can see from the back of their heads. So, he sees you running after him, and he immediately takes that as a cue for playing. He starts giggling loudly trying to escape your grasp.By now you can not recognise your floor. Your carpet is a mess. Poop all over. You scream your house manager’s name.”Wairimu!” No answer. Then it hits you. It’s a Sunday. She’s off duty. You get an instant migraine, it dawns on you,it’s just you and the now little monster. So,help me God.

He is still running away from you, soiling all over the house. You trying so hard to duck the mess. Your arms are fully stretched towards him, bingo, you have him now and just as you are pulling him towards you, you slip on the poop and accidently you let go of his hand. He falls down with a thud. He screams. Powerfully. The cry that follows can wake up your ancestors. He has strong powerful lungs. He is crying terribly. At that second the memory of your labour pain kicks in, and your maternal instincts takes over, you hold him defensively in your arms.  Within a second you forget that you were going insane. He is now your baby who needs you and not the little rascal you were chasing around.

Now he is in your arms. You are soothing him. He then decides he is very hurt and he is in crucial pain, so he escalates his crying to level five. You panic, maybe his bone is broken. You check him he seems fine. No broken bones. No blood. You ascertain. You try to assure him he is ok. If he could please keep quiet so that you can wash him. Now both of you have poop all over. But it doesn’t matter now. He’s your cute baby who has fallen down and all you want is to clean him. So, you start singing those happy cartoon songs that he loves. Usually he would join in and the two of you would have a fun time singing. Not today. He decides, to increase his crying to level ten. He is throwing his arms and legs all over. You are distraught.You want to pick the phone and call his paed, you now believe he is truly hurt. Maybe some internal injury. You want to take him to the ER. You frantically try to grasp the phone with your right hand balancing him on the left.

He is a toddler. He has seen a window of opportunity. Like lightning, he runs out of your arms up the stairs. He starts to laugh. “Mom,catch me!”, “Again mom”. You don’t know what hit you. Bewildered,you look at him. He is wearing one of those cute adorable smiling faces that you love so much. He wants to play. You are confused. Was he not the one crying in so much pain? You look at the floor, at your blouse, the smell is annoying. You want to scream. He disappears around the corner. You fall down into a heap on the floor. Now, you are beginning to really question your existence.

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I have been there. I have been that mom. One time my daughter threw a terrible tantrum. She wanted to use a blue cup to drink water and not the green cup that I had given gave her. She threw a terribly fit. Crying and stamping her feet, throwing her arms in the air, simply because she didn’t want a green cup. I thought she wanted water and it didn’t matter to me whether it came in a green or blue cup. I was thinking that I was a grown up and she was the baby so , you do what mama says. At first I didn’t badge. I did not change the cup. Neither did she drink from it. Toddlers can be stubborn like that sometimes. I didn’t see it coming, she took the green cup  and threw it on the floor while demanding the blue one.

I became infuriated. Am standing there wondering whether to scorn her, pinch her, scream or just ignore her. Then she suddenly realised my mood has changed and she immediately knew that mama was not happy. She toned down, looked up at me, gave me one of those sweet innocent eyes and a little warm smile. Then she asked in the most timid sweet voice ever.

“You don’t love me now mom?”

That did it. Her tone, her sweetness, immediately defused the anger I was feeling. Within a second she was my beautiful adorable baby who needed assurance that mama loves her. I forgot I was mad. I took her in my moms and smiled.

“No baby girl,I love you baby.”Then I added, “You are just four. That’s all.”

Toddlers they teach us the values of love, patience and understanding. They have taught us to be fearless, carefree, to forgive easily, to be happy, to be easy, most importantly my daughter has taught me to live. To live for the moment and enjoy every little second that I have in my life and to appreciate each challenge that comes my way. She has taught me how to be a conqueror of my hopes and dreams. Because of her , I live.

What lessons have you learnt from your toddler?

Motherhood

        BIG GIRL NOW

Growing up happens in a heartbeat.But the memories of childhood stays with you for the long haul” The Wonder Years

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The other day I was washing dishes and my four year old girl comes to the kitchen and asked to help. Washing dishes is not a fun thing to do for most of us, neither for me. I was anxious to get out of the kitchen so I quickly brushed her off and said something to the effect that mommy is ok, she’s almost done, could she pick her toys from the floor, please? She didn’t move. She stood there. Keen not to get into those mummy daughter fights of ‘I want to do this’ ‘don’t do it!’ kind of thing, so I did what every best mom would do, I ignored her. I continued cleaning up. She continued standing there. I ignored her. I knew what was brewing; soon she might start to throw another tantrum in protest of being denied her request. I wasn’t in the best mood of handling a tantrum. I looked at her, I smiled. She didn’t smile back, instead she said, ‘I am a big girl now mom. I just want to help’ she pleaded.

Light bulb moment, ding!

It hit me. So hard. She was indeed a big girl now. She’s four. She’s not breastfeeding anymore. She goes to school. She can spell and write her own name. I mean, the minute you can spell and write your name, you are big. Right? She is no longer my small baby anymore. These little people grow so fast. So fast that it’s so hard to keep up sometimes.

A moment of reflection

Just the other day I went to the hospital and came back home, with a baby. I was now a mom. It was surreal; I was now somebody’s mother. It took a few minutes to dawn on me that I was now fully responsible for a tiny bundled being. Amazing. She weighed just a little over 3 kg and she easily fit in my arms covered up in some colorful baby shawl. We did breastfeeding, the highlight of my motherhood. Then she was a crying baby. She would cry when she is hungry. Cry when she poops. Cry when she is left alone. Cry when she sees new faces. Cry when she wakes up. Cry the colic away. She would cry at literary anything except on two occasions. One, when she was breastfeeding and two, when she was asleep. She loved my boobs so much as much as I loved her feeding on them. This baby of mine was a milk guzzler.

Then she grew up. By and by. The dippers went off. She became acquainted with the potty. Breastfeeding stopped. Solids came in. She didn’t crawl this one. One day, I woke up and she had stood up on all twos dragging herself off along the sofa sets. It was a beautiful camera moment. Then her first baby steps. Her first words. And many more ‘her firsts’. One day on a beautiful Monday morning, she reported to her new school. That was a year ago. Indeed she is a big girl now.

Sometimes as a mom, I sit down and talk to myself. Moms do that quite a lot. We talk to ourselves. We sit us down and have a meeting with ourselves and give us expert opinions that we think we know. It’s motherhood. I talk to myself sometimes in mom language. So sometimes, I ask myself if I have done enough for my child. She is growing so fast. One day she will go to high school, then college, then get married and then…make me a grandmother! Yes, we moms sometimes project our thoughts to years ahead. I wonder if at four years, I have given her the tools she needs to proceed to five years old. I wonder if I allowed her to be a baby when she was a baby. Did I allow her to play enough? Did I allow her to make toy messes on the floor without me making a big deal out of it? Did I allow her to sing out loud to funny cartoons, without me telling her to tone it down? Did I deal well with tantrums? Does she know that I love her? Am I doing the best for my daughter? Am I a good mom? You see, as a mom you keep asking yourself such questions, you grade yourself, you even identify areas of improvement. Sometimes, you even come up with a plan on how to handle baby issues in future. Because as a mom all you want is the best for your child. You want to be the best mama for them. You want them to be proud of you.

Kids are visitors. They come and go. They grow at a very fast rate and one day they will be out of the house and it will be an empty nest. As a mom you don’t want to regret that you wish you had done more for your kids. You want to give them the best. Sometimes am very hard at myself. I don’t give myself credit. Sometimes I am a harsh critic of myself. Sometimes, I forget about me. Totally. I sometimes forget the interests that make me happy. I sometimes lose myself. I forget am a woman first and a mama second.

You see, I have come to learn, as moms, you are enough. All that you are doing for your kids is the best.  It is very important to live knowing that you are doing the best as a mama. You need to take care of yourself first, so that you can take care of your kids second. Truth is, you can’t pour from an empty cup. So, yes when I have those conversations with myself, I remind myself that I am enough. I am the best and I have given my best to my child. And this should be a focus to every mama out there.

My daughter says she is a big girl now. True. She is. By and by she will be bigger and one day it will be an empty nest. We can only give our kids the best and the best is now. When they finally leave home we will be happy we did it.

Back to the dishwashing story. So, I pulled a stool and helped her on it. Since she’s  well, a little person, she needed a boost to reach the sink. Boy, was she happy to help. She was very excited helping mama with the dishes. Obviously her idea of doing dishes is different from mine. The tap was opened full blown, the liquid soap was turned into bubbles. The sink was a mess. Full of soapy running water. She was happy playing with soap and water. She poured some water on herself. Creating bubbles. Throwing water, laughing, screaming, rattling the dishes. Poor dishes. Then she started singing one of those animated nursery rhymes. More bubbles…

I could only watch with wonder, hoping I would not need a canoe in my house.

Motherhood

Good Bye Kindergarten One

“Develop a passion for learning, if you do, you will never cease to grow,” J. D’Angelo

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The other day my daughter graduated from kindergarten one. Yippee, I know, I know it’s not kindergarten graduation but to me she did graduate. She graduated Kg one and next year she will be in Kg two. You see I have learnt to celebrate all my small wins and my big wins alike. This, is a big win. She was happy she was finally going to the next class. It was the school graduation day for the Kg three pupils, since they were graduating to standard one the following year. The rest of the nursery school pupils were taking part in the ceremonious accession. My daughter looked radiant, like a princess in a long umbrella white frock. Her hair was done in small braids and she wore a beautiful head band made of ankara material that matched her butterfly belt. She wore white shoes and white stockings to match her beautiful princess dress. To compliment her attire she wore  white pearl earnings and matching white bangles. She didn’t forget to wear her beautiful, big warm smile. She was the flower in the room. The princess in the castle. She is my beautiful baby girl.

It was just yesterday at the beginning of the year when she first joined kindergarten.  At three years, she begun to write her future. It was a long-awaited day in her life. Overtime since she begun talking I used to tell her about school, about books and classes, teachers and pupils. I bought her different coloring and reading books. We would sing along to nursery rhymes and count up to a hundred and recite poems, alphabets and colors. I think I taught her a whole year of kindergarten before she even joined school. This made her long for school. She developed an urge to study.

January 5th 2016, 0600 hours: A wakes up unusually early. This day was special it was the day she would finally join school. She would take a shower, brush her teeth, wear her uniform, have breakfast and go to school. She was excited at the idea, so excited such that she refused to finish her breakfast.

0715 hours: We are in her school. There are so many parents doing new admission. So many new uniforms that you could smell the factories they were sewn. So much excitement in the air. Children crying. Others shouting that they didn’t want school they wanted to go home. Some trying to run away from their parents. Some were a mess rolling on the floor screaming and calling all names. Little rascals. You could read a mixture of frustration and excitement on parents faces. My daughter was calm, collected, smiling at everyone. You could clearly see she couldn’t wait to start her classes. Bliss.

“Is she a transfer here from another school?” One parent who had given up on her child being quiet asked me.

“Oh, no,” I smiled sympathetically, “First time”.

“Really?” She asked almost startled.

“Yes”. I smiled again trying to offer reassurance that the storm will pass.

She nodded. But I suspect she barely heard me as her child was already running past the school main door to the gate and she quickly zoomed past us like a wave of lighting to get to him. She dropped her purse and all the contents inside spilled over in that haste, for a split second she was torn in between picking her belongings or running after her crying child. She chose her child. I felt sorry for her. I picked her bags.

0800 hours: We have been registered. She had an admission number. One nanny guided us up the stairs to a room where A will call ‘my class’ for the whole year. She was absolutely happy. She was going up the stairs two at a time not caring whether I was following her or not. Then she looked over her shoulder and beamed at me “Mom, why are you not going home?”

“I want to meet your teachers”,  I answered “And I want to know your class”

“Mom!” She jumped three more steps. I gasped, for a second I thought she would tumble over.

We reached her class. It suddenly dawned on me that she is growing so fast. That this was the beginning of her future. Her teachers were very pleasant they received us well. A was already at home as she mingled with other kids quite well that she barely said goodbye to me. She had longed to be in school. Finally she had arrived. I said my goodbyes. She was happy to see me gone. As I was going down the stairs, I could not hold back my tears. I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t help thinking over and over again that my little girl is growing so fast. It was just the other day I was breastfeeding her. Just the other day she was in diapers, then came the crawling. Her first tooth. Her first step. Her first words. Her many firsts that made milestones. Now she is three. Her first day in school. I took a minute and allowed the tears to wash down my cheeks.

The present: She’s finished kindergarten one. I am excited for her. I am a proud mom. She’s grown so much. Her diction has improved. Her mannerism, improved. Her sense of responsibility, improved. She is no longer my one month old baby that is breastfeeding. In her own right she thinks she’s a grown up. Sometimes I think she is too.

The journey raising my little girl has not been easy. It has had its shares of good moments and better moments. Sometimes it has been hard. So hard. But worth it. Trying to balance being a mom, in between working and at some point going back to school has not been easy at all. Raising her has had its shares of joy and pain alike. There has been tears as well. Especially at nights when she is sick and her temperature is escalating  to almost 40 degrees. Trying to put it down, trying my best to make her comfortable. Rushing between hospitals and pediatrician visits. It has not been easy at all.

Dealing with discipline and trying to curb unwanted behavior has also not been easy. Balancing how to punish her, how to make her understand what she is doing is wrong, teaching virtues and acceptable behavior at an early age hasn’t been easy either. Sometimes, I cry, not tears of sadness but tears of being overwhelmed. You see, am an emotional mom. I cried when my daughter got her first injection, I cried when she walked her first steps. I cried when she said her first words. I cried when she first joined school. I cry when she recites a poem. I cry when she makes me happy. I am a mom who cries sometimes. That is how I deal with my emotions. And when its a bit overwhelming, when I feel the plate is too much, When I wonder if I am doing the right thing and I feel it doesn’t work out. I cry. Then I wipe those tears. I get up and do what needs to be done. That’s how I ‘mom’.

So, she’s done with Kindergarten one. Next year she will be joining two. I am happy. I am excited. I am proud of her. When I look at her, I know I have done a good job raising her. I know when God gave her to me, He knew, am the right mama.

Here is to all the women raising their kids. To the mamas sacrificing so much to ensure their children are well taken care of. To the mamas wondering if they have done enough. Heres to let you know, that you have. You have done enough. You have what it takes to raise your child. You, are the best mama.