My baby just turned four months. Yes, it has been 120 days since she left the dark, cosy confines of my womb for the bright, open world.
The time she has spent in the world might seem like just a minuscule, insignificant blip in time, but incredibly, she has already taught me so much about life.
My infant taught me:
to wake with a bright, happy smile
It amazes (and baffles) me that she is so wondrously cheerful in the morning, when she's got parents who clearly don't share the same mindset.
Let's just say I am not a morning person. Most mornings I awake feeling grouchy about being up earlier than my tired mind and weary soul would have wanted.
In my reluctance, I forget to be thankful that I'm waking up to a new day of life and opportunities. I forget that my mornings in the universe are finite and that I, like everyone else, am living on borrowed time.
To be able to wake is reason enough for a smile. Funny that it takes a baby to remind me of that.
to always express how I feel
... even if it's beyond comprehension of those on the receiving end.
My baby coos, babbles, grumbles, snorts, grunts and whines a lot. Everytime I respond with a smile or a comforting line.
Because I know all she wants is to be heard.
It is a timely reminder that I should never bottle up any hard feelings. Talk it out. Laugh it off. To anyone with a listening ear.
I was surprised by the immense support I received from family and friends when I needed to rant. That tided me through the worst of my postpartum hormonal days.
not to discriminate
My baby smiles back at whoever smiles at her.
Tall, short. Plump, slender. Dark-skinned, fair-skinned. Male, female. Long-haired, short-haired.
It doesn't matter. I doubt she would have minded bad breath too.
I hope she'll always be trusting and pure. And that I too would see through strangers' outward appearances for the kindness and warmth in their hearts.
to hold on to those I love tightly
It is probably reflex when a baby's hand closes around your finger.
But it is a sign of I-am-not-letting-go when she intentionally curls all of her little fingers around one of yours.
Love can be expressed through the simplest of gestures. I shall remember to always hold those dear to me tight and close with all I've got.
to be more tuned into my environment
My baby is intensely curious, like all babies. She examines every corner of her nursery with interest everyday, even if it's a familiar sight since the first day we brought her home.
It struck me that it is easy to miss out details around us - that ray of sunlight streaming in at a new angle, the fan whirring more loudly than usual, books not stacked neatly in their usual place etc - if we don't look hard enough.
I should make it a point to observe more and live life less in haste and oblivion.
never to tire of redoing the same thing
It takes all of my baby's cross-eyed concentration and the best of her motor skills to direct her teething toy into her waiting, open mouth and rub it against her sore bottom gums.
It's a hit and miss. More misses than hits for sure.
But that doesn't stop her from trying again, and again, and again, and again, repeat infinite times.
My baby of purpose, my inspiration. Who would have thought?
to be comfortable in my own skin
When she is tickled, she throws her head back and gives a chortle.
Does she care that she laughs in an unladylike manner? No.
When she is hungry, she feeds endlessly at my boob without heed to the passing of time.
Does she care that drinking so much milk would give her a double - oh wait that's an understatement - triple chin? No.
When she is fascinated by a colourful object hovering above her, her little arms and legs flail about as she strains to reach it.
Does she care that her movements are hilariously uncoordinated and jerky? No.
It is a marvel that babies are programmed to pursue certain goals relentlessly with a one-track mind, and to not have a care for how others might perceive them.
I need to embrace that same doggedness and carefree spirit.
As a parent, I instinctively think of my role as the educator. But in a true reversal of roles, my baby has already taught me more important life lessons than I have imparted to her.
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Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.