Learning to Love My Son
September 10, 2015
Be careful of your dreams; sometimes they come true. My dream, nine pounds, 53 centimeters, lay in the cradle and made a funny smacking sound with his lips.
“Maybe he is hungry?” I asked my husband.
“I do not think so. I suppose, this is for all our life,” said my husband pretty seriously.
He made me laugh. “Yes, we cannot put him back,” I giggled, “or exchange him.”
I wanted a baby obsessively; two failed pregnancies before and age (I was thirty four years old by the birth time) made my wish to have a baby a fixed idea. I was the most happy and proud future mom in the world. A feeling of euphoria faded after some sleepless nights. A week later my husband evacuated to the living room motivated by the necessity for being cheerful before workdays, but on his day off he also preferred to sleep till noon or later. Once I asked him to iron baby clothes, and he said it was my female business, as if kids were born just for wives! I would not tolerate such behavior in previous days. I had gotten used to putting my interests and my feelings in the first place. Freedom and independence were the highest values for me previously, but now I was attached to my spouse— he was the father of my son. My son changed my life and my opinion about family and marriage just by being.
Sometimes my spouse held our baby in his arms, bubbled with him, and my son smiled with his toothless mouth, and I thought I could not deprive my baby of a father’s love. I could not find words for explaining the father’s absence to my son in the future. I grew up in a Muslim country (Uzbekistan) where marriages were often made not by love (sometimes it was made by parents’ agreement) but for bearing and raising children and a lack of kids might be the reason for divorce. It enraged me because I always stood personal relationships and love in the first place in a marriage; I argued with my married friends who endured offences from their spouses. Now I’ve tried their skin, but my son should grow up with a Mom and Daddy.
Monotonous days hung heavy— sleeping-feeding-walking-feeding-bath time-sleeping-feeding – as in the famous movie, “Groundhog Day”, starring Bill Murray and Andie McDowel. Sometimes I wanted to cry because of tiredness or argue with my spouse, then I held my baby in my arms and said, “Stupid woman, you should not cry and be nervous, it can spoil your breast milk!” My baby motivated me to regulate my time because he required a lot of attention. He slept only in my arms until four months; if he did not sleep, he always wanted to be with me. We played, ate and, sometimes, went to the washroom together. I cooked meals and ironed, while he was sitting in the baby sling, maneuvered in crowded shops with him in the stroller, and slept rocking the cradle.
My son rolled over on to his front very early (before his third month) to see better what was going on. However, he almost did not crawl (he did not like to trouble himself with active movements like his father); instead, he preferred to travel on my hands, face foremost. When I put him on any surface, he immediately rolled on his front and looked at me with such an accusatory glance that I wanted to give him back. It was a great day when he started to move more actively— my hands were free at last – but now I had to be careful about any small things on the floor because all things found on the floor were immediately put in his mouth for studying.
By the time balance was established in our Father-Mother-Son triangle, it was not a good or bad solution just right for our son. It was strange, but I did not feel particular fondness for my kid. I did not want to call him “schmoopy” or “kitten,” as if something was frozen inside me. I just tried to be a good mother and perform my parental responsibilities as well as possible. The ice had melted when he started to speak at the age of thirteen months. His first word was “No-no.” He was so funny when he bubbled and tried to repeat animal voices. He showed me a cown in the books and laughed when I spoke like a cow. We studied to communicate with each other. At last by one evening I realized that I regretted about his sleeping (earlier I felt only relief) and I could not hear his funny bubbling or watch his nice play. Life was quietly going right.
8.30 p.m. We are at the age of two years and six months. There are a lot of cars all around the house - big cars, medium cars and little cars- I could never imagine so many cars exist in the world. They lie pell-mell with incredible eight-wheel LEGO construction (It takes Daddy about thirty minutes to put all the toys in order). My son sits in the baby chair for having dinner and watches cartoons (he always eats watching cartoons).
“Do you want to have a fish for dinner?”
“No-no. I want to eat salmon”
“Ok. There is your salmon.”
“No-no, I want a sea fish. What is a fish? What was its color? How is it in English?”
“I do not know, kitten. This is just English.”
“What is English language? What language does Skytrain speak? Why . . .”
“Stop talking, please, and eat your FISH!”
At this time, a cartoon alien asked for Valerian drops and salad in a café.
Our son leaned back, “Waiter, Valerian drops and salad!”
My husband and I burst out laughing.
“Are you ready for a second one?”
“No-no . . .”