Baby & Me

Going through chances

I’m feeling sorry for my kid. No, she’s not a baby goat, or any type of farm animal, even though she does squeal like a little piglet from time to time. To rephrase, I’m feeling sorry for my offspring. The fruit of my womb. My one and only sassy, lil’ miss, Madame Adoti.

She’s been through quite a few changes in the 14 months she’s been alive. Leave aside the developmental changes children have to go through as they grow. While those are natural changes, they are challenging enough on their own, without the additional upheavals that parents can put their babies through.

For the first nine months of her life, Adoti had the same nanny. Both of us had become quite accustomed to her presence in our lives. We had settled into a familiar and predictable rhythm. But then the universe conspired to eject her from our consciousness in dramatic fashion and we were forced to find a new companion.

Finding a new nanny was stressful but not as hard as Mama had imagined. Within a week, we had the newbie on board and things started to glisten with the sheen of normalcy once again. The Dot quickly came to love her and for four months, life was beautiful.

Under her guidance, the girl-child became even more independent and outgoing. She made her first friends and even acquired a 4-year-old suitor. The boy was so enamoured with my girl that I almost set up a meeting with his parents to discuss dowry, bride-price and what not.

You would see them racing through the court, going from one end to the other, looking as if they would walk hand-in-hand forever and for always. Given the age difference, Adoti would sometimes run faster than her little legs could carry her, eventually falling flat on her face. Whenever that happened – and it happened often – this chivalrous boy-child would rush to her aid and help her back on her feet again. Talk about romance.

In that four-month period, Adoti came out of her shell and engaged the world on her own terms, many times to the chagrin of her Mama. Her stubborn streak run strong and it seemed her favourite pastime was to try my patience. Still is, as a matter of fact. But things have changed.

We’re on to our third nanny in 14 months. She seems nice. Then again, they all do in the beginning. As a mother who has seen her baby girl adjust to a changing environment on three occasions, I have my fingers and toes crossed that this one will be a good fit.

The Dot is still taking the newbie’s measure, trying to figure out if she’s worth her while. So she’s been a bit moody for the last few days. A bit clingy too. Her temper is on a short leash. Her tears close to the surface. She’s not a happy camper. As the constant in her life, I’m doing my best to reassure her that Mummy will always be there for her, but sometimes she pushes even me away.

I had become used to seeing her running into my arms yelling, “Hug! Hug Toto!” It always brought the biggest smile to my face even if I was in the foulest mood. That doesn’t happen so often these days. The child genuinely seems to be pondering the problems of her world, wondering why people always leave.

That plus her teeth are growing. The aggressive, little buggers are coming though all over the place and the soreness is not having the best effect on Adoti’s disposition. But that’s a developmental change that neither of us can do anything about. I’ll tell you what though, growing up is quite the obstacle course. The things children gave to go through in the name of evolution would make an adult lie down and take a nap.

But even as we document the Teething Chronicles, Mama is doing her best to speak positivity into baby’s life and to show her that mummys never leave. So when she pushes me away, I throw my arms in the air and yell: “Hug! Hug Ma-Mum!” She smiles and put her arms around my neck. “Hug Ma-Mum,” she says quietly.