A baby’s story about a family

Maritza Rangel

They asked me to watch mom and dad so that I can tell you how they are dealing with me. You see, I’m their first born and it’s interesting to watch how they hover and behave around me.

It was kind of a crazy first day. Mom slept, I slept, dad phoned everyone he knew. There were people in the room talking and they laughed, and repeated my name more than a hundred times. I think they were very, very happy with my arrival.

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But I was just so tired. The day before, it was a nightmare; my mom’s womb muscles tightened, and for more than 8 hours I felt like I was being squeezed until I got out. I had floated comfortably and softly in a bag of liquid, protected and warm, but it broke and left me feeling dry so I started bumping around. I was so cold when I finally got out, and suddenly they grabbed me by the ankles, swung me upside down and I was spanked! I needed to open my mouth and cry and breathe. I never had that feeling before. I was so tired; so really, really tired.

And so was my mom, I think. They had to wake her up so I could suckle. She looked so pale. I looked up and met her special eyes… It was strange, I fell in love immediately. She spoke to me softly, saying things I couldn’t understand, while I snuggled happily in her warm sweet protective smell. Her milk was true happiness for me.  babystory02

Fifteen days have gone by and my mom is still pale. I sleep all day, but she doesn’t. She’s afraid to leave me alone for a second. They don’t lie me down in their bed, they know they’re far too heavy and could accidentally crush me, so I sleep in my crib by their bed.  At five in the morning, my dad gives me a bottle of milk so my mom can rest for a while. He helps me burp, softly patting my back three times and then lies me down on my side, with the support of a small pillow. He then showers, makes breakfast for him and mom and goes to work.

It’s been a month now. My dad told mom it was time to put me in my own room. They set up a baby monitor with a camera. Ever since they moved me to my room they look less tired. It seems it was the right thing to do. I now have a mobile with music.

I want to be with mom all the time, but I am learning things about myself too. I have a body, I see more clearly and play with my legs. I discovered that crying is great: mom and dad come immediately, although sometimes when I do it too much, they ignore me. I have decided to cry when I am hungry or uncomfortable. My grandmother says we babies “just know too much.”

It’s been six months already and everyone says I’m healthy and cuddly. I’m the center of attention. Mom and dad took a course about family  -they didn’t take me. They think I don’t understand.

They talked when they arrived, they said they are a family now that I was born, but they clearly understand that they are still a couple, that while taking care of me they must always, always, always look after each other too.

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Once a month they have a date night, they go out to dinner, dancing or the movies and leave me at home under the care of my nanny (certified at a baby care center) or with my grandmother. My dad gives flowers and chocolates to my mom, and the three of us go out for a walk. My mom trims my dad’s beard, she prepares chocolate pancakes for him and gets him new socks.

I sometimes hear them playing hide and seek. They are happy. They talk a lot. He comments on something and then asks “What do you think?”. Then she speaks and he listens to her too. They agree and put it to work ad experimentum, although the truth is I have no idea what that means.

I know I don’t  feel stressed because they aren’t stressed. I’m calm because they are too. They give me what I need, even during my tantrums… When I throw a tantrum they sit me down for a 2 minute time out to think it over; and if I don’t understand, my dad crouches, looks me in the eyes and explains. He then asks me what I understood, even though I’m only two years old.

I think as the family’s first baby, my parents are doing a great job. I’ve learned that the three of us are equally important; mom and dad are a couple and I’m their son whom they love and raise together. And now, we’re expecting a second baby… How will that be?

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