Not that long ago I came across an article talking pretty strongly about a video of a woman practicing premastication with her son. I was a little taken aback by the article wondering why they were making such a big deal. I’ve never heard of the term premastication, but I knew right away what it meant, so I went ahead and watched the video of this evidently socially enforced taboo.
Since I’m all about breaking the “social norms” now a days, I’m going to be honest with you. I had practiced this without even knowing that it was a thing. As a mother, I have certain instincts that take over me. Its hard for me to explain to anyone who is not a mother, or is… lets say… a father, but there is this part of my body that just acts in its own. It’s primitive.
I personally do not see anything wrong with this or anyone who practices this for that matter. As technology evolves our way of doing things may evolve with that, but that does not mean that how we used to do things in the first place should be considered wrong. Its hard to find a home now a days that doesn’t have a Baby Bullet in their cupboards, but sometimes its easier and more convenient to do the work ourselves while we feed our babies from our plates. I mean, its not like you ever want the food off your plate anyways. Mommy’s food is always more enticing.
It has been a while since I’ve had the time to sit and write to you. You have been growing too quickly and keeping me very busy, its hard to keep track of all of our special memories together. Many events have happened in our lives that are keeping us on our feet, running errands, traveling, bonding, and growing. It seems like there isn’t enough time to sit and think about our days, but here I am once again writing and remembering those little moments that have brought us closer together.
Shortly after a rainy Halloween, we flew down to Florida. It was election week in the United States and the blue and red signs covered the curb lawn until no green was visible to the naked eye. Cookie cutter houses and the closed in communities are splattered around uncontrollably in the state. Everything looks the same and plain, but there was something special about our week in Florida. There was a feeling of serenity floating around in the air that made our time there relaxing. Life goes by slower down there and the weather was deliciously hot. We spent most of our days next to the pool, teaching you how to swim and chasing you around so that you wouldn’t fall into the pool.
Not long after we returned home we began packing for our next trip. We were headed to Banff for a Christmas family reunion. I was very excited to reunite with my family once again. It had been about 5 years since we had spent Christmas together and this was a special one for us because it was your very first one. We spent three whole weeks preparing for that special day at the Elkhorn Lodge. Every other day the smell of cookies would put us all on a Christmas spirit trance. I packed presents until the wee hours of the night ever night, sneakingly making sure the wrapping paper wouldn’t wake you or your cousin up. Every night I went to bed and watched you sleep, so innocently unaware of my piercing eyes.
Later on our first week, after learning about the Sandy Hook shooting, I went to bed troubled. The pain of losing a child is incomprehensible to me. I looked at you and instantly became grateful for the blood rushing through your veins and the warmth that you radiate. I lied down, staring at the ceiling as you slept peacefully next to me. The log walls looked kind of eerie in the dark, the wood would always creak and the furnace would rumble through the night. It was peaceful and warm in our cabin. I closed my eyes and I concentrated on your breathing. There was nothing more relaxing than the reassurance that you are healthy, alive and happy. I took that moment and I savored every second of it. Then you let out the custest toot, which instantly brought a smile to my face.
Daddy came close to Christmas time and brought with him a nasty flu. Christmas eve was beautiful. Colombians and Mexicans reunited for a feast, bunuelos and a hearty bowl of Mexican posole were among the hit dishes that night. Of course, my cookies were a major hit and were sold out almost instantly after being set out on the counter. All of you, kids, were happily fighting over toys and crying for more sweets as we anticipated the arrival of Santa Claus. Everyone else played games and stuffed their bellies with food waiting impatiently to rip open their presents. I, on the other hand, was busily taking care of your father who was battling a 39.9 fever on the couch. It was a Christmas to be remembered and I would not have had it any other way!
I write this today, as I have all the other times, hoping that the day you read this you will be old enough to be exposed to my impudence and inappropriately written stories. I may write profanities, stories about near death experiences, embarrassing accounts, and other outside danger; only to express my true instant feelings.
Now that I got that out of the way, I want to share with you why sometimes when we go out and expose you to new people I find myself very confused. You are such an adoringly looking baby that you attract much attention from everyone who crosses our path. My motherly-protective instinct instantly comes out, but at the same time I find myself controlling my emotions while letting you explore the world the way you feel its natural for you. You are an overly friendly baby, a stranger walks by and you reach your arms to touch them or as an invitation to be held by them. You stick your fingers up their noses and/or into their mouths, sometimes in that order too, and you pull their ears or hair. I don’t think that you love the attention as some people would call it, I rather think that you are a kind hearted boy who wants to spread some love. In my head I am debating weather or not it is a good idea to let you be this friendly to strangers. What I want to teach you as your mother is to be a kind person to everyone around you and never care about how they look like, what they wear, what religion they practice, what their skin colour they have, or anything else for that matter. So, I stop myself and I let you be who you are; but I wonder in my head, as you give them a friendly wave or smile, how can I teach you about safety and not trusting people who may have bad intentions. Right now I can hold you tight in my arms, knowing and trusting my own instincts that the stranger just wants to pinch your cheeks and get a smile back in response. However, whatever will you do when I am not there to protect you? How can I show you what kind of behavior is appropriate from a stranger and what isn’t? Being a parent is hard because everything I stand and believe for conflicts with each other and I am left stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Today, while on our way home from the mall, strolling on the pedestrian path I walked appreciating a tree with its yellow leaves falling gently to the ground. A picture perfect day for us after a few miserable rainy days that left us stuck at home for 72 hours. I met a woman and her baby, like I usually do while strolling on this path, I smile big at her baby and gave her a kind “hello.” All I kept thinking as I walked past them was ” Aw, how wonderful it is to be a mother and to be part of… what the heck!” All of the sudden I spot a woman, probably 20 feet away, siting very awkwardly on a short brick wall edging that’s parallel to the sidewalk. Her head was down, her chin against her chest, and her pants were all the way down to her thighs. My first thought was that I had to protect my baby no matter what, what if she was drunk and she jumps out and attacks us. Then I remembered the other mom and baby, who must have also seen this lady, and were clearly unharmed. So I kept walking, thinking to myself that I must not judge her. She must have her own reasons for her public indecency. Perhaps she really needed to go pee and didn’t want to pee her pants. Reasons that do not concern me, I walked by like I had seen nothing.
Right now I am sitting at the dinner table watching your father work out to “Insanity.” He has been loyally working out for about 4 months and seems to be making a lot of progress. At first I found it hilarious, watching him work out on our living room to a crazy man on the TV. Its very entertaining, but the best was today as I was cheering him on, “You’re doing a great job honey!” Your father, with all four (hands and feet) on the floor and his butt pointing directly at me, suddenly stops and lets out a big stinky fart. “This workout makes me fart! You should try it, you’ll fart right away!!” Thanks honey, but I think I’ll skip on the farting.
I prefer to sit and watch him workout while you so adoringly stare at him and follow him all over the room. In other news, today you fell and hit your head against the edge of the window trim. How? Well, our condo windows go from floor to ceiling which is clearly a baby hazard. Here is a little girl who fell in love with you at first sight as I was trying to get you a passport for our trip to Florida. How cute is this!?
A lot has happened since my last post. We are so overwhelmed at how fast time seems to be going and how little I feel I get to enjoy you being so little. Thanksgiving has come and gone, it was a great weekend, we couldn’t have asked for anything better.
I wasn’t going to share this story, but I have to write it down other wise I will most likely forget: a few weeks ago our sleeping arrangements had to change because you fell of our bed twice! I know it sounds awful, but thankfully our bed wasn’t high enough for a bad fall and twice I caught your leg. You and I are now happily sleeping on the living room floor. Okay, moving on to other news.
Recently you been playing this game where we give you something for you to eat or hold and you drop it a million times just so we pick it up. With that in mind, your father and I finally experienced our first embarrassing moment at the grocery store the other day. We were walking up and down the isles looking for organic soy sauce when I got too close to the merchandise and you decided it would be fun to play the drop everything you see game. Your father says you were too eager to get your hands on that 6 pack of beer but it slipped from your hands; I, on the other hand, apologized a million times and pretty much ran out of the store too embarrassed to look back. There was glass shattered all over the floor, the beer was everywhere and the poor employee was on his hands and knees cleaning the mess we had just made. “Its okay, accidents happen” he said to me, I had no reply other hand to stare at him with a tiny tear at the corner of my eye! I turn to look at your father and he is staring at the floor with a shocked look on his face, I believe he was thinking, “Please don’t make me pay for this! Please oh please!!”
I also wanted to mention that I’ve started a high school biology course that I thought would be a piece of cake to get a good mark on. I think I remember now and understand how hard it is to be in school. I guess its a good reminder. I have to tell myself that I cannot be hard on you when you are in high school, but at the same time I am so frustrated with myself as this course is really important in order for me to get into Midwifery! Its hard studying and being a mom but this is a high school course for the love of God! This should be easy!! Hahaha
Sometimes it only takes the right song for me to feel like I’m bubbling up with words that need to be written down. Its been a month full of adventures, great memories were made and now its time to jot my feelings down before I forget. You are now an energetic little man who has his own mind, his own way of doing things, who wants things a certain way, and who cannot get enough of mom and dad.
You are walking like you have been walking your whole life, with much experience; your confidence only keeps growing and sooner or later you’ll be running, climbing, jumping off things and…. oh wait, you already do that too!!
The best part of this whole experience is when I look at you and you are staring at me, watching my every move, analyzing me intently with loving eyes, not judging, but loving me. Being a mommy is hard when I cannot understand what you want, you kneel on the floor bouncing up and down with a frown on your face and a frustrated scream. I pick you up all the time, but what I do? All I can do is kiss you, kiss every part of you, hug you tight and keep you close to me. I pray every day that I get better at following my intuition and trust that what I do is the right thing for you. No matter what, however, you’ll stare at me, not judging me, but loving me. Thank you, son. You are a kind loving little man.
Celebrating Dada’s birthday, finally another great family picture!First time on a swing.Cold day at the sand box.Family outing at Downey’s Farm.
This morning before the break of dawn, although tired and cold… very cold, our lives changed forever. It was around 5 in the morning, we were snuggled up with you in our 10 person tent, when I woke up to check up on you. The tip of our noses were frozen, the air mattress too hard for my comfort and silence filled the night with a strange eerie feeling. I was hoping to fall back asleep as quick as possible and ignore the frightening stillness of the woods, but right then I heard the howl of wolf followed by another and then a few more. It was exhilarating, goose pumps spreading over my body. Of all sounds that consume the woods, none are as famous, haunting, or as beautiful as a wolf’s howl and we were in the middle of their concert, a perfect pitch chorus. Yes, a wolf pack singing under the moon for us to hear. I still cannot believe it.
It was a rough start at our household this morning when we all woke up and ate breakfast together. We had ran out of banana’s to give you and your mesh fruit holder was mockingly sitting in the dishwasher waiting for this lazy mama to clean it. I do not know why I had the bright idea to feed you another fruit for breakfast without your mesh, even after daddy told me he had had a bad experience before. I broke off a piece of cantaloupe and let you suck on it for a few seconds and then I realize you were biting it and eating like quite a pro. I was content seeing you so proudly eating a new fruit with so much wisdom. I felt a sense of trust and let you take another bite, and that’s when things started to turn around.
Its started with a small cough, then your eyes opened as wide as they could, tears building up and running down at the sides. We knew what was happening, but we were not prepared for our reactions. I kind of screamed you were choking, you father jumped up from his chair holding you, he started screaming, “Jesus Fuck Monica!” and the stress starting building up. In my head all I could think of was, “Its okay Monica, its okay, I can take care of this, I know what I must do, do not panic, its okay, I got this, do not lose control.”
Your father’s first instinct was to put you down on you back, I reacted quickly and said, “NO!!! Not on his back!” I picked you up, put you facing down with your tummy on my hand. With my other hand I stuck my finger inside your throat, reaching as far as I could while you were clearly chocking and out of breath. I tuned your father out as he was screaming and I dug deep until I found the little devil and pulled it out! Just in the nick of time, I saved your life!
Our shock was too overwhelming, however. Your father didn’t know what to do, how to feel, who to blame, what to say and so he said to me the meanest words I could ever hear, “You almost killed him!”
I’ve never been so broken before. I had just experienced what could have been one of the most devastating moments in any parents life and realized how precious your life is and then I had to hear this. I was devastated. He took you from my arms and said those words again, “You almost killed him.”
I left the room, I had to curl up on our bed, crying like a child myself. I sobbed. It was the guilt, your father’s words and the fact that you almost choked to death that made me broke down. Minutes later, your father walks in with you. He apologized and you had big smile on your face, like nothing had happened. You, playful like always, looking at me in that state. I wonder how many more times we will go through a scary moment like this. I know that this is one of many more to come and I can tell you that I do not look forward to it.
We are looking into CPR courses as I write this and perhaps feel a little bit more comfortable in knowing that at least we will know how we have to handle a situation so delicate as the one we went through today.
I have realized more than ever how much you mean to us, how much you bring life to us, and without you nothing would ever be the same. I am so blessed to have such a bright, playful, beautiful, loving son in my life and I swear to protect your life until the day I die.
I don’t think you’ll be having any fruit for a while.
Even though my chest is scratched,
and my breasts are stretched.
Although sometimes my nipples bleed,
and the soreness it keeps.
As much as you tug and pull,
while you take your mouthfuls,.
I cannot help but love every minute
our nursing has no limit — Monica Salazar
For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul. — Judy Garland
Its been three weeks since our return from Alberta and you have mastered your crawling at only 6 months old! You are still practicing standing up on your own, which never ceases to amaze me, and you are very good at cruising in your playpen. Usually you pull yourself up while holding on to couches or chairs, but twice I caught you standing up with no support. Your father and I think you are a little genius, outsmarting every baby in every way! I know you’ll be walking soon, so I have the camera ready to whip it out in the nick of time.
As much as I want to keep you as a little baby for a while longer, I know you are ready to become a big boy. In six months you’ll be one year old and I will be looking back to these days with tears in my eyes, wondering if I was a good enough mother to you. I know sometimes when things get hard we all want to run for the hills, but even if I ran I would run with you. When I am sad or overwhelmed, I too look for you to hold on to tight.
Two weeks ago we started a journey to where majestic landscapes exist. The Canadian Rockies are, by far, the most breath taking view my eyes have ever laid eyes on. This beautiful scenery makes the awful flight to our destination and the virus that is still lingering in our systems totally worth it.
Our trip started a little bumpy with a sickness that spread to every person we saw. The recycled air on the plane and the man coughing like a mad dog behind us are, unfortunately, the ones to blame. However, I feel like I cannot complain because our trip was amazing! You were amazing. You did not cry when we flew, you did not cry when you were held by my sisters, you did not cry when you were held by strangers, and you did not cry going to sleep in a different bed. You were just amazing! Well… except for that bug. I made sure to take you to the hospital in Banff so that we would have some peace of mind and enjoy our trip better.
Canada day surprised us with a huge parade downtown Banff. About 40 thousand people flooded the streets wearing red and white, some wore cowboy hats, while others adorned themselves with over-the-top accessories. We saw young crowds sitting on roof tops and drinking while the majestic Rockies sat beautifully behind them as backdrop, every window in every building full of people with horns and flags all screaming joyous chants. The energy was ecstatic, but then again our whole trip was ecstatic. Days later, our trip turned more mystical when we saw our first bear and mountain goats just sitting quietly on the side of the road, minding their own business. Cars stopped and people whipped out their cameras, paparazzi style, shooting pictures as if there was no tomorrow. We also hiked Tunnel Mountain and Johnston Canyon, which are by far the best family friendly hikes anyone can do in Banff National Park and extraordinarily beautiful. We made a quick stop at the Cascade gardens and ponds, we might have also pretended to be guests at The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, shhhh; we got into a gondola that took us to the top of the world, and then we baptized you. That was the highlight of our week. You wore a beautiful gown and bracelet with your name engraved to it. Your father on the other hand, was the only one under-dressed at the ceremony and was made fun of the whole day. The little church was beautiful and full of colour and your God parents were so thrilled to be part of such a joyous occasion. Carolina and Mauricio are by far the best aunt and uncle anyone could ever ask for to you and Nico. We had an amazing family get-together and fun trip!
We sure need a vacation after our vacation to recharge our batteries.