By Dr. Daisy Joy Espejo-Torina
My baby always finds some way to make me stay just a little bit longer at home. When she sees me all dressed up for work, she would take my hand and say “Mag-eat tayo mommy.” She likes adding “mag” to all her verbs, mag-eat, mag-read stories, mag-go outside, mag-go upstairs. “Mag-eat tayo” is her favorite way of keeping me with her at least for a while. And then I would eat and she would just take a bite or two. After a while she would reach out for my blouse and say “Mommy, dede” just to check if I give in. If I do, it’s one of her lucky days. If not, there’s no harm in asking.
Sometimes, she would ask me to read her a story. She would hold a book in both her hands and hold it out to me as if begging and say “Mommy, read story tayo?” When she does not get the reply she wants, she would say “Pleeeeease?” Sometimes, she would say “Mag-upstairs tayo, mag-playroom tayo” and she would take my hand and lead me up the stairs amid my protests. Sometimes, she would say “Mommy, papakarga” and she would hold up her arms and expect me to carry her. Sometimes, she would ignore me and refuse to kiss me goodbye, knowing full well that mommy won’t leave without her goodbye kiss.
Other times, she’s not as subtle. She would frankly tell me, “No, mommy, ayaw work!” and she would either cry or throw a tantrum.
Whichever way she chose to delay my departure for the day, I would always end up spending just a little more time with her. If she says eat, by all means I would share a meal with her. If she says read a story, I would let her choose the book and I would read to her. If she says play, then I would go to the playroom with her and play whatever game she fancies. If she says karga, I would carry her and coax her to let mommy go to work. If she ignores me, I would wheedle a kiss from her until she gives in. I’m just lucky my work does not demand me to be on the dot.
I don’t mind at all that my baby demands time from me. My hubby would often complain about how she always gets her way with me, about how I adjust to her time schedule and not the other way around. It’s because I know that she won’t be a baby for long. In 5 more years, when she will have her own set of friends and her own activities, she won’t want to spend time with me anymore. So I’m spending as much time with her as she wants me to, now that she still allows me to.
She does let mommy go, in time. When she does, mommy gets a hug, a kiss on each cheek, forehead, nose and lips and the sweetest “love you.” That’s more than enough reward for the long wait.#