Monday, February 27, 2012

Bringing up Preemie Girl

I used to think that bringing up kids wasn't all that hard. My parents raised us their 3 children (1 girl and 2 boys), fairly and without biases. We all had the same privileges and got the same kind of punishment when we did wrong. I never felt any more special than my 2 brothers. But when I became a mother to a 3 month old baby boy in 1991, I realized that it was not easy at all and that parenting is the hardest job in the world where there is no retirement ever. And so when I took home a 5 month old baby girl (who was born severely premature) for Christmas in 2008, it was an act of faith and trust that this too is God's will for me and my family. You see, raising my son was a relatively fun task for me, maybe because as the eldest in my family and the oldest grandchild, I grew up looking out for my brothers and playing with my cousins, majority of whom were male. I have always been partial to boys, even as a child. I remember each time my mom became pregnant, I would always wish for a brother. Being used to boys, I understood them better than girls. I was worried not so much about the fact that she might have special needs, but that I wasn't too sure that I knew how to handle girls! If I just based my capability on the limited interaction I had with female cousins and my family's not too great experience with adopted or fostered daughters, I probably would have gotten cold feet. On the other hand, I love children regardless of gender and this angelic, fragile and helpless child stole my heart forever. Indeed, time flies because Preemie girl will be 4 years old in July. She is so different from her older brother when he was her age...in fact, she is the exact opposite. While my son was an obedient and quiet child, my daughter asserts herself all the time and could hit the right decibel to cause temporary deafness when she does not get her way. She is hyperactive and needs to be entertained, quite unlike her older brother who used to play with his toys for hours all by himself. She is inquisitive and a quick study, but is such a handful that I could not help but compare her to Big Brother who is now 21 and the only one who can make her obey at first try. He adores her, of course and enjoys being called "dada" instead of the usual term of manong (respectful title for older brothers). And thank God, except for a really fast metabolism and hyperactivity, she is as normal as any child her age. She is smart and adorable. And she can be so sweet when she wants to. She is all girl...loves using pink lip gloss and polish. 
 
 

As I write this post, I am inclined to believe that the difference in behavior (aside from genetics, of course) between my 2 kids at that particular age (2-3 years old) is probably because I nurtured each of them a little differently. I had my son when I was a lot younger and with less responsibilities at work, so that I had more energy and time for him. I used to come home for lunch and spend part of the afternoon with him before going back to work. I would put him to sleep and even tutored him. When my daughter came to us, I was at work the whole day, coming home early evening just as she is getting ready for bed. Although she sleeps with me, the time I spent with her is considerably less than the time I used to spend with my son. She spends most of her waking hours with her nanny and since I would bring part of my work home, it was also her nanny who would put her to sleep. Now that I am out of work, I do have more time with her but I have to admit that at my age, an active child is really challenging. We will be putting her in nursery school this summer in preparation for the regular school year this June. I hope by then she learns to sit still, stay quiet and pay attention...otherwise, we are in big trouble.

And Big brother? Well, let me just say that he outgrew the docile behavior by the time he was in grade school...but, that's another story and for another post (big wink).





19 comments:

  1. Hi there! You must be very young when you had your first child in 1991. CHildren are great blessings from God. I am glad that despite the fact that your younger baby is premature, she has coped and developed well, and sounds like a very smart one at that.
    Your daughter is very pretty too!
    I have a 9 year old and he likes to have siblings. How was your son when he was growing up without a sibling? Did he beg you to make one?:-)

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    1. hey, we must be on the same wavelength coz I just commented on your blog! Well, I was young but not very young when I had my son. My dad just died from a first and massive heart attack and he was only 58. I was partying almost everyday and when he died, I thought life couln't be that short? A month after, my son came to me and he was part of my life changing experience. When he was 11, he wanted a sibling and he got attached to my cousin's new baby that they made him a godfather during the baby's baptism. I guess, one does not plan these things...our baby girl is meant to be mine.

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  2. This is such a touching post with lovely pictures. I am a new Follower of your Blog. Thank you very much for your comment on the Pinterest post on my Blog some time ago. I have been offline due to computer problems. I am now going to check your Pinterest Post. Take care and all the best to you and your family.
    Judy - JUDY H-J'S THOUGHTS

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  3. Although I have no kid of my own yet, I do believe that I can relate with you somehow. I have seen a child grow before my eyes. She is turning 6 years old this August. I have seen a quiet little girl turned into a tazmanian devil *lol* But her shouting days have lessened and have become more understanding of other people. Kids just simply change and grow up so fast..

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  4. Indeed it is hard to be a parent. I remember my 2nd son who was 8 weeks and a day when he came to us. He was so brave. When I saw him with my wife, he was so small and had a mixed emotion. I felt happy and at the same time afraid but all of it was gone now. Seeing my youngest son grow (he's 5 mos old now) fast and gone quite bigger than his older brother when he was the same age.

    I enjoyed taking care of him and felt proud every time I see him develop new ways to get my attention. God bless and take care.

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  5. Awww, I love this post. It is full of love and affection.:)

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  6. I am so proud of all the mothers who really have time for their children even in a busy days. Upon reading your post, I felt the tiredness yet a loving way of raising a child. I wonder how my mother do raised us her 11 children at a time? hehehe. And my foster nephew used to call me "dada" even up to now when he is in grade school. Great post.. I will learn more about family ties, parenting and how to handle life in a daily basis on your blog. God speed!

    from THEHANDRAWN

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  7. such a cute kid dear!! i gave birth also with my 4 year old daughter now, and i am so lucky and very happy to her with me and my husband as well. such an inspirational post! xx

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  8. very touching..
    you are such a strong woman.:)

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  9. My Julian will turn 4 years old this June too. As I was reading carefully and slowly your post in bed with Julian beside me ,he saw your daughter and said' hey, look at the little girl".I am making a post about my son too. You are one lucky mom for having 2 healthy children.

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  10. It truly is the HARDEST job in the world! I never liked kids, so when I became a mum it's triple the effort for me. But it's the most rewarding job ever too :)

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  11. Being a mom is such a noble status. You raise your kids and treat them well. Hope everything will be well for you and your kids. Raising them is a tough job but loving them is effortless.

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  12. It's very true that bringing up kids are tiring and may cause
    daily exhaustion, stress and headache...
    but seeing them grow and glow over the years
    is so much rewarding and fulfilling.
    Nothing truly compares to being a mother.

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  13. I agree. Parenting is no walk in the park as we have to keep our eyes open even if its closed just to make sure our children are well taken care of. ^_^

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  14. This is an inspiring story about motherhood! I am so glad that you are the type of mom who accepted and respected the differences of your kids. I always hear old-aged parents say that there is no graduation day for being a parent. Even if your children get old, you'll never ever stop being a parent.

    Thank you so much for sharing a bit about your life as a mom, Ma'am Maritel. Take care always and God bless! :-)

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  15. Well as for me. I find very very hard being a parent. I can relate somehow with my cousin who actually answer her mom back but well the only thing I could do is explain and make her understand everything. I hope I could be like you. Be strong enough and make other inspire by your experience! :)

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  16. You are inspiring. At least you are doing what you need to for your children.

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  17. Your baby girl is so cute. She is also very lucky to be alive! Imagine she's only 5 month old when you gavee birth to her. My brother and I also have a wide age difference and I am so glad that he always takes care of me up until now.

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    1. LOL Cha, she is not my birthchild, although it does not really matter if she isn't. She is God's gift, our little angel and one of the loves of my life.

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