…that’s what little boys are made of.
As it turns out, Peanut is a boy. He arrived on the morning of August 25th, a Thursday. He was delivered via C-section, and I remember the moment very clearly. “10:01, baby’s head out,” my ObGyn said to the attendants in the operating theatre. I heard his cries a few seconds later, and shortly after, one of the attendants brought him close to me, laying him next to my face.
Hello, Hatta. Welcome to the world.
He weighed a good 3.63kg at birth, most of it in his cheeks:
He’s just over two months old now, and is growing nicely. Maybe a bit too nicely… at more than 5kg now, my shoulders ache and my wrists hurt. Years of working on a computer and I’ve never had any problems; two months with a hefty newborn and I already have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (I think).
Hatta has been good to us, to be honest. When he was about three weeks old, he started sleeping for five hours at night, and it slowly progressed to six or seven hours, giving both The Mister and I a good night’s rest. There were a couple of nights when he slept for ten hours (!), which felt like hitting the jackpot. There are of course days when he gets cranky and doesn’t follow the schedule, but for the most part The Mister isn’t falling asleep at his desk, and I don’t need to take cat naps in between feedings. Don’t ask me what we did or how we did it; he just decided to sleep longer hours.
His expected due date was August 17th, which also happens to be Indonesia’s Independence Day. The Mister suggested the name Hatta, and as I did my research, I learnt that his namesake – Mohammad Hatta aka Bung Hatta, the first Vice President of Indonesia – fought for Indonesia’s independence alongside Soekarno. As Vice President, he worked with President Soekarno for many years, but as the latter became increasingly authoritarian and dictatorial, Mohammad Hatta – who still believed in democracy – became disillusioned and eventually resigned from his post. This was what appealed to me the most: that he stuck to his principles. And that is why I felt that Peanut, if he were to be a boy, should be named Hatta.
You see, stubbornness is one of my many faults. If Peanut were to inherit this trait from me, I hope it will be translated into an unwillingness to stray from his principles and value system. I understand that this requires a lifetime of nurturing, exposure, and education, but naming him after a person who demonstrated this ideal is, I feel, the first step.
How has Muci taken to his new ‘younger brother’?
Quite well, surprisingly. In the early days he exhibited a mixture of curiosity and nonchalance; at times quietly observing both Hatta and our interactions with him, and sometimes just ignoring the baby (and us) altogether. He would watch us quietly from across the room as we fussed over Hatta, but when the cries got louder, he would turn around and leave, seeking a quieter corner of the house.
Nowadays, however, Hatta’s crying doesn’t seem to repel Muci as much. He would tolerate it, and quietly observe us as we try to calm Hatta down. There have even been times when Hatta was crying in the nursery or in the study, and Muci slowly walked in, almost as if to see what all the commotion is about. During the day, he sleeps on his cat tree in the family area, where Hatta sleeps in his cot. When Hatta is awake and in the study with me, Muci comes in and lies down next to Hatta’s playmat. He has ventured to sit closer and closer to Hatta (under my supervision, of course), and I hope that in time they will be good friends.
So in the two past two months of caring for a newborn, what have I learnt?
- Productivity is measured in three-hour blocks. Get your s**t done while the baby is taking his daytime naps. The moment he closes his eyes and drifts off into dreamland, that’s when you rush to eat, shower, do the laundry, read the news,write, pump, prepare dinner, etc…
- Babies smile (and sometimes chuckle) in their sleep. It’s cute and creepy at the same time.
- THANK GOD for the Internet and home delivery services. I would never have been able to get the groceries or eat a proper lunch otherwise.
- Babies may be small, but they have the lungs of an elephant. I pity my neighbours.
- GET A HAZMAT SUIT FOR NAPPY CHANGES. No kidding. Those dirty nappies are radioactive. I dread the time when he starts on solids. Aaargh.
Other than that, it’s been great.