The Things You Don’t See
Gone are the days when I could faithfully upload a “Matthew in the Morning” or “An Emma A Day”; blogging too, has become an exercise routine I long to fulfil but mostly fail at keeping up.
Why? Largely because the toddler is consuming all my energy. This bouncing ball of energy who talks a lot has his own mind and is not one to be easily persuaded to do anything else. Everyday is filled with at least three tantrums. On top of that, there is a list of negotiations, pleas, bawling, demands, screaming, the occasional smack on the hand and the rare corner timeout.
The things you don’t see are the accompanying snots and tears, his simmering and my full-fledged anger, his feet-stamping and my death-stares that really just burn me out.
Still, there are moments that continue to catch me by surprise and steal my breath away. In good ways. Some very good ways. I do my best to capture enough of them.
Currently, I clock about 1,000 photographs each month on my iPhone, and 99% of these are of the children. I like to think I have improved vastly with how I handle my iPhone to get it to camera mode, with sufficient lighting for each photo (I swear by light for natural enhancement, no filter needed) and then to snap, catch falling baby, snap, pry toddler from imminent danger, snap when he offers one smile admist 10 growls, snap when she bursts into glorious smiles when she focuses on me… How many more should I be consciously taking, or how more swiftly can I be to whip my handy phone-camera out at each precise opportunity?
For every moment recorded and immortalised in a picture, there are tens more that slip from my grasp. Those are the ones that pass by too quickly, recorded only in my frail memory that fades a little more everyday.
So there will be many worthy memories that not even I can revisit.
“Girl on Bench”
This was taken at Bishan Park, one morning after Matt returned to school. Now that Emma is older and way more steady (not flopping around, that is), I can finally bring her out for walks, something I had been yearning for for the last nine months. We had a good morning out and she was excited by everything happening around her – from grasscutters to cyclists, from passersby to cars on the road (from books to trains, to video games, it’s the biggest toy store there is, geewhiz!).
What you see: Emma clinging on happily to the bench we had taken a rest at.
What you don’t see: Us walking, with our little game where I hold her to my face, kiss her quickly and throw her up in the air. There my little girl was, gurgling away so happily and freely… and I held her tightly to me as I whispered in her ear, “I love you so much…” … and possibly, truly feeling the intensity of that love wholly and completely for the first time.
“Boy in Pool”
This was taken on some weekend evening at our neighbourhood swimming complex, where we bring the kids to, regularly enough (finally!) after our return from Bali where we had a pool in our villa. The boy had been afraid of water up till that trip. The only other times he had gone swimming was when he was a six-month-old in Redang (too young to be frightened then!) and twice after that trip (definitely frightened then!).
What you see: Matthew having conquered his fear of water. Daddy taught him how to move along the wall and he thoroughly enjoys creeping along the side of the pool, getting in and climbing out by himself.
What you don’t see: So he’s learned this skill on two trips to the pool when I wasn’t there and on this day, I am the terribly proud mother (who actually cried at the pool realising for the 1ooth time that my baby’s not really a baby anymore). And then Matthew who was happily doing his creep-crawl at the wall, turned to me and kept gleefully shouting, “Mummy, look! Look!!! … Mummy, look!” That was all. He wanted so badly to show me what he could do, probably not knowing how happy I would be for him, but definitely knowing how proud I would be of him. That made my day. That simple act of him desiring my affirmation just.made.my.day.
Yes, it is not a fact at all, for me anyway, that “I shall remember this moment forever”. Too many of such moments have already slipped from conscious memory.
But at least I have salvaged two of those moments here, for you, my dear babies, to look back on someday and hopefully, understand the love behind this effort I make to write this entry, and lock these moments in time for you.
Loving you both, our nine-month-old Blobby-Girl and two-and-a-half-year-old Terrific-Two,