In Motherhood 101, there’s no grade. You either pass, or you fail. You might barely pass, pass alright, or pass with flying colors. But if you fail…there’s only one way to fail: miserably, irreparably, disastrously.
Every little thing I did wrong makes me question myself: would it permanently harm Puffy? Would he hate me? Would it make him antisocial/self-righteous/rebellious/any other malignant trait I can think of?
Just yesterday, while bathing him, I accidentally dunked his face under water for a split second. He must have snorted some water into his nose or mouth or eyes, for he started bawling. And I felt like I just scored ‘Klutziest/Worst Mother Of The Year’.
I’ve always liked the motto ‘it’s the thought and effort that matters most, not the end result.’ Oho, but would that work for motherhood too? Only if you want your child to be a failed social experiment. He won’t thrive on good intentions alone–you need a mixture of affection, tough love, informed knowledge, common sense, and a willingness to learn new things for the sake of teaching it to your baby. And then you need to find the right amount of each ingredient–put in too much tough love and he’ll grow up rebellious, extra dollops of information makes you one confused parent, etc.
In th end, I am the one being taught by Puffy. When I was worried about him being addicted to swaddled sleeping, he squirmed his own way out of his swaddle and resolved my problem. When I was worried about his frequent spit-ups and acne flares, he suddenly grew out of it and one day just stopped spitting milk and sprouting acne. When I was worried about his crying spells, the next day he returned to his usual angelic self and forgave whatever it was I did that frustrated him yesterday.
I am so in love, in love with you, my baby, my Puffy.
Had never thought myself capable of such love, like a spring that wells up and flows into a gurgling brook, and grows and grows to be a mighty river that drowns my selfishness completely.