Tuesday, August 21, 2007

At Four

At four, Yoshi ...

… has had a second degree burn just above the right cheek of his butt. He got scalded by hot water from the dispenser that broke when he hit it as he was brushing his teeth by the sink. The ER pedias in St. Luke’s had a grand time listening to him re-tell the story over and over, the way he made it sound like a big adventure instead of the literal pain-in-the-ass that it was.
… has spent a day with Angel Locsin when she shot an indie film at his Lolo’s neighbor’s house. He was apparently not starstruck or anything, just talked to her as tho she was any other normal girl. Ches’ and my guy friends drooled in envy at the celfone pics of Angel hugging Yosh.
… is obsessed with collecting everything that has more than two of the same kind. Shrek, Fantastic Four, and Harry Potter action figures, Dr. Seuss and Little Golden Books, Marvel Action Heroes and Looney Tunes activity books, Dora and Buzz Lightyear puzzles, Brainy Baby flashcards, even Mabuhay magazines. When we get him an addition to his collection from the mall he can’t wait to get home so he can line them up on the table or floor. This is happiness for his young life.
… is a little geek who wants us to tackle his homework soon as I get home Friday afternoon. He sits in attention watching educational show types like Galloping Minds and Blue’s Clues. (I enjoy Dora and adore Sesame Street, but I cannot stand these shows that sound too monotonously like classroom lessons.) He even has the patience to listen when I explain to him about the car coding scheme, after he asks why Perky our car cannot go out on Fridays.
… weighs 26 kilos and measures 41 inches.
… wants to have pink hair, appear on the big screen (“wong nasa movie theater”) and marry me when he grows up : )
… is best described by the word “sutil”. For example. This is his first time in school (not counting his summer day care in MalacaƱang) so everyone’s excited to see how he does. He won’t put up with any questioning from anyone tho and squeals, “Nothing happened!” before you even ask. So now I prompt him, “Nothing happened in school today? Maybe we should pull you out. Sayang lang tuition…” And he replies, “Meron naman…” without bothering to elaborate. But out of the blue – say, in the middle of Mass or just when we’re about to turn the lights off at night – he’d excitedly blabber about how Brianna made poo-poo in school or how Teacher Regine told him to “Zip your mouth” bcoz he talks too much. Groan.
… has no stranger anxiety whatsoever. He smiles and waves at everyone and makes friends everywhere. He’d go straight to the counter at McDo and ask the crew, “Meron bang available na Surf’s Up toy [or whatever is the freebie from Happy Meal]?”, by-passing the long line in front of him. Good thing he’s still in this cute stage, or he will so get many bops in the head.
… has quirks that I cannot for the life of me find an explanation for. Just one example. On our last trip to the grocery he begged me to buy Mr. Muscle. He hardly even sees the commercial on TV. I made him choose between Mr. Muscle and a Dora writing workbook, and he chose Mr. Muscle. It’s totally baffling.
… has a bear he calls Manong Guard. I explained to him that it’s a pasalubong from Tita Chuchi when she traveled to Europe, and the bear is a model of the guards in Buckingham Palace where the Queen lives. So he calls the bear Manong Guard. Ches and I get a fantastic kick out of this.
… loves monsters, ghouls and other creepy-crawly things. His favorite books are Luis and The Enchanted Creatures (which talk about the tikbalang, kapre, aswang, tiyanak, nuno sa punso and batibat, which I’ve never even heard of) and Ang Tikbalang sa Kabilugan ng Buwan. In her recent trip to the US, Lola Ninay got him this thick book of pre-historic beasts with exquisite pop-up figures of mammoths and dinosaurs and stuff. (Ches and I often muse at how lucky Yosh is. All I can remember having as a little girl is a glossy book on Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Cobbler, Cobbler, Mend My Shoe, a picture book of flowers and a coloring book with kittens on the red cover.) My 4th birthday gift for him was also a pop-up book with mummies, Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula. He is such a boy.
… watches one, sometimes, two movies a week. And I don’t mean the stuff that he sees over and over in his DVD player at home (Fantastic Four, Shark Boy and Lava Girl, this werewolf movie called Cursed). I mean all the latest movies in all the nice theaters, anything that’s for kids (sometimes not even entirely, like Ouija), all courtesy of Chester’s MTRCB pass. He’s even more updated than his dating-age titos and titas. Ches is priming him up for that time when his pass expires and is not renewed anymore, how he’ll just have to be content with DVDs from Quiapo. To which Yoshi’s reaction is an uncharacteristic stoic silence.
… is still a baby. He still suffers from separation anxiety when we go off to work in the morning, so then we’ll have to take him to drop me off to the office, or to 7-11 so he can get a Slurpee to cheer him up. He also cries sometimes when I call him from work and I’m about to put the phone down, or when I call him from Cebu or KL. There was one time when I brought him to school and he just wouldn’t let me go and clung on to my neck and big tummy and preggy pants. These despite his being a happy and naughty child 99% of the time. It breaks and warms my heart both. I just know he’ll be my baby till he’s four and a hundred.

Monday, August 06, 2007

It's a Boots

I went on my 6th month ultrasound last week. My OB requested for a congenital anomaly screening as part of the routine tests. It takes longer than the usual ultrasound bcoz the sonologist examines the body parts one by one. She showed me which one was the leg and lungs and all that (tho to be honest all I could recognize was the beating heart). And then she saw something protruding and exclaimed, “Ang tulis ng putotoy!” (Cost of playing hooky from work bcoz you don’t have the EQ to wait for the weekend to get your ultrasound – manageable/chicken feed; cost of a congenital anomaly screening – not bad/equivalent to the price of a decent pair of shoes; seeing right before your eyes the fluttering organs of the little human being in your tummy, and his sharp little penis besides – priceless.)

I get weepy when I tell Ches and I could hear his voice break too. I guess, like me, he feels blessed to hear the baby’s ok and I’m ok and we’re all good, when so many things could go wrong. His first reaction when I tell him it looks like I’m destined to be the lone queen of the household bcoz we’re having another boy is, at least this gives us the perfect reason to try for another baby soon. (Once in ten years Ches manages to come up with exactly the right thing to say.)

Yosh is momentarily disappointed when I tell him coz I guess he’s been expecting a baby sister like Vada. When we told him at the start of my pregnancy, he was excited and has taken to addressing my tummy Dora (after his favorite cartoon character of the moment). Then he pretended to also be pregnant and called his tummy Boots (Dora’s best friend monkey). He’d mimic the sounds I make when I threw up, he’d crave for scrambled eggs in the middle of the night, and announce that he has to walk slowly coz he might slip and lose his baby. (He’s a riot, I swear.) I had to explain to him that at least with a baby brother he’ll have someone to play his Legos with, his choochoo trains and his huge The Thing action figure. He lit up and started squealing and wanted the baby to come out already so he can show him his Spidey box of toys and puzzles and flashcards. (I am moved once again by the simplicity and resilience of toddler souls.)

Everyone was kind of betting I was going to have a girl, including my sister (who coveted my made-in-Cebu bangs). People can be rude this way – they fearlessly forecast what gender your baby will be, supposedly depending on how you look: girl if you’re pretty, boy if you’re ugly. (Imagine how many people I would have bopped in the head if they had dared say I look like I’m carrying another boy.) So I basked in the compliments, and secretly also longed for a little girl whose hair I could French braid and who I can take shopping in Gingersnaps and Kids of Bayo, a mini-maldita-me who will maybe let me fulfill my dream of becoming a ballerina thru her. But Ches’ and my official line to everyone has always been, we don’t mind if it’s a boy or a girl, as long as it’s healthy. (I mean, surely that’s what matters.)

With another Boots, Yoshi’s stuff will be put to further use instead of just lying around and filling up closet space in the house. I had given away so many clothes and toys already, but this boy just does not stop accumulating more from his titas, grandparents, hand-me-downs from cousins (ok, from me and Ches too). I swear, we have to add a second floor soon just to accommodate his growing empire. Groan.

And then I remembered that I kept somewhere an Anne Geddes baby book entitled “To My Baby Brother”. The concept was for an elder sibling to fill in the blanks and tell the story of the baby brother’s birth up to his first birthday. It was filled with pages after pages of glorious pictures of babies amid sunflowers, posing as ladybugs, inside strawberry cakes. I bought it a long time ago, even before I got pregnant with Yosh, I think, just on the off-chance that my second child will be a boy, bcoz it was Anne Geddes and I simply could not resist it. (It’s crazy, I know. I have all these stuff that I buy on the teeniest weeniest of chances that they may serve some semblance of purpose in my life someday.)

And then it hit me. This has to be it. The reason why God wanted me to have another baby boy. So that this lovely baby book will not be put to waste.