Sunday, July 03, 2016

Raising kids in the time of blogging

Today, while the house is quiet as my little boys are sound asleep, I'm going to stare at my littlest one bathed in the faint light of my computer screen and bless him.

From left: Iñigo, Vito, and birthday boy Piero. 

Piero turns 2 today. My wee wonderful wildling. He's very physical, this boy. When he's happy, he throws himself at you. When he's sad, he hugs you tight. When he's really sad, he tumbles onto the floor in despair. When he's sorry, he rubs your tummy and then squeezes your tummy fats haha. And when he's mad at you, he'll fling his tiny fists at you with all his might. We're working on that last part since we don't want him to be violent. 

And now I feel like I shouldn't have revealed that. I don't talk much about my youngest. I'm only beginning to process the reasons why, now that he's 2.

It's been strange having babies in the time of social media. In the beginning, with Vito, wow, I practically blogged his whole life for everyone to know. He smiled today! He ate today! He rolled off the bed today yikes! He sat up today! He crawled, he stood up, he walked, he did everything! I don't know if it was because I was a first-time mom in the age of blogging, but it felt really good to share my mommy life to everyone, mostly because people were so interested.

Then my second baby, Iñigo, was born. While I didn't feel the same urge to share (because I was just too tired haha), Iñigo was the crowd favorite. Of my three children, he's the one with the fans club. Just as people clamored for Vito, Iñigo also had an audience who asked for photos and updates. In fact, he's the brand favorite, the one brands wanted to throw parties for and gifts at.

Then Piero came. No one was happy to find out I was pregnant for the third time. Just me and Vince. We were over the moon to be pregnant again, but people treated us like we were irresponsible. It's very strange to be in your late 30s, earning really well, with a fully owned house and car, and people still treated the news of your third pregnancy like you were teenagers who had an accident. "Was this planned?" was a question I got a lot. Yes, Piero was planned, anticipated, and welcomed with so much love! And since Piero turned out to be so lovable and absolutely perfect, everyone soon fell in love with him, too.

Piero loves books, Iron Man, The Hulk, and cuddles.

That is, people fell in love with him when I shared him, which I don't do as often as I did with Vito and Iñigo. Because no one initially welcomed Piero, I'm very protective of him. I feel like he is for me and my family alone, not for sharing, as I had done with his brothers before him. Piero, therefore, enjoys just a wee bit more privacy than his older brothers. People forget about my third boy. When they see him, they go, "Is this Vito? Oh! You have a third one! What's his name? Pierre? Perio? Pietro? Pedro? What?" Then they promptly forget and we have the same conversation when we meet again.

This is okay. Surprisingly, it's okay. When I still had just one baby, I used to get so annoyed when people didn't get Vito's name. "It's Vito. V, I, T, O. It's not Veto. It's not B2. It's not Don Vito. It's not Jovito. It's just Vito." But now, I don't even tell people Piero's name. "He's my son, yes," and I leave it at that.

Since I was too busy feeding his older brothers at meal times, Piero learned how to feed himself.

I don't want to speak for mothers everywhere who treat their youngest differently. I'm just speaking from what I'm going through. It's been said that the youngest is the closest to the mother's heart. That's not really true. All my boys are dear to me, but Vito and Iñigo are adored enough. In my experience, I dote on Piero extra because no one else dotes on him. Well, Vince and I do. The grand expectations are always on the firstborn. The firstborn is who you share with everyone—it's him everyone asks about: "Is he walking, talking? Is he going to school? Which school?" No one asks those things with the youngest child. It's the firstborn who gets the gifts, the attention. And since people seem to have decided that in their opinion Iñigo is the cutest, they adore him, too. But no one else adores Piero. He's the one who slips through the cracks.

And you know, that's okay with me. I'm not demanding for people to treat him like a star. In fact, I'm grateful that I finally get to revel in motherhood without anyone watching and poking their nosy nose into it. I feel like Piero's the one I don't have to share with anybody. He's the one people left for me to enjoy. And I've talked with other moms who confess to me that they also finally enjoyed motherhood with the third child because people leave them alone now. I guess people think you already know what you're doing by the third kid! Or they don't care anymore. And while this initially bothered me, now I super love it. I do! So much freedom!

His favorite place in the world is in my arms.

I guess I also understand now how my Mama adored my younger siblings. While my older brother and I were pushed to succeed, Mama coddled my younger brother and sister. They were her babies, the light of her life, especially my younger brother. She was a more relaxed mother with them. I never resented this because, well, they really were adorable. But now that I'm a mother, too, I get it. The older children bear the weight of everyone's expectations so of course they're the ones you push and mold and discipline and let go. The younger children, well, no one thinks about them so I guess I can spoil them extra. Like, when Vito goes to school, of course he has to go to school! When Vito graduates, of course he has to graduate! When he leaves home, of course he has to leave home! But when Piero goes, my heart will crumble to dust because there'll be no one left. No, not one.

I'll need to change this attitude, of course. We can't have me raising a spoiled brat. We can't have me treating one son differently. But he's only 2. And I'm going to baby him while I still can. Because they do grow so fast, and my heart is already crumbling at the edges because he's in such a hurry to grow up and be just like his brothers.


Happy birthday, my darling Mr. P! Mama loves you so very much! Tomorrow, I'll write a proper birthday post. Maybe I'll talk about how wonderful you are, and how smart and sweet, how tough and melodramatic you are. Or maybe not. Maybe I'll keep it all in my heart. All I know is you are what this family needed, and we love and appreciate all the chaos and joy you bring every day. God bless you as you have blessed us! We love you, our perfect P!


22 comments:

  1. Awww. Crying right now. I'm the third child, just like Piero. But my mama was never like you growing up. I always felt like she cared more for my other sisters even if I was the one who stayed longer with her. Even if I was the one who finished college and worked and helped her (my other sister finished, too but she never got to help her financially 'cause she got pregnant). Even if I was the one who always visited her every Sunday.

    Oh well, this is not about me.

    Happy, happy birthday Piero! I will always remember the day I got to smell your cheeks the "singhot lola" way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't speak for your mama but I think she "cared more" for your other sisters because by them she will be judged if she's a good parent or not. Kasi yun ang nararamdaman ko kay Vito. Like, people are judging me if I breastfeed him, by what school he attends, if he's doing well. No one asks kasi about Iñigo and lalo na kay Piero. So the pressure is on sa panganay. So parang you "care more" when in fact mahal ko silang lahat nang pantay =)

      Cheer up! My younger brother once complained na hindi siya pinapansin nila Mama't Papa. NYEK! nagreklamo si favorite! Sabi ng mama namin, "Hindi ka napapansin kasi wala kang sakit na ulo na binibigay sa amin." So baka ganun lang yun. Or you can ask your mama. =)

      Delete
  2. First of all, happy happy birthday, Pero love 😃 I remember the first time I met you in Kuya Vito's RSGK class. You were so tiny then. And now, you're two, in a hurry to grow and be like your Kuyas! 😃

    Frances, I love this post. From Mommy to a Mommy, I send you my hugs and thank you for putting these realizations into words. Super good source to for millenial Moms. God bless you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was that the last time we met??? Hindi ba the photo shoot for BABY Mag?

      Thanks for the birthday wishes and the hugs! =)

      Delete
  3. Oh I cried! We have the same feelings. I'm also a mom of 3. Nung nalaman ko na buntis ako sa youngest ko, kami lang ng asawa ko ang happy and no one is happy. Thank you for sharing this Frances. You are so true. Very very true. I don't have a favorite child, I love them also with all my heart but my youngest is very special to my heart that's why I'm also very protective with her. And it's true that people forget her, no one care to ask about her. Which really doesn't make me sad and in fact loving it. Thank you for inspiring me and making me feel na hindi lang pala ako ang nag-iisang babae na nakakaramdam ng ganito. Hahaha!God bless you and your family.
    Happy birthday Piero!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diba??? Nung start, nasaktan ako for my bunso kasi feeling ko hindi siya love ng world and then I realized why should I expect that? All he needs is the love of his family lang naman. Bonus na ang world, if ever =)

      Delete
  4. This is so touching! Your three boys are all adorable. Happy birthday Piero!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Happy Birthday, cutie P!! I must say, Frances, I also don't have a favorite - I love all your kids equally (hahaha feeling clowzz sorry)! But I do!

    I teared-up while reading this because I'm a third child. Third daughter. And yes, my mama is very protective of me. When I got married this May, she cried while we walked down the aisle when she succeed at holding back tears at my sisters' weddings before me. After the wedding, before hubby and I traveled back here to Manila, I slept beside her hihi.

    In a child's perspective, I feel like I'm also the one always looking for mama, the one openly giving her hugs and kisses, the one most vocal aboutvhow I love her among the three of us.

    O siya, tawagan ko nga si mama na-miss ko tuloy lalo haha!

    Happy birthday again, Piero! ♡

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, kakatuwa naman. Congratulations and best wishes! Hello to your mom! Thanks for the birthday wishes! =)

      Delete
  6. Happy Birthday, little Pierro! Your mama wrote a very touching message for you that everyone who reads this will feel how much she loves you. God bless you and your kuyas too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I love that little baby lots! And I love his kuyas super duper, too! =) Thank you for the birthday wishes and the blessings!

      Delete
  7. happy birthday, piero! :)
    when he learns how to read and understand what you wrote, ms. F, he will know that he is greatly loved :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope he feels it ngayon pa lang =) Thank you!

      Delete
  8. Love their names! You're so true about these things. Well, I only have 2 boys but yeah we love each one deeply and differently. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! My husband is the one who thinks up their names =D

      Delete
  9. Oh Frances, you do write so beautifully. I am not a mother yet, but reading your posts about your children makes me look forward to the day when I get the privilege to raise a child of my own. Happy birthday, Piero!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you! You will make a wonderful mother, Romy. You are kind, generous, loving and intelligent! =)

      Delete
  10. Happy birthday Piero! This post made me cry. I'm the eldest and you are right. I was pushed and pushed and everyone around me expects great things from me. While deadma to my younger siblings. Dati nagtatampo ako sa mama ko kasi with my siblings, she would attend PTAs, go to their school stuff, enroll them, etc. etc. While me, I enroll myself in HS. Participate in Ms. UN alone. Do stuff alone. Not one PTA meeting na present sya. But thanks to you I understand na, Oo nga. My lolas and lolos and titas and titos all adore and love me. Nothing left for the younger siblings but her love. Although I know my mum loves me too. Pero sabi nga ng Papa ko, they love us just the same but they show it differently kasi we are different people. And I know ganun ka din, ganun tayong mga nanay. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As the eldest girl, gets kita!!! Lalo na nga yung pag-attend ng PTAs, atbp. Tapos bakit kaming older kids super strict but the younger ones get candy? Haha, but okay lang. Iba pala talaga ang pag-trato sa mga anak kasi, like your dad said, we're all different but the love is all the same =)

      Delete
  11. This blog post is one of the many reasons I follow your blog. I feel as if I know your 3 kids even if I haven't even met them. Agree na agree ako sa pagtrato sa panganay haha! I am the eldest among 5 kids and talagang TigerMom ang peg ng mom ko sakin. Pero pagdating sa younger siblings, nawala na ang dragon. Siguro napagod or siguro nga you love your kids differently. I only have 2 kids but I can already see the difference. With my eldest halos maubos ang 1T sa photos and videos. LOL With my youngest, even if she is the one who likes to pose for the camera, I only get to take photos of her with my phone. Pero she's the one who learned how to feed herself, put herself to sleep and even learned new words without flashcards. Even if I think she is a lot funnier than her brother, people are more interested to know how my eldest is doing, what are the things he is interested in, etc. Ok lang din kasi she is quite shy unlike her extrovert brother. Anyway baka maging mas mahaba pa ito sa post mo. haha Happy birthday Piero! I seriously thought you were going to name him Piolo when you didn't reveal his name dati. Love all your sons' names!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Omigas, guilty rin kami diyan sa photos! Huhu marami pa ring photos ang bunso namin but mas marami pa rin talaga yung panganay! Pero love naman natin silang lahat, diba? Mas mahirap lang talaga asikasuhin si bunso kasi mas marami na sila ngayon.

      I also get you when you said, "she's the one who learned how to feed herself, put herself to sleep and even learned new words without flashcards." I also feel guilty about that kasi si Vito super alalay kami. Sa sumunod na dalawa, wala na masyado... AND YET!!! Feeling ko lang napipilitan sila to grow up and be more independent simply because us parents are so involved/distracted by the elder siblings. I hope to God we're doing this right! Lord, please love our kids the way they need to be loved! And teach us how to do it, too! Amen.

      Delete

Thanks for dropping by my blog! It really means a lot that you spare the time to read... and comment!