It’s been a week since I returned from my (very short) trip to the Philippines. Of course, the only reason why I went to the Philippines was to bring back Caila, along with her nanny.
Thankfully, we didn’t encounter any problems at NAIA. We were worried that the return booking of Ate Cel’s flight wouldn’t show in the system, or that the Immigration officer would ask her for other requirements, but fortunately, everything went smoothly. The flight was ok, Caila slept most of the time, and we arrived in Dubai 30 minutes ahead of schedule.
That night, the three of us squeezed in our bed with Caila in between hubby and me, allowing both of us to cuddle her and thank God that our family was together again. I remember the following morning, Guchi and I had just woken up and Caila was still sleeping soundly. He leaned in just to sniff her, and remarked wistfully that she doesn’t smell like a baby anymore, but like a kid already.
Well, it’s true. We missed out on almost half a year with her and kids this age always grow fast. She’s no longer an infant, but a very active toddler. Caila may be small (she takes after her parents...duh!), but she can walk really fast, has stretched her vocabulary to simple words that we can easily understand (about 90% of the time), and uses her imagination when playing with her toys. Being “malambing,” she responds right away with a tight embrace or kiss when we ask her for one or if we’re leaving for work (well, except when she has her mood swings or wants to act “pakipot”).
There are times that she has tantrums or cries almost immediately when we don’t give her what she wants, but hubby and I are trying to discipline her and teach her that she can’t have things her way all the time. Very often, I have to remind myself that even though I see her as a miniature version of me, our daughter is an individual, who has her own personality, trying to discover things and observing what she sees. Her mind is like a sponge, so we have to be careful what we do or say around her, and whatever we watch on television.
Yes, it’s an adjustment to have a little person in the apartment with us again after a long time. Now, we can’t go out anytime we want to, we can’t stay out late, plus so many other restrictions. But of course, nothing beats opening the apartment door to a pair of little arms stretched out for a tight hug and a wide smile welcoming us home after a tiring day at work.
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