Sunday, November 14, 2010


The utol and her family had decided to stay at our in-laws' last week.  The move would give the family a breather from the stresses of the city.  Fresh air at our in-laws' estate would also be a boon to Baby Lenin's health.  They were confident that the in-laws would take care of them.  Mom had her reservations, but their absence meant that she could move freely now that work demands her presence more.

Less than a day after they settled down, the utol complains that Lenin doesn't "poo-poo" like he used to. He cries a lot, especially during the ungodly hours of the morning. We tried to ignore her whining believing it was all part of the adjustment. Motherhood comes in all forms and ideas. Having a bundle of joy could sometimes reanimate undead fears.

As we enjoy our blissful yet hollow existence in the city, utol continues to update the lola about Lenin's condition. She brings good tidings once in a while and tells my mom how she appreciates her for being there. But most of the time, mom serves as her shock absorber, especially when she feels her baby is unwell.

The cycle of frenetic outbursts went on for days. It has already made the favorite aunt upset, and is beginning to wear down my mom only recently.  What made the frenzy truly annoying was the fact that most of her worries require a thin slice of common sense.

"38.5 na ang lagnat ni baby. Sabi ni Ka Noli lagnat laki lang daw yun."

No wonder, headache becomes the Matriarch's favorite companion.

Listening to my superstitious self, I think something unseen has disturbed the baby. His maladies showed up only after they left the house and stayed at our in-laws' place.

"Baka naman na-matanda?"

"Hindi kaya na-maligno?  Sobrang probinsya pa naman kina Ka Noli."

Reason knows the best answer.

And when her griping became too much for my mother, all it took was two sweet text messages to drive her, perhaps, back to the embrace of sanity.

"Gamitin mo judgment mo! Nagkakasakit jan si Lenin at wala kaming magagawa. Naiistress si Mama."

"Bumalik na kayo dito at ipatingin yan sa doktor."

It may sound harsh for the utol, but I cannot stay idle while her selfishness consumes everyone. Between her peace of mind and those of my mom's,

it is my mom I will keep first.