My baby is two months old! Tell me about how time flies (and I’ll tell you who you are hehe).
We christened her Natania. She is God’s gift said Kuya Gilbert who saw her on Day 0, thus the name.
The adage which says that having a baby is life-changing is now my reality. The trade-offs and new responsibilities can be daunting, especially when I think of them, so I don’t think of it that much. This way I get to enjoy it and be surprised each day.
For one, I miss four days in a week when I have to commute by train and tricycle to and from work. I only get to ride the LRT and the TODA on Tuesdays, when Natania is not allowed on the road. More so, I miss getting to ruminate about life and Kris Aquino and everything in between. And I actually miss getting to share LRT experiences on Butch Café and Facebook. It used to be my mental warm up before going to work. Now, it’s more on plotting where to pass, dealing with aberrant jeepney and taxi drivers, getting updates from the MMDA, and most important of all, arriving at my destinations alive, kicking, and with my hopes and limbs intact.
There have been big changes in my spending patterns as well.
Driving to work makes me miss trips to Mc Donald’s or Dunkin Donuts where I usually go after the LRT ride to grab a cup of brewed coffee and some food to go. I may be because I’m reorganizing my budget but for the most part it’s because this noob driver can’t manage drive thrus yet.
And then there’s gas money. A full tank costs me Php1,000 to 1,200. That would last a week if I choose to be benevolent and function as Bogart the Driver and if not, it could last up to two weeks.
And then there’s car wash money. Hold up. Let me explain. There’s no space for a car where we live right now so I park Natania in the premises of our parish Church. As much as I wanted to bathe her myself, it’s not doable. This costs me Php100 per car wash. Honestly, I always pray for rain so I wouldn’t have to bring her to Miguel, the car washermasher. Hehe.
And the list goes on to include parking fees, maintenance, etc. Given these new entries in my monthly budgeting, some items would have to be adjusted, like my spending for some haha, hehe, hihi, and ho-ho-hoses (I love watering plants, you green-minded you).
Truth to tell, I had almost given up on Natania. No kidding.
I took driving classes at A1 but it wasn’t a nice experience at all. I paid twice as much as I would pay other driving schools for the same course pero hindi sulit. My experience with them was bad enough to make me write a formal complaint to the management. My letter was noted and that was it. I still have two hours left for lessons but I’m not keen on using it anymore.
My first attempts to drive her through the streets of Pasay was nothing short of terrifying. I won’t forget that time when I stalled in the middle of an overly busy intersection along Libertad St., near the public market. It’s manual transmission, the engine died on me every time. Panic set in as quickly as the pile up of jeepneys, taxis, and tricycles formed behind and in front of us. I panicked all the more when they started honking like anything. They were vicious. It was like they derived pleasure in bullying panicking noobs. The more I looked helpless, the louder they honked their horns, and all the more that I couldn’t think clearly. It was crazy terrifying. Compounding my distress was the fact that I did not have a license yet. I was just carrying a student’s license. Thankfully, there were no traffic enforcers around. Amidst the chaos, I stopped for a deep breath to clear my mind and said a little prayer.
It was the most powerful thing ever as from nowhere came a knight and shining manong who came up to and said, Sir, ako na ang bahala.
Without thinking, I handed Natania over to him. He settled on the driver’s seat, started the engine, and drove Natania some 10 meters to the side. When he was done he got out and shook my hand. He was gone after I said thanks. Just like that. As quickly as he appeared.
Before I slept that night, I was seriously contemplating on the idea of handing Natania over to Bebeth, my sister. I was frustrated and traumatized. But I also prayed for clarity and for some sort of validation that I made the right decision of buying a car.
Natania’s birth certificate was signed on November 16, 2012 but I only got to take her home the following day. I wasn’t really keen on going to LTO to get a license. I’d surely be miserable in the driving test. But God whispered something to me one morning.
It warmed me. I took it as an answer to my prayers. It was December 7. I marched to the LTO on that same day.
It has been two months now. Aside from scrapes and gashes on Natania’s right side I believe we are doing fine. We have yet to conquer NLEX and SLEX but I’m sure it’ll come. Sure there are trade offs and added responsibilities but such is life. Always moving forward.
Happy 2nd month Natania! Make your daddy proud! 🙂