Squishy Radio

We recently had a surprise 4-day weekend (class suspension on a Thursday and a holiday on a Friday). Holidays are great, but class suspensions are the best! It’s like finding an extra P500.00 in the bottom of your purse (or in my case, the baby’s bag). I was all pumped up and high on family love, so we made this as a joke. This is our first attempt at podcasting (well, mine. Mikey’s a pro).

Our chaotic little home is my favourite place on earth. ❤

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Teatro de Mikey de Squishy

At the parking lot, walking towards the Insular Life building, the venue of the final show of Rude Mechanicals’ and Tuloy Foundation’s rendition of Jesus Christ Superstar, I told my son: “Max, Papa used to call this place his battlefield.” I was thrilled—not only because I was going to watch a live performance in a theatre with my 17 month old that night, but because he was going to watch a show in the very same theatre I performed in for the first time as a professional actor.

Insular Life Theatre was my battlefield, and walking into it that night was as nostalgic an experience as I’ve ever had. The place looked the same. It smelled the same. And while it felt different since I was coming in as a spectator rather than a performer, all the old feelings stirred themselves up all too easily.

As we shimmied to our seats, I knew that Char was thinking of something else entirely. I, on the other hand, couldn’t help but tell Max about my very first performance, as Nick Bottom, in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. I told him that I was scared and that my I was sipping short, shallow, and nervous breaths. My dear friend and co-actor Chino came up to me, rubbed my shoulder, and said: “Just enjoy it, brother.”  It could certainly have been condescending, but it was exactly what I needed to hear.

I wish I could’ve told Char something with the same effect to calm her nerves about Max. But if I told her to “just enjoy”, she would probably give me the evil eye. Instead, I assured her that if anything went wrong, I would simply take Max outside the theatre and walk around.

It turns out, though, that I didn’t need to. Max, like a trooper—like the most amazing trooper in the history of troopers—like, I dare say, a stormtrooper—sat through the entire first act. Like a cultured stormtrooper with his father’s theatre DNA. He sat and he watched, over pursed milk-ingesting lips, as Judas and Jesus and the Disciples and the Jews sang about God and their fates. And then at the end of Act One, he clapped and clapped, as if he knew what he was doing. I was so very proud.

During intermission, I carried him out and took him to the front of the stage. (He kept pointing there after the applause simmered down.) When we got there, he motioned that I place him on the stage itself. I told him that I can only put him there after the show, because the stage still belonged to the performers, and we must respect performers. Part of me felt like he understood, but he was probably just distracted by the audience milling about behind him. I couldn’t help but feel proud, though.

After the show, during company call, I took him to the stage, as promised. Max stood alongside proud and exhausted actors, and he looked delighted. And then the actors all crossed to stage right to listen to their director, and Max ran with them—this tiny baby, alongside dozens of happy sweaty actors. It looked like a happy Lion King stampede. I freaked out and jumped on stage and caught him, thanks to one of my friends who stopped Max, making sure he wouldn’t get Mufasa’d. And then Max became sad.

Maybe it was because he was prevented from doing something he enjoyed. Maybe it was because a stranger made physical contact him. I’m not sure. Part of me is worried that picking him up snuffed out a just-kindled desire for being onstage in front of an audience. But if this whole experience has taught us anything, it’s that I shouldn’t underestimate Max.

I can’t wait to be in a theatre with him again.

So, I have a new Phone.

So, I got a new phone. Mikey gifted me with an iPhone X for Valentine’s Day and our anniversary. He bought it from a friend at a really good price and presented it to me. I have to admit, at first, I was more interested in flipping it. We could have easily made a good profit. But Mikey said that he wanted me to have the phone because I was with Max all day long and he wanted really good photos and videos of him (my trusty iPhone SE started having microphone issues). So after negotiating with him all night long (we agreed to sell a bunch of things so it doesn’t feel like we paid too much for a phone), I accepted his wonderful gift.

And boy am I happy that I did! I LOVE IT! I love all the nice photos I can take of Max and I love that I don’t have to worry about my microphone going kaput when Max says the strangest things. And the icing on top of this super expensive cake? WIRELESS CHARGING! When you’re sandwiched in between two boys in the dark, it’s hard to look for your cable without waking anyone up.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the last three weeks or so:

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If there’s one thing that’s been pretty consistent this season, its Max’s drool. All of his teeth decided to start popping this year! Before the New Year, he only had four teeth. Now, in addition to his two top teeth and his two bottom ones, he has 4 new molars and 4 new front teeth. Hopefully, he gets a break soon.

Because of his teething, Max spends a lot of his time latched at night (especially when the molars were erupting). But I’m so glad that he’s on a pretty predictable nap schedule now! He can nap twice a day, but usually, he has a long nap after lunch (about 2-3 hours).

Max’s play behaviour is so interesting now. He likes to stack things and try to carry them while they’re stacked. He also likes to line stuff up and put toys on ledges. He engages in pretend play a lot too! Usually he’ll pretend that anything circular is a car wheel. He also pretends to eat his toys too! He’ll take a pretend bite and say “amm!”

We still have a really happy camper! Max easily smiles and laughs with us. His joy is our joy. We live a joyful home. Let’s eat Chicken Joy!

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Max always looks for his Papa when he’s out. His first words in the morning are usually “Papa?”. When he’s playing and he sees something he normally uses with his Papa (like the guitar), he’ll call out for his Papa and run to our front door. Whenever Mikey gets home, Max runs to him and hugs him. He’s so in love with his Papa.

The first photo on the left isn’t the nicest photo. In fact, it’s a screen shot from a video. I was on the can taking care of my business when Squish refused to leave me. He’s going through a strange clingy stage where he prefers that I’m always near him. When I’m eating at the dining table, Max will pull my hand and make me sit on the couch to watch him play (even when Lola Myrna offers to play with him). It can get tiring sometimes, but he won’t always want to play with me. Some day, all he will want is space. So I’ll enjoy this while it lasts. ❤

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Here’s Squish’s second ID photo. He looks the same and different from the first one he took. There’s more thought behind his eyes now. In this photo, he’s thinking: “why am I standing on a chair in this small room, with Momma and Papa holding my legs while they are kneeling on the floor? Who is that man and why is he pointing that black box at me?”

After a day with my new phone, I told Mikey that the phone was magical because it made Squish look so handsome in photos. Mikey said that Squish is handsome and that the iPhone X can finally capture him in all his glory. Hehehe. Oh well. I made sure to toddler-proof my phone by getting an Otter Box. It was well worth it because one week in and Squish already ran off with it and playfully tossed it.

Teatro de Squishy

Usually, I think of Max at his worst, most animalistic self, and I make sure that I’m prepared for that. When we’re out, I scan the area and see where Max could get hurt or inconvenience others. I try to avoid places that aren’t baby/toddler/kid friendly. I’ve declined invitations to go to really fancy restaurants because I worry that Max will bother the other customers. I want Max to have fun, but not at the expense of other people.

I underestimate Max all the time.

When Mikey told me that he wanted us to watch Jesus Christ Superstar (staged by The Rude Mechanicals and kids from the Tuloy Foundation) at Insural Life Theater in Alabang, I thought that we would take turns playing with Max outside. So, I agreed. On the day of the play, we were on our way home from my mom’s birthday celebration in Tagaytay (and on our way to Alabang) when Mikey said that he thought we could watch together with Max. I immediately argued and said that he would make too much noise and I didn’t want to bother the audience. Mikey said he would take care of it. He said that we should try and that if he freaks out, he’ll walk out with Max.

My brain went kind of haywire. More often than not, Mikey lets me take the lead in figuring out what’ll work for Max. But he seemed confident in his decision and I have to admit that I really wanted to watch the entire play. I calmed myself down and trusted that Mikey would take care of it if Max started freaking out.

When we got to the theater, Max was happy and clam. He was pointing out all the new things he was seeing. When we bought the tickets, the lady looked at Max worriedly. She asked Mikey if he would be okay during the show (in my head: I’m super worried too!). Mikey assured her that he would take him out if he started to make any kind of noise. When we got into the theater, I told Mikey that we should get seats by the exit so that we could run out if Max started acting out. When we got settled in our seats, Max was curious about the theater, he kept wanting to go up and down the aisle. Mikey let him explore while we waited for the show to start, but as soon as the lights went out, Mikey sat down beside me with Squish on his lap.

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Max and the stage.

Max was sitting down with Mikey during the first few minutes, but after a while, Max asked to come to me. I sat him down on my lap and then he hugged me tightly while watching. I think the darkness, loud music, and bright stage lights scared him for a while. Eventually, he let go from the hug and just sat on my lap. He watched the entire first act quietly and clapped with everyone at the end!

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Maximus was interested in the buzz and he wanted to know what was happening! 

I was stunned! During the entire first act, my heart was beating so fast and I was half ready to jump out of my seat and run out of the theater. I couldn’t believe that he quietly sat through the entire first act!

During intermission, I told Mikey that Max needed to run around. Mikey took him around the lobby and to say hello to some of his friends. When the second act began, Max wasn’t ready to sit down just yet. So, I told Mikey that I would run around with him outside until he was ready to come in. After 10 minutes of running and exploring, I asked him if he wanted to join his Papa and he nodded so we went back to the theater. When we went in, we were just standing by the exit and Mikey joined us. Max wanted his Papa to carry him. I sat down and eventually, they sat down next to me. Max watched for a bit, but after a while he asked for me and tugged at my shirt. He started to breastfeed, and he fell asleep for the rest of the second act. It turned out well because the second act gets gory towards the end. Hahaha. He woke up during the curtain call when the audience was roaring and applauding. He joined them in the applauding. I think he really enjoyed the parts of the show he got to watch.

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See, it got gory. 

Again, I was floored. He could have played the fussy card, instead he quietly asked for milkies and fell asleep in my arms. I need to learn to trust my child (and husband—hahaha) more. I can’t believe that he almost missed out on this experience because I was afraid. I wonder how many potentially successful experiences I’ve deprived him of already? Oh well. I shall do better. Max deserves better.

Looking back, I think there were a few things that helped make the evening a success:

  1. Max played all morning in Tagaytay with my folks. He was allowed to run freely and play during the morning. There wasn’t a lot of pent up frustration in him and I think that helps when you’re planning to have a toddler sit down for an extended period of time.

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    Max playing with his grandparents in Breakfast at Antonio’s
  2. Max napped really well right before the play. On our way down from Tagaytay, Max fell asleep almost immediately. In fact, he was still asleep when we got to Alabang. Mikey said that we should let him sleep some more so we actually hung out in the parking lot until he woke up. He slept for about 3 hours.

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    Knocked out Maxie.
  3. Max ate before the play. Mikey suggested that we get a bite to eat before we head to the theater. We weren’t really hungry and we didn’t even finish our order. But Max had a lot of tofu and had a lot of miso soup. I think he would have been fussy if he was hungry.
  4. Seats by the exit. It helped during the beginning of the second act when Max wasn’t ready to sit down yet. It also helped calm my nerves because I could make a quick getaway with the toddler if I needed to!

We’re so glad that Max got to watch his first play! ❤️ We’ll be on the lookout for more age appropriate shows. Maybe he’ll be able to sit through an entire show the next time we go! ❤️

We have a one year old!

Gah! I can’t believe that we have a one year old! I have a 12th month update that needs to be uploaded soon, but we’re still recovering from the week of multiple cakes (we opted for multiple small gatherings rather than a big party for Squishy’s first birthday). But I need to share this with everyone because we’re floored by our friend’s love and talent! This emotional Momma almost broke down when she first saw it.

Our friend, Ram, illustrated one of my all time favorite photos of Squish and I. ❤

Char and Max

Squish is so active nowadays, but there are special (albeit short) times during the day where he’s still and we cuddle and talk. I love this photo because Mikey caught that moment when we were on vacation a few weeks back. ❤

Thank you so much, Ram! ❤ We love you (and Darmy!) and we’re so honored! ❤ ❤ ❤