Copyright ©2017 Steven M. Antenucci
Steven M. Antenucci at Shakespir
All Rights Reserved
I would like give thanks to my wonderful wife Helen, who is a constant source of strength and inspiration for me. I also give thanks to our precious bundles of joy, Loreena Cheung Antenucci and Leonardo Cheung Antenucci, both of who are already changing me in ways I never thought possible.
Becoming a parent has to be the most rewarding thing that can happen to a human being. Suddenly, everything changes. You are no longer the most important thing in your life, your children are.
You may have read about my adventures in “Chat Womb – Dreams from the Womb.” In that story, I was able to communicate my thoughts to my father while my sister Loreena and I were floating in our mother’s womb.
It has been two months now since we entered the world and I must say this is one crazy place. If you are wondering, yes, I can still communicate with my father via dreaming. Now I do it the conventional way, at night. I tried to communicate during the day once when my father and I were both awake and together, but it didn’t work. I told him about that during one of our dreaming sessions and he said it must have something to do with being in a deep dream state. Even though I take many naps during the day, I never quite get to that deep dream state.
I asked my father to write down as much as he could about our dream sessions because I want to know about our conversations when I get older. Actually, it is all pretty weird because during the day when I am awake, I just do baby stuff, but when I go into my dream state, it’s almost like I’m not a baby anymore. I can recall what happened during the day, such as how many times I drank my formula, all the people who stopped by and made funny faces and silly voices, and my parents constantly spending time with Loreena and me, telling us how much they love us.
Let me tell you about my typical day. When I first open my eyes in the morning, I will look around and try to get myself oriented. Focusing is difficult for me at the present time. Then, I will move my arms and legs a little and do some stretching. If no one has come by yet, I will make some sounds with my voice, nothing too drastic, just a few squeaks. By this time, someone almost always comes hurrying towards my crib. If, however, I don’t hear their scurrying feet, I will let out a short cry. This will get everyone running to me. I kind of enjoy doing that. I should mention at this point, that my sister and I are very well cared for. In addition to our parents, we have a grandmother, an aunt, and an uncle all at our beck and call.
Whoever is the lucky one that arrives first, will pick me up and talk to me in a tender voice and hold me close to their body to calm me down. At first, I would cry a little extra to get more attention, but then I realized that I didn’t have to. They love my sister and me so much, they can’t wait to hold us and show their love.
After they hold us and say silly things, they give us a quick diaper check. I don’t know why, but they always seem happy if we have soiled them. When that is taken care of, and they have wiped our faces and hands with a damp cloth, it is feeding time, the first of many throughout the day. The feeding is not as easy as it sounds because; we take in air when we nurse the bottle, so burping us is necessary. Sometimes, we burp the formula back up. After the burp and everything is fine, my dad laughs and says there was an eruption. I don’t know how they have so much patience with us. We can be a handful at times, especially me, but they are always smiling and saying nice things to us.
Our mom and dad have adjusted their lives so that they can spend all day with us and they are already teaching us how to count and we are even learning our ABC’s. Our dad speaks to us in English and our mom speaks to us in Chinese. They also have flash cards with pictures and symbols on them. Our first lesson is usually after our first feeding in the morning, but they like to give us several lessons throughout the day. Loreena and I actually like having lessons from our parents. There is something fascinating about looking at their faces while they are talking to us.
That is how it goes until mid-afternoon. Then, everybody disappears and I hear things moving around. Next, we hear the sound of running water. Then, the silly voices return and the next thing I know, I am naked and being put into a small plastic tub with warm water in it while Mom is singing something about ‘bath time.’
Personally, I don’t care too much for it at first. I will resist and voice my displeasure. After a minute or two it actually starts to feel good and I enjoy it. Mom seems to like it more than me because she is always smiling and singing while she washes me. Even though I know I will end up clean and feel good, I always fight it at first.
Loreena on the other hand absolutely loves her bath time. She enjoys it right from the start and will even smile when she is gently placed in the water. My sister isn’t as fussy as I am. We have different personalities but it seems our parents love us equally. I am probably a little more high-maintenance than Loreena, but it makes my parents laugh, too. I have a feeling that when I am older, Loreena will be my best friend.
After bath time, we will lie on the bed and look around the room for a while. Then, our parents will reappear and talk to us and teach us. They will also move our legs in certain movements for stretching and exercise and they also massage us. Feeding time is never far away, so that will come next. The whole routine will then repeat itself until about 8:00 pm when we will be put into our cribs. We will usually feed once or twice more before we take our longest sleep overnight.
Speaking of singing, my mom loves to sing to us in Chinese. She sings all kinds of songs to us and she has such lovely and kind expressions on her face while she is doing it. Sometimes her head bobs to and fro if it is a lively song, other times she sings softly and then gently kisses us.
Musical instruments are also an important part of our day. My mom makes sure that we have different kinds of music softly playing in the background. Sometimes we hear learning songs for kids, other times we hear gentle and traditional Chinese music that feature instruments such as the zither and bamboo flute. It is very relaxing to listen to and makes Loreena and me feel peaceful.
My dad told me that when either he or my mother holds me, I sometimes fall asleep. Within minutes, I apparently begin to make various faces which make them smile and laugh quietly. He said that I will mimic nursing on a bottle, or sometimes I will smile and sometimes I will frown. At other times, I just make animated faces as if someone is telling me an interesting story.
I have to admit, Loreena and I are very happy. We always have someone to take care of us and to hold us gently and firmly in their arms. When I visit my dad in my dreams, he is excited for my sister and me and tells me how much our mother and he love us.
That’s all I have to share right now. In the coming months, I will have more to say and I will ask my dad to write it down.
Chat Womb – Dreams from the Womb
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