Her First Intelligible Words At The Age of 13 Months

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It delights a mother when she can understand her child and I’m sure a child feels happy when understood.

Words that my child uses to communicate (besides signing)… Penning these down for memory’s sake…

- *sob* ma mee *sob sob* (mummy – cried out only when in distress)
- da dee (daddy – randomly mentioned when not in distress)
- ma ma (maternal grandma or photograph)
- ma! (paternal grandma)
- nana (banana)
- perl (apple)
- toys (toys)
- bear bear (teddy bear / care bear / any bear)
- tigger (pooh bear’s friend)
- neg neg (magnet)
- zerd (lizard)
- zing (raisins)
- mam mam (eat)
- pen dor *point at lock button* (open the child gate and let me out)
- oohhh… (I’m venturing out / on an exploration)
- pit tter pit tter pit tter pit tter (rain)
- woah woah (dog)
- woah woah (cat)
- wooong (car)
- wwooooo (vacuum cleaner)
- lao beh (3rd grand uncle)
- zie zie (jie jie [mandirin] / older sis)
- mbak (mbak [indonesian] / older sis)
- bor bor (ball / balloon)
- bor! *rotating open palms* (no more / gone / disappeared)
- op (drop)
- bay (bathe)

Quite a long list I must say. Didn’t expect it when I started listing the first word!

*a proud and happy mum*

Motherhood. IT’s CRAZY!

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I originally wanted the title to say “Parenthood” but decided that it is the mother that is the crazier one and hence, changed it to “Motherhood”.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my little pumpkin so much and never felt that I walked down the wrong path.  But it is nonetheless madness.

Also don’t get me wrong about my hubby.  He chips in to look after the baby and house (and me) a lot and is still the best husband in the whole world…. but… ah well.

Why am I blogging today?  Cos I had 1.5 days of vacation leave earlier and this is my 3rd day on leave.  I have had the chance to avoid the hectic workday schedule to sufficiently rest not only my body but my mind as well.  And obviously, my kid and husband are elsewhere, not needing my attention long enough for me to blog 2 posts in a row.

Why do I say that motherhood is crazy?  Cos it simply is!  People say that keeping my full time job will keep me sane.  I don’t know… i feel insane anyway!!!  There is TOTALLY no “me time”.  Totally.  At work… it’s about work.  At home, it’s about baby.  Free time?  Only when I take vacation leave and still leave my baby at parents’.  But in actual fact, most of my vacation leave is used for baby Dr visits or to catch up with housework.

What else drives me crazy? My husband’s definition of DANGER for baby is different from mine (or probably not part of his vocab at all).  He says “if everything in the whole world is dangerous” (his paraphrase of my words), our baby need not do anything in life.  He says it so coolly and matter-if-factly and with this… this… stage-presence gesture of his one arm and baby in the other arm… it drives me madder.

Please help me be my judge if my words to my dear husband are true/false:

  1. Don’t throw her up in the air in our home – she is growing taller (and getting closer to the low ceiling AND ceiling fan).
  2. Never rub your stubbly unshaven chin on her tender baby skin.  It hurts even on my old thickened skin.
  3. Never give your kids small items to play.
  4. CATCH HER if you can when she is about to fall!
  5. Don’t give her tissue paper to eat!!
  6. Never give your kids plastic bags or the likes to play with!!!  And yes, that includes pocket-sized tissue paper packets!!!!
  7. Don’t let her watch violent movies!!!!!
  8. Don’t bring her shopping for violent games!!!!!!!

uuurrrggghhh!!!!

Motherhood.  It’s crazy!!!!

Our Very Own

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She is coming to 11 months now and has undoubtedly captured the hearts of her 4 grandparents and even our neighbours.

During the 9 months or so that she was with us, we have heard people say “sorry” or “oops” when they found out she was adopted.  We have received advice to “try for your own” cos “having your own child is different”.  Or, heard comments that people who have adopted tend to conceive biologically afterwards.  This comment is meant to be encouraging but really… it isn’t… and… unnecessary cos we are not discouraged in the first place!!!

I’ve also heard of older generation whispering to their friends and relatives that she is “carried over” (literal translation of chinese dialect for crude description of “adopted”).

The latter hurts.  Do you point and whisper to your friends and relatives when a mother with her biological child walks by?  “Hey, that one is her biological child.”  Anyway, the hurt ain’t too bad.  It just seemed really crude.

What really angers me is the former – when people indirectly say that she is not my child or think that we think the same as them (i.e. it is disappointing or shameful to not have biological kids).

Biological child or not, she is our very own.  Adopted or not, she is loved.

I will hug and kiss her every morning when she wakes and every evening before she sleeps and at anytime in between.  When she is naughty, I will discipline.  When she falls, I pick her up.  When she is happy, I’m elated.  When she displays new developments, I bask in the moment.  When she is dirty, I clean her up.  When she is hungry, I feed her.  When she is bored, I play with her.  Everyday, I pray for her to be strong, healthy, safe and a beautiful person.  Although I do not have a biological child to compare with, but I’m sure I would have done and felt exactly the same.

With each passing day, I take a little longer than before to recall where she came from.  I only think about it when I have to fill in forms because the adoption process is still not completed.  If not for the adoption paper work still underway, I could have forgotten already.

For those who are still “sorry” about couples who are not able to conceive or think that biological children are superior to or more loveable than adopted ones, please reconsider the meaning of family and love.

Almost One

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She’s almost one.  My little baby.

Babbling

Every weekend, she wakes us up with her “Ay… Ay… Ay”.  If we do not respond, she will set out on an adventure to discover the different parts of her bedroom and comments on what she sees or thinks with “da… da… da… nai… nai… nai… ma… ma… doe… doe… ge da dee ber… zzzeeppheeeezpppreee”. *spluttering of saliva*  And may I add… whatever can be destroyed, chewed or toppled… will be as such.

It’s interesting that she can speak strings of 3 to 4-syllable “words”… but cannot say “mummy”.

If we still do not respond, she will open her bedroom door herself and start… well.. screaming “AAAAAAYY!!!” (she is behind bars).  If we still ignore… her “AAYY” will start to sound nasal and slowly break into sobs.

Motor Skills

She is on the verge of successfully climbing into boxes, climbing onto coffee tables and climbing out of her walker.  She has attempted climbing out of her playpen but I think she is far from succeeding for this one (but I did spot her once trying without stepping on anything – using sheer opposing forces of arms and legs).  She also climbs window grilles and her chest of drawers.  She has already figured how to open cupboard doors and get into the cupboard or pull something out.

She knows how to slide off the sofa back-side first but still loves to go headlong most of the time.  Wonder when she will stop making my heart stop like that.

Oh… and she loves catching any ant that so fatefully marches across her path.  Fortunately for them, they get killed (by me) instead of dying a slow death (baby’s aiming for such small things still not very good and has to try and re-try).

Her general hand-to-mouth coordination is pretty good.  She makes sure she practices throughout the day, everyday, with anything and everything.  She just mastered the pincer grap only this week … perfect for grabbing food into her mouth before you can stop her.

Give and Take

If she lets you brush her teeth, she expects you to let her brush yours… with her toothbrush.

Emotions

She has developed stranger anxiety in the recent months and prefers mummy and daddy to anyone else.  That invisible string she has tied to us really never fails to tug at our hearts.  Even with regular caregivers like grandparents around, she still wants daddy or mummy.  If we look at her, she will have her arms up with a face of doleful eyes.

She will say hi and bye to strangers (e.g. neighbours in the lift and grandpa’s goldfish) but would cry at or ignore family.

She can play with you but you can’t carry her.

She’s quiet and still in noisy places and really noisy and active in quiet places.  The mark of an introvert?

Hands up in the air… go… wAAAaave… wAAaaavve..

Looking back just a few months, we were filled with butterflies in our guts, afraid of the most basic thing… can we look after this little cutesie and ensure that she SURVIVES!!!  Is she breathing??? Is she consuming enough??? Is she sleeping enough?

Today… she can dance seated with her arms waving in the air (like a chimp… champ i mean).

This morning, she watched “Everyday I’m Shuffling” dance moves and laughed heartily at every move.  Maybe cos it was mummy and daddy who were shuffling.  If she could slap her forehead, she probably would have.

If I had not spent this time to reflect on all her developments, I would not have realised how much she has grown.

She’s now right here on my lap watching me type the final words of this blog.  Just not too long ago, she required support to sit like that.

:)

I Wanna Grow Up Series: (4) I am 2 Years Old and I Wanna be 3

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Swing swing swing… I’m holding to top of the swimming pool ladder in my pretty party dress and sandles and swinging 1 foot to and fro.  Swing swing swing…

Then came auntie who warned me that my sandles could fling into the pool.  No one brought their swim suits and hence, no one was going to jump into the pool to retrieve my shoes.  That is not a problem at all to me.  I’ve been into the swimming pool many times!  Retrieving it myself was not a problem so I told her, “I can get it myself!”  Then auntie told me that it was a large and deep adult pool.  “Do you know how to put your head underwater?  Do you know how to search for your sandal while your head is underwater?”  I thought for a while and I think she had a point.  So I decided that maybe I should play around the small pool instead.  Just in case aunt didn’t know what I meant, I formed a small circle with my thumbs and forefingers and showed her while I said, “I want to go to the small pool.  The small small pool.”

But alas, the small pool was blocked. Grandpa said it was under renovation.

But I’m cool with it cos I wanted to play at the staircase anyway.

***

“Give me a hug!” says grandpa.  “Give me a hug!” says grandaunt.  “Give me a hug!” says daddy.  “Give me a hug!” says auntie.

Aarrggh… what is with these people?  Can’t they just leave me to play alone with my toys?

I tried something new recently.  I decided to let grandpa hug me once.  I warned him that that was enough.  But he did it again and it was so maddening!  I screamed at him and grandaunt told me to apologise for that was rude.  This is so unfair!!!  I told grandpa nicely at first but he didn’t obey.  So I had to be more forceful.  That’s what these adults do to me too… they speak to me nicely at first and when I don’t obey, they talk to me forcefully but do not need apologise to me.  But I have to?  This is so not fair!!!  Hmmpph!!!

***

I met Mummy’s friend many times.  She has a son named Thomas.  Thomas is taller, runs a lot faster, speaks a lot better and seems to have all kinds of ideas of what to do when our mummies trap us in a room.  He is always thinking of new things to do with the toys and new places to run to and explore.  I like imitating him.  Always so fun.

I also want to always find different ways to play with the toys and let other babies copy me like that.

I want to be just like Thomas.

Disclosure (tips for my family and family friends)

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One of the very common questions we get when people find  out that our daughter is adopted is… “Are you gonna tell her?”  Our resounding answer is “YES!!!”  Some respond encouragingly and some worryingly warn us against it.

Those who told us to cover up or tell her when she is grown believe that she is likely to leave us for her biological parents if we told her.  But they do not realise that it does more damage – broken trust and greater hurt/pain that takes way longer to heal in an adult than in a child… teenage years are probably the most precarious years.

For family and close friends reading this… please view this as a fact of my baby’s life that she has nothing to be ashamed of.  Start her young so that she does not get a shock later in life when the truth becomes harder to cope with.  Do not lie to her else trust between you and her will be broken and multiple lies by multiple parties will leave her confused.  Be gentle and careful with your choice of words.  Good intentions when expressed wrongly can do more harm than good.  There is no need to deliberately talk about this with her.  She could just blurt out questions to you at any time.  Keep it natural and age-appropriate.  Do not be secretive (which implies shame) but keep it private (no need to go around making declarations to Tom, Dick and Harry when they didn’t ask or need to know).  “Blood is thicker than water” is a popular saying but we all know that it is love that makes a family.  When unsure… feel free to refer her to her mummy and daddy for the answers.

She also may never bother with or be bothered by her origin.  Every person is different so we will just go with the flow.

Last but probably the most important thing of all…  love her like your very own. :)

Some terms to use or not to use…

WRONG: Mummy and daddy are not your real parents.

RIGHT: They are your Forever Mummy and Forever Daddy.

WRONG: Your real parents gave you up for adoption.

RIGHT: Your biological/natural parents had to put you up for adoption.

WRONG: Your real mother.

RIGHT: Your tummy mummy / biological mother / first mummy.