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The last baby

Wrap_husband

I am a baby wearing addict. Every weekend, I will diligently pack one of my wraps into our diaper bag, knowing that I will probably have to carry my littlest at some point. In fact, I hope I will get to carry him.

Never mind that my little fatty is all of 11kg and he refuses to go on my back, which means I have to carry him in front just like I did when he was snug in my womb. Never mind that when we walk and we walk and I am wearing him like that, it hurts my injured back sometimes.

I just want to.

The truth is that, that’s the kind of mother I am. I love snuggling close to my boys, love being able to kiss their bouncy cheeks, love holding them. And each and every single wrap that I have in my little stash is precious, it allows me to do just that – hold them close to me, close enough to kiss. Every single wrap holds sentimental value to me, which is why I am finding it so difficult to let go of any of them. (And thank goodness the man understands this passion.)

Also, I am finding it hard to let go because I know that this one is my last baby. Once he decides that he does not want to go up into the wrap anymore, my baby wearing days will be over.

There will be other memories to create and cherish, of course. There will be other moments to look forward to. But at this point in time, I am starting to mourn the end of my baby’s babyhood, especially since I know that we will also have to wean for good come March, when I go on a 10-day business trip.

He is my last baby.

Husband is pretty much done, he has stated clearly that he does not want another child. I am ambivalent, I neither reject the idea nor crave for a third badly. But I also had an epiphany the other day: I was looking at myself in the mirror one morning, me with the tired eyes and insidious lines on my face. And I realised, with a start, that I was 35. If I were to be pregnant for the third time, I would be a mother to a newborn at 36 or 37.

I am not sure I can, or want to, handle that.

So, nostalgia. Looking forward to the future, yes, but also saddened by the end of the firsts.

The seaweed is always greener

Feeling a little under the weather today.

Okay, it’s more like today is one of those days when I want to snuggle into my duvet, read a book and then wallow in self-pity. Hah! I keep smacking head-on into the roadblocks at work and instead of being all zen (“it’s not me, it’s them) about it, I am feeling ragey. And binge-eating on Crabtree & Evelyn cookies (birthday gift from a thoughtful colleague).

Meesa needs to cultivate inner peace. Breathe, I shall. Off, they must fuck. (I can’t claim credit for this ingenious line, stole it off a brilliant meme!)

I paid a visit to my physiotherapist yesterday and she gave a sigh. Apparently, I’ve hurt my sacrum/spinal thingamajit. It’s a “pregnancy” ailment, due to the body having to carry that extra weight and my insides being moved to accommodate the baby. The joints are injured. Or something like that. Which is why no amount of foam rolling can alleviate the pain. Right now, all I can do is to apply heat, swim, do yoga. No running. And then go back to see her regularly for her to poke at me long enough to loosen the tightness.

Which really sucks.

So yup, wallowing in self-pity. Shall log off now to pick up my littles. In the meantime, I dream of colours and warmth and going on holiday and becoming a HDB tai-tai.

Going to Singapore Science Centre

Female, aged 35

I sit typing this as the day draws to a close. 11:15pm, that’s when I started. I have to complete this post by 11:30pm because one of my goals for this year is to get more sleep. With Zac waking us up at 5/530am every morning, the only way I can get a nice stretch of sleep is by, well, sleeping earlier than usual. Somehow, my children are allergic to sleep AND I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY.

35 years and almost 12 hours ago, on this day, I was born. It’s been such a ride, so many highs and so many lows. The lows were horrible, difficult to live through – so many deaths and illnesses and poverty and emotional scars. But the highs? Oh, so many beautiful memories. No matter how bad it gets now, I know and remember that it could have been worse.

And so I am very glad to be here today.

In my youth, I dreaded growing older. When I was 18, I shuddered at turning 25. And look at me today, 35 and proud of it. I think it has something to do with being so much more comfortable in my own (ageing) skin. I know who I am and what I am and you can take it or leave it. I am no longer in the business of trying to make everyone happy – I do not give a shit to what you think.

A few weeks ago, I had a bit of an existential angst. Or moment of realisation. One of those things. I was thinking of something else and randomly, it dawned upon me that my birthday was coming up and HOLY SHIT I AM TURNING 35. That’s like one foot into the door of middle-agedhood. And I had a sudden panic attack. 35 and what have I done with my life?

And that’s really me in a nutshell, always wanting to do this and be that and getting frustrated that my situation does not permit me to do so. That’s why I decided that this year will be the year that I am patient with myself, that I do not ask too much of myself.

11:25pm.

Knowing that there is so much that I seek to achieve, and also knowing that I am hopeless at organising my life (see what I mean by knowing myself well), I downloaded two apps on my phones. They are habit trackers: I set habits like “Go to bed at 11:30pm”, “Practise yoga” and “Write/Create” on certain (or all) days of the week and then when I attain these habits on a daily basis, I mark it off with a tick. It makes me accountable to myself and also, hey, it’s pretty cool to see the boxes checked. Let’s hope that by the time I turned 36, I am still going to bed at 11:30pm, practising yoga everyday and writing.

11:28pm.

Usually, I would spend my birthday with my favourite boys. This year, however, husband took on a new job and he started yesterday. Which meant that it was impossible for him to take the day off and spend it with me. No biggie. I decided that since it was my birthday, it would be a day for me and took the day off.

I dropped Aidan off at his childcare centre, all sobbing and clinging on to my leg. I half wanted to grab him and bring him home with me but steeled my heart and walked away. Left the littlest at home with my mother and I went for an hour’s yoga session. Stretched out the kinks, pushed my body a little further than it has been used to for the past four years and it made me feel so good.

BONUS: the gym’s hairdryer is DOPE and it made my hair all perfect and nice, in a matter of minutes. MINUTES.

I then met my favourite girlfriend – she whom I have known since we were 13, spotty and really awkward – and we had lunch and tea together. We hardly meet, what with our brood of five between us, but it’s always a joyous thing when we do. It’s a most wonderful, funny and heartwarming and honest and giving friendship.

In the evening, I sent my mother home and went to pick up the man at his new far-flung office. We drove home in happy conversation, had dinner and then had cake again. Aidan sang me a line of the birthday song after I threatened to withhold cake from him, Zac ate so much he farted twice and then we put them to bed.

And now they are happily snoring in their beds and I am writing.

11:35pm. (Oops)

It’s a simple day. No gifts, no flowers, no big gestures.

But I am happy.

This year is not looking like it will be easy, what with the man’s new job/long working hours/traveling/office location and my steadily increasing workload. Some days I think about it and I despair. Just a little. But I know I will get through it.

I always do. I’m a survivor. I’m strong.

Happy birthday to me.

Yann at 35

Hello, sixteen years

We were out shopping a couple of weeks back and I stopped by the window of H&M Men’s, thinking to myself, Wow, those are some really spiffy outfits. Too bad my husband can’t fit into these clothes.

H&M

Now, back when I was a young and naive and pretty silly girl, I thought I was going to marry a guy who was tall like my papa, sporty like my papa and pretty damn good looking. Would he have brains? Dunno. Would he treat me like an equal? Never thought of it. I wanted the guy who would fit into those clothes at H&M, I wanted the jock, never mind if he had any grey matter between his ears. WHO CARES AS LONG AS HE IS CUTE.

And then when I was 18, I met this guy who was NOTHING like the boyfriend that I had imagined. He was this fat chap who did not care to exercise, who preferred tinkering with computers to playing ball, who had a good set of pipes but refused to sing TO me. He was, frankly speaking, a GEEK back when geeks weren’t exactly in.

Oddly enough, he and I got together. I say oddly enough because I think we confounded everyone else around us. We probably confounded me too. I mean, he did not exactly check all the boxes that I had. And then we were together, we fought, we had cold wars, we broke up, we realised we didn’t like being away from each other and then we were together again. AH, YOUNG LOVE.

Here we are today, 16 years from the night when we said, okay let’s do us. We stood at Sheares Bridge, watching as flares burst across the night sky when the countdown ended. It hasn’t been easy but you know, if it were easy, it wouldn’t be half as fun.

And boy do we have fun. Ridiculous amount of fun, in all the stupidest of ways. Like, when we poke at Aidan verbally, deliberately eliciting a reaction from him and driving him to say “NOOOOOOOO!”. Like, when we shamelessly eavesdrop on others and their colourful conversations. Like, when I coloured part of my lips with bright red lipstick and shouted “PADME!” and he totally got it. And he even laughed.

Do I not regret never dating a H&M model and thereby giving up all rights to ever laying a hand on a six-pack? Nah. Well, okay, sometimes. But, nah. I mean, Six-Pack may not love me the way my husband loves me. And Six-Pack may not be as hands-on a father as my husband. And Six-Pack may not treat me with the respect that my husband does.

So, yes, I’ll take him for life. Him and all his jelly belly goodness and all the love that he has in the world for me.

Sixteen years of my life spent with him, and I am looking forward to the next 60.

Happy anniversary, my love.

10 years ago, after ringing in the new year

2015, in retrospect

As I sit here, on the penultimate day of 2015, typing this, I find myself hard pressed to find the right words to describe the year. Not sure if it’s my faulty mummy memory, or the fact that the year has seemingly zoomed by, there is a sense that I don’t have much feeling for 2015.

Was it a good year? Well, yes and no. It certainly has its challenges. The husband was still navigating his way around some changes that cropped up on the work front. On my work front, I was given more and more responsibilities to handle, tasks that mostly worked my weaker muscles (and hence frustrating me to no end). The jump from parenting one child to two was also intensely apparent to me and there were times when I felt like I was constantly stretching myself, trying to be the best at everything I did.

Somewhere in the middle of the year, I thought I was swimming against the currents – I was perpetually chasing deadlines at the seat of my pants at work and then I had to drop everything at work to put on my mothering hat at the end of the day. It didn’t help that my two were constantly falling sick, picking up virus after virus. I’d be lying if I said that I was not resentful of the husband for his long hours at work – but that’s mostly my tired self rearing its ugly side.

So it wasn’t like I was shitting unicorns and rainbows, if you know what I mean.

And YET. I can’t say that it was a bad year. It was challenging, yes. But it was not bad. Because I have seen bad happening to the people around me and I know what bad is. Ours isn’t bad, no, not by a mile. At the end of the day, we still have it better than most.

But that still doesn’t sum up 2015 in any way. How does one sum up a year that seems so…grey? Oh speaking of grey, maybe I will always remember 2015 to be the year that Dr Shepherd died. Hah! Okay, lame joke. Although I will admit that I was really, really gutted. Still am, actually. BOO HOO HATES SHONDA RHIMES.

So, 2015. I’m not particularly sad to see it end. It was not a great year, nay, it was a strange year. Terrorist attacks, downed planes, Orchard Road in flames, abused cats, social media lynching, deaths, illnesses…all horribly confounding.

What am I looking forward to in 2016? Slowing down my pace, enjoying watching my children grow up. Gritting my teeth and getting work done. Squeezing in more yoga and gym sessions. Cooking more. Being less emotional and having greater clarity of mind. Figuring out what I want to do with my life. Sleep earlier. Stop stretching myself in all directions. Accepting me for who I am and understanding that the mum me is still me, with some variances in priorities.

Wherever you are, I hope you will have a wonderful 2016. May it bring you bags of blessings and may we all stay safe, healthy and happy.

Thank you for reading me.

xx, yann

Beer in Langkawi

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