A little empathy here

Let’s cut to the chase: SLEEP DEPRIVATION.

Can you guess what I am going to write about? Hur hur.

So. Lack of sleep. Every parent’s battle to fight. Or, in our case, pure and unblemished resignation. We are rather resigned to the fact that Mr A sleeps like crap in the night. He wakes up, Mr Thick goes to soothe him. If he refuses to calm down, he comes to me and I whip out the Holy Milk Bar. Sometimes, it takes me three to four attempts at latching before he is knocked out, by which time I would be semi-awake and doomed to have a bad night’s sleep.

If I am lucky, I get to nurse him only twice a night. But on the nights when the moon is full and winged pigs are streaking across the velvety dark sky, the little fellow wakes up three, four SOMETIMES FIVE times, in our bed. And guess who needs to be the bartender to this free-for-all buffet?

Whatever the reason for his shitty sleep, I don’t care. I’m tired. Constantly. I drink so much teh-si on a daily basis that I should be a shareholder of Toastbox.

(I am considering becoming an NTUC union member, just so I can get 15 percent off my Toastbox purchases of $5 and above! #auntydom)

Look, I get it. I get that sleeplessness is part and parcel of parenthood. But when I say that I am tired, I am not asking for candies or poms poms to be waved in the air. I am not even looking for a hug or a kind word. And I most certainly am not looking for comments in the vein of “this is parenthood, everyone else is doing the same” or “been there, done that”.

Because I don’t give a rat’s ass how little “everyone else” is sleeping. My primary concern is MEMEME and how I can stay on top of MY game. Four months in and the kid is still not showing any signs of sleeping through the night like he used to. There were once periods where we can look forward to a decent night’s rest but those nights are gone. LONG GONE. DEAD AND GONE.

So yeah, when I say I am tired, I mean that I am FREAKING TIRED. I don’t want to hear pithy words, I don’t want to hear about you and your sorrows, I don’t want to hear about how YOU lived through YOUR sleepless nights, I don’t want to be all SUNSHINE! and OMGAMSOPOSITIVETHATRAINBOWSARESHOOTINGOUTOFMYARSE.

I just want to sit here with a beer (if only!) and give myself a pitying pat on the back.

While watching Grey’s Anatomy.

And munching on some Kettle chips.

…Preferably the sweet onion flavour.

(Disclaimer: we are considering sleep training and night weaning but it is our personal parenting philosophy not to do so until he turns one. We are not against it, nor are we for it. We just believe that you do what you can to get through the situation and if sleep training is the solution, then yay for you. No judging!)


11 months of Aidan

Dear Aidan,

Technically, you are midway through your 11th month and I am late with this letter. Well. It’s entirely your fault since you don’t sleep well at night (yawn, what’s new) and your dad and I are just too tired to set up the camera and all.

Okay, okay, we were lazy. Plus, there was that whole Chinese New Year madness to deal with.

In less than two weeks, you turn one. And as I scroll through the photos and videos that I have taken of you over the past 11 months, I cannot help but marvel at just how much you have grown and how far you have come.

Look at you now: you are able to prop yourself up and stand on your two little feet. Your favourite activity is to crawl to the fan and press the buttons. You look up and point at the ceiling light when we ask you where it is. You smile and reach out for me every single evening when I pick you up. You do all sorts of adorable things – you clap enthusiastically, complete with “oh oh oh” sounds; you love to smack your open mouth while making “ah” noises; you babble to yourself in the car seat in a language that only fellow babies and, possibly, aliens understand.

Just this evening, you grabbed a flash card from your dad and in a moment of brilliance, he said to you, “Kiss?” With much aplomb, you brought the card to your lips and gave it a resoundingly loud kiss. And to prove that it isn’t a fluke, you did it over and over again.

Oh, just how much you have grown! From that frowning, orange, floppy little baby to this joyful, lovable, willful and observant little person. And to be able to witness this process is such a priceless privilege.

Not a day goes by without me marveling at the miracle that is you. You made me a mother and for that, I will always be grateful.

You are turning ONE. How unreal is that? Even as you move into toddlerhood (and headlong into a whole host of other parenting challenges), don’t worry, you will always be mama’s baby.

(Until you turn into a stinky, sulky teenager anyway. Then you are all your father’s.)

Love you always,

Two of Us

The lovely day

Ah, Valentine’s Day. The day which brings most men to their knees, cowering in fear (or trying to pull off that showy proposal).

There was no special dinner to be had in this household, nor were there any candles lit. No candies, although we did each indulge in a Magnum mini after dinner. No flowers either, because the cats will eat them and then get sick all over our floor (they are so annoying like that).

BUT. There was a present!

Husband came home from work holding on to a huge paper bag, the widest grin on his face. Nestled within the tissue was…a handbag! I had been thinking of getting a bag to use for carting my stuff between classes and here he came, bearing exactly what I had wanted. I didn’t hint for a bag, nor did I tell him what I liked. He just went out to get something for me and it was perfect.

This, hot on the heels of that spa treatment at Banyan Tree Spa that he had stealthily booked for my birthday last month.

This, on top of the pair of Naturalizer shoes that he had bought for me, simply because I had said that they were an absolute dream on my feet.

Good man.

13 years together and he still manages to surprise me. As I have always said, we may not be perfect but we sure are perfect for each other.

And that’s all that matters.

Photo by the very awesome Alywin.


Maybe (another) baby?

Mr Thick and I have been talking on and off about having a second child. Well, if you consider me saying, “I WANT ANOTHER BABY NAO” and him going, “Uh huh”, talking. Hmm. That’s quite reflective of how we converse around here, actually, HAHAHA.

Anyway, he would love to have another one and I am definitely looking forward to adding one more to our family. It’s like I can’t help it, there is some chemical or hormone in my brains going BABYBABYBABYOH. I cannot – absolutely CANNOT – look at newborns or even ultrasound photos without tearing and going “AWWWW WANT ONE TOO”.

I just LOVE itty bitty babies so much.

Of course, the driving force behind my desire to have another baby has always been the hope that we can have a daughter. I love baby girls. I love looking and squealing at baby girl things. I want to have mother-daughter conversations the way my own mother and I do. I want to go shopping with my little girl. I want to teach my girl to be enjoy the pretty things in life and still learn to climb trees and letter boxes.

Husband, the practical creature that he is, assures me that the odds of having a girl are 50-50. I tell him that I will love any child of mine but go produce more girl sperm, please. How? I don’t care.

So yes, that’s me and my dream of having a little girl of my own. And so yes, we’ve talked and joked but we have never made any concrete plans.

Then one night, as I sat in the backseat of the car with my babbling little man, something suddenly hit me: if I ever become the mother of two little boys, I would be so, so thrilled.

Besides the fact that yes, I would most definitely adore all my children, it was also a sudden sense of longing and love for this yet-to-be-conceived baby. No matter if the bubs is a boy or girl. Because this baby will complete our family. And this child will make us so, so, so happy. I can live with just one child but nothing would make me happier than to see the little man love his sibling.

And so I guess this means that I am definitely ready to try for another child. My heart is ready to expand and love another again. I am ready to see my heart walking around outside of me again.

I don’t know how this will end up, it may well lead to another WOE IS ME THIS INFERTILITY SHIT saga, or it may surprise us, the way my baby boy surprised us.

My little surprise! How I love, LOVE him.


The crisp, fresh air

One thing that I missed terribly about Sydney was the proliferation of gardens within the city itself. The pockets of greenery nestled among the cosmopolitan hustle and bustle of city life was so welcoming and warm. We walked practically everywhere and took breaks on park benches whenever we were tired.

Back in Singapore, however, Mr Thick has an aversion of getting sweaty and hot. I know, TEH IRONY. We live on a tropical island! But well, that’s him, he hates being stinky and all. The humidity doesn’t help. Plus, Mr A inherited his father’s ability to sweat buckets at the slightest increase of the temperature so the warm and sticky air makes him cranky.

Recently, however, the weather has been so beautifully cool that we decided to make walks and exploration of parks/beaches a routine. After running errands at nearby Vivocity last weekend, we decided that breathing in some fresh air was a necessity.

It was hard work pushing the stroller up slope, I can tell you that. Such a good workout, especially with our monster of a stroller! We opted to skip the baby carrier and let the little man get a plush, comfortable ride. Lucky fellow. He just didn’t realise how lucky he was! Most of the time, he was quietly observing his surroundings. That is, when he wasn’t busy trying to reach for and destroy the foam fan that we had attached at the foot of his stroller.

(He did destroy it. The fan valiantly pushed on with just two of its three foam blades remaining before drawing its last breath. I tossed it out summarily.)

What a wonderful home our island makes! The lush greenery, rustic parks, beautiful view…we have it all. Since A is kept indoors most of the time, I am hoping to expose him to the great outdoors as much as I can. Poor little fellow is still terrified of the crashing waves at the beach and of walking on sand and grass. Hilarious!

Hmm, maybe we’ll check out a goat farm on our next excursion.