Aidan, Letters to, Motherhood

11 years of Aidan and motherhood

Over the weekend, my firstborn turned 11. And with every birthday, we often reminisce about the past. How hard it had been when we were trying all ways and means to have a baby, the cautious joy that we experienced when we were finally successful, the fear during the labour process, the disbelief when we finally held him in our arms, and – oh god – the lack of sleep thereafter.

But we don’t just look back at the past, we also celebrate this child as he is, today. Parenting an almost-teenager is an interesting experience. It’s like warm, comfortable water mixing with a cold draught: the cosy, known factor of him being still a child and his rebellious, independent self emerging.

The Aidan at 11 is a beautiful child. He is a (mostly) kind and loving brother to his sibling, and he is very much a beacon of rightness to Zac. According to his teachers, he is a helpful kid and that’s why he was selected to be a class monitor for the second time. Heaven forbid that you ask him why he isn’t a prefect though, he gets really offended, haha. He thinks that being a prefect is boring because it requires him to be perfect and good. Can’t argue against that, honestly!

Unlike most kids I know on Instagram, he is not academically-driven. Oh, he is getting better at making sure that his homework is completed. But good luck to you if you have to get him to study – it is a complete waste of time, in his opinion. School, to this boy, is a social activity – it’s only great because he can spend time with his friends. It would be much, much better if he could play Roblox all day, everyday!

And so, as his parents, we crack our brains trying to figure out what would motivate him. We think we have a winning formula on hand but if parenting has taught us anything, it is that winning formulas are never permanent. But it’s fine – we just want to make sure that he gets the opportunities and exposure that we never had, in case he isn’t cut out for academic life.

This would likely shock most Singaporean parents because, hey, getting into the top schools is like the ultimate goal. The truth is, we simply don’t care. Our mandate to them is to firstly, put in effort. I always tell the boys that if they put in effort and don’t do well, I have no complaints. They tried, period. But if they don’t put in effort and the results are crap, then they have a lot to answer for.

Secondly, we only need them to do well enough to have options. As someone who grew up poor and with little financial options, my grades were the only things that prevented me from remaining in that stratum. At every step of the way, I did well enough to have choices and I made sure those choices count. I want them to create these choices in life by themselves, as much as possible.

Lastly, we want them to always be learning. There is nothing more dreadful, in my opinion, than to be someone with zero curiosity. When there is curiosity, there will always be learning. And to be honest, we have their teachers in school to thank. Despite their misgivings about spending so much time in school (and NOT PLAYING!), they often come home raring to tell us about the new things that they have learnt.

But back to my child. I have loved him unconditionally since the day I knew of his existence in my womb but I am also cognisant of his flaws. Between the husband and I, we are working hard to help him with these flaws but we realise that sometimes, he just has to learn the hard way. Sometimes, he reacts too quickly and emotionally (my genes, sorry). Sometimes he gives up too easily (papa’s genes, for sure). Sometimes he is impatient and loses sight of empathy (a mix of his parents, for sure).

He is also kind and generous. His teachers once got him to sit next to a boy who was likely to have special needs. They asked him to “help” the boy, who did not submit his homework, was messy with filing and could not pay attention in class. Aidan took it so seriously, he got upset when the boy did not listen to him, and shared his frustrations with us. We counselled him, told him to be patient with his classmate, and explained what being neurodivergent meant. Shortly after, I reached out to his form teacher, who explained that Aidan was selected because they felt he would be a good influence over the boy. And once they took the time to explain that to Aidan, he was more confident of lending a helping hand.

As an educator, I know the importance of doing well. At the same time, I also see that the kids who succeed in life may not necessarily be those with a perfect GPA. The ones who do well are empathetic, kind, considerate, resilient with a dash of good humour. And there are those who bloom later in life, when they finally shake themselves free from the shackles of mainstream education and find a vocation that suits their personality and skills. I may be biased but I know my kid – and I know he’s on his way to fulfilling these important life qualities.

So to my dearest Boo, continue to be brave and kind and good-hearted. These qualities make you the best version of yourself, and I am always proud of you, because I know that you are not defined by results. You were the gift that took me out of the miserable state that I was in more than 11 years ago, and I know that you will continue to be a gift to the world.

I love you to the moon and back, never, ever doubt that.

Love, Mummy

Aidan, Motherhood

His tiny hand in mine

I sat in my usual spot, in the middle of the queen bed. This is where they want me to be at, every single night, as they fall asleep with some form of physical contact with my body. Sometimes it’s a leg strewn artfully over mine, sometimes it’s them tucking their heads under the curve where my arm meets my shoulder.

Tonight, they did not take too long to fall asleep for it was later than their usual bedtime. The exams are over and we are getting lax when it comes to routines. After a while, when there was no movement or sound, save for their breathing, I deduced that they were truly sleeping and started to extricate myself from the tangle of human limbs.

Then a little voice piped up, “Are you leaving?”

I smiled in the darkness at my ten-year-old. “No, I am not,” I whispered.

He took my hand and turned on his side, effectively forcing me to spoon him from the back. And so we laid like this for a while, him still holding on to my hand as he drifted off into dreamland.

“I love you,” I said quietly into his ear. He stirred a teeny tiny bit, before mumbling, “I love you too.”

He didn’t let go of my hand and I marvelled at my son, who is on the cusp of becoming a young man and is still a child in so many ways. Wasn’t it not too long ago that we celebrated his 10th birthday?

Right now, we are still the centre of his universe but it is a world that is slowly expanding. He is starting to become more aware of his self. He is beginning to form connections with others; he moaned about not being able to go to school to spend time with his friends when he was ill earlier in the week. He has his own mind and opinions, and is vocal and confident in articulating them.

He still kisses me, but not too many times. And when we go out, he will still hold my hand, but for 10 seconds. After which, he will subconsciously flow into the direction that he wants to go, leaving me behind.

It’s a good thing, for our job as parents is to raise our kids to have the self-assurance to take on the world by themselves. Eventually, his sense of identity and space will grow and grow, and we will be knocked off our perch from the centre by the torrents of time. And it’s a good thing, it is exactly how it is meant to happen.

It’s also a bittersweet thing.

I suppose that’s why we have more than one child. So that as the older one starts to grow into his own, we learn our lesson well enough to treasure and mentally file away the baby moments that we still get from the younger. The littlest cannot fathom a life without us, and he still wants to hang out with us as often as he can. He holds my hand and asks to sit on my lap. And so I indulge him, knowing that these requests are going to fade away sooner than later.

But I may be premature in declaring that the childlike days of my 10-year-old are over. The other day, I was working from home after being in the office for weeks. He was home too, for he had caught a cold. He came into the study and leaned into my chair to hug me.

“Thank you for making me feel better,” I said. “I guess you are too big to fit into my lap these days.”

He grinned cheekily and spun around, backing into me as he finally sat his bum on my lap.

“See, I can still fit perfectly on your lap.”

We sat like this, my arm around his waist, his hands over mine, for just a moment. I breathed in the scent of this beautiful boy, and felt a sense of gratitude for his presence in my life. It didn’t last very long – he bounced off to play Roblox with his friends – but it was enough.


10 years of motherhood and what I’d say to my younger self

Earlier this March, my firstborn celebrated his first decade earthside. I know, I know, I am only writing about it now? Unfortunately, COVID happened. Mr 10 first contracted the virus, and then I got it too, as his main caregiver. While he recovered in time to celebrate being 10, I was still rather ill. Getting over COVID has taken a longer time, for me, than expected but that’s another story for another day.

Right now, this is about me being a mother for the past 10 years. If you had asked me to envision this milestone back then, I would have laughed bitterly. There was a time when troubles seemed too much to bear…I jest, I jest. Or not. Because there was a time when I didn’t know if I would ever cradle a child of my own in my arms, let alone imagine crossing this milestone. And then when the baby was born and in my arms, I was exhausted because he would not sleep. I thought I would never get a full night’s sleep, ever again.

And look at where I am today, 10 years on. I survived the lack of sleep, I survived juggling the many hats that I had on, I survived all the naysayers who told me I could not. I not only survived, but I did it DAMN. FUCKING. WELL.

So if I could go back in time to talk to my tired, uncertain, and determined self, this is what I would tell her:

This will not last forever, no matter how never ending it feels.

There are days when you feel frustrated. Because your baby is fighting sleep and you are spending hours pacing up and down the room, trying to get him to just. Fall. Asleep. For. Fuck’s. Sake. You contemplate sleep training him but you can’t. You wonder if you are dooming him (and yourself) to a lifetime of poor sleep.

The truth is, it will end. There will come a time when a switch will go off in his brain and he will sleep for hours at a stretch. And there will come a time when he does not need to be breastfed back to sleep, and so you can rely on your husband to take on the nighttime duties.

And there will come a time when he would be 10 years old, telling you, “Mummy, I want to go to sleep.”

On weekends, you get woken up by him early in the morning. If you are lucky, it’s close to 7am. If you are not, it can be as unearthly as 5am. You crawl out of bed, throw a few toys on the floor and hope that they can buy you some time as you try to catch a few more winks. Inevitably, the toys will outlive their purpose in less than 15 minutes and you begrudgingly command your body to get up. A while later, the three of you – including a similarly wretched looking husband – will bundle out of the home, in search of a cafe that is opened at this crazy hour to get your caffeine fix.

Eventually, you will gift the boy a little brother. And he and little brother will bond over their shared love for Roblox. And on weekends, he and little brother will continue to wake up at unearthly hours – yes, they do not bid 5am mornings farewell – but guess what? They will now conspire to sneak down the stairs, switch on the TV and watch YouTube videos on Roblox with the volume down. By themselves.

And you will get to wake up at glorious 9am, to a lounge with two couch potatoes and breakfast bought by the husband.

You know how that saying goes:

“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”

Elizabeth Stone, author

When you first saw the positive pee stick, you were in disbelief. But at the same time, unconsciously, a burning flame had been lit in your heart. He might have just been a mass of cells in your uterus but from that moment on, you will give your unconditional love and protection to him. He is a part of you and you will do whatever it takes to ensure his happiness and growth.

When you first felt him flutter in your womb. When you saw his body take shape in the ultrasound. When that first kick took your breath away. When you first held him in your arms, tears flooding your eyes. When you marveled at the perfection of his little body. When you carried him close to your heart in that baby carrier. When he first giggled in the backseat of the car. When you took him everywhere with you on your first trip to Sydney. When he gurgled and celebrated his first birthday. When he nearly broke your – and the husband’s back – by wanting to walk for months before he was ready. When you heard him say his first word, “mama”. When he cried and cried when he first went to the childcare centre. When he started bringing craft home, dedicated to you. When he graduated from kindergarten. When you took him to primary school on his first day. When he finished reading the Harry Potter series and could talk to you about it. When you heard the familiar voice of Neil Gaiman narrating his audio book and you realised that he had borrowed the book. When he hugged you and forgave you when you were short-tempered with him.

For every moment of his life, your love will not wane. That flame will keep burning and there are times when it grows fiercer. There will be wonder and joy and anger and exhaustion – oh, you will continue to be tired from juggling all those hats – but the love will never waver.

And that is the privilege that you bear as his mother. And what an honourable privilege it is.

It’s been 10 good, eventful years of being a mother. I say this at every age but 10 is really awesome. I love Aidan for the 10-year-old that he is, and I love that he is at the stage where he is independent yet still comfortable enough to be a mama’s boy.

You are the best of papa and me in many ways. You have a forgiving, gracious heart. You have a wild imagination. You tell me to quit my job so that I can be better paid because you truly believe that I deserve better. You speak like a mini philosopher sometimes, and tell me you love history. You are competitive but without malice. Your teachers consistently tell us that you are a helpful and kind boy. You listen to us carefully when we explain your flaws or mistakes, and we can see you trying your best to improve. You love your brother – even though the two of you troll each other relentlessly. You are not someone who envies others, in fact, you are always taking stock of the things that you are grateful for.

You are not a perfect, unicorn child, but I never expected you to be one, especially since we are such flawed parents. But you have brought me so much joy and love since the moment I knew you existed and I am thankful that you chose us to be your earthside family.

I love you to the moon and back!

When Mr 10 and I both had COVID

Eight years of Aidan

A photo popped up on my Facebook memories this morning, one of my firstborn’s first birthday party. He was seated on a table, chubby leg smeared with cake, his little round face peering at the camera with a slight smile hovering on his lips.

Aidan at his first birthday

Fast forward to seven years later. He’s turning eight tomorrow. Any ounce of baby fats has since vanished into the vacuum called “growing up”. His voice is still as sweet as ever and oh, almost eight, it is such a beautiful age for my darling boy right now.

At eight, he still comes to me for hugs for all the reasons in the world. We hug when he is sad, hug when he is happy, hug when he just wants to feel close. He showers us with kisses before he goes to school, and we shower him with kisses at bedtime. He loves to be next to me as he drifts off into sleep.

When he feels sad about going to school, he clasps my hand in his, his smile wobbly and his eyes filled with tears. I hold him close, tell him that I will see him very, very soon. He nods, leans into my ear and whispers, Pick me up early, okay? And I say, You know I will if I can. He then takes one tremulous step, two, three, before turning back and calling out, Bye bye mummy! Love you! I wave back feverishly, and reply, Love you boo! And then we repeat this dance of walk-turn back-wave until the car rounds the corner or he disappears from our view.

How did eight years fly by so quickly? It felt like only yesterday, when we were pacing up and down his bedroom, willing him to go to sleep (and stay asleep!). And yet here he is, all limbs and length. Ah, eight. What a wonderful age. Where he’s old enough to be independent in many ways, and yet still little enough to want us to be near him.

He loves Beyblades. Loves reading. Has completed the first three books in the Harry Potter series (YES!) and is now starting on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Can do a mean floss. Is serious about his haircuts. Plays football and basketball during recess. Picked up inline skating like a natural pro. Is attempting Grade 3 ABRSM piano exam. Still hates sleep with a vengeance. Just built a kickass house in Minecraft. Cannot say no to candy and chocolate and ice-cream. Does not like cream in cakes. Bosses his little brother around. Is also awfully protective of his little brother. Fabulous at traveling. Loves Art and Mathematics in school. Thinking of joining wushu for his CCA. Has learnt all the different strokes in swimming. Aces spelling but isn’t as good at ting xie. Is a skinny minny like mummy. Teaches me what conditional love, patience, humility and joyful living is all about, every single day for the past eight years.

Happy birthday, beautiful boy. God knew exactly what we needed when he brought you to us. We love you to the moon and back.

My little man and I

Five years of Aidan

“Five years ago, at this very moment, you were trying to come out of mummy’s tummy but you couldn’t. So the doctor had to cut me up to take you out.”

“When you were a baby, papa could carry you in one hand, just like that.”

“When you were a baby, mummy carried you everywhere in the wrap and you would fall asleep in there.”

“When you were a newborn, you were so small and slept so much. Until you turned two weeks old and stopped sleeping.”

We were regaling the firstborn with all the stories of his babyhood this afternoon. Oh, there were plenty to share. Of all the times he refused to sleep and drove us nuts. Of all the times he giggled at us and brightened up our world in that nanosecond. Off all the times we rocked him gently in our arms, crooning lullaby after lullaby in the darkened room. Of all the times he fitted so neatly into the crook of our arms, his head floppy on our chests, his hair carrying that whiff of baby scent that we had so desperately wanted to bottle up and keep forever.

It then struck me how fast time was. Five years it had been since he came into our worlds and turned us into parents. The road has been equal parts acknowledged privilege, unbridled joy, sheer exhaustion, internal frustration, quiet retrospection and oodles of humility.

But most importantly, it has also been pure and utter love.

It’s not just the love that we have for our child, our beloved boy who came at a time when we were despondent and clawing so determinedly out of the barren pit we had found ourselves in. It’s also the love that he has for us, this unconditional and unselfish love that he has for us, and taught us about.

We are far from perfect, and there are times when we regret not being able to hold our tongues or keep our tempers in check. And yet, his love never faltered.

Every day, I look forward to waking up to his little voice going “good morning mummy”, before he plants a quick peck on my lips. When I drop him off in school, we hug and kiss for just a moment, enough to let us know that we love each other and that we will be waiting for that time when we are done for the day and can be together again. And when I finally rush off from work to pick him up, he never fails to fly towards me with the biggest of grins and the most exuberant of hugs.

He talks of growing up, of going to primary school. He wants to be a big boy. And whenever I sigh at this, he would ask me, “Why are you sad for me to grow up, mummy?”

Oh baby boy, it’s because you are fast outgrowing me. One day you will no longer want to nestle into my arms during music class. You will not want me to lie down with you at bedtime. You will not want to “cook” for me with your toy kitchen. You will not need me to read you books. Your hand will be bigger than mine, and no longer in mine as we walk. You will be too heavy for me to carry, and you will no longer lay your cheek down on my shoulder.

But grow up, my little man must. I do not have the power to hold back time and I shouldn’t want to. That’s not my job as a mother. I have to let him soar into the sky, in his own time, and learn to be his own person.

In the meantime, we will keep creating beautiful memories of even the seemingly most insignificant moments. And we will keep it in our pockets till the time comes when our children are off to explore the world on their own.

Happy fifth birthday, my darling. You are our dream come true.


A typical dilemma

The husband flew off a couple of weeks ago and needless to say, I have been solo parenting.

It hasn’t been too bad, really, I am enjoying my time spent with the littles. They have been rather generous in proclaiming their love and adoration for me over the past weeks and I will gladly take all of that. Bad moments, yes, there have been some raised voices and frayed tempers, but generally these come and go and are easily resolved.

I am lucky in that sense, these two are rather good-natured and love their mummy so.

What really struck me, over the course of the past two weeks, was just how much Aidan has grown.

We were strolling along the airport this evening – one of our favourite haunts because aeroplanes! Food! Caffeine! – and as he walked next to me while I pushed Zac in the stroller, I suddenly realised that he’s a bona fide boy. He’s mature and rational and logical (MOSTLY) and I can reason with him. He’s going to be in kindergarten next year.

But his growth is not just measured in numbers.

Last week, his school celebrated teachers’ day and I prepared some gifts for his teachers. For the past few weeks, the school has been hosting some polytechnic interns and he has been interacting with one of them in particular.

As I was packing the presents, he suddenly asked, “Do we have a present for Teacher Edward (the intern)?”

I said no, we didn’t because he had not joined the school when I was purchasing the gifts.

“Can we get something for him? Otherwise, he will be sad,” he said. “Mummy, can we give him something?”

Earlier today, we had lunch at my in-laws’. On the drive back, Zac fell asleep in the car and I gingerly carried him back to the flat with Aidan following close behind.

As I moved swiftly into the boys’ bedroom, I instructed Aidan to stay outside so that I can transfer Zac to the floor bed. To my surprise, he continued following me into the room. I was all ready to raise my voice at him when he dashed into the room and said, “Mummy let me help you.”

He then proceeded to position the mattress in the right way, and he even arranged the pillows all around the bed, the way I usually do. All this while, I was standing in the room with a sleeping Zac in my arms. Once done, he zipped quietly out of the room and closed the door gently.

When did he grow up into this thoughtful boy without my noticing?

All those times when I wished for him to grow up and out of that horrible infancy period, when he woke up a million times at night and I cried in frustration, when he clung to me as he drifted off to sleep – that’s all gone now and in its place is a little boy armed with his future in his hands and a long road ahead of him. Right now he is walking hand in hand with me but I know that it won’t be long before he lets go and goes off without me.

It makes my heart swell with pride and yet there is a tinge of sadness at all that has come and gone. While each moment had felt so long and never-ending, it’s really been just a blink of an eye.



Four years of Aidan

Dear Aidan,

Exactly four years ago, I was having the worst night of my life in the hospital. But that turned at 4am, when you arrived into this world and it became one of the best nights of my life. Because once I held you in my arms, I knew that I would love and protect you with every cell of my being until the day that I die.

You know exactly how loved you are, since that early morning of March 5. You know it, because we tell it to you every day and every night. You know it because we make it a point to hug you and shower you with kisses. And you know it because even when you are less than delightful, when you are not a happy child, you understand that we will never abandon you and we will never reject you.

For the past few months, you have been longing to be four. You ask me if you are four yet and when I say no, just a bit more till you are four, you get upset and insist that you are already four. Why the hurry to grow up, my darling? You grin when I say that you are my baby Aidan, and proceed to inform me that you are no longer a baby but a big boy.

And so you are.

The four-year-old you is so incredible to behold. You are sassy, no doubt, and says the darnest things to me. It never fails to make me smile when you say “yes, please”, the way I do. And you love to sing to yourself, when you think nobody is paying you any attention, when you are focused, the way I do. You love your brother and tell me to “play the music” of the baby monitor when he is crying at bedtime. You love to hold my hand and when I have your little hand in mine, my world is a happy, contented place. You remind me to use my hot water bottle whenever my bad back acts up and it hurts to walk. You love yogurt and fruit and have no qualms demolishing three plums after dinner. You have a thing for shoes and socks. Every night, you fall asleep with your head on my stomach. When I ask you why, you just smile shyly and say you like to do that. I can and will never understand why. In the morning, you tell me that you are off to breakfast when you wake up before I do. And when I say good morning to you, you say it right back at me with the sweetest voice, before giving me a gentle kiss.

Now, that’s not to say that you are an angel. There are difficult days and there are difficult moments. But it’s not because you are a difficult child – far from it. You are a really fun little person to be with, most of the time, and I think your papa and I lucked out in that aspect.

And the best part is how much you love us. I know you love me by the joyful way you yell “mummy!” when I pick you up after work. I know you love me from the way you zip out of the holding area into my arms with that big grin. I know you love me when you wrap your arms around my legs and nestle into my body for comfort. I know you love me when you cuddle up next to me and ask me to read you a book. I know you love me when laugh so gleefully when I tickle you.

And I know you love me when you say to me before you drift off into slumberland, “Goodnight mummy park kor*. I love you.” (*He loves to make up names!)

Happy 4th birthday, my boo boo boy. You are our dream come true.

Love you to the moon and back,


My son danced, and I cried

Over the weekend, we attended the year-end concert put up by Aidan’s childcare operator.

It was the first time we ever attended such a concert, the first time that Aidan was involved. And we had absolutely no clue what to expect. Maybe a group of children singing and dancing?

“Wonder what they are going to do for two hours,” mused husband. We asked the star, who gave us absolutely no clue, except that he was singing “I Like to Teach the World To Sing”.

Were there dance moves? Yes, he said. Could you show us? He ignored us.

On a sizzling hot Saturday, we trooped off to the concert venue with both sets of grandparents in tow. The concert began and then we realised just why it was slated to run for two hours. First, they called all the K2 classes across the different branches onto stage, individually. Then there was a video montage of, again, all the graduating students from all the classes.


Now this sounds really boring on paper but I gotta tell you, I FREAKING CRIED!

Seriously. Those were not even my kids graduating AND I CRIED. As the video rolled and I saw pictures of smiling children flash across the screen, I thought of how proud the parents must be and, oh, how their hearts must be aching. And if their kids had been in the centre since they (the kids) were 18 months old, how bittersweet this moment must be for both the teachers and the parents.

I mean, that’s such a large part of their lives. Just like that, one chapter closes and another begins. It must mean so much to the teachers, seeing their charges grow from tiny humans who can’t talk to independent little people. And I imagined my Aidan being a strapping six-year-old boy, no longer my tiny baby, and tears welled up in my eyes.

Damn hormones.

After the montage, the first performance begun and it was my little man and his friends! So they were supposed to be performing to a Hawaiian theme and as they trooped out, my heart burst. The boys were wearing floral shorts while the girls were wearing shimmery green grass skirts. All had luau around their necks. They started their dance and MY GOSH IT WAS SO CUTE.

Imagine tiny little people clapping, twirling their hands, shaking their bums, all in two rows. They were so earnest and for three-year-olds, they DID SO GOOD.


Here’s my little fellow, after more than a year of being in daycare, performing independently with his friends. He did not miss a beat and was so, so great.

Silly me, sitting there in the dark, beaming like a monkey and wiping tears from my eyes. Silly, silly me.

But oh, what a proud mama I am.

One day, he will be that six-year-old graduating from kindy and one day, I will be proudly cheering as he goes on stage to pose with his friends. One day, I will be bawling at the thought of him being all grown up and entering primary school.

No matter what, though, I will always be his proud mama.

My Hawaiian boy//

Aidan, Health Goddess, Motherhood

HFMD comes round again

Another year, another round of HFMD.

Yes, the three-year-old is down with this dreadful illness again. Poor baby has ulcers at the back of his throat and isn’t eating well at the moment. When he gives up three quarters of his chocolate biscuit, you know he is in great pain. He would never have given it up willingly in healthier times, hah.

The silver lining is that he is still, pretty much, himself. He’s happy and playful and still singing away.

Right now we are concerned with separating Aidan from Zac. The last thing we want is for the baby to get it too. And that’s where it turns dicey. We now have to activate our parents’ help – I can’t take leave because of classes and assessments while the man is juggling several projects. The logistics can be a challenge and this is frustrating for two parents who are working full-time.

At the same time, I am terrified of getting HFMD too. My last experience was nasty, I could barely eat or drink for seven days. It felt like I was swallowing shards of glass whenever I tried to ingest something. And then, miraculously, the ulcers disappeared on the 7th day.

Yup. HFMD as an adult is a terrible experience.

It’s been tough for the past year because we have been bouncing from illness to illness. It’s frustrating that we can only catch a short break before the next wave of illness comes, we are talking in terms of a week or two, at most a month. This is something that we accept as part and parcel of daycare life but it’s still difficult to live through. I’m tired of being sick, of my two babies being sick, of having to wake up a gazillion times at night to an angry, crying baby who cannot breathe through his congested nose, of having to clean snotty noses and rub phlegmy chests.

Well, everyone tells me that the first year of daycare is usually the toughest on the kid’s health. Fingers crossed that their immune systems would be strengthen soon as we inch towards that one-year mark.


Aidan is three!

Little man turns three. I cannot believe it. Whatever happened to my baby? Suddenly, he is all long limbs and sinewy muscles. The baby fats have all but melted off his frame. He is all boy now, running here and there and everywhere.

And yet, he is still very much our little boo boo. Every night, he tells me that he wants to “sleep with mummy”. Before he falls asleep, he must, must put his hand on my belly button and then lie his head on my lap. When papa teases him and calls him “baby”, he retorts that he is NOT papa’s baby but he is “mummy’s baby”. He lets us hug and kiss him silly. We play fun little games and sing songs with lyrics that we make up on the spot. He “cooks” for us. He likes to ask me to feed him his yogurt even though he is perfectly capable of feeding himself. He only wants papa to open the car door for him. He says “thank you” and “sorry” in the cutest, sweetest manner.

I still cannot resist kissing his cheeks, even though they are no longer deliciously juicy. I still love to carry him and have him nestle against my neck. I still sniff at his sweaty noggin, pretending that he still retains that sweet baby scent. I still love it when he calls me “mama” every once in a while.

I wish I can bottle up every moment with him. I wish I can remember every single funny thing that he says, every single new thing that he does which astounds us. I wish I can keep him at this age forever, this delightful age where he constantly amazes us with the little facets of his personality.

Three years ago, my life changed. It was turned topsy turvy and I found myself crying and laughing at the same time, as I cradled the tiny little being whom we had made, and who was irrevocably connected to us.

My son was born and he taught me what unconditional love is all about. I thought I knew everything but I was wrong.

Everything is still work in progress, of course. We are still figuring our way around this parenting gig. I still wonder if I am doing the right thing. I still wage battles to protect my family and to bring up my children the way I want to.

But then, I look at my little man and I think, I must have done something right. I must have done something good in order to have him in my life.

Once upon a time, he was but a mere flicker of hope. Today, he is my son.

Happy birthday to my boo boo boy. We love you madly, to the moon and back.