Missing Papa already

Papa Long just left for the airport… headed for a work trip. As I lay in bed with Little Foot, I am acutely aware of the empty futon on the floor where he usually sleeps.

Unlike other jetsetting couples, I hate being apart from Long. The first time he went away without me after our wedding (Taiwan with his parents), I cried myself to sleep alone in our house that suddenly felt too big. He cried himself to sleep in Taiwan too.

Months later, he went to chase the aurora in Iceland without me. Again, I cried myself to sleep for days… even though I was to meet him in Paris a week later.

After that trip, we tried for Little Foot and conceived her a couple of months later. We never left each other for trips.

Our work usually don’t bring us overseas. That’s one of the things I avoid. I hate work trips. And the nature of his work don’t usually require him to travel.

This week he was given short notice to fly to Europe… so he packed last night and left tonight. Being the explorer that he is, I know he’ll be fine.

I just feel so down though…. not having him around unsettles me. This is the first time he is away from me, from us, since Little Foot came into existence. 

Sighh…mummy’s gotta be brave and survive this week. His plane hasn’t taken off and I miss him so much already.

Even Little Foot cried and screamed when we said goodbye and closed the gate.

Time to learn to stand on our own feet this week.

Come home soon,  Papa!

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Stand up!

Came home late, but earlier than planned tonight. Had to cancel my haircut and colouring session because I was really feeling tired and under the weather. 

Best decision ever to come back before Little Foot went to bed.

She proudly got up and stood unassisted for us to see when I was reading some books to her.

Seems like she has been practicing hard.

I’m so proud of her everytime she reaches a new milestone,  but as the milestones cards run out, I can’t help but feel sad and a little emo.

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Everyday, Facebook prompts me “On this day last year” and I get reminded of how tiny and fragile she used to be.
That makes me emo too.

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Little Foot one year ago, clinging to me as she battled colic

I love you so so so much …. then, now, and always… stay cute at every stage ok?

#alwaysbemybaby

XOXO
Mummy

It’s been a long week…

Today is Friday.

It felt like the week was too long this week, perhaps because I am having withdrawal syndrome after spending a good long long weekend with Little Foot (with two days off last week).

Also because I was called back to office on Monday night.

Unexpectedly, work delayed me from returning home tonight. 

Do I blame work? Not really. Work has always been there.

I just realised that  while it was still in my DNA to be absorbed by my work, and this week was mickey mouse in comparison to how hard I used to drive myself, something had changed at my very core.

Me. My attitude towards work. My attitude towards people.

First and foremost, I am Little Foot’s mother. The pre-motherhood me may have had empathy for everyone under the sun. That’s what my religion taught me… so I apply it. Mechanically.

The me today applies empathy to everyone because as a mother I have experienced a transformation of sorts… I have this “don’t want this to happen to my child” attitude. I apply it to everyone and everything instinctively. 

Motherhood perhaps made me unwilling to be judgemental on others, and also unwilling to impose my views and values on others.

Remembering how I used to assume that because I chiong at work, people in my team should do so too. I laughed at how clueless I was…. there is life beyond work. And some people made it a point to have a different kind of priority list from the chronic workoholic.  I’ve been there and now I’m on the other side of the fence.

Life does have a way of boomeranging back on us.

And so tonight I rushed back in time to catch Little Foot before she slept. We hugged and I nursed her to sleep. I sang to her. I patted her backside.

And I wanted to cry.

How I missed her the whole week… yet I hardly had time to miss her.
I can’t help but wonder what I’ve missed while away from her.

And I wanted to cry. Mentally, it is exhausting, focusing on not thinking about the one person you just want to think about, so I can finish work and get back to her sooner rather than later.

I hope in the course of my work, I don’t have to unknowingly do anything that would take someone else away from their family unless there is really no choice.

As a wise friend once said, we always have a choice. We just assume we don’t.

How true.

Thank God for all the small pockets of time spent together. 

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A quick wefie the moment I walked through the door

Thank God it’s Friday.

Little Foot at Pororo Park

Today, Papa Long and I took leave to babysit Little Foot and her baby cousin baby K who is temporarily at our house on weekdays. Since baby K arrived, my aunt had been coming over to help look after her. Today was to give her a break so she could catch up on her housework and rest a little.

As usual, flower legs mummy didn’t want to stay home to babysit, so I asked the Papa to take leave too…and so off we headed to Pororo Park at Marina Square (with permission from my bro and his wife of course!)

This is not going to be a review of Pororo Park, because others have already done a good job (you can check out bumblebeemum’s review).

I just wanted to share that Little Foot had a lot of fun today.

Do note that for babies, there isn’t much they can do there.

Baby K, at 6 mths young, was pretty much only able to play at the babies and toddlers zone…  and she also bravely went to the Shark ball pool with Little Foot (with me watching like a hawk and trying to cordon off the spot they were playing in, shielding them from the big kids).

 

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The above photos pretty much summed up what baby K did at the park (besides taking photos with all the Pororo stuff).

As for our Little Foot who hasn’t yet started walking, she attempted most of the stuff in the park except for the Jungle Gym and the activity room (where the older kids do some coloring or dunnowhat).

She even bravely rode the Pororo Express, which is the highlight of the park, although I must admit, I was super apprehensive about it, but decided to let her try because must get out money’s worth! And I tell you, when the train jerked and she got a shock, my heart nearly stopped beating! (And then I recovered speedily and started laughing at her reaction).

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Little Foot also amazed me by taking off steadily with this tricycle thing in the park. I mean, she can’t walk yet, but she used it quite skillfully!

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She did some crawling and climbing…

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Stood up and played with this brainy looking toy which baby K also liked…

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Pretended to play with a workbench and piano( which she lost interest very quickly)…

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Had a go on the swing and slides…

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“Swam” in the ball pool…

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Took lots of pictures with the characters, and watched the musical.

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At first I thought the two hour limit per entry was rather short, but I was pretty much exhausted after 1 hour, since we had to assist the babies in everything.

Verdict:
Mummy fulfilled her Pororo wish (I’m a closet fan), and we had a fun afternoon there. Worth it to go for experience and to take photos with the characters, may not be worth it to get annual pass, as I won’t see us going again until Little Foot is old enough to try the jungle gym. I do think the price list is a little steep if your kid is more than a year old (babies under 1 year old enters for free).

For babies and young toddlers, going on weekday is recommended. I heard many people telling me it’s crowded on weekends , so it can be a little scary for the babies if big kids dive into the ball pool, or ram them on the tricycles.

And I do hope they fix that jerking issue on the Pororo Express.

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Time, sometimes doesn’t quite heal the ache

Dear Pico,

Today is the second year since you crossed over the rainbow bridge.

I once believed that time will heal the pain. Now I know, time, and the lack of it these days, only forced me to push thoughts of you to the back of my mind.

The pain hasn’t lessened with time. Maybe it’s like a sort of Rheumatism. You get used to living with the aches and pain… and then on occasions like today, it comes back aching more than ever.

I missed you, old boy.

I can still close my eyes and recall the sound of your barking, exactly in the same timbre.

I can close my eyes and smell your busuk smell.

I can close my eyes and still feel the roughness of your coat of fur.

Two years has passed, and yet none of these faded, neither has the pain of no longer being able to sit with you physically in the same room.

 

Do you feel our pain and how much we miss you?

I hope all is fine and dandy over there, and I still want to say “thank you” for showing me what life and death means, even though I wish I could trade the knowledge for more time with you.

How I yearn for just one more time, walking by the canal with you trotting beside me… the memory brings tears to my eyes each time.

I miss you.

And thank you, for everything, thank you for Little Foot.
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From no kids to one… why I changed my mind

This week, a fellow mummy whose baby was born on the same day as Little Foot gave birth again to her second child.

I felt happy for her. Yet it triggered many thoughts in my head including the impending questions that will keep popping up in my head in the days ahead as more and more in my fellow mummy group will start having their next child.

When will I have a second child?  Should I change my mind and have another baby?

To put things into perspective, I was one of those women who refused to entertain the idea of children in my life.

When we entered into marriage, I was adamant that ours would be a 2-person only family.  No kids.

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My list of defence goes on and on:
I don’t want to complicate my life…
It’s a losing investment…
It’s going to affect my career/work…
When the kids grow up,  they will break my heart (thinking of how I would give my own mother grief over stupid things in my teenage and adult years)…
I’m not healthy, my child might inherit my bad genes…
I feel complete without a child…

In essence, deep down was a fear, that I would no longer be in control of my life, our lives. Yet, by God’s grace, a death in the family changed my mind. If Pico our old dog didn’t pass away, I wouldn’t have pondered what it meant to leave. Forever.

When he left, we shared photos and videos, and spoke fondly about his antics and silly ways. Yet, it was just not enough. We were grasping at sand in the wind… helpless.

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I remembered I looked at Long and thought, if I leave, what would he have to hold onto of me? This empty house? A memory card full of photos and videos? How would I deal with it if he left me first? It was such a sad and despairing thought that it broke my heart.

Long always knew what marriage should lead to, but never articulated it well. He wanted a child, but couldn’t justify why except tell me my religion said I should. When I voiced my thoughts,  I guess it finally provided him the words that failed him.

And so we started trying for our little one. Two months later, testing positive felt like striking 4D.

Fast forward 13 months later to present time, I look back at all the times spent with Little Foot… from the pregnancy to the newborn days to colic times to now. She grew and we grew with her.

There are days I remind Papa Long that he wanted a child… (and by that logic he should be more hands on and “siao on” as a father. There are days I throw my hands up and ask myself why the F*** I agreed to put myself in this parenting situation. However, the good times and all the fulfilling moments greatly outweighed those.

Little Foot has a priceless smile that would melt all doubts away. She has those eyes that spoke a thousand words.  Even the frowns she used to present so often in her early days make me sit there and just get lost in the moment. The bond we share, especially because of breastfeeding and how we battled gestational diabetes and colic together, it replaced all the superficial things I thought was all I needed.

– Forget dates and movies.

– Forget cafe hopping.

– Forget beers on Friday nights.

– Forget one-luggage, hardly planned last-minute trips.

– Forget hobbies and couch potato time.

I’ve forgotten my old lifestyle where these were things I do without planning and without much thought.

Yes,  we still yearn for these and we will still attempt to keep a semblance of the old lifestyle, so Little Foot goes out with us for “Flower legs” sessions every weekend, finding a cafe with coffee that had latte art for Papa Long. (He’s obsessed with it), and I occasionally drag my scrapbook materials out to try to use them.

For now, I’m at the #onechildpolicy mentality. The next hurdle is overcoming my fear of going through it all over again.

The fear of going through all the unknowns in pregnancy (including not doing an Oscar test, because I will keep the baby whatever happened), the lethargy, the crazy newborn days, the milk woes, and then the thought of putting Little Foot on the sidelines if there is another child… how is that possible?

A few of the second-time mummies in my group shared how it was for them… “you may think by having a second child, the love would be halved… no, actually your heart will be able to become double big so you love both as much as you love her now.”

Wise words.

Have I thought about it?

Yes. Because I go back to the “all alone in the world” fear that sparked my journey into motherhood. Eventually, time will take Papa Long and I away from Little Foot. The thought of leaving her all alone in this world without a support system like what I enjoy (having 4 siblings) also breaks my heart.

But I fear.

I fear that I won’t make it the next time round… irrational fears but there is a real-life example in my sis’ friend who is now in a vegetative state, a result of complications during the delivery of her third child. I can’t overcome the fear that I may leave Long and Little Foot behind.

Until I overcome the fears and learn to trust God to lead the way, I will continue to be overly anxious about this.

No second child for now… let me enjoy Little Foot’s company for now. Our family of three seems complete to me.

Who knows,  God will open that door for me when the time is appropriate. And if he doesn’t, I think we will just have to prepare Little Foot for the journey ahead on her own.

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Any day can be Papa day

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I revisited these pictures a few times today.

Each time, it brought a smile to my face and warmed soul.

Today was “Papa day” for Little Foot. She gave Papa Long a lot of special moments.

Morning, she went on and on “papapapa…” for a very long time while playing around on our bed. We tried to catch it on video but she froze the moment the phone appeared.

Then they had a good baby bath session today. I felt him reminiscing about the newborn he used to bathe when he towel-dried her on his lap. And she was quiet and cooperative. (Usually,  there would be a lot of “eh eh eh” and squirming). Maybe he was also thinking about how there will come a day when he has to stop being the bath IC for her.

And then we had this father-daughter hug that melted my heart. It was at Wang Cafe at Bukit Panjang Plaza. We decided to go for our Kopi session in the afternoon. And it was such a spontaneous thing they did.

What amazed me was she quietly hugged him back and also allowed him to enjoy his coffee.

(Little Foot hardly hugs. She usually doesn’t even wrap her arms around our neck when we carry her. And she usually fusses if you sit down and stay still for too long while she’s in the carrier.)

Yes, anyday anytime, your child will decide that it is Papa day or Mama day. As a parent, be deeply involved in your child’s life or you might miss the moment that could happen anytime.

Thank you, Papa Long, for being the involved and loving father of Little Foot. XOXOXO

 

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