Reflections : 1st Quarter 2012

1st Quarter of 2012 has come and gone real quick, it is fully packed with many activities thanks to the festive season. The highlight of the quarter is probably the respiratory illness of both TC & TX as well as my thyroid’s scare…

TC

TC is coming to 3 Year Old. He is learning empathy and will ask me questions like, “mommy you back pain?”, “mommy you angry?” and, “Oh, didi don’t like this” etc. He will also express his desires like, “I like”, “I don’t want”, etc. One thing that really warmed my heart was that he started to pray spontaneously and would volunteer to say prayers to ask Jesus to heal mummy’s backache or daddy’s nose, or his cough. He would even pray that didi would not cry so much and gonggong (we saw this old man one day bleeding on his arms and legs, he was sent to hospital later on) to stop bleeding so that he could ride bicycle (I really don’t know how bleeding and cycling got connected in his mind though).

Nevertheless he is no longer the little baby and he now expresses his frustration, sometimes inappropriately with tempers – whining, hitting or stomping and exerts his will and self more and more. It appears to me that he is imitating little brother sometimes because he sees that the baby gets away with it. Whenever he does that, my patience is tested (especially prolonged whining) and my anger tends to rise as well. I will try my best to remain cool (although I admit there were times I simply lost it) and remind him that he is fully capable of speaking properly and making polite requests without whining. I then get him to practice asking politely, like “please mommy, may I watch the Thomas train show?”. He has to know there are alternative ways to express himself.

TC has been attending childcare since Nov 2011. WM has decided that he be placed in childcare to provide relief for me during the day. It was because my back was acting up at that time (I had a degenerated disc and it often gives me problems from my waist down). I had to take care of both TX, who had Urine Tract Infection (he has since recovered) and TC together. Putting him to childcare is really not my desire but out of desperation. It was a necessary move given the circumstances at that time. I had to put away my pride (I felt it is a failure on my part not to be able to take care of him fully although I stay home) and I am glad I submitted to WM to put him to child care.

TC has been having runny nose on and off ever since he went to childcare, just like before when he was in the infant care. However doctor was quite pleased his body is fighting quite well and she only had to give him antibiotics on one occasion. TC had pneumonia and bronchitis during his infancy and was hospitalized once before. I have accepted the fact that respiratory problem will always run in the family…

TX

He is now 10 months old. I didn’t spend as much time talking and playing to TX as much as I did with TC. I guess because of this reason he is quite independent and could play on his own. He doesn’t really whine or cry if I left him alone and he would just explore around the house. He definitely doesn’t seem to miss my company! Quite opposite of TC who would not bear to be left alone…I also did not do flash cards with him as I did with TC. The first six months of his life was a blur to me, mainly fire fighting and I was simply struggling. Flash cards was just the last thing on my mind. The only thing I managed was to show him videos*. Now I am starting him on Robert Titzer’s Your Baby Can Read** videos, not that I think it works or want him to read early but I just thought he’d be better off watching this than anything else while I get some work done.

One thing I need to work on is be mindful of him going to the fan and electrical sockets or wires. I tend to be engrossed with what I am doing and forgot to check on him, since he is so good at playing on his own! Sometimes I found he is happily messing with the fan or plugs…It is definitely a boundary to work on. TC was able to understand by 1 year or so that he shouldn’t go to the fans or electrical sockets, tissue boxes, rubbish bins, toilets or remote controls. He would observe the same boundaries at other people’s home. Thus I believe babies can be taught self-control. Hopefully I could do the same for TX as I did for TC.

He also started eating porridge and enjoys savory one. He developed pincher grasp and would pick up pieces of bread and put it in his mouth. Late Feb I also started to supplement him on formula. Partly because I didn’t want him to reject formula when I fully wean him in the future. (It happened with TC as I breastfed him exclusively for 18 months). Little did I know that TX is such a busy baby he much prefers the bottle than the breast because he has to work harder to get his food. It was a downward spiral and by March, TX pretty much weaned himself. He doesn’t seem to miss the nursing a bit, unlike TC who nowadays would ask me for it sometimes. You can see how different they are!

End Feb TX had a long episode of runny nose and cough. He was put on two doses of antibiotics. I went to the doctor at least 6 times for review and it is not fun. Each round of medication took me about 45 min to 1 hour to prepare and administer. It was simply crazy. I am very very glad it is over.

*I do not recommend videos for babies younger than 9 months except for videos of flash cards (like powerpoint slides).

**Disclaimer: I am not an affiliate of Your Baby Can Read nor do I earn/benefit anything for sharing this post. My aim is to share something that I use & love, and I hope that it would enhance your child-rearing experience.  I much prefer simple videos of this sort than any other programs (yes, even the children ones). There are many other similar or comparable products of varying prices in the market. I cannot guarantee it will actually make your baby read but it does help keep my baby occupied for a while. Take care to keep them away from videos/programs that are too stimulating or entertaining because babies/children will probably not want to watch this video for long if they got to taste other videos like Hi-5 or Barney earlier than this.

SH

Now that I felt much better, I wanted to take TC out of childcare. Mainly because I want to correct him immediately if he exhibit any poor behavior. But WM said we should let him attend school for at least year. As a good wife would do, again, I submit to DH. (Trust me it is NOT natural for me in the past to do so) I hope in this year’s time I will be more matured and grow spiritually and in character so that I will be better able to handle the home front.

BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) started in Feb and I was so looking forward to it! We’re learning the book of Acts this year. I enjoyed the lessons immensely so far. I had been in the class for 5 years now and I must say that I only get to be really serious last year for the book of Isaiah after I quitted my job. It is hard to be working, take care baby and the house plus attend BSF and do the bible study homework. I only really benefitted and experienced the joy of studying God’s Word last year. I am so glad I got a place again this year, with both TC and TX in the pre-school program too!

There was also this sense of loss my part that TX had weaned himself. I believe not only in the health benefits breast milk can bring, but also the close bond the mother-child share when baby nurse at her breast. There were times I felt a little sad about it, after all I nursed TC so long and until today I felt this indescribable sense of bond with him whenever I hold him close. However, TX seemed just so busy with his own life and it seems like he can’t wait to fly. For me, I am trying to enjoy this new-found freedom, whereby I can leave him in the crib or sarong and drink on his own while I do a little bit of work.

There was a scary occasion when I couldn’t sleep for 3 days straight in end Feb. It is not uncommon for me to have insomnia once in a while because I am still caring for baby who wakes up at night, I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I napped too much in the day. However 3 days straight was pretty scary. No naps during the day too. The alarm triggered when I weighed myself (just for fun really) at the pediatrician when I  brought TX to see the doctor for his runny nose and cough. I got a big shock as I only weighed as much as I did 15 years ago! Ever since I got married, I no longer battled with my weight (although I must admit there was a period of time I did in my late teens/early adulthood). However, 38kg is simply too scary. Anyway, on the insistence of WM, we went to see the GP and he suggested a blood test for hyper-thyroid. Results came back and was clear. What a great relief and a reminder for me to slow down. My mind was just over-revved with all the plans to reconfiguration and organization projects for the house, to teach TC, the topics I’d like to blog on, BSF, attempts to reach out to neighbours etc. Plus both the kids were sick one after another and needed medication 3x a day. I had too many things on my plate and my mind just couldn’t stop.

WM

As the most “stable” (Read: Boring) person in this house, WM got not much of interesting updates, except that he feels he is slacking at work and needs challenge. It is very unusual to me that he would make this comment as he is highly phlegmatic. The only reason I could think of is that he loves us enough to ensure his employability now that he is a sole breadwinner. Well not long after that he got quite busy again because of some re-organization going around in his company. His sensitive nose is also giving him problems as usual, which I feel rather helpless about except to buy him some nose spray and pray for him. His life is quite mechanical, and on the few things that interest him he would do extensive reading and fact-finding until he is thoroughly satisfied and comes up with a conclusion. This quarter, he was interested in bicycles and related accessories, movies, crossbows,  global financial situation and all its related news including oil, precious metals, war, US policies etc.

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