Tuesday, July 11, 2017

In sickness and in health.

The firstborn caught a nasty bug at drama workshop recently and had to skip school. Poor baby but he looked just fine when he gets to stay home and watch TV. Typical! LOL. In this one I am gonna share what to do if your kid fell sick - this is not in any way a medical advice, merely a tips from one mommy to another. 

What to do if you child caught a fever?

First of all, DO NOT PANIC. As a young mommy-of-one, I panicked a lot. Three sneezes was all it takes for me to take him to see the paed. LOL. Fever is not something you should take for granted, true, especially in very young children, but you shouldn't panic too easily either. Know what works or could work for your kids, and you will be more confident to tackle their issues. 

If you are against modern medicine, you can stop reading now. I am the type that will go with whatever that works for my family so yeah that includes liquid PCM, suppository med, essential oils, honey, chicken soup, lotsa plain water and lotsa hugs. As a mommy, it'd best to have these on stand-by: digital thermometer, liquid PCM & supp. 

Sponge till it drops!
The moment your kid's temp reaches 37.5c, take off his clothing and start sponging, using sponge or soft cloth, soaked in room temp water. Trust me his temp would drop immediately. Pay more attention to armpits, joints, behind ears and private areas. 

"Medicines are like colouful little doctors" - Hadi 
Administer some liquid PCM (check kids weight for dosage). If it's night time, insert a supp as well (this is a protocol taught by our family doctor). Give PCM every 4 hourly if necessary. Sponge every now and then. Make him drink lotsa plain water. Give some honey. Feed him homemade chicken soup and give lots of hugs. Oh and force them to sleep / rest. 

Rub a dub dub
If you're into essential oils, lavender, lemon, peppermint and/or eucalyptus can be diluted with carrier oil (I usually use organic VCO) & be massaged on your kids' feet bottom, base of the neck, temple. They can also be diffused; your house will smell fresh and nice too. Some mommies use lemons socks (put lemon slice inside socks and make kids wear them) but this never work with my kids because they hated it. Well, I would too. 

If after all these protocols have been done and still the fever doesn't subside, take him to see a doctor for blood test and all that. Better safe than sorry! Oh and mommies, be prepared to hear LOTSA WHINING. They come with that, yes.

LOL. And be sure it isn't just that before you let them skip school.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Snapshots of moments.

(The first two paras are from my phone notes written back in March) 

The life you see on Instagram or any social media that is, is not real life. They are snapshots of moments, a small fraction of someone's reality. 

We see photos of young children behaving impeccably and we look at our kids and think, why can't you be more like them? When in fact what we see is only a frozen 2 seconds of their life. Marion Caunter's life, for instant, seems picture perfect on Instagram but who really knows what goes on behind the screen? (I bet her reality is perfect too though LOL) This is why sometimes it's really shocking when we hear of news like when a couple got a divorce, because I just saw them looking happy on an overseas trip together last month? Or that she just got retrenched? But she is always happily sharing her new handbag collections! She's a bitchy boss?! But she seems so loved by her people?!

Behind the fabulous family vacation we see on Instagram for example, are just the same thing we parents face everyday. Sibling fights, whining bored/ hot/ sleepy / tired kids, struggle to get them kids to eat / sit quietly / nap. LOL. But the snippets of moments we choose to share are almost always the sweetest, because that's just how we want to remember it.

I can't imagine if social medias exist when I was growing up. The process of personal growth and self discovery was hard enough without peer pressure constantly bugging your life at the palm of your hand. Sigh I weep for younger generation.

We share a small part of our lives that we are comfortable to bare to the world, but you don't always need to know about the night I quarreled with my husband and felt bad, or the day my firstborn made me so mad my heart almost burst out of anger and sadness, or the tears I had every time I feel melancholic about my special child. Only recently after 3 years did I first openly write about Noah and my heart felt at ease after I did that, because sometimes getting things out of your system can be detoxifying for your soul. 

Most of us pick and choose what we share with people, even more so on social medias. Some people are of the view that this is another version of hypocrisy. I don't think so. Social media is after all just a platform for us to connect to the people around us, via snapshots and sharing of opinions and what nots. 

Choosing the best photos among all that have been ruined by your kids making ugly faces, putting on some filters to hide your overly tired mommy face, thinking of a funny / insightful caption to match ---- there's nothing wrong about all this, simply a quick editing skill. Hypocrisy comes in when you start stretching out the truth and sharing make-belief moments just to get validations from others. Don't! Stay true to yourself, take beautiful photos of your life for memories sake, and be kind -- if you have nothing nice to say to others on social medias, just STFU.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The boy with the sketchbook.

I am now renaming Hadi to The Boy with the Sketchbook because more than 300 people have made the same comment to me: Hadi ni sentiasa ada buku untuk melukis / Hadi always has a paper and pen to draw on. 

For a 7 year old, he draws quite well. Better than I was when I was 7 at least. I never really noticed this until I have lots of people coming to me commenting on his drawings and the fact that he draws from his memory. Dozens of sketchbooks fill our house, all filled with his drawings from when he was smaller until now. He brings sketch book / paper and pen almost everywhere and if he forgets them, he'd be really mad if I don't have a paper in my handbag that he could borrow, but I usually do. He'd even draw on tissue paper if he has to. This is partly because we only let him have my phone or his dad's tab occasionally (kalau dapat gadget lupalah about drawing) and partly because he doesn't really like to talk to people, so I guess drawing is part of his escapism from having to socialize. People will come to him and ask about his drawings and he will just smile and continue sketching. This is one weird boy I tell you. 

At a Raya open house recently, I heard a girl gushing to her friends and later to her dad, about Hadi and his drawings and I was like, my Hadi?! Really you were talking about my Hadi? LOL. She was all swooning! 

Apparently there are still girls who are into arts, Hadi, like when I first saw your dad's depiction of Super Darbi (our Jurisprudence lecturer) in a lecture hall LOL, but you wouldn't know that until you're much older because boo hoo you go to an all boys school.

Me at the said open house, with The Boy with the Sketchbook.

All you need is love.

This is from my previous blog, Neurotically Speaking, a simple illustrated list for new mommies on what your teeny tiny newborn would need in the first few months of life. But really, all they realllllyyyy need is you!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Mini harem.

"Perhaps all women live with a mini harem inside and the discrepancy, tension and hard-achieved harmony 
among our conflicting selves is what really makes us ourselves." 

I bought this book in a quaint little shop in Taksim, Istanbul selling old books, old maps and antiques, and books by local authors. The scent of the shop is intoxicating but that's another story. 

This is not the kind of book you can read in one go. It is still a work in progress for me but I do enjoy her writing. Elif Shafak was once one of those feminists; hugely independent and never in her adult life has imagined herself as a mother. Then she fell in love and got pregnant. I looooove how she explores the raw emotion of a new mother. Of how a kid would change your life, your freedom and ambition. How can you write when there's a little person who depends on you, needing and whining and clinging on to you? How do you go back to the carefree, smart woman you once were? 

You won't, I guess. You will grow. You will grow to be better, you will gain maturity and new strength. You will be happier, or maybe not, depending on your own action and reaction. But you will never be the same woman you were once before. 

I love how she questions the way society treats women & there is a story she told of a very talented poet, who could almost be as good as Rumi but one day, she got her period and boom, she became "just a lady". And a lady should not have an ambition, she should stay low and wait for someone to ask for her hand in marriage and be a child bearer. So this forgotten poet got married, had kids and her poems and poetry simply withered away. It is heart breaking, really. 

I also love how Elif wrote about Anais Nin and her infamous maids that Anais writes a lot about. How the maids were the reason Anais ever had the time she had to write and be succesful. But did the maids themselves have no other ambition and dreams? Could they have become famous and succesful too if they were given the chance? 

I am thankful for my helper as she is the reason I get to sometimes play lawyer, do my craft, go on dates with my husband and have a life outside of being a mommy. I used to have no such help and trust me when I say having a good, reliable helper will drastically change your life in a very good way. But I do wonder if Yun would prefer being a rich man's wife or a singer (she sings a lot) or maybe a lawyer herself (she was a cigarette factory worker before). Of course she would! But our mission in life is to be the best version of ourselves, to make the world around us a better place. She becoming a good helper gives meaning and assistance to our family and in return, we help to provide for her daughters' education and thus, better future. 

How wonderful are the mini harems with all its different mini voices inside us.

Unsung heroes.

(Another one from my phone notes. I remember writing this on the day Noah got a fever after months of good health -- he used to get sick very easily when he was smaller. It was also the day Hadi made a cute remark that "medicines are like colourful little doctors." LOL)

Having a special need child will change the way you view life. You learn to celebrate little achievements, like when Noah first gained his neck control after countless therapies, or the first time he turned himself at the age of 2, or his hysterical laugh we get to hear sometimes. It is easy for these things to go unnoticed with your normal children. It is just another little milestones for them but for a special need child, it is a huge one, life-changing, making us believe in hopes and miracles. 

All these strong mommies I have met along the way, with children of different kind of disabilities and delays, I have nothing but respect and admiration for them. These mommies are the unsung heroes, taking every trials as it comes, believing in their children and never stop trying, bracing the odds. I believe God tests only those who are strong enough to face the tribulations, and if we redha, never give up hopes and persevere, He will reward us in the hereafter. 

For the growing trees are strengthened, if they withstand the storms.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

What boys are made of.

I had my third boy on my sixth year as a mommy so it's safe to say that I have had quite a number of experience by then, my shares of ups and downs and my personal collections of dos and don'ts. 

And so with this one, I let him explore more. I let him climb things, scribble on stuffs, play with dirt, get down and dirty with animals and plants. Basically I wasn't this obsessed, scared young mommy I used to be. This has proven to be a good thing as this one has turned out to be more resilient, more self sustaining, outdoorsy and confident. Well as confident as a 21 months old could be LOL. 

"Along with milk and vegetables, 
kids need a steady diet of rocks and worms. 
Rocks need skipping. 
Holes need digging. 
Water needs splashing. 
Bugs and frogs and slimy stuff need finding". 

Author Anonymous