October 31, 2013

what's wrong, my love?

Since I started sending Luqman to school, there isn't a day that I'm not wondering whether or not I'm doing the right thing. 

I know you're probably tired of hearing these stories, but unless and until I get this off my chest, I don't really think I can move on. 

It's almost a month now since I first sent him. Oh wait, it is exactly a month today.

And in this month alone, I have seen my baby grow and bloom wonderfully (but as you are aware, I may be biased), which is great because I'm constantly looking for that positive development. 

Having said that though... I have also noticed some things which I am not used to. 

Like how he stopped calling me Ma for about 3 weeks. It's not that he started calling me something else, he just decided not to address me at all. My guess is that this is just his way of telling me how pissed off he is at me. But then again, I could just be over reacting. 

My son also became a little less affectionate. He used to slobber me with his sloppy kisses. A kiss to him meant that he should put my entire cheek into his mouth and that he should suck it and complete it with his signature "aum" sound.

And those are just some of the major things that I really miss about him. 

I'm not saying that sending my son to school was a bad idea (or was it?) and I'm not at all trying to indicate that his teachers are treating him poorly or that he isn't getting enough attention or that he isn't having fun. In fact, I am ever so grateful to his teachers for being so patient with him crying and resisting them in the mornings and for making exceptions where he is concerned simply because they want him to be comfortable. 

But yes, the love and affection that they are showing is just a different kind of love. 

Everyday, my husband and I would wonder what our son is thinking. Some days, when we're watching him play, we would notice how thin he's gotten and how light he is when we carry him and how he's generally changed, like something in him is lost.

And it really isn't rocket science. Of course he misses his babysitter. 

Due to some circumstances though, we've been meeting his babysitter more in this past week. We haven't been sending him during office hours, no, but we met with her after hours. 

The first time we went, he came back the jovial little Luqman that I know. I remember how relieved I was when he hugged my leg when I was doing the dishes that night and started calling me, "Ma" again. Phewww. His love for hugging also resumed after the first visit and he just generally became reanimated. Of course, that was until he realised that he wasn't going to be sent there for good. 

After the latest visit, I took my baby home, knowing that he was going to have sweet dreams. And believe you me, I caught him smiling in his sleep more than once as he had so much fun! 

I really don't know how to settle this lil' "problem" of ours and I am pretty sure taking him out of school and sending him to another babysitter, who's not his former babysitter wouldn't make a difference to his current condition. Plus, now that he's volunteering to get out of his carseat when we reach school, I'm sure it'll be just a matter of time before I'll have trouble taking him home from school. 

At this point, I'm really just clueless. I really hope I'm doing the right thing. Thank you for reading. 


October 30, 2013

under the weather.

Last weekend was actually a really relaxing weekend for us because we decided to "outsource" all the housework kepada yang lebih pakar. All I had to do was to instruct the Akaks about what needs to be done, show them around the apartment and monitor them. And of course, pay. Man, did I feel like a taitai. And man, does it feel good to feel like a taitai even for a day.

Sadly though, I was hit by some bug or some I don't know what on Sunday night, which left me so weak I could barely sit up, let alone carry my baby. I was purging, on the verge of vomiting and my back was practically sealed to the bed. Just couldn't do anything!

Though I spent the entire Sunday in pain, I was racking my brain as to what could be the cause. Everything we ate on Sunday was homemade, my boys ate everything that I ate and they weren't the least bit affected so I was seriously baffled. Bukanlah question kenapa Allah bagi sakit, but I wanted to get to the root of it so that no one else would be similarly afflicted. Cukuplah Mama sorang sakit. Penat kot sakit.

Then Monday morning came, and I felt so much better after the meds and a good night's sleep. And then, my husband was hit by the bug or the we don't know what AFTER HE DRANK WATER FROM MY WATER TUMBLER! An hour after he took a gulp out of it, he curled into a foetal position and he vomited and purged while he was taking his bath! Boy was I glad to find out why I was feeling like crap. Though I must say that the reason is really unexpected. It was boiled water okay!

Took us about 2 days to recover and I realise that age might just be catching up with me. Or maybe, like my mom said, I'm a tad bit dented after the hospital incident a while back, that each time I get sick, it takes a while for my blood pressure to get back to normal.
After forcing myself to eat, loads of liquids, burping like nobody's business and the non-discreet farts that I mercilessly let loose to any passers-by to my work station and also my husband who shares the matrimonial bed with me (hehehe), Alhamdulillah, I think I have fully recovered and back to my old bouncy self. 

No wonder Allah afflicts a soul with hardship, because I have never felt so thankful to be so healthy.

Feels so good to be back on my own two feet again. 

So now, let's make good use of this good health and get productive.

October 24, 2013

good times like these.

Last weekend was probably one of the best weekends we’ve had as a family in quite a while. Well at least that’s the way I feel about it anyways.

Not that we did anything out of the ordinary or went to places other than those we normally do, but yeah, it was how a weekend should, in my opinion, always be.

After bathing Luqman and letting him nap for a bit, we decided to go out to Alamanda. Had to get some groceries and I was itching to bake, so I just HAD to get some butter and flour.

Of course since we were all hungry, we grabbed some lunch at Nando’s as well.

I think Luqman behaved exceptionally well last weekend; sat all the way from home to Alamanda in his car seat (notwithstanding tears and screams and all), sat quietly in his high chair while we had lunch and also actually ate his lunch with much gusto since he’s now regained his appetite after he cut his first molar.

Ever since he turned 18 months, I’ve become more comfortable feeding him store bought food that we eat as our own meals. Previously, I would bring homemade food for him like pasta and rice balls, but now that he’s older, it has become tougher to feed him. It’s not so much because he’s a picky eater, but more because he wants to eat our food and demands his independence i.e. wants to feed himself, so things like porridge, rice and pasta are really just not practical at all.

So, since Nando’s is relatively healthy, I decided it should be alright to order him some Peri Wedges, which he of course, LOVED!

Anyways, since my piece of chicken was kind of big, I cut it into 2 and left my chicken drumstick on the left side of my plate.

Guess who cheekily, albeit ever so nonchalantly took it OFF my plate like it was meant for him?

Yes, this Cheekypuff, that’s who!

I was SO shocked, but at the same time amused by this! And I’m so glad that I wasn’t too gob smacked to snap a photo. Heee. By the way, I had every intention to actually EAT the chicken drumstick okay!

But hey, that’s not the end of the Boy’s cheekiness, alright!

Imma just chillin with my Upin, Ma.
Lookie here what he was up to when we were having dessert at Starbucks?

Gosh, don’t you just think that these kids grow up just wayyyy too fast.

I can’t believe that he was once this helpless lil’ baby who didn’t know anything but cry, smile and poop just about a year plus ago!

It’s becoming harder and harder not to miss him these days, especially now when I’m worried sick about how he’s doing in school.

And today I miss him ever so much, so very obviously. 

*Oh, by the way, please do give me ideas any Mommies out there about healthy finger foods that you feed your toddlers. So far, I've made some steamed potato fries, meatballs and chicken nuggets.These are winners with Luqman but I wish I could incorporate more vege and also rice in his diet, while letting him have his independence while eating. Pretty please and thank you!*

October 23, 2013

the one about tough love.

When I discovered that I was having a baby, I remember how determined I was to train him to sit in his car seat, for safety’s sake. Of course, my mom, having babied us all up until now, thought otherwise. After each visit, my plans of putting Luqman into his car seat would inevitably be squashed because she would ask me, “Taknak peluk baby ke? Sian dia.” And I would always end up cuddling up to my baby (who by the way is addicted to my boobs) and would end up feeding him the whole way home.

That became the unhealthy practice which led my baby to think he would get his upah each time we got into the car.

And then, my husband had to go for his 6-month course and I had no choice but to begin the training session. It was long overdue, if you asked me. And I hated to have to do it because it was my fault that he wasn’t already used to it but I trained him anyway. It was dramatic and traumatizing. I remember posting on FB for advice and I was told time and time again that I was doing the right thing; to train him. It was after all, for his safety. Plus, I was assured by more experienced mommies that babies will eventually stop crying, hitting themselves and vomiting once they figure out how much it hurts.

It took him 4-6 weeks to finally get the idea that I wasn’t going to pick him up even if he cried his eyes out, vomited or hit himself silly on the head. Of course by then, he already knew how painful all of it was.

And therefrom began our wonderful (in sha Allah very safe) car rides.

Until my husband’s 6-month course ended.

I didn’t realize it but I had missed cuddling my baby so much for the period of time which he was subjected to sitting on his own in the car. So, when my husband came back, we went cold turkey on the car seat. There were times when we tried putting him on the car seat again and as expected, he cried and cried and cried and my husband, being the kind hearted person that he is, couldn’t stand to see his baby cry and caved. Every. Single. Time.

He’s such a Dad, I sometimes think I’m a Momster.

However, just recently, I told my husband that we really needed to train him to sit on his own in the car. It was just getting out of hand. He’s nearly 19 months and he’s still addicted to my boobs. And because he’s such a boy, he really can’t sit still in the car and wants to move from back to front back to front on and on as and when he pleases. More importantly, from his “driving” sessions with his Atuk (and also Daddy), he was beginning to think that handling the steering wheel was his birth right.   

I couldn’t stand it. It was just too dangerous. Plus, we never know when we’ll need to travel alone with Luqman – it could be me, it could be my husband. So, we finally upgraded his baby carrier to a big boy car seat, which we got at Manjaku Bangi at a very reasonable price. Since Luqman was the one who picked the car seat, all the while saying, “Tik (cantik), tik, tik” when we tested it on him at Manjaku, we honestly thought that he wouldn’t mind actually sitting on it in the car.

Pftt. Who are we kidding.

Of course he minded.

But this time, I’m happy to report that it only took him ONE day to realize that no matter what he did, how long or how badly he cried, BOTH of us are going to ignore him. Well, since I was the one who did the initial training when Luqman was much younger, I wasn’t that alarmed with his antics. Kesian, yes, Mama mana yang tak kesian, walau Momster sekalipun. But I am so much stronger this time round. I knew my husband still couldn’t take it and there were times when he wanted to cave, scream and get angry at Luqman because he was angry at himself for being angry.

But I told him – NO. The only way to do this particular training was through tough love. And complete silence and ignorance.

So, toughen up he did.

Problem is, now Luqman doesn’t want to get out of his car seat.

Congratulations, Hanisa.

October 22, 2013

Coloured Hearts.

It’s been a while since we’ve been home, just the 3 of us. The other day when Luqman was sick, we spent the week at my parents' house and commuted to work every day so that Luqman could recover under optimum conditions. Then, it was AidilAdha and we spent a few days in Melaka.

So, after all that time travelling and being away from home, all I wanted to do last weekend was to stay in, just the 3 of us.

But Luqman, having taken up my love for jalan-jalan when I was pregnant, gets restless pretty easily, especially when we spend too many hours indoors, just idling. So, I knew that I had to cook up some activities to get him off his boredom while we settled all the undone chores while we were away from home.

Since my boys slept in late on that Saturday, I decided to “get cooking” in the kitchen.

Only this time round, it didn’t involve any boiling, baking, simmering or anything of the sort.

All I needed was 1 cup salt, 1 cup flour, 1 cup water and some food colouring. And of course, my fingers.

And since I only had 2 colours in my kitchen, I only managed to come up with these 3 – homemade “paint” for Luqman’s indoor activity.

when my brother saw this photo, he said the caption should be "Luqman, the Mosquito Murderer"| Quite apt, I must say, hehe.

Oh, boyyyy, the Boy REALLY had fun I tell you! It was such as great way to coax him into getting into the bathroom (he’s currently having issues with taking off his clothes, I’m still baffled as to why) and the best thing is that not only did it keep him occupied (of course, under my very strict supervision) without involving a gadget of any sort (which will eventually spoil his eyes way before his time, I am sure. yes, I'm old school, just shoot me!), this activity involved homemade ingredients, which are cheap, safe and easily found in my kitchen.

I know it’s actually easy to get store bought paint, but I know my Boy way too well and had anticipated that his curiosity would lead him to want to taste his paint, which he did. Man, did he get the shock of his life, it was SO SALTY (yes, I tasted and tested before I let him play with it)! After that initial shock, he didn’t repeat the same and continued playing and painting with his hands, on my bathroom wall.

So far, I think this is the most practical home activity yet, because it doesn’t involve Luqman creating “art” on my walls, or my floor or on my furniture, which are thankfully dark-coloured (smart move, Mama and Dadddy!) and so, it doesn’t frustrate him because we aren’t constantly telling him “No” or stopping him midway his “creativity”. After we both got tired of painting the walls and each other (hehe) all I had to do was to wash off the “paint” with  a hose (to which Luqman responded with “Alaaaaaaa” each time he saw the colours trickle off the walls, sumpah comel gila, tak boleh belah puji anak sendiri haha). And my bathroom wall went back to its original state!

Oh, just so you know, after our painting session, I finally bought a new packet of salt, after being married for almost 3 years! Hahaha!

I highly recommend this, like seriously!
(especially to those with salt you don’t know what to do with and those who don’t cook, hahaha)

(eh, tapi saya masak ye kat rumah, tak pakai salt banyak je. perlu ke cerita? hahah tak tahu lah!)

And to those who are thinking of keeping your house and wall squeaky clean, think again!

There’s more to scribbling than you think ;)

And of course, you can Google "Benefits of Scribbling in Child Development" for further reading. 

Happy trying!