Friday, June 13, 2008

13 June 2008- When parenting 24/7 in not enough

I was checking my emails when I read an article on a Tokyo knifeman. Last Sunday, there was a stabbing rampage in Tokyo whereby a teenager drove a truck into Tokyo’s crowded district of Akihabara, the hub of Japan’s comic-book and video-game subculture. He swerved the vehicle into pedestrians, jumped out and started a stabbing spree with a survivor knife in one hand and a smaller knife in another. Five people died and twelve were wounded. He is currently in custody of prosecutors, who could press charges that lead to the death penalty.

Reporters interviewed his parents and his dad apologised and bowed deeply and repeatedly in front of national TV. His distraught mum cried and collapsed after the apology. On the eve of the rampage, the teenager posted in the internet that “I had been forced to play the good boy since I was little” His parents would sometimes complete his homework for him; “I was perfect in my studies as I got prizes for what a parent wrote or draw. As they wanted to brag about me to other people, they would finish everything up to make me look perfect”

Reading the article caused an unsettling stir in my heart. I could imagine how devastated his parents must have felt as it could be just another ordinary day and never in their wildest dreams would they have thought their son could be planning such a terrible activity. One step in the wrong direction seems to have changed their family lives overnight.

As parents, we will always want the best for our children. I can put myself in the parents’ shoes and visualise the image of a mother reprimanding a child when he misbehaves, telling him to be a good boy and not to do this, not to do that. In fact, I recalled the time in primary school where I was tasked to make a kite during art & craft and my dad completed the project for me as I had absolutely no idea how to. And yes, I got an A for that fabulous kite.

However, is wanting the best for our children wrong? How and when do we draw the fine line of leading them in the right path and not cause them to be over independent on us? How do we know how to GUIDE and not to INSTRUCT? How do we make them see that the best to us is also the best for them without them thinking we are simply too controlling and they can hardly breathe?

There is no easy answer to these questions but then again, there shouldn’t be.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

11 June 2008- Stomach upset

Gerrard has been having loose stools for 2 weeks. The first time it happened was on 24 May morning and I thought it was just a one time incident. As he has been on FM since birth, other than the 1st month, his stools have been rather "pretty" in toothpaste texture and he has been "trained" by my mum to poo poo once a day. On 30 May 2008 during his scheduled 4 months vaccination, I mentioned his condition to Dr Ho. She told me that only the following 3 conditions are causes of worry:

1. Stools hard as "goh-lis" aka marbles
2. Stools liquid like water
3. Blood in stools

She explained that anything else in between is perfectly fine and it is not a case of diarrhoea as it is only once a day (diarrhoea occurs 3-4 times a day). As such, she gave him the go-ahead for the vaccination. Loose stools continued after that and I took the doctor's word that it is fine. Others shared with me that it may be a sign of teething and it's common for babies to have loose/runny stools. Both grandmas commented that Gerrard seemed thinner but the fact that it still occurs once a day and he was still active and happy caused us to not worry so much, thinking that it'll probably go away.

I waited to see if it improves but to no avail. I donno if it was Mother's instinct but his condition bothered me at the back of my mind. He doesn't seemed sick but somehow I feel that something is not right. Hence, finally I took him to Dr Ho again. She examined him and announced that Gerrard has a tummy upset. Perhaps he had a virus infection which affected his digestive system and he would have to change to FrisoSoy milk for at least 2 weeks since his condition has been so long. FrisoSoy is a type of soy milk which does not contains oil unlike other FM as oil may worsen his condition. He was also precribed a medication to recover his digestive system.

I have to admit that inside my heart, I was swearing. Didn't she tell me that it was ok when I told her the condition 1 week ago? It was based on her words that I kept telling myself Gerrard should be fine since the doctor said so. If she had diagnosed it earlier, he wouldn't need to go through the upset tummy. And indeed, Gerrard's weight maintained at 7.5kg. He has not gained any weight since his vaccination on 30 May 2008.

I feel upset when I see Gerrard on medication and stopping his usual Similac FM. Although he is not crying in pain but I know it can be uncomfortable for him overall. Adults experience discomfort during diarrhoea, what the more a young 4 months baby.

May Gerrard recover soon.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

8 June 2008- First outing

Today is a significant milestone in Gerrard's life coz it is the first time we went out as a family! And it is not to Grandma's house, not for his routine visit to the PD but his first "gai gai" trip with Mummy and Daddy. Although to many people it is not such a big deal but to me, it really is. I have not "ventured" out with Gerrard unless it was with my mum as I find it too difficult to handle. In fact, we try to limit that to the minimum as well because 1. too many things to prepare to bring out 2. difficult to manage him when he wants to sleep but can't fall asleep in either our arms/ on strolller.

However, this weekend, my parents and Shir-lyn went to Msia to attend a wedding dinner. And as Derek took leave to help out, we decided to bring Gerrard for a small outing. Usual shopping centres were too crowded for our taste and hence we brought him to Changi Airport coz it's near our place.

All rearing to go

Surprisingly, all went rather well. Gerrard was pretty excited upon reaching the place and as we were extremely hungry, we had a quick bite at the foodcourt. While eating, we placed him in his stroller and he was well behaved and smiled/played with us afterwhich we walked around T3. At the viewing mall, it brought back fond memories as 4 months ago (when i was waiting impatiently to pop) a rather impregnanted me had been here with Derek and now 4 months later, we are back in the same place as a family of 3. It feels very special and fulfilling.

With Daddy

With Mummy

Initially we wanted to make our way to T1 but I decided that this may be enough for the time being considering that it is our first outing and Gerrard seems sleepy. After walking around, we stopped by TCC for lunch. I made his milk in a jiffy and fed him while waiting for our orders to come. After drinking, he fell asleep! I held him upright against me for a while as he had not burped. After I lied him down to sleep in the stroller, before I could whip out the camera to take a shot of him sleeping in his stroller for the 1st time, he moved a bit and woke up! I donno what's the matter but he is sleeping very little nowadays!

Looking surprised when he just woke up

Reverted back to his active self almost immediately when I played with him

Overall conclusion: It has been a good trip for a first timer and it has indeed helped to build up my confidence to bring Gerrard out for more outings in future. We shall still start "small" by going for short outings then gradually go further and longer as he grows. More importantly, Gerrard seemed very curious and excited and I hope that outings to wherever can play a part in his discovery and learning journey. Looking forward to our second outing ;)

Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers

Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers