Why every mother should have a daughter

Before I had Lisa, I was constantly asked why did I have two boys and not a single daughter. First off, that question is a bit dumb, considering that a child’s gender is hardly decided by the push of a button. Secondly, I never felt any sort of “lack” from not having a mini-me. Sure, it’s cute and fun to dress up little girls, but considering how whiney most of them are, it kinda throws me off my boat just thinking about having them. Boys, on the other hand, with their (mostly) boisterous rough and tumble attitude are generally easier to care for – both financially and psychologically. That said, it definitely irks me when the boys mumble. -_- C’mon, you’re a man, SPEAK UP!

When Lisa arrived, I did not feel any difference towards her as I did to her brothers when they were newly born. She looked… androgynous (like almost all babies) and behaved no different than the boys did as they wailed to breastfeed and wailed to get changed, etc etc. Then… something magical happened.

She grew into this tiny little walking, talking baby doll that looked so much like me when I was her age. She adored all things pink, and would pick up any toy that was girl-specific. She would play with her hair, and asked for me to fiddle around with whatever little she had growing on her head. She giggled and grabbed at all things shiny, pretty or Hello Kitty. One of her first words were “Kitty” in fact, right after “papa”, “mommy”, “gorgor” and “eat”. She was so ultimately girly that it was hard not to bond with her.

She also shows great cognition at a terribly young age. Understanding concepts and emotions that the boys weren’t able to. Just the other day, Keegan received a scolding and started to cry. She rushed off to grab a tissue and wiped his tears, telling him: “二哥, don’t naughty ok? Mommy love you, right?”
She gave me a dirty look, as though I did something bad. Then, she reassured that her brother was loved: “二哥 be good boy k? Come, Lisa hug hug. I love you.”

The tenderness she displays towards everyone just melts my heart. And at barely 2.5 years old, she would often ask: “Mommy, are you soooo tired? Go, lie down. Lisa (can) play (by herself).” 

This little girl just loves and loves, and tickles my socks off whenever she helps “take charge” on my behalf. She would clap her hands to get the boys’ attention, yelling instructions like “Booooys! 来! Dinner time now!” or “Oh my god, so messy!! Booooys! PACK UP NOW!”

How could any mother not possibly love a child like that? 🙂

Now, I am unsure if all girls are as adorable and sensible as this, but it must be a gender difference since I raised all my kids the same way and none of the boys were ever as sensible and loving as this.

As for myself, I’ve seen a surge in patience and love as a mother that I never seemed to have achieved before. Despite her illnesses, vomiting in the middle of the night, and dramatised “OH MY GOD MOMMY, MY NAIL POLISH SPOIL”, I find that I hardly get irritated with her. (Maybe this is favoritism, I cannot be sure.)

I only know I enjoy any time I get with her, and cannot get enough of her antics and requests. Despite the countless times she asks me to tie up or blow dry her hair, or how many times she would try on shoes at the stores, or how she would go through several outfit changes a day… Well, you get my drift. 🙂

 

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In a blink…

In the blink of an eye, my children have all graduated from their baby stages and gained newfound independence and confidence.

This morning, Kee exasperatedly announced: “You guys are so slow. I’m going downstairs myself. The school bus is already here! Mommy, can I go down by myself?” To which of course I replied positively – with an understandable amount of mollycoddling mumsy concern – and he gleefully closed the gate behind him as he shouted goodbye.

Moments later, I tried to glimpse for him from the corridor, but only saw the tail lights of the school bus blinking and it drove off! So I called the driver just to double-check Kee’s safe arrival. He said: “Keegan came up the bus by himself. He said all of you were busy so he came down by himself. Your son is growing up to be very independent just like his older brother!”

*cue mom pride*

As for Josh, he has been walking himself to school for the past couple of weeks. I don’t think it started out willingly, but rather under Daddy’s constant nagging. Dad certainly doesn’t mollycoddle his future commandos like the way I do, and whenever the boys are slow or late, he yells at them to hurry up instead of helping them get dressed like the way I would. (He also often forgets to feed them breakfast, citing that the boys should be aware of their own hunger instead of being served.)

The little lady is still very little (in my eyes) but her temperament is slowly improving. Less tantrums, more manners and greater independence. She puts her empty milk bottle away in the sink each time after she’s done, and if I allow it, I’m pretty sure she would get her own snacks. Problem is, being the glutton she is, I don’t allow her to do so because she would polish off every single food item in the kitchen!

Now comes the time when I am counting down to the loss of their baby-like innocence and the gain of my long-lost freedom. It is both exciting yet sorrowful to look forward to. Thus, the neverending contradiction of motherhood.

 

666

Lisa and I have a morning routine of making a bottle of formula milk together. And recently it’s somehow turned into a calling for the devil…

Me: How many spoons of milk powder?
Lisa: Six!
Me: One…
Lisa: One…
Me: Two…
Lisa: Two…
Me: Three…
Lisa: Six…
Me: Four…
Lisa: Six!
Me: Five…
Lisa: Six! Six!
Me: Six! Last one!
Lisa: Yay! SIX SIX SIX! Now shake shake. *mimics bottle shaking*

*sigh* Guess someone really needs to not get ahead of herself at counting.

 

Lisa’s idiosyncrasies

At three weeks old, this is basically what we’ve caught on:

  • Likes being warm to the point that we constantly mistaken her for having fever. We’re talking about windows closed, fan off, wearing long sleeves and pants, and still wanting to be wrapped up in a blanket!
  • She only sleeps well in 2 positions: tummy down in her cot (the small crib in our bedroom somehow doesn’t pass her test) or within a crevice “dug out” in the beanbag. The beanbag works best during the day. Oh, and she only likes to sleep in her room.
  • Must be held for another 10 to 15 minutes after she’s done nursing. Regardless whether she’s awake or asleep, if you try to put her down to sleep immediately after a feed, the likelihood of her waking up within 15 minutes is as high as 80%. 
  • Hates being dirty. HATE. She will scream as if someone just broke her arm.
  • Ironically, she also hates being undressed but loves warm water baths. But as expected, starts screaming the moment she leaves the tub.
So far she behaves nothing like her brothers when they were newborns, but I think we’re slowly getting the hang of it. 

Poltergeist?

For the past few nights, my crazy 33-month-old keeps talking about “I’m so scared my bed turn around and around and go outside the window” every single time he goes to bed for nap or sleep. Despite being patient, reassuring, etc all good things from us parents, he never fails to bring himself into a self-induced state of panic to start screaming and crying. All whilst being 100% awake only, mind you. Once he falls asleep, he stays asleep and doesn’t wake up with any night terrors or nightmares unlike what Josh had during the same developmental phase. (Thus the total bullshit factor of Kee’s “fear”.)

While I generally hate to dismiss any of my kids’ fears – however unfounded and absurd they might be – I have very little tolerance for most anything these days being a 37-weeks very swollen preggo, so tonight I told him if he didn’t stop this nonsense I’ll just have to slap some sense into him.

He didn’t stop. So I slapped him – literally.

Then it all stopped.

So much for possible poltergeist activity in his room. -_-

Death is too harsh a punishment.

While watching a short bit of “Alien VS Predator”…

Kee: Why the guy roll and roll?
Josh: He die already lah! The alien kill him!
Kee: Why kill the guy? He bad guy??
Josh: Because the guy burn the alien with fire mah! Make the alien angry, so take knife and kill the guy!
Kee: Ooooh. Then die (al)ready must roll and roll on the floor like that?
Josh: Only sometimes lah. Sometimes just lie there and never move already.
Me: Next time when you’re naughty, I’ll take the kitchen knife and kill you, then you see if you’ll roll around or not lor.
Kee: I DUNWAN!!!
Josh: Mom, just cane or smack us ok. No need to kill us with knife. Tsk.

 

Fake is better than none.

Kee: Mommy!! Can call daddy?
Me: No. Daddy is working.
Kee: It’s ok, korkor can help me call. *snorts in my face*

Kee: Korkor! I want you help call daddy!
Josh: Cannot lah. I’m eating and daddy is very busy today.
Kee: Whyyyyyyyyy?!? I want call daddy!
Josh: You go pretend lor. Take the toy phone, go pretend.

*Kee picks up toy phone, presses a few buttons, puts phone to ear*

“Hello? Daddy? I want you come back. Yah. Ok, bye!”

Triumphantly declares: “I call daddy (al)ready. You all naughty! Daddy come back cane you!”

Seriously?? WHATEVERRRRR.

Self serviced!

I can’t believe that my 33-month-old just executed a “big mission” on his own! I heard someone fiddling with a stepping stool, but didn’t think much of it until minutes later, Kee shouted: “I need help to clean! I poop!” Half thinking he had done it in his pants again like last week, I scurried to him only to find him standing outside the bathroom sans pants, his head covered in sweat. The child seat was on the toilet, with a stepping stool in front of it.

Proudly he announced with a grin: “See! All my poop inside the toilet!  See korkor, Kee Kee so clever now!” 

Oh yes, you’re clever alright. And you’re faring better than your brother did at this age!  I’m atrociously amazed that at 33 months, he had setup everything on his own and had a poop without anyone’s help – until he needed his bum cleaned anyway.

I wonder how old he’d be when he can clean his own ass… That’ll really be the day to really celebrate 100% toilet trained independence!

Mama’s Pride and Joy

It has been a triumphant day for me as a mother! Despite my pregnancy ailments, I actually managed to make a dinner of nuggets and fries, and bake a batch of butter cookies on just three hours of sleep.

Granted, I would have skipped making the cookies because my lower legs are swollen so badly and the lower abdomen cramps kept coming all day long from Lisa’s (seemingly) nonstop growth spurts. But Josh is home no thanks to HFMD and he had wanted to spend some “quality time” together by going out. Given that we’ve already splashed out $160 at the doctor’s just over the past week – 1 inner ear inflammation and 2 cases of HFMD – I had to honestly tell Josh that we’re cash-strapped and there was nothing we could do even if we went out. Fortunately it wasn’t something hard for him to understand, so he suggested we make cookies “together” instead. (However he ended up mostly watching because he claimed it was such hard work.)

There were several highlights today that made me feel extremely blessed:

  • When Kee woke up in the morning with a 100% dry diaper, smiled when I helped him brush his molars, went to pee in the potty urinal, and headed off to school sans diaper. And he said “I love you mommy. Bye!!” as the auntie helped him onto the school bus.
  • When Josh was presented with 3 egg tarts for breakfast, and he gave the brightest cheeriest grin while saying: “Mommy, I love you so much! Thank you!” 
  • When I wiped down the dining table and Josh said: “I like you mommy. Thank you for cleaning the table. You’re so nice, I want to give you a present.” It’s nice that he notices the little things I do, and how it all comes together to make our home more humane. 🙂
  • When I read Kee’s communication book on how his first diaper-free schoolday went, and his teacher expressed that their anxiousness was unfounded as Kee was able to express himself with ample time to be accident-free. They did, however, make him wear a diaper for naptime because they are still cautious about his bladder abilities. I’ve replied to them via the comm book that it should not be cause for concern at all since he has been napping at home the whole week (for at least 2 hrs each time) without a single accident.
  • When the boys did a happy dance and yelped as the butter cookies came out of the oven, saying: “Wow mommy! You’re so good!”
  • When Kee exclaimed he was having “stomach pain” and ended up with a successful poop in the toilet! He did his first one on Sunday evening and if all goes well, it should become a daily habit. 🙂
  • When I thought Kee was trying to be irritating when Josh was pooping, but in actual fact he was trying to brush his own teeth in preparation for bedtime! He started whining because he still can’t squeeze the toothpaste out onto his toothbrush. This little guy has a pretty amazing mind, because we didn’t even tell him to go brush his teeth yet! Josh usually brushes first, but I guess he figured since Josh was pooping, he might as well go first. 🙂
  • When I walked in on Josh reading a bedtime story to Kee. Both of them were seated on Josh’s bed, and smart Josh had picked the book with the least words “My beak, your beak”. When I praised Josh for the nice act, he said: “Because you are so tired and your legs are so swollen and fat, so I read for didi lor.” *sigh* I simply couldn’t not read to them after hearing that.

Thank you God, for blessing my day with so much maternal joy. These 2 boys are so lovely at times, it almost feels like a privilege to be their mother. On other days… oh well, let’s not talk about those today. :p