One On One

Technically I’m still on confinement, a traditional Chinese custom which requires mothers who had just given birth to strictly adhere to a month’s of total rest and consumption of specially prepared food. The rationale behind it is to help build up the mother’s health after a physically demanding childbirth and the Chinese believe that consumption of “heaty” food such as ginger and rice wine help to rid the body of the toxins and “wind”. Not sure of the “wind” bit, it got very complicated when my mum tried to explain and I wasn’t really listening.

Fortunately my mum isn’t too anal about the other no-nos and so I could bathe and go out daily too. Well, this is a very different 2nd pregnancy afterall. There isn’t any newborn cries for milk in the wee hours of the morning or endless diaper changes. It has been quite surreal and going to the hospital everyday not just gives me a chance to see how my baby is doing but also to remind myself that she is real.

I’ve always imagined how it would be like to introduce the new baby to TJ, his lil’ sister. D and I talked about getting him a little present (another train) on behalf of his sister so that he feels important. We thought how cute it would be to have them together for the first time, wondering what TJ’s reaction would be like. From the very beginning, we have been telling TJ about his 妹妹 and thought maybe by repeating it often, TJ would be used to the concept of another kid in the house. I thought about letting TJ cradle his sister and taking lots of photos and videos of that. But it didn’t turn out that way.

I suppose all that will be a reality later on, just not now.

So for now, I have been making sure I spend lots of time with TJ. We would take bus rides (most days since this is the cheapest mode of transport and he loves his “big big bus” aka the Double Decker ones), walk around the neighbourhood, go to the library, let him loose in the playground, take the cab (“blue car”, “red car” etc, he colour codes them) or the MRT if we are going somewhere slightly further.

It is nice to be spending the couple of hours just with him and getting to know his extremely volatile personality that is developing in this almost 3-year-old boy. He is no longer the baby of the house, not that he knows it now. I am hoping that by spending these precious times with TJ in these few months before his 妹妹 comes home, TJ would be assured and confident that he is still important even when we are fussing over his sister.

Otherwise he would be in for a tough time really… as it is, this boy with his growing temper has to be reprimanded and punished. But we can’t stay angry with him for long ‘cos the boy would turn on his tears so quickly and say his “sorry” quickly in the midst of his painful cries.

I pray for guidance and the wisdom to be good and consistent parents to both kids and that they will know we love them unconditionally.

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