Monthly Archive: August 2016

Seeing me in him

Little man has shown strong interest in performing arts, hence we enrolled him in the Performing Arts Class for toddlers at SHHKact since the beginning of the year.

Yesterday, the teacher got all the students together and put up a simple performance for the parents who were there. Hubby told me that little man volunteered to be the first one to perform. On their way home, little man told Hubby that he felt like tearing when everybody clapped after his performance. (表演完后,我的眼睛好像有眼泪要掉下来了。)He came home, and told me the same thing, and went on to tell everyone he met that day (namely my family) the same thing.

I feel really emotional when I hear that. He was not able to express and explain how he felt then, but I understand. It must be an emotional moment of mixed feelings when he felt touched by his own performance and the audience response. I totally understand because that is why I almost went into theatre. That is why I chose my first job to be at The Esplanade, even though the pay I was given was so pathetic.

I too participated at SHHKact at a very young age. Shortly after, I was selected after numerous rounds to join the children radio division of Singapore Broadcasting Centre, the previous Mediacorp. And needless to say, I was actively participating in school plays, performance and outside competitions. It was a past that brings back many memories, and even now thinking about it gives me goosebumps. Hence, I absolutely understand what little man was talking about.

When I decided to enrol him in such a class, I do not plan for what he is to become. I just want him to enjoy himself, and perhaps if possible find his own interest along the way. However, it really touches me to see so much of me in him.

I hope that I will be able to help him achieve his full potential, and maybe one day, I would be able to share my experience and love for theatre with him, not only as a mother, but also as fellow theatre lover.

Habits of mind

It’s always such a joy to converse with little man. The way he put his thoughts to words never fails to amuse me. Sometimes the way he thinks amuse me as much.

Just like today, we were preparing to bathe and go to bed when he suddenly declared that he needed to poo.

Me: 快!爸爸陪你去厕所。(Quick! Daddy will accompany to the toilet.)
LM: 我不要。我要妈妈。(No, I want Mama.)
Me: 乖,妈妈要帮弟弟冲凉,爸爸陪你好不好。(Be good. Mama is going to shower Didi now. Daddy will accompany you alright?)
LM: 不好。爸爸陪我,我大不出便来。妈妈陪我,我的大便才会出来。
(No, my poo will not come out if Daddy accompany me. It will only come out if Mama is with me.)
Me: …….

Later in the evening, I was about to put him to bed after reading bedtime stories together. I told him about our plans for Saturday, that I will bring him to his Speech and Drama class instead of his father.

LM: 我们上完课后,去 Uniqlo 好不好?(Let’s go to Uniqlo after class alright?)
Me: 为什么要去 Uniqlo? (Why do you want to go to Uniqlo?)
LM: 我要买衣服嘛。 (Because I want to buy clothes.)
Me: 你已经很多衣服了。你的衣服比妈妈的还要多。 (But you already have a lot of clothes. You have more clothes than me.)
LM: 可是我的衣服都不是很好看,我要买很好看的衣服嘛。
(But all my clothes are not really nice. I want to buy some really nice clothes.)
Me: ……

I think my little man has developed a very logical and sound sense of reasoning. Sometimes the way he tried to talk/argue his way through left us speechless. But I do not feel that it is necessarily a bad thing. Personally, I do not need absolute obedience from him. Instead of saying “you have to listen to me because I am your mother”, I prefer to explain to him my point of view and discuss with him while guiding him. By teaching him that way, I hope that certain values are internalised rather than forced upon. I hope that he will develop the habit of thinking through his thoughts before putting them to actions.

Thinking about thinking.

Habits of mind.

How apt.

Time to go through the “Habits of Mind” book I bought for him ages ago.

14 months Steroids Free

Hubby told me that there were many people who came to this blog while searching for information regarding eczema. He said that I should probably update little man’s progress more often as it might be helpful to others.

Often, I hesitated posting about little man’s skin progress as I do not want that to be the main focus our lives. This is especially so for little man. It is definitely unfortunate that this has to happen to little man who has never ever gotten eczema before, but other than that, there are greater and happier things happening in his life that we want to focus on. Although his condition has always been on my mind and in my prayers, I hide this concern at a corner of my heart and tried very hard not to make it an issue for him. He is still a positive and happy child despite what happened, and that is the way it should be.

Another reason why I did not post every single trial we went through while trying to find a “cure”, is that we actually went through a lot. Just going through all those trials, anticipation, disappointment and all sorts of emotions are tiring enough, I sometimes do not even want to relive them. I want to spend my remaining energy to find something that works for my little boy. What doesn’t work, doesn’t matter. I just want to move on. However, if these information can be helpful to anyone at all, I will try to update more often. This is a tough journey and we wouldn’t have come so far if we have not come across people who went through it and are willing to share their experiences in dealing with it.

First of all, I changed the tag from “Eczema” to “Eczema/Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW)”. Little man is not suffering from eczema. He never has been. His condition is caused by a strong steroid prescription by a pediatrician. You can read more about it here.

The last I updated here, we were still with a naturopath at City Osteopathy. At the recommendation of my brother-in-law, we decided to stop seeing her for a while and tried the TCM physician who managed to help improve his son eczema. Having seen his skin improvement, we decided to give it a try. We are also hoping that the physician can help to strengthen little man’s immune system as he was getting sick every month.

In mid-March, we started to see him. The physician is an experienced, kind man whom I would describe as 医者仁心. From the way he treated little man, we can feel that he truly sincerely hope for little man to get well. Unfortunately, little man’s skin did not agree with his treatment. It started to flare up and go back to square one after seeing him for more than a month. I was devastated, even though I know it is a risk we have to take when trying to see if something works. However, one good thing that comes out of his treatment is that little man seems to become stronger in immunity. When he did not fall sick for the 2nd month, hubby and I were so happy.

We figured out the few herbs he prescribed that are meant to improve immunity and do not cause any reaction to little man’s skin, and tried to tweak the remedy in hope to continue his strong immunity. Sadly, before anything is tried, he fell sick again.

Since this TCM physician is not able do anything for little man, I started searching for other ways. Coincidentally, I developed PUPPP during this period. It was extremely itchy and uncomfortable. Hence I decided to see this new naturopath from Back2Life who is highly-raved about in a nutritional and health FB group. Let me be the guinea pig this time, I thought to myself. Instead of letting little man go through the trial again, I wanted to try for myself if this naturopath is really that good. And so the story goes, she managed to treat my PUPPP within 2 weeks and has been treating little man’s skin since early May.

I wouldn’t say we are coming to the end of the journey, but little man has been getting much better after receiving her treatment. Below are some photos for my own reference. They do not reflect the exact condition of his skin as it can fluctuate depending on many factors, but they are good enough to remind us that we have come very far and should not lose hope.

3rd April 2016

4th May 2016

16th May 2016

25th May 2016

5th June 2016

6th August 2016

These photos do not show the true journey we have been through. There are many times my heart is just too weak to even have a proper look at little man’s foot, less to say take photos of it. Out of sight out of mind. It works the same way. However, no matter how bad it is, I force myself to examine his skin condition every single day to make sure that I am up to date with his skin progress. Still, there were many times I am still not strong enough to take photos of it.

I wish that no one has to go through what we went through. If unfortunately you are currently, do know that you are not alone. Hugs, and God bless.

When your child is hurt

unintentionally by another child of yours, what would you have done?

Something happened yesterday. Little pea was lying on his baby throne and I was sitting beside him. Little man was at the other side of little pea, looking through photos of jet-fighters in my mobile phone and drawing them on his Boogie Board. He wanted to show me the photo he wanted to draw, hence he took the phone and attempted to show me by holding above little pea. All of a sudden, the phone slipped out of his small hand and dropped right at little pea’s right eye.

Immediately, his eye was red and there was strains of blood. I screamed, shoved the phone away and carried my crying pea. When he has calmed down, I tried to inspect the extent of his injuries, praying very hard that he suffered nothing serious. There was a small bleeding cut extremely near the corner of his eye. The bottom of his eye was swollen and red. He was crying softly, making voiceless husky sounds. Throughout all this, little man was crying very loudly. He kept saying that he was sorry and he did not do this on purpose. He wanted me to carry him.

However, I did not.

I was badly affected by what happened, tearing badly as I inspected little pea’s injury. I was trying to hold back my words and emotions towards little man and calm down, before deciding what to say to him. At that moment, I just felt really sad for little pea. He had gotten a bad cold from his brother and now an eye injury. I just felt so sad he had to suffer so much.

I know at the back of my mind that it was not little man’s fault. He adores his little brother and would never hurt him deliberately. Hence I knew I had to calm myself down and deal with the situation carefully.

After making sure that little pea is alright, I reached out to little man, who by then was feeling hurt, scared and isolated. It took awhile for him to make sure I was not going to be angry at him. I hugged him for the longest time. When he finally calmed down as well, I tried to explained to him that he has to be more careful in the future and asked him to sayang Didi and apologise.

When hubby called that evening, I broke down while trying to tell him what just happened. And I realised how thankful I am that little pea’s eye is alright. There must be some angels watching over my little baby. That cut is so very close to his eye that something very bad could have happened. Thank God for your protection of my little ones. Please continue to watch over them.

I also realised that I could have reacted better. My first reaction was to scream. And I think perhaps unknowingly, I threw an angry glance at little man. My poor boy must have been very scared too. For a while, he doesn’t dare to go near his baby brother. It was an accident, it could happen to anyone.

It made me to think of the discussion topic in a motherhood FB group that was brought up. What would you do if a child of yours unintentionally cause the death of your other child? Just the thought of it makes me cringe. I would not wish it upon my worst enemy. For now, I just pray very hard every day for God’s protection for them.

Life skills and knowledge

A few weekends ago, we were feeling brave again and took the two kids out to celebrate Hubby’s birthday.

We were at the shopping mall waiting for the lift, with me baby-carrying little pea and Hubby pushing the empty stroller. Little man was standing right in front of us, not wanting to rest in the stroller even though we tried to get him to. When the lift opened, little man rushed in without checking if we were entering the lift as well. I saw it as a teachable moment and started this conversation with him.

Me: Do you know that it is very dangerous for you to go into the lift without us? What happens if the lift suddenly closes and Mama and Papa are not yet inside with you?

LM: Sorry…

Me: If that happens, what would you do?

LM: ….

Me: Remember, if that really happens, you should press “1” and wait for the lift to go to the first storey. Mama and Papa will also go to the first storey to look for you.

I tried to come up with various scenarios and asked what he would do to check for understanding. He seemed to be a little confused and started to come up with irrelevant stories, hence I dropped the topic, keeping in mind that I will go through the scenarios with him again another day.

It dawned upon me that other all the academic skills and knowledge I intended to teach him, these are important life skills and knowledge he should have as well.

Just the other day, I was fetching him from school together with little pea. We were chatting and I started telling him about how some people will come out to kidnap children. Again, I gave him a scenario and asked what he will do, and then guided him on what he should do when such an event really happens to him.

I also started making him memorise our (his parents) full name and mobile numbers. I think these are really important information a child should have in case of emergency. I explained to him why he should know all these information and tried to re-enact a possible scenario that requires him to tell people such information to ask for help. Knowing how to make a phone call is also an important skill he is trying to learn. He is not quite there yet, but I think it’s a good start.

What else do you think I should be teaching him?

Quote

from an old friend who contacted me upon reading my post on SAHM:

The effort as a full time mum
will pay off when your kid grows up.
The difference between a stay at home mum vs a working mom
can be seen through the child.

 

In fact, there were many who messaged me privately to tell me their thoughts on this and encouraged me to go ahead with my decision. I guess this is an issue that will continue to plague mothers in Singapore, unless the government starts to do more to change the situation, rather than just talk. Hence for now, it’s up to us to decide how to manage according to our unique circumstances.

PS: Full-time Working Moms face a whole set of different issues, so it is just as tough for them.

PPS: There is no need to compare and compete to see who had it worse. 女人何苦为难女人?

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