Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hana: Duplo and Stringing Sentences

I've noticed for a while now that Hana has started to learn problem solving. For example, if she is trying to get someplace and the nearest route has been blocked by something, she will find another way to get there. 

Today, she was playing with her Duplos (well, not really duplo but a brandless substitute that looks like it. For the sake of making it easier for me to post, let's still call them duplos). She had managed to stack three of the four-notched (square) duplos together. In the first place, I didn't even know that she knew how to play  with them properly because she usually prefers to play with the bucket that comes with it, using it as a hat. She gives me the duplos to put together for her. 

But that's not why I was amazed. After she had stacked the fours, she picked up the twos. There were two of them. she stacked them together and proceeded to try and join them to the fours. She couldn't because her hands are a bit too small to join two big pieces together. So what does she do? She takes the stacked twos, tears them apart and proceeds to connect them, one by one onto the big stack. Problem solved. She looks up at me, notices that I was watching and smiled proudly.

And mama just watches with her mouth open and squeals. haha.

And then the other day, I discovered that she has started stringing words together to form sentences. Not as smoothly and eloquently as we do mind you, but she certainly tries. 

She was rolling around on the carpet, her head on a cushion and she forgot that she wasn't on a bouncy bed and tried bouncing but her head missed the cushion and she banged it on the (carpeted) floor. she ran to me crying "call daddy! daddy!". So i called. As soon as her dad picked up the phone and said hello, she said loudly while sobbing "sayang! baying datuh tadi!" (sayang, baring jatuh tadi). Her dad was like "whaatt?" And I repeated what she said, not quite believing it myself. 

And there you have it. My baby's growing up. 

She won't be a baby for much longer, will she? 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Random Thought

There's not a day that passed by when I don't wish I'd withstood the pain and the lack of results and tried harder at breastfeeding.

Even though I tell myself and others that I've accepted that breastfeeding isn't for everyone, there's always that niggling "What if?" that lingers around in my brain.

Maybe it's the peer pressure. Everyone seems to look down on formula feeding moms. We're looked at as lazy. They say we gave up on giving our children the best, that we should've done more, that we're selfish.

Maybe it's because I look at Hana and she seems so small and thin. I wonder if she's getting enough nutrients. People tell me that it's because she's active. She does eat a lot, but still. I worry.

Maybe it's because other people seem to have it easy. Well, easier than I did when I tried.

The fact remains though, that no matter how hard I pumped, how frequently I massaged, or  put a warm towel on the area, or took those supplements or drank water, or did any of the stuff that people kept advising me to do, my baby ended up still hungry after 45 minutes of nursing.

And 45 minutes of pumping didn't even get me an ounce. Heck, it didn't even get me 10ml.

So why is it I feel so guilty? Why the regret?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Only Child Syndrom and Number Two

We went to the park yesterday, something I'm planning to do regularly at least once a week. Hana loves being outdoors and I'd like her to get more fresh air.

Anyway, we bumped into someone we know, a family friend who already has grandchildren.

Now before i continue, I'm stating here that this post is in no way a personal attack to this person. I am merely stating my thoughts and feelings as a consequence of the encounter.

So when we bumped into her, with her daughter and her own two kids, we began to trade stories of bringing up baby (or babies, in her daughter's case). She discovered that Hana mispronounces certain words, like saying 'ukma' instead of tok ma and 'shikert' instead of biscuit. She then asked us if we baby talk to Hana, followed by the statement 'Don't do that. Don't baby talk to her' before we could even answer. We don't, by the way. But she was adamant that we did. And then her daughter actually intercepted and told us that her elder son mispronounces too.

The second thing that happened was that she asked my husband when we were goong to have our second baby. Now at this point, I decided to turn away and stop listening, since the question wasn't a favourite of mine. I heard, vaguely, the words 'single child syndrom' being tossed around and I deduced that they were saying Hana will eventually get said syndrom and not be able to share with a potential brother or sister if we wait for too long.

Firstly, every baby is different. I cannot stress this point enough because I am definitely a staunch believer of that. I would never compare my child to any other out there. Maybe Hana isn't promouncing things properly quickly enough for her standards but she is doing just fine by mine. She's only a year and a half. Her abilities are still limited and that includes the ability to which her tongue and mouth can make certain sounds.

She's doing great to me, being able to distinguish between objects and actually understanding things after only hearing it mentioned once. And as if to prove this person wrong, that very day, Hana progressed from saying good morning as 'ukmanyi' to 'goodmanyi' and biscuit from 'shikert' to bikert', and I am even more convinced that this person had been talking out of an experience long forgotten and solely by proximity to someone else's baby rearing.

As for having another child so soon, I am very happy where we are right now. I really feel like I need more time to focus on Hana before subjecting her to share my attention with another person. That may or may not lead to her getting the 'single child syndrom', I don't know, but I don't feel that 'to make sure my first baby doesn't get too spoiled' is a good enough reason for me to have another baby. It's unfair to her,myself and the younger sibling, should i decide on that course of action. I am, simply put, just not ready to go through another pregnancy (no matter how happy i was during the last one), the birthing process, or to let go of the excluxsive relationship i have with my daughter right now. If and when my husband and i decide that we're financially, emotionally and physically ready to have another child, and it turns out that Hana DOES have the only child syndrom, then InsyaAllah, we will cross that bridge when we get to it and handle it as a family.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Toddler Tantrums

For a couple of months now, we've had this problem where Hana throws tantrums and hits people on the face whenever she doesn't get what she wants.

Truth be told, it got on my nerves, and I would grow extremely impatient and scold her whenever she did it. I tried holding her hand firmly, looking into her eyes and telling her "No!".

I read somewhere that someone had tried reciprocating and hit their baby's hand (softly, of course) and tried that. No dice. It just made her (and myself) even more agitated and made me feel like a total monster afterwards because she just got so hurt and angry whenever I did it.

I tried scolding her but that also made it worse.

Let me tell you, for a hothead like me, it really isn't easy to keep my temper when she misbehaves.

And then one day I decided to try something else.

When I saw her tantrum coming ( which is inevitably accompanied by a slap to the face), I held her about an arm's length away, and said "no, sayang, no hitting, jangan marah-marah" (very gently and nicely) and then after a few seconds, brought her closer and said "come hug mama come, calm down ok?" AND IT WORKED LIKE A CHARM!

She just calmed down after a few seconds and put her head on my shoulder and hugged me! And there was my adorable little baby again.

Now, I'm not saying that this is what will work for everyone. But it works for me. I've been doing this ever since I discovered it, and it works every time. Even my husband was amazed at the "magic".

I guess what I'm saying is that you just gotta keep trying and erring. That's mostly how we get through bringing up a child. Nobody gets it right the first time. It can be frustrating but it's also rewarding when you finally find that one thing.

Also, remember that not every child is the same. What works for my baby may not work for yours, so never ever shove your methods up someone else's nose.