多一点点

产假就要结束,
趁最后几天,
想要多陪孩子一些,
多休息一些,
多看些书,
多上些网,
多煮几餐,
多做一些想做但一直没做的事情。。。

时间好像不够用啊!

许久没有烘焙糕点了,
照着报纸上的食谱,
搜出深埋在橱里的用具,
决定在回去上班前,
烘个苹果派。
卖相有点丑,
味道还可以。

玩水的年代

假日家庭时光,我不喜欢带孩子逛街购物,因为很难专心,不是老二要喝奶、换尿片,就是老大肚子饿了,或是闷了闹别扭。有一次公共假日,一家四口到乌节路去,妈妈我逛得极不尽兴,不但没买到东西,反而筋疲力尽。

假日还是带小孩到户外活动,既能消耗无穷的精力,爸妈孩子也会玩得比较开心。

游乐设施,如果有玩水设施,必能吸引大家目光。虽然这已不是在沟渠里玩捉鱼的年代,但是只要和水有关,一般会受欢迎。

我个人挺喜欢 Marina Barrage,因为玩水设施有一半是有遮盖的,家长可以免于在太阳的直晒下,看孩子玩。

相比之下,Punggol Waterway 的树苗比较年幼,中午实在太热,建议早上或傍晚去。那里的玩水设施附近,也设有吊桥和堆沙地。

如果不想太湿漉漉,可以考虑MacRitchie Reservoir。这座半沉浸在水中的小桥,让小朋友牵着你的手走来走去,也别有一番乐趣。

小叮咛:如果家长要让孩子玩得尽兴,可以让他穿上游泳尿片,因为普通尿片吸水之后会膨胀。有一次妈妈没准备,老大玩到尿片太重,结果裤子都快掉下来了。

Are you mom enough (to breastfeed or not)?

Breastfeeding, being one of the oldest and most natural ways to feed a baby, attracted a lot of attention recently, all thanks to Time Magazine. As a mother who is currently breastfeeding her three-month-old daughter, I even felt “compelled” to blog about it.

图像

From the perspective of a communications professional, this is not exactly a new topic. Attachment parenting style has been known for a long time and some mothers have been breastfeeding their children well beyond their infant years. But of course, Time magazine had a hit this time. Put an attractive pair of mother and son on their cover and bring attention to one of the most controversial topics of breastfeeding – extended breastfeeding. According to nytimes.com, this was the best selling issue this year and the magazine doubled the number of subscriptions typically ordered in a week.

My first reaction to the cover was “Good for the mother and son but this is not for me.” It takes a lot of effort and determination to breastfeed and many mothers do or don’t do it for a variety of reasons. I do it because fortunately I can and I enjoy it. There are also health benefits for the little one when the mother breastfeeds exclusively for the first six months. For the mother, it is one of the best ways to lose weight and I am now even thinner than pre-pregnancy stage.

I breastfed my eldest daughter for about eight months. It helped when the company provided facilities to help mothers who wish to pump milk while at work. I stopped because I was tired and needed to travel. It was just easier to wean then.

I know of mothers who breastfeed their children for more than a year and mothers who don’t breastfeed at all. Both groups have children who are very attached to them. Parenthood is already a tough journey and honestly breastfeeding is just a small component of it. Let’s not be too hard on the mothers who choose to do it or not. It is really a personal choice.

As for my number two, I hope to breastfeed her for at least six months and the rest will depend.

Happy Mother’s Day to me

For years, Mother’s Day has always been a celebration to show our appreciation for my mother and my mother-in-law. So it was a pleasant surprise when I picked up my girl from the childcare centre last Friday. She shouted “Happy Mother’s Day” and presented the following gifts to me (though the teachers were really the ones who put this together with probably a little input from my two-year-old).

图像

It was then that I realised Mother’s Day is for me too.

I did not have children immediately after I got married, choosing to spend time as a couple, travel extensively, be on stand by 24/7 for the next breaking news and even did a master degree. But my husband and I know we want to have kids and hence enter the next phrase of our married life. But frankly, I wasn’t confident if I can be a good mother, or a self sacrificing mother whom many expect mothers to be.

I do not like the word “sacrifices”, preferring the word “adjustment”. Yes there is a lot of adjustments to make when children enter our lives. However, our role as a parent is not and should not be our only role. I have other important roles as a wife, a daughter, a sister, an employee, and as an individual who wants to pursue other interests in life.

Therefore, a “Happy Mother’s Day” to me and other mothers who are trying as hard, if not harder, to balance the many roles in our lives.

数字

以前当记者时,找数字成了一种“本能”。如果有可靠数字做依据,可显示新闻题材影响面的广度,故事可信度也会增加。

其实,数字一直在你我周围。

今年手足口症病例创新高,我家老大今年上学才四个月,就得了两次手足口症,让我觉得中马票也没那么“幸运”。第一次得病是仅到托儿所的一星期后,当时嘴里长满口疮,吞口水都疼。小朋友吃不下,睡不着,瘦了一圈。我当时大腹便便,先生又出国公干,晚上几乎每小时起来安慰,因为疼痛而哭闹的孩子。

四月中,第二次得病时,情况没第一次严重。除了稍微的不舒服外,女儿基本上精力旺盛,不过因为隔离在家一星期,没出门消耗多余的体力。她爸爸这边忙着陪她玩,妈妈另一边忙着玩躲猫猫,因为姐姐总要黏着妈妈,而妈妈同时也要照顾两个月大的妹妹。当时是把妹妹关在一个房间,不让姐姐进去。小儿科医生说,如果妹妹被传染,年纪太小,可能要进医院,可吓死我这个当妈妈的。幸好,妹妹最终没有被传染。

妹妹虽然小,但还是能和数字扯上关系。先前我写到我这次采用百岁(Baby Wise)方法喂奶。书上写到,喝母奶的女婴,86.9%在七到九周大之间,能够睡过夜,97%在12周大时,就能够睡过夜。而睡过夜的定义就是连续睡七、八个小时。我先前满怀希望,总觉得自己的孩子应该属于大多数,早在她七个星期大时,就盼望她睡过夜,结果是一天又一天的失望。早前,真是有些钻牛角尖,一直在想是哪里做错了,还是因为书上的研究是针对美国、加拿大、新西兰的自愿人士而做,所以和本地情况有差异。

后来,想通了,从我基本乐观的观点来看,其实老二已经比老大好带了,而且睡觉的时间也相对比较长。就算小孩是属于那 3%,是在 12周以后才睡过夜又怎么样。重要的是她健康成长,而且现在也设立了一个大概的作息时间表,生活有了一丁点秩序。这两个晚上,还连续睡五、六个小时呢!(差点儿感动流泪。。)我是应该好好享受我和孩子共处的宝贵时光(产假只有四个月!!!)

翻出老大大约三个月大时的照片,上图为老大,下图为老二,像吗?

城市“山巴佬”

我家老大最喜欢做的一大乐事就是到游乐场玩耍。有一次我们到Labrador Park 散步,在那里游乐场玩,她反而“寸步难移”,像是城市的“山巴佬”。

现在的游乐场一般都是塑胶地板,沙地的游乐场,她是第一次接触。

Zee Zou @Labrador Park (看完短片,是不是啼笑皆非?)

没多久后,我们到 Punggol Waterway 玩,这次的反应有进步,堆了她口中一个又一个的“生日蛋糕”,差一点儿就不要回家。

真的要常带小朋友接触大自然,不然都成了“城市山巴佬”,什么都不敢尝试了。

有样学样

如果你想戒烟,戒粗口,或想戒掉什么不良习惯,也许你可以考虑生个孩子。

小孩就像海绵一样,吸收所看到的,听到的,接触到的,所以在孩子面前,我会比较注意自己的言行举止。

老大看大人拿手机,有样学样,从你手中抢过电话,先是一句“哈啰”,然后是一连串连妈妈也听不懂的娃娃语言,再来就是“拜拜”。前阵子听得懂的“电话内容”增加了,她阿姨生日前夕,我拨通电话,她就在电话这头大声唱起生日歌,让电话另一头的阿姨在朋友面前“威风”极了。

最近,她学了新招数,拿了玩具电话就说“cheese”,因为是拍照时间。

图像

另一件学大人的事,就是“看报纸”。有模有样吧,看起来极为认真,而且还会跟说,她要看那一份报纸呢!

图像

又哭了,怎么办?

引导小朋友自己入睡,最困难的就是忍受她不停的哭。

到了第四、五、六天,小孩哭最久十分钟就可以自行入睡。谢天谢地,因为比起前几天哭一个多小时,情况已经改善许多。

就当我以为“好时光”即将来临,拿起报纸、书籍、手提电脑或是电视遥控器时,就听到小朋友哇哇哇大哭起来。如果有电视特效,你可以想像一拳打在我头上的画面,简直是“晴天霹雳”。

睡到一半哭闹,是因为人的睡眠周期是大约45分钟。我们睡觉时,会不断从浅睡状态到深睡状态,再从深睡状态到浅睡状态来回交替。小孩在深浅睡眠状态交替时,醒来却不会自己回去睡,所以大哭。

这时该怎么办?

育儿书籍和过来人的博客都建议,忍受小孩哭,让她学习自己回去睡。采纳这项建议的后果又是一轮哭闹,而且也长达一个多小时。请不要以为一个多小时是极限,因为我通常到了这个时限就会举白旗投降,抱起孩子。

另外,家人的支持和体谅很重要。我在引导过程中和老公和家务帮手沟通,希望他们支持,以免我神经兮兮以为他们偷偷抱孩子。

结果,差点儿“闯入重围”竟然是我大女儿。她听到妹妹哭了大约15分钟,拉着我的手说“抱妹妹,抱妹妹”。真是姐妹情深。哈哈。

图像

第二次机会

一位友人曾感慨说,她只有一个孩子,所以养育孩子的宝贵经验无从再得到发挥,有些遗憾。

我生下老二后也想,应该把之前没有好好运用,但是认为可行的育儿知识,趁这个机会尝试一下。

生下第一胎几个月后,好友向我介绍《从零岁开始》(On Becoming Babywise) 这本育儿书。我也曾试着实行里头的一些做法,但是没能持之以恒,没能成功。

老大小时候习惯被摇着入眠,曾经一段时间总要抱着睡觉,一放上婴儿床就醒来哭闹。喝奶的时间虽然间隔两三个小时,但是因为睡眠时间不稳定,时间表大乱,大人的生活都被小孩牵着走。我虽然享受当妈妈的整体感觉,但是记忆中的这段日子真有些苦。

好友尝试了书里的做法后,效果很不错。孩子的时间表相当固定,自己的生活也能有些计划。而且小孩可以在自己的床上自己入眠,不用摇,也不用拍打,更不用人陪。

这次老二满月后,我决定按照书里的提议,为孩子设立作息时间表,试试看这个方法有没有用?

书的原则是,孩子要学习自己入睡。当孩子打哈欠或哭闹时,应该把他放在婴儿床上,然后让他自己入睡。前几天,小孩一定会哭,所以爸爸妈妈要忍耐。而这也是比较难过的关卡,“训练”时,要容忍孩子哭,短则几分钟,长则超过一个小时。这时婆婆妈妈可能会说,小孩哭久了,肚子会“进风”。心理上,孩子哭,爸妈等人都会心疼,非常不好受。

我在3月14日开始“训练”,今天是第三天,每天孩子总会在至少一次小睡时,因为自己睡不着,哭个一个多小时。先是歇斯底里,声音又响又高音,然后声音变沙哑,而且丝毫不肯放弃的感觉。有几次忍不住,进去房里把小孩抱起来,“训练失败”。

孩子在房里哭,妈妈在房外,心里难受,精神紧张。今早,有人按门铃,我紧张兮兮,还以为邻居来投诉,你为什么让小孩哭个不停?

注:忍受小朋友哭,需要耐心和耐力,所以训练最好在白天小睡时进行,以免扰人安宁。

To protect and not over protect

Having a child/ children challenges one as a whole being, physically, emotionally and intellectually.

Zee Zou’s left thumb got slammed by a glass door last weekend. It was a scary scene, her face and hands were covered by blood. She was in great pain and was touching her hands and face. It was after cleaning her up that we realised that she had a deep cut in her left thumb.  The bleeding wouldn’t stop, so was her crying.

We ended up at the hospital A&E and did an X-ray.  The doctor said that this was known as “crush injury” and Zee Zou needed some stitches on her wound. As her thumbnail was also blackened from the accident, the doctor added that they needed to take out the nail and check her nailbed. Ouch…

She was too young to go through stitching without sedation. As the injection took effect, she drifted into a dream like stage with her eyes opened. This was called “conscious sedation” and my heart ached while seeing her go through the whole process.

 

Her thumb is still in bandage and with support to help her bone heal.

I wandered if there was anything I could do as a mother to prevent the accident.

On the other hand, I tell myself that I need to let her explore without too much unnecessary interference.

“Boy, don’t go there. It is so dangerous.”

“Girl, don’t climb. You will fall.”

“Don’t do this and don’t do that.”

Sounds over protective? I find myself saying such words more often as Zee Zou grows older and challenges the boundaries.

I heard from some experts that instead of saying “don’t do this”, say “go do that”. For example, instead of saying “don’t climb the slide”, say. “let’s go see the butterflies”.

Easier said than done. You have to be quick witted, physically fast and emotionally strong to deal with a child’s ever growing demands to explore more about this world.

Who says being a parent is easy!