Core Memories 

Dear Z, 

Papa and I watched ‘Inside Out’ last week. It was such a delightful movie about family life and our emotions. After watching the movie, we were more consciously aware about forming core memories for you. 

Grapefruit memory – Today you went groceries shopping with Papa and asked to buy grapefruits. You and papa ended up having a good bonding time eating grapefruits together and we were amused by your facial expressions to the sour taste. You saw that it made us laugh so you kept doing it again and again. 
A gardening memory – we discovered aphids on our bean plant. I knew those were aphids from reading Eric Carle’s “Bad-tempered ladybug” to you. We wouldn’t have known it if not for that book. You followed me around our corridor while i trimmed off dead leaves and the aphid-infested plant. So many things can pique your curiosity in your expanding mind. 

Laughing-at-nothing memory – papa and I were so exhausted from the day and we laid down on the playmat. You joined us in what we were doing, not that we were doing anything fun, we were lying down doing nothing, but because you wanted to be with us. We had a good laugh asking each other why we were so tired. You did not understand why we were laughing but you joined in anyway. 

A happy family laughs with a toddler at something that is entirely nonsensical. 




Bonding with Grandparents

Dear Z,

You will be spending tonight and tomorrow with grandpa and grandma (my parents). A brilliant suggestion from grandma. This isn’t your first time but it’s the first time since J was born. On one hand, she wants to bond with you and on the other hand, I get a breather from having to manage 2 of you at home. 

It was cute watching you decide what you wanted to stuff in your mini luggage. You eventually brought your elephant-printed pillow and Rheneas the train. 

Since we moved you and J into the same room, your night sleep has been shortened by 1 hour because J wakes up an hour earlier than you. It wrenches my heart when you are not getting your deserved sleep but I am so glad you took it well in your stride and you compensate for the loss in your nap. Yes there were mornings when you were cranky but you are doing so well on the whole with J. 

You have such a good and giving heart. I am blessed by it.

I wish you a good time with grandpa and grandma. Treasure their companionship while you still have them. 

Dear J, with big bro out of the room for the night, I am going to sleep train you, so you both have the same waking time. 

Hopefully. Prayerfully. 

There will be a time when you too will spend the night with grandpa and grandma. When you are slightly bigger and sleeping longer. 

With Love,


Milestone #1

Dear J, 

You are 10 months old and today marks the day you stood up on your own without any support, though it was only for 1 or 2 seconds. 

You are a little explorer with an emerging outgoing personality. 2 weeks ago, when I brought you to Fidgets indoor playground, you crawled around the toddler play area to the objects which attracted you without any hesitation. You also tried making conversation with a Caucasian toddler girl which was so cute. Your older brother would have observed and scrutinized the people and objects at the play area before making his move. 
It is an interesting journey to watch both of you brothers grow up and for me to discover your personalities, likes and dislikes. 

The Second Chance

I recalled not enjoying the newborn experience with my first child. It was a shocker for me as I discovered my life revolved around 24 hours around a baby. The loss of personal space and time was overbearing. I thought it weird when other parents told me to enjoy the newborn period because it will get harder when they start crawling and eventually running around! At that time, I could not understand.

Now, I finally got it. My 2 year old is indeed harder to manage than my second child (he is 7 weeks old). It was God’s second chance for me to enjoy the newborn experience. The night feeds did not feel so daunting and tireless. Perhaps the only hard part is putting him to sleep when he is over-stimulated or burping him when he has gas. I am counting my blessings.

Case in point – the toddler is more difficult than the infant. My husband and I have to strategise how to leave home with the infant in order to avoid a meltdown by my toddler. We use new toys to distract and calm him down. We discuss how to manage his regression (yes it actually happens!) in the form of whining at the end of bedtime routines and night wakings. He also acts out of the norm by sleeping on the floor close to his room door that we can’t open it. My husband ends up having to sleep in his bed on some nights. There could not be any other journey that throws us such unexpected surprises.

By God’s grace, there are second chances for moments we missed out. Re-live and relish.

Playing ‘Picnic’


I decided to let my little one have a picnic setting for eating his meal. The change was good. At least he stayed at the picnic cloth area for a while and offered me some of his fish. Hopefully it will teach him to eat at one spot and stop walking around the house with food in his hands. Every mum’s complaint : having to wipe the floor after every meal and snack!

When The Toddler Falls Sick…

It sure feels like it’s the end of the world when the toddler falls sick. Exhaustion kicks in and eating feels like a chore because all you want to do is sleep. As I am typing right now, my son is crying in his room and I have no clue as to why. He rejected milk, food, didn’t want to be carried to sleep, so I’m here in front of the keyboard with my headphones because I seriously need a break! The daddy sure knows how to be out of the home at the right time. It is some weird phenomenon that the daddy chooses every time to be out at a time when the baby acts up. Kudos to all mummies around the world who have held the fort alone with incessant crying and screaming! A word of encouragement to new mothers – it will eventually cease when the baby grows tired of the tantrum knowing he is not getting anything out of it.

The fun part when the toddler falls sick is the visit to the doctors. Well, we pay consultation fees, so I make full use of their time and knowledge by asking many many questions. I learn something new on every visit to the doctor.

I shall recount the first time my son saw the GP (Dr Ong). She is a mother herself, and was trained in Canada. I like her vibe – friendly and nurturing. My son was having some flu symptoms, and I was expecting some medication to be prescribed. But she tells me (to my surprise) that it is not advisable to ‘drug’ him with medication because he’s not 18 months yet. Let his immune system heal the body on its own. I say I was surprised because the doctors in Singapore are always quick to prescribe medicine. I am not a pro-medicine person, so I took it well in my stride. I haven’t taken any flu medication for a few years and my body heals on its own. We don’t give enough credit to the work of our immune system. It’s God-given, use it! True enough, my son got well a few days later, without any medication 🙂

Now, he’s hit with bronchitis. I brought him first to see the GP. Unfortunately our favourite Dr Ong is on maternity leave so we saw another doctor (Dr Chen). He reported there was phlegm in his left lung, and concluded it could either be pneumonia or bronchitis. Dr Chen then prepared to dispense 4 various medication (antibiotics, cough mixture, sinus reliever, paracetemol) which gave me a shock. Doesn’t this prove my point that Singapore doctors just want to ‘sell’ as much medication as possible? We got home and placed all the medicine in the fridge, didn’t give any to my son except paracetemol for the fever. Next day, I brought him to the PD (Dr Tan) for a 2nd opinion. She confirmed it’s bronchitis because there was phlegm in both his lungs. I learnt that bronchitis is less severe than pneumonia, so it’s better to have phlegm in both lungs than one lung. Great that we got the lesser evil of the two. Relieving? Yes. I consulted Dr Tan about giving antibiotics and she said I could wait 1 more day to see if the fever breaks. If it comes back, she advised that we give it to him because it would be the 6th day he was feverish. Thankfully, the fever left for good. I did a mini research online about antibiotics, and there is apparently an overuse of it in the world. For one, it has no effect on virus, and most of our common illnesses are viral. Virus just takes time to run its course and bronchitis is caused by RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). Important lesson learnt. My motherly instinct in this case not to give antibiotics was right. But when doctors prescribe antibiotics, they probably suspect it’s a bacterial infection, and that’s when antibiotics might work. My son’s appetite and activity level increased when the fever broke which was a good sign of healing 🙂

I think I baffle and stump doctors when I don’t want to take any medication because most patients see them to get medicine. So there was a time when one doctor actually said he would leave the medication at the counter, and if I changed my mind 3 days later, I can come back to purchase it. That’s a fabulous arrangement. I save money and I don’t have bottles of medicine taking up space in my fridge. I never had to go back to get the medication because my son got well within the next 3 days.

Point to self – medication is not always necessary. Thanks to Dr Ong for sharing this knowledge. And also to friends who have brought their toddlers to the doctors in Australia and Canada, to learn that they don’t prescribe medication for young children. Incidentally, a friend’s toddler son residing in Perth had bronchitis, and he got through it with zero medication. Isn’t our immune system amazing?

Parenthood has become my best educator, in all sense of what ‘education’ truly means – Never Stop Learning.