4th July 2012 , Posted by Dannie
Or also known as “Eating Words”. (This blog entry was inspired by a recent comment on one of Yi Lin’s recent blog entries.)
I recently got thinking about how we expected our life as parents one year ago, against the reality of here and now. What were the things that did not turn out the way we expected?
Here is my Top 5 list.
5. Cloth Diapers are Possible
No, they’re not! For us anyway. Maybe because we have too much help at home. You see, diaper changing is probably one of the easiest duties for the entire family to perform. In any given week, Coco can have up to seven different people changing her diapers.
Now, Yi Lin and I are all for eco-friendliness, but it seemed rather churlish of us to insist on cloth diapers when it could be an icky job for 5 other people. And our poor domestic help would also be the one washing soiled nappies too!
So, despite buying tons of cloth diapers before Coco arrived, this was probably one of the first things that we gave up on.
4. It is Possible to Ignore a Crying Baby
Now, I have read uncountable (if it’s zero, there’s nothing to count) books, magazines and articles on disciplining kids, putting them to sleep, letting them know their freakin’ place in the family hierarchy and showing who’s the boss and who’s the kiddo. There would always be some that advise letting the child cry a little before soothing them to ‘train’ and reassure them at the same time.
Well, I suppose this IS possible. But when your neighbours remark that they know there’s a newborn in the house because they can hear her crying from across the road, you would quickly realise that the amount of crying you can allow your baby to do is in proportion to the distance to your nearest neighbours. And this is also directly reliant on the volume your baby can muster. Given that Coco’s volume is slightly louder than a Bon Jovi and Guns N Roses concert combined…
Let’s put it this way – There was one time a few months back, when I was with Coco in the living room. For some reason, she started to cry. I happened to look up and I saw my naighbour’s son (through his window) put down his pen, put on his headphones, then continued doing his homework. Despite having understanding neighbours like these, we still felt bad. This is why Coco is never ignored for long when she cries.
3. No Baby-Talk Allowed
Yi Lin and I are great with the English language. This shared proficiency in English allows her to understand my puns (and yes, there are A LOT of those) and my jokes. With our solid foundation in the language, we sometimes also can any-o-how talk and then still not be worried that our English will start sucking.
We wanted to impart the same strong foundation to Coco from an early age, and asked our parents and family members to not lapse into baby-talk when interacting with their granddaughter. Primarily, this means no double-words, like walk-walk, mum-mum (aka eat), car-car or even sleep-sleep. (Major exception – we can say Coco instead of Colette). And as far as possible, use proper grammar and pronunciation when speaking.
Unfortunately, this is still a work in progress. Habits are hard to break, especially for my parents, who get to see Coco only once a week. And to be honest, even we sometimes slip into grammatically incorrect English at home. It’s kinda hard to be harsh on others when we are sometimes guilty of the same ‘crime’ ourselves. But we do what we can, and we just have to keep asking our families to support us in this effort.
2. Any Baby Toy Will Do
Coco started teething at about what… sometime between her 5th and 6th month? And she started going through the teething toys like a Cookie Monster goes through cookies. So one day, I found myself at some baby-stuff shop and I decided to buy a teething toy for her. To be honest, I was a little disturbed by the design of the toy. It looked like a ball with short dildos poking out along the surface. I’m serious! This toy wouldn’t look out of place in a convention for horny female midgets.
Though I was put off by the look of this particular teether, I figured that there were multiple textures (each “dildo” is a different design) available for her to try chewing on, and the toy designers are probably professionals who had some kind of deep, insightful research that concluded that surely, every child will love at least one texture (dildo) on the ball.
I was actually quite relieved that Coco took one look at it and tossed it aside. My baby’s got taste. And my money’s got waste(d).
1. Baby will Sleep Through the Night after X Months
Yeah, right. She slept through the night. Then started waking up and crying non-stop. Then went back to sleeping through the night. Then kena blocked nose, so couldn’t breathe, so started waking up again… It’s a never-ending cycle of satisfaction and frustration as long as sleeping through the night is concerned.
And of course, I had to be the hero that saves the day. I reasoned to Yi Lin that since she starts work at 8.30am, and my office does tend to give some leeway for coming in late, I should be the one to comfort Coco at night and get her back to sleep from Sunday till Thursday nights. And Yi Lin would be the one responsible for soothing Coco back to sleep on Friday and Saturday nights. Except that this arrangement is making me so tired now. I can sometimes barely keep my eyes open during meetings. I feel so lethargic that I can fall asleep at any time without warning.
But still, I’m not going to change this deal I made with Yi Lin. Sooner or later, Coco’s got to sleep through theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee