Archives for category: Imperfect Kids

8.30am, getting Raeven ready for the day. She is in semi-undress.

"You need to eat more," I comment on her protruding ribs, helping her put her tights on.

"I prefer to grow up thin," she answers.

I look up sharply at her, a smile twitching on my lips.

"Why?" I ask, amused and at the same time, apprehensive at what she will say.

"I don’t want to grow up fat like you, Mommy."

I burst out laughing. She peers at me from under her lashes, the way she always looks at me when she makes me laugh, a shy yet mischievous look that seems to say, "You find that funny, do ya?"

"Well, you won’t if you eat AND exercise," I say a minute later, after my mirth subsides.

Raeven nods wisely.

"I know."

I gotta get to the gym today, man.

Empirical evidence she’s my daughter.

A little late, but still good:

This was Skyler when she was born on the stormy afternoon of Nov 5 2004 at UH, Malaysia.

She was born at 29 1/2 weeks.

Skyler, 1 day old

Skyler weighed only 1.69kgs and had Patent Ductus Arterosis. She also caught pneumonia a few days after, her little steroid-pumped lungs constantly filling with phlegm.

“Will she be ok?” I’d asked the neonatal paedetrician, trying hard not to cry as I left my tiny little daughter in the care of the hospital’s ICU what we’d thought would be indefinitely.

“These things can go either way,” he’d said, trying hard not to look at me.

58 days later, Skyler was discharged. With the help of meds, her PDA closed and she could breathe on her own. However, she still had apnea and the hospital made me stay a whole day at the hospital, ‘practising’ how to feed my daughter, before they’d let me take her home. My daughter, who could barely fill my arms. I learnt how to flick the soles of her feet to ‘remind’ her to breathe when feeding so she would not drown. How to pinch the bridge of her nose to do the same. How to tell if her face turned blue and to stop, give her time to acquire what should’ve been a natural skill, the ability to breathe and drink at the same time.

This was Lokes carrying Skyler without her tubes for the first time, the night before we took her home.

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She weighed about 4lbs, the minimum weight preemies have to reach before they can be discharged from the neonatal ward.

Today, Skyler weighs about 35lbs. She is a health, robust three-year old. You won’t be able to tell, from the way she screams for ice cream today, that 24 hours prior to her birth, her lungs had to be matured medically with steroids to increase her chances of surviving.

You won’t be able to tell, from the way she INHALES chocolate milk today, that it took my mom and me to feed her together so we would be able to concur with each other that she was indeed turning blue, taking turns to flick her feet or pinch her nose.

You won’t be able to tell, from the way she smiles and laughs and says, “See ya later, mommy!” that she was a preemie.

To moms and dads of preemies, know that there is always hope, even when you’re grasping in the dark, when there doesn’t seem to be any answers that are good enough, when you feel as though that you will never be able to survive this.

Because you will.

I just found out that the book in which one (or more) of my short stories were chosen to be, is now in stores (sorry, only in Malaysia).

There is a tired smile on my face, a smile of satisfaction from finally being published, and also from baking too many b’day cupcakes for my little three-year old.

That’s right, Skyler (aka Eat French Fries in Sleep Girl) turned three today.

Skyler turns three!

If you think she loves fries, wait til you see her and the cupcakes.

Skyler turns three!

Did I make it? I made it.

And now, for the reviews.

ps. Birthday video coming soon. Takes time to edit.

These days, when Skyler goes for a poop, she takes a book with her.

Her favourite book is still Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar because of all the junk food.

Yesterday, she dragged the huge board book to potty, sat down and did her business.

When she was done, she stood up and looked at her handiwork.

“Mommy, it looks like…,” she paused and refered to her book.

“…a sausage!”

She looked at me, and then at her poop, and then at her book again.

“Oh no, a pickle! It looks like a pickle!”

I’d promised you a funny video. Here is the lady herself. Enjoy!

A conversation two days ago in the car.

Rae: Mommy, what’s a fire chief?

Me: He’s the leader of all the firemen.

Rae: What does he do?

Me: He tells the other firemen where to go and what to do when there’s a burning building.

Rae: But…but that’s so BORING!

Me: (bursts out in chuckles) Why?!

Rae: He never gets to do ANYTHING then?

Me: Of course he does. Sometimes he gets to climb the ladders and spray the water with the hose if he wants to.

Rae: …still boring.

My daughter will not grow up to be an accountant. Or an editor, that’s for sure.

Was watching trailers on the Apple site.

Skyler: (holds hand to heart and backs away) It’s scawwy! (we were watching the trailer to Finishing the Game)

Mommy: Awww, do you want Mommy to give you a hug? Make the scary go away?

Skyler: (perks up and walks up to me for a nice big hug) Okay…make scawy go away.

Mommy: Yea, a hug to give you courage!

Skyler: Yea, a hug to give me garbage.

 

Priceless, I tell ya.