Wednesday, November 9, 2011

things falling into places

I went for a regular dental check-up a few days ago. My dentist told me, "It's time for an x-ray. The last x-ray you did was 7 years ago."

7 years? Have I been to the same dentist for 7+ years now?

Actually since a few years back, I found a dentist that I feel comfortable with, a hairstylist who knows I can't handle any type of blow-dry hairdo, a manicurist who understands that I will always only like crimson on my toes, a credit card that gives me the right offers at the right places and the right times .... these things used to trouble me a lot, like nothing's ever right after spending hundreds on my hair, or being pushed around with the latest 'trends' that I never feel right with. Slowly everything seems to have fallen into places.

Aging, yes, probably. Or is it the confidence to accept myself as who I am? That boring nerd who will be more than happy to carry the same hairstyle for the next 20 years?

At least I know I will be more than happy to have the same guy sitting next to me on the sofa gossiping on life's many trivial matters for the next 20 years. Thank you my dear, I am sure this confidence is rooted from you.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

hello mini - the community sweetheart

hello mini,

Mama loves to walk you to the park. And we’ve been doing that every morning since you were about 2 months old. People are quite amazed by how I can wake up so early, walk you, and still manage to get to work on time. Apart from it being my tiny commitment to spend more time with you rather than the pillow, I also enjoy the walk myself. Mornings are just so welcoming – the clear air, the waving trees, the skin-warming sun … and having you keep my company makes it all the more meaningful.

Our friends now not only include the natural surroundings. Over time, we have discovered that we live in such a friendly neighbourhood. The regulars include an elderly couple who speak some Chinese dialect we don’t understand; the Filipino maids who walk all different types of pet dogs from quiet Golden Retrievers & noisy Chiwawas; full-gear hiker ladies in groups, the garbage guy, the sleep-in taxi driver…. etc.

Actually, before your arrival, they were just fragments of the same community. They’d walk past each other without any eye contact. They’d notice the weather turning cold but won’t bother to remind each other on warmer clothing. They’d want to reach out to the pets but dare not do so as it might feel intrusive … at least, it was my feeling of the community as I took the morning walks months ago.

And it’s all different now with you.

When we manage to take 1 hour walks, there would be at least 30 minutes when we’d be stopped by our friends. Why? Because you, our little angel, is so curious about everyone. So curious to the extent that you, with your small eyes expanded to its biggest size, would be staring at every passerby. When they find your stare too irresistible, they'd turn to your direction, and you'd immediately greet them with your biggest smile.

"O-O-O baby smiled at ME!"

As I have witnessed, everyone was melt by your sweetness. You made them feel like the most special person on earth, and for a second or two they were even up in heaven.

Now, when you see the elderly couple even from afar, you would greet them with your biggest grin until they come hold your little hands. And the dogs, they’d sit very still listening to the irregular rhythms of your delightful squeals, and the maids would be laughing at your craze. And you are so interested in the sweeping noises created by the garbage guy, that he has to stop sweeping for a moment to say hello to you.

Mama is overwhelmed. You are not only bringing happiness to the family, your positive energy is actually extending to more. I feel so proud of you. Keep it up baby!

lots of love,

mama ak

Thursday, September 9, 2010

hello mini - 1 year ago ....

hello mini,

it's 0909 today. this morning as mama walk to work, i suddenly remember that it was exactly 365 days ago when i found out about you!

i had not been feeling right for a few days. but i was not too convinced that i would be pregnant so soon, because we have only just started casually trying and we have a trip to germany planned for the following week ... on 0909, i thought i might give those pregnancy tester stick a try. when i got to the drugstore, there were so many brands, prices from $30 to over $100. for split of a second, i wanted to go for the cheap one, me being so famous for my price consciousness. but NO - i ended up at the cashier with the $30 one PLUS the $100 one, hahahaha. when i got home, i rushed into the toilet, sat there, idle and blank. do i wanna find out???????? i didn't know. i felt confused and lost. is it too soon? are we ready to be parents? will we have enough money to give our child a good future????????

i didn't open the pack. i avoided thinking by watching tv and reading books all afternoon. i did this from 2pm til around 730pm. then i was at the toilet again, this time ripping off the package and following the instruction before i change my mind..... on paper, it says it takes 10 minutes for results to show. so tick-tock-tick-tock and after just ONE MINUTE, a red line came rushing out. A RED LINE. POSITIVE. CONGRATULATIONS YOU ARE PREGNANT!

i didn't know what to think. i can't believe i wasn't particularly happy or excited. i then recall all the sashimi and beers and sake that i crazily had on a trip to tokyo the previous week ... o gosh ... i might have just made this baby an alcoholic ... and all the germs that might be inside the baby already from the raw fish ....

then your papa came home - he's home a bit late that day 'cos he was on a business trip to Guangzhou. as we started having dinner, he was chatty as usual about the happenings of his day. normally i love his stories. but i wasn't really listening. i didn't know how to share the news with him. i wasn't sure how he would react....

then, not by my will, i started crying at the dinner table, and i lost my voice. i couldn't say a word. i led your shocked papa to the toilet. i opened the drawer. and i showed him the stick. he looked at it, then looked at me confused, asking "what is this?" gosh he's so stupid! so i had to dig out the packing from the bin and pass it to him. then he started SCREAMING and held me very very tightly in joy. "i cannot believe it's happening so soon! I am gonna be a father and you are gonna be a mother! we are so blessed!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

it was then that i started laughing, and somehow i got my voice back. why did i have to wait? why did i have to avoid? it was all about the reassurance from your papa that WE are going to get to a different stage of life together.

then 365 happy days went by. and you are almost 4 months old now.

feeling very blessed to have your papa and you with me.

lots of love,

mama ak

Friday, August 6, 2010

hello mini - to hold or not to hold

hello mini,

the past few weeks was quite a challenge to mama. first your papa got sick, fever high as 38.9C for quite a few days. and so much i tried to bar him from going close you, i couldn't allow myself to be so harsh, and finally the virus got to you. your nose was very runny and blocked, and you were coughing and sneezing non-stop. you couldn't sleep, and sometimes your whole body just go shaking as if something just scared the hell out of you. when we had to give you medication, you would swing away with full force and cry your lungs out. it was all very heart-breaking ....

what is a mother suppose to do in this situation?

of course we have tried everything in the books. but what else? what else can a mother do in this situation?

i decided to go back to the very basic. i held you in my arms for the whole night. though you were still waking up every 10 minutes and none of the symptoms seemed to have gone better with my hug, it just felt like the right thing to do.

then i suddenly recall - when we first brought you home, we were told that we should decide how much we wanna hold our baby, 'cos too much holding would mean spoiling you .... then whenever i was holding you, i would be thinking if it was too much holding, and does it mean i m ruining your life, because you will lose the ability to be an independent person????

mini, as you grow older, there will be things in life that you just oughta deal with on your own, like getting sick and getting healed. all mama can do is to be there for you when you need me. i don't know if i can give you sound advice, or offer any practical help. but i assure you my hugs will be unlimited.

lots of love,
mama ak

Monday, July 19, 2010

hello mini - our little private hour

hello mini,

you have just turned 2 months, and you have learnt to recognize our voices and smile at us. yes, there's a big team of care-takers behind you, and your mama plays only one part in it. there's mama, papa, grandma, grandpa and auntie. all of us love you very much, and we often fight over who to hold you, feed you or put you to sleep. and very often, i lose. or should i say, i feel like i should let others have their turn. your grandparents come all the way to see you, so they should have their share of time with you. auntie will be taking care of you after i go back to work, so it's necessary for her to establish some sort of closeness with you ...

it's a constant battle i have to fight with myself. on one hand, i feel so blessed that you are loved by so many. but at times, i must admit that i feel jealous. it seems like you are smiling more at auntie. and you better enjoy being held by your grandma. that leaves me to being your secretary, only to take care of your administrative matters, like your photo album, your wardrobe, your pee & poo counts, your vaccines, your insurance ... etc.

when this thought creeps into my head, i will tell myself that this is part of motherhood. my love for you isn't measured by how much time i get to hold you physically. i will be doing a lot for you and i cannot count on returns ....

mama will have to go back to work very soon. and the thought of having to leave you to others puts me into tears. so i have set up our little private hour - you wake up sharply upon sunrise everyday, and that's when we get to be by ourselves, no fight over from anyone else. i clean you, i feed you, i play with you and i put you back to sleep. an hour is never enough, so let's make the most out of it :)

lots of love,

mama ak

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

hello mini - moon river

hello mini,

my little man, you have already turned 6 weeks old at 11.5 pounds! how come it's so hard for mama to lose the extra pounds when it's such an easy gain for you?

i love to feed you, i love to check the color of your shit when changing your diapers, i love 'coo coo talking' with you, and i love singing you to sleep. and i have to sing endlessly too, because you just never seem to want to fall asleep. you are obviously training me into being a karaoke queen.

i don't have a songlist prepared. but somehow 'moon river' always comes out spontaneously. okay, moon river isn't a lullaby. it's actually quite a sad song, because it reminds me of 'sex and the city' season 4 when mr.big left carrie this song and an empty room of loneliness.

among the girls, there's always the 'who are you in SATC' chat. then there'd be the 'which SATC boyfriend do you like most' chat to follow. i certainly don't want you to be mr.big, no no, he's too much an asshole in how he treats women. steve is sweet, but not tough enough as a guy maybe? and not jerry smith ... i can't picture you to be a male model. trey? berger? harry? i think my vote will still go to aidan. but then he gets dumped and heart broken ....

ok i sound like a control freak mum. and i hate to be that. so i better quit now.

lots of love,

mama ak

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

hello mini - mini me?

hello mini,

zachary michael cheng is your full name. but no one seems too interested, as they have all been calling you 'mini'. where did mini come from? hmmm ... when i realized i got pregnant with you, i started doing research on the net and i had to name a folder to bookmark all the links. instead of lamely calling the folder 'baby', i casually typed 'panda mini' - i didn't even know if you were a boy or a girl yet, but i might somehow wished you were as happy as your father the kung-fu panda, and hence panda mini. you have been called 'mini' ever since, and we just cannot quit!

now that you are born, people are all saying you are a clone of your papa. yes, that round face and that piggy nose are quite signature. and i'd be too tired to fight for a look-alike eyebrow or ear-lobe.

then, around the 3rd day, as i was feeding you, you showed me a magic. your toes, yes, YOUR TOES! you can actually do the 'spread-out-all-5-toes' trick just like me. and it's from me for sure, as your daddy was always amazed at how i could do something like that with my toes that he cannot. so finally a trait from me, your toes!

one day, i looked up your birthday. you are born on the same day as a few celebrities i truly admire. first, there is chow yun fat, probably the most charismatic actor in HK. then there's tina fey from the sitcom '30 rock', she is such a subtle comedian-writer! and then there's jack johnson, a musician who spreads happiness and positive vibes through his work. and fred perry, one of the best tennis player of all times and how we can't wait to play with you! actually there's john paul II as well, though i won't exactly put him on my admirable list ...

so it's all silly, trying to own a piece of you. you will be your own individual. be happy like your papa or be stubborn like your mama, it's all ok. just remember to stay positive. we all love you no matter what.

lots of love,
mama ak