Friday, April 09, 2010

Enny Wenny Werr

"Baa baa black sheep
Enny wenny werr
Yes sir yes sir tree blacks for

One for the monster
One for the day
Little boy sits in the tree all day

Baa baa black sheep
Enny wenny werr
Yes sir yes sir tree blacks for."

And Sophie really thinks she is singing it properly too!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

"Can you tell me the months of the year, Sophie?"

"Jannery, Feddery, March..."


"What did you eat at the party?"

"I ate cumcuber and sausage."


"Go and change, Sophie."

"Oh, change into my uniform?"

"No, you're not feeling well so you're not going to school today."

"Oh, I'll stay at home and you will look after me?"

"No, I've to go to work."

"Oh, Aunty will look after me and I will look after Rachel and you will go to office?"

Thursday, April 01, 2010

A Precarious Peace

I thought we were cool. About Rachel's condition and all. Just living life as it unfolds, going about our day to day things, appreciating the present and hopeful about the future.

I reached out to someone who also has a child with a congenital condition. We met briefly, and I received messages from her on my phone. She really wants to help. She told me about her grown-up friend with a similar condition as Rachel's, recommended another doctor, suggested I do what she did for her child to counter potential learning difficulties, such as put Rachel on a special diet, take her for spiritual healing sessions, and do a famous baby reading acceleration programme with her. This kind lady reiterated her suggestions a few times although I repeatedly tried to convey the message that we were not seeking additional help as such.

Boy was I surprised to find myself irrationally upset and in doubt after that short exchange. Perhaps this goes to the heart of every mom's fears, that she is not doing the best she can for her child. It has never occurred to me to flash any cards at Rachel. In the first place, I don't believe in those baby programmes. Other people are very welcome to go for them if they so wish. Not me.

But to have the recommendations so adamantly repeated, citing how doctors are shocked at her child's development (they were warned about mental retardation), bore down on me that I could in fact be short-changing Rachel by not doing all those things as well. It didn't help that I had very recently received news that I failed my exams, which means resitting them at the end of the year, upsetting all my other leave plans.

What better set-up for the bug that truly bit? Influenza! The last time I had it, I had just learnt that Rachel was on the way, and it raged for a week. Thankfully, this time round the fever went away after a single dose of ibuprofen. It did however leave me with hugely swollen eyes that gave great merriment to my children. Can't say there wasn't a silver lining to that cloud.

But I'm more thankful for the unexpected recovery of peace. There's nothing a few days of lying in bed won't solve, I find. There's only so much one can weep, or fear, or doubt, without growing suddenly tired of it and throwing it all off with a single resolution of the mind and heart. This being Holy Week is another "bonus" - everything united to the cross of Christ, whose yoke is easy and burden light.

The clincher was when I went back to work to find that big boss had been looking for me. Must be some work issue - he is well known to have exacting standards. No, it turned out to be nothing work related. Instead, having noted my sudden absence, he was actually worried that I might have been unduly upset by my exam results. He had even asked another partner to check that I was all right as he was going away on a business trip himself, which explained that unknown missed call number I found on my phone. I'm touched! And I'm not about to commit harakiri over a bunch of test scores, certainly - who's going to cut all the kids' nails if I'm gone??

Funny how people who come across as tough are often actually softies inside. Oh well. Time to put down deeper roots in faith and hope. Nice time, now.