Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dear FWNK.

The other day, a friend of mine was complaining how he never sees his buddy anymore, ever since his buddy had kids. He was a little peeved that every time his buddies got together and invited this guy with the kids, he was a no-show, citing his kids as “his excuse.” Apparently, he’s the one who puts them to bed every night. Henceforth, I shall call him Wonder Dad. My friend started the conversation with me by asking if Little Miss’s dad is home every day to put her to bed, to which I answered, yes, unless his job keeps him away, which happens about 30 percent of the time. I’m not sure if he was genuinely curious or if he just wanted someone to side with him, which meant mine was the wrong answer.

I felt the need to defend Wonder Dad, even though I’ve never met the guy. Sure, we don’t all have our same reasons for doing the things we do, but fellow parents tend to unite on certain things, especially when “under scrutiny” by our friends with no kids (FWNK).  Who knows, perhaps Wonder Dad hates being there but is mandated to go home by his iron-fisted wife. However, I’d like to err on the side of faith and think that he is there because he wants to. Because that’s where I would want to be. Well, not with his kids. With mine. (Duh.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Little things.

I love being a mom. To me, it's not about the grand emotions and milestones. It’s really about discovering joy in the little things. Like having a picture of Little Miss scratching her little dimpled butt as she walked around the apartment during naked time (bribery ammunition!). This is also the time where her hands roam around her belly and chest as she enjoys the sensation of skin on skin--one that is somewhat alien to her due to the multiple-layer mandate of the cold season.

Or like the time it dawned on her that not every furry animal is a cat. Some of them are actually dogs, as she pointed to our cat-sized dog and announced "Dah!" She even knows our pets by their name now. We armed her with treats and asked her to "give it to Kayli" and she walked over to our orange tabby with a hand aiming at our cat's face, and when prompted to "throw it" (instead of "drop it" since she can "throw the ball"), she gingerly dropped the treat by Kayli and, my favorite part, in baby talk, urged the cat to enjoy it. Or so it seemed. She did the same with Macavity the grey cat and Kirby the once-cat-now-dog.

We were amazed but at the same time, with her ability to understand simple words and instructions ("Bring me your socks/shoes/toy", "Give this to nana", etc.) I was struck by an epiphany. She’s a little helper in the making! Pick up your toys. Make me a sandwich. Iron my shirt. The possibilities are endless.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

That Baby.

Our trip to Malaysia is coming up in about a month and instead of getting excited about the winter reprieve and the tropical sun, we're dreading the impending journey there. That's because we have yet to recover from our four-hour plane ride from Portland three months ago, where Little Miss was that baby.

She was the only infant on board so that didn't help matters. She was squirmy, moving from one shiny object to another at the speed of light, and not too big on the cuddling. She wasn't too bad the first three hours but at the end, she was so overtired that she screamed, kicked, and cried her lungs out. Yes, that baby. And then she passed out in my arms as I walked up and down the aisle, where everyone got to see exactly which demon child was raising hell. I, of course, like any sensible mother would, avoided all eye contact.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Eff this.

I can't believe another new year, no, new decade is here! This is the 4th decade I rang in, although I have to admit I don't remember anything about the first since I was only five. You actuaries out there can do the math. The rest of you can ponder this other thing: If you dabble in profanity like Tiger Woods in women (is that old material now?) or like I do, and you're trying to raise a kid who preferably doesn't spew obscenities before the age of two, would you a) continue to cuss but make sure you let your kid know it's forbidden because it's adults-only; b) go the substitution route, i.e. "what the fudge?", "eff this!" and "oh shoot"; or c) quit cold turkey (and suffer occasional relapses)?

I've been contemplating my approach lately as swearing is my fifth language. It's not only useful in stressful times but it has become an essential part of my daily expressions. From catharsis ("asshole!") to emphasis ("fuckin' awesome!"), its utility is endless. But with li'l miss copycat on my heels these days, the censor police is on patrol.

Fortunately and surprisingly, her first word wasn't blushworthy. There's hope yet. However, mimicry is still the latest fad around here. Case in point: Shortly after her birthday, while playing with one of her tea sets, I picked up a toy teacup by the handle and pretended to drink from it, finishing with a satisfied, audible "ah". Lo and behold, she followed suit! So now, when I say, drink your tea, she picks up the cup by the little handle and "drinks" it. Pretty hilarious, especially since she's more into coffee.

More recently, whenever I ask her where's daddy/cat/(insert object here) and if they're not immediately apparent, she turns her palms up and looks around questioningly. Useless "trick" but still the cutest thing she's done -- so far. She does the same thing when I ask "what did you do?" after she drops something or chases the cat away. I smell trouble as she's already a natural at acting innocent with her I-don't-know face and her palms turned up, looking around her as if to suggest someone else must have done it. Maybe the dog?

The increasing interaction and recognition of language fascinate me. That also means that while she's learning what she should, this little sponge of mine will also pick up things she shouldn't.  With that in mind, now may be a good time for me to take advantage of resolution season to curb my impressions of a sailor. However, instead of trying not to cuss anymore or in front of Little Miss, I am going to compromise and simply swear like the Brits. Bollocks! Wanker! Bloody hell! Feels a little better than eff this and fudge that -- too puritanical and void of any oomph necessary for occasions that warrant cussing. Did you know bollocks means testicles? Both naughty and amusing. I like. Also, if Little Miss does pick it up, she won't offend half as many people on this side of the Atlantic. Sounds like a win-win to me.

And that's just bloody awesome.