Daddee Yah!

A working Daddee learning to cope in a big big world

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So anyway, I was queueing to renew my Jusco loyalty rewards card. Picked up a copy of their newsletter Jusco Pearl, flipped through and saw an article with the above title. Okay, I thought, let’s see what I can learn.

It’s not a bad article. And like most of what I read these days, it’s all quite common sense when you read it, but would not have consciously thought of it or doing any of what’s written, without reading it.

In the 2-page spread article, amongst the points of protection from (emotional) dangers, words of comfort, etc; the second last point for fathers to note was titled “Paint a vision of my future.” In a nutshell, it advocates instilling a can-do / encouraging attitude in one’s daughter, that a “consistent expression of uncertainty about his daugther’s future can potentially damage his daughter’s self image“. The what-not-to-do example offered was this:

A father might tell his daughter “Don’t worry about doing well in math, it might be too difficult for you.” Not only will the daughter very likely associate math with inadequacy, but all her other classes will suffer as well. A father who resolves to cast a positive vision for his daughter’s future and affirms her with words of hope and promise for their daughters will help her reach her fullest potential.

Caitlin has a laptop-shaped alphabet toy present from a previous birthday party. Each time the store room door is opened, she can see it and pleads to play with it. Our response has been “It’s not for you yet, you don’t know all your ABCs yet, wait till you know all your ABCs first!”

Are we making the exact same mistake with her??

Photo taken while shopping at the KL Twin Towers

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Recently I had a writer’s block.

My kind readers shared some ideas to overcome this. This post is one of the suggested topics- Thanks Hissychick for this (whom had also done one)!

Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.

Using only the first page, pick an image.

Copy and paste your chosen URLs into the Mosaic Maker and make a lovely mosaic to put on your blog or flickr.

The questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

So here’s mine :)

Here are the links to the respective pics above.

1. John W Low, 2. 3 Types of Pasta, 3. Elevated road, 4. midnight blue, 5. Jessica Alba, 6. ?? Latte Art, 7. at the beach, 8. tiramisu, 9. Toronto Plastic Surgery, 10. Passion, 11. Adam is Mediocre, 12. JLow-is-the-way-to-go

So now you know a little bit more about me!

By the way, FYI for Mac users, I have found a handy jpeg editing tool for use on my blog. Thumbscrew is a drag-drop app that will automatically create a thumbnail of the original pic, resize your original jpegs into desired dimensions, as well as add a border of any size, and give it a tilt, like above.

… And, you gotta love freebies!

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From my immediate post before this, I was given a few ideas for future post topics. The first two look like fun, so I am going to attempt them, the second one first!

Write about your conceptions about being a dad BEFORE you become and what happened after you become a dad? How have you changed from being dad of one to a dad of two?

Better go get a coffee first- it’s going to be a long post!

Given I am quite passionate about this, I am going to break it up into two posts of distinct experiences with the two kids.

I did always want to have kids- I wanted three but Hot Mummee only wanted one. So we compromised.

I am the youngest in my family, which means there have been nieces and nephews since I was in my mid-teens. I played with them, interacted with them, and at times, was proud of them too- some of their remarks were so amazing that I found myself repeating them to my single guy-friends too.

But that was all I “did” for them. I didn’t participate in changing or feeding them. I did also cringe at their crying fits; one of them was a rather “difficult” baby in that she just cried all the time, the vein-popping type of cry (neighbours came around offering herbal ailments to soothe her, a la your baby is driving us raving mad).

Though I didn’t participate all that much as an uncle, I did have a rough idea of what it would entail: The scheduled jabs, the endless bottle-sterilising, being grounded, endless shopping for diapers and baby formula, endless washing of cloth diapers, sneaking around sleeping babies, deciding if a runny nose was life threatening… I just wasn’t full-on hands-on with most of them. There were also the gambles: The pregnancy’s success (a sister in law had a miscarriage, but has 3 subsequent teens now), healthy baby, character, nature, and traits of the baby (angel or devil), etc.

When we were expecting Caitlin, I was excited. But not the Hollywood-type OHMYGAWDIAMGOINGTOBEAFATHER excitement. It was gradual. I was also somewhat hoping for a boy, since boys can be the big-brother to a younger brother or sister. But I was happy either way nonetheless for a first child.

And there was a lot of planning, spread out to weekends; mainly on Hot Mummee’s side, cos she and her mum are the bargain-hunter type, and thus were on the lookout for baby furniture, rubber changing mats, cleaning aides, sterilisers, bottles, etc. On these trips I merely tagged along, was the chauffeur and concierge, not having much opinion about this or that product; except where it came to gadgets like baby monitors, cot ergonomics, etc. Till today mum inlaw still bargain-hunts for diapers, for Caleb’s use.

I guess I was mentally prepared, but wasn’t in the mode of making plans yet such as which school, what insurance; only insofar as where the cot was going to be.

For me, the emotionally high point was Caitlin’s birth. The whole ordeal deserves another long post by itself, but the highlight for me was my own involuntary thought that popped into my head right at birth; more specifically, when they had just towelled her off.

I am not the weak-stomach type. Hot Mummee’s labour was pretty bad, and as much as she wanted a completely natural birth, as much as she is a determined lady, and as high as her threshold for pain is, she needed an epidural.

When time came for Caitlin to greet the world, I opted to stand at the end of the bed, peering over the shoulders of the nurses and Dr Wong. Because I wanted to see this in real life, but mainly I felt I needed to watch this, as a father to my child.

Hot Mummee later shared with me that it was very helpful that I stood where I did. With the epidural, she didn’t know what she was doing or whether she was doing it right. My expressions, and I guess my occasional two thumbs-up, were good indications of the progress! :)

So, what popped into my head?

Kid, I am going to (try and) be your best friend.

Since my teens and witnessing how my elders interacted with their kids, I started forming an opinion that kids ought to be spoken to in an almost-adult manner. It’s fine to use baby talk once a while, but it should be kept to a minimum. And as soon as they begin comprehending the need to comprehend their universe, to start giving them as-straight-as-possible answers. I will admit I dodge the evils-of-the-world type of question, only to offer “it’s because they are naughty and didn’t listen to their parents”, or that violence on TV “is just acting for the camera”, for now- real violence on the news is a matter for an older age. Caitlin understands this last concept as I replay some of our home movies, and she recalls “acting” for the camera, that it’s not real.

From this, I intend to befriend my kids. I will still scold and spank if necessary, but I want to use a participatory-but-guide style on them, rather than I am dad and you shall listen with no reasoning. Firstly because I think that is just naturally my style, and secondly I want them to come to me with their issues and concerns, and not rely too much on their (school or whatever) peers. This way, at least I get to know what is going on with their lives, to some extent.

All this is, of course, only in the last 4 years or so, counting when we started expecting our first child, the nine months of preparations, and the 3.5 years since. And, as much as I can, I will also make her childhood as fun as possible, without compromising on teaching values and ethics.

Is it what I had expected it to be?

I guess more or less. I knew, in theory, what to expect and there were no real surprises. But in practise, the mental and physical efforts is another matter. The sleepless nights, Caitlin’s unique knack for vomitting, alertness for their safety, the answers to ever-curious toddler’s questions that need careful crafting, nursing their illness.

The pluses are also many: Choosing a name, the first steps, the first words (thus the name of this blog!), the intellectual interactions and bonding, the hugs for Daddee simply because.

Expectations of how Hot Mummee is as a mum, however, is another matter!

So, since there are a few dads that I regularly catch up with in this blogosphere, it would be great to hear the different (or the same?) perspectives from you guys too.

Thanks Lia for this topic idea! I shall follow up soon with part two: Becoming a Dad the second time.

Kick…
kick…
wave wave…
Thumping limbs on the bed…

Time for some more photos to share!

Okay, truth is I am having a writer’s block!

Yup, those are drool patches, and sorry I missed cropping out my foot from the photo!

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Got a call from my sister in law about the dinner arrangements for Friday, the usual day of the week where we have dinner with my parents in my eldest brother’s house.

We are having a Father’s Day dinner celebration!

Read the rest of this entry »

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(a.k.a. Chuck-a-brown-eye practise!)

HIAKKKkks!

I know how to roll from being on my back, to being on my front! But DARN IT, my arm gets stuck under my tummy and I cannot get it out!

I look up to see what’s around, but DARN IT my neck muscles are still not strong enough! And DARN IT, as if my nose isn’t flat enough already when my neck muscles give way!

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Even being carried, I still gotta have style, you know …

Yup, that’s right!