Daddee Yah!

A working Daddee learning to cope in a big big world

Seems like a season for sequels. Nope, I haven’t watched The Dark Knight yet….. I have watched Hellboy 2 though…

Anyway, there’s been a build up of activities that have accumulated to a juncture at which there’s been a bottleneck, inhibiting the easy flow of movements, effectively creating a plug that is causing a backlog of new activities waiting to be cleared.

Yes, it took me a good while to write that simple passage of nonsense.

On weekends, we make it a point to sleep over at my parents’, since it is the only time everyone gets to see each other.

On Saturday, we took it easy. Hot Mummee slept in, but Caitlin was up “early” as usual (for a Saturday, by our standards). So Daddee has to keep her company and occupied. My mum wanted to go buy some fresh flowers at the wet market. So the 3 of us went. Then we came home, Caitlin had her lunch. I don’t recall if she had her morning milkies or not… Before her afternoon nap Hot Mummee and I sat with her to go through some of the new words she learned from school. Evening came, and only Caitlin and I, along with my parents and the 2 brothers and respective families, went over to Dr Pixie’s for dinner. Hot Mummee and Caleb didn’t go ‘cos the little man is only just coming out of (an)other fever and cold.

There wasn’t anything unusual about it. There were fish, vege, prawns, rice, and lots of fruits. Caitlin avoided the spicy stuff, but did get stuck into the fruits, especially the papaya and the rare treat of kiwi fruit.

We had a late night. Mainly ‘cos Caleb wasn’t there, allowing myself and Caitlin to remain and play / chat / explore the house. I reckon we got home around midnight. I think I did make her some milkies, but not the usual amount.

Sunday came and she only woke close to midday. Hours later, we packed up, went home to the condo, and the kids had their afternoon nap. No surprises- Caitlin wasn’t able to sleep quickly when night came. She probably only fell asleep close to midnight.

Before that, while washing up after brushing her teeth, I asked if she’d been. She hadn’t, for that day; and I can’t remember if I washed her up on Friday or Saturday night once, after her going.

Monday came, and it was going to be an interesting one.

Since she didn’t sleep early the night before, she was all of Miss Grumpy. Still, I managed to get her to school on time and outta-sight-outta-mind for me and on my way to work.

Like breaking news feeds of a major event, I get bits and pieces of info that I had to peace together: Sitting on the toilet for 3 hours, refusing to get off, only Grandma’s threats worked, insisting on wearing her brother’s diapers for just-in-case, trip to the nearest Dr, anema, but not satisfied, no afternoon nap. Somewhere in there was Hot Mummee’s interrogation on what happened / was served at Dr Pixie’s.

Poor kid is already lacking sleep, and is so constipated that she had to endure the up-the-ass too. I think it was only a squirty but nonetheless….

I think the only thing we’d done differently since part 1 was that Caitlin has finished her tub of prunes which Grandma had bought, and had effectively stopped eating it, or anything just as fibrous.

So I went to (finally) get a bottle of Duphalac, asking Grandma to administer today after Caitlin returns from school, 10mL, for 3 days in a row. Dr Pixie actually suggested to administer in the mornings, but since she says it will “work within 4 hours”, I also do not want any untoward mishaps to befall her during her school hours in the morning.

Hopefully when I get home later, I will be greeted with a wide smile I-am-so-finally-relieved fully rested 3-going-on-4-year old happy-as-I-am child, again.

Update: I was :)

As planned, Caitlin only consumed the Duphalac after school. Apparently she had to go only in some 50min later, just after lunch, with full of greens. She got some soft plop-plops! And later, after I had reached home and having dinner, she had to go again. I don’t know which “session” the duphalac worked on, but now the plumbing is at least cleared!

Grandma and I have decided not to put her on it again tomorrow, despite Dr Pixie’s instructions of 3 days in a row. If it were just one visit then maybe. But since Caitlin has had to go twice already today I think we will refrain from further use / dosage. I did also ask Caitlin if she had any stomach discomfort. She claims she didn’t. I hope it’s the truth and not that she is being brave.

I have 13 nieces and nephews. I can still remember seeing them wobblying their first steps, swaying to children’s music, “taking-a-knee” to see them eye to eye, using baby talk or at least simple sentences, participating in their tea parties, being asked “Is he drooling on me?” when my sister in law was carrying her sleeping boy over her shoulder.

These days, they are talking about who’s school has the hottest girls, that Shea actor guy from the Transformers and also the last Indiana Jones, plans for *university. Some are already driving too, saying “I love you” when hanging up their mobiles, paying bills.

It didn’t seem that long ago that I had wanted to see what they looked like in their first school uniforms.

It didn’t seem that long ago that I had wanted to change the channel to the X Files, resulting in my nephew running out of the room covering his ears and shouting “WAIT WAIT WAIT (till I leave the room please)!” cos he knows it’s (sometimes) a scary show. Now he speaks of his younger brother being possibly scared of The Dark Knight; possibly also being interested in the second installment of the X Files movie (though I doubt it simply cos he doesn’t know enough background of the series), and not even scared at all of the creepier Dementors from Harry Potter.

It also didn’t seem that long ago that another nephew was only starting to talk. Now doing his second year of uni, talking about investment mechanics and instruments.

It didn’t seem that long ago that I was still able to play tennis and run down a ball. I was also able to lose the weight that I was gaining simply by watching what I eat and working out more often.

These days, it’s achy joints- some due to carrying heavy loads of baby, others permanent due to wear and tear. It’s not being able to have the time to just-go to the gym at my heart’s fancy- family commitments of ferrying kids and sticking to a schedule of toddler sleep routine and baby milk feeds implies no time for self. That I am also going to be 40 in only a few years time also means that this body does not function the way it used to: Lose fat, recover quickly, damaged easily.

I also now have permanent arm rests; where some affectionately call them love handles. I do wonder why the term “handles” are used to refer to that area; only vaguely remember its application..

Oh my dear, as Caitlin would say; I am going to turn 40.

It wasn’t that long ago that I had started work for the first time. In a lot of ways I don’t think I had learned much in the way of worklife. I believe I think this way because I still think of myself as young. The downside of this has in some ways disadvantaged me in that I keep thinking to myself I have time to learn this stuff, but later; although I have slowly progressed upwards in my career and job responsibilities. Perhaps if I was more aware and alert of my age and its implications I may actually be higher up the food chain..? That, I wouldn’t know.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was just in *university. The cycle has come almost a full circle now.

Caitlin likes to watch The Little Einsteins.

In it are 4 character kids who fly (Red) Rocket that seems to have a personality of its own. Together they go on their respective episodic adventures. The whole show is based on music, using snippets of classical music such as from Mozart, Bach, etc. They use big words like allegro, and… drats, they escape me. It’s all got to do with the speed or tempo of the rhythm… Ok I’ll go Google it.

As part of its regular feature, the characters have to speed up their hand-tapping as encouragement for Rocket to fly faster, for whatever the objective was for the mission. Leo, the presumed leader of the band of kids, starts off by tapping his lap going from adagio, then tapping their tummy going faster, then shoulders going moderato, then going all the way to allegro with hands raised and legs kicking.

And Rocket extends this rocket booster thingie out of its fuselage, defying all laws of physics and conservation of mass, and the whole thing propels forward fast and doesn’t break or compromise on its structural integrity.

We were running late tonight; got home from Grandma’s and was running behind our usual night schedule after fuming at Caitlin for dilly-dallying (not) completing her homework. It’s amazing how un-urgent kids can be and find stuff to fiddle, look at and around, scratch, stretch, position their pencils on the workbook and then not do anything…

We got home, semi-rushed to make her milk- want her to be in bed early enough so as to be awake enough for school tomorrow. I was still a little mad at her, and she knows it. Yet, she STILL dilly-dally’s with drinking her milk, sipping at it only.

Then she puts down her cup and stares at the TV.

I go over, trying to look as menacing as possible. “What are you doing?? Why aren’t you (continuing) drinking your milk??”

“I wanna fly super fezz….” with those puppy eyes I know you are still mad at me look.

“Huh? What??”

Just then I hear Leo starts uttering “Come on! Wave your arms to make our ship fly faster!“, and Caitlin raises her arms still looking at me the same.

I couldn’t hide the smile creeping in.

You hear feedback that she is rude and stubborn, but while you do kinda know it’s the truth, you don’t think much of it because she thinks of you as the fave human being, and would listen to you at least. So that, if she does keep this up while she grows, at least she would still listen to you when she gets out of line and you can guide her back on track….

Something akin to a guard dog who would bark and bite anyone but would like down exposing his belly to you*, ‘cos he thinks the world of you.

* If you know dog behaviour, you know that dogs show you their belly because they “submit” to you by showing you their most vulnerable side.

…. Sorry, this is the closest analogy I can think of for now.

Anyway, over the weekend I dug out my old camera again for Caitlin to fool around. Since I haven’t been taking many pics of Caleb I thought I’d do that. So we were taking pics of him etc.

Then for some reason, Caitlin decided to do a trade. From the first day I allowed her to use the old camera I had told her that she would stick to that one, and I would be using “mine”. But that day, she insisted that we swapped. I said “no”. Like a Bugs Bunny / Daffy Duck dialog, we were going yes/no a good few times, each time she was reaching for my camera, and each time I was getting more stern.

Then she got hold of my camera’s strap, and hung on to it.

We actually got into a short tug-of-war. She actually wouldn’t budge, and was actually “fighting” with Daddee.

That was the first time Daddee had experienced first hand the defiance exhibited by Caitlin. I gotta say I am actually still feeling rather sad and disappointed with her behaviour, even after 2 days now.

I think I am because I thought I was “held higher” in her eyes, that I was her best friend, had a higher standing or status in her world. The fact that she would declare “No” to me this defiantly (of course she’s said “no” before to “smaller” things like “No, I don’t wanna go brush my teeth / can you wash away the tooth paste first”) was something that surprised and quickly disappointed me.

Perhaps she has inherited some of Hot Mummee’s characteristically fierce independence- the I don’t fear anyone nor hold anyone in that high a regard, doesn’t matter if it’s Daddee, I want means I WANT.


I know she trusts me more than she trusts her Mummee, in that she knows I have less of a temper. But to know that she was pushing it with me was quite disappointing. Maybe she already knows that she is also my fave human on earth, and that she knows the concept of spoiling, that I would (have been?) spoil her and give in…

Anyway, I didn’t, nor would I- It’s not a cheap camera!

So anyway, here are the products of the day’s “shooting”. Enjoy!

I took these three shots…

And Caitlin took this one, being the “best” of the lot!


Caitlin says:

I can emulate Daddee and repeat myself LOUDER when he says “Pardon?”, just like he does with Hot Mummee when she says “Hmm?”

I can wear my socks and shoes on my own now, most times getting the left and right right, or right and left right. Haha I made a joke.

I can make pretty good observations already. Where I was already able to identify same models of Daddee’s, Mummee’s, and uncle’s cars (I started with Grandpa’s VW bug) on the road, now I can complain to Daddee that the streetlights needn’t be left on when it’s morning already.

I can observe and remember things. I still joke about Daddee cautioning Teacher Ng to be careful of the bird poop on his car, when Teacher was leaning into his car to help release my seat belt when he was dropping me off at school. I don’t know why but the prospect of Teacher Ng accidentally rubbing the bird poop onto her clothes tickles me.

I know how to switch between Mandarin and English when I am referring to things which both names I know. Like, Daddee! The ma-yi is coming to eat the ping-guo!

I am starting to see the power of changing the subject. But darn it, Daddee seems to catch it each time I start. I will try with my grand parents then.

I still remember my two trips to Sydney and what we did, even though I was only (almost exactly) 2 years old and 3 years old at those times.

I know how to spit out the toothpaste when Daddee brushes my teeth. And spit, and spit, and spit. This drives Daddee mad as he says I am wasting the toothpaste and that there’d be nothing left to finish brushing with. I may already know how to brush myself, but I ain’t telling Daddee this! Only thing I do know how to do is brush my tongue at the end; he says it’s to get rid of the yuckies after I had my last milkies for the day.

I already know what Mummee and Daddee are up to when they start acting suspicously when they evade questions of what they wanna do after dinner, or stop short of saying what’s next after dinner, on weekends. They go out to something called the movies. They think they can change the subject and I wouldn’t notice…

Caleb says:

I can roll over, and over, and over, till I fall off the bed!

I can grab things already, though not very securely. However, I do like grabbing my carrier’s hair, and I like hearing them shriek when I do.

I still like smacking the bottle silly, now not just with Daddee. And now also with much gusto since I am stronger.

Since I am stronger, my cries are louder too. That usually gets the adults to stop stuffing the teat in my mouth. I am full and sleepy, get it? Just get me back into bed or I will continue bullying you with my cries and wriggling, and leave you to clean up the milky mess of missing my mouth HAHAHAHAHA!

I look at everything. I look in the direction we are about to go (when I am being carried), even before the first step is taken.

I look by usually turning my head, but sometimes, I just look by shifting my eyes. Daddee thinks I am too young to have an attitude…

I look with my mouth agape…

PS: I have created a new category for these Milestones… Daddee

So he’s coming up to 6 months old already. He can prop himself up temporarily and hold his head up, looking for whatever caught his eye earlier, or looking for something to look at.

He’s only been able to roll from his back to his front.

Or so we thought.

Last Friday night, at 7pm, we were in a rush to pack our stuff readying for a dinner appointment and the weekend away at my parents’. We left Caleb in the middle of the double bed in our spare bedroom, as usual, surrounding him with pillows to “box” him in. This was done many times before, when we need to change him and while fetching the talcum powder, new diapers, etc.

Caitlin was also “busy”, walking around acting like she was also looking for stuff to pack. In our haste, we left Caleb in the room whilst we walked out to put/fetch more things, in different directions.

I am usually conscious of where people (and most things) are in the apartment at most times. It’s just my secret wish to be like Jason Bourne- to be aware of potential hazards now that we have potentially hazardous-to-self kids. So I knew where Caitlin kinda was, and I also knew Caleb was on the bed.

But I didn’t prepare for nor think about his growing abilities.

Just as I paced outside the bedroom door either with something in my hand or looking for something else, I heard a thud. I already knew what it was- there was no one else in there but Caleb.

As I almost-ran already expecting to find Caleb on the floor, he was already on his back, looking up looking very stunned, and started bawling one of the loudest bawls. I knew the thud was his left hand hitting an empty cardboard box beside the bed. Slowly swiftly I picked him up, knowing the “damage” was his head but checked his left hand first for abrasions / paper cuts. Nothing. Then I gently touched his head and the swelling had started, which quickly later became a ring-bruise.

I can only imagine that he somehow rolled on top of the pillow, and rolled off the edge of the knee-height bed face first, and turned on the way down to land on his back / the back of his head, hitting his hand on the box, ending up the way I found him.

As soon as Caitlin found out, she quickly realised the extent of the accident, and started exclaiming “Why did baby fall down why did baby fall down!?” with each sentence the tears welling in her eyes. I was walking around as I comforted Caleb. Caitlin was following me around making these exclamations, demanding answers to how her little brother got hurt, herself crying quite badly at the end.

Caleb cried for a long time. Even though he was conscious and fidgeting during the cry / from the fright, I was still very scared. Even though it wasn’t a concussion (at least I thought at the time) I had heard of internal damage from such a fall.

I started watching him for signs of nausea. I had heard this was what to look out for. After quickly speaking to Dr Pixie, she sternly corrected me that nausea would already be too late. Instead, we should watch to see if he behaves out of the ordinary: If he’s too noisy, too quiet, too fidgety, too calm; anything that’s not his usual behaviour.

That’s what we did in the following hours. And somewhat gladly, he behaved predictably, albeit slightly teary from the presumably sore bump.

For peace of mind, we visited Dr Pixie the following morning. He was his usual self- responding to my tongue-clucking, looking around at his surroundings wherever he went. Since it was already over 12 hours since the fall, and going by his body language, Dr Pixie gave her assurance that he’s fine.

Dr Pixie then followed up with a call. Since he had hit the back of his head where the brain processes visual signals, asked that we do an eye test on Caleb, by alternately covering his eyes and getting him to track a movement (eg, moving the finger).

He was able to.

Did I feel like shit? Yes.

Did I “fail” in ensuring safety for my kids, even a simple one like this? Yes.

Could I have acted differently? Yes. I could have called Hot Mummee, and Dr Pixie a lot earlier, to learn what to look out for.

We were lucky. Very lucky.