Co-sleep? More like no-sleep. 

You never really fully appreciate the extent of your toddler’s in-sleep acrobatics until you get the joy of sharing a bed with them.

Don’t get me wrong – I have absolutely nothing against co-sleeping. I’ve just come to terms with the fact that for all my pro-breastfeeding, pro-babywearing tendencies, I simply can’t do it. I’ve tried. And speaking truthfully, my daughter coerces me into it from time to time because she has very cleverly figured out that I value a {below-par} night’s sleep above the desire to {be awake at 4am and} teach her to consistently sleep in her own bed.

Maybe I just don’t like intermittently getting kicked in the face as much as the next guy. Sure, it keeps you on your toes and sharpens your ”unagi” (à la Ross from that episode of Friends), but getting a soft little squishy foot with quite a lot of force behind it, in your eye more than once a night, doesn’t allow for the most restful sleep. Continue reading

Confessions of a reformed helicopter parent

Today it really hit me that my baby girl is no longer, a baby.

Glimmerings of this suggestion have flitted across my mind over the past couple of months, but today, it was a full-blown, feel-like-you’ve-been-hit-by-a-bus, Oprah-aha-moment, realisation.

Recently, I’ve been consciously trying to quash what I have accepted are my helicopter-parenting tendencies. You don’t even realise you’re doing it sometimes. Hovering close by no matter what your child is doing, ready to catch them if they slightly lose their balance, ready to defend their little toddler rights from other toddlers who may remotely upset them, trying to get them to do what you think they’d enjoy. I’m not trying to be self-deprecating; we all know it’s out of love and the instinctive need to protect our little people.

But the last couple of days have taught me just how beautiful those moments are when you give your child space and allow them to show you what an independent and confident little one they have become. Continue reading

Debunking common myths about flying with a small child

Ah, travel. How my perspective of you has changed over the last few years.

There were those exciting trips to unknown and faraway places as a student; then there were the long-haul flights to visit my parents once a year; then there was that year or so during my job before Tuna was born where I started spending more time in planes than in any other mode of transport.

I have a confession to make. At that particular stage, I was 100%, through-and-through, one of those awful irritable passengers that saw a family travelling with anyone under the age of 12 as a threat to my in-flight serenity. Heaven forbid your child (a) sits behind me and kicks my seat mercilessly and/or seems to constantly have his/her tiny little hands rummaging through the back pocket; (b) makes a single noise that disturbs my in-flight entertainment zen, or worse, screams and is inconsolable (“are you going to do something?! Kids don’t cry for no reason, you know!“); or (c) generally does not behave. Like an adult, that is. Because that’s what cranky passengers like ex-me seem to expect. Continue reading

5 ways a sick toddler puts life into perspective

We were hit with the trifecta this weekend: sick daddy, sick Tuna and…”The Haze”.

The last of these, while sounding more like a cheesy horror/sorority movie, is an actual thing with which those of us living in Singapore have become all too familiar. Essentially, the air outside becomes horrible to breathe due to forest fires in Indonesia and the winds that very kindly blow them our way. You’ll recognise the more paranoid amongst us as we constantly refresh the same trusty website on our smartphones – “how high are the PM2.5 levels now?!” So what ends up happening is we all stay indoors, cooped up, with our air conditioners and purifiers on maximum levels.

That sounds like exactly how toddlers, and their respective parents, would probably love to spend their weekends! I hear you saying. Yep. No really. It’s a dream. The minute you hear whisperings of “The Haze is back…” you genuinely start to fear for your and your child(ren)’s sanity because all usually viable options for getting energy out, and keeping cabin fever at bay, are limited, nay, destroyed. Continue reading

When it can’t be ignored anymore.

I have started, and then not finished, this post a hundred times over the past week.

And here I am, starting from scratch – again.

Truthfully, it’s something I’m having difficulty coming to terms with myself. You’ve all heard about it – it’s been all over the news – we’ve all seen the painfully heartbreaking images of small children and their lifeless bodies washed ashore.

The thing is – the Syrian civil war isn’t “news” to me by any means. I wish that I could say that all this time I’ve been actively involved in trying to find practical ways of helping and being of service from a distance; that the tragedies we now regularly see unfolding in Syria, and in several other countries where innocent lives are ruthlessly and abruptly destroyed or ended, impelled me to urgent action a while back; that I find it difficult to sleep at night when I think about the sometimes terrifying world in which I am trying to raise my child.

But somehow, it is easier to do – nothing. To try to think – nothing. To feel – nothing. Continue reading

A tribute to a daddy

{If you know A, you’ll also know that he is going to be less than thrilled with the attention from this post. But it’s something that needs to be said. Plus, it’s his birthday tomorrow and Father’s Day on Sunday so really, this post couldn’t be more timely.}

After the birth of a child, so much of the attention goes straight to the mother. And understandably so. However, with 18-months’ hindsight, one of the truths I’ve really come to believe is that fathers often don’t get enough acknowledgement that they too have gone through an enormous life change. They transform from husbands to fathers, and this transformation is sometimes totally underestimated. They too are wandering into completely unknown territory, and a lot of what they go through perhaps feels like it is not seen. And we, as mothers (well, I can only speak for myself) sometimes expect them to read our minds and just figure it out already!

That’s certainly how I feel it went for us. Continue reading