lundi, mars 12, 2007

My Baby Girl


Inspired by my dear friend K's (of Bibou Thru The Years fame) posting on her little girl and what a character the child is etc, I've decided to copycat and come up with one for my Baby Girl too. Though mine would be more of a recap.

Much Wanted Little Beanie

When I think about it, both my sons were accidents. But Baby Girl was much planned and awaited for. I went off the pill expecting to get pregnant quickly and it took me 9 long months before I finally conceived. And even then, I miscarried within 4 weeks and was told by my Gynaecologist to wait at least 3 months before trying again. Well, as usual, I did not listen to instructions and got myself pregnant again less than 3 weeks after the incident. It was therefore with much joy (and relief) that I watched the little beanie on the screen during my first ultra sound for Baby Girl.

Hamburger

I was lucky to have smooth pregnancies. In fact I was unusually happy and contented during those months. I even had the great idea to follow Hubby on the boat when he went diving in Bali, vomitting my heart out each time. And I had the fear of my life on the last ride where we had such a crazy sea and the boat literally flew up and down on the waves. I was shaken pretty violently and thought that I would lose the baby.

I went for an ultra sound at Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore and the doctor, reading the scans, announced, "Hamburger". That was his way of telling us that the baby was female :-).

Hubby was ecstatic as he really wanted a little girl. He sat down next to a row of books on Baby Names in MPH and flipped through a few of them. Them he snapped shut the one he was reading and said, "Théa". That was how Baby Girl got her name.

Little Head

But in Spain, they started frightening me with diagnostics of Baby Girl having a small head. Well, her head must not be that small since the Sage-Femme in Paris still had to snip me open in order to let the little head out.

Grenouille (Frog)

We nicknamed her Grenouille when she was in the womb. Those who have received our faire-part at her birth may remember the picture of 2 frogs (drawn by MIL) on the card. She was pretty active in the womb, always moving and kicking. She still is, now that she's out in the open.

Tétoune

Tétoune, Tété, Théa...this child I have breastfed the longest. First for 15 months after her birth and then till she's 3 together with her little brother. Oftentimes I would have 2 babies at the breast. You know why we have a pair of them.

Now and then, you would find her looking at my boobs with lots of nostalgie. With Baby Boy, she had an amazing reflex to suck immediately after being born into the world. And she has since replaced sucking with eating and boy, can she eat.

Fat Cow

The other day, her fiancé (kid of the Crèpe-fame Le Clercqs) in school offered her a candy and she actually refused it, saying quite sadly that she had a fat bum (like her mother) and must eat less candy. She does have quite a bum and should watch out if she doesn't want to start having custom-made pants at the age of 4.

Also, I do not know about other little girls, but this one whinges and whines almost all the time. No, in fact, she whinges and whines only when she's with me (and her dad when he's around). Very often, you'll hear me say, the minute she opens her mouth, "Shut up and stop mooing, you're not a cow!" Seriously, she has this tendancy to go "Ngggg..." whenever she's unhappy with you and that's nerve-wrecking. The house is a real farm.

K wrote that her Bibou's teachers described the girl as a "character" and that that confirmed the parents' own observations.

Well, Baby Girl's teachers told us that she's very shy, reserved, sweet, gentle etc and sang praises of her to the stars. She even got nothing but 'A's in her report card.

You should see her at home. Quite a different person. Bossy, fussy, loud, tomboyish and always up to no good. She knows what she wants and will tell you about it whether you want to know about it or not. She wants to do everything on her own e.g. choose her own clothes, dress up etc and would whine you to death if you should fail to respect that. Though she still refuses to clean her own backside after she has done her big business. All those kids have a thing about leaving me to deal with their mess.

And she can be pretty violent with her little brother. He occasionally sports scratches, bites, bloody nose and bruises courtesy of his older sister.

Little Cat

"Meow...Me I'm Little Cat and you are Mama Cat. Meow..." Don't ask me why, but that's Baby Girl's other identity one-third of the time. She goes about meowing and her Baby Brother is a Little Dog. Me, I'm not into domestic pets, but somehow ended up with two. If you consider that Eldest Son is quite the pig, then I have 3.

School Mistress

The other third of the time she's the school mistress. I'm often tempted to ask her teacher if the good lady spends her time screaming and scolding like my daughter does when she's the school mistress. The person victim of all her scolding and instructions ("Come do your homework! Go and pee in the toilet! Do not touch that!") is of course none other (who else) than her younger brother.

I'm Beautiful

It is my fault, I guess, that I tell my kids every hour that they are sooo beautiful. They really believe in it now. And would occasionally (i.e. at least 3 times a day) seek confirmation with me on the subject. It is fortunate that thus far, I have no need to lie. Hopefully God will be kind and keep things as they are.

Mama, do you love me?

I am pretty limited in what I say to my kids. I belong to those people who dislike talking to children. But if I never say anything else to them, I'll always tell them that I love them. And whenever they see me (and I'm a little slow in pronouncing my usual discours), they'll ask me, "Mama, do you love me?".

Bisous de cinéma

I don't recall my parents ever kissing us. We are affectionate in a distant sort of way, but not physically close. I have therefore made it a point to change this with my own kids. I kiss them all the time. And they reciprocate. Théa loves to kiss. She pouts her lips and then she smooches. And she likes to kiss me on the mouth, like in Hollywood films.

Princess

She has it in her mind that she is a Princess or will be one (depending on the moment). She would often start her sentence with, "When I become a Princess, I am going to (do this, or buy that, or have this)..." My allocated role in helping her fulfil this in the short term is to buy her 1) a Princess dress 2) a Princess tiara 3) a Princess-like mosquito net to cover her bed. I've negotiated to do that only when we've moved to Italy.

Diva

Needless to say, she sings. In tune and with almost all of the lyrics. Mostly in French though. As I've been too lazy to teach her the ones in English (or I did when she couldn't talk and she has since forgotten them). When she sits in the car, she would go, "Mama chérie, could you please put on my music?" And then she'll sing along with the CD. Occasionally, she would also break out in song, inventing her own lyrics.

Father's Girl

She made her way to her father's heart as planned. For her he would return home early enough to bathe her himself (no such priviledge for the boys) when she was a baby. He would carry her, sleep with her, and he is always much more patient and indulgent with her whims and demands. He taught her to swim, he marveled at her intelligence and he tells her all the time that she is beautiful and that he loves her so much. A real Papa's girl.

I could go on and on, but should stop somewhere. Or the others would be jealous.

PS : Photos taken at the Studio Loft in Singapore last year.

7 commentaires:

Dutchess a dit…

What a lovely piece about your Baby Girl. It's got me thinking about my son too....

umami a dit…

she really is very beautiful, and quite a character.

my daughter learnt to kiss from the dogs, now when we ask for a kiss she sticks out her tongue in readiness to give the lucky recipient a big wet lick! she can do flying kisses and smooching sounds, but cheek kisses, they're very wet!

Beau Lotus a dit…

You should all do one on your kids. I have no courage to keep a diary about anything and I realise that my memory is not as good as I thought it to be. So I've decided to write a little about my children here and there to help me remember.

One certainly must not be fussy about saliva if one has loving and demonstrative children :-).

le radical galoisien a dit…

I'm just really curious about the primary languages thing. I really have a fun time imagining what the original dialogue was. To me, children speaking French is just so incredibly mignon. :p

I see you return to Singapore ever so often. How does she regard Singapore? Too young to realise cultural issues, I suppose ... all the better, ah, to be in K2 and colour-blind again ...

I suppose your generation keeping blogs will make it really funny when the next generation grows up and reads yours. ;-)

(I fear my ancestral generations might go before they have a chance to give me their recipes. If only they kept blogs ... )

Beau Lotus a dit…

Singapore to her = fishballs and swimming pools.

BTW, just because you are not aware that your mom has a blog doesn't mean that she hasn't any. Maybe she even has a diary.

Do you like her cooking? Then why don't you just ask her for her recipes and publish them in your blog yourself?

le radical galoisien a dit…

Ah, but my family doesn't keep written recipes ... they're the ones that get passed by oral tradition from generation to generation. I'm afraid they're not so much the how-many-servings type as one mainly based on, "nah, I show you!". So someone has to sit down and write them out ...

My mother writes a lot of correspondence, and she asks me to proofread things (when she studied at USM I would have to double-check her political papers). I don't think she keeps a blog, though, though it would be nice if she did ...

It's very hard to persuade your elders to keep blogs: I try to keep to persuade my teachers to do it, even my senior classmates. I see my classmates in Singapore organising class blogs, sharing homework, test results, exam reviews and blogs. My American peers don't seem to write anything beyond myspace and livejournal.

The French V blog is something I am hopeful about and perhaps might change things ...

My mother's side is Hainanese; my grandfather served as a colonial cook I had French-style breakfasts (long bread and all) at my grandparents' house when I was younger and I didn't even know. It only occured to me when the French club started hosting these things, and I started thinking, "geez, this isn't much different from the breakfasts my grandfather used to prepare..." I realised that there were many things I had taken for granted about my grandparents.

My grandfather came off a boat from Hainan: he spoke no Mandarin, only Min Nan. Yet he's able to speak Malay and Cantonese from his former work as a police officer, and Malay is a language I am interested in. I cannot converse with him, and I could not even if I spoke Mandarin. I usually needed my mother functioning as translator when I was at his house.

Yet, there are some things that can be expressed without words: I remember once I cried at the age of 5 at their house because my parents hadn't yet come to pick me up (they were making the arrangements for moving to the US), and it was getting late.

I ran all over the flat, but my grandfather took me in his arms and soothed me, singing something that from retrospect I now think was his Hainanese/Min-Nan dialect. I softly asked questions in English. We didn't even speak the same language, and yet we understood ...

Now my grandfather is nearly 100 ... he's the person I most urgently wish who would write his memoirs on paper, somewhere. That way, one day, when I relearn Chinese, and learn Min-Nan, Cantonese and Malay, I will be able to read them ...

Beau Lotus a dit…

Sorry, what is USM?

She's lucky to have you to proofread her papers, when I was writing my political papers, I could only count on myself. Just as well since not everybody would be able to understand my mutterings.

As for your grandfather, I think you're too optimistic to expect him to write down whatever. If you really want his memoirs, invest in a mini voice recorder and get him to start talking instead. Especially encourage him on the recipes (:-)). You can get the min-nan or cantonese translated later on. The latter I am pretty good in.

When I was a kid, I spoke Hainan - enough to get my Hainanese neighbour to feed me from time to time anyway. Can't remember a single word now, of course.