Saturday, 23 May 2009

It will change your life!

The time is nearly finish for my friend. We were sitting down having lunch when she mentioned casually that she and her husband were thinking to "Start a family" What she meant was that her biological clock is tickling, and she's been force to consider the possibility to become a mother.

"We're having a survey," she said partly joking. "In your opinion, should i have a baby?"
"It will change your life," i said carefully, keeping my tone as normal as i can.
"I know," she said. "There won't be any relaxing on weekend, there won't be a spontaneous holiday..."
But that was not what i meant at all. I looked at her, considering what will i say to her.

I wanted her to know what she may never learn in any lecture about giving birth a baby.
I wanted to tell her the physical wound caused by labor will be heal, but being a mother will make her have a bad emotional wound so that she will have a sensitive heart forever.

I thought to remind her that she will never read the newspaper again without asking "What if that happen to my child?" That every air crash, every fire will haunt her. That when she look at picture of hunger child, she will start wondering is there anything worse rather than to see her child dying.

I stared at her fingernail that has been well taken care of, her stylish dress, and i thought that no matter how sophisticated she is, being a mom will change her to the primitive extend just like a bear protecting its baby.
An urgent call "Momma...!" will caused her drop the pancake or the most divine and expensive crystal at once.

I felt that i have to remind her, no matter how many years she spent to built her career, she will slip professionally into a role of a mother. Perhaps she have someone to take care her baby, but one day when she has to attend an important business meeting, she will remember the sweet smell of her baby. She has to exploit every of her discipline strength to avoid herself running back home, just to check whether her baby is alright or not.

I wanted my best friend to realize that daily decisions won't be as routine as usual anymore. That when her 5 years old boy prefer to go to men's toilet instead of women's at McDonald, it will become a huge dilemma. There, in the middle of clinking and tinkling sound of tray and children' scream, a matter of being independent and gender distinction have to be consider against the possibility that a pedophilia maybe hiding inside the toilet. No matter how assertive she is at the office, she will live in uncertainty world as a mother.

Looking back at my dear beautiful friend, i wanted to make sure to her that in the end she will be free from pregnancy's burden, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, that now is so important, will become less valuable to her as soon as she has a child. That she will be ready to give up her life one day for the sake of saving her generation, on the other hand start to hope to live longer - not to fulfill her own dreams, but to witness her child to fulfill his/her dreams. I wanted to tell her that the cesarean mark and other shining scratched will become badges of honor.

The relationship between my friend and her husband will be change, but not in a way that she may think. I hope she understand that she will love more and more a man that able to bath and change diaper of their baby, or never hesitate to play happily with their son/daughter. I thought that she has to know that she will fall in love again with her husband for unromantic reasons that now she may feel.

I hoped my friend can feel the boundary that she will feel together with women all along history whose incessantly try to stop the war and prejudice, also prevent the people to drink and drive. I wish that she will understand how come i can think rationally about matters, but sometimes become frantic when discussing nuclear war threat toward my children' future.

I wanted to describe her the joy of watching my children learn to play baseball. I wanted her to feel the crisp laugh of a baby touching a soft dog's hair for the first time. I wanted her to feel the true happiness.

My friend's gaze revive me for the tears stemmed up in my eyes. "You will never regret it!" finally i said to her. Then i reach across the table, clutch my friend's hand, and ask her to pray to her, to me, and to all women that slip from her way to this holy convocation.

*adopted from: "Chicken soup for the Woman's Soul"

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Saturday, 16 May 2009

Handling Cold, Cough, Fever & Flu

It's not the first time that Belle having a cold & fever. In fact, this probably the 6th time in her life. Nevertheless it still made me sad to see her suffer, hear her cry, waking up several times from sleep at night perhaps feeling uncomfortable of her itchy throat.

But I tried to remain calm and do whatever i can to ease her pain. I've did some research from books, internet and join a parenting mailing list. Most of the info said that cold/flu are common for children and no medication are needed as long as we are sure that the child is having a flu, not other type of flu (such as Hongkong Flu, Singaporean Flu a.k.a HFM, or the latest one swine flu) then home treatment would be sufficient. There are some reasons also why we shouldn't give any antibiotic nor any medicine, especially to babies. In simple explanation, because Flu/cold caused by virus not bacteria, while antibiotic only kill bacteria and excessive use of antibiotic can also kill useful bacteria in our body.

I experienced it myself. Last time Belle got flu, because we were so panic so we brought her to doctor. I told the doctor that i don't want him to give my baby (that time she was only 6 mths old) antibiotic. So he gave her 3 kinds of medicine: 1. Vitamin to keep up her stamina; 2. To cure her cough; 3. For allergy or runny nose. So we went home with those pills and guess what happen that night...?? Belle behaved 'abnormal', she couldn't sleep (not because of the cough or pain because she looks sleepy and drowsy), she keep pulling her ear, shaking her head and became hyperactive though her eyes remain shut. Of course i was panic, i tried to find out about the prescription through and the result was quite shocking. One of the medicine (i better not mention the name) could caused heart and kidney attact, imagine if this could harm an adult body, moreover to babies. I stop all the medicine right away and from that time i start to be more careful to give anything to my baby. I became more aware, active in mailing list and re-read all the articles + books about common problems in pediatric.

Below are a summary of all the information i gathered about Cold, Flu and Fever:


Viral infection is known as the main caused. Normally it will occur for as long as 5 days (between 3-14 days), depends on the person's stamina and depends whether the child live with other children (older ones at school age). If so, he/she will be more potential to get caught of flu.

There is no specific medicine to improve one's stamina. The child's stamina against the flu virus will be improve itself in accordance with time.

Some Tips and Trick in doing Home Treatment:

- Encourage your child to drink a lot of water, little bit at a time but often
- To avoid the mucus getting thicker and block the child breath, give the child solution of sterilized salt as nose drop. This won't caused any side effect.
- warm water vaporizer also can help if child start having difficulty breathing
- If child cannot sleep at night because the nose has been blocked, give nose drop to ommit the swelling inside the nose (Breathy)
- Maintain a Humid environment and avoid dry one like room with air conditioning. If possible, put one bucket fill with boiled water after the child fall asleep.
- You can give Paracetamol – if the baby/child look very uncomfortable or having high fever (>38.5)
- On the other hand, we often mixed up between allergy and flu. The case for allery, child will also have runny nose but without any fever.

There are so many myths in handling cold and flu in babies or toddler. There are also some methods that cannot be implemented anymore due to new findings/research on the dangerous, one of them that i could remember is not to compress your fever baby with cold/ice water. Some people even put alcohol. Don't ever use this treatment anymore as this could harm your baby. WHY? Because the body temperature will drop too quickly.

Some parents also afraid to bath their children when having cold and fever. In fact, it is recommended to give your baby a bath, but make sure the water is luke warm to warm. (Again, never bath with cold water, shivering could worsen the fever, not help to reduce it) Also you can add some oil such as eucalyptus when the bath nearly finish. the aroma steam could help to release the block nose.

Last but not least, keep in mind that having a cold and fever doesn't mean that your child is having a weak immune system. Actually, a healthy child can easily become infected with one of at least 200 different viruses that cause the common cold. Moreover, never overreact when your baby having a fever. A Fever is normally a sign that your (or your child) body is fighting the infection. In other word, it mean that his/his immune system is working well.

- wash hand regularly (before eating, during playing, at all times)
- Avoid any contact with any child/adult having flu
- Keep all area in the house clean (bath room, kitchen, play area, etc)

When do we have to visit doctor?
- Persistent cough, fever > 72 hours
- If child having asphyxia, starting to choke, nail and lips look pale and blue
- Child becoming unsettle, cry a lot or sleep a lot (very hard to wake up)

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Friday, 15 May 2009

Belle 1st Walk

Belle 1st step were actually happened sometime before she turned 1. But those were only 2 steps before she stop and crawl again. Later when she felt like walking, she would grab anyone finger and get the person to walk together with her (in her direction)

I have to admit that i've been desperately waiting for her to walk smoothly for ages, my mom and sis used to say that Belle will walk early, perhaps they did predict it because she was able to stand by herself (by holding the edge of her cot to support her body) since she was only 8.5 months old. Then she began little sidewalk (holding my knee, sofa chair or the wall) when she was about 9 months old. Therefore, we never expect that it would be this 'late' for her to start walking.

However, all of us also notice that Belle's ability to talk is way ahead compare to child on her age. Referring to a book (and other internet survey) about child's development, 1 year old baby normally can say up to 10 words. Before she was even 11 months old, Belle have quite a lot words in her vocabulary and she could say them clearly. Many times i've heard that for some children they will talk first then walk or vice versa. I think Belle is the one who can talk first before she's able to walk.

Yesterday, one of our friend came to visit with her 2 children (age 9 and 6). They love to play with Belle, especially the little sister. Belle was always curios with older children and she tried so hard to copy them. So, while they were playing themselves, Belle get the little girl to hold her hand and follow them everywhere. Then slowly, she began to release the fingers and walk by herself until (i suspect that) she didn't realise that she walk and walk and walk from here to there. My friend teased me that perhaps Belle was only have a 'show time' so we better wait until they go back home. So, a little bit worry i waited. But, she just kept walking and walking (not even once she fell down). Then i felt so relief and inform Belle's daddy and the family in Jakarta about this good news

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Sunday, 10 May 2009

What is your parenting style?

I think our parenting style is a combination with "Do whatever you want" and a little bit of "A No means a No" (trying hard to achieve the last mentioned strictly but still difficult as when we saw Belle's puppy eyes begging then our heart melt)
So.. what is your parenting style??

Your parenting style is likely to impact the way your child grows up. Being responsive to your children, and at the same time, setting clear rules and limits, is crucial for you as a parent. Based on this, four main styles of parenting have been identified:

* "Just do it or else" – Some parents adopt a highly authoritarian, dictatorial style. They expect children to obey orders without questioning. Rules are well defined in such households and breaking them usually invites punishment. Such a system is typical of societies where little change is expected and deviance from normal behavior can be costly such as a rural or agrarian society.

* "A no means a no" – Some parents are firm, assertive, and authoritative without being authoritarian. They set clear rules, and are firm about discipline without using harsh punishment. Children in such homes are expected to be socially responsible.

* "Do anything you want" – Parents with this style believe in the permissive or indulgent approach. They do not demand responsible behavior and avoid confrontation with their children. Several parents in the 50s and 60s adopted this style.

*"I don't care what you do" – Few parents remain uninvolved in their children's lives, which in few cases, borders on neglect.

Typically, most parents are variations or combinations of the above four styles.

There is no “right” or “wrong” parenting style though we all have prejudices on what we think works best based on our own experience and values. Research, however, has shown the effects of various parenting styles on children:

* Children that have grown up in authoritarian settings, tend to show average performance in school but lack spontaneity, effective social skills, and self-confidence.

* Children who are brought up by authoritative parents, grow up to become more responsible. They easily adjust to situations that demand cooperation.

* Children with permissive parents tend to be more creative but some research indicates they may develop behavioral problems as they grow up because they do not accept responsibility.

* Children with uninvolved parents perform poorly at school


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