Given A’s “cry baby” nature, I had to convince S to let me bring A along to our annual family trip to Hong Kong. S is worried that he will cry his lungs out on the flights and hence cause attract unnecessary stares from other passengers. I told him that yes, he may cry but it’s also a good chance to train him to be more sociable and get used to strangers. So I promised to train him before the trip so that he’s used to large crowds and not be so “cowardy” in terms of “stranger anxiety”.
The daily trips downstairs proved to work. I guess the constant exposure made him more comfortable of “non-threatening” strangers and now he merely stares at them instead letting it all out by crying. Mind you, his cries can be deafening and you wouldn’t want to be near him when that happens.
So he behaved well during the flights and all I can say is that I’m just so glad that it worked out fine. The only thing was that, with two babies in tow, I didn’t get to go to my usual shopping pilgrimage hunts at all. But well, all was worth it when I saw the smiles on both L’s and A’s faces at Disneyland. I can see that the kiddos and the oldies (my in-laws were on the trip too) were happy during the trip. That’s what matters most.
We went for our annual retreat at Capella Singapore to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I was a bit nervous cos L seems to fall sick every time she stays away from home. True enough, on the last day of our stay, she threw up at breakfast. S brought her back to the villa for change of clothes. All our plans prior to late check out need to be cancelled. We brought her to her pd immediately and got some hydrating liquid for her. After monitoring her for a few days, we are just glad that she’s fine. The vomiting was probably due to lying down to sleep immediately after drinking some considerable amounts of water.
A week later, we went with my in-laws for our annual Hong Kong trip and I was looking forward to it since it’s been four months since I travelled. I have to keep telling myself to take it easy since I was in my fifth month of pregnancy and I had to look after L as well even though I brought my helper along on the trip. The trip went fine and S joined us the day after cos of his work. I managed to squeeze in a bit of shopping which never fails to make me temporarily happy.
On the flight back, L was super cranky and fussy cos she missed her nap-time. I was entertaining her throughout the 4-hour flight and was deadbeat by the time we arrived in Singapore. Once again, the day after our arrival, she fell ill. This time, she probably caught the virus from my MIL who was feeling under the weather during the trip. We finally nursed her back to health before nursery starts but S and I fell ill one after another thereafter. L caught it from us again as soon as I got a tad better. And the cycle went one more round as if it’s a merry-go-round. Sigh…
S broached the topic again about moving in to stay with his parents. What triggered this conversation was when my mil fell ill for a few days and no one was around to take her to see a doctor. Only fil and bil and helper were staying with her. Fil was travelling that period and Bil was out. Helper had to call my sil to bring mil to see a doctor. I guess S felt really guilty about not being around. This coupled with L’s impending Primary One registration change of rule got him thinking about moving in together. With the new rule, we have to move to the new house ideally within 1km of the preferred primary school 30 months before registration. This will give us only two more years to plan and move since L is coming to two years old.
My stand on staying with in laws has always been stay near but not under the same roof to avoid conflicts. This way we can extend help to each other when needed and yet still have our own privacy. I spent quite a number of years staying on my own and I’ve been very used to my own habits. I’m also OCD about so many things and these idiosyncrasies of mine will definitely cause argument. I know myself too well and I’m apprehensive about living together with my in-laws. Even my mother agrees to that. I think even if I move back to my own family; it’ll be difficult for both parties to adjust and adapt.
S reminded me that I agreed to stay together with his parents before we got married. I somehow very vaguely remember. His points of argument revolve around filial piety, not many more years left to look after them, my promise to him prior to marriage etc. All his points are valid and I agree with him. My main concern is the potential disagreements in terms of personality differences, living habits, disciplining L etc that will sandwich S between his parents and I. All these will cause us to drift apart and potentially affect our marriage. However, S said that it has already shaken his trust in me. He even said that if he’d known about my reaction now, he’d have reconsidered his decision to marry me. Even more hurting was when he said that in the worst scenario, he would choose to take care of his parents and take L along with him. After some thinking, I’ve decided to save the marriage by backing down, biting the bullet and giving it a go to staying together. Hope it turns out well; wish me luck.
L used to be very well-behaved during flights but on this recent HK trip (she’s around 18 months old), she was a little out of control. She was fidgety and refused to sleep. Even the Elmo channel on TV didn’t work its magic. Both S and I took turns to look after her and after the flight; we were both dead-beat.
Not sure what the reason was but S and I argued everyday during this extended HK trip. From stopping me to take my handbag out, to the best way to warm up L’s food – we have our differences and we were sure to let each other (and the rest of the family members) heard. Our tolerance for each other reached pit bottom. The saving grace was that we made up rather quickly. But the constant squabbles really dampened our spirits quite a bit.
Overly doting grandparents can also be a source of argument. Let’s face it; our grandparents have a different approach to bringing up kids. My FIL dotes on L and tends to buy whatever that L fancies. Like on this trip, we deliberately did not bring the stroller, as HK streets are not exactly stroller-friendly. We brought the front carrier instead so that it’s easier to be on the go quickly. Then FIL felt it’s not good for L as she’ll walk with her legs wide apart in future since L’s legs are spread one side each when she’s seated in the carrier. He even corrected the way we carried L cos of the same reason. When his arms got tired of carrying L, he bought a light-weight stroller in HK. We had to lift the stroller when going on escalator or keep looking for lifts so that it’s easier for the stroller. I refrained from saying anything out of respect.
And my MIL is very fond of checking if L is feeling hot or cold or if she’s has enough to eat or eating too much. Those comments made us feel as if we were always doing something wrong. Oh well, I always remind myself that they mean well. They really do, it may just be that their way of expression is different. And as S says, his parents are only there to play with L and dote on her. As for looking after her per se (e.g. during the flight when she’s ultra cranky), they’ve done their dues and it’s totally our responsibility now.