Category Archives: Max

I Wish I Could Read His Mind

It’s been awhile since I’ve sat down to write something. Max has been testing the limits of my patience on a daily basis. One could argue that its the terrible 2s/3s, on the other hand people have been saying its middle child syndrome. Whatever it is, its tiring. I wake up in the morning with all good intentions to try and be patient and understanding with him. By the 5th time he has thrown a tantrum, all good intentions have flown out the window. He is being openly defiant and at times, rude. Nap and bedtimes have become a battle as well. I really wish he could express his feelings , or better yet, if I could read his mind. I know he wants to spend time with me and I’m trying, even for a couple of minutes each day. Our bedtime routine hasn’t changed, I have held firm with that. He fights his sleep nearly every night even though he is so tired. I’m more worried that he’s not getting enough sleep than anything else.

On days where he is once again my sweet little boy, we have a great time together. Other days I feel like he has morphed into this little monster whom I have no idea how to deal with. I thought it was just me but even my mom has commented that she finds him difficult to deal with at times. And that’s saying a lot cos grandma is a lot more patient than I am.

When I’ve had a particularly bad day with Max, I’m racked with mommy guilt. I feel bad that I’ve yelled at him, that I haven’t spent enough time with him..etc. I hope he knows I’m trying my very best.

Max with his new hair cut, wearing a Mama made shirt

 

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Meal Time Survival 101

I had this whole meal thing down pat, taking Ally and Max out to lunch on my own was second nature by now. Most days I could get all 3 of us fed without much drama. Then we had Luke and suddenly meal times became complicated affairs.

Taking 3 young children out for lunch on your own is a feat in itself. First location is very important, hawker centers are out of the question cos a) the pram doesn’t fit at any of the tables,  b) either one or both children are slipping off those little round seats since they have to perch on them to reach the table and c) poor Luke will be melting in his pram by the time we are done eating.

So that leaves us with food courts or restaurants. When one is at a food court, it’s all about location. You need to find a table that close enough to the stalls you are buying from so that you can keep an eye on the kids. This can be tricky if one child wants to eat something at this end of the food court and the other child wants something at the other end. What does one do? You either tell the kids to choose food from stalls in the vicinity or you take all the troops with you to one stall, buy the food, walk them to the other end , find a table and get everyone settled while you buy food for second child. By this time you probably look harassed and overwhelmed and hopefully some kind soul will help you carry your tray.

Even the type of food that you have to buy can pose a problem. Suppose you need to buy something from this end and walk over with kids in tow to the other. Now , if its a rice dish that isn’t too bad, but what if its a bowl of steaming hot noodles? Do you attempt to carry the tray with one hand while pushing the pram with the other and at the same time shouting at the other two kids to follow you? I choose to ask the stall holder to help me carry the tray, at least I know I won’t end up burning one of my kids! Most of the time they are willing to help but of course you get the odd one or two who couldn’t give a damn.

Once the food is actually bought, cut up and served to the kids, now its time to feed yourself. Gone are the days of buying what you actually felt like eating. Now I choose foods that I can either eat with one hand or gobble down in 10 minutes. No more hot soups for me! The meal goes rather smoothly if Luke stays asleep, but should he wake up in between then that’s when I wish I could grow an extra set of arms. Luckily for me, Ally is old enough to eat on her own and loves her food so I don’t have to constantly remind her to stop day dreaming and eat. Max is a different story, he can feed himself but will take forever and will fidget, day-dream and do about a 100 other things besides eat. So I end up feeding him half the time to make things quicker. Take today for example, we were all having lunch when Luke woke up and needed a feed. So while I fed Luke, I was trying to feed Max and myself all at the same time. By the time lunch was finished, I was ready for bed.

If Matt is around that makes thing much easier, in fact we can even have a decent conversation over meal times. Sometimes we end up playing what I call ” pass the baby” which just means one of us carries Luke and tries to feed ourself while the other manages the two older kids. Then we do a swap so the person carrying Luke can now finally use both hands to try and finish his/her meal.

Is it tough handling all 3 on my own during meal times? Of course it is! But I know it’s one of those things that won’t last forever. As the kids get older it would hopefully get easier , in the meantime , I’ve better master the art of speed eating.

 

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That Elusive Sleep

The poor little man has been having some tummy troubles. He spent most of yesterday crying and spitting up. When he did manage to fall asleep, he would wake up a couple of minutes later crying in pain.

I can't believe he is already 5 weeks old

My other little man has been waking up nightly, crying for no apparent reason. Then he would go back to sleep only to wake up at the crack of dawn. I keep telling myself ” its just a phase….”

Unlike Ally, he takes a long time to fall asleep and seems to only need a quick cat nap to recharge his batteries.

I’m hoping that we’ll all get more uninterrupted sleep soon!

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Co-sleeping, The Kids Version

Ever since Max turned 1, Ally and him have shared a room. We bought Ally a trundle bed once she moved out of the cot and we placed the cot and her bed adjacent to each other. Even at that young age, Max loved Ally’s company. Soon the little monkey found that he could climb out of his cot. Images of cracked skulls and broken collar bones immediately filled my head so I bought a net to put over his crib. Needless to say he HATED it and cried each time we put him to bed. Matt suggested letting the two kids share a bed and that’s what they have been doing ever since.

Until recently, both of them shared Ally’s single mattress but they’re starting to find it quite a squeeze so we pulled out the trundle, propped up the legs and turned it into a queen size bed. The kids are in 7th heaven, they have a lot more space to sleep play about .

Eventually Luke and Max will share a room and Ally will move into her own room. But while they are still young, we’re going to keep all 3 in the same room. It definitely strengthens the bond between them and they have so much fun, sharing little games/ secrets before bedtime.

Ally 3 monkeys squeezing onto my hospital bed the day Luke was born

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Can You Spoil A Newborn?

All my babies were carried A LOT in the early days. Ally had her medical issues and no one had the heart to leave her to cry. I was still working during that time and poor Grandma had to carry Ally for at least 6-8 hours a day till her wrist ache. But then nothing else could comfort her and the poor child was in so much pain from her reflux.

When Max came along I fed him on demand during the early days. When he cried I picked him up, he slept in a crib next to our bed and at times co-slept with us. Well meaning friends and relatives used to say ” Don’t keep carrying him, you’ll spoil him”

When you think about it, a baby has been in the safe secure womb for the last 9 months or so, suddenly they are thrust into this strange world and expected to be independent little people. I always say it’s the smart ones that cry and demand for their parent’s attention. They crave what they are familiar with, the smells and sounds of their parents. I honestly don’t believe you can spoil a newborn, their needs and wants are the same. Right now with Luke, he’s fed on demand as well and carried each time he cries. Sure it’s tiring especially with two older children but the poor little guy is only 2 weeks old. I don’t have the heart to let him cry till he runs out of tears. The only exception is when I’m driving, if I know he’s hungry and we’re far from home, I usually pull over somewhere safe to feed him first. If not he just has to wait till we get home.

While I say it’s not possible to spoil a newborn, it is possible to over indulge a baby. Between 9 months to a year, we start to set limits for the children. At nap/ bedtimes, they are placed in their cots, sleepy but not asleep. Slowly they learn to fall asleep on their own. With Ally we used to carry her till she fell asleep and it was exhausting for all of us. Finally we managed to teach her to fall asleep on her own. Second time round we were a little wiser and started the routine earlier. Max was also a more easy going chap with no medical issues which made things simpler.

To everyone who says I’m spoiling my baby by carrying him to much and responding to his every need, I just want to say, thanks for your advice but I’m going to do it my way, at least for the next 9 months. Luke is our last baby and while I can still comfort him with a cuddle, hug or kiss, I’m going to savor that opportunity and do so.

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Big As A Whale

Well, maybe not but I am getting there. The kids and I have been spending afternoons at home, mainly because I don’t really have the energy to go anywhere. I feel sorry for the kids being stuck at home but they don’t seem to mind.

Yesterday evening Matt took them down to ride their scooter and roller blade. They were so happy, I stayed home to take a long shower but I could hear their laughter and shrieks from the flat. They came home sweaty, smelly but oh so happy!

 

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The Home Stretch

The lack of updates all boil down to one simple reason, I’ve been lazy! Now that we’re in the home stretch awaiting G’s arrival, the kids and I spend most afternoons at home. I’m not in the mood to take them out and they seem contented playing with their toys. This usually results in cabin fever by Wednesday, both of them would be driving each other and me up the walls. That’s when I know we all need to get out for some fresh air.

Besides staying home I have been honing my referee skills. There is constant bickering between the two, sometimes from the moment they get up. If it’s early on in the day I still have the patience to explain, cajole and pacify the both of them. By late afternoon my patience would have begun to wear thin and this would now become my standard reply to ” Mama! ____ did this! _____ pushed me!”   I would turn around and say ” if no one is bleeding or injured, sort it out between yourselves, I don’t want to hear any more whining or complaining, do you hear me?!”

Ah, the words of a sleep deprived , hormonal and highly irritable mother.

I marvel at the moms who seem to have endless patience, who always answer their children sweetly even when their child has asked the same question for the 100th time. I was obviously not born with that sort of saintly patience.

The countdown to G’s arrival has begun, as Ally announced this morning ” Mama, soon there will be 3 monkeys in the house!”  One can only imagine what life would be like then!

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