#MothersDayselfie (K wants me to qualify that he was wearing his sunglasses not to be poseur but because he was having a very bad case of the swollen eyes due to an allergic reaction)
Happy Mother’s Day to everyone out there who has been a mother in one way or the other 🙂 You are wonderful, you are beautiful and you have the power to love and shape lives. I personally believe that the title “Mother” belongs to anyone who has nurtured, cared for, and molded character.
For me, I became a “Mom” in a less conventional sense when Benjy came into my life – I still think of him as my first child and he was the one who first made me feel like a mother. Sophie may be the first child in mine and K’s likeness but Benjy will always be the first “baby” I spent sleepless nights worrying about (he was a very sickly puppy in and out of the vet almost every week), the first “baby” I sacrificed date nights and Girl’s Nights Out for, the first baby to wedge himself between K and I in our tiny queen-sized bed, curling up and sighing in our arms.
Of course, Sophie has changed me in myriad ways, ways I wouldn’t have believed were possible till now. I never imagined that I would willingly wake up three times at night to feed an angry squalling hungry infant who gave me nothing in return besides sore nipples. I never knew I could multi-task up to 5 different activities at the same time, and I’ve definitely never had a mental to-do list 20 items long.
It doesn’t help that I am a A-type personality, full-on control freak I guess?
Case in point – Woke up on Mother’s Day morning with tiny expectation of being allowed to sleep in a little / breakfast in bed (any kind, even Maccers would do!)
Reality – Baby cries, Mummy wakes. Daddy snores (to his credit, he does most of the night feeds). Mummy kicks Daddy awake. Daddy snores. Mummy sighs.
Five minutes later, I am whipping up breakfast in the kitchen, having washed and sterilized all the baby equipment, fed the dog, put in the laundry, brushed my teeth, cleared the dining table, packed the diaper bag and shifted the cot out of the master bedroom into the living room.
Whilst flipping pancakes, scrambling eggs and grilling sausage at my command station (the stove), I order my minion (the hubs) around, telling him to boil water, steep tea, bring out the syrup, feed the baby, all while running ideas of what we should do today in my head.
Et Voila ! I even found time to take out all my beloved china ware, accumulated across the globe, and bothered to PLATE the food. I amaze myself sometimes.
Before Sophie, a typical Sunday morning would be spent, the three of us, snoozing happily away under our too-comfortable Balmain duvet, waking intermittently and sleepily considering the possibility of breakfast before going under again. We’d awake sometime before noon, and then spend the day vegging out on the couch, catching some bad telly, going for Mass, and then either taking B for a long walk at ECP or heading to the in-laws for dinner.
How things have changed ! This Mother’s Day, when I look at my newfound superwoman abilities, I think of my own Mama who had to do this six times over and I am in absolute awe.
Anyway, our agenda for Mother’s Day was …. to buy Sophie a pram fan.
Yup, a fan for her buggy. We decided to eat somewhere baby friendly, hang out in a baby friendly mall, before hiking it to another baby friendly mall and finding the best looking stroller fan we could. So exciting ! ( I am not being sarcastic, I was really looking forward to trawling the baby section of Takashimaya in search of that elusive fan)
First things first, getting Baby S suited up !
Here she is at the chirpiest time of the day, about 11 am in the morning ! People have been asking me when I intend to shave her head and the most honest answer I can give is – probably never. It may be true that the hair will grow back thicker and more even but I cannot bear to do it – hopelessly sentimental about the fact that the hair on the head is the same satiny soft down she grew in my womb ! I might change my mind when she starts to shed the hair (I heard it happens around the 3rd month, same time as post-partum hair loss) but for now, the fluff is staying 🙂
She really can’t keep still these days too, her eyes are always darting around, trying to find something interesting and now that we have liberated her hands from her mittens she grabs onto everything ! Necklaces, t-shirts, her own hair, my hair ..
Anyway we had a lovely quiet lunch at 3 pm in Ngee Ann City’s Sushi Tei – tip for mothers of newborns – eat at unpopular hours and you will always get the baby friendly seats plus servers will be more than happy to promptly pass you a cup of hot, boiled water for formula or a water bath to heat up your expressed milk. Very important when Baby reaches the stage where he/she gives you maybe 5 seconds grace before bawling loudly, unceremoniously and angrily for food.
K was being annoyingly persnickety about what stroller fan to get for his beloved Joolz pram, everything on offer at Taka was deemed lurid, of gross colors and therefore destroying the “image” of his posh buggy. I frankly couldn’t be arsed (excuse my french). So we ended up trekking to Forum’s mega Toys R Us in search of the elusive wind blower worthy of gracing the pram. -_-
After a 20 minute walk both under and above ground, we reached Forum and found that there was just one option in a slightly less gaudy mix of colors but.. gasp, strobing lights ! K tried to push his luck but I put my (Ferragamo-ed, blistered) foot down and commanded him to buy it or die.
Turns out it was a good buy ! Sophie loved the bright colors and kept trying to reach for the lights ! Too adorable !
BTW guys, getting a buggy fan is really quite important, especially in Singapore’s muggy and humid weather. Soph’s buggy comes with a mesh part at the back that can be opened to allow ventilation but that’s not good enough, she’s still so sticky and irritable when it’s hot out. If you have a large buggy like ours and a infant who has to be kept under the hood away from the elements most of the time, it really is a must buy – even more so if you bring your baby to parks or gardens.
Great Fan Search over, we collapsed at Benjamin Brown’s for a late tea / dinner. It’s fast becoming one of our favourite baby-friendly cafes, with its warm service, homey, delicious, simple and hearty fare and rockin’ desserts!
I really love the interiors and the details – metal cutlery buckets, heavy Adirondacks style wooden furniture, good, sturdy cutlery and beautiful beech, blonde and warm tones interspersed with white wainscoting and cabinets – my dream color scheme.
We’d had the very moreish and addictive Sakura Chicken Tenders (so moist!) with house-made Honey Mustard and loved it the last time, so we ordered it along with the highly recommended Sticky Date Pudding with Fig and Honey Ice Cream.
The portion, I must warn you, is only good for one, because it is that delicious.
The pud was drenched in light, not too sweet syrup, and the crumb was decadent and pillowy. Together with the dense creamy ice cream, which had pieces of chewy fig and shards of crystallized honey, it was a symphony. A wonderful, piggy symphony of many calories.
Many friends and mummies have asked how in the world we take such nice photos of ourselves and Baby S. Well the truth is that .. it’s a lot of effort. We don’t even bother with a real camera these days, just our IPhones and we’re always on the lookout for Sophie’s smiles or moments of extreme good humor.
Most of the time, our photos look like this:
On the left – a hamburger being burped. On the right – a hamburger demanding for milk.
She was great on Mother’s Day though, maybe she subconsciously knew it was my so-called “day off” and decided to be exceptionally well behaved. She slept through most of our outing, smiled toothlessly at all the aunties inside Takashimaya who kept showering her with praises and basically summoned the whole department to “come see this pretty baby”.
When we got home, she even allowed her Papa and I to have .. jeng jeng … 25 minutes of couple time !
It was just a tiny bottle of Brown’s Brother’s Rose Sparkling Moscato with strawberries in proper glasses with sliced strawberries (these days when I am thirsty and desperate I have resorted to drinking from the cups of semi-hot water previously used to warm Sophie’s milk) and the luscious Nutella cake we took away from Benjamin Brown’s, but it was good 🙂
My husband may not shower me with lavish gifts on Mother’s Day or even plan someplace nice to eat, but I really, really appreciate it when he lets me sleep through the night, taking over the feeds – when he knows I’m exhausted after pumping at 5 am and washes my pump equipment for me so I can just collapse on the bed, when he volunteers to wipe her down, feed her, burp her and entertain her, etc. I am thankful !
So all in all, it was a pretty great first Mother’s Day ! I can’t wait for Sophie to bring back her first Mother’s Day’s craft, for the first time she’s able to crawl into my bed on Mother’s Day’s morning and plant a wet one on my cheek .. so many happy moments to look forward to !
And despite this being my inaugural Mother’s Day, to me, it still belongs to my Mama and Amah, the two biggest influences in my life.
At every point of my young life, I remember your smiling, laughing, crying, scolding and nagging faces – always there, always holding my hand and always teaching me to be the best person I can be. From wiping away my tears after I skinned my knees, to hugging me till I stopped crying after my first heartbreak, I have never wanted for love, affection and comfort.
Amah, although losing you was the hardest and deepest loss I have ever felt in my short life, I know I am immeasurably blessed and so, so lucky to have had you for 21 wonderful years.
And Mummy, I am just thankful that I have had you watching by my side as I graduated from University, got married to the love of my life, and now, when I gave birth to a baby girl of my own. When I see you hold Baby Sophie, laugh and smile at her, my heart is so full it could tip over.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you Mama, and Amah, to the Moon and back, and back again and again and again.