The Other Side of Parenting


Read these first

silhouettes-of-parents-and-kids

(What young children really need is a strong, supportive and loving parents. Image source: http://eduart4kids.com)

Another innocent life taken away all because of sheer recklessness:-

A four-year-old boy died after being left inside his father’s car at the parking lot of SM Kuala Nerang about 45km from Alor Setar. The deceased, identified as Muhammad Aqil Arfan Adnan, 4, had begun the day accompanying his parents Adnan Salleh and Asiah Abu when they left their house at Kampung Padang Durian, Pendang, Kedah.

They left their house about 6.45am and Adnan sent his wife to the school where she taught before going to the school where he works as a religious teacher. He forgot to drop him off at kindergarten Perdana ABC at Kuala Nerang.

At 4.00pm as his father went back to his car, he found his son was unconscious. He rushed him to Kuala Nerang Hospital but the boy was pronounced dead.

(Source)

Then couple of days ago, I watched a local TV program of a single mom who was struggling to meet the ends for her small children – 4 of them.

None of the children were going to school and they all don’t have any birth certificates. The eldest of the 4 instead helps his mom to sell snacks at night and they barely makes it on a daily basis. It seems to be a typical case of the poor family in this country except for one thing which made me very angry indeed. Apparently the lady have another 3 kids – all grown up but are not staying together to help the lady and their siblings. The eldest, a son is in jail for criminal activities whilst the other 2, girls had ran away from the family. The father used to be in jail but had recently been released but had decided to stay away from the family. The remaining young children future remains bleak and the lady is really helpless on what to do next.

Whilst it is tragic, the question that begs to be answered is why some people have kids but does not take the trouble, pride and responsibility in taking care of their kids? How could the father could have forgotten that his kid was inside the car. Imagine the suffering that the young child would have before he died. How could the father simply washes his hands from taking care of his kids but the idiot had plenty of time, fathering whole lot of them. There was no excuse whatsoever for these acts and in case of the parents abandoning the kids, these irresponsible parents should be made to pay dearly.

Having kids is a big, big responsibility and once 2 people have decided to have kids, nothing else comes before their kids and their welfare.

And one of the main things that parents can do in the best interest of their kids is making sure they go to school and get a decent education. The lady with the 4 young kids expressed to the reporter in the TV program that all she wanted to do to get her kids to school but without birth certificates, that is not possible for now unless the Government steps in to help the family. Then there is the issue of the family making ends meet with the single mother not having a permanent job and whatever she makes and sells on daily basis is used back for the family’s expenses and for the raw materials for the next day.

I was lucky that my parents especially my Dad held that education was far more important that saving up for a new house or car or good things in life. We all stayed on rented house for most of our life until I bought a house on my own. We often take the bus and walked a lot back then. And having chicken for our meals was a luxury that came perhaps once in a month. But somehow there was no short of money for school tuition, stationery and revision books. No matter what was the situation, my Dad always had the money for our education..

In general, most parents are doing well when it comes to having the right responsibility and care of their children and myself and my wife do have our hands full handling our 2 little bosses. As my dad have done in the past, I emphasized the same on education and even though my children fares slightly better than me when I was at their age, their ultimate goal remains the same.

And there is another aspect of being a good parents and that is to be around when the children needs us – providing that support, teaching the rights to say and do and assuring them that they can always count on us. I travel a lot so I do get to miss a lot of my children’s activities and first time occasions but when I am at home, I make it a point to spend as much as possible time with my kids. When I come back from work, one of first questions that I ask my son is “how was school?” or “how was your day” and followed by “have you finished your home work?” of course. My daughter still young but she do fight her brother to get a bigger share of my attention. She will butt in with her own report for the day. We sleep late almost every day but despite being very tired, it is a very rewarding feeling.

And I say this again, having kids is a big, big responsibility and once 2 people have decided to have kids, nothing else comes before their kids and their welfare. If you can’t do that, don’t have kids – just simple as that.

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When the Mind Goes AWOL


I did not check but this probably one of the longest gap when it comes to blogging.

Working 7 days a week including working up to 10 at night on the weekdays sure pulls the energy from the mind. Somehow, I still force myself to take a late night shower (I have tried but I could not bring myself to bed without a shower…it simply feels too “sticky”) and sometimes put the clothes for washing. Then it is off to the bed and wake up again at about 6.30 am (without alarm) after the alarm goes off at 5.45 am, 5.50 am and 6.00 am (I am rarely aware of the time I switch off the alarm on 3 separate occasions).

I went back home for a couple of days just before Father’s Day. My kids were waiting for me at the front door as I got down from the taxi. First to hear was my youngest’s voice calling me loud and the next is my son rushing to open the front gate. They were indeed very excited to see me back (although it was for a few days). We slept very late that night with my son having tonnes of story to tell (as usual) with the youngest chipping in with her own baby language and jumping on my stomach as she often do. When I falling off to sleep, she even passed me her favorite blanket. My wife had a list of her own for me starting with the washing machine which have been giving some trouble (I almost smiled when I heard the washing machine mentioned).

Yes, I missed my car too. My wife had forgotten to get it washed before I came back but it did not matter much. Driving for that few days and despite being stuck in traffic jam did not deter me from having a great time driving. Ya, Malaysian drivers are still one of the worst kind out there and pesky motorcyclists remains the parasites of the road but some how it was different for that few days. Perhaps after almost a month of being driven around from the workplace and to the apartment and judging on how others drive the car made me miss my own driving. Perhaps.

I miss the good old Malaysian food as well (and yes, that includes my wife’s cooking). Somehow the limau panas tasted better than ever and it did not cost me a bomb for me to have a good healthy lunch with plenty of vegetables. A far cry now where a simple nasi campur have plenty of rice and chicken but almost non existing vegetables and it cost as much as dining in 5 star hotel. But I found the perfect place to dine (yes, it is still expensive) but somehow healthier than the other more premium looking place. This is one reason why home is still the best place to be.

It was a short break indeed and soon it was time to fly back for the overseas assignment.

FD

The night before I flew back overseas was great. We had a good dinner and a quick shopping for the essentials. My son had wanted to buy a rabbit (he knows the right time to ask me) but there was no time to go to the pet shop. I told him that we will revisit this once I am back. My son knew that I was flying out the next morning and I saw sadness in his face but my daughter was still too young to understand things (the same happened to my son when he was small to a point that he thought I worked at the airport). And that night, my son presented me with his “Father’s Day” wish card which was lovely and very touching indeed. He always have something to say that leaves me speechless and it was the same case this time around.

This morning, I had a good conversation with an elderly gentleman taxi driver (he was 72 years old but drives perfectly) who had served in the Air Force back in the 1960s and at once was attached to the Royal Malaysian Air Force. When he heard that I was from Malaysia, his first question was this – “What had happened to Malaysia? From a country that had a good chance to be one of the powerful country in the region, it had turned into a country that full of crime, corruption and going down the drain”. I kept my silence. Not that I am not angry with a foreigner speaking badly of my beloved country but because I saw in the old man’s eyes, he was very disappointed. He was sincere. He knows the nonsense that the so-called leaders are doing on a regular basis (in case you don’t realised by now, the country is running on auto pilot on a very regular basis and has come to a point, had become a heaven for terrorists from all around the world and religion extremists). There was some truth in what he said. Just like the old man who is a foreigner, we are asking the same question.

Oh, never mind. No point talking about it now. The only way we can clean the house proper is through the elections. I don’t see the logic of the corrupt, the extremists and the short-minded ones to be continued to be voted in to rule this country. There will come a day when the corrupt, the lazy and the selfish are caught, stripped naked and lashed by the millions on public grounds. We seems to have more bad things lining up compared to good things and this gets amplified when one is abroad where there is more unity among the people, extreme view of race & religion is non-existence, very strict control & enforcement at the borders to keep the foreign criminals & scammers away (we on the other hand are welcoming them with open arms) and there a general direction and accountability from the local politicians (I say “general” because politicians from matter from which country, era or background will never be angels).

That’s all for now, hopefully I can write something next week but for now, I am squeezing all available free time on catching up on sleep.

Snippets 07 March 2014


Perhaps I should reword the title as “Random Ramblings 07 March 2014”.

J2BRj

(Well the “baby” do not sleep with us but it does not matter since she keeps us awake the same and causes us to have shorter and shorter time to get a good night sleep. Image source: http://blogs.babycenter.com/)

I had a great idea for a post for this week. In fact I had more than one great idea for the week. So I want you to believe so but it was not the case. The truth is I was so caught up with work that I have not given a thought for a theme for the post for this week. But I had plenty of random ramblings of the things that I have seen and done in the past one week and things I will be seeing and doing in the coming weeks.

Here’s some of it:-

1. It has been some weeks since I (and my wife) had a real good night sleep. Forget the weekdays – we are getting less than 5 hours of sleep on daily basis. Still remember this? And it is scientifically proven too.

Well, our daughter is back to her routine of actively playing until is way after midnight and only calm down to sleep when the clock hits one in the morning. We have tried to tune her routines to a more normal hours but we failed miserably. That leaves me especially rather burned down when I am in the office and had to face serious decision making. I would just look a bit zombie by then. On the weekends, the agenda is pre-set with so many activities which leaves us little time to sleep (but we still manages to steal time for short naps but it is not enough to pay back proper the lost sleep). And this week we are traveling and there is a big function set for the weekend (read on below). So it will be another week without an opportunity to catch up on sleep.

2. Speaking of traveling and having a function for the weekend, it is actually for the other Big Boss. Similar to this. Frankly speaking I hate elaborate temple functions and if possible I rather give this function a slip (of course it won’t be me alone but the whole family. I know my son hates it too) but since it is tradition and something that is spearheaded by my wife and her parents, that is not possible.

On the good side is we will be staying in a proper hotel (with secured parking, thank God and air-conditioner) this time around and not as usual cramped up spot in my in-law’s house and thus it should not be so taxing as compared to last time we travel up north and there were not enough space to accommodate us all (me and my son had to sleep in another house) and mosquitoes had good time making kamikaze attacks on us.

3. Speaking about kamikaze, encountering with pesky motorcyclists who cut in and out of traffic without any indicators (in fact I curse all morons who cut in and out of the traffic without any indicators), riding without any lights & helmet and ride on the wrong side of the road and endangering other road users is nothing new. Often missing close calls, I often hope that couple meters upfront, they are lying under the huge tires of a big truck and one less idiot would be on the road.

But last night, the motorcyclist that I saw probably took the center stage of the morons on the road. I was driving on the slower lane of the highway when this idiot cut in from the left (without any indicators whatsoever) and I immediately saw that his back lights were not working and he had a dark jacket on. So much so of presenting himself to be more visible on the road. As I tailing him from the back and getting ready to over take him, I noticed something rather disturbing. his back wheel was actually wobbling and this idiot was not even riding slow and he did not stick to the slow lane. Obviously keeping his bike in top shape was the last thing in his must do list. He was still cutting in and out of the lanes. I just wonder how stupid some people can be when it comes to them using their vehicles.

4. Due to the call to conserve water and water rations in some parts of the city, we have made a point to make sure all of our water containers & pots & bottles are full all the time. I have also decided not to do my weekly washing of the car. And even the last time I did it, I used the least water possible – I just wet the towel and cleaned the layer of the dust on the car body. But then again, even if I do my usual washing, I am dead sure that I use far less water than those guys at the “snow” car wash (and the car would be cleaner too). I wonder if things get from bad to worse, will the Government ban these road side car wash centers? They do use plenty of the treated water for the car wash – water that can be used for drinking. I just wonder about it.

5. Remember when I said that Symbian is finally dead? My “old” Nokia N8 was passed on to my wife and her experience with a smartphone has been a good one. Now as she is familiar with ins and outs of using a smartphone, she want to move on with Phase 2 of using a smartphone. If budget forbids, we might be shopping for the replacement phone soon. Yes, it will be another Android 4.2 powered smartphone (mine already moved to Android 4.3) but since it is for my wife who does not need much “computing power”, with a lower specifications for a low cost. That is if we have leftovers after we have spent on the kitchen cabinet.

6. Yes, the once I was “proud of” kitchen cabinet is long overdue for a replacement – no thanks to the termites and a bit of misuse. It’s time to hunt for fresh quotations and visit forums and gauge which one will be affordable and which contractor to engage. There is of course the issue of budget and sticking to them even though there will be plenty of temptations to add things here and there. Hopefully we can get this done in the next 1-2 months.

P.s. Anwar Ibrahim have been found guilty of sodomy and be rest assured that it will change the landscape of the politics in this country. After all, he was the one who brought PAS & DAP into a stronger alliance. But who knows, on the other hand, it could be a blessing in disguise – BN have been using Anwar as an excuse to demonize Pakatan and with Anwar out of the picture (either in prison for the next 5 years or busy with his appeals), BN will less things to demonize them. Further with Anwar not in the running for the MB seat, Khalid will be able to be in a stronger position to hold on to his MB seat and keep up his good work. His work and lack of corruption in his administration has been a plus factor in the voters electing Pakatan to run the state again. We don’t see a reason for change now.

Have a good weekend…

My Blankee…


SONY DSC

(Nothing, I mean nothing stands between the Boss and her “sarong” when it comes to bedtime which soon follows suite once she had her milk. We usually bring backups in case we misplace her favorite sarong)

Ha, I am sure everyone has his / hers favorite blanket or pillow when they were small. I can’t recall if I had one when I was small (I don’t think so) but my sister had her “bantal busuk” (pillow) even after she had grown up. One day, my mom had to throw it away after the pillow had turned black in color despite many attempts to wash it. We were convinced that it would have made a great place for virologists to discover new species.

My son still have his favorite blanket that we got for him when he was months old baby. What used to be a dark orange large piece of blanket has turned into a very faded, washed out, torn in several pieces blanket. Last year we decided to give him a proper replacement – a similar in color & type of blanket but despite that, he still keeps his old blanket on his bed before he can go to sleep. He also folds the small pieces neatly in the morning. Even after we had set the bed for him, he will still hunt for his old blanket high and low and he make sure he goes to bed with all pieces. The new blanket would often be on the floor and his old blanket firmly in his hands by the time he is fast asleep. After all, he had been sleeping with his old blanket for the past 8 – 9 years. So I guess it will take some time before he gets over the old blanket and warm up to the new blanket.

Not to be left out, his sister is also following up closely on the blanket business but with a different twist. Instead of a normal blanket, she opted for “sarong”. The one that she remembers as a baby (and for us, she is still a baby), cradling on her grandfather’s sarong (that’s my dad) and my Dad has a lot of blue themed sarongs. So when we got her a proper blanket, she went for the blue themed sarong instead. We tried several times to get her used to the blanket but every time we do that, she still opt for the blue themed sarong (and over time, opt for any soft sarongs). So it was clear where she was going with the choice of her favorite “blanket”.

So what my wife decided to do is to buy a few blue themed sarongs for my daughter (for main use and backups) and my grandmother (yes, she still comes over on the weekend to see her favorite great grand child) decided to cut it smaller and sew it into a more manageable size. That in the sense where my daughter would carry it around without tripping over it. And it did not take long before she becomes closely attached to the sarong and it has comes to a point where she sometimes needs more than one sarong when she goes to sleep – one in each hand. Then something very sweet happens – she would hold the sarong close to her mouth and her mouth curls up. She licks her lips and soon falls deep in sleep.

And because of this, we sometimes get into deep trouble especially when we forget to bring along her sarong when we go out with her. She will go hyper crazy if she cannot hold her sarong when she wants to go to sleep and my car has been one good spot to sleep – with the “cool” air conditioner and the “soothing” background music (same thing with my son when he was young). She want to sleep but without her sarong by her side, it is still not complete. She jumps all of the place and my wife could not get her to sit down in one place. But once reach home and the moment she grabs her sarong, her mouth would curl up and she would look for a spot to sleep.

Stepping into 2014…


plane

(New jet for PM? Is this part of the cost cutting measures that Najib announced recently? It sure dwarfs the Penang CM’s purchase of a 2012 Mercedes Benz for his official car. Image source: Malaysiakini)

Just a short (unstructured) one, I am still recovering from “last year”…

Well, I must say that it was depressing stepping into 2014 and I’m not even referring to the recent raids on Bible Society of Malaysia and the planned protest against the church. Ha ha, with the overgrowing protest against the Government on the recent price hikes, would this be “the issue” to divert the more pressing issues? Having said that, I for one could not understand why the Catholic Church would be stiff in insisting to use the word “Allah” in its publications and create unnecessary attention, tension and ahem, opportunity. Are they using the same formula used to justify the toll hike? Yes I understand that it has been used in the past and people in East Malaysia are more familiar with the term but still, can’t they do this rather quietly without the same word and undue publicity?

No, it was depressing because I spent the last few days of 2013 in bed, down with high fever, a very bad cough and a running nose. My daughter had the same problem and she was cranky enough to drive us up the wall. She was in fact was on hyper drive and she simply refused to take her medicines which made the recovery even slower. My son however was spared from the same fate (thank God!) and was somehow cheerful looking forward to the start of school (oh, by the way, school bus fare went up another RM5 – an increase which I guess was cushioned by the fact that the school is quite near to the house. Pity those who are staying further from the school and have more than 1 school going kid).

It was also depressing to learn Michael Schumacher is in coma – the retired seven-time F1 world champion slammed his head against a rock on Sunday while skiing in the French Alps. Damn, that is downright bad luck, don’t you think? Of all the years behind a fast F1 car, he had to be seriously injured on skis. This reminded me of someone who smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol rather heavily and was certain that he would die from cancer or a burned out liver (pick one he always say), only to have slipped in the bathroom one fine morning and died from head injuries. Shit do happen. Let’s just hope that Schumacher will display his trademark fighting skills and recover from this one as how he has done many times during racing.

Next was the news on Illayaraaja – although the maestro was pushing his luck, somehow I knew that he could not make it in time for his concert in Malaysia. The man had a mild heart attack and was still recovering from the attack. It would have been too stressful for him to have pushed himself (and ignored his doctors) to be at the concert. But still it would have been something if he had led the concert himself.

Let’s see if there are anymore depressing matters before I sign off for this week?

Oh yes, despite waiting for the Android upgrade for my SP before the end of year, Sony had announced that it is still working on it and promised that the update would be out soon. Damn indeed but at least that is better than nothing and I still have plenty of games to keep company when I was down with fever, cough and flu.

Time to re-look into my monthly budget and see if I can do some “magic” with all that price hike looming in the coming months….

Hello Brother, You Got Insurance?


(The reality of things even in Malaysia – my Dad was uninsured for a large part of his life and he remains uninsured till now as it is very unlikely that he will get any policy now considering his age and the number of times he had been admitted to the hospital. Image source : http://www.political-humor.org)

Start talking about insurance and most people will feel very uneasy especially when they are talking to an insurance agent.

When my son was born, one of the first thing that we decided to do, other than to get diapers & baby milk powder, was to get insurance policy for him. It started with the obvious medical card scheme and we expanded on to education policy a couple months later. We then kind of have forgotten about it until now when we need a similar policy for the new Boss. I called up a few people and tossed around with a few proposals from a few insurance companies, balancing the various options and deciding the best for our child. And in the process, I realized that all of our existing insurance policies have been outdated and is in need of a serious review (and a policy upgrade).

We recognize that as cost of living & medical fees keep rising on yearly basis, so what ever preparation that we do today may not be enough for tomorrow – such preparations needs constant review and updates (same goes for prepping). And we were kind of lucky to get ourselves medical cards when we had the chance, when the premium was still low and at the right time too – medical cost is on the rise and it is being more crucial to keep ourselves healthy. We all had used the medical card at one point of time in the last few years with my son being the first to use it when he was down with a fever & ear infection and was admitted to the hospital and me a couple months of ago when I was admitted for food poisoning. My mom probably was the luckiest of all when she was admitted to the hospital a few years on suspect of dengue and later had to undergo a minor surgery (when the doctors found other serious complications during their check-ups). The bill came up to almost RM12,000 and we were quite relieved when a bulk of it was fully covered by the insurance company.

My first encounter with any form of insurance was when I was still young and my father’s relative who worked in MCIS talked my dad into buying an insurance policy. Back then we did not have any ATM machines or any Internet Banking and the relative rarely visit us to collect premium so paying of the premium had to be done the ‘long way” by taking the mini-bus to PJ and to MCIS office and wait in line to pay. My mom not wanting to leave us alone in the house, will bring all of us along for this. My dad was the sole breadwinner in the family so when he fell sick one day and could not afford to pay the premium, no one bothered to advise us on the insurance that my Dad had taken (we were a bit lost on the detailed workings of an insurance policy) and in time, the policy simply lapsed. Years later when we were “tidying up” the insurance documentation and we had to visit the MCIS for one last time, we sat down with their customer service and realized that if we had returned the policy in time, we would have received back some of the premium paid.

My next “encounter” with insurance was when I started to work after my college days in the early 1990s. One day as I was walking out for lunch, I saw my old classmate and after a chat over lunch, catching up on good old times, I found out that he was an insurance agent. So, it was not long before I found myself being “stalked” by an insurance agent to buy a large insurance policy. And after putting off his request for an appointment to explain on the insurance policies, I had enough and decided to confront my friend and told him that since I just started to work and only had a pitiful salary, buying a big premium policy was out of the question. So, my friend kept silent for a moment and then suggested the next best thing – a policy that combines saving and personal accident coverage and the monthly premium was just enough to fit into my small budget (although RM130++ per month was big amount back then) and since it was saving type policy, it was a good proposal. Over time, I had enough cash and took another policy from him. I lost contact with my friend a couple years later and the last information that I got was that my friend was no longer in the insurance industry.

Then many years later, my cousin joined the insurance industry and soon was at home urging us to buy insurance policies to kick start his sales. It has been sometime since we toyed around the issue of insurance for the family and my cousin, bent to impress us with his insurance knowledge explained well on the various policies that fits our requirements. That was the time when we were also seriously thinking about medical card (my Dad had been admitted to the hospital on several occasions and we could see how high medical charges can be) and with my son in tow; we decided to buy medical policies plus a few more policies. With my cousin being our insurance agent, it was also easy to “customize” the policy and the premium payment and he was just a phone call away from any enquiries and customer support.

Over the years since then, I have added car insurance, house owner insurance and once in a while I would get this kind of call – “Good morning, Mr X, I am calling from Insurance Company Y and you are in our premium list (ya, right!). We are offering for a limited time only (ya, right again!) the Z policy which covers ABC”. At first I wonder how these people got my contact details and when I queried further, I get my answer – it is from my credit card company. And I quickly refuse the “offer” – simply because the details provided via the phone are a bit sketchy and there are no whatsoever documents to be reviewed before I say ok for the policy. Don’t get me wrong, I know the importance of insurance – it is a solid Plan B that never fails whilst at the same time forms some kind of savings for the policyholder but I want to ensure that whatever deal that the insurance company is throwing (especially those promotional policies) is the best deal. After all, no two policies on the same type has the same terms (check the comparison of the various medicals cards here).

Coming back to the medical card for the new Boss, we narrowed it to Great Eastern’s Smart Medic as the best among the few that we were considering. The premium is like 3 times higher than what I am paying for my son but we realize that it all depends on that the more we pay, the better & higher coverage the policy is and it is the same case here – so we have nothing to complain about. The monthly premium will come to RM150 with annual limit of RM90,000 (RM99,000 if there was no claim in 3 years range – there is a RM9,000 increase for every 3 years of no-claim). It is an investment linked policy so there was other additional coverage. So that RM150 is addition to my monthly expense list but worth the expense especially considering that the Boss will be covered from the “start”.

The next plan for the new Boss would be education or saving type policy which can be used for her future school / college fees but we are starting with the obvious one first.

Sleepless At Home


Just a quick update for this week….

(The new Boss’ feet on a Giant’s palm – still a long way to go before we can allow the Boss to be independent and does not need us to keep a close eye all small things at night)

This blog was started long after our Big Boss was born otherwise this post below would have been a repeat. But then again, whilst the post is not a repeat but the actual experience is.

For the first few days, things was not so bad – with the new Boss in town, we had plenty of people “volunteering” to take care of the baby when it is time for sleep. But we knew that sooner or later, the tasks of taking care of the baby will fall entirely on us. And that means sleepless nights with the baby “waking up” every 3 hours for milk, change of diaper and sometimes a mere excitement. But before that, there was a need to rearrange the sleeping logistics for me, my wife, the baby and the Big Boss who in recent months have decided (without our prior approval) to sleep with us for a simple reason – it was warmer at his usual sleeping place.

At first, we decided that my son had to sleep in his usual sleeping place with the bed reserved for my wife and the baby. I decided to sleep on the floor with a thick blanket & a small mattress (which was surprisingly rather comfortable). We then thought of setting the alarm so that we will wake up on time for feeding and in between we were hoping to catch some sleep. Disruptive sleep for at least a few months was something we had long anticipated from the beginning and had mentally prepared for it. It all sounds good on paper but we soon found out that the baby had other ideas for the night. At first, the baby had been sleeping all evening long and just when we decided to go to sleep; the baby is so wide awake.

At first we thought it was the same as our son when he was an infant who often stay awake at night but keep silent and take his own time to sleep off. Our second baby was different – not only she is wide awake but also get restless once we switch off the main lights and turn on the smaller lights (it was too dark and she was not used to the sudden change of light in the room, I guess) and when we switch the main lights again, it was too bright for her to sleep off. It was tough to balance the ambiance in the room and this was the case for a few days until we had an idea and decided to switch on the bathroom lights and leave the bathroom door slightly opened. This leaves just enough light which balanced the overall lighting in the room – it was not too dark and not too bright. And we put a softer bed spread which did the trick – the baby sleeps off faster and somehow was less restless now.

But this does not happen all the time and to ensure an even “quieter” environment for the baby, I decided to sleep in my son’s room which helped a bit. I am sure in time, the baby will get used to my sleeping musical notes (aka snoring) just like how my wife have done (so I like to believe) but not for now. Damn, the baby is super sensitive and wakes at the slightest sound in the room – my deep breathing, pulling of the blanket loudly and even a simple turn of the body on the bed causes her to wake up and searches for the source of the sound.

But for now, a little peace and quiet and a dim light should be enough to lullaby the baby to sleep but the frequent waking up to check on the baby, to prepare for the feeding and lack of REM sleep does cause a major havoc in the morning when I wake up to go to work. I usually can wake up at the first ring of the alarm (sometimes even before the alarm rings) but now with 2 – 3 loud rings, I am still deep in sleep and only with “accidental” (if you can call it) awakening, I opened my eyes and realized that I was late for work and rush to shower. But it somehow felt “OK” when I opened the bedroom door to get ready for work and I see my wife, the Big Boss and more importantly, the baby is fast asleep. At least they are resting well now.

The saving grace of the whole affair is that I don’t work on the weekends and with most of us at home are available to keep an eye on the baby, we can afford to wake up late (although it is not for long) whilst the baby under the care of other family members. Yes, it is still a long way to go before we can march off the new Boss to sleep on her own bed but until now, it is night duty for some of us.