“Ma Ma”

I’m not sure if I feel elated at the fact that Emma has started calling out Ma Ma two days ago. The first time I heard it, she was crying after laying her down in her crib for bedtime. The second time I heard it was in the morning, when she woke up from a good night’s rest, waiting for me to pick her up from the crib. My heart did melt when she called out. It was 6.30 am and I wanted to sleep in a little more. I had no choice but to pick her up and dance around with her, cherishing her sweetness.

I have been lucky so far. The past few days have been smooth; less night wakings progressing to none at all. I have had two nights where she slept from 7 pm to 6.30 am. Not sure what’s happening. It may just be temporary, but I am still proud Emma has reached this milestone at six months.

We have started her on solid food since the New Year. It’s enjoyable to see her exploring new foods. I decided to go with baby-led weaning. Although, it was scary the first time she gagged on a piece of sweet potato. She loved it though. Kept putting it to her mouth to chew. Broccoli is also a favourite. I believe she enjoys playing with it because of its texture. She loves papaya too. There are some foods we feed her using the spoon, and some just as finger food bite-size. I have to say, it is not easy to watch when she gags. My heart usually skips a beat, anticipating a choking situation. So far she has been coughing it back out. It’s been a week now, and she is still gagging on some foods. Yesterday, potato made her gag quite bad. And she cried after she swallowed the chunk. Sometimes, I find my confidence wearing out. People ask me how old my girl is, and when they hear she is six months, they ask if she has started eating porridge. Traditionally, the practise has been to only spoon feed purees or porridge to babies this young. I braved the attempt to let her learn to chew her food this early. Am I being an irresponsible mother? Society may very well judge me this way for putting my baby at risk. But what if the benefits do outweigh the cons, as the baby-led weaning mothers claim? I agree, spoon feeding seems more work then letting her try feed herself. She is easily distracted and has a short attention span. She doesn’t want to sit on the high chair for long, waiting for the spoon with the food. Hopefully, I am doing the right thing here …

As for mobility, she’s definitely doing lots compared to a month ago. She wants to stand and crawl now that she can sit upright pretty well. She still loses her balance once in awhile and lands hard on her head. Oh well, she’s got to learn somehow what a fall feels like. After a couple times, she doesn’t cry about it anymore. Bathing her is a challenge now. Those bath toys are not as intriguing as trying to pull herself up by grabbing onto the side of the tub. I remember saying no multiple times as I sit her back down. She gave me a rebellious grin …

Emma’s growing up fast. I think she’s figuring out how to wave bye-bye. She puts her hand out whenever we carry her. Perhaps she is learning to point too. I taught her how to give a kiss. First, I give her a kiss on her cheeks. Then, I’ll say, “Give mummy a kiss,” and bring her face close to my cheeks. At first, she just sniffs hard. But now, she has learnt to open her mouth and sort of lightly suck on my cheek. That’s a kiss to me! She does it to grandma and grandpa too. It brightens up their day each time she does it.

Chinese New Year is just round the corner. I hope my husbands gets back from work in time for the festive season. I’ll be bringing Emma to Brunei two weeks early to spend some time with her grandparents there. Travelling alone with Emma will be a new experience for me. Hopefully there will be kind-hearted souls willing to help me along the way!

Failure is part of life. It is part of growing up and a journey to become a better person. When we are young, we try everything and we keep trying even though we fall and fail many times. Without falling, we will never learn to walk. The same applies with everything else we go through in life as we age. Remember this well. You can cry about it. Be sad about it. But always come out of the dark and pick yourself up again. Only you can help youself stand back up. When you do that, only then others will be willing to lend a helping hand for you to get out of the hole.


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