Traveling Solo and Falling

It’s been a week since I boarded the plane to Brunei. Going solo with a baby on a plane ride is apparently a rare sight. I have gotten inquisitive stares and curious questions by friendly passengers on the flight. Yes, it was tiring, and I wish I had not put Emma in the bassinet after she easily dozed off in my arms. That only woke her up from a much needed nap. I could have avoided this trip entirely, but there’s always somethin about Chinese New Year that draws sacrifices like this just to be home in time for the reunion. It’s just too bad my husband is working offshore and he can’t be around to help. We only hope he will be home soon so that we can celebrate as a family.

I have been sleeping with Emma on the same bed since my in-laws do not have a crib for her. I am quite afraid how this is going to affect her usual routine when we go back to KL. Even so, the need to buy a crib for her escalated after she fell off the bed in the morning. I was not awake yet and did not know she was awake. She scooted backwards, to the end of the bed, and bam … fell to the floor. My heart skipped a beat when I heard the her head hit the floor and her cries. Fortunately, she is fine. No vomiting or swelling from a two feet fall. I’m not sure how she managed to get past the blankets, but as a mother, I can only blame myself for being careless. If I had put a pillow instead, this wouldn’t have happened. Somehow, I feel like there will be many more of these “ifs” in the future.

Her naps are disastrous. I am still trying to figure out why. New place to explore? New people around her? Hungry? Tummy discomfort? Bowel discomfort? Teething?? Emma protested sleep with piercing cries today. She just did not want to nap, even though she was tired. Sigh. Motherhood is never easy.

There are the simple rewards. She calls out to me now “Mum Mum” or “Maaaam”, sometimes “Ma Ma”. She is clinging to me lots. Today is much better. Her grandparents can carry her now with some distraction and she doesn’t cry for me that bad anymore. However, I have to say it’s nice to know she still prefers and wants me to hold her. I know some people see this as a nuisance. I do admit it is tiring, but I remind myself, she is only a baby once. I won’t get this attention as much anymore when she grows older year by year.

I’ve been learning lots of things from my mom-in-law too. Sometimes I feel I can chat with her better than my mom. Perhaps, it is because she is more tactful in conversations. She has been devout student of the True Buddha School for a long time. I really admire her wisdom.

I hope someday Emma would like to listen to my stories and experiences too. I want to teach her many things about out rich culture and Buddhist teachings. To me, this is more valuable than the 100% or A grades to be achieved in school. There’s more to life than academics, and that type of education starts at home.

I went to see the doctor two das ago due to some allergy symptoms – itchy nose and eyes plus sneezing. He asked if I was working. I told him I am a full-time mama. I did not expect him to give an opinion about the need for women to stay at home and look after children. He would have had complaints or perhaps sued for discrimination if he was in North America. But for some reason, I did not mind his words. In actual fact, I agreed with him. I am blessed, our financial situation allows me to stay at home with Emma. I wonder how would it be like if it was the other way round.

Listen. Listen to your elders. Hear their stories. Open your mind and accept them as a learning opportunity. They have a great wealth of knowledge. They have what we will never see in our generation. Most histories do not repeat itself with changing times. By rejecting others and closing our minds to our own perceptions, we are not seeing the world with our heart.

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