Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Back to square one.

Just when I thought things had taken a turn for the better and my boy had overcome his colicky behaviour, it comes back in full force. He is making noise from the time he wakes up until he sleeps, arching his back, kicking and basically not being able to sit still. Day time naps are nonexistent so that makes it worse.

A couple of months ago when he was at the peak of his gassiness, we had to carry him around all day to calm him. It got better after a while but now we are back to square one. The difference is that now, at almost 8kgs, he is 3kgs heavier than he was back then. My poor wife and her mother are having backaches to deal with. I can only help out for an hour or two in the evening when I am home from work, before he goes to sleep and also on weekends.

We have taken him to the doctor numerous times. At almost 4 months now he should be past his colicky stage. The reason for his discomfort at the moment, according to the doctor, is his acid reflux. We have been giving him medication to help control his reflux but so far it doesn't seem to work. He is crying more than ever.

From what I have read, babies will grow out of their reflux eventually. When they are able to sit up comfortably, their stomach will be able to settle a little better and the reflux will go away. That sounds great but for us that is still months away. Having to deal with a fussy baby for one day is hard enough, another few months will wear us out. I am just glad my wife and her mother are able to deal with it. At least they can take turns carrying him. If it was my wife alone attending to the baby, she would collapse in a few days. I would have no choice but to quit work and go back to help her.

My wife is envious of people with easy babies who sleep easily and only stir to be fed or changed. Most babies we come across seem to be like that. From what I'm told only five percent of babies have reflux and are as difficult as ours.

From my own experience most people can't relate to what we're going through. All I can say is that every child is different. If I hear anyone make light of our situation and compare their peaceful little baby to ours, I am going make sure they get more than just a piece of my mind. Likely a piece of my foot.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Happiness

These days nothing makes me happier in life than seeing my boy smile. He smiles easily and at everyone when he is in a good mood. That makes whatever crappy day I'm having significantly better. I am prone to melancholy and depressive moods sometimes but these days I snap out of it the instant I come home and see him. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I owe him a good and happy childhood just for that.

Like every parent I want to give my boy nothing but the best. I am trying to save as much as I can so that his education in the future will not be compromised. The important thing is that I am here for him when he needs me and will support him in whatever he wants to do in life. That will be worth more than packing him off to an expensive boarding school and hoping he comes out a genius.

My father spent a fortune on my siblings and I growing up. There are four of us and we were all sent to international schools to study and then on to universities abroad. A good education doesn't come cheap as we all know. If you have four kids like my father you're talking about millions. I wonder how he managed it.

Now that I am a father myself, I'm trying to figure out how I will be able to afford to give my son what my father gave me. I certainly wouldn't be able to send him to an international school although it would be nice if he gets an education that gives him a global view of the world that a local school here won't provide.

My wife says it doesn't matter if we can't afford it. An alternative would be to send him to a good Chinese school. I am all for that since he is half Chinese and the level of discipline and achievement in Chinese schools tend to be better than the national Malay medium ones. It would also be an asset for him to be able to read and speak in Mandarin.

All this is rather premature. He is now only 15 weeks old. Our job at the moment is to make sure he hits all the developmental milestones and is a happy boy. Growing up happy is important. How you condition a child during his childhood will affect him for the rest of his life. I wouldn't want him to be a cynical and downbeat person like me. It is like having an albatross around your neck.

At the end of the day education starts at home. Some parents may send their kids to the best schools but if their father never took the time to read them a book or inspire them to learn by making it fun, then it is all for nought. The kid will just sleepwalk through school and have a piece of paper with exam grades to show for it when he graduates. The joy of learning will have passed him by. I'll have to make sure that doesn't happen. Ironically, that won't cost me a thing at all. Just a bit of time and effort.

I have heard people say children owe their parents for bringing them into this world and taking care of them. Now that I have become a parent I totally disagree with that. On the contrary, I owe my son. He doesn't owe me a thing because I wanted to have him. He didn't have a choice in the matter. So it is my job to teach him how to read and write well, play the guitar, swim, kick a ball and whatever else I can offer him. Providing a roof over his head, food on the table and a decent education shouldn't even be mentioned. That is a given.

Friday, July 18, 2008

New Songs!!!

Lately I have been getting emails from people who are still interested in getting a copy of my last album "Songs That Won't Sell". That album was released 3 years ago but due to a new video and single "Time Well Spent" being played on HITZ.TV, there has been renewed interest and people wanting to get a copy of the cd. The bad news is that it is no longer available in the stores. However I can send a copy to anyone who is interested if they send me an email with their details.

I have also written a bunch of new songs that I hope to record in the near future. Being busy with family life and having work responsibilities doesn't make it easy for me to spend time on my music. However, as long as I am alive and still writing songs, I will try my best to put it out. It doesn't matter if a few hundred or a few thousand get to hear it. If my boy can listen to it one day and realize that his father is not such a square, then it would be worthwhile.