Archive for January 2013

A sick child

January 22, 2013

I came down with a nasty cold and cough last week and despite my best efforts not to give it to Lucien, he still got it in the end. It started with a slight cough on Sunday which developed into a bad fever on Monday morning.

When I went into his room to pick him up, the boy was bright red in the face with lips the colour of beetroot. He was clingy, whiny, listless, grumpy, tired. When I changed him out of his pyjamas, his limbs were flushed and hot, his skin crisp and dry like he had just come out of the oven.

I gave him some cereal for breakfast, some baby paracetamol and made sure he drank as much as he could. For the whole morning the poor baby just laid down on the sofa with his dear bolster watching the telly. (This is when you know Lucien is really ill, because he’s NEVER the sort to just lie down and chill.) He asked for chocolate and I gave him 2 squares.

The paracetamol didn’t really do much to bring the temperature down and I tried my best to keep him awake till lunch time, where I gave him some mouthfuls of soup and another dose of paracetamol.  All he wanted to do was be held.

At 1:30pm I put him down for his afternoon nap but 30 minutes he woke up crying. I went in the room to remove his trousers and jumper, and he went back to sleep in his t-shirt and nappy. During this time I made a simple tofu, bacon and potato broth in the slow cooker as I figured he wouldn’t have much appetite for dinner. He managed to nap fitfully for 90 minutes, and woke up crying. He was still hot and pink so I used a cold flannel to wipe him down all over, which of course wasn’t very popular.

Desperate, I phoned my sister-in-law to see if she could grab some baby ibuprofen from the shop as there was no way I want to leave the house with him like this. She was just finishing her shopping at the supermarket so she said she would drop off the medicine on her way home.

I tried the different drug on Lucien at 4:30pm, in hope it would be more effective in bringing the fever down. It worked. At 5:30pm, the colour finally started draining from his face and he asked for a piece of toast which he finished. He also started playing with his cars, which was a sign that he was feeling better.

My hot water began giving me problems at this time. I phoned the engineer who came out to see us but he couldn’t find a fault. So I had to run Lucien’s bath by boiling hot water in the kettle and mixing it with cold water from the tap.

When he finally went to bed at 8:00pm after his bath, milk and medicine, I developed stomach cramps and realised I hadn’t eaten anything much at all the whole day. I laid on the sofa and watched the last 45 minutes of Marley & Me. I warmed up my food but couldn’t eat more than a few mouthfuls because my stomach was hurting.

The ending of Marley & Me made me sob and then I couldn’t stop! At this time my husband phoned and when he heard my voice, he asked me what was wrong. I said after the sort of day I had, I needed a good cry.

Screwed up

January 10, 2013

When a person gets screwed up, it takes a damn lot of effort and time to get them unscrewed. (Sometimes this is even impossible to achieve) And honestly, when you are uncovering the reasons why a person ends up being screwed up in the first place, you will find it’s usually because they have screwed up families/parents. This is what I have come to realise. The importance of being sane for your children. And that if you are screwed up, don’t have children, please, until you have sorted yourself out.

I have been counselling my staff. Oh.my. god, it really takes it out of me. He’s brilliant, but he also has a WHOLE HECK LOAD of issues which stand in the way of him being brilliant. So when he doesn’t deliver, I have to spend A LOT of time to try to uncover the reasons why. The truth is he probably needs a lot of counselling and therapy.

You can teach someone to build an aircraft, whip up a gourmet meal, drive a car, repair the toilet, fix the electrics but it takes double or triple that effort to teach someone to be believe in themselves. Or to love and respect themselves. Or to believe that they are not idiots or prats. Or not to use insulting, negative words to describe themselves.

This has definitely made me think. How can I teach my son to love himself, that he is loved, that he is capable of great things, but he is also human, he needs to stay grounded and he is not invincible. The mind is a powerful thing. I definitely don’t want to screw his up.

Happy 2013!

January 1, 2013

As 2013 opens with fireworks in every country, I am feeling excited and hopeful about new opportunities it will bring. 2012 had indeed been rather tiring.

In January we went back to Singapore for Chinese New Year. R and I spent five days in Bali on our own, enjoying the hot, sunny weather, riding around the island on a motorbike and relaxing in our spacious pool villa.

Upon return to Britain in February I submitted my application for permanent residency in the UK.

In March I left the boys for the first time to go on a three-day work trip. Some complications arose regarding my PR application; I had to resubmit the forms.

My mother stayed with us from March to April and all four of us went to stay at a beautiful hotel in the Cotswolds for two nights.

From May I started to regularly drive my car to work. I finally overcome my fear of motorway driving.

We had to cancel our holiday plans to Singapore in June because of the delay in processing my PR application. This was a very depressing and stressful time. We did not get to celebrate Lucien’s 2nd birthday with family in Singapore as planned, but instead spent it at a farm park in Cardiff. A few days after we returned however, we all caught a stomach bug of some kind and all three of us experienced varying degrees of gastrointestinal distress.

In July I was granted permanent residency and we got our passports back and could finally make plans to travel to Singapore.

August slipped by quickly. We had the outside of the house repainted, garden tidied and maintained, ceilings and walls painted.

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The highlight of the year was when R bought me an old but well-cared for Mercedes A160 for my birthday in September. I sold my little Hyundai but still think of it till this day. Another wonderful milestone which happened this month was S & WL’s wedding, which we are glad to have been part of.

In October, R and I went to Taipei for four days on our own to celebrate our third wedding anniversary. We really enjoyed the trip – the autumnal weather was cool but pleasant and we found the city very scenic, vibrant and appealing. Lucien started going to playgroup when we returned to the UK, two mornings a week. My mother visited us again in the UK from October to November. We made two days trips: to Oxford and to Stratford-upon-Avon.

I left the boys for the second time this year in November when I flew back to Singapore for five days to attend my cousin’s wedding. I cooked and froze a week’s worth of meals for Lucien because R’s culinary skills are non-existent.

In December, my boss prepared us for difficulties on project funding and job security. Our outlook is uncertain.

So I hope 2013 will bring me strength, patience, courage and determination to overcome my obstacles; and laughter, wisdom and optimism to see me through every challenge.

HAPPY 2013!