To every son and daughter’s mother, a happy Mother’s Day. You’ve made your children what they are, whether or not you’ve intended to.
To Naomi – on behalf of Kai and myself, thank you for being everything he needs.
To Naomi’s Mom, thank you for being family.
And I remember my mother today, for making us panic every Mother’s Day not knowing what to plan for lunch and what gifts to get, forgetting that you only ever wanted us to be at our best in everything we did. I remember you would back us to the hilt if we did our best, defending us as only a mother would.
Motherhood is all love. It’s a good day to show we appreciate that by sharing the love around.
Yes, you can die from dengue. But mostly, people don’t exhibit serious symptoms, and are often not ill enough to be hospitalized.
It’s been the same with this outbreak, and I’ve found that as a result, people are being a bit blase about the current epidemic despite the media blitz by the NEA.
Some people wait till they get a rash before going to the doctor. Here’s news for you: If you have dengue, and a rash appears, your platelets are likely to be crashing and you might need a blood transfusion.
Our experience with Kai at 8 weeks old shows how you can never be too careful. He didn’t have a fever, didn’t cry more than usual, and the only reason we took him to the pediatrician was because our confinement nanny said she hadn’t seen anything like the freckles he was sporting.
After Kai had dengue, I had immediately contacted the NEA to ask them to inspect our condo and our neighbours – with one particularly suspicious house turning up empty even though they had a disused swimming pool which was looking all green and slimy.
The officers had responded by inspecting our apartment regularly. I was indignant at first, until I was told that many complainants to the NEA were actually inadvertently breeding mosquitoes themselves – my mother included. She had complained about the excessive numbers of mosquitoes in her garden, and the NEA came and found aedes larvae in her flowerpots.
Even something as innocuous as a plastic tarp covering a motorcycle collects enough rainwater to breed mosquitoes – and a person has in fact been fined for doing so.
There have been over 6,000 cases of people contracting dengue this year so far. If it goes on at this rate, don’t be surprised if there are fatalities. The thing is, we can prevent this from happening by pitching in to get rid of mosquito breeding grounds.
Yesterday morning on waking up, I checked my phone for messages, and read about the Boston Marathon bombing. As Naomi and I headed to our kitchen for breakfast with Kai, I decided to turn on the television for updates.
Kai started to ask what we were watching on tv. As has been our policy, we attempted to explain in as age appropriate a manner as possible what had happened, and why it was a very bad thing that happened, caused by a very bad person, nobody knows who yet, and why it was a very sad day.
It didn’t quite sink in – partly because Kai was taken in by the novelty of us turning on the tv at breakfast, and partly because the event was a race, and there was a bomb.
We’re still struggling to wean him off his little boy’s diet of pretend cars crashing, guns shooting (especially in light of the Sandy Hook tragedy) and bombs exploding, and he doesn’t completely grasp why we ban toy gun play at home when he sees other kids playing with toy guns and replicas.
On the way home yesterday evening, he asked if he could have some tv time after dinner – he wanted to watch the one about the race and the bomb. We explained again why it wasn’t a happy thing to watch. Thankfully he was quite exhausted and settled for another episode of Dinosaur Train instead.
During chat time a couple of days ago, Kai asked about my day, so I told him about rehearsals and how Uncle Kumar had to learn the dance steps Uncle George made up to the songs we were going to play for the show.
He furrowed his brow and declared very seriously, “that’s not work Papa! Singing and dancing is not work”.
So I said, “Yes, I know, Kai. Isn’t Papa lucky to do that for work?”
“No. That’s not right. That’s not work at all, Papa. That’s play time, like indoor play”.
“Then what’s work?”
“Work is when you go to the office and punch holes in paper and put them in a file. That’s work”.
A month ago, Naomi and I started a new bedtime routine of “chat time” with Kai, intending for it to be a chance for us to talk about our day. It started off really well, with Kai eager to come up with stuff to talk about, and listen to our stories of what we did during the day as well.
Tonight’s chat started off in mostly the same vein, except I should have heeded the past few nights’ warning signs of “Papa, I’m a bit tired, can you tell me what you did first?”
So I told him about my meeting with an ad company, and afternoon rehearsal with Uncle Kumar, Uncle George and Aunty Jasmine, and thought he’d be really interested in what Uncle Kumar had to do in the studio when he suddenly raised his index finger and thumb and said, “Papa, this is a bomb, it will explode in ten seconds… one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten… EXPLODE! BOOM! Hahahahahahaha!”