Chin Up

I looked outside this morning, hoping to see sunshine and butterflies to warm my heart.

Instead. Cold, angry, grey clouds blanketed the sky. They mocked my week of brittleness.

I found a picture that cheered me up. We were at a wedding. The photographer happened to be an old friend of mine. So he took a few snaps of us. Which is why the photo looks so pro and makes us look a little *too* good, if you know what I mean.

Awww, we look so happy. Makes me all warm inside.

I was also shocked to see Callum’s hair so RED. Any more of that Crazy Red-Haired Scottish genes coming through and we’ll be looking at a mini Dennis the Menace. Or Grounds-keeper Willy from the Simpsons? But with slanty eyes?

Noises in the Night

It was 2am. I was sleeping like the dead. Passed out. Utterly unconsciousness from a long day’s work. I was dreaming of tropical sunsets, pineapple cocktails and 7 large Thai men massaging coconut oil into my back. Only joking.

I was fast asleep, until I heard a noise. A strange, cold howling noise that made my eyelids fly open. I stared into the darkness. I didn’t dare move. I just laid very very still.


It sounded like a dying cat. A dog? No a SEAL. A BABY SEAL!

THERE’S A BABY SEAL IN MY SON’S BEDROOM! I leapt up and fumbled around in the darkness as I tried to find my pants. My head was in a blur of tropical seals drinking coconut oil.

The noise was horrific. A dying baby seal, torturously gasping for air.

I stumbled down the hall, into my baby’s room and switched on the light. There was no seal. But no seal meant MY SON was making THAT NOISE. And one year old boys are NOT supposed to sound like DYING SEALS.

I found my son, red faced and gasping for air. Was he choking?

Was there somthing wrong with his lungs? Is he convulsing? Nothing in my entire life had prepared me for the feeling that exploded in my stomach. It was sickening.

I was frozen, trying to make sense of what I was seeing. Callum was crying. He was trying to breath in, but made barking seal noises instead. He obviously wasn’t getting enough air and was red-faced and gasping. I was horrified. I called my husband.

Zillions of first aid steps whizzed through my head. Check for breathing. Check his air passages. Check his temperature. Oh my god, it was the scariest moment in my life as a parent.

There was nothing stuck in his airways. He was still in control of his body. He just wasn’t getting enough air and he was freaking out.

I suddenly remembered reading a home remedy for a congested air passage. We grabbed him and ran to the shower. We turned on the hot water and hovered his head over the steam. Apparently the heat from the steam soothes the constricted muscles.

All three of us sat on the floor of our steamy bathroom. Silent. Hearts racing. Heads dizzy from shock. Callum started to feel feverish and started to shake. My husband and I looked at each other sharing only one thought, “Do we really want three kids?”

Things calmed down after we took his temperature, gave him some baby panadol and called the 24 hour health nurse. I was so relieved. Callum’s mood lifted considerably after the drugs, food and cuddles, so we decided we weren’t going to drag him to the doctor. Which turned out to be a wise move, because he happily went back to sleep by 4am.

The next day I was still edgy and tense. I didn’t sleep well.

I was exhausted. I told my mum about it, hoping for some sympathy and offers for babysitting. But she laughed, as she waved me off with her hands. “Aiyah, why so dramatic? No big deal lah. It happens to all babies.”

And in a matter of seconds I felt happy that I wasn’t the only mother in the world to wake up to the sound of a choking baby, and somewhat pissed off that I’ll never have an original baby story to tell the world.

EDIT : It turns out that the night before, we gave Callum a whole cup of cow’s milk. He’s not allergic to cow’s milk per se. Only large quantities of it brings about instant phlegm and a mild swelling in his throat, hence his inability to breathe properly. Thank God I read all those stupid parenting books!!!

Bean Counting at 13 Months

One afternoon a friend and I were drinking tea and chatting in my lounge room. Callum played on the floor. But after a while he must’ve wanted to join us or something.

Because he tottered into the kitchen, reached into the pantry, took out six cans of baked beans (one at a time), brought them into the lounge room and placed them in her lap.

So strange, yet cute.

Update on Things

photos sampled from

We went to the beach this afternoon to watch the sun set.
It was refreshing to feel the icy sea breeze bite at my lips and cheeks. I had to squint so my eyeballs stayed warm. Even my hair felt cold. I wore the beanie I bought in New Zealand.
And the gloves I bought in Albany. My fingers were wrapped around a take-away coffee, with it’s steam doing magical warm things on my chin.

Callum ran around the park flapping his arms. He was chasing seagulls around in circles. It was so cute. He just kept plodding after them without a care in the world. Eyes fixed. Target lock on. Arms stretched out with fingers wiggling in the air ready to grab them.

Going to the beach is like a retreat for us. A restart. For a few hours we forget about deadlines, housework, bills, and other problems in the soup of life.

Standing on the edge of our world, looking out into the sea. Clouds racing about in the sky. Wind reminding us who’s boss.

I picked Callum up and flew him around the park, Superman style. He squealed and laughed. He kicked his little legs. We almost caught a seagull too.

Life has been a bit testy for us. I’m looking forward to spend a lot more time with people and things which count the most.