This is my very own little space in cyberspace. The space where I vent, the space where I rant and the space where I rave.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

16 Days Later

Sixteen days postpartum….

In pain

Oh joys....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Aryanna Lucia Li Hui

            I finally have a name!  Thank goodness it’s more than pleasant-to-the-ears.  It’s beeeyooooootiful!!  Suffice to say, mummy and daddy have done a great job at picking out a name for me.  It’s a bit of a mouthful for a tiny infant like me (I’m 15 days old today, yippeeeee!!) and I daresay the name is longer than me, but you can be sure that I’m doing my best to grow into the name.
            Why so long, one might ask?  In fact, I asked that question too.  Apparently it is so that I won’t forget my racial mix.  Well, I am also part Thai, so shouldn’t my name be Aryanna Lucia Chulalongkorn Li Hui?  That would really be a big mouthful :P I can just imagine my teachers tripping over their tongue trying to say my name.  I bet I would never be called to answer any questions in class :D
            All in all, I am a satisfied and contented 15-day-old.  So much so I’ve revised my early opinion of the world.  See how much I’ve learnt since I last wrote!  The world is beginning to be more interesting to me.  Sure, I still miss turning somersault in my sac and I still miss my cord, but there are compensations to living in this noisy bright cold world.  And it’s time for one of those compensations now – boobiejuice!!!  Ta ta for now!  

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I've arrived!

            Hello world!  Just dropping a few lines to let y’awl know I’m here!  It was in the wee hours of the morning of 12th January 2011 (3.51 am to be exact) after a long tumultuous journey that the stork dropped me on mummy’s tummy.  Well, not the stork exactly, but Dr Obstetrician.  So that makes me about four and three quarter days old.  I weighed 3.06 kg and measured 48.5 cm. 
As of now, I still don’t have a name, although I’ve heard mummy and daddy discussing some very-pleasant-to-the-ear names.  So for the moment I’m stuck with the nickname I had in utero, Squashy.  I hope they’d hurry the naming business up.  Can u imagine if I were stuck with the name Squashy all my life?  Dear God, that would mean at least 10 years of therapy for me.
So what do I think of the world?  ‘S far as I’m concern, it’s a cold, noisy, bright world.  I sure miss my watery former home.  So warm and cosy and dark.  And I sure as heck miss my cord to play and pull and tug.  Thank goodness I still have my fingers to gum on, but even those are encased in these strange cotton things that taste yucky!  Still, I guess one must be thankful for small mercies. 
Ok then, will catch up later.  Need my beauty zzzzzz now.  It’s tiring being a newborn. 

                                                                                                    Baby Squashy  


Monday, January 10, 2011

Of Bananas and Pineapples

            In the last few months, I’ve asked this question many times.  Why does giving birth have to hurt so damn much???  Oh, I can furnish you with the scientific explanation, but unless you’ve gone through it yourself, you can’t even begin to comprehend the level of pain women in labour go through.  Of course, different people have different threshold of pain.  What is excruciatingly painful for one person may be just mildly so for another.  But when it comes to giving birth, two words can usually sum it up: freakin painful.

            These are some comparisons women have made regarding childbirth pains.

1.    Babies – they go in like bananas but they come out like pineapples

2.    Giving birth is like having someone take your bottom lip and stretch it over your head.

3.    It felt like pooping an express train / bowling ball / durian

4.    I felt like I had an iron vise clamping my middle

5.    Period cramps multiplied by three gazillion

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

More On Names

            Yes, yes, yes… I’m still thinking about names.  I’m going to have a baby!  Very very soon.  What else could I be thinking about but names?  We (the baby daddy and I, with the help from lots of people) have narrowed it down to a few.  The final name will be chosen after the baby has arrived.  This is because the Chinese name can only be given after she has been born.  This is to pick a name that agrees with the time and date of birth, and the position of heavenly bodies etc etc. 
            After all the trouble and discussion and consultation that went on in the process of shortening the list, I really hope the kid is going to like the name.  It’s one of the biggest ironies of life, isn’t it?  That the person who is going to be saddled with the name and who has to live with it for the rest of his/her life is the one person nobody consulted with.  I mean, this is the name that the person is going to live and die with.  And this is the name that will appear in the obituary and carved on the tombstone.  And this person has no say at all in the process of picking and choosing of the name.  Not very fair is it??

Which is why there are probably zillions of individuals walking on the face of the earth right this minute have names they don’t like.  The onus therefore is on the parents and other adults in the infant’s life to be sober and responsible enough to pick a name that will not cause trauma to the said infant in later years.  This is actually easier said than done.  Kids can be cruel.  Really really cruel.  And they are perversely smart at twisting and contorting names into something hilarious, or just plain unkind.  I doubt any adult today who was not home-schooled escaped these taunting and torments.

            It gets harder in multilingual, multiethnic Malaysia.  A name which is perfectly respectable in one language/dialect may mean something totally different in another.  This is especially true for the Chinese.  First of all, there are numerous different dialects in the Chinese language.  Second of all, traditional Chinese names usually consist of 3 names, the surname, the generation name and the person’s name.  This leads to the “twistability” and “contortability” of Chinese names.  And with names like Tong and Fatt and Kok and Poo and Wee, Chinese names really are sitting ducks for jokes and ridicule. 

            This is probably why a lot of Chinese have taken matters into their own hands by giving themselves more agreeable names.  This is usually achieved by adding (usually)  English (or in some cases, “perceived English”) name before the surname.  Of course, if one’s surname happens to be Poo, then there’s really not much one can do to “agreeable-ise” it.  Except maybe move to a planet where English is not used at all.

              This practice of giving oneself English names can have quite bizarre results.  For one, since the name is not registered with Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara, it is not official and does not appear on any official document.  Hence, the person can give him/herself any name he/she fancies. In short, even “Princess Consuela Banana Hammock” can be considered.  For another, the person can change the name at will.  If he/she comes across another more appealing name, there’s no stopping the name change.  So, in a blink, “Princess Consuela Banana Hammock” can become “Crap Bag”.

            Then there’s also the compatibility of the name with the person.  I mean, I’m not a snob or anything, but what’s the use of giving yourself English names when you can’t even speak English without mangling the language??  Shouldn’t you just stick to your ethnic and original name?  I was watching a Singapore-produced English programme on TV once, and a local TV actor was interviewed.  I don’t know about talent, since I don’t watch Singaporean shows, but he was supposedly quite popular and very much the hot young thing on the scene.  I can’t really remember his name, Paul Chen or something  (“Paul” is his glamour/commercial name).  But what I remember is that to every question posed to him (in English) he responded in Mandarin.  Now, I’m not saying that his lack of proficiency in the language is in any way a reflection on his quality as a person or actor.  Neither am I saying that it is through any fault* of his.  I fully acknowledge the fact that there are some people who are just not good when it comes to certain things.  Some people are not good when it comes to learning new languages.  Some people are stumped when it comes to directions.  Some people are good people managers, while others are sucky at it.  Take yours truly for example, I am totally hopeless when it comes to numbers and Maths.  But then, I don’t go around calling myself Pythagoras or Descartes, do I?  Back to Mr Paul Chen or something.  Instead of calling himself Paul, shouldn’t he just stick to Chen Teck Beng??  Here I’d like to take this opportunity to laud Chow Yuen Fatt for sticking to Chow Yuen Fatt instead of turning himself into Ivan Chow or Richard Chow or Luke Skywalker Chow or whatever. 

            Then there are also people who get a little carried away in giving themselves names.  I know this one Chinese guy.  His parents very thoughtfully (or thoughtlessly, depending on how you look at it) gave him a name with a wealth of meaning and which sounds perfectly beautiful in their own Chinese dialect.  Unfortunately, this guy and his parents do not live in some province in China.  Instead, they live in Malaysia.  And this poor fella’s name, once romanised, has a twistability and contortability factor of twelve over ten.  Yes, it’s that bad.  So this guy, let’s call him ….. X Y Z …..  jumped on the bandwagon and gave himself the name of …. let’s say ….. Peter.  Very Russian Tsar-ish.  Nobody can make fun of Peter X the way they can X Y Z.  And I thought that’s the end of the story.  Turned out Peter was far from satisfied with just one name.  Maybe it was all those years of taunting.  So Peter went and gave himself another name.  X Y Z morphed into Peter X morphed into Peter Christopher X.  What’s next?  Peter Christopher Englebert Smith-Potter?  In Y Z’s defence, I don’t blame him for wanting to make his life easier and happier.  If you’re not happy with your nose, you get a nose job.  If you’re not happy with your boobs, you get a boob job.  So what’s wrong with plastic surgery-ing your name?  Nothing.  Except that if you do too much plastic surgery, you end up looking like Wacko Jacko. 

              What’s the real story behind all these ramblings about names?  Only that as a parent, I have tried my level best to shield and protect my child from being the butt of jokes.  I have twirled and swirled the names on the list around my tongue. And if she still ends up being the butt of jokes, well, that is the will of the Providence and out of my hands.  And now I have come to the end of my ramblings about names.  The End. 

Note:  I wrote about the Chinese and Chinese names not because I am being racist or discriminating the other races.  It is simply because I myself am a Chinese, and therefore am more familiar with the Chinese experience. 
* Actually it kinda is!  He shoulda studied harder in school izenit??   

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bye 2010, Hello 2011

            I have not made new year resolutions for many years now for the simple reason that the resolutions crumble after several weeks into the new year.  So why even bother? Besides, I don’t get this; why NEW YEAR resolution?.  Why must we wait for the new year to improve and better ourselves?  If we feel the need to make any penambahbaikan to our character/attitude in February, does that mean we have to wait 10 months before we can do it?
            Anyhoo…. since it is the new year, and the trend is to make resolution(s), here are some of mine:
1.                                                Will not procrastinate
2.                                               Be more patient
3.                                               Not so messy
4.                                              Exercise more
5.                                             Take more photos of the family
6.                                              Cook/bake more often
7.                                              Call / talk to friends more often
That’s all I can think of right now