from around here

Feelin’ trippy

So it seems like the haze is still hanging around, like a pesky fly that doesn’t know how to take a hint and go away. On the topic of flies, those tiny little flies are the worst! Our new place is on the ground floor and while I love how much natural light and fresh air (haha!) we get, there are these little flies that are always around and it’s driving me nuts. Most fruit flies are just minding their own business looking for food, but these small flies, they love to fly in really close to our faces. It’s ridiculously annoying. It’ll land on baby Theo’s eyebrow and he’ll get all twitchy (okay super cute), and I can’t smack it because then I’d be smacking him straight on the eye. Although I’ve smacked myself in the face several times and the fly is all like “hahahahahahah look at that moron hahahahaha.”

One time, it was on my ear and I smacked the side of my head so hard I could hear ringing for the rest of the day but I killed it and…look who’s laughing now, you pesky dead fly.

But you know what’s worse than flies? The Haze. In upper case, like The Plague, or The Black Death. We get the haze for a few days in a year, it’s annoying but we can deal, amirite? But it’s been weeks and the forecast is that it’ll be around till Nov??!! This is killing me. 20 years later, people are going to refer to The Haze of 2015, a terrible time in Singapore’s history.

Consequently, all the kids have been ill and with 4 kids taking turns to cough into my face, it didn’t take long for me to get it too.

Falling ill with kids around, it’s really a dilemma – do you a) go for the weak, non-drowsy meds that keep you lucid but they take a long time to work, and you have a bigger window to spread the virus back to everyone else? Or b) get the meds that are strong enough to knock out a horse, but they clear you up real quick?

I typically go for the non-drowsy ones, because who has the time to be out cold for 2 days?? Not me. But I’m so done with being ill, and one has to live dangerously once in a while, so at the doctor’s yesterday morning, I asked him to give me the strongest meds he’s got.

“You sure?” he asked again. “You need to take these meds and go to bed, they’re going to knock you out.”

“Yes, sir!”

But what I was really thinking was “How bad can it be? I’ll just take it slow and power through it. I’m sure it’ll be fine.”

It was not fine.

Here’s what happened…

12.40pm: Took 2 white pills, two orange pills, one big yellow pill and a blue pill.

12.55pm: I feel nothing. I must be pretty strong, if I might say so myself.

1.20pm: Fixing a snack for the kids. Still nothing. These meds got nothin’ on me.

1.30pm: I’m beginning to doubt that the doctor really gave me the strong meds. I’m not even the slightest bit drowsy.

1.55pm: I just feel miserable. Throat is hurty, I’m hacking my lungs out, stupid meds aren’t working.

2pm: Okay, there we go. I’m feeling floaty. I just need to lie down for a bit. I can power through this, easy peasy.

2.02pm: OHMYGOD I JUST GOT RUN OVER BY A TRUCK I CAN’T FEEL MY FACE. OR LIMBS. I think I’m just gonna squat here like this in the foetal position. Somebody is asking me for an orange and somebody else just pooped his pants.

Cleared the poopy pants, I think some of the poop got into my eye in due to an unfortunate backsplashing that happened the exact moment I tried to peer at his bottom. My reflexes are nonsense right now. Remember to rinse out my eye later.

Orange request sorted, I think?

The big kids have been instructed to tag me on baby duty. I shall lie down here on the couch and close my eyes for a bit. Just 10 minutes, that’s all I need. I’ll still be able to keep an eye on them here in the living room.

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2.40pm: Someone is prying my left eye open. Judging by the size and pudginess of hand, I think it’s Finn. “MOMMY CAN I HAVE CHOCOLATE MILK?? CHO-CO-LATE MILK”, he enunciated, as if I was in the early stages of deafness.

With my forcibly-opened left eye, I could see Finn holding a packet of chocolate milk. He had taken the liberty of grabbing it out from the fridge.

I made a mental calculation of the effort it would require to haul my inebriated self off the couch and into the kitchen versus the effort it would require to clean up the mess of spilt chocolate milk and it was a no brainer.

“Hang on, mommy will help you,” I mumbled, stumbling my way into the kitchen.

There’s still poop in my eye, I can smell it. Oh wait, someone else just pooped. Must be that.

2. 45pm: I just got back onto the couch and Finn is asking if I could do a puzzle with him. I’m going to lie down here on the floor next to him and phone it in.

“Mommy, wake up!! You need to sit up and play with me, no more sleeping!!”

“Yeah, mommy’s awake, sweetie. Look, I’m opening my eye.”

“Sigh, never mind. I’ll just play by myself,” Finn said quietly.

I’m too stoned to feel any mommy guilt. “You can do it, baby. I’ll just lie here next to you ok.”

2. 50pm: Seems to be working. Shall not get off the floor, it’s nice and comfy here.

3.20pm: Oh dear how long was I out for? There’s a jackhammer in my head. WHERE ARE THE KIDS??

Tru and Kirsten are making snow for the babies by cutting up sheets of paper into little pieces and flinging them in the air. I cannot even look at this right now.

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Back to the couch.

“It’s ok mommy is sick, she won’t scold us. We just have to clean it up later, I think she won’t even remember.” I hear Truett saying.

“Ya, at least we’re having fun and not disturbing her.” It was Kirsten.

4pm: I think the meds are wearing off. I can walk around if I hold on to this wall for support. Whoops, nope. Get back to the couch!

I was basically trippy for the rest of the day and by the time the meds wore off, it was time for the next dose. Good thing the husband came back in time to take over so I went and had an early night.

On the bright side, I feel much better today so maybe it was worth it?

Discoveries

The welterweight weigh in

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Finn and Theo have been getting all chummy lately and it’s the cutest thing in the world, watching your babies bond over a youtube video about singing animals. And sometimes, Spot It.

Finn, who is the official reigning champ at Spot It, was patiently teaching his baby how to find matches on the cards like “see, Olaf and Olaf, match!” while baby Theo was blatantly not paying any attention at all. He was busy shoving them in his mouth to see how many he could eat at one time and Finn was all helpless, yelling “Stoppp, take them out, take them out!! Baby Theo, you cannot eat my Frozen cards, ewwwww saliva!”

I think this about sums up their entire relationship. Finn is the adoring big brother who’s trying to love on his baby but Theo is just like “that looks tasty, and that looks tasty too, and put that in my mouth…nom nom nom…”

***

Interestingly, these boys are 2 whole years apart but I’ve started noticing that they’re presently about the same size and weight. How did this happen??

Finn has always been small for his age – slim and compact; the svelte sort with a metabolism like an asteroid. Baby Theo, umm well, he eats the asteroid for breakfast, and then a few more planetary systems as a post-breakfast snack. During a check up a few days ago, the doctor measured his weight against the chart for babies his age and he had to draw a new line above the 99th percentile.

“This line is the 99th percentile. This (*pointing to a spot above that line) is your baby…very good job feeding him, mommy,” he added. I wasn’t sure if it was meant to be a compliment or a hasty recovery from his elaborate demonstration of how fat my baby is.

“It’s ok, I like me a fat baby,” I said. “They don’t stay that way for very long.”

So I did what any mom would do, conduct a proper weigh in (real professional like with assistants (Tru and Kirsten) and clipboards and all) to find out.

Here’s what we discovered…

Head circumference: Finn 0, Theo 1

Cheek circumference: Finn 0, Theo 1

Armpit circumference: Finn 0, Theo 1

Tummy circumference: Finn 0, Theo 1 (it’s a massacre)

Bum circumference: Finn 1, Theo 1 (strangely, exactly the same size!)

Thigh circumference: Finn 0, Theo 1

Height: Finn 1, Theo 1

Well, what do you know? Finn is almost a whole head taller but overall, baby beefcake wins.

kids in motion

Surviving a date with 4

I suppose the only good thing to be said about the haze is that we’ve had plenty of time to spend together indoors over the past week. Too much?? Almost.

I know this because right around the 43rd rematch of Guess Who? (done round robin style), Finn just started randomly shouting names that aren’t even in the game. “Does he have poofy hair on his chinny chin chin? Sam! Mickey! Adam!!”

WHO ARE ALL THESE POOFY-BEARDED PEOPLE??

Later, we discovered from Kirsten that these are his friends from school (thankfully all beardless!) but I think when your 3-year-old starts shouting the names of all the faces he misses, it’s a sign that it’s time to get out of the house.

***

We did eventually make it out for some slightly less smoggy air and they were all so happy just to be outdoors. Say what, the PSI is only at the moderately unhealthy range of 78? Pack your bags, kids, we’re heading out!

//On this note, want to know the secret to bringing 4 kids out at once without losing any of them? Sure, you do.

Because y’know, one does not just decide to leave the house with four small humans without a plan.

Going to learn about science at the science centre? We need a plan.

Going to the supermarket to pick up some eggs? We need a plan.

Going across the street to the playground? GET THAT PLAN.

#1. Introduce a baby-buddy system.

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Truett and Kirsten are team leaders and they get to take turns picking one of the babies as their buddies. They will have to be responsible for their baby at all times during the outing, which means that they are less likely to be running off themselves.

Also, whoever gets baby Theo is usually first like “I love you so much, you adorable baby, I’ll never let you go” and barely 15 seconds later, they’ll be all “HELPPP SOMEBODY TAKE THIS BABY AWAY I CANNOT FEEL MY ARMS.”

#2. Containment.

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So important. Because when left to their own devices, all four kids would be sprinting off in different directions all at the same time, and we can’t have that. I’m not the flash. That’s why a mobile home base such as a double stroller is great for strapping the babies in nice and tight, plus I get to make the big kids help push this around.

And if I really need to, I can even fit all four of them into the stroller (Tru + Theo on one side, Kirsten + Finn on the other). This is for emergencies only. Which happens to be like all the time.

#2b. No stroller? Find alternatives.

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FYI, this is what grocery shopping with 4 kids looks like.

#3. Tag team.

Usually, one baby will require more attention than the other. Identify that high-maintenance baby and channel resources to handle him as required.

Clearly, this baby is Theo so whenever his designated buddy is having a hard time being responsible for him, he/she will yell for the other person to come to the rescue.

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#Bonus point: Give them fake responsibilities.

If you can get the kids involved with real responsibilities that they are not likely to botch horribly, go for it. Make them help carry small grocery bags, or stand in line for stuff, or hold the elevator, that sort of thing.

But even if there are no real responsibilities to dole out, just come up with fake ones. I do it all the time. Like here, hold this orange for 5 minutes. Or stand here next to this wall while I change the baby’s diaper, make sure the wall doesn’t fall on us. Or count the number of tiles you step on, it’s super important for research!

*Fair warning: these tips only work like 30% of the time (when the moon is bright and Jupiter passes in front of a distant exploding star at an 87° angle) so I’m gonna go ahead and say that your mileage may vary on this.