When Ayra meets Zara – Bonding two children in the family

Getting the elder child to learn and accept a younger sibling is a tricky thing especially when they are two years apart. Zara, our second girl arrived slightly less than a month before our first child, Ayra, turned two. Every parents know the challenges ahead when a child turns two (they don’t name it “terrible two” for nothing).

The elder child’s need for more attention, learning to control and express more emotions, learning how to get what’s on her mind across to adults and so much more new (and sometime frustrating) things to explore and experience. With so much on hand I must be crazy to think that a two year difference in age is a good thing for my girls. I told myself a 2 year gap is great course they will both be able to share the same stuff, play together and learn together. This ideal dream was brought down soon after baby Zara was born, when my mum warned that 2 years difference is going to be a huge challenge ahead. According to her “philosophy”, when the gap is less than two the, elder may still be unaware of the changes and if its a gap of 3 years, the elder child will be more mature to accept a younger sibling. No matter what lies ahead, I am up for the challenge!

It has been more than month now and to me, I am happy and grateful for how my girls have grown and bonded. Elder sister, Ayra has grown to love and show her affection to the little one. When she’s at Grandma’s place, she’ll often ask where is Meimei (younger sister), and when she’s at home with us she will often ask to carry Zara. In her words, “Ayra toyie. Ayra toyie Meimei.” Yes, her carry sounds like toyie.

There are times when I have to carry the little one and Ayra will cry for my attention. And there are times when the little one is feeding and Ayra will demand for milk at the very moment. All these will past. And soon both girls will be sharing giggles, love and stories of their own; leaving me out in little parts of their lives.

I’m thankful for my two girls, my husband and my family’s support. I salute all the mummies out there who are able to look after more than 1 child alone. Till Zara turns 1 (at least), I doubt I’ll be able to handle both of them together alone for more than a week without any help from my family.

I love you my precious babies. I promise to love you, hold you, cherish you and be there for you always.

Your many first in a day

Dear Ayra,

31 August was an eventful day for you. You had your many first that day, and you were also unwell. A very naughty virus attacked your Ayah at work and he was sick for 2 weeks, this lead to a sick Mummy and Ayra too. Both of us visited the doctor together for the first time that day.

You did well at the doctor, sat quietly and fiddled with the toys on doctor’s desk while she examined you. When its Mummy’s turn to be examined, you kept turning around to see what the doctor was doing to me. Well, both of us got the same routine done and even our medications were the same kind.

At the mall, you had your first kiddy ride with Bob the Builder with compliment from Grandma.

Ayra rides with Bob
Ayra rides with Bob

You were seated and held on to the ride like a big kid!

That day, Mummy and Ayah visited the Parents World exhibition at Expo and came home with lots of Merries diapers for you. And also a new tricycle! You were so excited when you saw the big box and kept pointing at it while doing your “Ah! Ah! Ah!” sound effect and expression.

Grandpa and I were trying to fix it, and you kept crawling and inching towards the actions, wanting to get on the bike! When you finally did, you didn’t want to come down from it.

Ayra and her Tricycle
Ayra and her Tricycle

Now, every morning you insists a ride on it around the house.

Baby, you sure have a big kid inside your tiny self. Grow well and strong Ayra!


It’s back to you and me

Dear Ayra,

When you wake up tomorrow morning, you will notice the house is quieter and emptier, you may feel a little sad when you don’t see Grandma and Grandpa waiting for you in the living room. Our day may seem a little longer than before as we try to keep one another company without causing much trouble to one another.

After two months of help from your Ah Ma and Ah Gong, they are going back to work tomorrow. This time they will probably have even lesser time than before as they start their new business at a new place, with new food offering and also longer operating hours. They may not have much energy left after work to play with you. Days will not be the same again.

I am a little worried and scared. Having them around makes our life much easier and fun. You got to spend time with them in the day while I get proper work done. With them back at work means late night work and lesser sleep for me. The cause and effect for lesser sleep and rest for me also means lower tolerance level, more mood swings and tiresome Mummy. I hope you will learn to understand that both of us have to learn to give and take. We need to start giving one another our own space in the day. You have to be more independent and less reliance on having me within reach all the time. I have to start learning to let you cry out loud till you realize that crying will not solve every problem. Pampering time is over, you need to learn to grow up on your own. I blame us adults for showering you with too much attention and pampering. This shouldn’t be the way for a baby to grow. Time to bring on the stern and expressionless masks.

In three months time, we will be undergoing another major transformation in our life. Moving into our own home with just you, Ayah and me. At such young age, you have to go through such drastic changes within a short period of time, perhaps you will become mature at a pretty young age too.

I am a little afraid. Afraid that I may not be able to handle so many things on my own in the day. There are still so many important decisions to make so that our family can have a better life in the future. All these adult’s business is really challenging and sometime heart wrenching to work out. I hope you will not have to go through such challenges too soon.

Grow slowly but steadily my baby girl. Take each learning step one at a time. Before you learn to walk, please try not to do stunts like flying off beds and sofas. Mummy’s heart is getting weaker by the days.

Loving you deeply,

You amazed me

Dear Ayra,

You amazed me all the time and tonight you held yourself up for more than 3 seconds on my bed without holding on to me for support. TWICE!!! Your hands were held high and your posture was straight and upright. You gave me a “look-ma-i-did-it” expression and it was priceless!

You are learning so fast and picking up new habits everyday. You’ll pretend to be upset to get my attention when I’m busy with work. You will play hide-and-seek with me and laugh together with me when we are having fun. You also prefer to sleep next to me in my bed every night, and will occupy 3/4 of the single bed leaving me with little space for any proper sleep. Though I wake up every morning with strained neck, arms and back, the great big smile you give me upon waking up makes all these pain go away. Its magic!

Baby, grow well and grow strong.


You’re growing well

Though mummy just hit 30, daddy wants to be sure that all is well for you and me. So I took the first trimester screening package to make sure that I do not fall under the high risk pregnancy category.

Blood test was done at week 9 and an ultrasound scan of nuchal translucency (NT) was carried out around week 13 day 6. The blood test was not as painful as I’d thought, though three tubes of blood was drawn out from my left arm.

The scan took quite a long time, mostly due to the long long wait for the doctor to come and the other because you were not in the right position for the doctor to see your nose. Mummy had to drink plenty of water and attempt to cough a couple of times so that you’ll move to the right position for the doctor to scan.

All results from the above tests were good and the risk of Down Syndrome is very very very very low. Daddy and Mummy are both very pleased to hear that.

Grow well baby. We’ll meet soon!