20 months: Of strength and love

Just like that, she turns 20 months young today.

Looking more and more like a proper little girl.

Yet when I pointed at her picture and asked her, "Who is this?", she answered enthusiastically, "Ah.. Baby!"

The month passed by almost too quickly.

5 days in school, 5 days in hospital, unwell half the time, trying to recover half the time.

We were anxious, worried, heartbroken, tired, exhausted.

I won't forget those nights and mornings in the hospital; just me and her, a little lost, a little helpless, a little sad.

She would wake up suddenly from her sleep, every other hour, shouting "Mama!" and crying in fear. And I'd jump up from the couch, hop to her side in semi darkness, assuring her:

Mama's here. Mama's always here.

Sometimes she'd ask to be carried so I could rock her back to sleep, sometimes she was ok for me to simply pat her back or stroke her hair so she could fall asleep again.

I lost count of the number of times I shuttled to and fro the shower area with her and a soiled diaper – 3 times in less than an hour was the record one particular morning – washing her bum and cleaning her up, and seeing how sore her entire bottom was from the constant diarrhoea and from sticking the urine test bag.

Those times, my mind was so full yet so blank, the only thought I had was, please, please let her be ok again.

And then we got home and she continued to be sick, sticky and traumatised, shouting for mama in the middle of a nap, the night, and everything else in between.

I was exhausted.

When I finally got back to work, my boss asked me, "How is your daughter? How's your husband? And your helper?" (I'd told him everyone was sick.)

I said, thank you, they are all getting better!

He paused, and asked, "Actually, more importantly, how are you?"

I considered briefly, and said, with a smile, "I'm ok."

He smiled too, "Mothers are always strong."

I laughed.

It has been a rough month but I'm just happy she's recovering well and eating (too) well again.

She's talking more now, and sometimes says amazing things that only one of us will catch.. and then she refuses to repeat. 😂

My sister heard her say her own name while pointing at her own picture.
"Kah-yi-sah," she said.
But hahaha when I asked her again today, she simply said she is "Baby!" 😅

Our helper heard her say, "Yaya, cut apple!"
But again she refused to say it again when our helper asked her to repeat herself. 😅

I heard her sing the ABCD song but she refused to sing it when her Daddy asked her to.

She also tries to sing the monkey song, wheels on the bus (wipers go swish swish swish), row the boat, 拔萝卜, if you're happy and you know it.. complete with action, which is really cute. #oldwongsellsmelon

She is back to being a real #tamjiak monster and she loves soup!

"Shoop!" She'll say.. and demand that I scoop some soup for her.
In fact she'll tell me when she wants on the spoon so I can feed her.
"Yais" (rice), corn, "hwish" (fish).. or she'd simply point.

She can feed herself very well too, but sometimes she'd transfer whatever she has scooped to the spoon I'm holding on to, and make me feed her instead. 😅
So I guess her fine motor skills are quite good.

Today she finally said "Piss!" when I told her she should say please when asking for the tablet. Before this she usually just moves her lips but no "P" sound comes out. 😅

She also pretends to feed her duckie and other toys, or examine them with her toy sethoscope (and erm, make them wear spectacles).

My colleague told me that pretend-play is a sign of brain development, so I guess it's as good as it is funny to watch. 😁

She loves looking at the mirror, and today after putting on her spectacles, she exclaimed, "Meiyo!" before running to the mirror in the study room to check herself out. 😅

She's also figured out the reverse camera button on my phone.. to check her reflection and.. for selfies.

She also knows the Gallery and YouTube icons by heart.. and navigates our phones and tablet with ease. 😂

20 months, and this particular month has been one of strength and love.

We've learned how loved we are, and how loved she is.

For that I'm thankful and I hope she stays healthy and happy.

Happy 20 months! 😁