One of the good things about taking an extended leave is definitely being able to spend more time with the girls – Allie during the day and Clarissa in the evenings.
Clarissa is at an interesting and quirky age now, doing all sorts of funny things.
This morning before going to school, she told us it’s Baby Duck’s birthday today and proceeded to seat Baby Duck down on the stool and laid out various surprise eggs with toys in them in front of her.
“So long never celebrate Baby Duck’s birthday!” She said.
We asked her how old Baby Duck is, and she said, “Eleven!”
And she is right because the last time she celebrated Baby Duck’s birthday, she said Baby Duck was 10. 😆
(By the way there is no logic to the age of Mama, Papa and Baby Duck. Mama Duck is 4 years old; Papa Duck is 3. 😂)
..While Allie is her usual happy self, trying to put all sorts of things into her mouth.
Ok, at least this one is a teether (=acceptable).
I bought this teether for Clarissa, but she didn’t do much with it (or to it) because she was a cautious baby who didn’t like to put things into her mouth. Most of the time she didn’t touch it at all, and if she did, she’d be simply flinging it away.
(Not putting things in her month is actually not a bad thing, except when it comes to eating real food. 😂)
Allie, on the other hand, has already tasted:
- Her own drumstick
- Mummy’s hand
- Playgym mat
- Lizard friend’s leg
- Giraffe friend’s leg
- Bunny friend’s ears, hands and legs
- And more 🙈🙈🙈
It’s interesting to see her character unfold even at such a young age and to observe how similar yet different the two girls are, when Clarissa was at the same age and development phase.
Both girls enjoy giving us a surprise whenever we look for them in their cot.
For Clarissa, it was as early as when she was just 2 months young.
I’d placed her head on the cloth, body perpendicular to it, but the next morning she was lying sideways, mitten off, t-shirt up.. And she gave me a simi-daiji (what’s the matter) face when I first saw her and asked her what happened.
She would do this almost everyday, and I remember one morning, when she was barely 3 months old, I was in a momentary panic mode (and shock) because she wasn’t in the cot when I went into her room:
She’d somehow moved all the way to hide under the changing station.
And yep, as usual, she looked as if she was asking me, “Yes Mummy? Simi daiji?” 😂
Allie too started shifting around in her cot quite early, but not consistently.
In fact most of the time she stays in the same spot when she sleeps.
As a result she has a bald spot at the back of her head, which Clarissa didn’t have.
This was her yesterday:
Our helper had put her head on the yellow muslin cloth (which was on top of the blue one), and left her in the cot for two minutes to go to the kitchen.
When she went back to the room, Allie had somehow moved herself, her head firmly lying on the pillow, and the yellow cloth was flung across the cot.
I was there too, and Allie simply gave me a “Oh hi Mummy” face followed by a sheepish smile (and lots of gesturing) when I asked her what she was doing.
Clarissa first flipped over a few days before she turned 3 months old. I was in shock and only managed to take a picture on the day she turned 3 months old. 😅
She did it so grudgingly?
Even though no one forced her to.
I didn’t even let her do much tummy time because I wasn’t confident, as a first-time mum, to handle it. I was afraid I might hurt her.
But everyday, she kept trying.
2 weeks later, at 15 weeks young, she succeeded and managed to do the full works of flipping from back to tummy, lifting her head up, and from tummy to back.
(Still very grudgingly, if I may add. 😂)
With Allie, I gave her tummy time quite early on, and regularly.
But she took her time.
And of course I let her. There is no hurry.
Her first half-flip on her own, and she couldn’t lift her head up.
So she simply remained lying down like this and waited for someone to help her. She wasn’t angry or crying.
In fact she promptly forgot about it and stopped doing it for some time.
She managed to do the full works 3 weeks later, and was completely nonchalant about it. 😆
Like, “Oh yes hi I flipped over.” Lol.
She wasn’t very consistent and couldn’t always flip back onto her back on her own. So she’d cry for help when she got stuck.
She’s now mastered it, though I don’t know when exactly. 🙊
This one’s quite classic, because both girls seem to not like wearing socks at about the same time!
One fine morning, Baby Clarissa woke up and decided she didn’t want to put on socks.
The same morning she realised she could reach her foot and pull her socks.
Wai-po saw what she was trying to do, and put on a more tight-fitting pair for her.
But in the same afternoon, after her nap, we found her in the sarong, both socks off her feet.
And yes she was sniffing one of them.
Allie has been trying to pull her socks off too!
She’d keep trying, but without much success.
And then she’d look disappointed and go, “Oh well.”
*Absentmindedly eats her drumstick instead*
I guess, in summary:
Baby Clarissa’s motto – What I want, I always get
Baby Allie’s motto – What I want, I sometimes forget
We started Clarissa on solids at exactly 6 months old.
She was cautious and skeptical – look at the way she licked the spoon. 😂
And Allie at 4.5 months old.. was also skeptical when she took the first spoonful of rice cereal.
But subsequently she’s all “Bravo! Give me more!” 😊😁
I love her enthusiasm. 😊
One thing they have in common though, when it comes to food: Both do not like pear puree. 😂
Somehow I forgot and made the same mistake – because pears have lower risk of triggering allergies – and gave Allie pear puree for her first experience with fruits.
Clarissa saw her face all scrunched up after tasting the pear puree for the first time, and asked her with a knowing smile, “Very sour right, Meimei?” 😂
Hahahaha we wanted to take a famfie but Allie was already looking for spiders. 😂😆
So when Allie is tired she’d sometimes get a little fussy. Most of the time she’d not want to be left in the playpen.
Once we carry her out, she’d be fine but she’d not be smiling much or paying attention to us.
Instead she’d be staring at a random spot, far away but in front of her.
I call this action of hers “looking for spiders”.
This means she wants to sleep lol.
She looks like she’s looking at the camera, but actually she’s still looking for spiders.
So we all looked for spiders.. everywhere. 😂
(I’ve just realized that Allie was pulling Jiejie’s hair again. 😂🙊)
It is just me (and perhaps our helper too), but I find it very cute when she starts looking for spiders. 😆
Clarissa on the other hand would be doing rock-climbing all over me and getting angry, like “Why can’t I sleep?” 😂
It’s amazing, discovering and learning about their similarities and differences, and how in spite of their differences, both of them have their little quirks and silly antics which I find very endearing and funny – in their own ways.
One thing’s for sure: both of them smile in the most disarming and charming ways, always brightening my day (and the room 😆).
Clarissa’s smile and laughter have a cheeky streak in them while Allie’s exudes a very earnest kind of warmth.
And I love both of them very, very much. 😊
Big sister, little sister
Clarissa gets jealous of her little sister from time to time.
She’d complain that we are too loud if we talked or laughed too much about some funny thing Allie did.
Or she’d suddenly cling onto me when I’m attending to Allie.
Not the most glamorous picture but our helper took this photo of us because she found it cute and funny.
It was close to Allie’s bedtime so she didn’t want to be in the playpen. So I carried her out and put her on my lap.
Jiejie came and proposed that Meimei sat on my left lap and she’d sit on my right.
Which is the norm – half the time in the evenings I’d have both girls sitting on my lap – because one is fussy and one is #fomo.
But that night while sharing my lap, Jiejie extended her hand across Meimei’s shoulders, and placed it on her shoulder lovingly, sayang-ing Meimei’s cheek from time to time.
(But she was reluctant to take a picture when Yaya requested for one lol.)
I’ve almost given up asking Clarissa to lower her volume whenever Allie is sleeping.
She doesn’t talk or play loudly on purpose, and sometimes she really tries her best.
But it’s hard for a 3.5yo to stay quiet most of the time.
Yet whenever Allie wakes up at unintended timings, Clarissa would ask us, “Is it me? Did I wake Meimei up?”
The correct answer, always, always, has to be “No”.
Otherwise this Jiejie would feel bad and burst into tears. 😅😂
One evening we were playing in Clarissa’s room. Clarissa was on her fire truck while Meimei and I were on the mattress.
I’d asked Clarissa to be careful not to step on Meimei if she wanted to get off the bed. She said ok, but promptly forgot about it two minutes later and nearly stepped on Allie who was lying on her tummy.
I gently reminded Clarissa to be careful, and promptly picked Allie up.
Clarissa sat on her bed, stunned for a few seconds before her face crumpled up.
And then she started wailing.
So I took her into my arms too and hugged her while she cried it out.
Meimei suddenly felt sad too and starting crying on and off? Lol.
When Jiejie calmed down, we all just hugged like this until our helper came to carry Meimei out for her wipe-down. 😂
It was quite.. amusing. 😅
Although on some days it can be quite overwhelming, not only physically but also mentally, having to deal with everyone’s emotions.
I try to absorb and neutralize them, because the worst way to deal with tantrums is to throw a tantrum back at them.
But yes it gets tiring and stressful sometimes, and I go a little insane and die a little inside when there’s just me, myself and I handling the situation.
That said, Clarissa has been an awesome big sister.
She loves helping out during shower time, always volunteering to ‘wipe Meimei’s back’.
I let her, but I thought it’s because she wants to play with water. 😄
But I was wrong. (Ok maybe she wants to play with water and also really help out. 😅)
Without anyone prompting her, she went on to wipe the floor dry with a cloth, put Meimei’s dirty clothes into the laundry basket and even threw the diaper away – all while our helper was dressing Meimei. 😊
Same with Meimei’s meal time.
She’d feed the first 5 spoonfuls before I take over. Haha I’d have let her feed the entire meal but it’d take ages so now I always tell her she can do the first 5.
Also, their styles don’t match.
Allie would be flailing her arms and legs going, More! More please!
While Clarissa would still be stirring the mix slowly and scooping the rice cereal carefully. 😅
So Clarissa would task herself with cleaning up instead. By that I mean she’d proceed to wipe Allie’s entire face whenever there is food spluttered on her nose or mouth, even if it were just a tiny splash. 😂
She’d also clean the table, baby chair and floor while I wash up and Meimei gets wiped down. 😉
There is a long standing joke between our helper and I on “mopping” Allie, because the second confinement nanny used to refer to wipe-down as “mop mop” time.
So when it’s time for wipe-down we’d say, “Oh it’s time to mop Allie!”
Clarissa would always point out, indignantly, “It’s WIPE, not MOP! Meimei is not the floor!” 😂🤣
The other day I was singing a song to Allie. I was out of tune but Allie was smiling and enjoying it.
And then Daddy came along and sang the same song to her, clearly wanting to beat me.
We had a small (joking) argument about whose singing Allie liked better.
Clarissa broke our argument up by protesting, “No!! Meimei likes MY singing the most!”
Yet last night, she gleefully took a packet of biscuits she was going to eat, and waved it right in front of Allie.
“You cannot eat the biscuits,” she taunted her little sister in a sing-song voice. “Because you have no teeth!”
Poor Allie was swallowing her saliva and trying to grab the pack of biscuits.
Clarissa then sat beside her but hid the pack behind her back, and said, “When you have teeth, I will share the biscuits with you ok?”
But clearly Allie didn’t care.
She continued trying to grab the packet of biscuits from behind her Jiejie’s back, but it was beyond her reach and she ended up pinching Jiejie’s arms and pulling Jiejie’s hair.
It was quite hilarious to watch, but I eventually had to separate them by sending Jiejie to watch her show and Meimei to drink her milk. 😂
I know, this is just the beginning.