1 VS 2

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As far as I can remember, we’ve been spending entire Saturdays outside, packed to the brim. Elise normally can handle this type of schedule without melting down, while Emmett will nap either in a stroller or carrier when he gets cranky. It was Elise’s turn to be cranky and I carried her in the SSC while holding Emmett’s hand and we were waiting for the bus when Emmett suddenly sprinted away from me in the direction towards the Zoo. Have you ever tried chasing after a 3yo? Emmett is like the reincarnation of Speedy Gonzales and I. COULD. NOT. CATCH. HIM.

I was carrying a heavy backpack and Elise while trying to chase him. Nobody in the opposite direction bothered to block him even after seeing us. I experienced the Bystander Effect. Not blaming them, it’s really none of their business. Until I saw a lady run after Emmett. I lost my balance and fell onto the floor. Emmett continued sprinting away. She continued giving chase and when I reached the entrance of the Zoo, I called out for him and saw her carrying him towards me. She also has two children herself aged 5 and 7 and she actually bothered to help a total stranger and asked me multiple times if I was alright before letting us go on our way. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Emmett was definitely overtired. He knocked out after another round of chiding.

Reflection:

1. Am I too stubborn by thinking I can handle two kids alone?

2. Emmett has done The Sprint before and apparently he “doesn’t know how to listen” even I’ve warned him. In fact, I’ve made sure to hold his hand for most of today.Any suggestions for correcting this behaviour other than smacking?

3. It seems like I’ll have to bring the stroller out next week onwards even though it’s 100x more cumbersome and harder to navigate public transport and take taxis with.

4. The Husband is not usually included in our Saturday trips because he will melt in the heat and I like my kids to be outdoors. We go to the Zoo so often because it’s a relatively controlled and enclosed environment as compared to a nature park with multiple trails.

5. An option is to spend a leisurely Saturday at home, but I feel like it’s a waste of precious time.

Helping Emmett Depressurise

*TRIGGER WARNING: Parenting Method *

Emmett is three going on four and he has the worst kind of meltdowns imaginable. He screams at the top of his lungs, kicks his legs around and tries to scratch others, the perfect display of “spoilt brat” behaviour. Coming from a family who used authoritarian disciplinary methods which involved hitting (think K-drama mom slaps), my husband strongly felt that Emmett needed to be frightened into obedience. I was caned as a child and it only made me more rebellious. I even took the cane wanting to whack the neighbour next door for being too noisy. I know I don’t want to go down that route. I cannot explain to my children how it is okay for their parents to hit them if they are not allowed to hit others.

Last night, Emmett melted down like an ice cube on a hot plate over a multitude of reason. My husband wanted to kick his bum and knuckle his head, so I shut the door. I held his hands and told him “No kicking. It hurts”, while waiting for him to depressurise. When he was done, he was still sobbing.

“Are you feeling okay now? Were you so angry because you couldn’t find your toy python? Do you want to look for it together? Just now, when you were angry, you scratched Appa and he’s injured. Why did you do that?”

“Because I don’t like it when he kicks my bum”

“Let’s tell him now.”

I brought him to my husband where Emmett apologised and hugged him. He told him “Don’t kick my bum next time!”.

My husband was incredulous because this Emmett was like an angel compared to his earlier state. ๐Ÿ˜‚There are people who vehemently insist that all children who are raised using RIE are “brats”.”I’m not abusive, those people are lucky their kids listen. Mine don’t, so I need to cane them”. This is certainly not a lazy method that lets kids grow up wild and without reins. Corporal punishment definitely produces quicker results – would you not listen if someone was hurting you? I told my husband that anger cannot be extinguished with anger.

Of course, we are a work-in-progress, so don’t give me the side eye if you see me snap and smack their bums. I lose it sometimes too.

Elise’s Prosthetic Eye Change

Unlike real eyes, prosthetic eyes don’t grow, and in children who grow quickly, they need to be replaced once every few years. Elise’s first prosthetic eye was done in April 2017. We observed that the prosthetic eye kept moving out of alignment. After a consultation with Dr Ganga, he advised us to get a new one fitted.

Prosthetic eyes are handmade, and the process requires roughly three working days, including the time it takes for curing and drying. We got ours done with the same ocularist at NUH, Dr Sue.

The clinic is a small enclosed space featuring some prosthetic samples. The more complicated eye prosthetics include those made of latex to mimic the flesh surrounding the eye.

This is the imprint of Elise’s eye cavity and this is what the base of the prosthetic eye has to look like in order for it to fit snugly. I didn’t take a photo, but this was done by pouring a mixture through a mould that was fitted onto her eye cavity.

This is a brief summary and I can’t fully convey the full experience as 80% of the time involved waiting – Elise playing or on the phone watching YouTube, me mindlessly checking social media. On one particular day, I packed in a huge sticker book and other activities and my shoulder nearly gave way because I carried a tote bag.

It involves a lot of fitting and adjustment to get the angle and position right. Mainly, what we want to do is to determine the specific placement of the pupil, whether it should be right smack in the centre, or a little nearer to the nose.

Time for a #momjoke – this is Elise side-eyeing her eye. Every eye is handmade and it’s not one-size-fits-all. It’s not oval shaped, but it has a little pointed tip at the top so it holds in place.

Next, Dr Sue adds details to the eye using pigments to make it more realistic. Most of the time for Asian children, their pupils are black. Westerners have more complicated eye details and there’s a technology that can print the pupil onto the base, but it’s a film and likely isn’t as lasting.

Dr Sue mostly handles Asian patients, and paints the details by hand. This won’t be Elise’s last prosthetic eye, and we will likely have to fabricate a few more eyes before she reaches adulthood.

One thing Dr Sue advised was not to remove the prosthetic eye regularly as it affects her lower eyelid and its capability to hold the eye.

This is how she looks like now with the new eye! Due to the better fit, it doesn’t move around that much anymore. It has limited functions, like it can’t follow along when she rolls her eyes, something she does pretty often nowadays, but it’ll do!