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Alone with the Twerp

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Last Saturday, the Twerp's caregiver asked to have time off until Sunday afternoon. Since she rarely took time off, I agreed. Daddy had hospital duty early Saturday morning until Sunday morning. Via and I were alone for the first time excepting the time I was on maternity leave.

I wasn't worried because Via has a good temperament. She never gave me a hard time. I always make it a point to explain what we're doing, why we're doing it, and how it's done. I took her with me to the office because it was my turn to keep watch the badminton clinic our club was having. So we watched the training a bit including a singles game between Coach Lloyd Escoses and one of his trainers. Via squealed and clapped at all the right moments. She seems to understand the game.

We ate at the food court in Robinson's Galleria because it's hard to cook for one person and I don't eat leftovers. I had pancit Malabon and I got Via chopsuey. Our hunger sated, we headed for home. It was early evening. We had time to play a little then took a bath, her favorite because she gets to play with water. Our water bill has increased quite a bit the last few months.

Then off to bed. She was asleep almost as soon as her head hit the pillow. Poor baby looked exhausted. We slept early and woke up around 7 or so. I made tapsilog for breakfast in case Daddy was hungry when he got home from hospital duty and wanted a substantial meal. Via had scrambled egg with rice. We still avoid having salt and oil in her food and absolutely no sugar. The we played a bit again but she got sleepy soon after and took a nap. 

Daddy came home late that morning while Via was napping. So ended my time alone with the Twerp. I absolutely enjoyed it.

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Kids Do the Darnedest Things

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Whatever was the Twerp thinking?

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The Twerp is Not Getting Enough Sleep

Friday, June 25, 2010

How can you tell if your toddler is getting enough sleep? Some of the signs are becoming difficult at bedtime, sleeping late in the morning or difficult to wake up, sluggish, falling asleep anywhere, more aggressive at daytime and very cranky upon waking.

The Twerp did not show any of these signs. She’s her usual cheerful, playful and curious self. However, her eyes looked very tired and sleepy. She does resist being put to sleep and asks for milk or juice or water. Anything that would delay going to sleep. Once she’s put to bed though, she falls asleep almost instantly. During the day however, she doesn’t get enough sleep. Sometimes only half an hour because it’s just too hot. With the increase in electric bills a couple months ago, I’m loathe to turn on the air-condition.

I was thinking of how to make her want to go to sleep. My officemate’s niece likes having naps. She naps in a tent set up in their living room. Camping tents for napping? Sounds like a good idea. I think the Twerp will like it. But tents are expensive. I hope I find a cheap play-type tent for children in the malls or the toy store.

I’m just really concerned with the Twerp’s quality of sleep because she really looks tired even if she’s still very active. This week I told her caregiver to turn on the air-condition when she’s showing signs of being sleepy to make her comfortable. The past three days she was able to have long naps of 2–3 hours. Her appearance improved a bit. And last night, I had her put to bed at 6:30 (very early because her bedtime is 7:30 or 8:00 PM). I had the air-condition turned on all night. She slept through the night with once asking for milk. The previous nights she would always wake once or twice and ask for milk. This morning she looked so much better. I’m afraid that she will go back to resisting sleep though so I will still look for affordable tents.

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Bangungot (Nightmare)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Somehow nightmare doesn't adequately convey what "bangungot" means in Filipino. The deaths in their sleep of young and healthy men (and women) who have no apparent illness nor were they victims of foulplay are attributed to bangungot. It also sometimes occurs after heavy drinking and going to sleep immediately.  According to stories of old people, it can be prevented if you wake the person before they pee. I don't know how that's connected. One famous case is the death of popular young actor Rico Yan. It's not common in western countries.

Yesterday, Daddy, the Twerp and I had a nap after lunch. I had a dream which started out like a normal day at the office but it was disjointed as dreams usually are. I'm not going to recount the whole dream, just the point where it became scary. I found myself at the top floor of a building (it was like the 35th floor). There were many people waiting to get on an elevator to go down as it was getting late. There were six elevators. Whenever an elevator would open, people would move toward it to get on but it would close before anyone can get in. It came to a point where people would make a mad dash for an open elevator,  pushing other people, knocking over trash bins, and bumping into fire extinguishers on the walls.

When an elevator opened right in front of me, I rushed into it. I saw a female elevator operator sitting on a red stool from the corner of my eye. Somehow I made it inside even as the doors were already half closed. I looked behind me to see a short woman and smiled at her happily. Then I looked towards the front at the closed doors and saw that the elevator operator has disappeared. I froze and felt fear but I remembered I was not alone. I looked back at the short woman just to see her fade into the elevator wall into nothing. I was filled with terror and frantically pushed at the buttons to get the elevator doors to open.  I tried to scream but no sound came out no matter how hard I tried

Then I heard crying and realized the Twerp was also having a bad dream. I tried comforting her but she eventually woke up asking for milk. I carried her to get her milk. She likes to be carried after a nap. That's when I felt wetness between my legs. I had peed from fear! I had a bangungot and I was still alive!

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The Twerp and Physical Development

Sunday, June 20, 2010

It is amazing how toddlers struggle to master a certain physical skill such as walking with obsessive intensity and once they do master the skill, they lose interest. The Twerp began her attempt at walking at around 9 months. After two weeks, she suddenly walked across the room without any help. She did this twice before falling over. Falling made her afraid of continuing her attempts at walking so for the next couple of weeks she was back on all fours. Then she began her attempt at walking again and this time even when she fell, she just stood up and walked on. The Twerp started walking at 10 months. Now she's so lazy to walk. I used to laugh at children aged 3 and up who were still using a stroller at the malls. I now understand why parents bring the strollers. Now that they have mastered walking, they're too lazy to do it or maybe they get tired easily.

The speed of a toddler's physical development is remarkable. They seem to be in a hurry to try everything with so many things to learn and explore. Right now the Twerp likes playing come and get me, squealing in excitement once the pursuer finds her and automatically puts up her arm in self defense as if to ward off an attacker.
Other physical abilities that the Twerp is practicing right now which are about the same for all children at around 18 months old are: lifting and carrying bags, trying on mommy's and daddy's shoes, climbing chairs and stairs, pushing and pulling, playing with the telephone, emptying containers and putting contents back in, manipulating objects and learning how they work.

Parents can help in developing their child's physical activities by providing them a safe and secure place to play and allow them to learn and explore by themselves. It's surprising how much they can discover by themselves.

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When Babies Get Sick

Friday, June 4, 2010

103F fever that came and went and rashes that spread from head to foot! Poor baby! How can a mother keep calm? I don't want to be one of those mothers who rush to the emergency room at the slightest thing. P told me it's viral, nothing to worry about and it will go away in 3-5 days. Just give paracetamol if there's fever. Check the temperature every 4 hours and give her plenty of fluids. Spoken like a real doctor :)

Easy for you to say I keep thinking. You're not here seeing her with red spots on her face and feeling her burning with fever. It assured me somehow that I can text him in the middle of the night and he would know what to do. The thing is, I still went to the ER yesterday afternoon. That was the fourth day of the fever and the rashes looked really bad. I wanted to rule out dengue.

I like going to the ER because you get test results immediately. No more stress waiting around for the results of tests. Final verdict? Could be viral or a side effect of her MMR vaccine last week. Either way treatment is the same. Paracetamol every 4 hours if there's fever and lots of fluids. I can already hear P saying, I told you so!

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Do Toddlers Get Nightmares?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I first noticed my daughter cry or wail in her sleep a couple of months ago. Looking in on her, she was still fast asleep making me think that she was having a bad dream. What could possibly give her bad dreams at her young age? Apparently, many reasons like TV shows, something that happened during the day, or stress from separation anxiety or even going to bed. It could not be from watching TV because she's not allowed to watch TV yet. 

Whatever the reason for these nightmares, the best thing to do is give her assurance right away by holding her or rubbing her back until she's calm. It won't do to tell her that it's nothing because she is still unable to understand the concept of dreaming.

Nightmares can be prevented by having a bedtime routine that will soothe and get her ready for bed such having a warm bath then reading a book or playing soothing music. If nightmares persist or gets worse, it's better to bring baby to her pediatrician.

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