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Archive for the ‘C.h.u.b.b.y’ Category

1. When her friends chorus: “CHOCOLATE AGAIN?”

2. And one of them informs her: “In this school, you cannot bring your own breakfast to eat. You have to eat the same breakfast as us.”

3. And yet another one of them dissuades her: “I told my mummy you eat chocolate for breakfast everyday. She said you cannot, you know. It’s not good to eat chocolate everyday. You cannot eat chocolate everyday.”

In my defense, it’s not chocolate chocolate. It’s chocolate bread, chocolate muffin, chocolate… goodness. Flavonoids.

Besides, they are just jealous.

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School started on the 4th, but she rested for one more day, before returning on the 5th.

She marked the new year, her recovery and her return to school by tearing off the cover page of the calendar (her very own calendar given to her by her grandfather!), turning it over and filling it with her favourite colours, which she then brought to school as a present for one of her teachers.

Together with it, she brought along her appetite for the new year.

Returning from her first day back in school, she informed me she ate:

1 serving of bee hoon for lunch
Apple slices for dessert
3/4 cup of milk

1 bottle of milk before she took her nap

1 shortbread bear cookie (baked by Mr Fluffy Hubby over the new year holidays) for afternoon snack
1 entire muffin
3/4 cup of milk

And while I stared at her with my mouth hanging wide open in an incredulous mixture of disbelief, wonder and increasing horror, she went on to merrily lap up the last of her teddy bear pasta in bak kut teh soup for dinner (yeah, I do weird dinners, I know), gobble down a whole pear by herself for dessert, and wash everything down with a bottle of orange yakult for good measure.

The next week, for show & tell in school, she brought her chocolate doughnut. She stood in front of her class and shared with her classmates that it was part of her pastries set, then declared it her favourite toy of all time.

I asked her, what’s with the eating? She looked me in the eye and solemnly said, I want to be fat.

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She’ll share them with her cousin and favourite playmate, RC.

Because when the raindrops starting falling outside, Strawberry Milk Baby (aka Toffee) sat snug in her car seat and sang:

“Rain rain
Go way
Toffee… RC… play!”

PS. Ever since she turned 2, she’s been singing everyday. Her favourite English song is, “Happy day… you!” and her favourite Chinese song is, “Baby na yo yo! Baby na yo yo!”

Raindrops

If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops,
Oh, what a rain that would be.
Standing outside, with my mouth opened wide,
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah.
If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops,
Oh, what a rain that would be.

If all the snowflakes were candy bars and milk shakes,
Oh, what a snow that would be.
Standing outside, with my mouth opened wide,
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah.
If all the snowflakes were candy bars and milk shakes,
Oh, what a snow that would be.

If all the sunbeams were bubble gum and ice cream,
Oh, what a sun that would be.
Standing outside, with my mouth opened wide,
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah.
If all the sunbeams were bubble gum and ice cream,
Oh, what a sun that would be.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

PS. If she is to have her way, raindrops will be chocolate, biscuits and orange; cake, apple juice and raisins too. She has been making me sing her favourite food into the song.

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Both Mr Fluffy Hubby and Toffee, during mealtimes.

Breakfast

Mr Fluffy Hubby
Mini chocolate éclairs + mini cream puffs. All of which he gives away to his colleague because it’s not diet food. So he buys a bun from Breadtalk and eats that instead of my lovingly prepared mini chocolate éclairs and mini cream puffs.

Toffee
1 slice of toast covered thickly with peanut butter topped with 1 slice of cheese + 1 plum + 1 full cup of Magnolia fresh milk.

Lunch

Mr Fluffy Hubby
Goes running at Planet Fitness. Has a Swiss-Bake sandwich after. Tries to convince me Swiss-Bake sandwich is colossal and he is stuffed with it, even though he wails, “I’m SO hungry!” throughout the rest of the day.

Toffee
Baked salmon fish + mushrooms & tomatoes omelette + french beans + 1 tablespoon of rice + 1 cup of Florida’s apple juice half diluted with water.

Tea-time

Mr Fluffy Hubby
Does not take tea-time.

Toffee
1 big wholemeal cracker + 1/2 cup of water

Dinner

Mr Fluffy Hubby
Sends me a SMS:

“CURRY???!!! CURRY is not diet food. You are sabotaging me!!! You are!!!”

But succumbs to curry chicken + potatoes + bread dinner anyway, due to near fainting state from 24-hours starvation diet. As he finally gives in to drowning himself in curry chicken + potatoes + bread, he comes up every now and then to catch his breath, gasping, “I’m SO hungry!”

Toffee
Pan-fried cod fish with raisins + steamed egg with minced pork + broccoli, cauliflower & carrots + 1/2 cup of water, then 1 peach + 2 long-stemmed strawberries + numerous cherries.

Supper

Mr Fluffy Hubby
Does not take supper.

Toffee
Many chocolate bears + 1 full cup of Magnolia fresh milk.

In addition to wailing, “I’m SO hungry” throughout the day, Mr Fluffy Hubby also says, “All I can think about is food.” Oh, and, “I’m not getting any work done.” Good news is, he seems to have settled on being Homer. Bad news is, Homer seems to be going down a rageful path (maybe gnawed into it by hunger).



PS. Like her Papa, she says, “I SO hungry!” But not before she has stuffed everything on her plate into her little stomach while declaring, “I eating now!” and chuckling happily at her newly growing appetite.


(Photo credit)

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Still a baby?

Miss.Understood walked into the restaurant, stopped short and gawked at us. “Why are you feeding her with chopsticks?” she demanded.

Chopsticks poised over my painstakingly prepared thermos food jar of homemade ginger and lemon fish, pork with onion and garlic, and carrots, served with white rice, all steamed till soft with Chinese spices, I answered in a whisper, “She thinks she’s an adult.”

I continued offering little morsels of food perched on my chopsticks to my age-confused baby while explaining our predicament to Miss.Understood.

You see, my babe has recently decided she would not take any more food unless democracy is practised at the dining table. Any attempts to feed her with soft and rounded miniature plastic spoons made specially for babies were angrily swiped aside. If I had the audacity to persist, she would grab the spoon and hold it surprisingly tightly in her little fists. After I had finally succeeded in prying it away from her amidst some furious shouting, she would go back to petulantly swiping the spoon with the easy precision of a cat before she was infuriarated enough to launch her next spoon heist. Amidst this spoon swiping and heisting, she would persistently point at her bowl of food – so she wanted to eat, but not with her own baby spoon. Realising that my baby was campaigning for democratic rights, I took up the chopsticks with which I was eating my own dinner, picked up some of her food and brought it to her mouth. Without a moment of hesitation, she opened her mouth, took the food in and started chewing while nodding her head approvingly.

We ate 3 entire dinners like that (one of which was witnessed by Miss.Understood) before it struck me that I could use this democratic rebellion to my advantage. That night, I sneaked in her baby spoon after a few mouthfuls of food offered with chopsticks. As soon as she saw me waving it at her, she started shaking her head furiously and pointing insistently at the chopsticks. As her shouts got louder and louder, I hurriedly explained, “Look, baby, if you eat with the spoon on your own, you’ll be just like Mama! Do you want to try eating on your own?” She stared at me. I smiled, wrapped her fingers around the spoon handle and asked again, “Do you want to try eating on your own, like Mama?” She nodded solemnly, gripped the spoon tighter and with my help, brought the spoon with its tiny mound of food to her mouth. Once she had successfully plonked the food in her mouth, she chuckled and clapped her hands in delight. Before she was even done chewing the food in her mouth, she had stretched her hand out for the next spoonful.

I decided to go with the flow and ride the democratic tide while the going was good. I poured some water into a cup, stuck a straw in it, and presented it to her together with her own sippy cup, asking, “Would you like some water, baby?” She shook her head. Unfazed, since I have great faith in the tenets of democracy, I continued, “Are you sure? You have a choice, baby.” I held up her sippy cup and asked, “Do you want this?” then held up the other cup and asked, “Or would you prefer this?” She pointed at the other cup. I held it out to her. She sipped, then beamed at me while nodding her head and clapping her hands happily.

Since then, she has been feeding herself with a spoon, albeit with my help, as well as drinking consistently from the other cup during mealtimes.

Growing up, fighting for independence, gaining independence, freedom of choice, autonomy of the self… Truly, we have never been more contented, because, democracy has never tasted so good, especially when served up on a spoon. 14 months old, and already political. 14 months old, still a baby, my baby.

PS. Miss.Understood has, since that fateful meal, gone out to buy Toffee no less than 6 pairs of chopsticks with various matching cases, cup and snack container. Till the day Toffee decides that feeding herself with a spoon would no longer be enough of a democratic statement which must then be more emphatically made by dextrously feeding herself with chopsticks, the small pink Hello Kitty cup will surely work as the other cup in the meantime. As for the matching pink Hello Kitty snack container, Toffee is also the baby who eats non-stop, remember? In line with the newly established democratic creed of our household, we shall refrain from disparaging OCD behaviours.

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No more messy meal times

It’s Mommy Tip day again!

When my baby was still learning to accept food, she would often end up wet and sticky after meal times.

To minimize the mess, I experimented with various types of bibs. 100% cloth bibs were out right from the beginning because the liquid from her rejected food would soak right through to dirty her clothes. Cloth bibs with PVC backing was what worked for us – the cloth would absord the liquid, and the PVC lining behind prevented it from soaking through. But even after switching to cloth bibs with PVC backing, her clothes still often ended up wet and sticky.

So I tried out PVC shirt bibs and rubber bibs. The PVC shirt bibs had long sleeves and fronts that reached all the way down to cover her tummy. The rubber bibs had catchment areas at the bottom to capture all the icky lumps of food that didn’t manage to make their way into her mouth. Strangely enough, she still got wet and sticky.

Finally, I realised that she was always wet and sticky after meal times because the food was dribbling from her mouth down to her chin, all the way down to her neck, bypassing the bibs, onto the collars of her clothes, then soaking through to her body.

So, just before feeding her, I would fold a hanky over and over again, until it was a small thick wad, then tuck it under her bib, over the collar of her clothes, to absorb the dribbling mush. Did it work? Let’s just say, from then on, I seldom had to wipe her down and change her clothes every single meal time. So, this is my tip for mommies who abhor food messes. Happy feeding!

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Feeding my baby used to be a nightmare. I woke up in the morning dreading her meal times and went to sleep at night far from relieved that I was done feeding her for the day, but fretting about tomorrow’s meals instead, and then woke up the next day still dreading her meal times.

Up till recently when she turned a year old, my yummy baby was most obstinately resistant to food. She gagged, she choked and she even vomitted.

No matter what time I fed her – I made sure it was right after she has woken up when she’s in the best of moods – she was always angry at having food thrusted at her. No matter what food I fed her, she remained persistently defiant. Organic cereals of different grains – rice, barley, oatmeal – we tried them all. Homemade purées – pear, apple, sweet potato, banana, plum, carrot, pumpkin, green bean, french bean, etc – we tried more and more in the hope she would surely like something. She didn’t, though there were some she didn’t react as violently towards. No matter how smooth and fine I puréed the food, she made a face, shook her head rigorously, and swiped my spoon away with cat-like precision. There was no difference with jar food – I missed counts of the number of times I had costly commercial organic baby food spat out on my face and splattered all over my clothes when we were out.

I surfed the net, I bought many cookbooks. But no matter how confidently the websites and recipes proclaim that THIS ONE is a healthy tasty meal your baby will SURELY love, my own yummy baby’s little face still soured and doured at meal times.

Having exhausted my modern resources of feeding her, I decided to return to more traditional Chinese methods. I bought a slow cooker pot and painstakingly boiled porridge with vegetables and meat for hours till it simmered with flavours. Surely, this would whet yummy baby’s appetite. Good old porridge cooked the good old fashioned way… just like how my grandmother and mother used to feed me when I was a baby, and how almost every baby in Singapore eats.

She hated it. After the first mouthful, she clamped her mouth so tight there was no way I could even sneak in another sip. Rather than tasting it again, she spat the warm porridge with its bits of vegetables and meat out and let it dribble down her neck onto her body. I tried for 45 minutes every day, then gave up before the week was up, and went back to feeding cereal and purées.

I soon became known among family and friends to be always feeding my yummy baby since each meal took at least 30 to 45 minutes. One day, in a fit of inspired frustration, I renamed her Miffy – the Sanrio rabbit with a cross for a mouth.

miffy.jpg
Yummy baby with her favourite bear
(Picture credit)

I was at my wits’ end.

So I decided to stop trying to feed her. We went back to happily breastfeeding. Purely breastfeeding with zero solid meals per day. Who said babies have to start solids at 6 months old? Well, the same people who said meal times should never be a power struggle, I sniffed to myself as I cuddled my yummy baby suckling contentedly at my breast.

Yummy baby’s triumph was shortlived though. When we popped into the neighbourhood paediatrician’s clinic at 8.5 months old, I was given a mini lecture about baby eating habits by the paediatrician when I let slip I was no longer trying to feed yummy baby any semi-solid food. He informed me that she would have problems accepting food if she was not established on 2 meals a day by the time she’s 11 months old.

In my mind, I thought, but but…but all my resources say that milk should be the main source of food when the baby is less than a year old! However, in my heart, I fretted, as would all mothers. When I confided in Mr Fluffy Hubby, he snorted and asked, “Have you ever come across any adult with problems eating simply because he started eating solid food later than other babies?” I laughed too, but I suspect his response arose out of concern for my mental well-being if I went back to tussling with our yummy baby about food.

But it was inevitable, trying to get yummy baby to eat. And then was as good a time as any. So we went back to the dining table and resumed our daily meals, our daily battles. Nothing changed. Yummy baby was just as averse to food. But she was older now, so she had a whole arsenal of newly acquired techniques to fight me and my increased number of meals for her. Besides, gagging, choking and vomitting, she now also held the food in her mouth refusing to swallow, pushed the spoon out with her tongue, and even clamped her mouth shut so tight she bit down on her own lip till it bled.

Sometime after her 1 year-old birthday, things took an almost miraculous and certainly wondrous change though. Yummy baby went to the other extreme and developed an obsession with food. She not only polished off her own meals, picked the crumbs off her high chair table, wiped the plate with her hands and licked them, but she also pointed to our food and loudly demanded them throughout our meal times. As soon as I gave in and popped whatever I had in my bowl into her mouth, she would immediately point and demand again, even before she had started chewing, much less to say, swallow. Nowadays, I would often end up dropping food into her mouth till either Mr Fluffy Hubby or her grandmother were done eating and carried her away from the dining table, before I got a chance to start properly on my own meal. Not that I’m complaining. Not at all.

Here’s a typical menu in yummy baby’s day:

Breakfast
Organic multi-grain baby cereal with fruit purées

Lunch
Baked cod fish flavoured with basil, black pepper and lemon juice
Steamed pork flavoured with chopped onion and garlic
Steamed tomatoes
Soft white rice

Tea
French toast
or
Toast with cinnamon, nutmeg and olive spread
or
Mini pancakes with cinnamon, nutmeg and olive spread
or
Baked potato with black pepper, dill and olive spread

Dinner
Threadfin/cod fish, chicken/pork/beef, vegetables, fruit purées

Dessert
Cut fruits – usually longan, cherry and strawberry

All these with milk in between throughout the day. I am pleased.

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