An Open Letter to My Firstborn: My Heart Breaks When You’re Sick
This is an open letter to you my baby Vera. I’m telling you why staying at home with mummy is not always for the best reasons…
It’s been yet another two weeks that you’ve had to miss school.
I know it’s fun to be at home with mummy and Leroy, but you’re home because you need to.
On so many occasions, you’ve shared that you’d like to go to school while you were homebound. You’ve been telling me about your friends, Kyrana, Ryan, Xinyi.. I’m sure they’re missing you too.
No doubt that cabin fever has hit you, mummy too, to be honest. Who likes staying at home all day long for most of the week? Not an active toddler, that’s for sure.
As much as I love to spend time with you, it breaks my heart because you’re home not by choice, but because you’re unwell. Even the playground is out of bounds, and it’s hard for you to understand why.
Seeing you cough so hard agonises me. In the dead of the night, mummy can hear your struggles and cries although I’m just next door. Mummy wished that I could comfort you, hold you tight and chase those darn balls of phlegm away… But I’m sorry… Sorry that I’ve to pretend not to hear your pleas of wanting me by your side. Those dreary wails of “I want mummy” sends waves of guilt every single time. Thankfully, daddy has been your support at night but deep down, I wish I could split myself to be with you when you need me most.
Remember the massages you enjoyed (that’s Tuina, my dear), and even fell asleep a couple of times? That was our alternative to medicine, and putting our hope on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) because so many friends had their kids as good as new after seeking treatment. We took you there before the cough started, and then it evolved, so we went there for three consecutive days (and we became known faces there, oh my!), and drank some herbal stuff. Unfortunately, your phlegm evolved and things took a turn.
And then I felt like a horrible mum for not taking you straight to the paediatrician, and caused the virus to attack your lungs and resulted in an infection. #damnvirus
Mummy cannot emphasise how important it is to be in the pink of health. And to build your immunity is a continuous challenge. Each time, you’re unwell, that invisible cloak of protection becomes torn and tattered, and the mending starts all over again.
I’m sure you know mummy loves whipping up home-cooked meals for you to ensure you enjoy balanced and healthy meals. Luckily, you’re such a foodie like me, always accepting my noob recipes. Eating a rainbow diet, is one of the ways to keep our immune systems happy, as mummy shared about the 5 easy ways to supercharge a baby’s immune system.
Breakfast is an important start to the day, and there are days you’d have very little. I’m so proud of you that you now love oats with blueberries, although I know you’d rather have cake. Fruit, cheese and yogurt with Chia seeds are some of your fave snacks, as we continue to be disciplined in keeping away unnecessary tidbits.
Except for the occasional phases of wanting to pick out veggies or even, meat or fish, it’s been a joy to see you slurp up a wide variety of coloured vegetables, different meats, all done in a range of cooking styles. I’m sure you already know mummy enjoys putting together nutritious food for you with all these easy yet healthy recipes that I’ve chronicled so far.
Well, except when you’re sick and appetite is poor, that’s when we know you’re having it tough… And that makes mummy sad too..
The fridge now has a dedicated section for medication, and that really is a reminder how horrid it is to have a growing collection. We’ve cancelled plans on so many weekends because we had to stay home. Health is really more important than anything else, and we don’t like taking chances.
Sometimes, mummy wonders if sending you to school is a terrible decision which seems to be doing more harm than good. They say being exposed to germs help build immunity, but it crushes me every single time you’ve to call in sick.
As a working mum, I know it’s hard when there’s no support when parents are at work. Some kids continue to go to school despite being ill or on their route to recovery, and that starts the vicious cycle of bugs spreading. It takes a village to raise a child, no doubt, and a trusted support system is really important.
We’re thankful that mamak used to cook yummy meals for you when she cared for you. And to daddy, who has been investing in your health with probiotics and vitamins so that you’re as good as new every time you recover. Mummy really hopes you could nap more, so your body and mind get a good recharge they need daily. Being a professional nap striker is not really a good thing, my dear.
Please don’t be upset with mummy; every day we count our blessings to have you. And, we are learning to nurture a healthy child. When you’re happy, mummy is happy too! And, what better way than to take you outdoors for fresh air and play, and seeing your cheeky grin – that makes everything so much better. Stay healthy and happy, my forever baby <3
Loving you in good times and bad,
This blog post is in collaboration with Friso. Kids learn from experiences whether big or small, good or bad. That’s why Friso provides the right nutrition for your child to be strong inside to take on challenges. To find out more, visit Friso’s website and follow Friso on Facebook and Instagram. #frisosg #frisoexperience #frisostronginside