Thursday, 8 July 2010

Joys of Babies!

I have been meaning to write this but have not been able to find the drive to do so, a combination of sloth and writer's block.

Tale 1: Incoming!

A friend from work was recently blessed with a new addition of another baby girl to his family. All the while he was careful to ensure that his wife is taken care of, with scheduled trips to the Gynae and health enriching food for his wife. As the due day crept closer he was asking his colleagues as to whether he should be applying for paternity leave before or on the expected birthing date. The lot of us gave him our opinion and ideas and left him to decide on which would be best.

As luck would have it, he didn't get a chance at all. Early morning a day later, his wife elbowed him out of their sleep as she was feeling some major contractions. Feeling the urgency, he packed up his family into the car to zoom to the nearest hospital.

It was a cold and rainy pre-dawn and there were loads of lorries on the road necessitating a slower cruising speed. Suddenly, his wife grabbed him and told him that the baby is coming, shortly accompanied by the sound of gushing water! As he stole a glance, horror of horrors, he noticed the baby's head and it certainly wasn't about to wait anymore. Quickly he stole to the road-shoulder to attempt to park the car by the road so that he could to assist his wife, who was by now screaming in pain, further terrifying his two very young daughters in the back.

A few seconds later, he urged his wife to give it all she got and moments later they were gifted with a beautiful and (most importantly) healthy baby girl. His second daughter, who along with her elder sister had been blanched silent minutes ago, no thanks to their screaming mother, the sound of rushing water and the unfamiliar smells in the car, suddenly exclaimed 'Kawan!' welcoming the baby.

And they then drove to the hospital to get his wife and newborn child looked after. Momentarily leaving him and his seriously soiled car, wondering how on earth he is going to clean up all that amniotic fluid, blood and all those other gunge and bits off the insides of his car!

Tale 2: What, now?

Friend 2's wife was due to deliver in about 2 weeks and he was carefully making plans for the birthing and applying for some leave so that he could take care of business so to speaks. Thanks to Friend #1, who was on leave, Friend #2 volunteered to perform overtime duty to cover the manpower shortage.

A few hours later, he received a distress call from home. He immediately drove home to pick her up to rush to a hospital. Hours later, the lot of his office mates received a short message that he is now a proud father to his first gorgeous baby girl, nearly a whole 2 weeks ahead of the due date their doctor had advised.

Tale 3: I'm A Mom!

Another friend who had been unsuccessfully trying to conceive for years had opted to adopt one. After many many tries, a combination of luck, blessing (if you want to call it that) and timing led her to an expectant mother without the means to take proper care of the baby.

Plans were made and a host of procedural papers later, she was on the way to babyhood. This woman is made of stern stuff and level-headedness, but I couldn't help but notice she was on tenterhooks throughout the entire time. Some advised her to keep her high hope but to also remain pragmatic that it could turn out contrary to her well made plans. Secretly, I too was giddy for her.

A week and a half later, after many false alarms, a bouncing baby boy was born, after what some would call a dramatic and tense birthing. She is suddenly a mother, and many who know her find it difficult to accept what this fully means to her. I believe the baby will grow up in a loving home and yes, she will spoil him rotten with the gifts and care he is bound to receive.

So three babies in 1 month. I am still not sure whether babydom is for me, never mind the fact that I have some suitable baby names planned for my own family for when it actually happens. Getting married and having kids is a tremendous and momentous decision to have to make and I hope to be able to be ready to make them, sooner hopefully, than later.

Update: 9/12/2010
Baby 3 was shortly after diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. The heart specialist found that his small heart had a small (almost 1cm) hole. A treatment road-map was quickly drawn up and dates were set for the heart surgery. Baby Riddle has successfully undergone the corrective surgery and is recovering in Institut Jantung Negara to be discharged within 2 weeks or so.

Update: 1/9/2012
Baby 3 is now perfectly fine and being absolutely spoiled by his loving mom and doing all sorts of toddler mischief!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Driving & the Average Malaysian: Parking Habits

We Malaysians have a knack of pissing off others when we are behind the wheel. We sure do have an ability to do whatever we want, both on the road and when we are not.

I note with dismay some of our bad habits:

1) We love to Double Park (and on occasions, Triple Park).

2) We love to drop people off at road shoulders, without signaling others on the road of our intention to make a stop.

3) We love to park our cars in lots not meant for us – i.e. commandeering the lots meant for disabled or less able and/or for families with baby strollers, or even the registered lots.

4) We take more than one lot for our vehicles, just because we are too preoccupied with parking our cars right in the middle of the designated box.

And the owner of this car proves my argument in points number 3 & 4!
He or She is most probably mentally 'cacat' to park in this spot in this manner! 

5) We park at roadsides with the single solid white or yellow lines on the road shoulders

6) We park at roadsides near our favourite haunts (fill in your choice of club, shopping mall, building, etc) despite the existence of a voluminous covered or non-covered charged parking lot nearby.

7) We stop at road shoulders in the highway/expressway without any real emergency to do so.

8) We stop at areas despite the no parking sign.

9) We receive such joy when we quickly zoom in an empty lot, never mind the fact that somebody may have already been waiting patiently for the exact spot to clear.

And of course there would be more parking offenses to be found! Drat!