Friday, May 31, 2013

Parenting Trials

How do you cope when you learnt some not so positive stuffs about both your children on the same day? Today, for the first time in my life as a parent, I find myself feeling a little dazed like in a dream.

Parenting is really very difficult and uphill task. It's unlike studying or working where as long as you do your best, you can see the results you desired. There is also no school or internship on how to be a parent. Being a parent for less than 4 years now, I start to and often feel like i am losing control of happenings in my life. Before i become a parent, I didn't know that my heart and fate will be so closely tied to my children. There are times i actually feel very scare whenever I get the feeling that it's beyond me to help protect my very own children, but at same time, i learnt that i have a pit-less amount strength just to hold on and go that extra mile for my child. THIS, is a parent.

In the morning, during the parents-teacher conference for Kyle, his English form teacher (whom is an Indian from India) told me she thinks Kyle has learning difficulties. She nicely suggested that i bring him to the Polyclinic for a checkup and get a referral to specialist if required. 

Her feedback was that Kyle is not participative in class. He tends to be in his own world. He doesn't interact with other classmates. He cannot recognise the Alphabet, he cannot recognize the words, he doesn't know the phonics and he do not know how to grip a pencil at all. She said that when she talks to Kyle, he repeats everything that she said. Teacher said that maybe (she stressed MAYBE again) either Kyle cannot understand what she is saying at all, or he might has some problem with his ears that sometimes he can't hear her? In her reports of literacy, sports and phonics for Kyle, she only ticked the column under "Introduced" for all the words and actions etc introduced to him BUT there is absolutely NO ticks at all under column "Mastered" in all her reports. 

Seriously, she is not all wrong. Yes Kyle hasn't learn his ABCs and numbers. He doesn't like to write too. But, i am aghast! Especially under the sports report, he can definitely run, hop, jump, balance!! I was angry because i feel she isn't patient enough with Kyle.

But at the same time, something in me is shaking and collapsing, it's like another person is confirming with me what i been suspecting and fearing all these while. Kyle had similar feedback from his non-local teachers even when he was in childcare, but he is fine interacting with us. There are times i noticed he doesn't interact with others, and when seldom look at the person while talking. He always avoid our eyes when we look at him face to face. I also don't know if to describe him as hyperactive or introvert cos there are examples when he is over hyper as well as too shy... Thus, i had been thinking for the longest time and finally quit my job to look after him myself and enrolled him in a daily 4 hours nursery instead. And during this short period, i also had difficulties with doing any sit down learning activities with him. He simply just ain't interested in writing, drawing or coloring. He wouldn't want any ABCs or 123s at all. I also observed he doesn't talk to his teachers or classmates BUT he is totally fine with us, our family members and his cousin. I think Kyle has very strong memory power only in stuffs he is interested in. He is also very strong in imitating others too. 

After discussion with Hubby, hubby said that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Kyle and he is just probably not so comfortable with a person of different skin color or nationality as him (referring to the non local teachers from India, China and Philippines).

I am allocating time out from the super busy schedule now and setting my priorities during this June school holidays to help Kyle master the below. If you have ideas on how I can make it easy and fun for Kyle, please do share with me! 

1) Recognising the Alphabets
2) Recognising the Numbers
3) Holding the pencil correctly
4) Drawing or writing something that is meaningful (instead of random scribbles)

- - - - -

So, the above information i learnt about my elder son is not the end of the day....

On the same day morning, I had to rush to bring Kyne to the KK Hospital for his jaundice follow-up. Previously, Kyne was referred to KKH for his sudden surge to very high Jaundice level when he was 21 days old. Prolonged Jaundice could be due to breast milk jaundice so the hospital asked me to feed formula milk to rule out other more serious conditions, but at the same time, it could also be due to other things so the hospital did very comprehensive tests to make sure. During the last comprehensive tests in KKH, doctor said that all results are normal but she highlighted that Kyne's blood test result for thyroid functions returned at slightly above the accepted range. Nothing to worry she said, we can continue the jaundice test at polyclinics and return to see her again one month later.

So, we visited her again and although we knew Kyne has totally recovered from his jaundice already during the period prior to this appointment, the doctor would like to repeat the blood tests just to make sure. Doctor Ian Ong is a very nice lady, as the blood test will take about two hours to return, she always asked me to go home with baby first and she will call me when she receives the reports.

I got the call from her in the afternoon and this time, she said the same thing. Kyne's blood test for Thyroid function is once again slightly above the normal range. She spoke to the specialists in thyroid and said that it is best that we bring Kyne in again to redo the test 2 months later to make sure. She cautioned me that prior to the next appointment, should he reduce his milk intake or if he is ever constipated for 3 days or more, i should call the hospital immediately to request for an earlier appointment. I thanked her but immediately running through my mind was : Wait a minute! What's thyroid?! How he got it? What's the implications? What's the risk? So many questions were running past my mind but It's ok, I will Google later!! And so i consulted the know-it-all Google and once again, read some scary pages. :S

Alas! With Kyne, though he is only 1+ month old now, but I had already gotten so many scares since i am pregnant with him.. With him, i learnt not to take anything for granted and is always grateful whenever we cross the trials that came in our way and sail through unscathed for any suspected or threatened condition. But it makes me feel so scare.. what if one day something become positive? I really hope my babies will grow up healthy.

For the last few KKH visits at the specialist clinic, i often seen other moms bringing their children for appointments and though i never speak with them before, i can see that their children are pretty ill and some with disabilities. What etched deeply in my mind was a mom pushing her crippled and ill child who is too big for the stroller but she had on a smile on her face. I avoided staring, but i admired her. I knew she feel that they are no different from others.

Through them i learnt a reflection - as a parent, it's normal that we hope the child will grow up and achieve great things, we may also consciously and unconsciously be pushing the child to perform and excel in life. We fret over the child's all-rounded education, his school, his results, his friends etc... But what's really important? I must consciously keep reminding myself to be grateful that my child is alive, healthy and happy. I must make it a point that every decisions that i make for my children, I have to take their happiness as priority, not mine. 

So! that being said, should i force Kyle to memorize the alphabet and be able to write the 26 letters now?! Haha! Every hour when i ask him to do writing or coloring with me, he has an excuse!!

(Thus i said parenting is tough job! Not easy to strike a balance and be the positive cool as cucumber Mama i wanted to be!)

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