Tuesday, September 27, 2005

body parts

roque has been coming home from school, where he is in junior nursery, surprising me with his knowledge of body parts. mind you, they were not the regular body parts like eyes, nose, ears, hand, foot...

last monday,
roque: pupil! the tiny spot in the middle of my eye, mom. and eyeball! the white part.
me: wow, did dad teach you that?
roque: no, teacher irene teach me.
then tuesday,
roque: eardrum! it's inside my ear (digging his pointer into his ear). and earwax! the sticky part from the ear, yucky! wax is spelled w-a-x!
me: that's right! but well, earwax is not really a body part. but yes, it comes from the body. and yes, you're correct, it's yucky too.
roque: my earlobe! see this one? (pinching his earlobe and mine)
me: yes, i can see yours, but not mine, honey. ouchy. that's very good.
then wednesday,
roque: tastebuds! sugar is sweet. bitter is coffee.
me: wow! what about anghang?
roque: huh?
roque: nostril! the holes of my nose. (poking his thumb and pointer into each of his nose holes)
me: ok enough of that, honey. i know exactly which they are. (i'm glad teacher didn't teach him what was inside or he might have dug deeper.. oh gosh!)
and friday,
roque: o-vala, mom. (opening his mouth real wide)
me: it's uvula, not o-vala.
roque: teacher said it's o-vala!!
me: i'm sure, she made a mistake.
roque: no, teacher saaaaaid! o-vala as in oval! (of course, teacher is never wrong)
me: no, it starts with a "u", not an "o".
roque: u-vula?
me: yes, correct! you can tell teacher i said it's uvula, and not o-vala, ok?
roque: ok. (in resignation)
me: now, tell teacher what's this muscle? (pointing to my popeye muscle)
roque: biceps!
me: good job!

i'm proud he was able to memorize and retain all these terms. but i sure hope he won't grow up to be a doctor.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

four days four kids

thanks to my brother-in-law and his wife, who recently left for a trip, i've experienced how it is to have four children. their two kids, vino (6) and sofia (3), camped with us in our condo for half a week. my kids arianna (10) and roque (3), were excited of course. and i also looked forward to good bonding time of the cousins.

as expected, they had a blast. when i get home from work, i am greeted with roque and sofia's shrill voices, shouting joyfully as they chase each other around our small living room, through the bedrooms, kitchen and back to the living room. i can only gasp as they transform the backrest of the sofa into a balance beam. at the same time, i see vino jumping incessantly on our bed while watching disney channel, with ate arianna, who kept telling him to stop jumping. seeing several toys and boardgames scattered on the floor, i figured the kids couldn't quite decide which they wanted to play with (and so they just leave them there) while they busy themselves with some other activity that caught their fancy. over dinner, the younger ones continue to clown around, taking forever to finish their food. i am bombarded with questions from them, each impatiently and almost simultaneously seeking my attention. after dinner, bath time is still playtime. splash, splash even out of the shower. ooh, chaos, like a war zone. then, finally, it's bedtime. after half an hour of telling them to go to sleep, they grudgingly go to bed. and all is peaceful and quiet. whew!

without sweating the small stuff, half the week was a happy experience for me. apart from the chaotic scene which greets me when i get home, i get not just two, but four little kisses and hugs... enough to reenergize me. and at the end of the day, i get not just two, but four goodnight kisses and tight hugs... enough to cap my day contentedly.

i realize i need double the patience to face up to double the challenge of raising four, instead of two children. i also have to be more creative and have a greater understanding to be able to deal with four different personalities. i just had a teeny-weeny peek into the life of mommy friends who have four children or more. i know the challenges and the satisfaction are infinitely greater than these. my kudos to them!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

seven year itch

my husband and i had a pretty interesting night out with some couple friends last friday. it has been a while since we last went out with them and it was great to get together and catch up on each other. over some booze, our conversation steered into marriage and uh... the seven year itch. infidelity and situations which threaten loyalty was the hot topic of the night. the discussion was too serious, it was hilarious. well, you can blame it on the booze.
all of us have been happily married for the past seven to fifteen years now. apparently, at one point in our marriages, most of us have bumped into a romantically significant person from our past, and invited to an innocent reunion of sorts... badminton, lunch, or dinner? reactions ranged from pleasant surprise to kilig from the spouse involved, and bothered-a-bit to bothered-a-lot from the respective partner. generally, even with trust and a blissful marriage tucked under our belts, the anxiety over a possible seven year itch is real for most, if not all. and it does not necessarily just happen on the seventh year.
i am reminded of a good script on marriage which tells about the 7 L's to a joyful spirit-filled marriage.
Lord. make him present in your marriage. seek His blessing, wisdom, guidance, and power for your life together.
Love. make this your aim, a stable and undying love, which seeks the good of your spouse above your own.
Labor. marriage is a labor of love, sometimes hard work, sometimes easy; sometimes routine and boring, sometimes novel and creative. but always for your spouse "as unto the Lord."
Listening. be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.
Laughter. do not take yourselves too seriously and be enslaved to rigidity. enjoy this gift of laughter often.
Loyalty. let nothing dim your loyalty to one another. outdo one another in showing honor.
Laid-back. take time to enjoy one another. do not be too anxious about the problems of marriage. trust in the Lord and rest in His power.
the bottomline is that it takes three to make a super-duper marriage: man, wife, and the Lord. if we only let Him, He will make our love grow and our happiness overflow in our marriage. He will protect its sanctity and if need be, He will scratch the seven year itch for us.

Friday, September 16, 2005

extreme torture

the threat of a possible physical disability to befall on your baby is torture.
yesterday, my good friend spent hours crying after finding out that the able neurosurgeon could not remove the mass that infiltrated one of the nerves near the spinal cord of her six month old baby. the surgery was "open and close" as trying to tease out the mass from the nerve would certainly damage the nerve. it was a decision that the neurosurgeon made after exhausting all possible surgical techniques in his head. it was a decision that was too painful to bear for my friend. for it meant that there is a possibility that her baby will not be able to walk normally later on. but her baby is perfect right now. there is a threat, a possibility, a maybe... that this disability will happen as the baby grows. but there is also a chance, a possibility, a maybe... that it will not. understandably for now, it is difficult for my friend to push her worries aside. expectant of the worst that may come, she grieves as if it had already come. and for years as she watches her baby grow, the anxiety will be there. it is torture, yes.

finding out that your long awaited baby has a physical disability is torture.
last week, my husband evaluated a baby born prematurely. the pediatrician thought that there might be an aggressive tumor growing in the baby's eyes. as it turned out, the good news was that the baby did not have a tumor. but the bad news is that the baby had an underdeveloped retina because of prematurity. and there was nothing modern medicine could offer. nothing could be done to reverse it. it was not easy breaking the news to the parents. their precious baby is blind now and will be blind forever. there was no gentle way of putting that message across. there is no threat, no possibility, no chance, no maybe... that the disability may happen later. for it was already there. and for years, they will watch the baby grow as she tries to cope with the disability. it is torture, yes.

which is extreme torture?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

worlds apart but

my girl and my boy
six and a half years apart
just like day and night.

she reserved, pensive
he gregarious and friendly
just like black and white.

she is the artist
he is the budding sportsman
just like sun and rain.

she keeps her feelings
he will shout with much passion
just like walk and run.

she looks after him
he looks up to her like wow
these spices of my life.

though such worlds apart
much loving fondness i see
two ends connecting.

with much affection
different but so entwined
like peas in a pod.

Friday, September 02, 2005

in awe of angkor

siem reap in cambodia. angkor.
everything there revolved around the temples.
many many temples built by kings way before christ.
in ruins. now preserved, some restored.
all with a story.
every nook and crany with purpose.
every stone etching and carving with meaning.
ushering me back into time.
a peek into their culture.
into their way of life.
into their religion and faith.
many different gods.
one faith of a people nonetheless.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

from saigon with angst

i blame myself for daydreaming during my world history classes in high school. it was definitely not one of my favorite subjects. shame on me, i barely remember anything, just bits and pieces of several wars here and there, lost in a blur of time.
my trip to saigon was certainly an eye-opener. glimpses of a war-torn city preserved in their museum evoked a mix of feelings in me... from shock, anger, hatred... to pity, helplessness, sadness. i left the museum with a heavy heart, half-understanding but not accepting why the war had to happen. what right does another country have to rule over another? what right does it have to pit its conquered people against each other? nothing. can anyone ever justify the torture, the killing of men, women, elderly and children done in such reckless abandon? never. being super power is just having a false sense of superiority power. nothing else.
it is ironic that the war aimed to free the people, for it had destroyed their freedom to choose, freedom to live, freedom to be happy, freedom to have peace. i left the museum with a clear mind, fully-understanding why the war brought about a profound hatred against the super power. and why this feeling continues to run through the veins of people, of numerous different cultures, even those not directly affected by it. up till now, for years and years after the war.
for all people have the right to be free.