Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Parental Guidance

It is a Tuesday, and I am at home. Normally, this would either mean I am sick and on medical leave, or I am happily spending time off work (annual leave)to enjoy life.

But this is quite a stressful time, because I am on urgent child care leave to stay close to my boy who is having high fever. He has been sick since Sunday, but his temperature climbed steadily to a high of 38.9 degree celcius last night.

EP claimed I was 没用, in the sense that I wasn't really able to look after JK's needs, other than carry him and comfort him in my arms. She had to force him to take his medicine, ignoring all his crying and struggling. My job was primarily to physically restrain him while we feed him the meds, as well as when the doctor was trying to take his temperature and examine his throat.

Feeling him straining to use his last ounce of energy to break free (under my grasp) and crying so badly that he was virtually choking under his tears and runny nose, I felt terribly helpless. And it broke my heart...

As you would expect, we didnt really had much sleep as he is constantly waking up and crying. We took turn to hold him and pat him to calm him down while trying to feed him so water to sooth his infected throat. It's been almost a day since he's had anything substantial to eat/drink. He simply refuses to take anything.

Thus, the morning saw me calling my boss to request for urgent leave - to be near my boy so I can visit him regularly (we still brought him over to my in-law's place, as my mum-in-law is much better equipped to take care of him than clumsy me) ; and also because I doubt I will be able to focus at work anyway. Lack of sleep and constant worrying are surely factors that severely limit my ability to function at work.

I'm not sure why I'd become so 没用 (to be sure, it only applies to matters related to my boy).... sigh. Maybe it's genes - since my mum (and her mum) is also a worry-to-death kind of parent.

These emotions used to be totally unimaginable in those days where the only worry was money and time to spend (enjoying life).
I guess if you are a parent, you can probably empathise with what I'm feeling.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Big news small news

Singapore is a small country, and pretty well-governed. Well, at least in terms of having rules on what we can do and what we can't do. In the past, there have been cases where overseas personalities have commented that the rules and control here made the country so rigid that it has become devoid of creativity and even life itself. Looking at the often colourful news we hear from other countries in the papers or internet, you'd tend to agree with some of these criticism, though I'm not sure if it's all a bad thing to have more certainty and order in a country. Perhaps it's because I am myself a product of this system.

But certainly, news-worthy material appears hard to come by, so much so that a recent debacle over the "qualifications" (or lack of) of a former Miss World beauty queen actually hogged the local newspapers headlines for not less than a week running.
The long and short of it was - Miss Ris Low was crowned as Miss World Singapore, and was supposed to represent the country in the internation Miss World contest. Obviously, some people weren't too happy with that decision, and made an attempt to bombard her with lots of criticism, mostly centering on her lousy command of the English language. Then to compound matters, they dug up her inglorious history - that she had been convicted of credit card fraud just months before her win in the competition. Next, news spread that she had also cheated on her exams (by bringing her lecture notes into the exam hall).

So much beating and over so small a matter.... In the first place, who gives a hoot about the Miss World competition anyway??? Even the more glamorous Miss Universe Singapore contest is no longer shown on our local TV (lack of interest and thus sponsors, I guess). In cold pragmatic Singapore, we only care about economic progress and distinction and of course, profitability (just like any profit-driven private corporation). Nobody evers thinks much about (the value) of anything outside that realm. Arts and cultural activities are "nice to have", to be promoted only when budget allows - ie. when times are good, and usually are the first thing(s) to be sacrificed in an economic crunch-time. And sports, well, let's just say if the Singapore dollar can't buy us instant success, we're doomed as well.
So where in tiny Singapore is there room (and money!!) left for such thing as a beauty contest? Other countries actually have schools set up to groom potential and aspiring beauty queens! In Singapore, if ever there was such a school, it would surely die a natural death, as most parents would certainly not want their child to enrol in such an institution fearing that it would detract them from the "bright" future as a doctor, lawyer or banker.

It is a sign of how things are in Singapore, when our journalists are busy interviewing an ex-beauty queen and digging out more dirt (from eager informants) to splash on the pages of their papers, all because Singaporeans love to hate a certain Miss Ris Low.