Friday, January 16, 2009 ;
6:48 PM
How do grandmothers feel when a grandson/ daughter arrives?

I just had a similar experience, I think. haha.

My ex-student's wife recently gave birth, in Nov, I think. He is still studying medicine, but had his last paper a few days ago and is now taking care of the baby full time during his hols.

I just saw the baby over skype, initially sleeping very peacefully. The boy still had those suckling lip motions, just like both my boys when they were babies. And then one hand will be resting on the head, just like them too. So funny.

Then he stirred and woke up, and all the while, my student and I were chatting over skype. Then, as I watched him pick the baby up when he woke and cried softly, I suddenly had a lot of emotions rise up in me.

First, the normal mother instinct to want to carry the baby too.
Second, a deep sense of pride in my ex-student, that he had grown up and has been promoted to be a father.
Third, a very weird feeling of being grandmotherly, since that daddy there cradling his son was my student, and I had watched him "grow" and suddenly he is all grown now, a daddy himself. Very hard to describe.
Fourth, a little sadness, because realisation dawned upon me, that if I felt grandmotherly, it meant, I was advancing in years.... hmmm
Finally, happiness and joy, to see my student so proud and happy himself, showing off the adorable baby to me.

(p/s I encouraged him to specialise in paediatrics, since now he can have practicals on his son, he might have an edge over the rest of his classmates. My secret motive is to have more people to approach for free consultations should I need them in future.)

Ok, back to my sons.

Recent months had a big change in ds2. When he turned 3, he was still reluctant to speak much. Rarely in sentences, and mostly unintelligible. He was with me 24/7 and perhaps I understood him too well and very often pre-empt all his needs. So he didn't have much need to talk a lot to convey his wants?

We were already thinking if he had hearing problems, since all the Bible songs, nursery rhymes and stories I sang and read to him seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

Now, suddenly, it's all coming out. He's had a sudden vocabulary explosion, and a sudden willingness to speak. From unclear single words, he is now talking in sentences.

Sometimes, he surprises us when he suddenly sings a song or recites a rhyme that I have not been singing recently. For eg the "Row Row Row Your Boat" song. I used to sing that whenever I changed his diaper when he was a baby, because to get him to lie still, I'd use one hand to row his legs, and pretend he was rowing a boat while singing the song.

After he turned 1, I hardly sang that song anymore. But the other day, he was on the bed getting ready to sleep when he suddenly sang the whole song. I asked him if he learnt or heard it in school and he said no. I wonder if he had retained that memory of the song and it is just only coming out now.

Although when he gets excited, it still comes out in a jumble, but it has been a marked improvement, and we are very glad and relieved for that.

I am not sure if it is hereditary... (Dh said that, because his mom told us that he used to just cry and cry only, as a baby, then suddenly spoke in sentences at 4yrs old. Before that, he didn't talk much.) Or is it because he started attending nursery school and there were teachers, TAs, friends there who didn't understand what he was saying, and to make his needs and wants known, he just had to communicate properly.

Right now, he still has to work on the "l" pronunciation, cos it sounds more like "w". E.g. "Love", "really".

Apart from that, his reading is also improving at a good pace. Every new day, it seems he learns to read many more words and has surprised me in reading the Kindy readers that ds1 brings home. He also likes to read signs he sees on the roads.

ds1 is totally different from him. ds1 spoke very soon, very clearly and could sing back the songs I sang to him very early on too. But he was never so interested in reading all the print around him like his brother. Although I don't make specific records of what he can read at what age, I think ds1 started to read simple books only at 4+ while ds2 started much earlier.

It's nice to have the boys be strong in different areas, I think. Maybe the competition between them won't be so intense.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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