Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Woodward’s Baby Infrared Thermometer Dies at Age 4

In the news today..

woodward thermo1 Hulu Kelang Friday 20 November 2009; The Woodward’s baby infrared thermometer, the thermometer which was reputedly one of the most important members in the ZombieDaddy household, died on the dressing table of a noisy little house in Lembah Keramat on Thursday. The cause of death has yet to be determined, but sources close to the family suspect it was exhaustion with a high probability of physical abuse. The Woodward’s thermometer was less than four years old.

The Woodward’s thermometer spent much of its life trying to convey the truth to everyone that asked of it. It not only gave honest accurate temperature readings from the ear, it also can be used on the forehead and other parts of the body. "It never complained," said ZombieDaddy. "Supermama, Nuha, the Twins, it took the temperature of them all. It even took the temperature of the table, the floor and whatever else Nuha and the Twins pointed it at."

The Woodward’s thermometer was welcomed into the home when the family’s firstborn was about a year old. As a result, the thermometer was also made to double up as a toy for the toddler. A few months after being unpacked, the signs of tension began to show: The stand that came with the packaging was misplaced and never found. Looking back on it now, said a source close to the family, it was clearly a sign that the thermometer won’t survive for long.

The beginning of the end for the thermometer came when the Twins were born about a year ago. It was used almost on a daily basis. When the parents detected a warmer than usual feel on the Twins, the thermometer was employed and made to work every half an hour. As a result, the Twins grew fond of the thermometer and identified it as their favourite toy. They played with it, hugged it, kissed it and maybe gave it little bites with their newfound teeth. 

24112009248 You can’t see much here but the thermo is practically covered with bite marks and drool

Despite its often drool coated condition, the thermometer never failed to keep on churning one accurate reading after another. Day in and day out the thermometer took the temperatures of the family, the wall, the floor and all the furniture in the house. "It was a hard life, and a thankless one," recalls a grandparent. "But without that little guy taking accurate temperatures everytime it was needed, I’m sure the parents would have had several panic attacks and won’t be alive today." The grandparent then offered to show this reporter the 359 pictures of the twins and their big sister that she keeps in her purse. There were no pictures of the Woodward’s thermometer though.

The end for the thermometer came last week when the Twins feeling much healthier, played a game of “I can knock it on the wall harder than you can” with it. While being made into an imaginary hammer, the thermometer gave out and unusually long beep. ZombieDaddy, in the room at the time immediately knew something was wrong. “There was an eerily long beep then it went blank. The poor thing just blacked out”. When asked about the last days of the thermometer, ZombieDaddy replied, “Towards the end, the thermometer took forever to read temperatures and most of the times it would give out ridiculous readings. But it was a good thermometer, a brave thermometer that survived years of abuse by the hands of three happy young girls”.

23112009245Raisa taking the temperature of her cheek

23112009243 Raina wondering why there’s no beeping sound coming from the ‘hammer’ anymore

A memorial service will be held for the thermometer sometime next week to bid final farewell to the loyal and obedient worker. The family informs that, in lieu of flowers, they are accepting donations for a replacement infrared thermometer.

ZombieDaddy was heard saying "Life must go on”. There was also some garbled noise in the background that after being digitally analysed in the computer can be interpreted to be “Abah, are we getting a new hammer that beeps?”

Friday, November 20, 2009

Life Behind (Hospital) Bars

I’m not talking about jails or correctional facilities or anything of that kind. I’m talking about hospital stays that to me seemed similar to a jail sentence or life behind bars. One that involves having to care for sick kids, actually more like having to care for two sick infants at any one time at the hospital. With constant crying, whining, coughing, purging and vomiting from two infants coupled with endless nurse visits, nebulizer treatments and medication time, make your life a living hell. You have to rush through your showers and meals when both babies are sleeping, but they never sleep for long at the hospital. And when they don’t sleep, you definitely can’t sleep too.

One thing about these hospital stays is that your mood tends to change for the worse just after one night. Take Supermama for instance. Normally if i’m going out or if i have to go somewhere, she would say “Drive safely Sayang”. But at the hospital whenever I had to go out to run some errands, the last words i heard before i closed the room door was more or less “You’d better be back here as soon as you can in 20 minutes!” and she meant every word she said.

Life in the hospital was also not easy. The room was cramped particularly when all five of us were in it. Sometimes you have to make do with whatever space you have left. Even the twins noticed this and tried to adapt to it. When Raisa was being fussy and wanted most of the cot bed to herself, Raina did not complain. She adapted to it and made use of the space left to her. Just look at the pic below.Image143(01)

But there were also moments of peace. These moments are like diamonds, very much sought after but very seldom you can afford them. When both Raina and Raisa were sleeping, Supermama and me danced our dance of joy albeit quietly because that means we can have our meals, take showers and do some reading. But like all good things, they are always short-lived. You can’t even get through page one of the newspaper before the nurse would come in with the big noisy nebulizer machine and ruined everything.IMG_9561

The best moments were of course when the sick ones you were looking after, got healthier and started to be themselves again. It made the week of hell appeared like a forgotten past and you cant wait for tomorrow to come. IMG_9551IMG_9552 07082009168Image142IMG_9565Moments like these made your days cooped up in the hospital seemed worthwhile.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kids, Exam Week and Underwear

It was exam week at Nuha's kindie last week. If i heard correctly, she had english paper, bahasa melayu paper, math, science, arabic, and iqra'. I would have pooped in my shorts if i had to go through all that when I was 5. But I suppose time has changed, kids don’t poop in their shorts anymore nowadays. Before Nuha started playschool last year, i never thought kindie and exam can be mentioned in the same sentence. My own kindie years were a blurry blob that i can't seem to recall. And i dont think we had exams back then like what Nuha and her friends had last week. When I was 5, it was considered a big achievement if I could put on my underwear correctly, not inside out.

Anyways, i'm not here to argue about the existing education system or how every kindie is trying very hard to extract the einstein out of every 5 and 6 year old kid out there.

I'm here to tell you how our Nuha is coping with preschool life. It happened, i asked her the other day what she thought about the exam. She said it was very easy and she could complete all the given tasks without any problem. I asked if she's sure because she missed a week of school right before the exam (she was staying at the hospital with us and the twins). I asked her if she could understand all the questions. She answered with a straight "yes".

Nuha: "Nuha just right right right. Very easy".

Abah: "Eh! What do you mean right right?".

Nuha: "Mama said read three times. Nuha read three times. Nuha know it is right answer."

Abah: “Oh Teacher June showed you the answer ye?”

Nuha: “No Abah. Nuha tau sendiri”

I admire my daughter’s confidence. I don’t know yet if right means right or right means “I’m sorry Encik Zombiedaddy, we cant let your daughter go into the next class because she drew apples instead of writing the correct answers for all of the questions”. I’m not too worried though. I’m happy enough that she’s enjoying her time at the kindie. She can almost read by herself already. She can draw beautiful giraffes and horses, and cats that look like they had some nasty dinner the night before and needs to go to the toilet very very urgently. I’m also very sure that she’s much cleverer than her father was when he was 5. But just in case..

Abah: “Nuha come here please”

Abah: “I want to see your underwear”

Nuha: “Why Abah?”

Abah: “I want to see if you put it on terbalik or not”


Monday, November 2, 2009

The Napalms Strike Again

i know not too long ago i wrote about metaphorical napalm bombs that turned our quiet family life upside down, and when the dust settled down, how i hoped that the air would stay clear for a long long time. However, in our case, hope and reality seem to be two very different animals. And reality just happened to rear its ugly head, shown us its humongous fangs and bit us hard in the bum. Ouch!

What i'm trying to say is that the air only stayed clear for a short while before the napalms struck again. Remember I wrote about our replacement maid that was suppose to arrive by late august. She did arrive as promised and she was a good worker and the kids seemed to warm up to her too. We actually thought she was the one. But reality had a different view. Before we can say "hey let's go catch a movie while bibik looks after the kids", she's already on a plane back to surabaya. You might be asking why is our perfect bibik gone so soon. Yeah it sounds surreal i know, but she failed her bloody medical test here. She passed with flying colour there but when Fomema did it again here, she kantoi to the max. What the freakin hell i thought. Please please please let her stay i pleaded. No no no they answered. Come on lah! I begged. Dei, no means no lah! They rebuff. What else could we do? off we sent her home on the jet plane never to be seen again. It was a sad day for me and supermama. It was sadder than watching that "Million Dollar Baby" movie. And let me tell you, that movie can really make macho men shed manly tears.

So, there we were, no maid again, but still stuck with a preschooler and two babies to care for. We couldn't let our mothers babysit the kids even if they wanted to do it. It wouldn't be fair on them. In fact it would be called cruelty to grandmothers if we let that happen. One year old twins are not meant to be looked after by the grandmothers by themselves. It's like unleashing double-hell-tsunami on an old lady with a tiny umbrella expecting only a drizzle. After much thought and with heavy hearts we decided to put the twins at a nursery that we found to be acceptable. Kakak Nuha would go to her kindie and stay at supermama's office in the afternoon. Mind you, this would the first time for us sending any of our kids to a nursery, so it was understandable that we were feeling heebie-jeebies over the whole thing.

We looked at quite a few places and finally picked this one nursery in ukay perdana. The place was decent enough that we hoped the twins will be okay. But again, reality had a different view in mind. The first day they were crying almost the whole day. The second day they came home with runny noses. The third day they started coughing. The fourth day we had to take them to the paed for nebulizer treatment. The fifth day, into the hospital they went for 7 days this time around. Our first foray into the nursery realm was quite nerve-wrecking and didn't turn out so well for the twins. It was hell time at the hospital too with coughing, nebulizer every 3 hour, chest physio, purging, IV drip and nasty foul-tasting smecta. Alhamdulillah the twins got better. It was good to be home after a week at the hospital. So, it was with a heavier heart that we had to send them again to the nursery last week. We felt so guilty but we had to do it. We prayed, we hoped with all our hearts that the twins won’t fall sick again. Alhamdulillah they went through the week much better than expected. They were crying less and less. They have found back their lost appetites. They were not coughing anymore and no runny noses too. Raina and Raisa ara back! Now they fight over who gets more share of the food again, they fight over who has more bubbles in the bathtub again, they even poke each other’s eyes while they’re sleeping again. Ahh such joy! It’s good to be back..

Raina and Raisa before the got coughy and snotty10102009215

Raisa on the nebulizer20102009223

Raina on the nebulizer


Notice the freelodger in pink tshirt21102009229

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