Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Letter to My One Year Old

For my firstborn's birthday, I decided to gift her with a letter and some money (RM100!) to be put in her bank account. The idea is to write one letter to her every year and to put some money away for her every year which she will eventually receive when she graduates. (I know, I know --- can I really do this for the next 17 years? Time will tell). 

I will be printing the following letter and keeping it away for safekeeping, but here is a digital version just in case any parents would like to be inspired to write their own. It's just basically about her birthday, random anecdotes and it only has one message - that baby, you are so so so so super loved. 

Dear ,

You are exactly one year and one week old today! It has taken mommy a few days to write this letter as we were busy with your birthday which lasted from a Sunday (before your birthday) to the next Sunday (after your birthday). There was just so much love and celebration to go around, because that is the kind of baby girl you are – precious and well loved.

Your birthday was first celebrated with a surprise cream birthday cake from Aunty Khar Ling and Kayson korkor. You loved the cake so much that mommy allowed you to stick your fingers repeatedly into the cream because you are the birthday girl, after all! The cake was from a French bakery and it was berry flavored with chocolate bits and vanilla cream.

Your second birthday celebration was on your actual birthdate, in which Aunty Ivy dressed you up in new shoes, a beautiful new dress and you even wore a red crown. We then had a grand western dinner at The Ship where you had a taste of flambĂ©ed  steak (daddy’s), seafood au gratin (mommy’s), sizzling chicken chop (Aunty Ivy’s), seafood chowder soup and corn with fake sharks fin soup; you had a taste of everything except the fresh oysters and daddy’s red wine!

(By the way, your favourite dish was the dinner rolls, you loved it so much that we ordered an extra roll for you). You were also captivated by the live lobster swimming in the tank so let’s visit the restaurant again and have the lobster next time, OK?

We then ended the meal with some hot coffee and banana split for dessert, but you were too full for the ice-cream!

And then your grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousin came down all the way from Penang to celebrate your very first birthday!

The very first thing we did  in the morning was cut your longan coconut jelly cake, which mommy decided would be monkey-themed because you were born in the Year of the Monkey. You were very interested in the cake, so I think you approved of it. I wonder what age you will be when you begin to choose your own birthday cake!  

Then off the 9 of us went to the Farm in the City! This was followed by black burgers for lunch, a two hour playtime at Little Owl Café Publika and ended with daddy treating all of us to Alaskan crabs and cigar chicken at Yamaguchi fish market.

But that was not all!

On the fourth day of your birthday, we went to Aquaria KLCC so you could see sting rays and sharks for the very first time. Mommy was a little terrified of the ugly fishes but because you were so brave and amazed by the fishes, mommy became brave too. Our family loves to eat seafood, after all!

On the fifth day of your birthday, we had glorious dim sum and because you are a big girl now, you could eat a whole egg tart on your own. We also ordered over 20 types of dim sum and you had a taste of everything on the table.

Finally, on the sixth day of your birthday, your grandparents, aunty, uncle and cousin had to depart for Penang but it wasn’t before you were properly and thoroughly smothered in hugs and kisses and cuddles.

And that was how we celebrated your very first birthday.

 At one years old, you haven't grown any teeth yet (although we and the doctor were so SURE that you would be an early teether at five months old). You also can’t walk yet but you’re great at pulling yourself up and toddling along with support. When you say, “mum” it means that you are worried or distressed about something related to sleep/milk/hygiene. Otherwise, it’s always, “da da da da!”

But that’s OK because daddy is so~ in love with you. Daddy’s favourite past time these days is feeding you during mealtimes when aunty allows it. When we are at shopping malls, you and daddy would disappear frequently into shops with toys as he would point out all the cool toys to you and you would tell him which toy you love (dolphin!) and hate (dinosaur!). Sometimes when daddy is carrying you and music is playing, daddy will twirl you around and dance on the spot like there is nothing else more important in the world than the both of you.

When you were six months old, daddy was already feeding you licks of ice-cream because he wanted you to love him the most in this family.

Your favourite method of communicating with us is pointing. You point at everything that you want and need at the moment, and mommy is always saying over and over again to everyone how I can’t believe you’re only one years old; sometimes you think and act like a five year old. You are patient with us, have a cheeky sense of humor and am amazingly cool no matter what happens around you.

You love puffing up your cheeks whenever you see a mirror or camera.

Every time we walk past the fridge, you will point at the magnets and ask to play with them. 

When you were one years old, your very first baby holiday was to Genting Highlands. You were so well behaved and mommy was so, so, so excited to show you the whole world that we started going on plenty of mini road trips to Melaka, Kuantan, Penang (of course!) and Ipoh. I remember being so worried about bringing you on a plane when you were only 5 months old but you didn't even cry once and enjoyed sitting in the airplane. That's right, at five months old our Baby J spent over a week at Taipei! Mommy remembers that the uber uncle liked you so much that he actually gifted you with RM5 on the way to the airport and when you needed hot water for your milk, the nice uncle taxi driver in Taiwan actually stopped by 7-11 to heat up the milk for you. 

When we are out in public, you are so beautiful that we are frequently stopped so people can say hi to you or smile at you. For a while, you used to wave and say hi to everyone in the restaurant, but you are thankfully more bashful now. Now you’ll wait for the person to pass by first and once their backs are turned, you will wave and quietly say, “Hi” to them. 

At home, the only thing you would watch is ‘Dave and Ava’ for a while else you would completely ignore the TV which is great, because mommy often worries that you’re watching too much TV. You also weaned yourself off the pacifier after only one month of using it and you have also stopped drinking from the bottle by the time you were 11 months old. You taught us the signal that you were thirsty by fake coughing (ahem ahem ahem) but we are now learning to hydrate you more often now that you are taking breast milk less frequently.  You are only one years old but you are such a big magical baby girl in so many ways.

I think that you will grow up to be the most serious of us all in this family. But that will be OK because I have seen your sense of humor and your toothless smile lights up in the entire universe.

Daddy says that even though technically you are no longer a baby, we will always call you “baby” even when you’re an old lady.

I remember seeing you for the very first time and I remember that you were so curious about the world that even with the bright lights, you had one eye open. I remember the doctors saying that you were just as beautiful as mommy, but I said, “No, she is even more beautiful”.

And looking at you right now at one years old, I know I’m right.

I remember our first night together, mommy was so excited and happy that I did not sleep until 3am+ when the nurse came in and scolded mommy for not resting well. You were snuggled well in mommy’s arms and it felt like the most natural thing in the world. I am the luckiest mummy in the world because I am your mummy.

I have slept next to you for the past one year and one thing you probably did not realize is that sometimes I bother you while you sleep by stuffing my whole nose into your body, so I can remember your smell, listen to your heartbeat and thank God over and over again for letting you be my baby girl.

Everyday, mummy thanks God for you and daddy.

Happy birthday, baby.



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