Tuesday, August 29, 2006


We live on the tenth floor in our apartment building. Today as Mae was leaving the house with Jesse and Roma to meet me at the office, the boy darted off to the elevator as he so often does. The lift arrives and both Jesse and Roma get in, which is all fine and good - except, for some reason, Roma decided to step off to see what's holding Mae up. Which was a pretty dumbass thing to do.

Expectedly, the lift door shuts and the lift starts descending with my poor, frightened little boy inside. I can only imagine what he must have been feeling at the time and it probably wasn't the best day in his life.

Long story short, the poor kid gets to the ground floor, steps off and wanders around our lift lobby bawling his eyes out searching for Mommy. By the time they get to my office a half hour later he was all fragile and still crying.

I cradled the boy to my chest with my left arm and comforted him. WIth my right hand I reached out to Roma and gripped my fingers around her neck. I squeezed. She writhed about struggling to breathe. Her eyes bulged out of the sockets as life ebbed from her now limp body. "That's for scaring my boy!!!!" I yelled in her face, my spittle spewing everywhere all over her white-washed expression and dark green lips.

Nah. I didn't reprimand her at all. I expect the trauma of the entire event was punishment enough.

As for Jesse, I'm not sure if I prefer him to forget all about the experience and live happily ever after, or to remember it so he never rushes to get into the lift without us. *sigh* Does that make me a bad father?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Two-Year Stats

It seemed only like yesterday I was at the delivery room gnawing at my fingernails in anticipation of my baby boy's arrival. And just like that, at the blink of an eye, it's two years on.

Two years. That's equal to 16 teeth. 13 kilograms. And quite a few centimenters. Not sure how many, cos I'm a lousy father who never took my kid's height, so sue me.

Over the last two years we have taught him 379 words and 96 phrases, 10 of which he can successfully repeat; like "Mommy", "Air Cond", "Sit Down", "Cheese", "Eat", "Wait", "Blue", "Bread", "Orange" and "Nine". He's picked up a few on his own, like "Air Cool", "Bhai" and "Honey, let's do it tonight". Okay, I was kidding about that last one. Heh!

Two years is also approximately 4,500 diaper change, 2,153 night feeds and about 105 cans of baby formula. That's 4,732 times we've woken up at night to check if he's still breathing. That's 5,326 usable exposures on my Canon A70. That's 9,735 times we've gone "ooh" and "aww" at every little antic he does. That's 15,021 kisses we've planted on a sometimes-reluctant little boy. That's 188,093 times he's done something to really annoy us. And over 1,938,046 times we've fallen in love with him all over again.

So yeah, there's never been a dull moment in the two years since Jesse. And I look forward to the next 42. (Yeah, I plan to check out when I turn 77!) Happy Birthday, son. May your birthdays always be filled with joy and laughter.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Two-Gun Jesse

do ya feel lucky, punk?

I was going through my backpack some weeks ago when I stumbled upon this little sketch I did way back before Jesse was born - specifically on 17th July 2004 - about a month before Jesse came about. I know because that's the date on the Church bulletin I sketched in on. *ahem* Okay, okay, sometime I drift away into my own world during the Pastor's sermon.

At the time, I was still bothered by how few people seemed to know that Jesse was in fact a boy's name. I figured I would take drastic action to "re-brand" Jesse. And thus, Two-Gun Jesse was born. (The name, BTW, was inspired by a slew of western comics I read as a kid - Two-Gun Kid, Billy the Kid, Jesse James, etc)

Two-Gun Jesse would be an illustrated web book, which will gain popularity over the internet to a point of getting international syndication for Saturday morning cartoons, and a sweet merchandising deal, rendering upon its creator untold riches in royalty payments and license fees. Bwahahaha!

The story would revolve around an imaginative little boy who wished he were a gunslinger like the legendary Jesse James. Think Calvin & Hobbes, but with gunshot blood spatter and grievious head wounds.

And by the time I'm done, the world would finally acknowledge that Jesse is very much a little boy's name, and a masculine one at that!

Then, lo and behold, Jesse was born and suddenly it didn't seem to matter so much anymore what anybody thought of his name. And so I stuffed this little drawing into the bottomless pits of my backpack.

Perhaps someday, Two-Gun Jesse would ride again. Who knows.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Piece Of Cake

looks good enough to eat

Last weekend was Baby Danielle's birthday. She's my sis Sue's, second kid - little Joshua's baby sister.

The photo, as you can plainly see, is not a cake but the stuff we salvaged off the cake. The little sugar princess was the centerpiece, while the little face thingies came on individual cupcakes. It was made by a clever lady who makes them out of her home in Bandar Utama under the brandname "Piece of Cake".

Is that a clever name or what? Man, if I ever went into the cake business, I'd want a clever name like that. Like, "Y'wanna Piece of Me?", or if the cakes turn out really badly, then "Piece of Shit". Hahahahah!

Anyway, it looks like this post is turning out to be more about the cake than the birthday girl. That's my fault for not getting a good shot of the little girl. *sigh* I forgot my camera. (Go see her at Jeff's.) It's also Sue's fault for buying such an outstanding cake that I just have to talk about.

The cake's pretty pricey - 2kgs plus 20 cupcakes for almost RM400! But well worth it considering the amount of work that must have gone into it. Apparently, Piece of Cake doesn't just supply kiddie cakes. My sis tells me they have adult-themed cakes too. Heh.

But damn, 400 bucks?! We'd buy one for Jesse's 2nd birthday next week, but I'm not sure we love him that much. Hahahahahah! Ahh, the pressures of parenthood.

Note to Angsty Grown-up Jesse: Don't be silly, boy, of course we love you! We put up with you all this while didn't we?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Of Jackfruits and Jackasses

"Monkey's back!" said Mae over the phone. "He's scaling the dressing table." Jesse's been down with something since Saturday. Sure we managed the fever, but the cough, cold and sore throat was quite another kettle of fish.

I spent much of last night staying up watching my son breathe - or in this case, struggle to breathe. His nose was congested, and breathing through his mouth only agitated his throat causing him to cough, which in turn further tormented his already swollen tonsils.

In the end, we caught hold of him and administered a couple of drops of decongestant to ease his suffering. He kicked and screamed and cried, until he cried himself to sleep. It broke my heart into a million pieces watching him like that.

This afternoon, I snucked off from work to go hunting for Nangkas. Apparently, according to Ye Old Wives' Medical Journal, the jackfruit is an excellent remedy for cough - as long as you remove the flesh directly from the fruit without washing off the gooey stuff. Truth be told, I suspect this story to be an urban legend but I figured, heck, if the story turns out to be crap, we could still enjoy a delicious serving of Nangka. Besides, it's not like Jesse's not already on medication.

So, despite being fairly well-informed on childhood sickness and remedies, like a couple of jackasses, Mae and I found ourselves in the middle of Kepong chasing after an old wives' tale, if only so our precious little monkey and his longsuffering parents could get some much needed sleep tonight.

Unfortunately, we didn't manage to find the damn fruit. Even though Mae tells me our boy is doing heaps better, I still can't shake this feeling of helplessness and defeat. *sigh* Where the heck are all the *^%@ jackfruits?!?!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


feeling all better

Last weekend was by far our toughest weekend as parents. Jesse was down with high fever and he was practically puking his guts out. In the two years that Jesse had been in our world, he had never actually gotten sick, so you can imagine how disorienting and heartbreaking the whole experience turned out to be.

We took him to the doctor when he started puking the water he drank. By the time we got there, it had gotten so bad that the poor boy was vomiting bile. The doc suspected a stomach virus and our orders were simple - keep the kid hydrated without making him puke any further, otherwise he'd have to be admitted for intravenous drips. His prescription; 10 mls of 100 Plus every once in awhile!

"I'd give you oral rehydration salts," Dr Lee shrugs nonchalantly, "but he's gonna want the 100 Plus!" He gives me Clint-Eastwood-esque sneer that quashes whatever wussy concerns I had about his unorthodox methods. I fall on my knees and worship the very ground on which this brilliant man stands.

Then came our second problem; the fever. You can't give fever syrup to a kid who can't hold his fluids in. The good doctors tears open a paper sachet, and withdraws a small, white cylindrical object. He then holds it up to my face. This is the only way." I knew at once that it was a suppository. (That's an ass-pill in case you've never heard the word!) Poor Jesse. Thankfully for him, the doctor reassures us that the medicine will give our boy a 6-hour relief.

By nightfall, like clockwork, the fever resurfaces. Jesse was clocking 39.9 degrees Celcius - and we were all set to take him to the hospital. Fortunately, he had started eating again, stopped vomiting and was in pretty good spirits. We gave him a fever suppressant syrup and sponged him with luke-warm water. His fever came down quickly, but we stayed vigil all night to be sure. Thankfully, Sunday came, and the boy was up and about - completely restored to his regular monkey self and all was right in the world again.

Disclaimer: No toddlers, or monkeys were harmed in the making of this harrowing episode of A Day in the Life of Jesse. Thanks to Dr. Lee of Damansara Utama (same row as 7-11), good advice from MIL's doctor friend and the ever-dependable Baby Center, our boy was never at any risk.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

On A Need-to-Gnaw Basis

Apparently, children grow teeth only when they need to use them. At least that what Stepmom tells me.

For the longest time, Jesse's had only 8 teeth. While other kids his age have been getting some serious oral hardware months ago, our boy's only got his 4-up and 4-down. Sure, incisors are lovely to look at, but they don't exactly do much except make the kid look less dopey. Heh. Other than that, it's really just good enough to bite through his baby biscuits and maybe cut a couple of Pringles here and there.

Still, in the last couple of months Jesse's entry-level teeth combo have been put to good use, chewing up Roti Canai and fish fillets, biting off chewy candy and gooey-cheese pizza, and crunching up the occasional bread stick we throw at him. And then just a couple of weeks back, lo and behold, we're seeing some new development in the boy's mouth.

Out of the blue, Jesse has developed a new set of cute little canines. And right next to them, we're witnessing the makings of a new set of pre-molars. This, I suppose, must be his body's way of preparing the kid for a whole new world of culinary experiences. We're talking steak, Char Kuey Teow, chicken drumsticks, Ramly Burger, and the works. What a glorious time it shall be for father and son as we enjoy my our favourite foods together.

So, I guess Stepmom must be right. The boy is getting ready for some serious chow-down. Either that or he's planning on gnawing at our cheap furniture.