Amber Chia’s Little Darling Ashton Does The “Gong Xi Fa Cai”by Amber Chia
Posted on 08 February 2012
This is my second year celebrating Chinese New Year(CNY) with Baby Ashton. We spent the first day of CNY in Kuala Lumpur with my parents-in-law. You know, I am married now – it is the custom for married women to be with their husband’s family during the first two days of CNY. From the third to seventh day, we were with my parents in Tawau.
Yes, I am aware that there is an increasingly popular trend nowadays amongst our youth who hesitate to go home. I think it is very important to go home because CNY is traditionally a coming together of the family especially at the reunion dinner. It means that we are back together after a year of hard work. It is the time to share with family members your happenings in the past year and your plans for the next year. All parents look forward to seeing their children during CNY. My mom loves CNY. She knows all her children will return home for the celebrations. She literally counts the days! There are nine members in my family, including Mom and Dad but now that my brother and I are married, the number has grown to lucky thirteen. I believe that making it home for the one or two days out of 365 days in a year is not a big deal no matter how busy you are. It was only once in my life that I stayed away for CNY. It was 2005 when I was in New York. I missed home really bad then and told myself that I will make it a point to be home every CNY.
My mom is a very traditional Chinese. The reunion dinner is a must have and as CNY is a time to honour our elders and families, we normally spend a lot of time visiting our relatives. Being a Hokkien, the ninth day is also important. Come midnight on the eighth day, mom will offer thanks and prayers to the Emperor of Heaven. This year, Mom held open house on the third day. We invited all our relatives and friends. It was a very meaningful celebration. It was a golden opportunity to take our family portrait too since all family members were present.
Ashton can do the “Gong Xi Fa Cai”. I am so proud of him. I trained him to do that before CNY. I have to give out ang pows so I am making sure Ashton gets some back . He is so cute when he goes, “Gong Xi Gong Xi”. You know he is a very smart boy. Every time he collects an ang pow, he walks to me and gives it to me for safekeeping .
He can put more words together now and we understand clearly what he says most of the time. “Where, where Ah Yee” (where is my sister), “where Mommy” and “there there” (the ball is there) are some of his favourite phrases at the moment. It gets funny when he can’t pronounce or put words together properly. The other day, he was saying “I… you, I… you, I… you” when he really wanted to say “I love you”.
I enjoy motherhood very much. However, there are times when things get stressful. Ashton has a very stubborn streak. If he doesn’t want to do something, you can’t force him to do it no matter what. He is very much like me in this respect you know. It’s “like mother like son”! Sometimes, when I want him to drink water, he can shake his head in his “NO NO NOooo!” way until I give up.
My Baby Ashton knows what he wants. and what he doesn’t want. I can’t trick him into doing things anymore. When he was younger, I could coax him into taking photos by getting him interested in toys but not anymore. If he is not in the mood, I don’t get any photos. I learned a lot from taking care of Ashton. I think kids nowadays are very smart. They learn very fast. My mom told me that I would just accept what she gave me when I was Ashton’s age. I think my son is going to be very smart but very stubborn.
We are trying to toilet train Ashton. Every morning I put him on the special toilet baby seat and he poos. He will say, “Ng Ng” in the mornings now to tell me he wants to poo. Of course, he still dirties his diapers during the day. I hope he will be toilet trained by 2 years old and he can go to school then. Although he is a Huggies diapers’ ambassador and we get free Huggies diapers, toilet training is very important. You know Huggies diapers are very comfortable and Ashton loves them. I think I will get very tired during the coming months. I have to wake up in the night to do the toilet training!
I am glad Ashton can feed himself now when we have dinner or lunch together. He enjoys solid food more than milk. As Ashton is Avents’ ambassador, we have a Philips AVENT Toddler Meal Time set. It was very easy for him to learn to eat using this set. The plate has a rubber bottom that prevents it from moving about. It is also very convenient being microwave safe. Ashton loves the colourful decorative numbers and animals on the plate. If he gets bored, I will play games with him using these numbers and animals. Babies have very short attention spans so you just have to make meal times fun and interesting. The Philips AVENT Toddler Meal Time set helped me a lot. If he uses the normal bowls, he always drops them. He has learned how to use the spoon and fork and how to hold them properly. Oh dear! When I started teaching him how to feed himself, I had to clean up the mess that he made on the table and the floor each time. Once, I even had food caught in my hair!
Motherhood is a learning process for me. I learn a lot from other mothers as well. Babies have different personalities. I share with mothers on what type of personalities our babies have. Some babies are quiet, others are super active, some are naughty and some smart, etc. When we, mothers, get together, we can talk for hours on end, sharing funny and happy stories about our babies.
I think patience is indispensable when it comes to being a mother. I have to be very patient. Initially, I have to spend up to an hour with Ashton when he sits on the baby toilet seat to poo in the mornings. Getting him to feed himself took just as long. However, seeing Ashton learn and improve is more than worth all the time and hard work.
People tell me how smart and talented my baby Ashton is when they watch the Huggies Ad on TV. I told them that the actual shooting of the Ad was not as easy as it looks. It took about a day to get all the scenes right. It took a lot of energy out of me to keep Ashton happy during the shoot. I especially remember having to do the diaper changing part many times. There were many different angles and Ashton got to the stage when he was just about saying, “Why so many times? I dont want to change diaper anymore!” At times, he slept and we had to wait for him to wake up. But the production house told me that it was a comparatively easy shoot. Some babies even got them to spend three days on the shoot. There were of course some babies who were so good that the shoot only took half a day. One just can’t use any baby as a yardstick. Each baby has a different temperament.
Last, I would like to wish everybody a very Happy Chinese New Year of the Dragon. To the people who are planning for a dragon baby, I wish they will get pregnant within the next couple of months. But what is most important is that your baby is healthy. It doesn’t matter what year he/she is born in. Just go with the flow of nature!
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