the weekend challenge

8:32 AM Monday, October 25, 2004

the nurturing challenge
QUESTION: how many people does it require to take care of a sick child?
ANSWER: if you're Pyro, it will require the whole household!

I already knew Pyro was sick last Friday. He got better Saturday morning, and then got real bad Saturday afternoon. Which made us oh-so-concerned that I brought him to a pediatrician with my sister.

I kept having to ask my sister what vitamins Pyro were taking, her milk, etc. We forgot to bring his baby book for his medical history. Anyway, he was prescribed paracetamol and antibiotics for another throat infection (his 3rd). Of course, our baby was crying like hell at the clinic, and we had to suffer his tears just to make him take his medicine. After all, he can't get better without them.

But it was a real struggle... different people had different tasks... one would have to carry him, one would have to distract him, one would have to try feeding him crackers (my sis kept telling me that i can just feed him the crackers without treating them like a jet crashing into my nephew's mouth... and definitely without the wardance i do as I make the engine noises... but Pyro refuses to open his mouth without the engine sounds and the dancing, i swear!), one would have to wipe his nose, tears and other bodily fluids, one would have to remain loving and assuring as Pyro vomits on her, etc. My sister and cousin are both Nursing students but, of course, they couldn't act professionally cold with the tyke.

Of course, he's really lucky to have so many watch over him. He's very lucky that my sister would patiently lull him and comfort him and carry him and dance with him for hours because he refuses to cling like a monkey to anyone else. He's very lucky that i love him so much I allowed him to use my right arm as a hotdog-pillow he can embrace while sleeping... resulting in this dead feeling for my arm, and a trapped feeling for my psyche (i soo hate restrictions). He's very lucky that so many are concerned, and even my Dad in the province kept checking up on him.

I just wish his Dad won't make things harder by not even trying smarter to make him take his medicine. I mean, seriously, to heck with the baby's tears, shouldn't he be more concerned that Pyro is missing dosages that might only aggravate the infection?

Still, I hope he'd get well soon. We miss the laughing baby we love so much.

the gastronomic challenge
A Filipino loves to eat. In fact, we've made it almost impossible to go hungry at any time of day here (unless you're really dirt-poor ok?). Even in major roads, vendors will be plying their wares of chips and water for those stuck in traffic.

Part of the Filipino hospitality is having your guests eat. We love to go the distance for people's gastronomic happiness... and feel we've only succeeded in really being good hosts after hearing that burp, that sigh of contentment, and that comment that he's full and the food was great.

But pray tell, how do you feed an Israeli Jew, who says he isn't vegetarian per se, just restricted by his religion on what things he could eat?. What's more, he's the type of Jew who not only doesn't eat anything that came from animals (even fish/seafood), he also foregoes certain types of vegetables...

Thank goodness, he eats bananas and drinks pineapple juice and SMB :D

But... wait, add a Buddhist in the equation please, yes, someone who cannot eat beef... oh and yeah, someone who would only have Coke for lunch and a can of juice for merienda. Upon further inquiry, this Malaysian also finds Pinoy food SWEET... and considers it a great departure from his usual fare of spicy stuff.


And yes, there's another one in the band... JRA and I racked our brains out for vegetarian places that are porkless, because we also have a Muslim guest. And of course, we'd only find out right before lunch that it's still Ramadan and therefore, he won't be having even one drop of water until 6 pm...


At least, it was ok for us Pinoys to eat wherever we wanted, and ended up lunching at Pancake House while our foreigner friends hung outside.

Dinner was at Kashmir, where JRA and his colleagues felt adventurous enough to order this Indian Drink (LASI: a yogurt, sweet/salty drink) their Malaysian GM was drinking. The consensus? It tasted like rotten milk, or infant vomit, whichever was worse.

Me, I ate 2 pieces of this roasted-chicken that's spicy but actually tastes great with calamansi. And some rice, and some pita/crust-like garlic bread. And before even arriving back home, the skin on my tummy showed allergic reactions... and yes, am still itchy...

the photography challenge
Sadly, Tagaytay ain't pretty anymore. We went to People's Park in the sky, and it was just not pretty anymore. Houses dotting the view ain't pretty. The heat of the sun and the humid clime and the smell of piss and the trash everywhere... it's just not pretty anymore.

Missed climbing all over again. The pic here is the best I've taken so far from the ill-advised trip.

the future motherhood challenge
While eating at Kashmir, a big group of Indians went in with us. JRA was teasing me about the possibility of them smelling bad (no offense meant to any Indians, Pakistanis, etc who reads this blog), and how the incense-sort smoke inside the resto was for that purpose... because we both get migraines really from strong body odor. Anyway... the group was composed of some 5 or so couples with their kids and were seated next to our table.

I already noticed that a Mom was taking her time in making the milk for her crying baby. I already noticed that because she wasn't hurried by her baby's cries, she wasn't spilling any milk either. That made me smile.

Then later on during the meal, a toddler started crying. An older child started leading him back to their table. The child's mother was just silently waiting for them. To my shock tho (it was too strong for the word "surprise"), none of the other adults were paying attention to that crying child! The child quieted down soon enough without the mother having to carry him.

I pointed this observation to JRA, and he said he thinks that could be the reason why the Indians are the best call center agents, because they know how to not overly react to what's happening (irate callers blandishing curses) and just do their necessary tasks (provide technical support to consumers who, most often than not,just didn't read the f*ckin' instructions).

I was amazed... and challenged!!! In a typical Filipino setting in malls and Churches or other public places, a crying child would have elicited every parent within hearing zone to look up, and semi-rush or think of running to the site, wondering if they can do anything. In a party of relatives, the child would have been picked up the nearest adult/elder and hush-shushed even before the child reaches his own parent. He'd have been comforted and promised the world and distracted and given a toy/bottle.

But all that isn't always necessary. And I hope i'd have the grace to not be the typical Pinay mother someday. I'd want my kids to not cry THAT loud, and to know that they can STOP crying (unless really, really hurt), and not throw tantrums and basically not grow up equating excited comforting with true loving.

I'd want to be warm, but I don't want to create wrong illusions of caring.


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