Letter to My Girls: Khayla (27 months) & Khadeeja (3 months)

Dear Daughters,

At the moment I began writing this letter, I can't help smiling. One is singing at half past midnight and the other is fast asleep since 9pm - as always. Khayla and Khadeeja. Like night and day. The same pod actually produced different peas, who would've guessed?

I've been late again at this letter. I'm supposed to write it on the day you both turned a month older - but come to think of it, how could I say - 'Khadeeja flipped over at the age of 3 months' when you just turned 3 months, right? So please bear with the delay, sweeties. Besides, it's more fun watching both of you grow up before my very own eyes!

Dear Khadeeja,

Happy 3 months, precious child! What can I say, I've never seen anyone so generous with her smiles, so eager to reach out and tug at people's heartstring! Remember the visit to your pediatrician where you were busy being super friendly towards all the nurses including to the doctor? And then you amazed me when you didn't even cry when the doctor gave you a jab because you were too occupied with flashing the biggest grin to the doctor. No doubt both you and your sister were equally adorable at this age but when it comes to the title Social Baby With The Most Smiles, you win this hands down.

Smiling even after the 3rd month immunisation jab

Basically that's the biggest description about you, munchkin. But that's not all. You are also pretty independent. I can leave you in the cot after a round of feeding and you will fall asleep on your own. No comfort nursing, pacifier and cuddling required when you are really sleepy. All you do is just suck your own thumb and close your eyes.

Adorable sleepyhead...

Talking about thumb-sucking, this month you discovered the joy of having a pair of thumbs. It was an accidental discovery, you were rubbing your eyes and somehow your fingers ended up in your mouth. But then you learnt to just put your thumb in your mouth and the next thing we know is you making such a noise slobbering over your own thumb!

Engrossed with enjoying your thumb

Of course this made me feel really upset - I have bought almost all kind of pacifiers for you but you merely spat them out and then continued sucking your thumb. Sometimes in the midst of breastfeeding your thumb also got in the way because you love your thumb so much!

My little chocolate sundae,

I should've guessed that this month you will start shoving things into your mouth when you started salivating almost all the time. You grab anything that you can wrap your fingers around - toys, blanket, plastic bag, my shirt, your sister's hair. I hope it wasn't intentional though, because it upset your sister to no ends whenever you managed to pull her hair. And I also hope it is not the beginning of hair pulling fights between sisters either!

Once you managed to grab the thing, you find it a must to experiment the taste. Does that rattle taste like Mommy's milk? Does this blanket taste yummy? So off everything goes into your mouth!

My toy is yummy!

Khadeeja my adorable baby girl,

Unlike your sister, you showed a keen interest in books at this age. When it is reading time, your eyes lit up in deep interest at the sharp contract of colours and patterns in the baby book. You would lean forward to bat at the book pages. I hope that this interest in books will be a lasting one, and you will grow up to be like Mommy - a bookworm!

While busy with being a happy-go-lucky baby who loves thumbs, books and falling asleep, you did not neglect other developmental milestones - like chuckling! Hey, you chuckled, you little babe! When Daddy lifted you up and brought you down, you made gasping sounds that turned into chuckles, and you almost suffocate me from too much cuteness! And not to forget, you can flip over from back to belly, and sometimes the other way around. Yeay!

And now to my darling Khayla.

Dear Khayla,

This month you learnt a few words in two different languages (Malay/English) that basically means the same thing. It is 'Finish' that means the same as 'Habis', and 'Monyet' which is 'Monkey' in English. You also tend to ask things and then translating it, like, 'What's that?' followed by, 'Apa tu?' You enjoy altercating between two languages, showing that your vocabulary prowess is getting a lot better. The only thing that you still don't grasp is that 'Mommy' is exclusively another word for 'Emak', and thus you happily call everyone Mommy. Makyeng = Mommy. Usu Farah = Mommy. Wa Liza = Mommy. Even Bapak is called Mommy sometimes!

The adorable but exasperating thing about 2-year-olds are how they understand things but deliberately get it all wrong. For example, you are aware that 'Finish' is pronounced 'Finish', but you still say, 'Nimish!' You know that I want you to  pick up your toys which you leave all over the house, but you simply stare at me and then walk off pretending that you don't understand a word. You also know that certain things are wrong, like scribbling on the sofa with crayon or spilling milk on it, but you still do it!

Therefore, I am beginning to introduce you something called 'discipline'. When you do something naughty (which both you and I know is something wrong), I will put you in a corner for a time out so that you can think about (not) doing it again.

Time out corner
Another thing we have to talk about sweetheart, is the term 'sharing'. You get upset when Khadeeja gets hold of a toy even though it's hers, and want to take it away. Each and every time. When are you going to realise that you are now an older sister, and older sister shares toys with little sister? When you managed to prise the toy from her fingers, you would walk away and hide the toy. Although it amuses me, I know that this behaviour needs to go. Bapak can't afford to buy two of everything! So you have no choice sayang, but to learn to play together with your sister ok?

My bubbly little parrot,

One of the amazing thing about being this age is how powerful is your observation skills. You like to repeat our actions - be it using fork and spoon while eating, or shush-ing Khadeeja, or flushing the toilet. A few weeks back, I caught you opening my purse and taking out a few notes from it. You then walked over to the fridge and began to push those notes, one by one, between the fridge doors. I laughed then, because I didn't know that you were observing me buying drinks from the vending machine, and now you thought you can only get drinks from the fridge if you inserted money in it!

I'm buying drinks from the fridge, Mak!
Another time, you grabbed Daddy's car keys on the table and then tried to insert it in your ride-on car because you observed Daddy when he started the car engine. See how your brains are making connections between real car and ride-on car, or between vending machine and fridge?

My beautiful angel,

Once upon a time, I used to worry about your development. As a baby, you disliked books (the moment we settled down with a book for reading session when you were a baby, you would yawn and then doze off, nor did you show any interest in books whatsoever), you were lagging behind with flipping over, crawling and walking, and you made no attempts to be friends with any of the kids at your previous daycare.

But now, you are nuts over books (be it for looking at pictures in it, or for scribbling!), you are ahead of others your age when it comes to motor skills (jumping, drinking from a cup, running) and last week, your teacher told me that when you reached school, you greeted a friend and that cheered him up. You are turning out to be a bright, active and cheerful little toddler - the source of my joy and pride!

My little cupcakes and sugar candies,

Whenever I think about how in some countries, people value boys over girls, I couldn't help thinking that they must be nuts. Because little girls like you are made of sugar, spice and everything nice, which is why I keep referring both of you as my comfort food for thought!

To the two most beautiful little girls in the world,

You both rock my world in the way no one else can.


With lots of love and kisses,
Mak

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