25 October 2011, by Tan Yi Lin
This week started on a high note!
One of my good friends received news that she was pregnant following her frozen embryo transfer two weeks ago. I’m so happy for her and her husband and once AGAIN, for the upteenth time, wish them my heartiest congratulations. They truly deserve such happiness. As for me, I’ve never had a better monday 🙂
Colette turned two months old on 22 October *cheers*
Over the past couple of months, we have been observing her every movement and reaction to her surroundings, such as people, the physical environment, things that are presented to her (e.g. toys and pictures), how she feeds, sleeps, etc. We look for hints as to what her character will be like, hoping to catch a glimpse into what the future holds for this little one.
While we notice certain character traits emerging, two months is still too short a time to fully understand our baby beyond learning how to decode her different cries signalling hunger, discomfort, boredom and tiredness. So while we take our time to get to know Miss Coco, for the fun of it, I turned to baby horoscopes to find out what we can expect of our little Leo.
Guess what? There’s another Coco born under the very same sign – fashion icon Coco Chanel, born August 19… 1883!
Born on 22 August, two days earlier than her estimated due date, Colette had squeezed herself in on the very last day of Leo. If she had arrived just one day later, she would have been a Virgo. If the stars are to be believed, here is what lies in store for our little lion cub and her parents:
For us, not for her. “The Leo Baby is, above all else, loud!” stated the opening paragraphs on one of the websites I checked out. “Forget sleep for the foreseeable future, Mom and Dad.” Gee. That’s encouraging. “This is a baby who must be heard and will certainly let everyone in their midst know what they want.”
Well, spot on, Sherlock. Colette, despite her sweet name and even sweeter face, has a REALLY loud voice. We mustn’t have been very good last year because Santa gave us a tamagotchi with her default volume set at MAXIMUM. She delivers every full-bodied cry from the bottom of her lungs. In fact, that’s exactly what doctor said the moment her little head popped out of me and her angry yell filled the room – “Strong lungs.”
I didn’t think much of it then because I thought all babies screamed like that. Hey, they are all really tiny and want to be heard right? That was until I spent a few hours in the nursery at KKH feeding Colette when she was admitted for jaundice treatment. It was then I realised that every baby in there had a different cry and gosh, some of them were really mild, almost musical. Like those little baby dolls programmed to cry and say “mama”, their cries were almost cute, not hair-raisingly shrill!
When Colette was born, nobody in the family informed our neighbours that the baby had arrived but all of them knew – including the people who lived across the street from us. Sending the birth announcement cake box over was just a formality. Coco’s arrival was all old news by then. My parents actually approached a few neighbours to apologise for the disturbance but these nice people brushed it off and said, “Oh don’t worry, it’s nice to hear a baby’s voice amongst the other noises along our street such as the karang guni man’s horn, school buses and construction works…” Wait a minute – all those examples cited were really loud ones. How come nobody likened my baby’s voice to the sweet sounds of wind chimes and chirping birds?
The sheer volume of her voice really gets to us during car rides. This little wild thing hates being restrained in her car seat. To pacify her, the car must travel at a minimum speed of 70km/h, must not stop or slow down at red lights (highly impossible) and the air-conditioning must blow at a chilly 21 degrees Celsius. If not, Expressway Baby will scream her lungs out. In a bid to comfort her, I made the mistake of putting my head under the raised sunshade of her infant car seat. My brain almost exploded from the sonic waves reverberating under there. On particularly bad days, I wind the windows down – the din of road works actually sounds mild in comparison. Even then, we often leave the car in a daze with our ears still ringing from being under the attack of Coco’s sonic boom.
“Think centre of attention, since there is really no other way for this tot! With a Leo baby as part of the plan, family life will revolve around this magnetic child. The Leo baby adores an audience…”
Ohhhh yes. This is our Leo baby alright. The first grandchild for both my and Dan’s parents, family life really revolves around Colette. She is the sun in their universe. She is the first person they ask after the moment they step through the door upon returning home from work and rush in to see her – before even taking off their shoes. The second she utters an “enhh”, someone rushes to her side.
Me? I’m just the live-in milkmaid. To illustrate:
Dad: “Bye Girl! I’m off to work.”
Me (cheerfully): “Bye!”
Sis (deadpan): “He wasn’t talking to YOU.”
“Vocal and demanding, becoming more so when needs are not met immediately.”
The key word above is “immediately”. Anything slower and you’re looking at a red-faced tomato practically boiling in wrath. Scary.
“Needs plenty of praise, love, physical contact, attention. Doesn’t enjoy being ignored.”
Coco loves to be entertained, loves to be carried, doesn’t like to be left alone and puts up a dramatic screaming fight (complete with red face, streaming tears and beating fists) against my mum every night because she refuses to go to bed. ‘Nuff said.
These Boots Are Made For Bossing
“The King (or Queen) of everything they see, they will be the one making the rules. The Leo baby is the leader of the pack…”
In other words: Miss Bossy Boots is in da’ house.
On some mornings, I activate the cot mobile for Coco after her morning feed while I snooze in bed a little longer. I’ve been woken up a few times by what I think is fussing and rush to her cot to see what is it she wants, only to see her lying on her back and talking to the animals dangling from the mobile. Except that this little bunny doesn’t coo adorably in the wee hours of dawn – she shouts. Yes, Miss Coco yells at her mobile. I suspect she is busy bossing the animals around, like “Hey, you there! Yes, you, the whale. Stop swimming around in circles! You hear me? Stop it! NOW!”
The Good Stuff
Thankfully, babies born under the Leo star sign do have their sweet moments despite their strong characters. They are sunny and loving, amusing and charming, fun-loving, enjoy laughter, interact well and make friends easily. They are also healthy and physically strong (Coco’s been to the deep freezer equivalent of Antarctica and back – beat that!) With their penchant for the spotlight and dramatic flair, many Leo tots go on to become stars of stage and screen. Childhood, for them, is just an audition for the big audience out there.
Will Coco be all this and more? Only time will reveal what character traits lie within our Baby Lion In Rabbit Clothing.
What do the stars say about us as parents?
As a Libra parent to a Leo child, I am said to be generally easy-going and will pretend to be a disciplinarian whose threats are rarely carried out. The stars warn me not to forget the discipline because this little cub will try to take advantage of my soft nature and boss me around.
Case in point: my mum. Also a Libran, she dishes out empty threats of “If you don’t do it, I’ll beat you up!” Well haha, sorry, mum. We all saw through that. But unfortunately for my siblings and I, where my mum failed to live up to her threats, my dad was more than willing to pick up her slack i.e. we still got caned.
The artistic Libran mum will foster her dramatic Leo’s child love for the stage by taking her to plays and films, instilling in her my own love of art and performance.
And oh, the heavens agree that we’re both naturally popular (cos she inherited that from me, nyak nyak) so we’re both going to have lots of fun at playdates and birthday parties! 🙂 Unfortunately, Leo and Libra both love luxury and spending money. Oh boy.
As for Daddy the Cappy, Dan is supposedly quite rigid and bent on enforcing the rules. If someone’s got to be the bad guy, it’ll be the Capricorn parent. As a dad, he will demand respect and discipline. Imparting the right values and advice will be his focus and it’s true, Dan has always been big on family values and steering children in the right direction, and clearly, this is what he wants for him and Colette.
The Discipline Dilemma
Houston, we have a problem.
It is obvious that we have two very different attitudes when it comes to discipline. The Libran parent is diplomatic, kind and yielding, whose need to be loved makes me a real pushover with the children (dammit!!) I have a hard time saying “no” and try to preserve peace through negotiation. This, I already find myself doing, by telling Colette that IF she sits quietly in her stroller, I will be able to show her more fun things on a walk around the neighbourhood; or IF she learns to calm down during bath time, she will discover that playing with water is a lot of fun. I can already foresee myself offering sugary bribes in return for good behaviour.
The Capricorn is a great stickler for rules and boundaries. Already, Dan is conditioning himself not to rush to attend to Coco’s every cry for attention. While I hush and rock the baby to pacify her, he chooses to look her in the eye (providing she’s not scrunching up her face till her eyes disappear into her head) and sternly tells her to keep quiet.
Idealistic Libra will encourage the children to pursue all their talents and dreams, be it music or art (or travelling the world!) and while Capricorn agrees to some degree, this practical parent will want to steer his offspring toward professions that lead to large incomes and security. True to the max.
I guess that with time and experience, we will find our unique balance when it comes to parenting and our children will benefit from both our styles.
While reading star signs and trying to second-guess Colette’s future through her horoscope is fun and accurate to a certain degree, the most important thing, as I am reminded by this sobering article that recently appeared in the New York Times, is to love your child for who she is. Now. Today.
The stars may hold her future; but only we are here to hold her today.
“Parenting, I’ve come to understand, is about loving my child today. Now. In fact, for any parent, anywhere, that’s all there is.”