No one warned me to bring tissues

Just 2 days back, I brought Xi En to a new pediatrician (PD) and after running through the history, the PD made a comment: “You experienced it all”.

“Huh?” I muttered.

“Oh-ya, He came a long way” was my next answer, thinking that the PD was referring to Xi En’s growing up years.

“No, you experienced it all. He won’t remember much of it” the PD reiterated

That’s when I stopped answering. I knew if I speak further, the tears will come. The memory bank with all the growing up journey of a preemie can bring down a storm.

But he’s quite right, we are the one who have experienced it all; a full weight of experience. It’s not easy; but then it’s not all too tough either. Compared to many others, we are blessed. Very blessed to have Xi En; without any lasting issues of his prematurity. If not for his bony built, most would not ask about his birth weight and story.

Now that’s not the story on tissues.

It was just a day before Xi En’s pre-school concert. He missed school on that day after waking up with a nose bleed, blocked nose, cough and the whole works.

After 2 visits to 2 different doctors (a Chinese one for Chinese herbs and a Western one for symptom medicine) and a full day of rest, we thought he would be well enough to perform at the concert.

But it seemed not so. After a long struggle, he slept at 430am and woke up at 8am on the day itself.

I am not sure if it’s pre-performance jittery or the effect of medicine.

He cited unwell reasons to absent himself from the afternoon concert. And he is sleepy. And he won’t be able to blow his nose while he danced on stage. And and and………

That are all facts which are undeniably true.

But we refused to give in….

Because after medication, Doctor Quack (aka. his Mom) said he is well to go for it.

Because we know that he might be finding an easy way out.

Because it is a battle he needs to fight on his own.

I thought I needed to bring guns and swords to force him to go out of the house. But surprising, after a shower, we were out of the house without much of a struggle.

Upon reaching the school hall, he was hurried into the backstage by the teachers before I managed to rattle off to his minders that he needs to blllloooowwwww his noooooosssseeeeee……….

Sigh… the endless worry warts a mommy has.

It is Xi En’s very first pre-school concert. He missed last year’s as he was really unwell with stomach flu.

We were determined that he don’t miss it this year. Not that we need to watch it. Not that we need to see him dance or sing. Not all that.

We want him to experience the fruit of his labor. All the practice hours and rehearsal put in just for a performance… He needs to see that as long as he persist and persevere, he can do it.

And he totally didn’t fail himself (and us).

Doesn’t matter if the dance moves were not coordinated;

Doesn’t matter if some steps were missed;

Doesn’t matter if he looks somewhat dazed out;

It was the most awesome performance I have ever seen in my life. THE VERY BEST!

And for this; no one warned me to remember to bring tissues.

My handsome young man is all grown up; it’s all too fast since his début to this world at 1.27kg some 5 years back.

He has come a long way and we are just so glad we “experienced it all” together with him.

Thank you darling for the perseverance to finish the performance. Daddy and Mommy has no words to describe how proud we are of you. * 2 thumbs up*! 🙂

photo 1

And we know we are not the only parent who felt that way; just by the most resounding claps in the theater; beaming faces and wolf-whistles; every seat is a proud parent/grandparent. 🙂

Way to go little fellow! Next year, I will remember to bring some tissues.


Glasses? Oh Why Glasses?

Recently I shared on Facebook that Xi En needed glasses. He came back from his school’s eye check assessment with a worrying report. That childhood song rang in my mind when he first came back with the eye check report:  “眼镜 眼镜 找朋友, 以以找到 ……. 曾希恩”(It simply means: Glasses looking for friends.. and they found Ethen Chen!)

It is unbelievable that kids need glasses at such young age! But I did notice a growing number of young children requiring glasses. In our era, I started with “4 eyes” around 12 years old and Kim, around age 15.

His initial report:

Right Eye (without glasses): 6/9.5P

Left Eye (without glasses): 6/30P (this is the one with issues)

If your kid haven’t received the free assessment, it should come soon if he/she is going to a preschool and is in K1/K2. The School Health Service will conduct vision screening for pre-schoolers. More information here.

We were given a referral letter to the School Health Service (Health Promotion Board) and proceeded with further checks at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. The conclusion is that he has high levels of astigmatism and lazy eye (Amblyopia) in the left eye. Basically the main causes of amblyopia are uncorrected high refractive error (astigmatism, hyperopia, myopia) and squint.

In Xi En’s case, there is a chance that such eyesight problems came about due to his prematurity. He had grade 1 bleeding in the brain (when he was on full oxygen dependency the minute he was born). The doctor didn’t conclude that it is due to that issue; but mentioned that premature babies do have a higher chance of having eye sight issues.

And so the recommendation is to start on corrective glasses first and KIV patching of the left eye in a month’s time. The main aim of the glasses is to correct the astigmatism (200 on the right and 300 on the left).

Daddy was concerned that it’s troublesome to play sports or go to the army with glasses. Mommy was frowning with thoughts he doesn’t know how to take care of glasses at such young age. The boy? He was quite thrilled to choose his own glasses! Kids; that innocence. They don’t worry that much. That’s the beauty too 🙂 He choose a pair of specs in his favourite colour (purple) at our neighbourhood spectacle shop; which by the way is operated by a nice couple. Prices are reasonable and service is excellent. If you don’t stay too far away and want a reliable optician, you can consider this shop. I am not related to them; nor is this a sponsored post. Just passing on a recommendation based on experience. 🙂

Eye Spectrum

Contact Person: Jimmy

Address: Blk 5 Upper Boon Keng Rd #01-16 Singapore 380005 (opposite Kallang MRT)

Tel: 67494961



Being the worrying mommy, I was concerned that Xi En might be teased in school or that he will play with his specs, sit on it or leave it in the toilet. A million and one concerns. I called his teacher and asked her to help to ease him in with the glasses in school. She was pleasant and helpful to instruct his schoolmates accordingly. But just a week after, he came home with a small scratch line on one of the lenses because his friend whacked his glasses off (I heard he irritated his friend by singing too loud! ahhaa! Boys boys…). Somehow I have a feeling we will see a “battled” glasses in no time.

It just a consolation my boy does look decently good with specs! 🙂 Till a month later, we will know if the glasses helped. More updates then!