Friday, July 31, 2009

Great Speeches and Soliloquys from the Peanut Gallery

I don't know if it's typical for 4 year old boys to get a little bit long-winded, but The Son has certainly headed off in that direction. Over the last 6 months, we have noticed an marked increase in the melodrama department, something my husband refers to as "chewing the scenery".

A couple of weekends ago, he let loose a really long soliloquy at Parkway Parade which, if he had not been leaning a little bit too close to the dustbin and standing at barely 2/3 of my height, I might have been tempted to take seriously. It started with a trip to Parkway Parade on Saturday morning, and I briefed him beforehand on the trip agenda, basically we would attend at Parkway Parade for the purpose of depositing a cheque, eating and drinking store-bought foods and, at some point, spending some quality time at the arcade (Timezone).

So naturally he was keen, and also naturally, when we arrived at Parkway Parade, I prioritized all my stuff first, which meant that 4 hours later, we would still be sitting at Dome's while I enjoyed a burger and an iced coffee with ice cream and he had a choc milk-shake. Then The Mother calls to say she will pick us up half an hour early, and could we please report to the taxi stand immediately, so that she knows which building is Parkway Parade by the 2 small people standing in front of it.

When The Son got wind of the fact that his arcade trip was cancelled, he was extremely displeased and spake forth in a voice most dissatisfied. I informed him that it was understandable that he might be a little bit upset about the situation, but (burp) hey we can't always get what we want all the time, and there's always next time, so please get a grip on yourself and calm down.

At this point, he got a little bit shrill.

"Actually I'm not very happy with you. You are not saying it properly. I am not abit upset! Actually I am very upset! You said we are going to the arcade! Then you went to eat your food for so long! And you asked me to be patient. Now we are going to Grandma's house. I want to go to the arcade now!

(Then he looks around, shifts tactics) Where is Grandma? She's not here yet. Can we go to the arcade for a short while until she gets here? We are just waiting, Mama. Can we just go? I have been very patient with you, you know." Then he fixes me with a look that could bend spoons.

Jesus Christ. If he's like this now, what should we be expecting next year? Why can't he be like other little boys and just run around screaming in circles?


In other news, I recently inspected the rather amazing collection of books at E@L's residence and it is truly a wonder to behold the depth and range of his casual reading material.

You should have seen the look on his face when I turned around to ask "Hey, do you have any Grisham or Stephen King in here?" It was awesome. The Husband cringed and averted his eyes ("I can't believe it's not margarine!").

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Local Woman Finds Out The Hard Way That Beer Gives False Results in Pregnancy Test

... ... "her tummy just grew and grew and everyone thought she was pregnant but in fact it was just a huge beer belly. And she and her beer belly lived unhappily ever after. The End."

I'm starting to wonder if it's not just an urban legend after all. Maybe I shouldn't have downed that keg last November before peeing on a stick. Yes, that might have been an ill advised move.

Am now heading to the Durian Durian Cafe to drown my sorrows. I really do spend my money on stupid stuff. Wonder if I can find a taxi who will drive me home after that, especially if I'm carrying leftovers. Will probably have to rely on my "sad pregnant woman by the side of the road who needs transport" routine. While stocks last!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I feel homicidal, and other sad tales

Sometimes when I go to the pregnancy websites on the Internet it occurs to me that both the people who write them, as well as the people who comment on them, could possibly be helping themselves to the epidural and the laughing gas as they type. Everyone is so freaking happy. I feel elated! I feel overjoyed!

I feel homicidal!

There is NO comfortable sleeping position left. It's like trying to make a crane (machine, not bird) lie down on its back or sideways and get a good night's rest. There's always that something extra sticking up in the air. Also, although I wonder how is this even possible, my maternity clothes don't fit anymore! (!!!!) There should be a law against this. How can the maternity clothes not fit at the point in time when you need them the most. I have this one black Thyme top that still fits, only because it's really really stretchy. Then I have these (non-maternity) pants from Mumbai, where the elastic snapped some weeks ago and those still fit. Apart from that, nothing fits anymore, and by nothing, I mean really really nothing.

Even the Incredible Hulk's pants still fit him when he turns green and rips his shirt and shoes. Where did he get those pants, I'd like to know. They look pretty comfortable too. I just feel like I've been cut in half when I put on anything, skirt, pants, you name it.

Generally and specifically, I'm happy about the baby. I just wish she would make an appearance. We are in Week 40 now, and it is High Time that Madam showed up. Her brother made an early appearance at 36.5 weeks and by the time we reached Week 40, he was practically painting the town red with shopping and house-hunting so she's really missing out on some good stuff here. I mean, a durian cafe just opened right next to my house!

In other news, I finally got my refund for overpayment of hospital bills. I have to remind myself that this is a refund, it's not a windfall, so no need to be so happy. Unfortunately for some complete stranger out there, the hospital also enclosed some other woman's itemised tax invoice for her IVF treatment, which I went through in detail before I realised it was not mine. And then after I realised it was not mine, I really went through that thing with a fine tooth comb. Did you know the groundsheet costs S$16? It's the giant napkin the hospital puts under every pregnant woman's ass so that she doesn't leak fluid onto the hospital bed. It's a PAPER NAPKIN. Also, at one point, they touched her with a pair of powderless gloves. That was S$6.

I'm going to bring a towel and some oven mittens. Also a box of tissues (that costs S$3 or something if you get it from the hospital).

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Local Woman's Attempt to Use Murphy's Law to Deliver Baby Not Exactly Working Out

About 9 months ago I wrote about how to harness the power of Murphy's Law to get pregnant, covering the various experiences of some girlfriends.

It occurred to me last weekend I could try to deliver on time using the same method, rather than just sitting around like a hippo gaining 30 - 40 grams a day like I'm currently doing. Perhaps I could get myself into a situation where Murphy's Law would require the waterbag to burst somehow, at the most inappropriate or potentially embarrassing time.

So The Son and I got on the Duckboat for a 45 minute tour of the various construction sites at the Marina waterfront. 50 minutes and S$35 later, we got off the Duckboat, contraction free, water bag still intact. I thought about the Singapore Flyer but that's another S$35 for only 30 minutes. Perhaps we should embark on a 10-day cruise?

We got the best idea ever after someone rear-ended our (stationery) car 2 days ago. HAVE NO CAR. Better still, send the car to some shyster workshop so that I will have the benefit of the additional stress of GETTING ROYALLY SCREWED WHILST HAVING NO CAR.

I didn't exactly understand what the fuss in the papers about motor workshops was all about, nor the public outrage about the shady dealings of motor workshops, until I read the shyster workshop's papers which they asked me to sign, which explains everything so nicely.

In it I am asked to (and I don't even need to paraphrase this at all) authorise the workshop to:

1. negotiate a settlement with the third party who rear-ended our car as they deem fit;
2. instruct solicitors on my behalf; and
3. appoint a vehicle surveyor on my behalf,

and at my expense.

I also confirm that I only wish to be informed of my case when they are major developments like court attendances and affidavits.

I authorise the car workshop to receive and keep all settlement monies. But if the claim is unsuccessful, I will pay costs incurred by the motor workshop and the opposing party, including legal costs on a full indemnity basis.

I also confirm by signature (in advance!) that I have collected my vehicle and all repairs are satisfactory.

IN EXCHANGE FOR ALL THIS, I get my repairs done.

This, I am being asked to sign, first thing on a Thursday morning. I called a friend who is in this business. He said, did you take a photo of your car before you handed it over. No? Well then they will have a grand old time with the repairs, rack up the bill, the other motorist's insurer could reject the claim and you would end up having to pay the motor workshop, the surveyor and the lawyer out of pocket. Dincha know? Dumbass?

I called the shyster workshop. I want my car back, said I. I don't want you to repair it. We will return the replacement car. Or, I can work with you if you first get me the surveyor's report about the cost of repairs.

But why, they asked. Your husband already agreed to everything yesterday. Also, you must pay us S$80 for the use of the replacement car for 1 day. It will take a month to complete the survey, so you will have to wait. [I'm not a master of the English language myself, but isn't the word "survey" derived from the word "see"? How does it take 1 month to look at the back of my car and write down "replacement of boot door and bumper - S$___". Is the surveyor slowly regaining his eyesight after a terrible accident? Does he need to write the report in all known languages? And in blood? Has my car been moved to Bahrain and he has to walk there? How does it take 1 month to complete a survey?]

So I called the other driver, suggested that perhaps her insurer was the best one to call upon to recommend a workshop. She agreed. I called her insurer. They asked me to ask my own insurer for a recommendation instead, then file a claim.

BUT I DID, said I. We did all the paperwork and went to their recommended workshop, and this is the result. Give me a workshop that YOU trust.

No. Call your own insurer and get onto another workshop. Maybe the next one will be better. We only process claims, which means you have to get the car fixed first.

I wish I had that kind of faith in human nature.

So I called my own insurer and told them what happened. They said if you want to make a complaint about our authorised workshops, you'll have to write in. That's when I finally exploded.


Ok, I didn't say the expletive, but I THOUGHT IT VERY LOUDLY IN MY HEAD. That'll show 'em.

The result of that is, I got put on hold for 5 minutes, after which the guy came back and said someone else will call me back sometime today to, like, discuss or whatever. I thought the insurance company would be just a little bit concerned about something like this happening in their own back yard but I could be wrong.

Still no contractions.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Local Woman's Second Attempt to Deliver Baby Coincides with Small Boy's Second Attempt to Watch Anaconda without Falling Asleep

Needless to say both attempts have not been successful.

I really need to ask the good people at Mt Elizabeth Hospital if I qualify for frequent flier miles at the labour ward. God knows I've paid enough for them.

For those of us fortunate enough to deliver during the first visit, you may wish to know that all failed visits are paid for at full price. So whether or not the baby comes out, we still need to pay full price. There is no discount for embarrassment or failure to pop.

And to add insult to injury, the TV channels available in the labour ward are really really limited, unless you are looking for the Arab channels.

Also, have I already mentioned this - there is NO wireless internet access in the labour ward. Because, as the nurse so succinctly put it, people who come here usually don't need it. Well, missy, just because I can't balance a laptop on my tummy anymore doesn't mean I don't need one. In the end, I had to displace a nurse from her seat behind the counter so that I could send out a work email with an attachment.

Following the latest failed visit to the labour ward, I was asked to go home and wait for the contractions to come every 5 minutes, as opposed to every 15 minutes, before returning. Easier said than done. Since then, and it's been a week, I've gone off my 'prevent labour' medication, gone off the 'prevent labour' special diet and gone on a free for all milkshake, durian, ice cream and sweets binge over the last 5 days.

And the contractions have stopped.