Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Tough luck if you just delivered a baby and you are a Chinese living in Asia, well, at least in Malaysia for me. Just when you thought the worst pain is over, you'll have to observe a month of traditional ritual which involves eating specialty food mostly cooked with lots of ginger and wine, drinking only red date longan water, staying away from cool breeze, lots of sweating, bathing in specially boiled herbal bath water, not washing your hair for as long as you can tahan and basically just staying at home to rot. It is a month of inconveniences.

Most mothers will hire a confinement lady to help out during this month. Her job is to prepare the speciality food, look after the new mother and the baby, therefore finding an experienced one is very important. I remember my first confinement lady. She totally rocks. She seems to have magic fingers that worked so efficiently yet she always appear so calm and free. And for the fact that maybe Daniel was an easy newborn, she managed him perfectly. She was a genuine confinement lady.

Unfortunately, she has retired and I have lost her contact number anyway. SO... I wasn't that lucky this time. Thanks to my grandmother's recommendation, I have this nutcase in my house. (LOL) Well, she ain't SO bad but there are times I want to laugh at the things she do. And many things that seem to irritate the bones out of me. So long story short, here are the Top Ten Things She Did To Humiliate Herself and Her Profession:

1. This one is classic. Get ready. She cooked the traditional pig stomach's soup. ...... WITH ITALIAN HERBS!! WHY? Because she forgot PEPPER in the shopping list for the Paul's trip to the market. She just grabs the McCormick's bottle and add a few dash of herbs. How come? Go to next point.

2. She can't smell. She has lost her sense of smell. Maybe genetic, maybe by accident, I don't care. Maybe when she was like... 16, she went out to buy some Italian Herbs for the pig stomach soup she was cooking, and on the way, she like... fell into a pile of cowdung and some dung like, osmosis-ed into her airways and completely destroyed her smelling nerves. Whatever. Because cooking GOOD nutritious appetizing specialty food is a major requisition for this profession, I wonder how do you do it with a bad nose.

3. She hardly checked baby's diaper for poop. Sometimes, when baby fussed a bit, she would just pat him back to sleep. Most of the time I was the one who discovered or suspected the dirty outpoooot. Bad nose maybe? I don't smell anything poopy, but it is the matter of JUST checking.

4. There's something about the way she holds the bottle while feeding. Macam senget. That causes air to go in between baby's mouth and the teat. He chokes. Bad move for gassy stomach. And when baby doesn't quite finish his feed, she forces him to finish by moving the bottle in an in-out maneuver in his tiny little mouth. She just doesn't have this feeding instinct.

5. She doesn't burp him enough. She just do it for the sake of doing it, for about 1 minute and she puts him down. Her excuse? "Oh, he doesn't burp, he farts!" Sure he farts a lot, but at least try burping him for 5 minutes. No wonder he has gassy cramps often. Biatch.

6. She's not very organized. Baby wears cloth diapers (only for the first month), which gets wet and poopy many times during the day and needs to be changed. She doesn't fold them into diapers in advance. She just folds them as how you would just fold your towel or hankie. So, when it's time to change the diapers, she has to unnecessarily get her hands full. When I realized this, I made a gentle remark. "Hey auntie, why don't you pre-fold the diapers so it's ready to be used when you need it fast". She said "Oh ya hor". Real smart.

7. There are two classification of herbs in Chinese medicine. Similar to yin and yang, there are herbs that are 'cooling' and 'heaty'. During confinement, you are supposed to take only 'heaty' herbs. She took a pack of ginseng-lookalike thingy and said she will brew them for me. My mom, thank goodness she was there, brought those to the TCM shop to have them ground or sliced very thinly. Those ginseng-lookalike thingamajik turn out to be the 'cooling' kind of herbs and is a big NO NO for confinement mommies. Anyhow hantam. REAL smart.

8. She's got mood. She's petty-sensitive. Due to a miniscule misunderstanding, she threw a tantrum. She glared at my helper with dagger-eyes and didn't talk to her the whole day. My helper cried. Due to another trivial issue with Paul, she wanted to leave half-way. I had to be the mediator. It was a rather stressful event. She stressed us up. BIATCH.

9. She doesn't seem to have a temperature sense, especially if it concerns the comfort of the baby. For the first few nights at home, baby was fussing a lot the whole day. Why? Because it was hot and humid, the room was stuffy and she still swaddled him into a bundle of hotness. Is she a lizard in disguise?

10. I detest her eyebrows. OK, not relevant. But hey, it might scare babies right right right? Even if they see a blurry face, a pair of thick unkept eyebrows would scare them shitless. Or as Chinese old folks say, baby's poop will be green. LOL

You'll know a fraud when you meet one.

1 comment:

Angeline said...

Just be grateful this woman is not your mother...hehehe...enjoy your maternity leave babe.