Tuesday, January 11, 2011


grandson nathaniel song





of my over 20 trips to melbourne, this will be one when i will stay longest - from dec 13 2010 to jan 30 2011. i had come over on airasia, first flying to kuala lumpur low cost carrier terminal (lcct) and then connecting a flight on an airbus a330 to melbourne. it was a much more pleasant experience than the one i had on tiger airways, when i flew from singapore to darwin and from thence to melbourne. i am here for the birth of our first grandson. it is also the first grandson in the song family.




how different things are today compared to the time when we were babies. there was hardly any pre-birth purchases. my parents did not have to buy a pram or a car-seat from malaysia and carried it on a plane to melbourne. the only accessory, i can remember, we had as a baby, was the bamboo chair which we were confined in when we were about a few months old onwards.




we did not have a special bed all to ourselves. we slept on the same bed as our parents. the luckier ones might have this privilege. we did not have 'pampers', instead we used cloth diapers. change table? our bed doubled as a change table. nathaniel has 2 change tables. one in his parents' room and one downstairs, attached to the portable cot. there are also a host of other related baby stuff like a warmer for the milk, a steriliser for the bottles, a colourful gym mat, his own laundry bag and a special bath-tub.




then there are these musical mobiles to keep him entertained while he is having his feed, about to fall asleep or when he has to be left on his own for a while. all we had were the dialect lullabies that our mother or grandmother sang to us.

our mothers then did not have any resource to find out if they were pregnant. the sex of the baby was not known to the parents until the 'cart' was in their hands. today's mothers need only to administer a home pregnancy test where the result is known within minutes. a scan, carried out after the 10th week, will show quite distinctly the sex of the baby in the mother's womb.

during our time, as babies, we were confined to the house, together with our mother. nathaniel went with his parents to a shopping complex some 16km away from his home when he was barely 2 weeks old. at 2-week old, he attended his first church service. grandson nanthaniel will take his first plane flight when he is one month old, flying more than 6000km to singapore and then to kuching.

the benefits which my parents' generation did not have include pre-natal sessions for both parents and the many check-ups for the mother before the arrival of the baby. in those days, although we were breast-fed, our mothers did not have a device like the breast-pump to extract the milk, even though the pump had been invented earlier.

nathaniel was born on boxing day. he weighed 3.64kg (8.08lb) at birth.

25 comments:

peter said...

congratulations yg.....now teach him walk n see things + blogging. Time is short so must squeeze everything.

BTW u like to compare 1930 stroller with your gson's stroller? I can email u. MY uncle sat on one.

yg said...

peter, thanks. i will leave it to his parents to do the teaching.
you mean they had strollers in the 30s. i sure would like to see how it looks like.

Icemoon said...

Congrats yg .. there is something his parents cannot do, that is to tell grandfather stories!

PChew said...

Congratulations, Ah Kong and welcome to the club! I know how you felt for being a grandpa. I went through it 4times and nothing like being a grandpa for the first time.

Uncle Phil said...

What wonderful news! Congratulations, again to the parents and Grandparents.

yg said...

icemoon, thanks. but i don't tell grandfather stories - my blog postings are normally not long, winded ones.

yg said...

philip, thanks. you also have to travel to enjoy your grandchildren? some are in the states? we are hoping that my daughter and son-in-law will relocate to perth so that we don't have to travel so far to visit.

yg said...

phil, thanks. maybe when he is older, i can take him to climb the great wall at badaling.

Uncle Phil said...

Please visit the Great Wall when Ah Kong and Ah Mah are still young... lest, your grandson needs to piggy-back you both. Haha

yg said...

phil, it's okay. i climbed the great wall in 1994, when i was not so old.

unk Dicko said...

May I warmly welcome you to Grandpa's club! And congratulations. It's high time you get to enjoy and experience life of a doting "kong-kong". Your patience has been richly rewarded!
It's going to be a little tough for bonding due to the distance but can be overcomed by technology..like skype.
My dearly beloved in-laws in NZ face the same problems. Both sides travel regularly to stay connected.

Cheers!!!
Grandpa Dicko

yg said...

dick, thanks. we will have to come to melbourne more often and hope that they will be visit us in s'pore just as often.

小洋 said...

Tahniah, Congratulations, 恭喜恭喜! Someone once said: “Grandchildren are Nature's way of compensating us for growing old.” Being a grandpa myself for more than a year, I can confide in you that spending time with grandchildren is one of the greatest joys in life. I am sure you will always remember for the rest of your life the moment when the little fellow calls you “Kong Kong” for the first time!

PChew said...

Yes, I travelled to California anually to visit my 2 grand children. Nothing like personal bonding with them even for s short period of one month per year. They addressed me as 'kong kong' whereas those in Singapore called me 'grandpa'.

yg said...

xiaoyang, thanks. i am already enjoying myself looking after my grandson, though at times he can be quite demanding. i am looking forward to that very much - when he calls me 'kong, kong' for the first time.

yg said...

philip, i thought it should be the other way around: those in california would call you 'grandpa' and those in s'pore, call you 'kong, kong'.

Andrew said...

Congrats!! :)

yg said...

thanks, andrew.

PChew said...

My son in US is conservative and taught his kids to address me as 'kong kong'. My children here left it to their kids to call me grandpa. Sad to say that all of them could not speak a word of dialect.

Icemoon said...

Actually 'kong kong' or 'kung kung' is dialect. The mandarin version is 'gong gong'. Definitely a good start for the kids.

WK said...

Dear Mr&Mrs YG,
Congratulations, & Welcome to the Grandparents Club.

I was so busy rushing around (doing things with, and for, my 6 grandchildren) that I did not read your blog till a few minutes ago.

We can trade grandfather stories with the other granda-FOY'ers when we meet. (My wife said that when grandpas get together, everyone is talking and no one is listening. Ha! Ha!)
Regards,
tan wee kiat
-------------

yg said...

wee kiat, thanks. i salute you and mrs tan! looking after one, our hands are already full. i just cannot imagine how anyone could manage handling more than one, much less six! you and mrs tan deserve an award!

Thimbuktu said...

Congrats YG. Best wishes on the birth of your grandson to bring more happiness and love, to watch them grow and experience new things in life.

Cheers!
Thimbuktu

yg said...

thanks, james. i am already seeing new things. my daughter and son-in-law have their own ideas with regard to confinement and looking after the baby, among other things.

Thimbuktu said...

Great YG. The new generation of parents are better equipped with new info and knowledge of parenthood tips from the Internet and various resources to share. However, the parents and family to shower the young ones with love and care cannot be substituted in other ways.
Cheers!