On the fourth day of the new year, Z laughed for the first time while awake.
She had laughed before. In her sleep.
I can only surmise that her dream life is funnier than her real life with us. Which is probably full of stress, training two new parents, who aren’t exactly spring chickens.
So today (the fourth day of the lunar new year) is special.
It was also a day where she was again experiencing terrible pains from “wind” or gas in her tummy.
We suspect it’s the nasi lemak PL had the day before. There is a prevailing theory that coconut milk in food eaten by the breastfeeding mother could cause terrible gas and pain in the baby.
We believe the pain is terrible because Z would cry in the most heartrending, most piteous manner. And this from the child who tolerated pricks on her feet to draw blood for the blood test, without a pip (or even a squeak).
Her cry was on par with her cry when she was jabbed in the thigh for the immunisation.
So yeah. We think the pain was considerable.
Anyway, PL had tracked what she ate the days before Z’s previous “gas attack” (or colic), and had a working hypothesis that it was the coconut milk in the curry all four times previously.
So she had been avoiding curry.
The day before I found myself at the hawker centre next to Parkway Parade and there is a good Nasi Lemak stall. I got two, and because the Mee Rebus also looked good, I got one of that too. Long story short, PL had half of one nasi lemak. The rice was rich with coconut milk.
And that was (probably/most likely) the cause of poor Z’s “gas attack” the next day.
As usual, during the “gas attack”, Z was mostly inconsolable. We gave her Ridwind AND Gripe Water (we have decided that Gripe Water was just a placebo and doesn’t really work, but Z seems to like it, so we give it to her to placate or soothe her. Probably would work better with the original formula which would have alcohol. The Gripe Water is manufactured in Malaysia and while it is alcohol-free, it is probably full of sugar, so we restrict it to about once a day – less than 1 ml – for Z. In this instance, the Ridwind made Z grimace with distaste, so we followed up with gripe water.)
Then we rubbed medicated oil on her tummy which should provide her with more instant, symptomatic relief.
It helped, but the effects were temporary, so we applied the medicated oil 3 more times.
And we swaddled her. This helps comfort her, somewhat.
But she was still crying and it sometimes helps her if we pat her on her tummy. It sounded like a drum. And she stopped crying. But there was a LOT of gas in her tummy for her to sound like a drum.
And because Z’s dad (me) is a little mental, I was rapping out a rhythm on her tummy. She did not seem distressed.
And suddenly she laughed.
Not a smile, or a grin, or a gurgle. But a full “Ha-ha” type laugh.
And that is one of the things I love about my daughter. There she is in the midst of pain, and she would still find reasons to smile, and now reasons to laugh.
We do not know what she was laughing at or about.
Maybe my thinning hair.
But she did laugh, and now perhaps this real world is starting to be as funny as her dream world.
Anyway, the gas attack subsided (after a few farts) and she settled down. We (and by we, I mean PL) changed her diaper for the night, swaddled her again, and then we showed her the frog.
This is a little stuffed toy, and Z would jabber to the frog usually in the afternoon, when we put her on the “day bed”. She seems to like the sun (when did my daughter become a silly, sun-seeking ang mo?!?!), and we place the frog nearby. Or she might jabber to the frog in the evening when we prop it over the Moses basket she is sleeping in.
I think it is her best friend. At least it is the one she confides the most in, based on the amount of jabbering.
To us, it was just “froggy” or “Dr Froggy” based on the number of “counselling sessions” between Z and the Frog.
So we showed froggy to Z and she said, what sounded to me, like “elephant”. Which was really strange for two reason. Firstly, we had NEVER said “elephant” to Z as we do not have one.
Secondly, it was a FROG, not an ELEPHANT. How could Z make such a stupid mistake?
On recollection, what Z MIGHT have actually said, was “Aair-Li-Ferd”.
Then she said it a second time: “Aa-el-fer-d”.
And then a third time. Each time looking straight at the frog and looking like she was calling its name.
And so we figured, in her mind, this was “Alfred”.
Well, the frog has been named.