Everyone knows toughest part about having a baby is getting rid of the baby weight. The more babies you have had, the tougher it is they say. Some people are blessed to bounce back, others have to work double time. I was so afraid of having a hard time losing weight after my second baby that I was really careful with my food intake and exercise.
It’s been 3 months since I had my daughter and although my weight has gone back to what it was before getting pregnant with my daughter, I don’t look like it or feel like it. Bulges refuse to budge, things hang from places they aren’t supposed to and the general shape of the body is different from before having kids. Its going to take a lot of work.
I’m finding that my old tricks don’t work anymore. I’m beyond the age where not eating for a week could slim me down. I can’t afford to be moody with kids, plus not eating increases fatigue, thereby decreasing breast milk production. I downloaded the Live Strong calorie counter into my ipod and was trying to be truthful with it, but ended up lying to my ipod about my calorie intake. If you have good self control, I recommend this app or any app that counts calories to help you stay on track. Giving up on my app, I tried NUIU Life Cuisine for a calorie controlled diet- after clearing the calorie intake that I needed with my doctor of course. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they supplied CARBS in the meals! They included healthy carbs such as brown rice and whole-wheat toast. I remember sending a message to NUIU to ask them if they had mistaken my order for one that was a higher calorie count, as I enjoyed my meals so much. I was afraid that the restricted intake would impair my breast milk production but it did not affect the supply at all.
As soon as I was (again) cleared by my doctor, I resumed exercising. Breastfeeding increases breast size by leaps and bounds for many women, and a good sports bra is needed to hold everything together, while not being too uncomfortably tight, especially when your breasts fill up with milk again. After trying several uncomfortable bras, the brand Moving Comfort was recommended. I found that they carry this at Runnr in High Street, but in limited sizes. I had to take to Amazon to find my proper size. I found the Juno style bra suited my needs best as it was for high impact sports such as running (which I plan to get back to soon). It comes with adjustments for the back as well as velcro adjustments for the front to accommodate your breasts better.
Before I had my babies, I used to run. I would smugly smile as I sped past the people walking, thinking how bored I’d be walking for so long. My sister told me she had joined some elderly folk in the village walking club and found that it helped her a lot, and time passed quickly. I’ve been trying to walk an hour a day and its not as easy as it sounds! Having said that, I come back from the walk feeling energized for the rest of the day. My new Moving Comfort Juno bra was also so comfortable, I was finally able to break into a slow jog today.
I saw a good friend of mine slim down and increase her physical stamina by doing Red Cord classes at B+B Infinity at the Fort. I tried out the class and despite the initial confusion with the cords, the class gives your muscles a good burn, while not being too hard on your recovering body. I also went back to doing Core Kenisis, a class that focuses on total moves for the body-meaning that each push or pull of the arms is accompanied by a lunge or squat for the legs. It saves a lot of time compared to traditional workouts that isolate body parts. A work out can go from 35-45 minutes. Its perfect for me because I can go in between pumping or feeding.
If breastfeeding is paramount to you, its important to adjust physical activity and food intake accordingly. Remember that after giving birth, our bodies main objective is to nourish our babies. Exercise and diet in moderation, remember not to let baby’s supply of breastmilk suffer.
NUIU Life Cuisine: www.nuiu.ph
Core Kenisis: 0915.285.76.16
B+B Infinity: 02 4786691
June 8, 2012 by Juana Manahan-Yupangco
There are many things one hears about as old wives remedies in the Philippines. If the baby chokes or coughs, old yayas cough themselves and say ‘ahem, ahem’ as if to absorb the baby’s cough. Old fashioned yayas put a damp piece of cotton on the baby’s head when they have hiccups. This actually works, but I have no idea why. I had also heard that boiling guava leaves and using the water as a rinse after giving birth was good for you. Again, I had no idea why…I had also heard that when boys are circumcised in the province ( a right of passage at 8 years old) that they were made to chew on guava leaves and as soon as the deed was done, spit out the chewed up leaf on the wound. Women who give birth in the province normally are asked to sit in a tub of boiled guava leaves to close the wounds and to speed up healing.
Giving birth to my second baby was a more painful ordeal than my first. For some reason it took me longer to get back on my feet, the post operative pain as worse ( I delivered via C-section) and contractions while breast feeding hurt more. I was also having problems with the way my scar was healing. For some reason, a part of it stayed wet- not infected, but it never dried up. For weeks I tried the doctor’s order of Betadine and Bactroban on the wound. Every time it would almost form a scab, the wet part would stick to the gauze or my underwear and pull it off again.
I was complaining about my problem to a friend when she mentioned she had the same problem. Her yaya had told her to boil guava leaves and use the water as a final rinse after bathing. She claimed that within 3 days, it dried up. I thought I’d give it a try. When I mentioned this to my helpers at home, they looked at me and gave me a knowing smile. My cook said that she had used that remedy when giving birth to all 4 of her children. Even my driver knew of the remedy, offering to bring me guava leaves the next day from the tree in his house. I texted my doctor to ask her if it was okay to try this. To my surprise she said that there is actual medical evidence to prove that this remedy works because of the anti bacterial properties of guava leaves.
My lovely driver brought the leaves the next day as promised. Not just any leaves would work, they have to be newly sprouted leaves, closest to the fruit. I had them boiled and used the murky brown water it became as my final wash. For extra good measure, my cook suggested placing the leaf on the wound directly for a few minutes. The next day I had forgotten about the guava wash. But as I was dressing up I noticed the wound had dried up. I couldn’t believe it. The depressed part of my scar, covered in weird white wet stuff had dried up. I showed it to my husband and he couldn’t believe it either. I saw my doctor the next day and showed it to her, she allowed me to continue using the guava leaf as a final rinse until the wound had dried up. In 5 days proper scabs and formed and after two weeks, the scabs fell off revealing the neat pink scar.
I found out from a tita of mine that my grandfather, who was her gynecologist had told her to use guava leaves as a rinse when she had her babies in the 60’s. I couldn’t believe that that advise had come from him, as he was known to be forward thinking in the field of ob-gyne in the Philippines. There is a very good reason traditional remedies are still around- they really do work. Of course before trying this remedy, its best to consult your doctor. Don’t discount the wonders of age old remedies.
May 3, 2012 by Juana Manahan-Yupangco
Last week on my 33rd week of my second pregnancy I awoke to a toe curling pain in the abdomen. At first I thought it was the baby making a sudden move, but to my horror it was a continuous series of contractions every two minutes. I rushed my husband out of bed, I had felt I had all the symptoms of labor including the urge to push. I had been told to take it easy a week before, due to spotting and cramping but work after the holidays was not slowing down. I wanted to get everything done before giving birth.
As soon as I got to the delivery room, I was strapped to a fetal monitor and given an examination- I was sure I was dilated. To my surprise my cervix was closed and there were no contractions being recorded. What on earth was the pain? The doctors diagnosed it as a severe case of hyperacidity with acid reflux. I could not believe acid could cause this much pain. The doctor said that the kind of pain feels like labor and happens to many women in their last trimester. After being injected with anti spasm medicines and a gallon of antacids, I finally went home at 5 am. My poor husband was asleep at my side the whole time.
The days that followed had me taking antacids before and after meals. I don’t like taking too many medicines while pregnant even if they are supposedly safe. A friend had sent me a link to Aloe Cure, an aloe vera juice that claims to balance stomach acidity. I asked around and it turned out that it is being distributed in Manila by the grandmother of one of my son’s playmates.
Aloe vera has traditionally been used for the care of skin and hair, my yayas (nannies) used to rub it in mine and my sister’s hair as children to promote a healthy scalp. I ordered my first bottle to try it out, hoping to replace my arsenal of antacids with something organic and natural. Aloe Cure balances stomach acidity and brings natural digestive relief. It calms stomach acid and soothes the GI tract from the burning sensation you get with reflux. There is no added sugar and is only 5 calories per 2 oz serving. There are no known side effects- although they advice pregnant women to notify their doctors. Best of all, its certified organic.
Aloe Cure’s cool yellow color and syrupy consistency makes it soothing just looking at it, it’s kept in the refrigerator and is served cold. It’s recommended that you take 2 oz in the morning and 2 oz at night. It’s tart taste is more palatable than the antacid I was taking that tasted like sunblock! Aloe Cure also comes in grape flavor, which I think I will try next. Unlike prescription antacids that instantly alter your body chemistry, it takes a little longer for and over all balance of the acidity. But I’m on my fourth day of taking it and it has worked wonders. I don’t feel a burning sensation every 2 hours as I used to. It also helps with irritable bowel syndrome- and also relieves the pregnant gassiness you feel at night. I also ordered the Aloe chunks and mix them into my fruit salad and yoghurt in the morning. Adding aloe vera to my diet has worked wonders.
For more information go to www.aloecurephilippines.com or call Organic Basket at 888 2563
January 29, 2012 by Juana Manahan-Yupangco
I have been sick more times in the last 7 months than I have been in the last two years. Every time my little boy catches a cold from a kid a playgroup or gym class he takes it home and transfers it to me. Unlike my first pregnancy where I avoided the mall and crowds to prevent getting sick, my toddler now takes home the germs and delivers the germs to me with snotty kisses.
Being pregnant means that I can’t take my cold busting drugs that will nip the sniffles in the bud. It means riding it out the natural way. Between my growing bump making sleeping uncomfortable plus a runny nose, I haven’t slept that much in the last week. It wasn’t until I employed good old fashioned cold remedies that my cold and sore throat started to go away.
Honey soothes a sore throat, who knew something so sweet could be so helpful. I mixed a teaspoon of honey in each cup of tea I had- and I’ve had a lot. Sure enough, in an hour my throat went from a hot mess to a calmer environment.
2) Zinc lozenges
After reading about zinc lozenges, I gave my doctor a quick call to ask if it was ok to take these while pregnant-and got the ok from her. It needs to be taken periodically, every few hours but is not meant for long -term use. Dissolving a lozenge can reduce the symptoms of the virus. In 24 hours, I felt the difference.
Emergen-C is a 1,000mg dose of vitamin C that our family has been taking for years. Whenever I feel a cold starting I take it about 3-4 times a day as it is also packed with vitamins.
4) Chicken Soup
Our grandmothers and yayas have known about the healing properties of chicken soup for years. Reccently a study done at the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that chicken soup and the ingredients in it helped to stop the movement of neutrophils- white blood cells that eat u bacteria and cellular debris and released in great numbers by viruses like the cold. Neutrophil can stimulate the release of mucous- often the cause of upper respiratory infections.
After only a day and a half of combining all these natural remedies, I felt 100% better. That doesn’t mean 100% healthy- but it does mean that I now have the energy to sit up and have a conversation without coughing or sneezing every two minutes.
December 10, 2011 by Juana Manahan-Yupangco
Any pregnancy brings on a new set of anxieties, worries and expenses. The urge to better your home and prepare for the new arrival has been described as nesting. Some mothers repaint a bedroom, start shopping for layettes, or as I have decided –a renovation of half my home.
I had been wanting to renovate our kitchen since the beginning of this year but was trying to find the best time and best suppliers to do it. I spent the first half of 2011 canvassing for good quality and good service, the latter a scarcity in Manila. I finally found a good kitchen company in early June and spent the month picking out finishes and reviewing designs. It would take 4 months for the order to arrive in Manila from Germany, leaving me time to demolish the existing kitchen, figure out a design. I found out I was pregnant in July, the news had me accelerate plans for the kitchen and decided that it was time for my husband to say goodbye to his Man Den to turn into a bedroom for my 2 year old.
Growing up, my parents always had a full staff of carpenters, painters, electricians so I figured it wouldn’t be too hard for me to take charge of the whole process. A foreman would help me organize the people working as well as the scheduling of everything.
As soon as the process started, the stress started to set in. Problems with delayed permits, approval of our plans and materials out of stock occupied my mind daily. I tried not to be stressed but thinking that the project would not be finished by the time my new baby was born kept me up at night reading construction and builders forums.
I decided to tackle the project in a different way, not as a project manager, but as a shopper. After all managing a household and staff has the same skill set as managing a project, pre-ordering next season’s shoes from net-a-porter.com was replaced by pre ordering my tiles from the home depot, while browsing purse forums was replaced with browsing D-I-Y forums. I figured if I could learn a bit of the terminology used by the builders ( in Filipino slang no less) I would be less frustrated in communicating with them. I decided to get the whole family involved to share the stress. I consult my dad for everything construction related as his hobby lies in architecture, my mom and sister are two of the most talented designers and decorators I know, while my husband is the financial comptroller. I even started letting my 2 year old ‘help’ me in picking out the things needed for his new room. We troll the home stores together and look at furniture and accessories that we can use in his new room. The decorator and designer of his room let him sit in on design meetings to see the pictures of what his room will look like. He recently vetoed a jungle theme ( “ No animals mama”) sending the decorator into a frenzy of finding something new.
One month into the project and I can say that I’m less stressed and more excited about the whole renovation. Slight delays don’t bother me as much anymore since I believe that my stress will be passed on to the baby. I now see delays as a way to check up and correct any mistakes before they become permanent. Having a hand in the outcome of the project with the whole family involved will surely add to the warmth to my home.
November 9, 2011 by Juana Manahan-Yupangco
Shopping while pregnant has always been a tricky thing. I usually order my maternity pants on line from the States or buy when I go abroad. When I ask for maternity jeans in the past in Manila stores, I’d get blank or confused stares. With my last pregnancy I had many things custom made. For some reason I was bigger with my last baby than I am now, same time around so my old maternity stuff does not fit me well. Two years from my last pregnancy and I’m finding that better maternity things are available in Manila.
On a last minute browse in Adora Greenbelt 5 last night, I found myself in their denim section and decided to ask for maternity jeans. With a smile the lady showed me several pairs of J Brand denim maternity pants and leggings. She even knew how to advice me what size to get to accommodate my growing belly. With great joy I snapped up a pair of the Mama J denim leggings, mostly because I was excited to have found designer maternity denim in Manila at last.
I also found a line called“ Dr. Denim” in Adora that do comfortable lightweight T-Shirts in different fits that look good with a bump and will fit well even in the awkward body shape stage post pregnancy. My favorite pregnancy shorts come from a store in Greenbelt 5 called Anja. They make the most comfortable shorts in a rainbow of colors as well as casual pants and slacks if you need office ware.
For something a little more special I head over to Rajo Laurel’s store and browse through the extensive 9 Months collection of ready to wear separates and dresses. Rajo’s 9 Months line has been around for a while- I even bought pieces from the line before I was married because they were so great and do not scream PREGNANT at all. Rajo has the magic touch in dressing pregnant ladies “ I love pregnant women!” he gushed to me while fitting me for a gorgeous gown that made me look like a hot mama all over.
October 31, 2011 by Juana Manahan-Yupangco
Its true when they say every pregnancy is different. This time around I have an enormous craving for sweets- something I do not usually look for. The last month has been a search for the perfect chocolate cake, the moistest brownie, the fudgiest cupcake and the richest chocolates. Unfortunately that search was reflected in my sugar levels at the check up with my doctor. I’ve been quite good lately replacing delectable bites of chocolate with delicious plums I found at Market Market, crispy apples and pears and seriously overpriced imported berries- but so worth it.
That was until yesterday. I was invited to the opening of Sinfully by Makati Shangri-La, the hotel’s satellite patisserie. A half dozen waiters carrying trays of chocolate pralines and chocolate cocktails greeted me as I entered the cocktail area. I was in sweet heaven. Feeling sorry for myself that I could not partake of the vodka-chocolate and crème brule-vodka cocktails, I indulged in the chocolates being served. I lost count of how many pieces I munched on happily, savoring every bite, as I knew this was my cheat day for the entire month- 2 weeks before my next visit to the doctor!
I took a look inside the shop which is located on the second floor of Greenbelt 5, its store front is a ‘chocolate room’ a temperature controlled room where passers by can watch the pastry chef make chocolates. This sight alone was enough to draw me in. Inside, I found that aside from an array of pralines, the shop also makes one of my favorite treats- Parisian Macaroons. Not many places in Manila do these-or do them well. I was looking for the combination of flavor with the right amount of sweetness and just that hint of ‘kunat’ that makes a macaroon perfect. Anything too flaky or sweet isn’t good. I bit into a blue raspberry flavored one and found perfection in one bite. What’s more is that if you are looking for a gift to take to a dinner party or as a present, the macaroons come in beautiful silk boxes, pretty enough to use as costume jewelry boxes after they are used. The praline tower is a gift box filled with a guest’s own selection of chocolates in a beautiful box. The packaging of the cookies come in pastel colored boxes are beautiful additions to any table setting or as give-aways for parties. The shop also makes breads and muffins that are enjoyed in the hotel, which can be taken home and served for a hotel-like breakfast.
Sinfully’s array of cakes is extensive. There are mini designer cakes, enough to satisfy a craving, or for two people on a diet to share. The shop features Emoticakes, a special dessert inspired by emoticons. On an interactive touch screen, the cakes can be customized according to the emotion a guest wants the cake to portray. Guests can also choose from cheese cake or chocolate covered fondant cakes. After the selection is made, a slip is printed out and handed to the staff. The cake is then crafted and can be picked up in a few hours. The sculptural cakes that can be customized to any shape you want looked beautiful as well as delicious. The shop ladies told me that I could bring in any bag I want and they could copy it into a cake…hmmm could this be the perfect way to hint to my husband about a new bag? I felt the instant mother’s instinct when I told the lady. “ Yes the bags are beautiful but can you do an Elmo? Playing his piano, with Dorothy in her bowl? ” Without hesitation she replied yes, they could do absolutely anything I wanted.
As far as being good with my eating habits, I will do my absolute best to stay healthy for myself as well as for the health of my baby. I’ve found another great patisserie where I can get delicious and beautifully packaged gifts. And should the craving for delicate sweets arise, I’m glad to know there’s a place where I can indulge.
September 17, 2011 by Juana Manahan-Yupangco
As people have become more conscious of the world’s rapidly deteriorating environment, many ‘eco’ products have come on to the market. My current favorite is bamboo cotton, its silky soft and entirely breathable. The first waves of bamboo apparel were a bit too granola for me when the first came up a few years ago- in ain colors and basic cuts. Since then,bands such as Bamboo Baby (www.bamboo-baby.com) have come out with designs adorable for girls and boys. My favorite out of the collection is the sleepware- its been hard finding nice looking breathable sets and bamboo cotton is the perfect solution. Designer bamboo line Jonäno (www.jonano.com) has celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston cozying up in their bamboo cotton wraps.
I had previously tried bamboo cotton onesies for my son and even a bamboo cotton swaddling blanket which was unbelievably silky and soft, so I figured a bamboo cotton work out shirt might be good too. I came across Thriv (www.thrivnp.com) , which is a brand of work out clothing that is made of bamboo viscose and organic cotton, now available in Manila which claimed to be odor resistant and absorbent. The first thing I noticed about my shirt was that it was cooler than my other work out tops that I’ve been using, the fabric was also so soft against my skin. As I proceeded to do my work out of pre-natal yoga followed by some light cardio on my spinning bike, I noticed that while my head was sweating, my shirt didn’t seem to be getting wet, instead the shirt was absorbing the moisture. Moreover, as soon as I finished working out, I did not smell anything on my shirt as I do with other work out stuff. Unbelievable, but I had to put it to the test- I got a shirt for my husband.
This second pregnancy is quite different from my first. I can’t stand the way my husband smells, as soon as he gets home I ask him to take a shower-and even while he showers I’ve dictated what soap he can use that won’t make me turn up my nose. His post work out scenario is not much better, because of his gear that is made of technical material that is ‘dry fit’ it also tends to smell bad after he has cooled off. Poor guy is in shock as in my first pregnancy I could not get enough of his smell- even after his work out.
My husband’s triathlon training has him sweating buckets. He took his Thriv shirt out for a run last weekend and was very happy with it. He said although he knew he was sweating, the shirt didn’t weigh him down as his other shirts too. And to my great joy, he did not come home smelling like a sweaty gym sock as his bamboo cotton shirt seemed to deliver in its promise of being odor resistant. I looked at Thriv’s website and found that they also create technical gear-compression garments for people who are serious about their training, hopefully that will get here one day to replace the current technical fabrics.
I have since gone back to Aura Athletica in Rockwell to pick up more Thriv outfits, as the belly grows and the pounds pile on (not too many I hope!) the warmer it feels for an expectant mom. I think the best part about the Thriv tops is that they are so light weight and not restricting to the belly, unlike other tops that are meant to hold it all in, it doesn’t seem like it will lose its shape. The best thing about discovering Thriv is that my husband can come up to me and give me a good morning kiss after his work outs without me pinching my nose.
September 2, 2011 by Juana Manahan-Yupangco
I got up one morning feeling strangely tired. I slept pretty early last night, why am I like this….dozed off to sleep again. Woke up at 11am to an awful smell of fish. Fish! Why are they frying fish? I had already told them to always open windows, shut the doors…turns out they were only frying one tiny fish. As the week went on, I felt tired, sleepy…my chest hurt. But that was probably from my Core Kenesis work out, I thought. Later that week I was off to lunch with my best friend from high school, who is a ball busting lawyer now, hard to get a date with her. She chose a fancy sushi place near her office, known for the fresh, choice sushi. After tucking into my sushi sampler, I felt a little itch in my ear. It slowly spread to my cheeks and my friend pointed out that I was red. I took a call from my dad…I could barely get my voice out. “ I think I’m having an allergic reaction to something” I managed to gasp out. I looked at my face, I was starting to look like Hitch. I went straight to the ER.
At the ER I gasped for air and tried to speak through my closing throat. ‘ What did you eat?’ the doctor asked. “ Sushi, I think it was the ama ebi- a special shrimp” Ama ebi is a special sweet Japanese shrimp that is served raw as sushi, I did not recognize it until the waitress had told me, it was creamy, sweet and delicious. It also however set off an allergy I didn’t know I had. “ Okay ma’am we will give you anti allergy medicines intravenously so it gets to you quicker, but first, are you pregnant?” Pregnant? I thought. “ Doctor, I’m DYING here can’t you see?!” They attached an oxygen mask to me as they wheeled me to the bathroom to take a pregnancy test, this is the last thing I need to be doing now, I thought. After more oxygen and as my husband arrived, the doctor came back with the result. “Ma’am, do you have any children?” Yes, I answered. “ Were you wanting any more?” he continued. Well this was awkward, “ yes, of course” I answered. What a weirdo. He broke into a smile “ Well then congratulations! You are pregnant!” Suddenly I could breathe, the swelling in my face didn’t bother me, I was overcome by waves of joy. I hugged the doctor.
“ Thank you, doctor! Oh my gosh… now can we do something about my swelling and my allergy?”
It turns out that the pregnancy made me hypersensitive, so anything that I may have been remotely allergic to was magnified, hence the severe allergy attack. That feeling was quickly replaced by one of happiness and thankfulness. My husband and I had been wanting to give our son a sibling and now there was one in the making! They say that you forget the pain and stress of birth, but it seems I also forgot what it was like to be pregnant. I texted my doctor every time I had a tugging sensation or headache or slight crampiness. You’d think I was a first time mom. My morning sickness was far worse than with my first one too. I lost about 4 lbs in a week from non stop throwing up and no desire to eat. After a few weeks, I’d settled into being pregnant again. The first trimester went by so quickly, unlike the first time when I counted down the weeks eagerly. This time around I have my toddler to keep me busy. He seems to be extra clingy too…maybe it’s the age, maybe he suspects there’s someone new on the way. I forgot a lot of things about being pregnant…sore breasts, mood swings, weird skin. But I do remember loving every minute of it, and now being blessed to experience it all over again.
August 23, 2011 by Juana Manahan-Yupangco
Bedtime stories were always a special time for my sister and I when we were children. As either one of our parents started a story, so did a world where animals could talk, children could fly and vegetables turn into modes of transportation.
As my son has firmly entered into his toddler years, and as I see his understanding of the world growing everyday, I’ve been trying to read him a vide variety of stories. He has his favorite rhymes of course that he makes the whole household sing over and over. Staples such as ‘Goodnight Moon’ and the Dr. Seuss books are entertaining for him, too entertained that it keeps him awake. It was time to switch to story books, stories with twists and turns and long enough to lull him to sleep. I tried the ever reliable Grimms fairy tales, although they are really far too grim…I think I’ll wait a while till he finds out what really happens in Rumplestiltskin. I also found a ‘children’s’ version of Greek myths, a favorite of mine when we I was young, where in the illustrations are fun for my son to look at. Thank goodness the book disguises Zeus’ extramarital affairs in a discreet way.
I came across children’s books written by Terry Jones recently. As a huge Monty Python fan, I was really excited and picked up all three books, barely looking inside. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the books before I read them aloud to my son. The three books- Fantastic Stories, Fairy Tales and Animal Tales are written in Jones’ witty dry humor. Jones, a graduate English but ‘ strayed into History’ at Oxford is responsible for Monty Python’s humorous ( but historically accurate) portrayals of world history. His children’s stories have socially relevant underlying tones, such as in ‘Jack One-Step’ where a boy Jack is granted one wish by a fairy, who by virtue of his size only has the power to grant one kind of wish. Jack then seeks out the much larger fairy king and leads the fairies into a rebellion wherein they ask ‘why should small fairies be worse off than big fairies?’ Or in his animal tales that give the origins of how animals got their looks, such as the badger and why it behaves the way it does. I was delighted to find that my son remembered the characters in the book, pointing them out to me the next day.
When my son sees these story books out, his eyes light up as he says ‘Mama read’, squeals with delight and plops himself on a pillow. Reading aloud can be tiring after a long day at work, but is totally worth is to open up my little one’s imagination. A tita of mine who is a specialist in early childhood development told me that with kids, the key is to be intentional in everything you do. That includes reading and loving to read. I hope to be able to pass on my love for reading and writing on to my son.
August 5, 2011 by Juana Manahan-Yupangco