Post Mother’s Day musings

I didn’t celebrate Mother’s Day last Sunday. Yes, it was my first Mother’s Day but I didn’t think of having a celebration. Guess I place more emphasis on birthdays instead. So last Sunday was just like any others, mainly caring for Buddy.

At church in the morning, all mothers were given a foldable recycle bag as a gift, which is a nice touch. We have recently switched to this church, which is relatively close to our home. My husband checked the parish geographic areas covered by the church and realized that our home lies within its coverage. It’s strange how we had never thought of attending mass there until a couple of months ago.

We had previously attended two other churches (also within the eastern district), but don’t like either ones. The first one had a change of priests and the articulate one got transferred. The sermons got so boring that my husband thought that we could record them down to induce Buddy to sleep. So we moved to the new church where the articulate priest is at. Yes sermons are better, but the church is so freaking crowded and impersonal. It’s also not baby nor elderly friendly. Besides we didn’t have very pleasant experience there.

My husband then suggested we try this current one. I checked the mass schedule and like what I see, a timing which is not too early nor late, just right. Not only that, the priests are pretty personable and gives good sermons. The church also is elderly and stroller friendly, with ramps and handrails available. It has a strong community spirit, and the parishioners are pretty considerate too. Buddy is a hit there; a number of parishioners are smitten by him. After so many years, we’ve finally found a church that we enjoy mass.

Last Friday, we took Buddy to the National Skin Centre to see a specialist, Professor Yoke Chin GIAM. She is recommended by a parishioner from our previous church, and I was told the good doctor is an expert on eczema. Both parishioner and her toddler son are sufferers and sought consultation with the professor.

As is expected with public healthcare institution, even though there is an appointment system, there is still quite a wait. It wasn’t as bad as the wait-time at Loh’s clinic, but it still took us slightly more than an hour. The prof is a motherly elderly-looking lady, who impresses with her knowledge and experience, and amuses my husband with her old English vocabulary. Upon seeing Buddy, she remarked, “what a bonny boy!” My husband later quipped, “I wonder if she knew Charles Dickens personally.”

When I showed the good professor the steroid cream prescribed by Dr OK, she told us that it is only suitable for baby 5 months and below, and is too mild to be effective for Buddy’s eczema problem. She prescribed a slightly stronger steroid cream to be used for a few days and a non-steroid one for use when we see improvements. It was a relief for us when we were told that Buddy’s skin problem is not very serious. She also said that by puberty, 80% of children, who contracted eczema at baby stage, would have gotten over it. What’s surprising to us is that the rashes on Buddy’s arm and leg creases are actually eczema, and not fungal infection as what Dr OK thought. No wonder after we stopped the fungal cream, the rash returns.

We were even given a flyer showing a treatment flow-chart. My husband couldn’t help saying that he never felt so clear about what to do. I showed the professor the super duper rescue lotion from Buds for Baby. She checked out the ingredients under the magnifying glass and commented that some of the ingredients have similar properties to steroid but milder. This explains why the lotion works to a certain extent. I know I have mentioned before that I thought the Physiogel AI lotion is not very effective, but the prof told us to continue using it because it helps to repair the skin. Since it’s only to be used twice a day, we’ll apply the rescue lotion on Buddy at other times.

As per our usual practice, we have to give the prof a nickname. She is so motherly that I feel like a kid in front of her. My husband and I were brainstorming for some catchy names, “Mother hen”, “Prof Mama”. In the end, he suggested “Mamacita”? He said it was Mexican for ‘little mama’. I thought that was pretty cool. But after I goggled it, I found that it’s a Spanish slang for a hot chick. Now, no offense to the good prof, but she’s no spring chicken, and definitely no hottie. I thought we should call her “Madrecita”, a term of endearment and respect for an elderly lady. But my husband feels “Mamacita” is more catchy, which is true.

After a few days of applying both the steroid and non-steroid cream, Buddy’s eczema problem has improved tremendously, and is almost gone. So now we know that when it comes to skin problem, you should go see a skin expert like Prof Mamacita, who’s now the miracle worker. Dr OK is, after all, an expert in babies and young children, not dermatology. Anyway whenever “Mamacita” is mentioned, I’ll be reminded of this Christmas song ‘Donde Esta Santa Claus’ (Where is Santa Claus).

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