Saturday, November 14, 2009

It Is Tough Job Doing A Woman's Job

Take it from me it is a tough job. How do I know? I just did it for two weeks recently when I had to take care of my 3 months old grandson Adam Hakimi. Adam's mum Ijjah had to attend a compulsory 2 weeks induction course when she missed doing it earlier when she was in her late stage of pregnancy when she was carrying Adam.
His dad had to work as he had almost utilized most of his annual leave. But he will be around to help me look after Adam during the night when he is back from work. I also had the option to send Adam to his day minder in the nearby housing area of Shah Alam but the prospect of having to bundle Adam in the car to take him to the minder was too cumbersome.
The day's chore start from 5 AM or thereabout when Adam wakes up after soiling his diapers. The diaper had to be changed otherwise Adam will feel uncomfortable. After washing him up and a new change of diaper, a small bottle of milk will put him back to sleep. The problem was Adam was not fully weaned off his mother's milk and put on powdered milk. Thought he wasn't breastfed all the time, he was fed with his mother's milk which was kept in the fridge after being expressed. Adam had yet to acquire the taste of powdered milk and never suck with gusto whenever he was fed with it. It is always a game trying to get him to suckle the whole 5 oz of milk per feed. Sometimes he would even throw them up.
Should he go to sleep, I would use the available time to wash up the used bottles before sterilizing them using the recently bought sterilizer. Prior to this sterilization was done by immersing the bottles an nipples in freshly boiled water which I disagree as it was inadequate. So we bought the sterilizer from Kedai Annakku at the Giant Supermarket closeby. I was hoping to buy the smaller sterilizer which could be put into the Microwave oven and heated up. They didn't have the stock and had only this stand alone sterilizer which cost my son almost RM200. Anyway it was money well spent as the unit could sterilize 9 bottles plus all the peripherals in one go. Luckily they had received ample number of quality feeding bottles as gift so 9 bottles were available for use thus reducing the need for frequent sterilization.
While the sterilizer is doing it's work I will do my Subuh prayers. There is no need to shut off the sterilizer unit as it will automatically shut itself off.
Next on my job will be to prepare breakfast for myself as my son Azuan will have breakfast at the office. My breakfast was a simple one as I kept ample stock of bread or cereals handy. Then only will I handwash Adam's clothes which did not really require much scrubbing, followed by my own clothes which needed abit more use of the muscles. They will all be put to dry in the shade of the corridor.
Adam will usually wake up around 9 AM having wetted his diapers and perhaps soiled it too with his poo. It is time to bathe him. A small tub of warm water will be prepared and when the temperature is right, Adam really enjoyed his bath. By the way do you know how to check the water temperature in the baby's tub? Many parents including mums do not know. We use the elbow to test the water temperature so that it will never be too warm for the baby. Why the elbow and not the fingers? Try both methods and you will know the reason.
After drying Adam with his own towels, he will be rubbed with baby's oil, followed by baby's powder. A dash of Amway's baby liniment will be applied to the stomach, back, behind the ankle and soles of the feet will ensure that he will not suffer from bloat. He will be given another feed after being dressed up in fresh clothes. Adam will have another siesta and it is during this time that I will cook lunch.
Since young I was brought up with ikan singgang as 'lauk'. The ikan singgang will be heated up daily to prevent it from going bad however long you keep it. I guess the asam keping, salt, galanggal and gula Melaka in place of MSG are great preservative and the dish not only will last but also acquire a better taste. The ikan singgang can later be fried to give it a most exquisite taste. Only those who have lived on such food can tell or relate to the heavenly taste of fried ikan singgang. Make sure that not much of the gravy is left on the fish otherwise it will result in the popping of the hot frying oil from the kuali.
Should Adam feel comfortable enough and sleep longer, I will use the opportunity to paint.
When the sun is setting down and the evening heat is bearable, I will take Adam down in the pram to the ground floor from the 13th floor where we lived. Adam seemed to loved the outdoor as much and will often go to sleep at the end of the walk.
Dinner will be a simple affair too. Sometimes my son will bring home food for me eliminating the need to have dinner on ikan singgang all the time. It will now be his turn to look after his baby. I can have my rest.
So that was how I survived daily.
Midway through the stay, Adam developed nappy rash. Raw flesh was detected on his bottom. I had never experienced this before with any of my children or grandchildren. He seemed to be defecating too often too which worries me to no end. Could he be having diarhoea? It was time to take him to the clinic. When Azuan returned from work, we took Adam to a clinic somewhere in Shah Alam. A lady doctor by the name of Dr. Indra was on duty. We told her that the baby was suffering from rash and she confirmed it was nappy rash and will be giving the medication for it. The next problem of the suspected diarrhea was a bit hilarious. Dr. Indra wanted to know the frequency of the baby's daily poo and the color of the stool. Since Azuan had been leaving that part of the duty to clean his baby up to me, Azuan looked up to me for answers. When I tried to answer, Dr. Indra wanted the dad to answer as she thought he was the one looking after the baby. When told that I was the one doing it, she started questioning about the where about of Adam's mother and since the mother was not available, where is the grandmother?
Dr. Indra shook her head in disbelief after getting the answer that only the grandfather is avaialble to look after Adam as the mother and grandmother were teachers and couldn't get away from work.
As to the color of the stool, I did bring along a sample in the form of a soiled diaper for the doctor to see. It wasn't necessary as at that very moment Adam did pushed some fecal out with a small grunt. When a nurse took over Adam from his father, she couldn't help noticing and making a remark that Adam's booties didn't match.
The doctor couldn't confirm as to whether Adam was having diarhoea or not and asked us to bring him again if the frequency of stooling was too often. She must have been out of touch with babies as she couldn't tell how many times is too many times.
Anyway since Adam wasn't feeling uncomfortable with the frequent stooling, we didn't bring him back to the clinic and took them as normal.
On another occasion, Adam was having nasal congestion. His discomfort was partly eased by the application of Vicks Vapour Up which eased his discomfort somewhat only to recur after the effect wore off. It was during such times that we our self had to suffer the stress of not having enough rest and sleep.
However happy I was at having my grandson to look after, I was even happier when his mum returned from her course and I did not have to look after him more than the agreed two weeks. During that two weeks I lost 4 kg of weight. A good enough reward for me.
Doing a woman's job is indeed tough job. Just imagine if you have to conceive as well and carry the baby for 9 months!


Kak Teh said...

Pak Zawi, has anyone told you that Adam looks like you?
A woman's job is tough , Pak Zawi. I get most annoyed when people assume that being a housewife is not a job.

Take care.

Ummi365 said...

pak zawi.. bestnya dapat atuk macam ni.. baik sungguh and penyabar pulak tu..

Oldstock said...

And that is why syurga itu di bawah telapak kaki ibu...

You did well, Pak Zawi. If this blog of yours is still around by the time Adam can read, show him this post. He will then know how lucky he is to have such a caring grandfather.

Pak Zawi said...

Kak Teh,
This is the first time somebody tells me that Adam looks like me. Maybe it is because this is the first time Adam's picture is released. it is the most recent picture of him taken while I was there.
Don't get annoyed if peoiple think its not a job, can't blame them because they are ignorant fools.

Pak Zawi said...

Terima kasih Ummi. Segala yang baik tu datang dari Allah.

Pak Zawi said...

Memang benar tu, syurga memang dibawah telapak kaki ibu jadi anak anak janganlah sesekali menderhaka kepada kedua dua ibu bapa.
InsyaAllah Adam will get to read this blog as his dad is also a reader and so are his other uncles and aunties.

Pi Bani said...

You lost 4 kgs doing a woman's job? How come the women gain weight doing the same thing? Not fair! ;)

Pak Zawi said...

Pi Bani,
I lost weight because I didn't have time to prepare my food and no time to eat hahahaha. Or maybe the food I ate are good food. Quaker oats anyone?

FRoS Salleh said...

pak zawi thats why they say never send a man to do woman's job. hehe. yoko? actually its dont send a girl to do a woman's job. bt i altered it a bit ;P

Maria said...

And don't think it gets any easier when you have ovaries. :)

I'm convinced that this is the reason men invented war, politics, commerce and the like.

"Honey, can you take care of the baby tonight? Please?"

"Er, sorry... I hear the Mongols are invading this evening! Gotta go!"

In all seriousness, my brother-in-law is a stay at home dad to a 2.5 year old and now a (gulp) 2.5 week old. It's exhausting, he says, but totally worth every moment! He can't believe that more men don't go for it.

Pak Zawi said...

FRosS Salleh,
On the other hand, male chefs seem to be doing better than females. Agirl will not be able to do a womans job as they may not be up to it yet.

Pak Zawi said...

Cos we dont have ovaries so we cannot ceonceive. The monthly period is tough enough for us I guess hehehehe.
Your brother in law must be Godsend. Not many males will want to be a househusband. Kudos to him.
Sorry for not being able to meet you in KB yesterday. I had a bad spell of gout which was crippling me. I Even missed a presentation for PESENI in the morning which I had helped to set up.

Temuk said...

Salam Pak Zawi
I was smiling to myself while reading thru your jaga cucu story. Insya Allah, Dia memberi ganjaran setimpal. As it is He has already rewarded you with 'minus 4 kg'. The gradpa's 'stress', the oats, and the longing to go back to be with 'grandma' must have contributed to the weight loss. Your story would remind many of us of the even more difficult moments experienced by our parents in those days, looking after so many kids, in the kampungs where there were no proper amenities. Anyway, you are really a 'datuk mithali'!

Pak Zawi said...

Yes, I was amply rewarded by Allah The Almighty. I will be blogging about it soon.
How apt with what you said. It reflect upon us how difficult it was when our parents cared for us and when we had to care for our children. Now my children have their own children,they know how tough it is. Since my son had to work on weekdays I only let him do the midnight shift to feed the baby and took over the 5 pm duty. Since he didn't change the diaper at midnight, Adam developed nappy rash. He now knows the risk of not doing it.

mamasita said...

I nominate you Grandfather Of The Year 2009!! Congratulations Pak Zawi!
( Applause kuat2)!!

Pak Zawi said...

Datin mamasita,
Thank you (me tapping myself on the shoulder).
What will I get for being nominated as such?

NanaDJ said...

Pak Zawi,
Cutenya cucu you.
I salute you, wish my husband is half as good as you or even a quarter. I have never come across a grandfather like you. Real Grandpa of the Year as Mamasita said. A few days ago while taking an early morning walk at TTDI Park saw a grandpa (I assume, judging by his gray hair, tak kan father kot unless ada new wife), jogging slowly while pushing a pram and singing twinkle twinkle little star. I feel like teasing him, but only manage a knowing smile.

Pak Zawi said...

he is getting cuter by the day. Now he is responding to our voices. I am missing him now but knowing his mum is home, I guess he is in better hands.
Don't underestimate old man nowadays. Don't ask him if he is his grandson, he may be offended hehehehe.

Zendra said...

A woman's work is never done isn't it Pak Zawi?

Pak Zawi said...

Yes, yes,yes and sometimes never appreciated.

aliff muhammad said...


Pak Zawi,

Hm, you lost 4 kg? That's great! :).
Ha!ha! Miss my mom ikan singgang!
Well, I wish you all the best in your painting.

hajah zainab bt abdullah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hajah zainab bt abdullah said...

salam pak zawi,

anda seorang datuk mithali! jarang sekali kita dengar orang lelaki jaga anak, atau pun cucu sehingga ke tahap yang anda lakukan. moga2 budi baik pak zawi akan dikenang oleh anak menantu & cucu. percayalah, cucu pak zawi akan menyayangi atuknya!

Patricia said...

What a delightful post, Zawi! I loved reading every line of it.

Men are just as good as women when it comes to looking after the babies. They just need to want to do it, and we females need to believe that they can! And you're proof that I am right!!!

Oldstock has a good point: keep this post for your little cucu. He'll love reading about how his grandad cared for him when he was little :) Children love hearing how they were the centre of our universe when they were little!

Pak Zawi said...

No kidding, i did lose that 4 kg and I bet you by now I may have gained another 5 kg hahahaha.
You should have tried my ike singge as mine was well seasoned. The you would have overcomed your craving for your mum's.

Pak Zawi said...

hajah zainab,
Pengalaman saya dengan cucu Balkis memberi semua orang keyakinan untuk menjaga Adam Hakimi. Cuma bezanya Balkis berumur 4 bulan semasa saya mula menjaga.
Allah telahpun membalas budi saya kepada cucu2 saya dengan memberi saya kegembiraan semasa menjaga mereka. Mereka pasti akan menyangi atok mereka.

Pak Zawi said...

you are definitely right. It is a matter of whether we men want to do it or not. The only thing I don't want to be able to do is to carry the baby in me hahahaha. Please let the womenfolk do it.
As long as will allow us to keep these posts, it will be maintained for future generations to read. Let us pray this these sort of things will last perpetually and not get self destruct. They will learn a thing a two about the previous generation before them.

Capt's Longhouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Capt's Longhouse said...

Pak Zawi,

,,,salute to you !

"the more one give, the more one receive"

,,, i will always remember my daddy's advise ; ..we make a meaningful life by what we give !..and by living a life full of compassion and unconditional love, then our world will bloom with all kinds of beautiful flowers.
,,,if i may add, loving others open the door to the treasure-crest of God ! yoo (kita pirate-kan, ingat hidden treasures saja-lah hehehe !!)
,,,o.k. o.k. enough !!,,,now back to your daily exercise and painting can do with another minus 10 kg off from the looks of it ??. jangan marah ya. hahaha...less salt too in your food Yeop Oii !!

Tok Uban

Pak Zawi said...

Tabik Capt.
Your dad is right. My own motto: Open your door and more doors will be opened to you is no different to your treasure chest.
Excercise? Just what is that? Hehehehe not now with the gout attack coming so often. Good food mates with so many people going for Haj and people with children going for SPM examinations means lots of free colesterol laden food to be consumed.
Will suffer now and enjoy the food and think of the ways to overcome the weight gain later. Let's live for the day OK?

mekyam said...

pokwi, the baby looks so cute and contented in the pix. you're obviously a champ, gramp! :D

hope your gout pain is all gone. wonder if the culprit was "ike singge"... hehehe!

[p.s. sori lamo mekyè tok ghoyak go satu bilo singgoh, pokwi. gi blog orè lain pun ggitu jugok. nok kederah sapa lepah baco tokkdè nok beri salè. ni ambo kelik nyc semeta ja sbb minggu lepah ado conference. selaso depè nih keno gi pulok. duo tigo bulè nih jadual ambo kaca lana.]

Pak Zawi said...

Tengkiu for your comment on Adam. Will make sure that one day he will come to know of auntie Mekyam in Nurork.
My gout comes and go with my intake of food that can induce the production of uric acid in my body and the pain will go as I take some pain killers to alleviate the pain. Don't worry it is not a terminal disease and I am willing to livve with it hahahaha.
Ike singge isn't a precursor to uric acid.
Found the perfect pics to paint for u. Beca in Kota Bharu. That will be the best reminder of your root in Kelantan as the beca will soon be extinct.

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hi Pak Zawi, everyone of us macho men have this ‘feminine’ side in us, it’s just that whether u r willing to exercise it. I’m quite comfortable doing all these chores u mentioned, especially pushing the prams in parks part, u get to score brownie points with the ladies (other mothers, joggers etc..)…hahaha. And not to mention the bond & trust u develops with the kids. We r after all SNAGs & proud of it!


P/S – I’m sure u r looking forward to more of these assignments 

louis said...


If your grandson slept through the night till 5;00a, consider yourself very lucky. I saw every old late night movie at all hours past midnight trying to feed my son who just preferred to socialize at 1:30a, 2:45a...all through till dawn, rather than drink his bottle. He was really charming holding on to my thumb and conversing with his baby language. I loved it, but my greatest fantasy became an uninterrupted night's sleep.

Pak Zawi said...

What you said is definitely true, it is a matter of you wanting to do it or not.
I didn't see the scoring brownie points because where I was doing it wasn't such a neighbourhood with those kind of people you would want to score points! What a wasted chance. Hahahahaha

Pak Zawi said...

He didn't sleep all through the night till 5 AM. I made the his father did the graveyard shift so that I can have an uninterupted sleep till 5 AM. That is why he had the nappy rah, his dad didn't change the diapers no matter what soiled them!
I wouldn't mind doing the graveyard shift really if there is somebody to take over during the day and I can make up for the lost sleep.

pakmat said...

..Salam Pak Zawi..and high time I holler a salam at Pak Zawi..having silently stalked him for sometimes..yes..I have beenl here..singgah every now and then..savour your words..sometimes smile,..sometimes a chuckle..but as quietly that I came, as quietly I left..
and a man's job is never done..not if he decided to also take up that of a woman's..and have been thro that to..and enjoyed it..
and this time..a proper..
Salam, Pak Zawi..we will have that cuppa..maybe under a tree on the road to R panjang..

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Salam Abang Zawi! Adam is adorable! Gebunya! He is one lucky baby to have a good grandpa like you. My grandpa was a typical Chinaman, pegang cucu pun tak pernah! Ha ha, kaum lelaki tok leh pandang rendah terhadap kaum wanita lepas baca blogpost ini!


P/S: Please come visit me at and vote for me when you have the time! Thank you!

Pak Zawi said...

We have been thru the same life together. There are too many things we can relate to. Just give me a tinkle at 0199125647 and we can have our cuppa under any tree along the mentioned route. Would be an honour to meet another senior in this blogging fraternity.

Pak Zawi said...

Ee Lynn,
Salam kembali.
Adam is growing up fast. Memang gebu.
Can't blame ur dad. My late dad was the same too. They didn't have the chance or never took the opportunity to handle babies and missed the pleasure that went along with it.
Who says we men look down upon you womenfolk?

the witch's broo said...

Pak Zawi,

tabik tabik tabik...

i am so impressed, sir!

and so, now you know.

Pak Zawi said...

Tabik kembali.
I am generally impressed with women who did their duties without a whimper.
Terima kasih.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Zawi, ha ha, can see you very busy...hey, you can buka a class how to care for babies, change diapers, get them to tidur....
You'r a man of all seasons and you must try paint a grandfather feeding his grandchild, ha ha.
Have a nice day, Zawi, keep well, Lee.

Pak Zawi said...

Buka nursery better. Unfortunately I am not getteing any younger and healthier. may infect the babies with my clod.
I like your idea of the painting of me feeding my grandson. It has never been done before and I may be the first one! It will be for me and children to keep. Jolly good idea. Thank you Lee.
You keep well too.
Read your latest post but didn't leave a comment yet.

Muhammad-al-Fateh said...

There were updates on my blog, .Thank you.. Hopes you're pleased to be my followers...

Pak Zawi said...


Tommy Yewfigure said...

PZ, sorry belated 'Selamat Hari Raya Haji' to your whole clan.

Better late than never, just got back after late night.

Hope u had a great time!


Pak Zawi said...

Thak you.No problem at all.

Capt's Longhouse said...

Pak Zawi,
,,,understand you have high blood pressure ?
,,,try this traditional Sakai treatment ; eat lots n lots of petai everyday for 1 x week, recheck BP, then another 1 x week of petai, petai, petai; re-check your BP again !! see the improvement plus drink lots of water with it o.k. ??. Zero meat during that period too. use olive oil for cooking nothing else too.
eggs only kampung chicken's plus get local honey with bread for b'fast, cut off garam as much as possible, go for green salads with olive oil dressing. eat lots of fresh fruits if you are hungry, as much as possible, nanas is best or water melon with local tea without sugar.
,,,workout with your gardening inbetween painting ha,ha.ha !! 31/12/09 you will be jumping fit again, trust me.(boleh timang anak sendiri, tak payah cucu)

Anonymous said...

hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day!

en_me said...

salamm singgah jerr pak zawi tewww..

Daphne Ling said...

HI Pak Zawi,

Lol, kudos for surviving! And yeah, sure la difficult...Tsk Tsk...;)

Anyway, just wanted to wish you and the whole geng at home Happy 2010!

Atok said...

salae tahong baghu abe wi,
lamo bena doh x jengok ssinning, apo kaba blako? ambo ssinning ok, po skalo.

Pak Zawi said...

Salam kembali. Thanks for dropping by.

Pak Zawi said...

Thanks for the visit. Thanks for the new year greetings. Happy new year to u too.

Pak Zawi said...

Salae kembali. Pak Zawi sibuk lo ni dok buat rumah. Buat sendiri tu yang sampai tak sempat nak update blog. Sejok ko di England lo ni?

Atok said...

sejuk tu, kurae doh. pasal dok snowing from yesterday (bilo snow, dah kurae sejuk, sebelum snow tu yae sejuknyo). ni dok dumoh ni, tokleh tubek gi khijo. dok ado dalae 12 inci llua tu.

JanuskieZ said...

Hi... Looking ways to market your blog? try this:


uncle... tahniah ade rumah baru. i thot u were still doin' a woman's job :) btw, my dad passed away on 4/1/10. i'm now in msia (but i arrived a day later on 5/1/10, x sempat jumpe arwah ayahanda). sedekahkan alFatihah, will u? :)
nanti kami balik nxt year boleh lah beraya ke rumah baru uncle ye...

ce'kem said...

salam Pak Zawi,
jika Pak Zawi ada sejarah dan foto lama mengenai sek. keb Pasir mas @ SK Dato Abdul Hamid, sangat-sangatlah saya berterima kasih jika pak boleh catatkan sesuatu di dalam site MyPasir Mas/ di Laisi.


Pak Zawi said...

Little Dewa,
Pak Zawi bukan buat rumah baru, cuma renovate toilet dan tambah dapur baru. Persila ke rumah bila ada kelapangan masa pulang nanti.

Pak Zawi said...

Pak Zawi bersekolah di SIS Pasir Mas dulu jadi tak ada la gambar SK Dato' Hamid.

Sayanura said...

Salam Pak Zawi,

You remind me of my father! 'Jaga cucu' is a tough job, and you did it well Pak Zawi =)

Pak Zawi said...

Jaga cucu besar is no problem but Adam is an infant hich makes it more difficult. Thanks for the appreciation.

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