Momma Chat: On Smoke and Skeeters


Unlike in the West, Thailand only has three seasons a year: cold (Nov-Feb), hot (March-June), and rainy (July-October. We’re about to enter my least favorite season: hot season. The heat is so strong you actually have to wear long sleeves to protect your skin because if you pull up to a long red light on a motorbike around midday, you will actually feel your skin begin to fry. Under a light jacket, it’ll be stuffy and hot, but you won’t burn. Or get skin cancer. Probably.

I actually don’t mind the heat too much myself–until the boy came along. I was a furnace when I was pregnant, and now I constantly worry about him being too hot, even though I do have A/C in the house. He still sweats, regardless.

But the other reason I grimace and groan this time of year is, in the north of Thailand, where we live, this is when the farmers start burning the forests and fields to prepare for the next year’s crops and to fertilize the soil for a kind of mushroom they harvest that brings them money they need to live on. What it means for the rest of us, though, is horrifically smoky skies and lungs full of yummy carcinogens. The Thai government has an aggressive campaign of billboards telling farmers to stop the burning because “it makes the world hot.” Those ads are really effective. (Not.)

The burning has started, but it’s not so bad just yet, so we’re taking the opportunity to introduce Cy to the outdoors as much as possible. It gets us out of the house for some fresh(ish) air and exercise, and gives us new things to show him.

Like the lake reservoir, where you can sit in huts and have a leisurely lunch.


{SIGH} Those red dots on his face aren’t the measles. They’re mosquito bites from the night of mosquito hell when Dot kicked open the screen door (instead of using her doggie door which Toby painstakingly made for her so we don’t have to open the door for her ever 3.5 seconds) and let in a hoard of mosquitos. We tried to kill them all, but there were still a few sneaky bastards. Mosquitos can all rot in hell.

We took him to our neighborhood pool for the first time. He was hesitant at first, clinging to me and whining when his feet touched the cool water, but before he realized it, he was chest deep in the pool and splashing around like a fiend. (A really, really cute fiend.) He gets this really serious look on his face when he’s splashing. Like it’s critical business beating that water into submission.

Trying on daddy's hat

Trying on daddy’s hat before our foray out to the lake

I’m going to miss being able to take him out for strolls and play time in the water because, up until now, those were my foolproof tactics for dealing with him when he’s being fussy. And my, has he been fussy lately.

He has recently discovered object permanence: that things remain, even when you can’t see them. This means he screams like a banshee if you take away the napkin he grabbed so he doesn’t eat it, and that he still remembers that potato chip he wanted to eat because he saw you eating it, even when you hide it away because, well, he doesn’t have teeth. Pretty much, he wants to eat anything he shouldn’t.

(Especially plastic bags. Boy seems to have a plastic deficiency he’s trying to alleviate.)


And when he’s not grumpy about all that, he wants to stand up. All day long. Even when his little legs are too tired to stand anymore. If you make him sit, he cries. If you help him up to stand, he cries. Cue frustration. (His and ours.)

So I need all the tools I can get to distract him and bring back the smiles.

Basically, it’s a roller coaster right now: full of giggles and cuteness when he’s in a good mood, wailing when he’s not. It’s a fun and interesting time because so much more of his personality is showing through, and his curiosity about life is great to see, but it does make for some long days as you try to schlep him from one activity to the next to prevent the fussy.


But, oh, the cute!! (Am I allowed to say that about my own child, or is that gauche?)

But I know this phase will pass quickly, just like all the others. I already can’t quite remember what the first month was like. Sometimes, I look at him sprawled out asleep in bed and think I see a toddler there, and I wonder when that happened. I never saw how he got so big, and I thought I was looking this whole time.

Thing I Love About Cy Today: When I stick out my tongue, he tries to grab it, but I suck it back in with a quick “slurp!” He giggles every time.

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One thought on “Momma Chat: On Smoke and Skeeters

  1. Holy smokes he has gotten BIG. And is getting cuter by the day, if I do say so. You've definitely got a boy on your hands there Jade. Can't wait to hear more about his development. And those mosquitoes can all go to hell I hate them so much with a passion