Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Feeding Rania with love

I started feeding Rania -my now 11 months old baby girl- with solids around six months after her birth. And boy, how she refused….. I need to try several brands of instant baby food before I finally found her favorite. I've tried baby rice cereal, baby cornflakes, baby porridge, baby biscuits; all kind of foods that starts with the word 'Baby' in the front. I've tried all the flavor too: apple, banana, peach, chocolate, strawberry, vanilla even some strange 'exotic' flavor that even I'm not familiar with : peach with sweet potato (what a weird combination),fig with raisin (what?), pomello with beetroot (even I won't eat that). And the taste? They are either too bland or too sour for Rania, the picky eater.

I thought at first this eating-game would be much easier when she's bigger and more conscious, because, maybe, just maybe she starts to grow her hungry pangs. But hell no… the stuff that grow are her legs and tricky brain as her angelic wings and the HALO over her head shrink.

When she started to crawl, then the eating-game developed into a game of cat and mouse, hit and run. Whenever I come with a bowl and spoon and put her on her chair – yes, she has her own pretty yellow chair with cushion and straps – she freaks out. In some events I have to put her on my lap as an alternative. But just when I turn to fill up the spoon, voila, within second she's either half a room away or slipping under the computer table… or in some extreme cases, pressing the buttons on the TV side, changing the channel. The game ends up with me running like a frenzied zombie and scoops her up back to my lap. Not really the end, because I still have to 'swing the spoon' in front of her mouth and say ''aaaaaahhh open your mouth Rania please…", then wait for miracle to come. If she opens her mouth –that's the miracle – I spoon the food in. If not… well, this is where another game starts. It's called the "'Put the chocolate cookie in front of her mouth and when she opens up, scoop in the real food, quick!" And of course, Rania hates this game.

Not only did Rania learn about eating solids this past couple of months, I made some self discovery too. I never thought I have enough the much-needed patience, tolerance and perseverance to conform to a baby roadrunner like her. If she refuses to eat the homemade porridge I made for her and demands for the peanut butter sandwich that I'm having instead, then I need to be tolerant. If she doesn't fancy sitting in her crowning chair during a meal, then I need to be patient and let her sit on my lap. Moreover, if she runs - err I mean crawls - around the room when it comes to meal times, then I need to be firm. And of course, I need to develop a lot of imaginations to come up with mad games, like the "put the chocolate cookie" game. But at the end of the day, no matter how little vegetables Rania eats, we both laugh it out. I would watch her sleep with a smile on her face, have my sentimental cry and realized how much I love her.

Rania is now 11 months old and now she's more tolerable to food, though I still play the "put the chocolate cookie" game occasionally. Up to this day, I still haven't found the right formula to teach her to eat well but I'm sure I'll find one soon. I'm not going to rush it though, because no matter how mischievous Rania is she is only an 11 months baby. I'll have her whole juvenile years to teach her on being independent, let alone on finishing her vegetables portion; so I won't rush it all in the first year. Besides, she has taught me the greatest teaching of all: liberation of my inner unconditional love.

He loves me, he loves me not

Here is a writing of mine, a task from my recently finished Writing Class. It's a review of a movie called "À la folie…pas do tout" in which we all watched it together.

À la folie…pas do tout (2002)

(He loves me, he loves me not)

If you spot À la folie…pas do tout (2002) movie
and assumed it to be a romantic comedy, well, you can kiss your assumption goodbye. It's actually a smart psychological drama with a twist, an imaginative French twist, that is.

Angelique (Audrey Tautou), the imaginative and talented art student falls in love with Loïc (Samuel Le Bihan), a cardiologist, and throughout the movie, we see her hard yet always-failed attempts to make him leave his pregnant wife, Rachel (Isabelle Carré). The first half of the movie then implicitly brings us the platonic love story from Angelique's viewpoint; her disappointments towards Loïc's attitude to her suicide attempt. But from there, it winds back and explains the same events from a different point of view. Then abruptly, the second part of the movie becomes a unique obsession suspense cum psychological flick instead of a regular love drama, with a twisting end that'll make your jaws drop. For that, we have to thank Laetitia Colombani as director.

The young French writer/director has an ability to build tension using arty setting; a brainy example is when a frighten Loïc found a stunning adult size mural of him by Angelique made from everyday items, including a dried rose he gave first time they met! Colombani, who also made the script along with co-writer Caroline Thievel, has cleverly presented a story of delusion and false perceptions in a thrilling yet entertaining way. It gets the tension of Fatal Attraction (1987) with the entertaining factors of a romantic comedy flick.

Tautou, forever known as Amélie in Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (2001), is pretty convincing in portraying the cheerful-yet-tricky-erotomaniac Angelique. Her big-brown eyes are the best camouflage to hide Angelique's lunacy. One loophole of the movie conversely, is the rather clichés performance and dialogues by Le Bihan resulting from a slightly unripe characterization of Loïc's (such as Loïc final meet up with Angelique). But this is only Colombani's first full-length movie, others being short ones. So we can expect more clever ideas coming from her, similar to her newest Mes stars et moi (2008).

Once the credit rolls, trust me, you'll be seeing crazy in-lovers in a new perspective. Next time your (girl) friend is in love; go ask yourself the same question as the tagline of the flick: "Is she crazy in love, …..or just CRAZY?"

Rating : ☺☺☺☺ (4 stars) Worth Watching