A chronicle of a Prince
With HRH Prince Teepangkorn Rasmichoti about to celebrate his first birthday on Saturday, HRH Princess Srirasmi, the Royal Consort of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, has written about how she has taken care of their son as a loving mother.
This account appears in Phraew magazine hitting newsstands today, and also in Real Parenting to be published tomorrow.
The following is The Nation's translation of excerpts from Princess Srirasmi's chronicle of Prince Teepangkorn, who is growing fast while displaying good spirits and health.
"Almost all of a sudden, Phra Ong Tee is almost one year old. His health is very good. He weighs 9.14 kilograms and stands 74.5-centimetres tall. Now he can sit on his own without the need for any support like the past two to three months. He has his favourite sitting posture - kneeling down like the Japanese.
"When we take him for a holiday to Hua Hin, he likes to sit on the beach and play with the sand. He also likes to throw a ball and crawl to pick it up by himself. The nurses have to be alert because he can crawl very quickly. He has been trying to stand up by himself. This is a period when he is learning to stand by himself. It is also a period of exploration for him. He likes to stick his fingers into things around him, such as electric sockets. So we need to be very careful.
"His development is very good. Now he can say the word 'Mum' very clearly. When he sees that Mummy is not showing interest in him, he will give a sad eye and call up clearly as if to warn that 'Mummy, don't forget I am here'. Whenever we are with Phra Ong Tee, we have to give him enough attention, play with him, read books for him or sing songs to him.
"He is most happy when he is around with Daddy and Mummy at the same time. When Daddy plays with him and holds him up high like an aeroplane, he likes it very much and laughs out loud.
"He is very attached to Daddy. When Daddy holds him, he will not take an interest in any other person, even Mummy. If Daddy is not around, then he knows he has Mummy. It is like Mummy is a sure thing. He will get excited, become happy and jump up every time when he goes past the Guards of Honour. He likes to listen to the trumpet of the Guards of Honour ...
"I have noted down his development in the Baby Book. I choose to record everything that is his first experience. I have tried to note down all the details, but cannot do it all 100 per cent ...
"Now I assign reading for Phra Ong Tee as the most important thing to do. Everybody knows that reading books to children from birth to six years of age will develop their brain and emotions. Telling stories will also expand their imagination. Older people say reading books to children will create a closer bond with mothers. Children will also learn and absorb words and language. It is also a good time to teach children through reading.
"Another regular activity for Phra Ong Tee since his birth is turning on music for him to listen to. Before going to bed, we turn on light music to help him relax and become peaceful. It works because he likes to listen to music. I believe that music will make him a lively boy with a joyful heart. His favourite songs are 'Im Oon' and 'Little Happiness'. Now the song 'Khue ... Sai Yai', a song for the project from the 'Sai Yai Rak Jak Mae Su Luk' (The Mother's Love to Her Child Project) composed by Khun Ti (Nittiphong Ho-Nak) and sung by Khun Bird (Thongchai McIntyre). He likes this song very much.
"When Phra Ong Tee was born, I have to admit that I was very worried about whether I could breastfeed him. I wondered whether my milk would be of good enough quality. And I was worried about quantity. When I first tried to suckle him, I could not do it right. It was very awkward. It is the same problem that all new mothers face. Everything about our children makes us worried. So I had to consult those who had maternal experience or I had to ask doctors. This was to ensure my confidence from the outset. But most important of all, I have raised Phra Ong Tee by observing his behaviour and adjusting to suit him. I don't follow the textbook 100 per cent but try to mix modern knowledge with traditional knowledge to suit him.
"Phra Ong Tee was breastfed by Mummy for seven months after which he began to get supplementary food. Doctors and nurses gave advice on the food. We take a look at the menu and might make some changes to some of the lists. It seems that he likes to eat everything. He likes to drink fresh orange juice and drink it directly from a glass. A nurse now tries to let him drink water from the glass. We want him to drink like a grownup. But when he eats, Mummy has to stay away. If he sees Mummy, he will not eat. He likes Mummy to play with him or to hold him all the time.
"This would be an obstacle to his eating . . .
"There should be an agency to promote breastfeeding one way or another. There should be a corner in buildings where mothers can pump milk from their breast and store it in bottles to feed the children when they get home from work. If possible, there should be a nursery at the office. This is considered welfare for the workers.
"The role of fathers is also important. Fathers' support and encouragement will allow mothers to breastfeed children as long as possible. I also have had support from His Royal Highness the Crown Prince for the breastfeeding of our child since the beginning. He gives importance to everything from selecting the team of doctors and nurses, supporting breast-feeding to selecting supplementary food.
"He is concerned with every aspect of Phra Ong Tee's development. He also gives love and understanding, which is very important to me. Therefore, moral support, love and understanding from Daddy are most important for Mummy."