"My maid slapped my baby across his face!": A Singapore mum's story
"She kept quiet through it all, staring at the floor. Then finally, she nodded her head. She said yes, because she really cannot tahan him and that's why she slapped him."
When a maid has been in the family since or before baby's birth, we tend to trust her even more with our precious baby -- it's natural to do this.
Hui Zhen* is a Singaporean mummy whose 28-year-old Indonesian maid Ida had been with her since her little baby boy was just two months old, so of course she trusted her like family. Never did she think in her wildest dreams that her maid would be the one to physically hurt her little boy badly.
Here's Hui's story:
My maid is normally very patient with my two-year-old son -- she was to finish her two year contract in July this year and has been with us from the time my baby was just two months old.
Ida did the housework, but her most important task was to take care of my baby boy very well. Ever since he was born, I've observed that she was very patient with him... until yesterday (24 May).
I normally leave my baby along with Ida at my mum's place when I go to work.
When I was at work, my mum called me and said my baby's left cheek was so red and that there were scratches on it. Earlier, she said she heard my boy crying loudly during his bath time with the maid. When my mum when to the bathroom to see what was happening, Ida said he didn't want to shower.
It was after the shower was finished that my mum saw a bright red patch on my little boy's left cheek, along with scratches. This was when she called me and told me about the marks, and asked me if he had fallen down and hurt himself the previous day.
I said no, that nothing had happened to him yesterday. I told my husband about this immediately and he went straight to my mum's place and questioned Ida. She said when my boy came back from school his face was already red. But when I asked the teacher, she said there were no red patches on his face in the morning.
My hubby continued to question Ida to get the truth from her. He told her that we were going to make a police report anyway, but if she told him the truth, then we would just send her back home.
She kept quiet through it all, staring at the floor. Then finally, she nodded her head. She said yes, because she really cannot tahan him and that's why she slapped him.
We took my baby boy to a doctor for examination and also intend to make a police report, but will wait and see how the agent handles the situation before we do report to the police.
I am so sad and guilty for my baby boy. He must have been so confused and in pain when this happened and I wasn't there to comfort him.
And you know what's worse? Even after she admitted that she slapped him, my baby still hugged her and called out her name. She cried then.
We treated Ida so well. Why did she do this to an innocent child? I am so disappointed and angry and sad for my baby boy.
Hui's message to other mummies:
Never slack on your maid, especially if she helps take care of your child. Check your child's body often for marks, bruises and other injuries.
Once, there was a bruise on my baby's body but I never thought of asking Ida at that time because I thought he must have knocked himself somewhere. But now I wonder, did she hit him back then too?
*theAsianparent obtained permission from Hui to share her story and also use her son's pictures. If you would like to get more information about Ida, you may email Hui at [email protected]
Hui Zen's story serves as a timely reminder to all of us with maids. Do remind them regularly about how they should care for your babies and tell them what to do if they feel they are getting frustrated or angry.
And if you are in the process of hiring a helper, interview her carefully, asking her questions about how she would potentially handle a crying or tantrumming child.
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