Monthly Archives: August 2015

What he says when he learns

1. I noticed that he picked “Skateboard” for the exercise. When probed why, Z replied matter-of-factly, “I already have bicycle, rollerblades and scooter. That’s why I choose skateboard.”  
It was totally logical and so in my face that I was blindsided. 

2. When it was time to wrap up his work, I said, “You can wash your hands and watch some cartoon.”

“Okay, I am going to shut down.”

Shut down???? 😂😂😂😂

He picked it up from me evidently because I always said that I was going to shutdown my MacBook when I was done with my work. 

Weekend party

There was a weekend when Mr H was busy with work and I took care of the boys 70% of the time. 30% was the time that Mr H carved out to ensure he still spent time with the boys. How lucky these kids were!

At the party    
    
    
We were at Fidgets and it was a pleasant day to be there. It was not crowded, the food was great and company was great. X also had a ball of a time literally at the ball pit and mastering the tall slides, with Z’s aid. I did think X took a very long time to warm up in a foreign environment. In Z’s time, he was running around on his own and did not need to be coddled by an older boy. The presence of an older sibling really changed the growing up years and shaped the character.

After overplaying at Fidgets, I had 2 cranky and hungry kids on hand. They chose either pasta or chicken rice. I had thought of buying from Da Paolo. Imagine my disappointment to find that they had closed.

I bought roast pork belly from Keith’s Crackling Roast and was a tad disappointed that it was not as good as before.

What was more disappointing was this bowl of salty pasta from the only pasta seller at Pasar Bella as of the point we visited. Many shops had closed and I could imagine why. The environment was stale, smoky and smelly.

The super salty Bacon and Mushroom pasta at $13.90

  

I had bought this for the boys to share. It wasn’t till later that the boys complained it was too salty to eat. I gave feedback to the stall. Immediately, the chef threw the pasta back to the pan. When I asked what was happening, the staff said the chef (she) was making it less salty. When I probed further, the irate chef turned around and asked me, “Do you want to do it yourself?”

Erm. What should I make of the service and response?

It did not get less saltier. I asked Z to bring it back and I followed up after placating X. I was alone with 2 young kids after all. I was informed that the chef had started on a fresh batch. I mean, we could have changed for another pasta or pizza. Evidently, you could look at the amount of pasta left and figured out that the dish was hardly touched.

In any case, she started on a new batch. She asked me to taste if it was salty (which it was but not as super salty), I gave up. When asked to try her own cooking, the chef replied, “I have a high threshold for salt.” 

Seriously. So we dumped this in the bin. We totally gave up. I also checked that other people had given this stall similar feedback that the food was very salty and the boss/chef had a bad attitude.  

We would never be eating at Pasarbella for sure. The dip in quality, the terrible environment and experiencing such an encounter left a literal bad taste. Next time, I would walk the extra meters to go to the other wing of Turf City. They served way better food, even Fidgets had better pasta. Wished I ate at Fidgets instead. 

Of course I didn’t let this mar our weekend but 

5 the Moment ice cream shop 

  
My colleagues and I shared 2 sets of this. It was $10.80 for 3 flavours as opposed to $4.80 for 1 scoop.

We tried Strawberry, Mango, Hazelnut, Ferraro, Oreo and Salted Caramel. They tasted really awesome. It was a surprising find along Tanjong Pagar road, being nearer to the Maxwell end and smacked amongst the bridal studios.

From the outside, it looked so dim that it did not even seemed open. The decor was interesting but a tad oddly put together. The dim, white lighting was not inviting. I thought they should have invested in warm lighting or spotlights which might draw more attention to the cafe. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure if their main business was ice cream.

While the ice cream tasted great (I would put it up there with Ice cream chef and Creamier), there was no water, air con or friendly service. 

I guessed I might consider doing a takeaway instead.

Mummy, rainbow!

One evening, the kids were playing when they turned around and shouted excitedly, “Rainbow!! Rainbow!!”

Their infectious joy and excitement sweetened the day. The not-so-little X basked in the excitement. While he was slow to gesture, he was adamant about shouting till he got my attention. The older boys had moved on to other toys but X was still enjoying the moment.

The sparkle in his eyes, the wide smile and the earnest expectation of my attention, I felt flattered. I felt like the most important person in his life. I was his most important person. That was the magical moment of parenthood.

The magical rainbow

Their adventure night  

The simple spellbinding top

It struck me that the simplicity and beauty of innocence was one that they had to shed to grow up. I would miss this, just as how the rainbow, pretty and pure, would only exist for that moment. The fun of the growing up years could only be immortalised in memory and photos.

Clothes and packing

If clothes could tell stories, what would you remember?

Z & X, donned in the same Bali-printed tourist T-shirt.

The same one which X would go, “Baleeeee…. I want wear Baleeee.” We bought this in Ubud market. It rained and there was a blackout. We made do with what we could buy in the semi-darkness. The boys always loved Bali for the relaxed idleness, the sun and the sights.

As I packed away the clothes which the boys had outgrown of, I felt pangs of sadness. It would not make sense to keep them because these clothes would yellow over time. Yet, when I looked at them, they were stories on their own.

There was a T-shirt when Z wore on his 3rd birthday, the pair of shoes he wore when he first joined preschool, the romper he wore for his full month party. There was also that soft Pumpkin Patch romper which I liked to put over X when I was on maternity leave. It was his going-out romper where he traversed Bishan, Orchard, Toa Payoh, Yishun and even the nearby neighbourhood where I did my grocery shopping. Every clothing article was a piece of memory.

How I wish I could keep everything.

Crying moment

One morning, Z made me angry and I sent him off to school in a harsh manner. I scolded and smacked him too. It was not the best moment and so, I made him cry.

On one hand, Mr H told me to be less harsh. He was never in favour of packing an upset child to school.

On the other hand, he whatsapped me this photo and added this note “He still cries like this today.”

This was Z at 2.75 years’ old in Hongkong.  
Receiving the picture reminded me of how young Z still was too, and probably how I should have been less harsh. 

The little push

I had found out and verified that Z was a child who required a hard push, as opposed to attempts to inspire him. 

A few days ago, I told him that I felt that his swimming was subpar and that he was unlikely to be even considered for trying out for competition at the rate he was going.

He surprised Mr H and I by swimming 3 laps of proper breaststrokes. We were impressed. It was not because he had swam fast but because he had completed 3 laps.

You could not have imagined the number of whines we used to receive just to get him to complete 0.5 lap. Completing 1 lap would have been a tall order, let alone 3 laps.

He would usually throw his arms and legs about like a doggie style halfway through 0.5 lap. Hence, seeing him swim proper breaststrokes for 3 laps was very surprising. 

At the end of it, we asked how he felt about completing 3 laps on his own. Z said, “I am very happy!”

Well, hard earned results made a difference.

I sure hoped he could keep this up. This part of parenting business was tougher than sleep training a baby.