1) My daughter, the SingAustralian
Yes! It is official. We’ve received the certificate and the passport, and so our daughter isn’t just OZ-OZ-OZ-oi-oi-oi anymore. She’s also a Singaporean and as such, should now be schooled in
- singing the other national anthem in both soprano and alto
- saying the pledge and all its 4-syllable words (“democratic”, “equality”, “prosperity”), with tiny fist across heart and with coordinated stamping of right foot during school morning assembly
- shopping and eating like there’s no other pastime or way to live
- squishing eleventeen languages and dialects into a single sentence while butchering the English language
- outsourcing domestic chores and heavy lifting to foreign talent
- demonstrating fanatic allegiance to branded school that will last through lifetime, which is related to
- losing her childhood to extra tutoring, enrichment classes, after-school remedial classes, special papers classes, mock exams, preliminary exams, streaming exams, exams to qualify for after-school tuition classes, and countless “continual assessments”, which also leads to
- complete smashing of self-esteem till age 19 when she realises that her future isn’t ruined just because she’s not academically inclined towards science or math.
Okay. That all just turned dark and twisty. And perhaps it’s too simplistic a summary of the life that is Singaporean. I love my childhood and my country of origin, its colour and variety and multiculturalism and ever-changing landscape. And don’t get me wrong – Australia can be just as materialistic, worldly and competitive in other ways. But we are determined to give her an environment that doesn’t kill the joy of learning from the moment she steps into her first school uniform. And Singapore, with its clinical worship of academia, ranking and statistics, just doesn’t know how to do that yet.
2) Walking in a winter wonderland
Arddun is officially walking more than she’s crawling, which I suppose means she’s now properly walking. She still staggers about like a drunk munchkin but, thanks to fantastic winter fashion, looks like a very cute drunk munchkin. And that makes all the difference.
3) Flying north for winter
As her first birthday looms, we find ourselves working out birthday bash plans and what better way to celebrate than with family? And so, because Brisbane is the nearer of the two and because Arddun didn’t get to meet a swag of people there from her last trip, we’re flying north for warmer climes in >2 weeks! CANNOT WAIT! And also a leetle nervous as I’ll be flying with Arddun sans her “daddoh” (that’s what she calls him) for the first leg of the trip. Am also secretly looking into those baby leashes that masquerade as cute animal knapsacks because I’d rather look like I’ve turned Arddun into my poodle than lose her in the airport. She be small, but she be wiry. And fast.