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Finding The Happy

Looking for joy in all the right places

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Baby walking

Atticus the Toddler

I know it’s never quite fair to compare your children, so I’m aware of my parenting phail when I say that Atticus is turning out a little different from Arddun. It seems like such a duh thing to be surprised by — seeing how they are two unique individuals and all — but Tony and I get caught out now and then when Atticus dares to go off the trajectory his older sister took.

Like climbing up on tables before he can walk. Arddun didn’t climb on coffee tables. She didn’t stand in the middle of one and clap her hands after the fact in glee either.

Continue reading “Atticus the Toddler”

Carting about

The New and Improved mega supermarket at our local town centre has finally introduced kiddy-sized shopping trolleys. Guess who had a whirl…

TTT – On becoming Singaporean

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.

(Un)steady as she goes

I’ve been asked quite a few times to put up a video of Arddun walking. Easier said than done, because putting up a video would imply having a video of her walking in the first place. Which is like trying to catch a cloud and pin it down. Or keeping a wave upon the sand.

As Tony can testify, she’s very good at walking behind your back. Quite literally.

Blink and you miss it.

But then today, she decided that she needed the practice. And so she walked from the kitchen bench to the fridge. And from the guest bedroom door to the kitchen bench. And from the playpen to the fridge. And from the kitchen cabinet to the dishwasher. And from the toilet to the laundry, pause, and then to the bathroom.

And it took me about 4 hours to realise that all this walking around would be perfect for whipping out my camera and taking a video. Because that’s the other reason we haven’t had a video of her walking in the first place. I’m a bit duh, and I don’t always remember to put two and two together.

And so here’s a short.

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