A note on that darn Zika

I read with great worry about the news of the cases of Zika found in SG, and this latest news of a mummy-to-be testing positive for the virus is like a mummy’s worst nightmare come true.

To the mummy-to-be, I can only imagine how much the news must have come as an earth shattering one. The uncertainty, and the agonising wait ahead is going to be a tough one. We are praying for you and your baby. Hopefully all the mummies-to-be will stay safe too.

In the meantime, I hope that the news people will leave the family alone. It is already very stressful for the lady and her family, please do allow them the space to sort out their thoughts and think of their next steps. Don’t try to find her, and definitely please don’t you go camp outside the hospital when it is time for her to deliver her baby. Let the family have their privacy.

My mummy friends having been sharing photos of empty shelves in Watsons’ and Guardian pharmacies..  all the insect repellents have been wiped out. That’s not surprising, considering how it was like during the 2013 Haze, where even Amazon’s stocks of N95 masks were wiped out by us.
To those who are panic-buying insect repellents, think of the pregnant women who need it more than you. It is human to want to buy all for your family. It would be humane to leave some behind on the shelves for those who need a bottle too.  Hopefully the ugly horns of kiasu-ness will not rear among us. We neee to take care of one another, and help to prevent the breeding of the damn mosquitoes.

And a note on fear-mongering…

The symptoms of Zika is very much like Dengue… and in fact any viral infection. I was a little horrified to hear a mummy friend tell us in a chatgroup  how the childcare had called to tell her that her child may have Zika, and asked her to bring the toddler to the doctor.

While we want to practice vigilance, choice of words is critical. How can a school staff be so irresponsible as to jump to the conclusion that the kid has Zika and articulate that to the parent over the phone? Oh… a mozzie bite… that makes about almost all of us then. Little Foot is still recovering from a spate of insect attack and has 5 bite scars on her legs. Should I be running with her to KKH now? Obviously not.. since she’s all fine and dandy and not showing other symptoms. That staff obviously just made the parent panic there. Unnecessarily. How about you just say the child is unwell (what symptoms other than the Mozzie bite), and ask that the child get checked, just to make sure it’s not Dengue or Zika? C’mon… most parents will be headed to the PD anyway once our child is under the weather. Why the need to anyhow “name drop” Zika for dramatic effect? Not funny ok? Let the doctors make the diagnosis.

How we deal with such situations as a nation, really shows what Singaporeans are truly made of. Hopefully we will arm ourselves with the right information, practice civility, don’t waste time fingerpointing, doomsday-prepping. Instead, and spend time helping each other out or clearing the potential mosquito breeding spots in our homes. If your friend really needs help getting the repellents, grab one for her if you see it available in shops.

Here’s more facts  on the virus from The Straits Times.

Mummies-to-be out there, take care and stay safe.


A Gold Medal of dreams and conviction 

​13 August 2016. The day that will forever be remembered as the day Singapore finally bagged the first Olympics Gold Medal. 

And what a win by Joseph Schooling… this is what everyone here hoped for. That one of our own, with true roots here would score that special first for us. This is something money can’t buy.  

My friend, A pancake princess penned a rather good piece on what the 50.39 secs that captured our attention and imagination meant. I couldn’t have said it better. 

Sporadically throughout the day, I had thought about the significance of Joseph Schooling’s win, and the fact that we as parents sometimes only pay lip service to helping our kid reach for the stars. In reality, our actions pull us in the other direction. When we choose tuition over music and art classes, when we choose to say “I’m too busy” or choose to sleep in rather than go for something that our child badly wants to pursue. Worse, when we decide to sign them up for things that WE want them to be good at because of our unfulfilled dreams. 

I questioned myself, whether we were helping Little Foot blossom into the person that God meant her to be. Maybe it is too early to tell, but surely we must continue to carry that attitude that we will give her time and space to find her footing, while at the same time dare her to dream and have a never say die attitude. 

In teens, I had at one point wanted to chase the sporting dream too, but lacked the talent to complement all the hours in  TKD training (I tried but failed at the Nationals). 

In my teens, I had wanted to continue my love for music, but I shelved that, because I told myself, people from poor families don’t have the luxury of such lofty dreams. 

In his army days, Papa Long was offered a chance to stay on and train as a shooter. He declined the offer,but yet over the years, his eyes would shine and you would see him come alive whenever he talked about going back for reservist, when he told me he got to try new equipment during reservist… and eventually, the sadness when he completed his cycle and reached Military Release status, which meant he couldn’t shoot anymore. (Nowadays, it’s mostly just nerf guns…)

The brakes were jammed by us. Yes, ourselves. Because we didn’t dare to dream, and because no one came and said “it’s not a silly dream. Do chase it!” Because we questioned if our lofty dreams meant that our parents would not finally get to lighten their load. Because we thought, perhaps we were not good enough.  

Surely we are not unique. 

There are dreamers and there are dreamers who make their dreams come true. It take a village to take that dream to the next level. I read with much respect about the faith, love and support that the Schoolings gave to their son. 

And I remind myself, let’s be that kind of parents. Our child will look to us for affirmation, so let’s send the right signals, take on the right attitude. 

I would like to believe that in my life, at least I have tried to inspire my younger siblings to go for their dreams, to let go of their own doubts like I had… to ignore the dissenting views that our parents sometimes could have whenever we so much as sound out if it was ok to take the road less travelled. Today I still try to be that kind of sister, providing an alternative view to the conservative one of my parents (nothing wrong with them really…. that’s just how most baby boomers are). And I want to continue to be that kind of guiding light for my Little Foot.  

To Joseph Schooling, thank you for being that kind of inspiration for many of us, and for generations to come. 50.39 seconds. You gripped our attention and united this little nation. 

The best is yet to be. 

Indeed, you did it like a true ACSian. 

There are many ways to play…

On Monday, just before the school’s National Day celebration started, Little Foot’s teacher asked me whether she has interaction with other children at home. I said yes and we had a chat about why this question popped up. Turned out that our Little Foot doesn’t really mix around with the other toddlers in class. Notwithstanding that she spends most of the morning part crying, whenever she has calmed down, she would stay on the sidelines and observe the others, refusing to participate.

I described her usual playtime routines with the kids in the neighbourhood to the teacher, so we both felt, that perhaps she’s still adjusting to the environment, let’s give her a little bit of time.

Still it bothered me a little inside…

That morning, she did however put up a semblance of participation in the Playgroup performance item, waving a flag and marching, albeit while insisting on being in physical contact with Papa.

Papa Long and I chatted about it in the car on the way home one evening. Should we be concerned? It’s normal right? Eventually we brushed it off and reminded ourselves that Little Foot has always been an observer, even at a very young age. AND Papa is also by nature the same way – not a social butterfly, preferring to be a wallflower.

I also mentally reminded myself about the article I read about the different forms of play that children engage in as they grow older – from solitary play to parallel play to group play. She’s not fully at the group play stage yet, preferring to swing between the three different stages, depending on her mood

(Actually don’t we all have the same kind of day too? When we just want to be left alone with our coffee and book?)  

Over the public holiday, I continued to observe how she interacted with the cousins. She’d play, walking around with Baby K, passing toys, grabbing toys…randomly approaching the older cousins, but when all the kids started jumping on the bed, racing around, Little Foot would recede to the sidelines again. I get the sense that she’s watching, observing, probably many things are probably running though her head, but she’s not in there jumping.

Brought to mind the Chinese idiom “按宾不动 ” — observe first, don’t deploy the soldiers yet until you get your strategy out.

Then this morning, I saw photos posted by our helper, Little Foot playing with older kids at the playground yesterday afternoon.


It made me so happy to see her playing with other kids. Felt like I needed to knock my own head for getting overly worried over a harmless remark by the teacher.That’s a first-time parent for you alright!

And so, on a happier note, it’s Friday!  Don’t sweat the small stuff!


What a happy day!

Today, Little Foot must have woken up on the right side of the bed. The little lady was in an exceptional mood… lots of smiles, and a lot less tantrums than on a normal day ( mind you, we are already in Terrible Two stage!)
Usually Sundays,  she would manage to make me throw away her home cooked lunch and get to snack on the adults’ meals, but today she had a wildly fun time getting pasta sauce all over her face!

Strawberry milk and cornflakes for a snack 🙂

Everything tastes better when you dip in your ten little fingers! 

And the happy mood continued to our cafe lunch session at Valley Point… she was super happy to go see the dogs waiting to be groomed at Pet Lovers’ Centre in the building. 

More happy moments at a playground in Bukit Panjang. Today we visited two playgrounds in the zone!

And finally, playing with toys at her grandparents’ place. 

Glad you had a good day today my Little Foot… may we have more such happy days ahead! 

On such days, everything feels right. It’s really a nice kind of feeling!