Reflections on Two… a year of grow grow grow

Little Foot turned Three in what feels like a blink of an eye…As with each year, I take time to reminisce this motherhood journey, and find time to write my Little Foot a little note.

No one was kidding when they said the days are long but the years are short. It never fails to amaze me that it wasn’t so long ago that I had a little bundle in my arms, so tiny we were afraid we would break a bone of hers if we were not careful… and now? She’s more than half my height, and twice the personality I am. Everything has moved so fast, but I am thankful and grateful each day that she is growing well.

What a year it has been…

From Hello Kitty to Elsa

Remember how she loves Hello Kitty soooo much? Well, she’s kinda outgrown Hello Kitty, but still “alright” with the Sanrio character which I also love. And now she has moved on to being a big fan of Elsa, so we made her wish come true and got her the full works for her birthday party.

Just play….

It was also a year of play and play, as we cut back on enrichment classes and allowed her (and ourselves) time to roam free.

We went out to meet Mr Sun..

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We had picnics…

We took selfies…

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We sang, we danced,

We giggled and we laughed…

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We had so many “birthdays” because she loved it so much…

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And we went out to see the world…

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And through it all, Little Foot learned and we learned too.

It’s been a year of great self-exploration and adventures, I daresay.

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It’s was also a year where I was more absent… And also a year where we found it trickier to deal with her tantrums and antics.

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Through it all, we learned and she learned too. We grew stronger and closer.

Dear Little Foot, this year, we all had to adjust a lot to Mummy’s new work routine, which would take me away from you a lot more, and see me more distracted when I am around. I can sense how much you miss me these days, and I feel your anguish at my sporadic absence. And I thank you for your neverending, overflowing love for me.

As we approach THREE, things may not be easier, but hopefully you will be able to better understand and be more patient with me, as I try to be with you. Let’s continue to grow together!

Thanks for a year that was filled with so many Little Foot memories that I thank God over and over again for you. As always, Mummy and Daddy hope that your days be filled with happiness, and may you grow up well and healthy. Know that through good times and bad, you will always be my baby and I only have the deepest love for you.

Happy Birthday, my dearest girl… let’s celebrate all through December!

Love as always,

Mummy

Don’t be Me, my Little Foot

Been rather swamped at work recently, hence the blog seemed to have collected some cob webs.

(Actually, who isn’t? In this climate where even journalists get laid off, you better be busy or be gone!)

Little Foot has resumed much of her carefree ways during her time outside of preschool, and it brings a smile to my face when I sit here recollecting her cute voice singing the full “Doe A Deer” song accurately while swinging high on a swing.

She was mesmerised by the song when I first sang it to her when she came back from school doing the Solfege Do-Re-Mi hand signs. And I think she practised over a couple of days during her naptimes to perfect it.

I do wonder how long I could actually keep stresses away from her. Especially when mummies around me are talking about alphabet and numbers recognition and writing.

We had dropped all enrichment classes for nearly half a year. A break for all of us. We were all just a little burntout.

And so we played.

Besides her ambition of being a princess (must be Elsa), she’d also fallen in love with Peppa Pig and had watched the episodes on YouTube so many times, she could complete the sentences sometimes as the clips play.

There are moments like yesterday, when I paused at work late at night wondering if Little Foot’s development would have been more spectacular, and perhaps she was “wasting time” because I am hardly around and when I am, I indulge her as all guilty mamas do.

And then I pause.

She is not yet three. And I don’t want her to be me. I want her to be like Papa, never harassed, always self-assured, steady and fearless.

Why I am me…

Before 3, I was starting to write, reciting Tang poems (according to my mother, but which I have no recollection of). At 5, I had completed alot of basic chinese character words (remember writing a page full of the word “草”) , wrote and counted well in English, even basic additions and subtractions, and did some spectacular feat of drawing an apple and colouring it at the same time with with a colours pencil in each hand (I do not recall this either).

My mother loves to reminisces such things. I was that brillant child she tried to hot house. I wanted to play, she wanted results. She loved me, but she saw potential and she wanted me to shine.

And at 8 years old, I burnt out.

To end up with a month-long stay in the hospital with gastric ulcers.

Finally someone said it – she is stressed.

Whatever she did or whatever I was born with however saw me through schooling life rather easily, but I never wanted to do more anymore… a perpetual tiredness follows me, together with the gastric pangs and occasional panic attacks.

And so, I dont want Little Foot to be like me. Hopefully our slack attitude will not be a reason for her to blame us in future, but for now, I try to think we are ok.

Because I love you so very, very much.

A Letter to my Little Foot – Sometimes, it is okay to challenge rules

Dear Little Foot,

Today is Children’s Day, and coincidentally, today you turn 34 months old.

As we inch closer towards your Terrific Three, which I am sure will be more amazing and full of mountains and molehills that we can conquer together, I wanted to write you a letter about our experience today, and a lesson that your 36-year-old mother learnt on this day.

Today, Daddy and I brought you to the Mindchamps “I’m Proud of You” Day. Almost everyone in your class attended as well.

What we were told when we paid for tickets (nearly $80) to this Family Festival to celebrate you and your little friends was this – that this was a day for us to share fun challenges, activities, and events that bonds the family… and it will immerse you and your little friends, in Confidence, Gratitude, Compassion, Seeing the Beauty in Others and Embracing Setbacks as Setups. These are values that I feel strongly for.

What I did NOT know, as most of the other parents did (because Mummy has been so engrossed in work that I sometimes do not pay attention), was that the Daddies and Mummies were told that attendance was compulsory.

We went today because Mummy felt that an event to celebrate you and celebrate family, and an event filled with promises of fun challenges, pony rides and bouncy castles sounds like a treat for Children’s Day. Yes we went on our own accord.

However, it turned out to be an event that made us wait and wait.

  • Little kids like yourself, and some even younger than you sat through a long wait for the event to start, a long spiel on why we are doing “I’m proud of you” from the founder of Mindchamps, while Mummy had to disappoint you for countless times telling you that you have to wait and not go on the bouncy castles which were in set up all over the hall. I saw many mummies and daddies telling your little friends the same thing too. I suppose this taught us Patience and Delayed Gratification.
  • Once the boring part was over, we were greeted with long queues for all the activities. Don’t get Mummy wrong. It is okay to wait, as we did at Disneyland, and many places we have visited since you were barely half a year old. In fact, it is only right that take our place in a queue properly. That is courtesy. However, Mummy and Daddy couldn’t help but wonder why there was only one Pony when there were hundreds of little ones like you attending the event. And there were only two bouncy castles for younger ones like you.

It also turned out to be a series of disappointments for us…

  • When we queued for the pony ride (there seemed to be only one pony for riding), and were told to come back later. And when we did come back, the queue had ended. We had talked about the pony rides for days, and it was a shame that Mummy and Daddy were so lost in the chaos that we did not go back in time. I couldn’t help but wonder why there was only one pony.
  • When we were turned away at the door of the pottery workshop although Mummy had bothered to do the pre-registration some days earlier and told to return at 1pm which is the universal naptime for all little kids in this preschool programme. So we never got to see how a pottery session looked like, nor got to feel how the clay for pottery making felt to our fingers.

And in the end, was it for you or for us? We wonder…

With the numerous sponsored booths – the filled up one side of the hall, conducting activities from the golfing station to bubble performance, to pottery classes, to mini tennis and skate scooting, even the Pororo booth right in the middle of the hall, and the AIA station dangling walk-the-dog balloons, we got confused.

And we wondered if this was really an event to celebrate you, or an event for them to get exposure to this captive audience, because we had paid for tickets, we were not going to leave.

A silver lining of sorts however was our insistence that we should not have the day wasted, and so we did go around trying to enjoy whatever that was available, and so you did have little pockets of enjoyment, such as the pleasure of putting coins into a vending machine for your favourite Green Tea, successfully putting two golf balls, and trying out some new age block toys, where you spent quite some time at.


What I want to say is this…

  • I want to tell you never to make this mistake of thinking that little children could stretch their patience and attention span like rubber bands. God did not make little children this way, nature can only be trained to a certain extent.
  • I want to also tell you that in whatever you set out to do in future, if it was anything that took up others people’s time, effort (whether or not it costs money), learn to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. The people who planned this had not thought much about how disappointing it was for you and your little friends to queue very, very long and only get less than 10 minutes on the bouncy castle, to have waited in anticipation for weeks to try a pony ride, only to have walked away with nothing except a coupon to visit the stables another day, they had also not thought about the mummies and daddies who had to deal with the fidgets, which is not your fault because you are very young, and to deal with the disappointed faces and meltdowns – which we have to do anyway every day because we are daddies and mummies, but any extra episode, especially at an outing meant to make you happy makes us upset in more ways than one. And in the face of this, Mummy and Daddy still felt we had to set good examples to you, and so we did not lose our tempers, take it out on any of the people manning the queues, or try to shove others out of our way as some did to us just to get a little ahead of the queues.

More importantly, I wanted to tell you this – sometimes, it is alright to say “No” to rules.

You may think it is shocking that as your mother, I say this, but I say it as it is.

In life, there will be people who set rules, and there will be some people who follow rules, and some people who do not.

Of the people who do not, we have to sort them into two groups – those who break rules for the sake of being anti-establishment (without reason), and those who break rules because the rules did not make sense, and they feel strongly that they should have the rule changed rather than blindly comply.

I say this because today is the first instance that you have encountered (although you would not remember) of a situation where we were told it is “compulsory” and therefore we have to go, whether we like it or not. And then on hindsight felt that there are compelling reasons to challenge this rule.

And so I say it is okay to be in the latter group.

There will be rules in place that may not make sense for one reason or another. Sometimes they are rules that have become obsolete over time. We see that with our laws. That is why we regularly see amendment bills passed in Parliament. The rules must befit the times.

Sometimes there are rules that are put in place by people who may have other underlying motivations for putting that rule in place. They may have a hidden agenda. And so it is for us to uncover the truth, and challenge the rule. Fix things.

Sometimes there are rules put in place by people who do not know any better, or based on superstitions. Ancient history has many of such lessons. Rules such as having people buried together with the Emperor who passed away is one such rule. If you lived in that era and did not fight that rule. You may be one of those buried. Would you not challenge the rule if your life is on the line?

So, even as we have felt disappointed today, I wanted to walk away with a strong message to you when you are older and understand what I am saying.

Yes, some rules are meant to be challenged and if need be, break them.

In this instance, if the “rule” applies again next year, you know I will ask questions and not readily accept it as a rule to comply with.

I have lived my 36 years of life with conviction, believing in work that will make this place we call home a better place. In helping to lay good foundations for a better future for you.

Your Daddy and I work very hard each day to do work of value, and work that befits our conscience. Sometimes we feel our contributions may be so little, we do not know if there is indeed any impact to the future that you will see. Yet we keep at it. And we never give up. It is fortunate that while we hold on to our conviction, we make enough to pay for things that we feel matter to you and us, such as your education and our holidays. Not everyone who work for their beliefs can be so lucky. Some sacrifice their freedom and their lives for conviction.

As your parents, we want to raise you this way – have a strong moral compass, have compassion, have faith, and enjoy what you do. And when you see something that is not quite right, never fear to stand up and say so. Moral courage is a value that is underrated in today’s society, but still a value that one must desire.

And so I hope I leave with you this legacy for years to come. That if the rules are wrong, dare to stand up, speak up, and if need be, break it. As Nelson Mandela once said, “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears”.

Love Deeply as Always,

Mummy Joyc

A conversation on over-indulgence

We had an interesting conversation in the lift today, after a trip to Kiddy Palace, and it went like this…

Papa Long’s Spiel in the lift:

那些小玩具真的很贵… 一只是一个穷人的两 盘菜饭

[Translation: know those small toys are really damn expensive? One toy can be a 2 meals for a poor person.]

My reply:

Yah, a bit ex(pensive) lah…

*give act blur face*

He continued:

等你真的穷的那时候,肚子饿, 你拿那个toy 来看, then you say to it ” Ohhhh, let me eat your head first for lunch now, later I eat another part for dinner…”

[Translation: wait till you poor and hungry, you will look at the toy and say to it ” Oh, let me eat your head first for lunch, later I eat another part for dinner…”]

Me: 😑😑😑😑

*******

He was talking about the little tikam tikam toys we have been collecting since we first found them in Woolsworth supermarket during our Perth trip.

And since we came back, I have added probably another 10 more or so to Little Foot’s collection which she keeps in her Hello Kitty backpack.

I have to admit, he is right. At S$4.90 for a blind buy Disney Princess and S$5.90 for a blind buy My Little Pony, they really don’t come cheap.

The elevator speech made me muse about how different we are and how appropriate it was for a spendthrift, never-wanna-grow-up me to have married a person like him. Otherwise, as he also often like to say, “If I also spent like you, we will be living under a bridge already!”

And you should have seen how he says these things with a straight face… totally cracked me up and made me remember how he once made a similar spiel about “those expensive bags”.

I must say, for an engineer who talks very little, he really could make people sit up when he does make such in-your-face speeches.

Now, to learn to remind myself not to always just buy whatever Little Foot wants, because he also pointed out how I caved in and ended up buying her 2 big toys and many of the small blind buy toys when she was supposed to buy only 1 toy for herself and 1 toy for a birthday party we are attending tomorrow.

Oops.

Really an over-indulgent mama!

Teachers’ Day Cards & Tags in the making

It’s our second year getting ready for Teachers’ Day in school and still as much a scramble as last year!

By chance, tonight was going back to basics with Brushables markers & watercolour pencils…

Little Foot (32 months old) had done stamping in the evening on normal drawing block paper after picking out her preferred stamps. And she had also tried her tiny hands at using the Brushables markers.

I believe in helping her do these “thank you” gestures rather than simply do a scrapbook mama session and hand nicely handcrafted cards out to her teachers. I mean, to be fair they are her teachers, not mine! Hence I try to get her to be involved in the making process. And she had fun (that is, until the part she wanted to take wet wipes and wipe the drawing block to clean off what she had stamped, and we had to whisk her away).

To make the Teachers’ Day cards meaningful, I didn’t redo the stamping, but simply inked in what she had started.

Also, at this late hour everything else thst wasn’t taken out was in the bedroom where Aunty Lily was sleeping. As a result, it was back to the basic colouring tools I used 7-8 years ago when I first discovered the joys I found from these wooden stamps from Penny Black.

I loved how everything turned out. On hindsight, thankfully I had let her use my Versafine pigment inkpad instead of those washable ones for kids. Otherwise, nothing would have stayed once the ink from the Brushables went in.

All done for now, and to continue tomorrow evening. Just two more days to the celebrations! *gasp!!!* Somehow, I will have to turn these into nice cards (for the main teachers who have been teaching and caring for her) and gift tags for the gifts we will be giving to all the teachers and assistants at the school.

Frankly, I am zonked out but happy to touch my scrapbooking materials again. Especially as it has been really draining at work these days. The inking really is cathartic. Heals the soul.

Alright…time to turn off the lights. Will share the end results when I am done. Stay tuned!

*UPDATE*

Visit A Little Footprint Facebook page to see photos of our finished products. Happy Teachers’ Day!

Do one thing every morning

Begin the day by making your bed. You’ll feel better. (And if you’re male, shave) And the rest of the day, never give in to the sharks.

One weekend, I saw this text from the boss in a work chatgroup, and I didn’t dwell much on it, except secretly say “oops!” because I hardly ever make my bed.

AND yet another crazy week went by.

This week, I had several appointments for work, with so many early mornings I had to take Grab cars almost every morning just to make it in time. And so I mused again about this line “Begin the day by making your bed” because, actually, while I do not make the bed every morning, thanks to Little Foot, I begin every day by having one good task done – I change Little Foot’s diaper.

Just some months ago, she had taken to insisting that only Mummy can change her diapers, so whether I was supposed to sleep in for some days or whether I was rushing off for work, so would be rejecting everyone and cry “Mummy change!” while still half asleep.

And so this week, everyday I made myself get up earlier than I needed so I could get ready, and before I left for work, woke her up, changed her diapers, got her ready for school, as if it was any other day, waved her off before I grabbed my bag and took the next lift down to set off for work (otherwise she will be demanding that I send her to school in Papa’s car).

I must say I am mighty pleased with myself for having been able to still do the morning diaper session despite the tight schedule. It keeps me sane, knowing that I have done that one task every morning, so I don’t feel like I have not accomplished anything as a mother.

Next term, Little Foot’s school will start their toilet-training, so this arrangement won’t be forever. Oh Little Foot is growing up too fast! So I am enjoying the responsibility as much as I can for now.

When the time comes where there are no longer any diapers to change, I will have to find another task that I can do every morning.

And so, this week didn’t go so badly after all. Glad to have conquered it.

And in case you are wondering, I still don’t make my beds *shhh!*

I had a quiet lunch but it felt so empty

Today I had a quiet lunch before I set off for work in the afternoon.

Having the chance to sleep in later, to walk around the market at leisure, to sit down and quietly enjoy my hipster cafe lunch.

It felt like I had my old life back. And it felt strangely empty.

A mama walked into the cafe with her toddler in a Tula, and sat 2 tables away from me. I watched their interaction and it made me smile and feel an ache deep inside my heart.

A glimpse of my life not too ago.

I missed my Little Foot sorely (she went to her childcare preschool as usual). Her demands, her constant “why?”, even her tantrums which disrupts my meals a lot.

I really missed her presence at this meal.

And tonight, she will reach home to find biscuits and the papaya I just bought for her. And no mummy. And she will wait in vain until her eyelids are too heavy. Only Papa will be around.

For the umpteenth time, I wondered what I had gotten myself into, this job that takes me away from her more and more.

And I have no answer… really.

Sigh

Closer to Mother Nature

11 to 13 Aug 2017

Post-National Day (and my birthday), I wanted to make the most of our time together this long weekend. I feel a sense of urgency because this baby is growing so fast. And also because of the dreadful feeling knowing that next week, work duty calls again.

So, for three days in a row, we went close to nature. I am hardly a nature lover, because mozzies just love me too much, but since I had decided on a whim to sign myself up for a school field trip with her, I bit the bullet and just went.

Of course I made sure I overpacked my Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back with every cream and ointment we would need plus other toddler essentials.

Loading up my Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back for the trip

(This mama really one kiasu mama!)

The field trip to Gardenasia was rather fun. Little Foot had been anticipating the visit to the “plants farm!” since I started mentally preparing her for it a few days ahead.

And so here we are, accomplished plant potters!

❤Little Foot’s first plant! ❤

To many parents, a day out alone with the Little One is nothing. For me, it is still a leap of faith… taking baby steps to overcome my anxieties and irrational fears. I am hardly out alone with her since that near-fainting on the MRT episode when she was 8 months young.

As I consciously worked towards overcoming my anxieties, every little achievement seems like I’ve conquered a mountain.

And so it was that I successfully did this field trip with Little Foot without Papa Long in tow. Celebrate with me!

Then on Saturday, by chance, a trip to Little Foot’s BFF’s place brought us to Seng Kang Riverside Park. A little piece of mangrove and a floating platform…. the two toddlers had fun holding hands and walking around, and then chasing some bubbles.

After her flirt with nature, we had a situation in McDonald’s… sighhh… someone tell me why she always misbehaves when she is with me and Aunty Lily… but that shall be another story for another day.

At night before bedtime, Little Foot talked about feeding fishes. So it was that she went to bed holding that thought. I went to bed wondering if I shouldn’t have threatened to put her in the dustbin for her atrocious behaviour.

On Sunday we woke up and I tried to get us all ready to go somewhere as painlessly as possible. There were of course the usual procrastinations when it came to taking a bath and brushing teeth.

And then we asked ourselves, “Where shall we go?”

Papa Long suggested the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden before we went to feed the fishes at another part of Botanical Gardens.

Our first visit to the place, which would have rivalled all the nature walks we did in Perth, if not for our tropical weather which also meant the place is a home for all kinds od insects including mosquitoes!

Little Foot was distracted by her packet of Jagabee which she has been demanding to rip open while in the car. So Papa made it a game — every house you reached is a checkpoint, and you get one chip when you get there. And so began the exploration of the little garden.

Some of the areas were undergoing construction/upgrading, but there was definitely enough for a kid to be entertained.

1st checkpoint!

Conquering her dislike for sand for awhile because she likes going down the slides more!

Let’s cross some bridges

And find some fishes

And look for some herbs too!

Finally we fed the fishes and had lunch at Food For Thought (incidentally, it was their last day of operation)

And so as the sun starts to set on this week, I do think a little bit more of nature will be good for Little Foot. Even if my legs are now peppered with mozzie bites.

A piece of memory from the past

Because of a conversation among some mummy friends of mine, about our younger days, a long forgotten memory surfaced. The first person who held my hand, albeit for awhile.

Everyone celebrates their present, but try to ignore their past… perhaps that is basic human coping mechanism. I don’t know.

Or we think we respect our current partner, so we try to pretend no one came before him/her.

Remembering doesn’t mean a piece of me is still in love. Remembering simply is remembering, because we are also made up partly of our life encounters. And because we can’t delete memories like how we delete files from our computers.

So here goes…. a recollection based on faded memories.

February 1997.

Not yet 16 years old, this was my final year in Chung Cheng High School.

Our school band was putting up an evening performance by the lake. This is the band I lived and breathed for… finally a decent size after a couple of rough years when the combined band was forced to split up. Alumnis were coming back for a gala event and we were one of the performances for the night. All I had on my mind was the performance. One of my last before we bowed out and focused on our O Levels preparations.

I saw a bunch of seniors from the band turn up too….and didn’t give too much notice. I remembered most of them from my Sec One days. The days when the band was a combined band between the two Chung Cheng High Schools. They wouldn’t remember me I figured.

And then the lamest screw up happened. Halfway across the school with the performance about to start and we forgot our coins. The darn coins we needed to tap on the music stands as part of a piece of music.

Desperate. So I went and borrowed coins from one of them. And it was there I spoke to him again. Nervous, not because I was talking to anyone I fancied. Just nervous because this was someone 4 years older. When you are 16,  a senior that much older can feel like 老祖宗! And he lent me the coins we needed. Didn’t think much about it, not even the good natured bantering during the conversation because too stressed.

It should have been the end, after that evening.

And then I got a phone call. I think. (back then we had pagers. And friends called your house phones. I wasnt even sure I got my mobile that early in ’97). Or was it that I called him to return the money? Also possible.

And so the phone conversations started.

How I spoke with ease with him, I can’t quite fathom. What we spoke about, I can’t quite recall. Me trying to be a decent percussionist on top of a trumpeter… him and some of the seniors and friends from the Branch school still playing music, having his band….family, his NS, my studies… I don’t know.

Meeting again.

To the world, it was an army boy walking alongside a girl in a school uniform. 

I asked him why he was serving as a clerk. And then I had the answer.

“Listen….” and with the side of my head leaned against him, I heard it for the first time in my life.

In my mind I thought, “How can it sound like an ocean?” The sound of waves, instead of rhythmic beats.

Hole in the heart.

Born with it. His doctor said his condition was probably more scary. He could do anything… run, swim, play basketball without issues, but the heart may give up without warning, unlike those who turned blue when exhausted.

I liked walking with him…. the big smile, the matter of factly way he treats things that came his way. It was always confortable.

As days went by, I felt an affinity for this person.

One who was once distant and who was simply “the Sec 5 senior” who was so good at his percussion and drumming  and just a little cheeky/playful in his mannerisms. And who liked another senior. 

And so it was that I would call him the first one, by accident. 

It didn’t last very long. We were always nice and respectful…. but the conversations ran dry…. and finally we both came to realise that deep down, 
I couldn’t replace of the ex. And he apologised. 

I don’t remember doing anything drastic like crying or being angry.  Which is rather unlike me. I guess without ever having dated anyone, one did not know what to expect, or what should a “typical” reaction br. 

We parted amicably. And I engrossed myself in my music and schoolwork, refusing to let the loss creep up on me. Eventually, when the reality finally hit me, it got to a point I felt I needed a bigger distraction. And so it was I forced myself to sort of move on. Date someone else. 

But for years 3 things kept their place in the depths of my drawer – a photo, a pair of earrings and that 20 cent coin I never returned him. Until sometime in university, I cleaned out my wardrobe and gave the earrings away and put the coin into a piggybank to be lost amongst other coins. And the photo too, was gone. 

Between 1997 and the time I did the final spring cleaning, I continued to wonder occasionally if he was well and fine. An ache that finally was eroded over time to nothing, until it was all forgotten. 

A relationship at a time where there was so little technology to connect us. 

No mobile phone , only pagers. When the best one could do was put a 10cent coin into a public phone and press “1771554” when in camp and let the numbers appear on the pager to convey so much in a string of numbers. It sounded cheesy, but it was enough then. 

At a time when there was no Friendster, Multiply, Facebook or Google+ to continue to stalk your ex after he had walked out on you…. goodbye meant goodbye for real. More so when we had almost no mutual friends.

You couldn’t call the house phone…. and paging became too intrusive… so you bottled up any random mad feelings and just simply stared at the photo, fiddled with the coin, then closed the drawer and continued with life. 

I finished my Os at the top of my class (the last class)…. and eventually here I am. With my own family.  

But the sound of waves, I never forgot. Because it made me realise from that day on, that one has to live each day to the fullest. 

**********

人, 往往一直向前冲。。。日子一天,一天的过, 直到一天, 发现已过了20 年。

而岁月会不知何时, 替我们埋没一些宝贵的少年记忆。

或许老了…  突然今天偶然想起了你。

不是应为念念不忘, 或还对你有任何感情, 而是应为一种不知怎么形容的眷恋, 也是一些好奇。

你, 好吗?

你, 的心还在撑着吗?

你, 是否还是没有放弃你的音乐, 你的鼓?

到最后, 你, 有实现年少时的梦想吗?

我很好奇。也回想起, 从16岁起多年仍一直偶尔为你担心的我… 直到我忘了担心你。

是在什么时候, 渐渐放开了对你的操心与思念?

过了20 年了。我, 忘记了许多, 却还记得你的心的声音。

今天想起了你, 勾起了很多蒙蒙的回忆。

你, 现在长得怎么样了?

也会有丝毫担心。。。你, 还在吗?

听见 Beyond 的 《海阔天空》 时, 我还是会不知不觉的想到你。 

不管怎样, 仍是跟当时一样, 希望你, 健康快乐。

************

Every encounter, every relationship has shaped me … some broke me more than others, one particularly bad one led me to discover God when I almost wanted to give up on life  

Looking back, I am thankful that the first love was a nice memory consisting more of a respectful friendship than some turmultous 要死要活 kind of thing. 

And so he lives in my faded somewhat wonky memory, but no longer in my heart. Time has a way of setting things in order, and I hope one day, my child will believe me when I say it does. It really does. Strip away any romanticism and really only what is normal human feelings towards any old friend is what is left. 

May you be well, as always. 

The Little Person has the largest luggage

Packing for a trip (and creating a spectacular mess of the house in the process) got me
musing to myself  – “it used to be a 1 hour affair the night before, this packing thing”.

So amid the exciting of a imminent trip, here’s the crazy packing process.

Packing for a kid is like packing your house for war. You plan for ALL CONTINGENCIES.

 

Diapers:

I start off packing maybe 10 diapers, then you go “what if there’s not enough?” then the entire pack of diapers goes in. Ok, add a giant pack of wet wipes.

Medical Survival Box:

I know I have to bring Paracetamol for fever… then ok, how about Zyrtec for flu… then what about neurofen in case fever persists… what about rashes, cuts etc. So I end up with 1 big bag of meds, plus a medipouch filled with essential oils.

Clothes:

it’s gonna be freezing and rainy. Ok, boots, lots of long sleeves, some short sleeves to layer on, hats, socks, leg warmers, more socks… raincoat, puffy coat. Actually this still doesn’t take up much compared to Papa’s winter clothes.

Entertainment:

Scared she’s bored on the plane. So we pre-loaded the tablet with videos. Gotta bring Barney (all three of them), and Elsa and Anna. Oh dear… what about lego bricks? Birthday Cake toys? Ahhhh… ok we will leave the Legos behind. we can buy those there. Maybe I will lose the Papa and Mama Barneys. Still undecided about the birthday cake toy.

Sustenance: 

Ok this is always the crazy tricky thing. You bring milk bottles, you need something to wash and sterilize them. The box and brush takes up a lot of space.

For food, I packed the food scissors, food jar (useful for packing leftovers for a later meal), bibs, fork and spoon. Also stuffed in 2 packs of UHT and 6 feeds of milk powder to survive till we get there. We intend to buy a can of milk when we reach.

Toiletries & grooming: 
Oh yes, almost forgot this. Gotta bring her Silly Shampoo, her Aquafresh kids toothpaste and pink toothbrush. Have to pack her hairbrush, washcloths and a bath towel. And creams.

Diaper bag for the flight: 

Diapers, spare clothes, milk and bottles, blanket and pillow. and then pray hard she knocks out on the plane. Oh yes, and our Kinderpack Carrier.

Somehow we managed to squeeze our things into 1 big 1 small luggage and 2 handcarry ones.

P.S. Little Foot is very specific in the things she uses, and she is a creature of habit. As much as possible, we have to keep to the same things she is used to. Like the pink toothbrush, and her Dog print milk bottles, otherwise, woe betide us!

Ok, ready or not, we have to go!

Pray for a safe flight tonight!

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Our carry on-luggage, mostly all Little Foot’s essentials and toys!