Explaining sadness… And the concept of death

Read “Inside Out” at bedtime to Little Foot and the questions of why sadness as an emotion is necessary and why it is okay to feel sad at appropriate times came up.

I gave her the example of this…

“If a mummy has just lost her baby, and the baby goes to heaven (this is how I simplified death for her to grasp at her age), should you be sad or happy?”

We talked about how odd it would be to be laughing out loud in such situations. And how it is okay to cry when one feels sad.

And then Little Foot asked me to tell her more about the mummy and the baby that went to heaven.

And so it was that I shared with her a little-told story of how my mother lost her toddler (My elder brother) to meningitis.

These are difficult things that as a family we seldom talk about, as I related the story to her, she wanted to know details – how does he look like? What is a virus? Do you have it?

And then the final explanation of why it was extremely heart-breaking to lose a loved one – never being able to hug again, never seeing the face in person again, till we meet again in heaven.

Little Foot is 4.5 years old, but I can tell the idea of the finality of death sank in by her expression.

There are stories that we hold in our memories that sometimes becomes useful teaching material at the most unexpected moments.

And in revisiting this little spoken of memory of our family, I am made to also try to imagine the anguish my mother went through back when it happened. It made me hug my child a little tighter.

And so it was that both Little Foot and I shared a learning moment in somewhat different ways.

Death is a difficult topic to discuss and yet when asked, I felt like we shouldn’t shy away from using it to develop the emotions of our young ones and helping them to manage certain feelings inside.

Let’s hope the next learning lesson will be something a bit less heavy on my heart.

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!