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.

The Wakersaur – A play & imagine kind of book 

I really have to share about this lovely evening I spent with Little Foot, we did many fun things, a rare chance these days ever since she’s started school.

One of the memorable part was reading this book – The Wakersaur.

I pulled this book out from the bottom of a huge stack of baby and toddlers books.

Half expecting her to ignore me, I sat down and read to her anyway.

As I started to read, I got more animated. When I got  to this part “first he’ll tickle the soles of your feet, then the back of your neck…” I tickled Little Foot.

We rolled around giggling!

Then I got to this part when the Wakersaur was expected to rawrrr cos he was angry…no he went “Clock-a-doodle-doo!”

Little Foot loved it! She was chuckling whenever I made the “Clock-a-doodle-doo!”

We finished the book without a hitch. No means feat for a toddler who prefers to order me to play YouTube videos for her nowadays.

Now, at 21 months old, she’s starting to appreciate drama, starting to understand when I describe things and starting to love pretend-play types of activities.

This book fitted the bill completely.

For me, I loved how this book tried to break stereotypes. I guess the Wakersaur is supposed to be some kind of dinosaur, and some young kids are mightily afraid of dinosaurs (okay, The Good Dinosaur not counted). The Wakersaur was the juxtaposition of scary.

I also like how it actually uses the things we as parents would do to wake our kids up.

2 thumbs up for this book. I think it’d be great for parents who struggle with getting their kids out of bed in time for school each morning… maybe a “Clock-a-doodle-doo!” might work after you read this book to them.

Only thing I wish was it came in cardboard version. I am always worried about the books being torn!

Our friend is hungry after reading….we actually went for a stroll and ice cream after the reading session!

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A little bit of how I came to be in possession of this book…

Some months ago, an old classmate of mine sent it to us. He wrote the book.

I told him I’d go buy it in the shops, but he was so kind as to mail me one.

I can’t tell you how proud I am whenever I see my friends publish. After all, we all did write too much back in University!

So anyway, back then, I thought this book was too advanced for Little Foot. It required you to imagine… to guess… to speculate who or what a Wakersaur is. So I shelved it together with our enormous book collection.

Yet at the back of my mind, something kept nagging me to give it a try. Glad I did this evening. Else I would have missed that bonding session when we rolled around the playmat in our living room giggling and squealing in delight. And so I take back my premature judgement that this book was too advanced for her, and again remind myself that with kids, the sky can be the limits sometimes.

Thanks for the gift, Shervin.

Do look out for this book in stores. I heard it’s not easy to hunt down, but trust me, when you do, it’s gonna be quite fun (and a riot!) to read it out loud to your little one.