a lot of missing updates here on our blog, since our virtual life is mostly only on instagram these days. but hey team izadnhana is still alive and thriving! erm, i think.
let’s see, what’s happening: the girl lost her SECOND tooth just two days ago, bottom left, next to the first one that dropped 7 weeks ago, a new one grown back in its place practically full size now. (we kept asking her to open up her mouth and marvel at the speed it grew.) still none of her peers in her K1 class have lost their milk teeth yet, which is puzzling. gawd i hope she won’t be, like, the first among her classmates to get her period or something. (because i want her to stay little for a bit longer.) anyway, she was a bit emo on the day she dropped that second tooth at school, for some reason. her teacher rang me up while i was at work and told me she cried “i want my mummy!” when it happened, and when she got on the phone mumbling something incoherent to me, i told her i’d get her ice-cream later, which turned her back into a barrel of sunshine again. see, everything can be solved with ice-cream, i say.
the boy will be in P3 next year, which i’m still in denial about. P3! that’s like… halfway to PSLE, dammit. oh that four-letter acronym, how it sends shivers down my spine. he did average for his “exams” this year (i give that quotation marks because they’re not real exams, now, are they…?) and the feedback we get about him is more or less positive. he also received some “certificate for good progress” (note the quotation marks again), but you know, i’m just relieved he’s made it through another year. another year of blood, sweat and tears (on both my part and his) of spelling, homework, and yes, tuition. i’ve succumbed to the good ol’ singaporean way out of having to teach my own child, because god knows i need my sanity.
i’ll be increasing my work hours to 2/3, and our office is moving to a building somewhere right in TOWN (nooooo! i’ll actually miss Greyville!), so the start of the new year will be one of uncertainties – especially in terms of logistics. the kid’s school bus fees will be increased by 50-friggin-dollars, thanks to parents who are “concerned” about the safety of their kids in the buses and thus, the new 1-child-to-1-seat policy which led to the fee hike. seriously, parents! why spoil market?! anyway, the husband suggested teaching the kid to take the public bus home, but i’m iffy about it, because i know this kid – i don’t trust him! who knows where he’ll end up? probably woodlands one day, jurong another day. i’d fetch him myself but with my move to town, i’d likely be demoted to public transport myself (ha ha, padan muka), plus with my increased hours, my chauffering duties will sadly be cut down. the husband too may be changing work duties and timing, so we really can’t figure out how everybody’s going to get where they’re supposed to come next year, except for auni who thankfully will be in K2 and just across the road from our house.
ugh, trying to figure out logistical solutions gives me brain injury, so let’s not. (maybe i should just eat some ice-cream.) i just have to say, it’s no wonder people think twice about having more children, especially full-time working parents who have none to little family support.
on the yoga front, i’m happy to be progressing, still…
oh those pinchas (forearm balance), they be the death of my elbow skin. but all those ugly black scabs are worth it, it thrills me to get more hangtime in this now. am also still working on those damned handstands without mr paul wall – i’ll get there some day, mark my words!
this pose took me quite a while to get into and it was only in the beginning of last year when i got the hang of it.
this girl, she’s five and never been to a yoga class but after watching me countless times taking flight, she decided to ‘practise’ and whaddaya know, got into it herself. in straight arms, no less. WHAT IS THIS SORCERY.
she associates yoga with playtime with mummy (and sometimes her brother) and it’s been a lotta fun tumbling around with her.
right now every night, she’s into headstands, even the look-ma-no-hands variation….
the (reproachable) VMAs was on and the girl was watching it, zombified by the flashing lights/women on stage. tried to make the husband fast-forward miley cyrus’ performance on the basis of not corrupting the mind of our young impressionable, but was duly ignored.
so there the girl was, taking in the gyrating and the ‘twerking’ (wth?), so i planted my face in front of her to show disapproval, as all good mothers should.
“remember, this is NOT acceptable behaviour, ok?” i warned her.
“no lah, i told you, i want to be a teacher when i grow up,” she replied in all of nonchalance, her eyes not even blinking or flickering away from the screen.
i was taken by surprise, not by the fact that she wants to be a teacher (because which girl doesn’t want to be a teacher at five?), but by how she had deduced that miley cyrus and teachers in general have absolutely nothing in common, that the two are at complete opposite ends of the moral spectrum.
but there you have it, people, the perspective of a 5-year-old. to kids, you teachers are absolute saints, pillars of modesty and proper conduct.
so if any of you teachers out there have the inclination to prance around in tiny two-pieces and hump (animate and/or inanimate) objects in public, please know that you would be upsetting the balance of the world order in a child’s eyes. on behalf of all parents, i trust you won’t. :D
“we need to Lemon Pledge the table, daddy. can you please Pledge?” i’d asked the husband, in hopes of getting the ball rolling for the inevitable, inescapable, not-looking-forward-to-it Raya spring cleaning by polishing the dining table.
the girl looked up at me earnestly and flung her right fist to her left chest.
suddenly she had a list of names written on a piece of paper and we got called into the room for a check-up. “patient, please take a seat!” she ordered. “waiter, wait at the waiting room!” she bossed. despite her dodgy qualifications and prescriptions (or because of it), the doctor was generous with issuing MC. “do not go to work tomorrow,” she types on her laptop. yes, doctor.
it wasn’t intentional but her fifth birthday too was rainbow-filled…
well, ok, this was technically the weekend before her birthday, and we happened to be in damansara, KL (again!), on a mission to conquer Publika, where a certain Wondermilk cafe holds residence.
we could not resist the perfect opportunity to buy one of their famous colourful Lola cakes, the sight of which in itself is so delightfully vibrant and joyful, it could make unicorns cry happy, sparkly tears.
the actual day of her birthday, i travelled many kilometres, to the other side of the island, to fulfil her wish. yes, she wanted not one pony, but many ponies, and ponies she got – on her cake.
you know that cliche where the little rich girl asks her doting daddy for a pony for her birthday?
well, she hasn’t asked us for a real pony, of course – just some plastic ones, with bright colourful bodies and manes, some with wings and unicorn horns, and little tattoos on their flanks called ‘cutie marks’.
yes, she’s mad about these long-haired ponies. to think i used to play with the older versions when i was a kid back in the 80s. but you know, the animated series now have so much more… sophisticated and complex themes and characters, and i was surprised she’d picked up crazy-sounding things like ‘elements of harmony’ and ‘fight discord’ just from watching the shows. man, i sure did NOT have such vocabulary when i was four…
anyway, i found these simple books going at 3 for $10 recently and thought they were just the right reading level for her – and sure enough, she picked them up and rattled right off, with just a little bit of help.
i am possibly one of the most unadventurous shoe-buyers in the history of womankind. my decisions are usually based on:
1) price – nothing above $50. the most i ever paid for a pair was $99, which promptly peeled at the pointy tips after a few wears, which made me regret the breach in my price policy.
2) practicality – i think hard whether i’ll wear them often, are comfortable to walk in, and whether they’ll match most or at least a few outfits in my wardrobe. so you won’t find me getting crazy sky-high stilletos or fancy boots on a whim or “just because”. besides, who has space for them? (i don’t.)
gawd, the number of cheap, thoughtful black shoes i’ve purchased in my life.
i tend to treat my shoes a little too roughly; i’d carelessly step on puddles and mushy grass, clumsily snub on pavements and metal grille, fling them off and toss them into the shoe cabinet when i’m done. scuffs and scratches and scraped soles galore, without me meaning to subject them to such suffering.
(man, i hope psychologists out there won’t read too much into that.)
i may have mentioned before that the girl has her own opinions about what she wears. and shoes, omg – she’s ALWAYS the last to step out of the house, especially when we’re in a mighty hurry. (because those ARE after all always the best times to have a meltdown, right?!) usually, the dramatic face-off (or rather, feet-off) would involve:
1) insisting on wearing her pink/purple shoes, which do not match any parts of her clothes. and you should know by now that non-colour-coordination in my world is considered a sin.
2) refusing to wear what i suggest without making a fuss over how: a) tight/loose they are (she seems to be perpetually in between sizes, i’m beginning to suspect she has freak feet), b) itchy they made her feet, c) she doesn’t like them.
many a times, we’ve had to threaten to leave her home. seriously, who has time for primadonna dramas? (i don’t.)
there are these little girl heels at Payless that she eyes every time we go in there (in the hopes of finding shoes that fit her – feet and sensibility). they’re so… Suri Cruise. but the smallest size they come in is still to big for her (freak) feet so i told her she’ll just have to wait till she grows a bit more. (which then unleashes the primadonna drama, in the aisles of Payless. i’m sure Suri does the same to poor ol’ mommy Katie.)
i told her she can choose all the shoes she likes and wear all the high heels she wants when she’s grown up. see if i care when she mismatches them then.
i happened to flip to Project Runway yesterday while channel surfing with the kid. the impossibly skinny yet perfectly-curvy-assed models managed to make even the most half-assed outfits look haute good as they strutted their stuff.
one of them wore this ridiculous bikini top thingy with some mismatched printed skirt, showing off her silky smooth, flawlessly flat bare belly, much to everybody’s envy.
this is why i don’t watch tv much.
yet i was too enthralled to change the channel, not just by the swaying (bony) hips on screen, but also the whole drama of who’s in and who’s out (damn, they do know how to hook you right in, don’t they? like a supremely unhealthy can of Pringles, you can’t stop once you pop).
bare-belly appeared again, for appraisal.
i gave a big sigh.
“see lah, how to get my tummy to look like that? so thin, so smooth… because of you all, now become like this,” i said, glancing down dejectedly at my perpetually bloated, wrinkled state. a lumpy, sagging pouch which has resigned to permanent residence on my body.
the girl heaved her entire weight on top of me in an effort to flatten my tummy. seeing as that didn’t work, she proceeded to poke poke poke my belly, then pummel it repeatedly like a hammer with her tiny fist.
eventually giving up, she kissed my tummy in all its jiggly glory and declared, “IT’S OKAAAY…. nevermind! people know, you’re a mummy. it’s okaaaay…” she assured.
“but i cannot wear bikini…” i moaned dramatically.
“but you cannot wear bikini anyway, so malu,” she replied. “i can because i’m still small.”
as i tried to dispute her, she repeated, “IT’S OKAAAYY… people knowww… nevermindddd… i like your tummy.” then she practically french-kissed my knotty navel.
and this is what i’m giving up a model’s body for, just so you know.
was dishing out two kinds of mee soto noodles – yellow and white – and asked the girl which one she wanted. she always chooses the yellow one, but me being me, i always try to ‘sell’ her alternatives.
me: “try the white one too. it’s very delicious.”
her: “no. ok lah ok lah, just a small serving.”
(i dish out a scoop of white noodles, amused at her use of the word ‘serving’. what is this, a restaurant?!)
her: “then i can chum-pao.” *stirs her noodles gleefully*
she talks a lot, sometimes a mile a minute, so some things she says whiz by without me giving much thought to them. and from the strange sound of it, i thought that last word was perhaps a chinese word she learnt in school, complete with chinese accent, picked up from her chinese teacher or friends. something… food-related. like kung pao. or da bao.
so a few seconds pass.
then it hit me.
me: “wait, what did you say?”
her: “chum-pao… chum-pao..”
me: *looks at her action* “not chum-pao lah… CAMPUR! CAMPUR! ‘mixing’! macam mana ni melayu??”
her: “oh, chum-po.” *complete with chinese accent*
found the girl at the sofa making her Barbie dolls prance around while animating imagined dialogues between them.
“i want you to play with me,” she demanded upon my arrival.
so i picked up one skimpily-clothed doll and turned on my inner Barbie. “hiiiii, i’m Barbieee…”
“noo, her name is Tecna.”
“… Techna? *blinks* what kind of a name is Tecna??”
“her name is Tecna because her special power is Technology.” (this, explained to me matter-of-factly, while i exploded in mirth at the fact that she said ‘Technology’ in the most ‘macam-paham’ of manner.)
“her super power is Technology?!! *splutters*”
“yes. and she has a friend, her name is Musa (pronounced very pronouncedly as ‘Miu-za’).”
“yes. her special power is Music.” (well, but of course.)
she then proceeded to educate me, in feverish seriousness, about the wondrous world of Winx – these candy-coloured, rainbow-sparkled teen-ish fairies, all of whom apparently, at some points in time, have romantic entanglements with boys and relationship ups and downs, in between err, saving worlds. i think.
i don’t know if this early exposure to and fascination with BGR perpetuates a girl’s predisposition to precocity and sensitivity to social dynamics, but she does show particular understanding of and interest in concepts like ‘boyfriend-girlfriend’ and ‘breaking up’ (again, thanks, taylor swift). well, even more than her brother does, for sure.
sure, they both generally go “eeww!” and vehemently deny when we suggest they like somebody of the opposite sex, and would cover their eyes should there be a potential ‘kissing’ scene on the screen (even in cartoons). but the difference is, the girl will cringe even more AND blush and go all shy at the same time, whereas the boy is less reactive, like ‘whatevs, gross’. i can’t tell you how stereotypical they are as far as gender differences go.
so back to my lesson on Winx. from the bits of her excitable chatter i gathered something about the fairies coming together to live in the ocean (at which point i sought clarification on whether the mermaids minded this transgression into their territory, to which i was informed that the mermaids were in fact the ocean’s “gatekeepers” – say whuut…); some “evil” guy called Tritannus (i do not want to know what his special power is); something called Dragon Fire (i don’t suppose that has to do with bad breath); another fairy called Stella who likes “fashion” and wants to be a “fashion designer” (i wonder if her last name is McCartney)… and the prattle went on and on. i tried a few times to interject with questions but got her frustrated at my sheer ignorance, which was very funny and made me laugh even more, which in turn made her even madder haha ha! i should call her Angstyna.
anyway, speaking of things that make the kids go “eeww” yet still delight them, here’s one of their favourite picture books, Spells by Emily Gravett. why do they like it? because there’s an illustration of a man’s bare bum in it.
i swear from the moment they first opened up this page till now after repeated reading (and flipping – this book is brilliant, btw; it plays on the concept of magic ‘spells’ and ‘spelling’, and actually teaches them to blend letters to form funny words as a romantically-inclined frog blunders his way through various incantations), this princely pale derriere never fails to (butt)crack them up. i don’t know what it is about behinds but they make children go crazy, it’s practically perverted. in fact, if ever i were to write a children’s book and ensure it becomes wildly successful, all i need to do is insert a drawing of a man’s bottom in it somewhere, just for shit and giggles (literally).
it was a spur of a moment suggestion – whether she wanted to have her ears pierced and wear earrings, like a big girl. she nodded in assent, and i knew there was at least one jewellery shop at the shopping centre where we could pop in to do it on the spot, so in between assurances that it won’t hurt much and even mommy had her ears pierced, she chose a pair of pink (surprise surprise) studs and proceeded to sit on the stool, slightly clueless of the coming ordeal.
her brother gave her support, as you can see. excited to see some gun-shooting action, no doubt.
after the initial shock of the first piercing, she teared up and covered her other, unsullied ear. it took a promise of a rainbow ice-cream cone before she steeled herself for the other ear.
i had mine done when i was in the middle of my primary school years – that late. my dad wouldn’t let me! but i was so keen and ready by then – it was my choice and decision, just as i wanted for the girl – so one day my mum brought me, along with my grandma, to some kedai emas and that was that.
i’ve had, erm, some other piercings done since; it kinda fed on my masochistic tendencies i guess. they were just.. thrilling, for me.
but of course, i ‘grew up’ and now am left with just one unclosed, ‘workable’ pair on the lobes and that’s enough for me.
and that’s the only one the girl will ever need to know on mommy.