Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cairo Says: Skip the Greens and Gimme Aircon Instead!

(Previously posted by "Cairo" on 15th May, 2006 on Multiply)

Dear people, today Cairo shall write about my very first encounter with the great outdoor. Strangely, any grass or trees or flower which I have seen so far (on the way to shopping centres or Grandma Foon’s house) have been discounted from that category! Mommy said its cos they are ‘man-made’, that they grew from seeds / turfs / saplings transplanted from the nursery.

Personally, I think we should not look down on them just because their Mommy is not Mother Nature but some landscape contractor with the lowest bid. I mean, even the so called legitimate offsprings, the big wild trees, are so often transplanted or trimmed in the park planning and construction phase. These well manicured parks are practically rampant with surgically enhanced specimens (a nip here, a tuck there), with an alien (to the original habitat) smuggled in and sandwiched between two or three locals, duh!

I say we cherish and appreciate what we have! People, whip out your camera today and say cheese standing right next to that nondescript bush downstairs! Have picnics next to your neighbour’s potted aloe vera plant. Inhale deeply the fragrance from that pot of pandan leaves planted by the Malay family, whose house you always walk pass but never took the time to stop by and say hello.

Anyway, back to my encounter with the great nature. My first trip to Sembawang Park last Friday.

The trip itself was rather uneventful. We had breakfast at Mc Donald’s, stuck on a Mozzie Patch each, put on the sunglasses, then adjourned to the park. Due to the fact that we are a family of late wakers, we only managed to reach the park at noon, way past the recommended hour of 10am for babies to be exposed to rays of the sun! Their solution? Let’s just say that many park goers that day saw a weird couple pushing a baby’s pram slowly while they were in the shades, followed by a sudden burst of speed to run to the next shady spot hahaha! No sunscreen lotion for moi, thank you. My delicate skin could not take it!

The short and crowded strip of sand was such a lame excuse for a beach that I was spared the ordeal of having to walk on the dirty sand, under blazing hot sun. Phew!

I had my lunch milk in a hut by the beach, watching skimpily cladded couples play pool while my parents sip cold drinks. Sounds good yah? In truth, the hut was so far in, instead of a beach view it has a sea view of an old liner ferrying containers, the skimpily clad folks were skinny children completely killing the old pool table, and my folks were drinking $1.20 a glass Sprite. There, go imagine what the hut looked like with drinks priced at that range, hehehe.

After that, we dutifully walked round the park, took some more shots of some big old trees to prove that I have indeed been to a park (no, I went to Mars, duh!), and then hopped into a cab to a mall nearby, hahaha. Let’s face it, with my sensitive skin, I thrive in man-made, air-conditioned environment. Gimme a potted orchid plant anytime but schedule the nature outings far and apart, thank you very much!

Ah, something else need mentioning too. I am proud to announce that my Mommy managed to delete all the photos we spent 2 hours taking under said hot and merciless sun. She was on the verge of tears and getting a bit hysterical. Don’t interrupt me, that’s not the proud part I was talking about :p (getting there)

Mommy: Why, why, why must I have such trigger happy fingers?…. Why must you all distract me while I am editing my photos *eyes shooting daggers aimed at all but herself*.

Grandma and Daddy both rolled their eyes and sighed with relieve neither one was vaguely responsible for this catastrophe cos they were miles away from the Study Room computer then hehehe.

Mommy: By the time another holiday comes Cairo would be HUGE already… even if I bring her back and snap at all the same spots, it’s just not the same anymore….sob sob… its all your fault Daddy, you SHOULD have reminded me to save em on the hard disk first BEFORE editing…. You SHOULD have known that I am not in a fit condition to handle such precious data after such a tiring day…. (the tirade when on and on and on…..)

Blame others for that also can ah?

Anyway, voila, (here comes the proud part); she managed to recover some of them with the help of a few ‘undelete’ software she found on the internet! That is, AFTER an hour or so of scolding herself (she ran out of excuses to pin the blame on anyone) and kicking Daddy’s legs and butt (exercise helps to release endorphins which in turn makes one happy). Daddy, on top of being a human punch bag, also managed a few nice but totally unconstructive nor consoling phrases. I guess he was hoping Mommy could vent her frustration through the mini physical abuse session ….which Cairo do not endorse and shall never pick up. Bad Mommy! Bad Mommy! Now Cairo loves Daddy more!

Cairo Says: Cairo is 6 Months Old!

(Previously posted by "Cairo" on 13th of May, 2006 on Multiply)

Dear folks, I am officially 6 months old on 11th of May 2006. While it is a tad too early for me to publish a memoir (tomorrow however, is no longer too early, hehe. Are you guys from those big publishing houses reading this? :p), I would like to summarize the highlights of my journey so far.

Before that, allow me to brag a little about my coming of age party. Any more bragging than what I'm about to do would be considered distasteful and 6 months old IS an age :p. Mommy bought me six beautiful little baby cakes and sang ‘Happy Halfway-Til-Your-1st Birthday’ to me. Daddy rushed home to take photos with me and Grandmas didn’t have to cook anything special for that day cos Aunt Caster bought duck. Yep, we had duck, one big aloe vera n lime cake (to celebrate Mother’s Day) and 6 small cakes for dinner hehehe! The party was so impromptu that I didn’t even have time to pick an outfit or do my hair. Surely not dolling up the star is a sin, hm-ph! Anyway, me being my usual forgiving self, shall pardon them one more time.

Back to my milestones. I've learnt to roll over so fast now I gave Mommy a fright a week ago when I nearly rolled off her King size bed (which she tried to build into a fortress by using many bolsters, reinforced with pillows) while she left me for 4 seconds to wash her hands (supposedly soaked with the combo of my milk spit and saliva.... pah! Excuses!). Hello people, what did you think my meaty thighs were for if not to kick away bolsters? Art deco? Duh!

And a week before that I was sitting with my back against her tummy. I tipped over, did a semi somersault and landed at the edge of that very same bed again. *Shake head* Grandma nagged at her for more than an hour on both occasions, serves her right

Sad to say, I sort of lost my freedom after that little episode. I am watched like a convict now! Especially more so cos lately I have taken a liking to playing in my little Cairo Island and sitting unsupported, biting all the island's inhabitants (3 butterflies and 3 ladybugs) to death. The tire-like ring around it is the island’s boundary demarcation, not a support for my spine, ok? Sour grapes! They are super vigilant and hawk-eyed (the Grandmas, not the insects)! God forbids should I lose my balance and hit my head on the alphabet mat BELOW the ex-cushioned floor of my island (Daddy punctured the ‘Island’s’ base while pumping in more air so now it’s thin and not cushy anymore, sad sad).

I am also sort of crawling now. I have this trick which I absolutely must perform for everybody! I would lie on my tummy and raise both my hands and hold for as long as possible, ta-dah! At first Mommy and Daddy and the Grandmas would clap hands and proclaim me Clever Girl, every time. A few weeks into that, they have lost some of that zeal. I even heard Mommy whispering to Daddy not to encourage me anymore in-case I 'waste' all my time trying to impress and don't learn to crawl properly instead! Come on, I do know how to crawl. Just because I go backwards does not mean I am not moving from point A to B! Luckily I still have the support of my TRUE fans, my 3 Grandmas

Diet wise, my calories consists of 60% milk (some formula, some Mommy's), 20% cereal and 20% porridge with carrot and meat soup now. I do snack on bread sticks when they THINK I drool excessively & canned baby food (when Grandma’s not free to cook porridge or when Mommy came home after a frenzy baby food shopping spree and she can’t fit everything into the fridge, the latter being the more frequent and usual cause). Canned food, I love pumpkin and sweet corn, but hate fruits juices and carrots! I don’t understand why won’t they try feeding me those same stuff but handmade. The canned ones are absolutely sour and tasteless, yuck!

I don't have any teeth yet so my food has to be cooked with a crock pot and mashed and sieved. Grandmas don’t believe in blender, much to Mommy’s dismay. She is so looking forward to the day when she can just pour everything (including green vegetables) into the blender and make green, gooey and as one blogger Mommy puts it, Goblin Food for her photo collection! Awesome, you rock Mommy! I love you. Now let’s eat those stuff together! Everyday, every meal!

Did I mention that I can exterminate a whole colony of ants with my drool alone? Hehehe… My favourite pastime now is to salivate all over Daddy and Mommy’s bed. That activity however, is only fun when carried out AFTER they have done their weekly bed sheets changing. I love the smell of freshly pressed, clean bed sheets, hehehe. Dunno why they get so upset when I tried adding my own scents by drooling into it…..

To wrap it up, I think my progress to date is not too disappointing. It’s sad that my parents gotta work long hours and sleep like bears in hibernation when they get the chance. But I am grateful that I have many people who dote on me and spend so much time taking care of me, helping me to learn or to just have fun. Thank you. From the bottom of my little heart.

Cairo hopes it was as good for you as it was for me

Cairo Says: Dont Forget To Wear Protection

(Previously posted by "Cairo" on 7th May, 2006 on Multiply)

Dear folks, today I would like to share with you all the the importance of EYE protection. It all started with Mommy, of course, as always.

She got me a cool pair of sunglasses last Saturday while we were out celebrating Daddy's Mommy's Day (Happy Grandma's Day, Mar Mar! ) with the Foons. Its fastened by a band round my head which makes it possible for babies likes me to wear them without the danger of the usual spectacles legs poking into our eyes.

You know how singers like to throw their sunglasses into the crowd during concerts? Or how Tom Cruise threw his away at the top of the mountain at the beginning of Mission Impossible 2? (Hei, so I was still an egg then, big deal. I watched it with Mommy, OK?! Now get off my case already!) Well I tried to re-enact that but alas, the band gave my sunnies such a snug fit that I turned my attention to pinching Daddy instead. Trust me, it's way less challenging.

But I do so love it when they put it on for me cos everybody in the streets, on the train and in the malls are just so thrilled to see a baby in sunnies! Cuteness being a prerequisite for the wearer is of course, needless to say.

My admirers come in many categories: They rude ones would just point and exclaim ('Look, baby wearing sunglasses! Ah Kong / Ah Ma / dear dear come n see, quick!) Hello, I'm an exhibitionist, not an exhibit!

Then we have the very 'Ang Moh Pai' ones (that means like the westerners) who would come over for proper, up close admiration . To the handsome fella in the suit and tie (on a Sunday afternoon?!) who kept smiling at me in the train, I'll marry you in 21 years' time. You just wait, ok? Meanwhile, go strike yourself a lottery or two!

And last but not least the typical Kiasu parents who just wanna grab my gorgeous sunnies for their brats :p Forget it! (By the way Mommy, I like that mini skirt on that ang moh baby in Robinsons, go ask her mommy where they got it from!)

We also have sales people asking if its real. Erm, Mommy interpreted that question as 'Is it for show only?' and proceeded to list the importance of proper eye protection while frolicking in the sun. I hate to make my Mommy lose face so I kept quiet and did not point out that I'm the only one in our entourage wearing sunnies hehehe....
Daddy wanted to get me the pink rimmed ones but Mommy vetoed against it. Pink ones are not as easy to match, classy or transferable wor (transfer to whom???).

Actually, I do have a sneaking suspicion that they bought me the sunnies more as a deliberate act to boost my cool factor (it needs boosting meh? ) than for its ray-banning qualities. Now that I have a snow cap and sunglasses, its ok to not have hair hahaha. Next Mommy might just enrol me for a rap or hip hop music class, aiks! Yo, yo, yo dude! Cairo's in da house!

But honestly speaking, the brochure did mention these:

Baby Banz ~ Baby SunglassesBaby Banz sunglasses have a fully adjustable neoprene band that allows the product to grow as your child grows. Fully tested by an independent optometry laboratory to AS1067-2003, Baby Banz can gives you confidence that your child eyes are being fully protected from harsh UV rays.
The baby sunglasses come in 2 sizes:~Baby Banz ~ 0-2 years~Kidz Banz ~ 2-5 yrs
Baby Banz & Kidz Banz ~ 100% protection for your childs eyes.

Moral of the story? End of the day, what's good for me must look good on me too, hahaha!

Or is it the other way round......?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Cairo Says: Babies Have "Wants" Too, You Know?!

(Previously posted by "Cairo" on 2nd May, 2006 on Multiply)

Last weekend delivered another small yet eye opening lesson to all the adults in our household.

It started like this. As usual, I woke up very early on Saturday. Slightly before 11am. Should I be ashamed to admit I sleep til way past noon on weekdays? I don't think so. You'd all be doing the same, given half the chance. Anyway, this early baby rooster is ready to catch some fat worms! Oh, what wonderful games or adventure would this long weekend bring, I wondered.

Well, as usual, Grandma Foon (which I always call Mar Mar in Cantonese but alas, in writing its just plain confusing for my dear readers), dropped by (that's why I woke up early hehehe!) and played with me to my little heart's content! One observation: my 3 grandmas are way more energetic compared to Daddy and Mommy. My brilliant conclusion: We are all born useless and only come into our power / energy / force when we are OLD!

Sunday came and went rather uneventfully but I can understand, Daddy having to work and Mommy busy with a new hobby and all (editing my photos, why else do you think I'm so forgiving?), so I persevered. At least I had my 2 Grandmas to practise twirling around my little fingers with.

Then Monday (Labour Day) Or should I say the 'straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back' day came. It was way past noon and everybody was still in rags! Come on! These people obviously needed a nudge. So during my lunch time, I spat out my Heinz's 'carrot-parsnip-dragonmeat-dunnowatelse for all i care' puree and refused my beloved cereal and milk. And still they had no clue! Then I started to wail at the top of my lungs. Added some screams for good measure too. And I refused to nap! Strike! Strike! Strike!

Ah-ha! The grandmas sensed something a miss. Surely these tantrums, so far removed from my usual charming, obedient self, served as a big enough hint?

And then, like music to my ears, I heard Mommy saying '..no more HL milk, meat, detergent, oil, (not yet, wait, wait...the list went on for 15 minutes, at least)....quickly dress Cairo up...'
Dress Cairo up. Three magical words. You see, I only get to wear my cute little outfits when we go out!!! Usually, my grandmas would dress me in boy shorts and perforated tees. I hate those, they make me look like a boy. One with absolutely no sense of fashion while we're at it, but we shall save that topic for another day. That's cos they deem my pretty dresses frivolous, not practical and too hot for our weather that is, the spaghetti strapped ones are not practical and the jackets too hot lor :p

Anyway, after the usual whirlwind of packing activities (Grandma: Cairo's jacket and 2 thousand bibs packed already? or Mommy: Cairo's diapers need so many meh? Daddy (20 minutes INTO all that flurry of caos): We're bringing Cairo along ah? and so on...) we reached the main door. I literally DIVED into my stroller / pram. Everybody stopped and stared at me. And they started to hoot with laughter while shaking their heads. Finally it dawned on them that I had been asking to go out! They're a slow bunch but not entirely beyond salvation.

As for me, finally, a breathe of fresh air! Scent of flowers (the lallang's) blooming. Smells of freshly cut grass (somebody must have complained to the town council again). The main rubbish bulkbin being emptied into the rubbish truck. Hehehe....Oh well, I've never been brought up to look through rose-tinted lenses. I know about the smellies and the uglies. And the truck's main purpose is to bring them to rubbish heaven so that we have room to create more rubbish! Makes perfect sense!

Anyway, back to me. Before you pin the label of spoilt brat on me, walk a mile in my shoes (don't worry, they're new, I can't walk yet hehe). I stay in my cot and playpen 6 days a week. All I ask for is a few hours out of the house, where I can see the big fluffy clouds overhead, hear the birdies singing and grab a toy or two hundred. Is that too much to ask for? The neighbour's dog has got more freedom than I do! At least it gets to go out for daily walks and poo on the streets. I have to poo in my own bed. You try that!

And, by the way, if you are the tiniest bit curious as to our destination (not the FINAL one, the Monday outing one, you doink!).... GIANT SUPERMARKET! In SEMBAWANG! A stone's throw away from where we live! Definately worth waiting a whole week for if you ask me! For the uninitiated, this is where I put on my sarcastic smile and roll my eyes. Duh!

Oh well, us babies sure got it tough, man!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Cairo Says: I'm Addicted

(Previously posted by "Cairo" on 28th April, 2006 on Multiply)

Dear all, I am proud to announce that I am Daddy’s little girl in every single way .

The proof? Me being labeled as 2nd Generation TV Addict by Mommy, who voiced with much conviction her doubts that this disease is ever curable. Miraculously, all lamentation stopped the minute my Ah Mi Por Por pointed out that Mommy is a partially reformed TV addict herself!

Anyway, let's go back to me. 5 1/2 months old and I have picked up a neat trick even my Daddy, the Original Addict himself could not do (well, I have never seen him do it, so one must make certain assumptions, yes?) I ….am ….able…..to detect the tiniest little sound coming from the TV within an 8 metre range and instantaniously lock my eyes to the screen. Ta-da!!!

Not so special you may argue. True. But try maintaining eye contact while a Mommy is trying her best to block the view with cushions, magazines and what nots. Doesn’t help that my Grandmas would also try turning me around with all their might, squirm as I may, so that my back’ll face the TV instead. I said try cos they rarely succeed hehehe. I would do the Bollywood (head goes left, and right, and left ....) or tilt my head way back (forming a mini arch) so that once again, me and my wonderful friend the screen would be reunited again!

I love my Daddy best cos when I’m with him, we’d both be stretched out on the long sofa (me on top of his stomach) and remote control in hand, Daddy and I rule all over TV Land, yeah!

At one point, Mommy got so upset with my inclination towards this ‘terrible, future wrecking habit’ (her opinion, not mind), that she up and bought a whole handful (her hand, mine are too small) of EDUCATIONAL VCDs! Slowly but steadily they came, one after another, until they conquered one whole section of our TV shelf!

Mommy quoted from some book (once again to no one in particular, everyone busy watching TV, remember?) that watching TV shows would cause babies to grow up to be hyperactive kids! Video programmes however, are controlled medium and with a proper selection, would even be beneficial in the long run!

From then on, I have her permission and blessing to sit in my little chair, watching TV for 20 to 45 minutes, twice everyday. Not that I am complaining really. I love the one where they feature cool educational toys (which Mommy deem too expensive to buy otherwise). Colourful objects coupled with upbeat classical music, I like.

Mommy came back from a Seminar organized by the good folks at Pediaoptix 2 Saturdays ago and gleefully announced that so long as I remain 2 metres away and don't watch TV continuously, my eyes would be fine. I marvel at my Mommy’s ability to go through brainwashing selectively ie hearing lots but only retaining what she wants to hear, hahaha! Apparently, the docs said “no TV would be best but if you absolutely must……”

I guess it’s a happy ending for this little episode after all; Mommy’s conscience is no longer pricking her now that Cairo is putting the ‘ex idiot box’ to good use, Grandmas get to pick up an extra English word or two everyday and Cairo has a license to view!

The casualty of this revolution is obviously Daddy, the true blue TV Addict. Daddy, you’re still my hero, don’t give up! We can still creep up in the middle of the night and watch B-grade, low budget flicks where the actors’ monster costumes look so fake it makes us laugh! Yay!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Cairo Says: Being Threatened

(Previously posted by "Cairo" on 24th April, 2006 on Multiply)

Five and a half months into this strange new world (compared to Mommy's womb, where everything made sense) and I have gotten my first REAL THREAT! From none other than Mommy too!!! It started like this, during one of my feeds....

Mommy: Ouch! Pain! Cairo you latched on wrongly....Pain!! Pain!!!... open your mouth big, big! Big, big! Arck!!!!!

Me (thinking): Huh? Mouth too big not pretty, Mommy! Dun want! Anyway, Cairo is not very hungry yet, can play with Mommy. Treat Mommy as Pacifier. Cairo likes.

Mommy: Open mouth big big Cairo. Pain! Pain! (Unlatched, pried open the tiny little mouth, then repeat whole process about 5 times)

Me: (Show Mommy a toothless grin, then continue to suckle.... wrongly)

Mommy: Cairo! You've forgotten how to latch on again ah!? Continue doing this and tonite you get strawberry coloured milk! And I thought I've said good-bye to all that skin peeling and bleeding, arck! Naughty girl!!!!

Me (thinking): Mommy dont disturb me. Its not fun anymore.... I am going to cry....

Mommy Aiks! Injured Mommy and dare to sulk! That's it, 3 more weeks and you can say bye bye to Mommy's milk!! Go drink your soy milk and cow's milk! Daddy make formula for her! (Proceeded to dump Cairo rather unceremoniously on Daddy's lap). And tell your precious little 'Sakai' what a mean thing she is!

Daddy: Oh...right....ya, erm Cairo good girl (stroking Cairo's head). Mommy changed your diaper already huh? Good Mommy....(All this while Daddy's eyes NEVER left the TV's screen. He carried me with one hand and his free hand went on auto pilot mode to prevent me from snatching his spectacles).

Me (thinking): Daddy's very clever, can multi task!!! And he never scolds Cairo even when I bite bite his fingers....(Proceeded to grin adoringly up at Daddy and laughed gleefully, then gummed his fingers somemore)

At the other end of the sofa, Mommy rolled her eyes and glared at Daddy with her Evil Eye. He had no idea what just happened, hahaha! Daddy, who elevated compromised TV watching into an art form, was of course thoroughly blocking all that mumbo jumbo and negative vibe out, hahaha.

What is compromised TV watching, you ask me? It is the ability to be 200% interested in WHATEVER that is being shown on TV, regardless of its storyline or even language. Daddy said the TV programmes could not suit his timing so he must tailor his interest to suit them . Mommy left specific instructions to EVERYBODY who would listen to please physically drag Daddy out of the house should there be fire, war or any other of those stuff which calls for speedy evacuation and Daddy happens to be right in front of the TV at that time!

Anyway, Mommy proceeded to grumble somemore but to no one in particular (Daddy wasn't listening remember?). Meanwhile, my little stomach started to make grumbling noises too.... time for milk milk again!


Cairo Says: No More Jabs!

(Previously posted by "Cairo" on 13th April, 2006 on Multiply)

My 5th month has come and gone just like that. Mommy, Daddy and Ah Ma Po Po brought me to see Doctor Liau on the 1st day of my 6th mth. I rarely get to go out after dark but this is an exception. Everybody wanted to see me jabbed but everybody (except Po Po) could only go after work, duh!

Doctor said I am a big girl now and would not need to see that nasty nasty (my own description) needle until I am 15mths old . Meanwhile, I am 6.6kg / 65cm long now! I weighed 'just' 3.89kg / 52cm long at birth. Doc said I am considered tall for a girl my age, yeh yeh!

While everybody was busy 'marveling' at my progress (still at the clinic and with me wearing my smug looking expression hehe), Mommy was muttering something like this to herself "smelly baby...take all my nutrients......grow so fast.....all came from my milk....wake up at 5am everyday.....grab my hair n specs....ungrateful little brat....". Grandma and Daddy were busy shooting her the 'what-kind-of-crazy-mother-are-you look' . Doc was busy filling up my progress report (he doesn't seem to be in a hurry though he had another 10 more patients outside and it was 9pm already; from that I could tell that he loves his job). Me, I am just glad that I don't have to go to that place for a long, long time now hehe...

Back at home, they have rearranged my bed over the weekend and I don't like it one bit! I was just discovering a way to stick my head over the side panel! I did that by rolling to the side, prop myself up with my now kind of strong arms, while Grandma was sleeping. Such fun! Considering that I am always stuck INSIDE the cot (when they are all busy, anyway). It must be sheer bad luck that Grandma woke up just in time and put an end to my newfound albeit short lived freedom... hai... the trials of being a baby, you people would never understand!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

An Introduction to "Cairo Says"

I am a woman who believes in freedom of speech and mind (except when others' opinion differs from mine, then it's my duty to save them from their path towards self-destruction now, don't I?). Anyway, back to my sense of respect for individual rights.

I was so into it that I pondered much when a kid vomitted this snippet verbatim from a comic book to me,"Kids has got their rights too, you know?" I think she was reading something called Crayon Shin or some other rude publications which camouflages itself as kids' read. Immaterial where it came from, the lines rings loud and clear and got me thinking...

Now, if kids are entitled to their rights, wouldn't that include the domain of thoughts too? What are they actually thinking before we impose on them our interpretation of right and wrong? To look at day to day situations through their eyes....

I found myself wondering... that if only my baby could carry on intelligible conversations NOW (think the old movie "Look Who's Talking" and you get my drift...), what would she say to me? What would her view of the world be like, looking at it through those innocent big round eyes of hers?

Hence sprang forth the idea of "Cairo Says". A series of observations and records which I believe my strong willed little girl would have written, if only she could.....