Saturday, June 30, 2007

When Nobody Wanna Entertain Cairo...

Cairo's favourite two packs of flash cards

We enjoy spending time with Cairo. However, there are times when Grandma, Daddy and I tend to crave some personal time where we could just curl up with a book (me), catch up on newspaper reading (grandma) or play dead in front of the TV (daddy) WITHOUT CAIRO AROUND. Or even hear her voice.

It just so happens that all 3 of us felt that way today. Since everyone else had a more superior reason (Grandma looked really tired & Daddy just got his bonus, so he's playing King for the weekend), I got the 'Cairo Duty'. Bummer!

I was looking daggers at my own flesh and blood and about to put my book back onto the shelf until I came up with a superb idea.

I threw 2 packs of animal flash cards (her favourite) on the floor, about 1.5 metre away from my bed. Then I did this:

Me: Cairo, find a BEE for mommy.

Cairo: BEEEE!!!

She'd rush over to look for the needle in the haystack... errr, I meant card. I'd also usually say the name of an animal that is partially hidden from view, hehehe. About a minute or so later, she would waive the card in front of me (the correct one, most of the time) while saying the animal's name excitedly, though her pronunciation is still pretty atrocious. I must then praise her and then throw her another animal name to hunt for.

That way, I got to lie in bed and only needed to look up from my book every few minutes, hehehe. While Cairo got some exercise running between my bed and the pile. I was hoping she would get tired real quick and fall asleep sooner cos we're going for a picnic at the reservoir (again) early tomorrow morning, you see.

I feel guilty about playing this "Fetch" game with Cairo as though she is a little puppy but I can't help it. The spirit is not willing and the flesh is even weaker (from all the grocery shopping and preparation of the picnic food would be my guess)...

Do you ever feel that way towards your kid(s)?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tag: 8 Random Facts About Moi

Got tagged by the The New Parent, someone whose posts and comments I always look forward to reading (and you would too, once you've dropped by his blog)!

I am to list 8 Random Facts About Myself.

Now this would be quite contrary to my usual stand. As I was just telling one of my best friends yesterday, this blog is all about Cairo. I hesitate to post my own photos or even divulge so much about myself. This is due to the fact that my work calls for a certain image / authority, which would otherwise be blown if everyone is privy to the fact that I am very much like Bridget Jones to a certain degree, hahaha!

That said, I will let on a little so that you will understand me more when I make a certain odd or eccentric remark in my post or when I comment in your blog. We all think or act like we do due to what we have been through, yes? Anyway, so long as I don't post my photos, they (as in my subcons and suppliers, whom I wear my mask for) can't tell who I am eh?

Before that, however, I have to post about the rules. Too lazy to write la, will copy his instead :p

*start copying*
  • I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
  • Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  • People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
  • At the end of your blog, you need to choose people to get tagged and list their names.
  • Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
*end of copying*

So here goes:

Tidbit 1: My family is "TWO" of a kind
My parents separated when I was very young but my father's two wives stayed together to raise me up. I was given so much love by both mothers I couldn't tell which was the biological one. I didn't bother to find out either till I had to fill out some forms at school. That revelation made no difference to the way I feel towards either of the moms. In fact, growing up in such a special family has forever changed my perception towards the idea of evil stepmothers and adoptive relationships being not as close (nonsense, both of it!)

Tidbit 2: Why I can't drive
I had a near death accident while I was 17, trying to ride a mountain bike. Lucky for me, all the other cars had good drivers who swerved or braked, but me and the bike ended up in a large drain instead. I still have the scars to remind me of my misadventure. On hindsight, I should've adjusted the too-high seat and I might've wanted to start out on a less steep slope. That, and never try something like that on the week leading up to SPM (Malay O' levels). That experience scared me away from taking my driving license at 17, like everyone else in Malaysia, and one thing led to another I found myself in Singapore, where it is ridiculously expensive (not to mention difficult) to get one now, sob sob!

Tidbit 3: I don't take criticism lightly
An uncle once remarked that I should have gone on to Form 6 (Malay A' levels) instead, since I had the choice and it was free education. I immediately took on 3 jobs (during the holidays) to pay for my own college fees, just to prove that I wasn't wasting my moms' money, while still being able to study what I wanted. So there you go, I am stubborn and I react drastically to criticism, though hopefully in a positive manner.

Tidbit 4: How I learned to respect the domestic helps
To further supplement my fast dwindling stash, I took a job at a relative's disco. I would run off to cashier there after my evening lectures and wake up early to clean the premises in the morning. Nothing instills more appreciation towards the domestic help's contribution than a personal experience of washing toilet bowls coated with overnight puke and whatnots. And to all you crazy teenagers and yuppies, food fight is NEVER cool! Think of the poor fella who has to brush them off the carpets after you all saunter home in your drunken stupor!

Tidbit 5: Where I learned to hold my liquor
Working in a disco also means that after all the free booze (which was whenever the bartender made a mistake and chug it my way), I became quite a good drinker. Yet the scrooge in me shudders at the thought of having to pay for clubbing or buying my own drinks. Hence, I can go months or even years without getting near any alcohol. Especially so after I got pregnant. I am mildly pleased that I can still down 5 glasses of wine and some champagne without feeling anything at the recent company dinner though :p

Tidbit 6: I'm a "just do it" kinda person
Right after I sat for my college exam and before I even got my results, I came to Singapore to look for a job. After 2 whole days of deliberation. 19 and a half then, I had nothing but my luggage and SGD200 on me. I found a job within days while bunking at a distant relative's living room. I moved out after cashing out my first paycheck, having first expressed my gratitude with many thanks and a token rent, of course.

Tidbit 7: How I ended up in Singapore
I was supposed to work in Singapore for 6 months, then go back home to continue my diploma course. I liked it so much here I decided to settle down and take night classes while working full time instead. That is what I tell people in leau of the fact that my illiterate moms failed to forward me the college registration letter till AFTER it expired. Sigh...

Tidbit 8: I am an insurance addict
It all started when I attended a work site safety induction course at my first job. I was shown a video of lift decapitating heads, nail guns misfiring, brick pallets falling.... u get the drift. I literally ran out to contact an insurance agent that very day! Up til now, whenever I get a pay increment, I would be itching to get more policies. (Yes, but this is also to inform all you insurance agents out there that I am probably more well covered than you are, so please don't pester me to get more. That and also because I already have 2 very good agents :p)

Wah, story telling time over so soon, hehehe. So tagging time begins!

A Mother's Monologue
My Baby Hayward Yeoh
Cheryl's Circle of Influence
Life With My Angels - Wokking Mom
Malaika Xiao Yu
Random Thought of a Blur Mommy
Wenzel's Little Notes

Monday, June 25, 2007

Chicken and Duck Talked, Then Bonded

Photo by Aunty Jazzmint, not-so-pro scrap by me

While the mommies and their best friends were frantically checking out bargains during the last 2 days of The Great Singapore Sale (for them), the little ones bonded.

Faythe is older than Cairo by a mere 10 months. Yet, signs of maturity could not be clearer and more obvious. She spoke to Cairo in good sentences of English and Malay, fed Cairo her food and held Cairo's little hand whenever they're together. In other words, she became the big sister Cairo never had.

Cairo on the other hand, were calling out for her "Jeh jeh" (big sister) every so often. The fact that Faythe might not understand her smatterings of Cantonese were of no concern to her as she babbles on excitedly while playing and sharing her toy collection with Faythe. There were no signs of fighting or squabbling between them, surprisingly, much to the relief of the adults.

From time to time, the girls would erupt into baby talk which none of us comprehends and they would then giggle with shrieks of laughter as if sharing some secret jokes. Perhaps chicken and duck can actually talk to each other!

The girls had such a good time they even managed to tweak their sleeping time to suit each other. Faythe, who normally sleeps at 9pm, stayed up to play with Cairo until the wee hours of 2am! My little owl reciprocated that kindness by waking up at 7am to go on a picnic by the reservoir and stayed awake throughout! Quite a feat for her considering that she normally wakes up at 8am for her milk then goes right back to sleep until noon everyday.

I don't know about Faythe's bedtime now, but my owl has gone back to sleeping away her mornings shamelessly again. Sigh....

Anyway, luckily for us, when the time came for the girls to be separated, both were so tired they hardly got the energy to wave bye bye, let alone do the much feared wailing and crying. Cairo, being the good hostess, managed to stay awake until then but conked out immediately after the bus pulled away, hahaha.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Your Trip, My Trip

Photo and gorgeous scrap by Cairo's Aunty Jazzmint, again

The reason I have not done any posting or visited any blogs for the past few days? 4 highly anticipated guests from KL, 3 of whom I have known for more than 1.5 decades. The other one, I've only seen 3 times in my life. Her name is Faythe and she "buddied up" with Cairo in a matter of minutes after reaching my home. See above scrap and you'll know what I mean.

I'll need some time to catch up on my sleep (running on empty and will definitely turn up to work tomorrow as zombie). Then I'll go through, organise, scrap and post the hundreds of photos my snappy-happy friends and I took over these 3 days.

Or, I might just link you guys over to their website when they put up their Singapore Trip post. Cos they have most of the photos anyway (Oi! You two! Downloading got problem la. I've only got 50% of the photos!) Another reason? They are FAST BLOGGERS so you guys need not have to wait till Cairo turned 18 to read about this trip (which is very likely, if you wait for me :p)

Meanwhile, just a quick one to let you all know that we had a wonderful holiday too even though it was our guests' trip. Planning for OUR OWN year end KL trip shall commence now, hahaha!

And even though I sent my 4 guests off to bed with nothing but broth and bread (really, not kidding... I am sure they will mention this later anyway), I insist that they feed me Black Hokkien Mee every day when I am in KL *slurp, slurp*

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tag : You're Infected!

I have been tagged by Jazzmint and Health Freak Mommy for the same topic... BLOGIVITIS.
(I wonder why they think I have it... most puzzling :p)

I am supposed to list down 10 symptoms that define me as an "infected". Perhaps I should include those displayed by the family members too, as it seems to have a side effect on them :p

  • My home computer is doing overtime work and our unlimited broadband subscription is finally justifiable.
  • Cairo sees me at the computer so often, she now demands to be carried on my lap, while I type. Or she'll climb onto the chair and type nonsense if nobody's looking. So if you see a weird, incomprehensible post, its her doing!
  • I'm now able to wake up immediately when my alarm clock rings in the morning. Cos I'll then have the extra few minutes to check if PPP has any new opps before I head to work.
  • Friends complain that if they missed checking my blog a day or two, they'd have several looooong posts to read.
  • I come back from lunch 30 minutes earlier so that I could read blogs or grab PPP.
  • My window shopping days have been drastically reduced (ditto impulsive buys) since who has time to time loiter about when the computer is calling, eh? So if you see me in rags, outdated bags and shoes, you know why.
  • My friends and I talk about PPP, blogs, scraps and more PPP 80% of the time when we meet each other on MSN.
  • I can be too sick to work or look after Cairo but still bodily able to blog hahaha. To be fair, I can stop and rest anytime I need to when I am blogging (save as draft, hence the weird dates sometimes) but I can't get away from Cairo so easily once I've engaged her into playing or reading with me. Ditto office... we don't have a "Sick Bay" there like we used to in school, so no periodic lying downs for the sick. I suspect I'm not allowed to sleep on the empty meeting rooms' tables either though I can't see why not.
  • My TV now suffers from neglect as I hardly ever pay it any attention nowadays. My books suffer less, as I still read in the bus or train and even when I am waiting at traffic lights or for my lunch to be cooked. Yeah, I am also a certified bookworm :p
  • Hubby is finally able to quit his budding computer games addiction now that I am surgically attached to the computer :p
The 5 persons I'm passing the baton to are:

Malaika's Mommy
Ryan's Mommy of Etcetera Etcetera
Lian of Tips and Tricks to Happy Parenting
Giddy Tiger

Monday, June 18, 2007

Tantrums At The Supermarket?

Gorgeous scrap courtesy of Cairo's Aunty Jazzmint

After reading The New Parent's post on how our kids are actually imitating our actions and behaviours most of the time (he gave an example of what he saw in the market), I did a little reflection and decided to write about my own grocery shopping experience with Cairo too.

Now, we've all seen kids throwing tantrums and screaming their lungs out while trashing on the supermarket floor when denied something. A harassed looking parent would be trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to cajole / threaten / scold / beat / bribe the kid into submission. I pity those parents as most often, they would be pressured into going for quick fixes, just to stop the feeling of being judged by onlookers.

I consider myself lucky as Cairo's tantrums are much milder. Plus I'm able to wriggle out of these situations before I attract a crowd. Or maybe, Cairo has yet to grow into a formidable match yet. Either way, I better boast now while I still can :p

Now when Cairo picks up something from the aisle which is not needed, I'd try to take it away. Normally she would refuse. Then I try the following techniques:
  • I tell her why we're not getting it as though she could understand me (we don't know how to use it / not tasty / too expensive / useless...). Well, maybe she could, who knows! A simple "No!" when she is perilously close to breaking something should always be followed by an explanation. Or else I'll be no different from a bully and a brute.
  • I try to distract her by getting something already in the cart and let her hold on to it OR I let her take something I really needed anyway from nearby shelves.
  • Failing the above, I would then burst into a song (sung softly, of course) or play some clapping games with her, right in the middle of the supermarket (that's when I get a little desperate, I know) and she would forget about the object while we wheel her away.
  • If I see that she is really attached to the object and it has a cartoon or face etc on it, I would tell her to say bye bye to it. She seems to understand the finality of the word.
I've also picked up a very good trick one day when I saw a group of preschoolers and their teachers in a supermarket. It was a sort of field trip for them or something.

I was puzzled at first (come on, the Merlion I get, but supermarket...duh!). I was shaking my head until I saw the teachers turning the place into an impromptu classroom! "This is cold" "Ooooooh." "That is hard" "Oooooh." "Watermelon is actually so big" "Wahhhh!"

It went on and on. Great for the kids, who were so excited you'd think they were touring NASA or the Palace or something. Bad for the grapes, who got poked at repeatedly though :p

Anyway, from then on, I started to expose Cairo to "Supermarket Education" too. No more just wheeling her about in the cart while I grab my stuff and go. She now gets to participate actively and she seems to enjoy every minute of it!

Also, by choosing suitable stuff to talk about to her first, I cut down the frequency of her bored, wandering eye or hand landing on dangerous or breakable stuff. Let's face it, a bored toddler is bound to find her own excitement and we can't really blame them for it, can we?

While we're at it, I have also decided that when she is old enough to do math, I will turn her into my personal walking-calculator and total up the bill as we shop, hehehe.

Good idea or what?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Alternative To Nonsensical Kiddy Songs!

Further to my last post on exposing Cairo to Kiddy Songs with questionable lyrics, I've since found a solution. I may say that it is my best coup yet, cos I am killing 2 birds with one stone! Hubby gets to sing songs whose lyrics he already knows by heart and Cairo will be one culture vulture when we're done :p

I found some CDs with recordings of the classic Chinese "Three Word Chant"!

Unfortunately my knowledge of the 3 word chant is very limited, all I do know is that it was compulsory for all Chinese students to learn them last time (still do in some parts of China) and these poems, written in 3 short words each line are actually preaching moral values so deep I have difficulty understanding them (the words, not the values :p).

So why am I getting them for my 19 month old daughter, you ask.

Cos the CD has normal reading version (very catchy, sorta like rapping, really!) and a song version with nice melodies!

Cairo actually started to bop along to the tune and that helped me to make up my mind to buy the CDs hahaha!

The best part is, for the super low price of RM 19.90:
  • Hubby gets to show off in front of the whole family (he knows many of the poems, my moms know a few, Cairo and I know none!)
  • Cairo gets to have fun with her Daddy without subconsciously picking up nonsense, and hopefully learn some of the good traditional values, as time goes by.
  • I get to learn as well, as there's a stack of cards with "Han Yu Pin Yin" (chinese phonics hahaha)!
I saw the CDs in Popular Bookshop during my previous trip to Johor Bahru one month ago but thought that they would be too difficult for Cairo. I have since changed my mind. After all, we never know what our kids are capable of till we give them a try, right?

Most importantly, it is not like we're pushing Cairo to learn every word within a certain time frame, so no stress on her at all.

I am not sure if there are better versions out there. If anyone of you have seen or own a copy, please let me know. There is only so much vetting I could do on a product I know so little about.

I am bilingual. Malay is my first language and English, my second (though I hardly ever use Malay Language now). People like me are commonly known as "bananas" as a Chinese who knows not her own language is like one; yellow outside, white inside. That I speak fluent Cantonese like a Hong Konger and Mandarin with a slight China slang (when I choose to) doesn't cover the fact that I can't read menus, newspapers and karaoke lyrics in Chinese. The last being the most pronounced and regretted handicap, I must say :p

I am not proud that I know so little of my race's language and I worry about the growing trend among kids, teenagers and even yuppies thinking of it as "uncool to use among peers". I've had to pass up some great career opportunities which called for Chinese literacy and hope that Cairo would not suffer the same fate next time.

So... "The 300 Tang Poems" CDs for Cairo next, hehehe!

And no, I'm not giving up on the Chinese substitute lyrics for the silly Kiddy Songs I mentioned previously either! Yeah, I am one greedy mom :p

Friday, June 15, 2007

What Are We Singing To Cairo Again?

Whenever being prompted by me to sing to Cairo, Hubby would never fail to choose Mandarin kiddy songs. He knows a total of 2 kiddy songs and he repeats them over and over again until I surrender and take over.
Now don't misunderstand, I have no objection to Mandarin songs, as I feel that Cairo would only benefit from being exposed to more languages and dialects, as early as possible. However... (reason coming soon, be patient).
One day, I overheard Hubby's rendition of "Ke4 Ren2 Lai2" (which I've always liked all these while, though never bothered to really think about the lyrics). Unexplainable but of all days, my brain chose that day to start to breaking down the lyrics and translated them to English. Then it hit me just like that! Check it out.... the lyrics of a popular kiddy song, sung in almost every chinese household:
Guest is here
Looking for papa
Papa's not at home
Invite the guest to (come in and) sit down
And serve (him) tea.
So basically we're slowly brain-washing the kids to invite people who are not immediate family, who claims to be looking for Daddy, to come into our home and serve them tea... when Daddy is not even at home! Are you folks thinking what I am thinking now? Argh!!!
Anyway, I still like the catchy melody and think that it'll be such a waste if Cairo wouldn't get to hear it anymore. Could someone please help to change the lyrics of the last 2 lines for me? Perhaps to the meaning of "telling the guests nicely, to please go away and there's no chance even if Hell freezes over would a little girl open the door for them when she's home alone". In Mandarin, thank you.
Or else, I'll have to blacklist the song and Hubby would be left with no choice but his only other song; Two Tigers (Mandarin song also). Guess what the lyrics say?
2 tigers, 2 tigers
Run very fast, run very fast
One is missing an eye
One is missing an ear
Oh how weird!
Sigh... now we're teaching Cairo to be an insensitive jerk who makes merry about the misfortune of disabled animals / people. Great. It's either that, or one less activity for Daddy-Cairo bonding time, which is already very few to begin with. Which would mean even less me time for me!
Oh I sense a mighty big headache coming my way...
I need to pass on the headache torch (misery loves company, lots of em). Why don't you go look through the lyrics of these 2 popular English kiddy songs, see what you think of em:
Rock-a-bye Baby
3 Blind Mice

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me

Negligent Daddy + Violent Mommy = Poor Cairo

I am FURIOUS at the moment. Treat this as a bitching post. You have been warned.

I left specific instructions for hubby to look after Cairo while I do my stuff in the Study Room. He agreed.

In less than 5 minutes, we heard a loud thud sound, followed by Cairo wailing her heart out. This is what happened:

  1. her daddy deposited her in the Living Room's playpen about 3 metres from where he was sitting (back facing her) while he kept his eyes glued on the TV screen in front
  2. she tried her version of "Prison Break"
  3. she succeeded climbing out
  4. only to land her head on the tiled floor (thus the loud thud!)
I am not proud to say what happened next but I am not sure I would not do it all over again.

Yup, i rained blow after blow on my hubby's back and arms while screaming at him like a mad woman while checking on Cairo at the same time (yeah, quite the multi-tasker, me). She was being carried and soothed by Grandma (who rushed out from the bedroom upon hearing the thud) while a guilt ridden daddy tried to apply some ointment (the green stuff so good for bruises) all over Cairo's head.

Cairo stopped crying after a short while and stared at her mommy screaming at daddy instead.

Grandma quickly led her away from the accident scene and into her room. Mommy stopped screaming and stormed into the Study Room to flame Daddy all over the blogosphere as a sort of anger management. Daddy sat himself down on the Living Room's sofa and stared at a blank TV screen, chiding himself for putting some lousy reruns above his daughter's safety (or so I imagined, but I hope he loses some sleep over it tonight too! Bleh!)

Anyway, this brings me to something even more serious.

Having had a cup of tea and some minutes to cool myself down, I have finally realised that I had unleashed my whole fury on Cairo's Daddy just now! It was the kind which I usually reserve for my Fencing competitors (no I didn't box them, I whipped them hard), generated out of sheer hopelessness when I realised that time is almost out and if I do not fight hard, I would lose the duel. Yeah, the rash and unchecked kind which my coach always reprimanded me about after the game. Which I thought I had left behind on the strip a decade ago, together with the discarded mask and blade. I guess old sins die hard.

I should not have resorted to violence. It only added chaos into the confusion. But I guess the pain in the hand (when I punched hubby) sorta distracted me from the pain in my heart. So not entirely bad, right? Anyway, have not figured out enough to apologise to hubby yet!

Now, the million dollar questions; if anything really terrible had happened to Cairo (touch wood) due to her Daddy's gross negligence, would I be able to forgive him? Would he, vice versa?

And how do couples survive the the losing of a child due to above said circumstances?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Knowing Her Enemy = Loving Her Enemy?

It has been many days since Cairo developed her obsession with the imagined spider in the corner of my room (actually a bunch of coiled up black cable, now uncoiled, but the damage is done).

She has a love hate relationship with our friendly master room "spider"; she hates it but loves to go near it! So I reckon it's about time to listen to the good advice left by you guys in the comment section previously. Educate her! Right!

Armed with a children's book about spider facts and snippets, I proceeded with a most enthusiastic and animated rendition of it (a talent which I honed during *ahem* 6 years of choral speaking competitions back in my schooling days, most of which we won, of course). However, I have quite forgotten that my audience this time round, which consisted of only my 19 months old daughter, is not quite interested in books with that many words yet, even though the beautiful illustrations are big and colourful. She did look like she wanna rip out the page with the spider on it and spend some "quality time" with it alone though. Sigh...

Anyway, not quite ready to give up, I decided to dumb my brain washing act down a little *roll eyes* and sing "Incy Wincy Spider" to her every so often instead, hoping that it would make the "enemy" seems cuter and therefore harmless. Succeeded, in a way.

She now says "Bye-bye, Pie-der, bye-bye" *flying kiss* before trottling over to the corner and try to squash it with her little bolster. *slap head*

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Motherhood Exhibition 2007 & 4 molars

Brought Cairo to the "Motherhood Exhibition 07" this afternoon

We were bored to tears. Crowded. Nothing new. No good deals.

Cairo only smiled when we hopped over to Raffles City :p

Cairo is sprouting all 4 baby molars at the same time now... so she hasn't been eating much and doesn't drink much of her milk either. The good news is, all that crying is finally starting to make some sense...

Imagine my relief when I see her running through the mall, back to her happy, spirited self again. I was so busy chasing after her I didn't even have time to check out the sales there. Not that I mind. A dozen horses couldn't have dragged me away from her smile then.

An OshKosh 90% store wide discount on the other hand....

Just Kidding. What kind of a mother do you think I am? To lure me, they'll have to throw in some freebies too :p

Additional note on 11th June 2007:
I repeat. OshKosh is NOT having a 90% store wide sale. Don't get so excited until you can't finish reading this post people, hahaha :p

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Wrong to Teach About Fear?

I was reading some bedtime stories to Cairo last night when this happened:

Cairo: "Pie-der, pie-der! Keng-keng.... daahhh pie-der (waving her little bolster in the spider's direction)! Jau ah, pie-der!"
(Translation: Spider, spider! Scared... beat spider! Go away, spider!)

I tried assuring her that there were no spiders (having taken a good look even though I was pretty sure).

I even went so far as to carry her over to the corner and had a "spider hunt" just to prove her wrong but she quickly lost all interest in her story books and became fixated and alternated between screaming out her fears about the crawly and showing me how to squash it with her little bolster, Mr Smelly.

My mind began to wonder. Did someone tell her to fear spiders when she has never seen one in real life and had certainly no reason to be scared of it? I was reading Miss Muffet to her last week... could it be that she really understood the rhyme???

Secondly, how did she come across the idea of "beating" the spider? All Miss Muffet did was ran away!

My mind throw up more questions on further reflection:

Question 1:
Say somebody did teach her about fear. Is it wrong to instill fear so early in kids or should we wait for them to discover it at their own pace? After all, one man's poison could be another's meat... are we killing whatever slim chances she might have to become the second Steve Corwin?

Question 2:
Are we subconsciously imparting violence on our kids and if so would a small dose be good for self protection against harm?

Question 3:
And if not now, when is the ripe time (if ever)? - Applicable to questions 1 and 2

I would very much like to hear what you folks think.

Monday, June 04, 2007

She Said What?! - 4th June 07

When Cairo was 1 year, 6 months, 3 weeks & 2 days old...

Scene 1
Cairo force-pushed our small foldable table and it fell with a loud thud (though luckily not on her). When Grandma scooped the crying Cairo into her arms, she saw a shocked little toddler with 2 beads of blood where the skin got scrapped off at the ankle.

Full of drama and emotion, while pointing to her injury, Cairo cried out, somewhat in the tone of someone screaming, "Call ambulance, call ambulance!":

Cairo: Por Por! *Cry* Por Por! Char Yau... char yau ah! Char yau..... *sob sob* char yau ah....(it goes on and on like a broken record)
(Translation: Grandma! *cry* Apply ointment... apply ointment *sobbing*...)

Erm, instead of telling us it's painful, my daughter asked for medication?! And not just any either, oh no ... not plaster, not iodine, nope, she asked for traditional Chinese medicine in oil form, like some hypochondriac old lady, hahaha!

Must have picked it up from me when I sprained my ankle and half screamed, half begged my mom for my bi-hourly medicated oil massage :p

Scene 2
I was eating some cold mangoes and would not give any to Cairo (she ate her small, unchilled portion already). She looked like she was going to cry, so I said to her:

Mommy: You're not gonna look pretty if you cry and get swollen eyes you know...

Cairo stopped for a moment, as though quietly processing what I said to her, then

Cairo: Mommy, bei! Bei mumm mumm! Bei ah!!!!
(Translation: Mommy, give! Give food! Give ah!)

Seeing no reaction from Mommy, she said

Cairo: Hamm! Hamm ah! Ngeh ngeh!
(Translation: Cry! Cry! Ngeh ngeh!)

When I didn't give in to her demand after her "last warning", she actually pretended to cry by SAYING the "cry" word and do the mock crying sound Hubby and I often do to tease her! *slap head*

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Bring Cairo to the Cinema, Not

Brought Cairo to McDonald for breakfast today. Donated $2 and got her a cute little Shrek Ear Hairband. Have been feeling guilty for not bringing her to watch the cartoon (Hubby and I watched the sneak preview a few days ago :p) so we took her to take some photo at the Shrek cardboard stand outside McDonald instead (they're having a Shrek promotion).

Didn't help the guilt to go away though, as you can probably tell from the words on my scrap above.

Having spent many of my single years tut-tutting at inconsiderate parents for not dragging their wailing kids out of the cinema, I hesitate to join their club now. You see, unlike them, I have not mastered the art of skin thickening and ear deafeaning (against others' whispered curses) and it is way too embarrassing to eat my own "tuts"...

Plan B would therefore be getting Cairo's Daddy to bring her out if she starts being a nuisance. It would work except for one little set back; I know for a fact that the man who'd sworn eternal love to me til my dying day and beyond would never want to miss a second of the show even though it means that his wife could watch it in peace! So there goes plan B, out the window.

What is considered the right age to bring a kid to cinema without getting "The Eye" from fellow patrons anyway?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Milk, Chicken Pox & Personality Growth Spurts

One clear sign that Cairo has officially crossed over to her Terrible Twos stage; tantrums!

Take for example, her milk bottles. Cairo used to call us to take it away when she's done with them (so as not to spill the remaining milk, if any, on her lovely bed sheets). Lately, she would just fling her milk bottles out of her crib when she doesn't want them anymore. Lucky her bottles are quite tough and able to withstand her daily assaults.

Suffering the same fate but without the same luck on their side are Cairo's melamine bowls and cups. She has resorted to throwing them from her high chair for no apparent reason at all (as in she likes the food in them)!!! I shall go broke before end of this year if I were to replace her broken bowls and cups every time she breaks one. Shall use the Ikea plastic bowls from now on!

Sigh... I guess I was in denial stage for the past couple of weeks (months perhaps?). After all, I am talking about my little angel, whose combined crying time was less than 15 minutes per week for the first 10 months of her life (really, not exaggerating)! Then Chicken Pox struck!

The fact that I passed it to her made it even more unbearable as the expensive medicines worked wonders on me (I only had a dozen or so token sprouted here and there and was comfortable enough to watch 2 whole seasons of CSI, back to back, during my medical leave :p) while she had to go without anything but paracetamol and lousy calamine lotion that didn't work.

The poor thing cried and cried non stop for that few weeks as her case was considered quite serious. One pox for practically every 1 cm2 or 2 on her body. Red, swollen and weeping, most of them. Not to mention that her whole neck and head was covered in it, making sleep a physical impossibility.

The pox left behind more than the scars on her body (though luckily not too conspicuous on her face). It has taught Cairo the power of crying. Due to her pitiful state then, we were at her beck and call that few weeks, denying her nothing and nothing at all. I guess she now knows that tears are powerful tools for bargaining and has been flexing her skills ever since. They came slowly and at long intervals at first...

The fact that she doesn't cry when hurt but shed huge droplets as negotiation tool is even scarier...

Perhaps it is all in my head, but I do notice that with every special mark on the calendar (turning 6, 12 18 months old....) Cairo goes through a super growth spurt in all aspects of her life. Over night, I can wake up to a whole new little personality, though staring back at me with the same big round eyes! How am I gonna catch up on all these developments and changes? I am afraid...