Thursday, July 20, 2017
There are too many articles entitled <The Struggles of Singlehood> or <Dealing with Singleness> out there. As a single, reading these articles left me occasionally in tears, but more often than not rolling my eyes. Allow me to contribute my share of struggles as a married person, in part to assure those who are single, we struggle too. But more so to the married, struggles are to be expected, and that these do not have to end up being unmarried. If you'd like to read the struggles of this married couple -
Saturday, July 15, 2017
As parents, we are pleased that Humblet has started this journey of speech. How she strings little sentences together or points at things she doesn't know and asks 'what it is' with an upward inflection. We are most grateful that she can express her needs and wants in words as she begins school next month. But there are several words/phrases that have become exceedingly annoying and I'm sure if you're fully aware of if you have a toddler in your family.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
It might be partly because I was a History Teacher, the stories behind each painting, artefact, and installation. Or maybe the architecture and the grandeur of these buildings, but mostly it’s the air-conditioned comfort and the vast empty spaces that draw me to museums. Not to mention the fact that they are free for locals, it’s not hard to see why I bring Humblet time and again.
If you’re unsure about bringing your toddler to the museum, here’s the full account of -
HOW TO SURVIVE MUSEUMS WITH YOUR TODDLER
1. ALWAYS DO YOUR HOMEWORK
And I say this because, I’ve travelled an hour and half on public transport with a clingy toddler only to discover the museum for closed for a special event that particular day. It was so disappointing, I actually stood in front of the building in a daze, having no idea what to do and having my thirteen-month-old wailing in the carrier did not help matters.
So always do your homework. Know your travel route well, avoid peak hours, have a sheltered path in mind just in case. Find out what special exhibits are on and whether they will be kid-friendly. You don’t want to be unduly stressed by unforeseen circumstances, travelling alone with a toddler/s is stressful enough.
|Sitting on the Lizard's Tail|
2. PREPARE YOUR CHILD BEFOREHAND
Now that Humblet is older, I always prepare her a few days before we go on one of these adventures. Teaching her the relevant vocabulary and showing her pictures related to that museum, exhibition or installation. This helps because a museum can be cold and unfamiliar, but if you excite them pre-trip, I find that it makes the whole experience a lot more enjoyable for both parties.
In preparation for our trip to the Children’s Biennale, Mya coloured in a simple outline sketch I did of the Old Supreme Court. We also did own ‘Yayoi Kusama’ sticker installation at home, where we stuck a bunch of colourful stickers on one of our flower pots. Her favourite phrase at the National Gallery was ‘next room’, because I told her there were many rooms filled with fun and exciting things to do. Thankfully, the Children’s Biennale did not disappoint.
|You missed a spot mum!|
It’s also important to prepare your child ‘culturally’. As with most museums, running, shouting, and snacking along the way is generally not appreciated. Even more unacceptable would be touching paintings, lifting artefact cases, or tugging at installations. They might veer off the line in their enthusiasm, but if you had explained the expectations before the trip, you’d simply have to nudge them in the right direction with heaps of gentle reminders along the way.
Your child reflects your emotions. If you are first excited about the new things to see, to feel and to learn, then naturally they would be too. Humblet, like most toddlers I know, is usually cautious, even shy, in a new environment. But if I took the lead, running slightly ahead, reading the descriptions, and explaining the art works to her, she would very quickly warm up.
|Checking if her ribbon was securely tied|
A good friend of mine does not have much love or patience for historical artefacts, but she was really awed by these restored historical buildings. How the modern glass dome joined two sections of the National Museums. Or the grand stairway in the National Gallery that seemed to climb up to the sky, not to mention their clever preservation of holding cells, black and white tiles etc. And that’s perfectly fine too! She took her kids up and down the art-filled corridors and they stopped to lie back and watch the clouds through the glass ceilings.
Architecture, history and what not, anything you are passionate about might rub of your kids and they may decide to take these to the next level when they grow up, be it through their careers or their hobbies. And why not?
4. HAVE FAITH IN YOUR KIDS
We visited the National Museum for Children’s Season just this Tuesday past, taking on the school holiday crowd head on. All around me, I could hear the cacophony of mums telling their kids off in terse voices pretending to be a whisper. You know what I mean. ‘Stop running’, ‘can you stop jumping’, ‘stand there’ and so on. It took me all the self-control I could muster to not reach out to them and say, ‘it’s okay, they are children’.
|Ring ring ring!|
What I’m trying to say is, let’s believe in our children. Whom we invest in day after day, with food, clothing, love, and discipline. Let’s also be more confident of ourselves as parents, we do the best we can with them all the time even if we don’t feel it’s anywhere close to perfect. They will wander, but they won’t wander off too far. They will jump and run, but only because they are excited and that’s wonderful! They will ask a hundred questions and then a hundred more, that’s because to these children, we know it all.
Point 3. Enjoy yourself as well! It’s your day out too, as much as it is theirs.
Hope you're having a great time with your kids this school holiday!
Monday, May 1, 2017
A number of friends have been asking us about these toddler stayovers. To be honest, the very first one was completely unplanned, completely and insanely spontaneous. The subsequent ones have been easier to manage for obvious reasons, both us and the kid staying over was ready for it.
Are toddler stayovers advisable? Well, that really depends on the type of parent you are and also if your kid is willing to trust us for more than a couple of hours. Read the full account of humblet and her BFF's stayovers below if you'd like -
Thursday, March 23, 2017
We’ve been invited to yet another kid’s birthday party this month. The dread increases by the day. I see disaster in my head already, wound up children, helium balloons everywhere, catching by the pool side. I never understood why adults had to be invited to children’s parties. Unfortunately, our daughter really enjoys such occasions, free food and heaps of friends to play with, what’s not to love. And so, we shall brace ourselves and go.
There’s also the problem of getting a suitable gift. Humblet hardly plays with her toys because she’d much rather be rummaging through the recycling bin or spinning her stuffed animal friends around the washing machine. So we’ve come to realise that toys have little value in a child’s life, much less gadgets, don’t even get me started on those. This makes the problem worst because we have no idea what to get other kids. Buying books was our solution for awhile, but this was only deemed acceptable by the adults and not the young recipients, who were more than likely to toss these ‘gifts’ into their growing pile of wrapping papers while grabbing yet another victim to rip open.
Then we one day, we had an epiphany when a close friend asked us to take her son out somewhere for his birthday. Truly, a light bulb moment! We’d buy these kids an experience, rather than crack our heads over what gift to buy. A complete win-win. The child gets an unforgettable fun day out, not to mention a MacDonald’s Happy Meal while the parent gets to have a break from parenting for a bit!
Here’s what we did with this birthday boy if you’d like to read –
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
|Ever in her element, humblet and her frown turn 18 months old!|
This little eating machine is now eighteen months old. Running, jumping and chasing birds all over the place. Read about her insane transformation in the full post below -
Monday, February 6, 2017
|Jewel Bridge Punggol|
In Singapore, Park Connectors link up everywhere, one can get a good 5-10km without ever needing to go on the road. We have the privilege of living right next to the entrance of the Buangkok Park Connector and we did enjoy some cycling before Mya came along. We're so pleased that she enjoys cycling too! For those who've been asking about our equipment and the distances we've covered, you may read the full post below -