Sunday, September 09, 2007

Brudders

After the hard weekend, we got the two brothers to wear stripy shirts (I'm also in my green stripy shirt - which I ordained as my 2007 lucky shirt as the fortune teller said on TV during the Lunar New Year Countdown that green would be my lucky color. Coincidentally, today is also Toto Day - but unfortunately, I haven't struck any lottery this year, not even a sniffle), sat by the doorway to the deck and look photogenic. This is a tremendous task as most parents can attest to, but for some strange reason, we manage to succeed today - probably becos' of my lucky green shirt. It was cute, as they cooperated (rarely) alongside Momo who kept her grin throughout. After the snapshot, it was off to celebrate Grandpa 's birthday before we (meaning both of us without the kids) head off to London and leave the kids to the grandparents + helper. The last time we "dumped" our child at home was when En was about 5 months plus ---- and head off to Thailand.





























































And guess whose the most cheekiest of them all. Sigh.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Nursery rhyme

While at work today, it suddenly dawned upon me (think the work must be stressful) to find out when and why people start to rock baby to sleep. It seems to come naturally to me since day 1, but it is nevertheless a learned process that is imbued into our sensory and KIV in our brain until it is retrieved later when we have kids. Well, sadly, I didn't get to find anything useful from google to explain "the history of rocking baby to sleep" (other than the shocking discovery of the side effects of rocking a baby too much as revealed by experts in the medical field - not very helpful and encouraging for that matter). However, I did come across the word "rock" --- which led me to "Rock-a-bye baby" --- which led me to "nursery rhymes" and some facts about the songs we have been singing to our kids.
Before I go on, I have been playing nursery songs (sang by a bunch of local kids who try their darnest to sound British --- which is not bad --- given that I have another CD sang by British who sounds like Irish and no-one can understand what they are singing) non-stop in the car whenever the kids are in the car. But it never failed to strike me that nursery rhymes are morbid and downright violent. With "babies falling", "blind mices", "Humpty Dumpty breaking into pieces", "Jack breaking his crown (just because he wants to fetch water", "London burning" and "the tragic death of Clementine"... the list goes on.
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Anyway, back to the topics of nursery rhyme, here's what I can gather from the ever reliable Wiki:

Many cultures (though not all; see below) feature children's songs and verses that are passed down by
oral tradition from one generation to the next (either from parent to child or from older children to younger children).
  • "Ring a Ring O'Roses" - has reference to the Great Plague of London when the first symptoms of plague were ring-like sores. People didn't understand the illness and would place flowers in the pockets believing that illness came from bad smell, so having something sweet smelling would kill the disease. If only they have Air Wick (Lavender flavour) then, it would be easier.
  • "Pop Goes the Weasel" - is not about weasels but actually about silk weavers working with their shuttle or bobbin (known as "weasel"). Another version says it refers to the need for the poor working class to have to take their coats (weasels and stoats) to pawnbrokers to obtain money for drinking. The "eagle" in the song may refer to a pub along Shepherdess Walk in London (I want to go and see!). Maybe that's why English pubs are thriving then with so many young urchins inculcated with the logic of selling clothes for a pint so early. So much for age limit on drinking. No wonder our kids are turning alcoholic early.
  • "Jack and Jill" - lots of versions. Most interesting one alluded that Jack is LouisXVI of France who was deposed and beheaded (lost his crown) alongside his Queen Marie Antoinette (or Jill) who "came tumbling after".
  • Humpty Dumpty - one of my son's favourite song is actually a cannon used in the Siege of Colchester during the English Civil War. It was mounted on top of a church defending the city against siege of 1648. But the church tower was hit and "Humpty" was sent tumbling to the ground. Well, the King's horses and men tried to "mend him" but in vain.
  • Mary had a little lamb - probably the most literal and had the most element of truth in the lyrics. Cos' the nursery rhyme was inspired by an actual incident involving one Mary Sawyer (later Mrs Mary Tyle) who kept a pet lamb and took it to school one day at the suggestion of her brother. Some visiting nephew of Reverend was amused by the sight and wrote the poem and passed it to Mary.
  • Mary Mary quite contrary - (what's with the obsession with the name Mary) actually alluded to Mary I of Scotland with "how does your garden grow" referring to her reign, "silver bells" referring to (Catholic) cathedral bells, "cockleshells" insinuating that her husband cheated on her, and "pretty maids all in a row" referring to her babies that died. (How spiteful leh).
  • Rock-a-bye Baby - is an American nursery rhyme and lullaby, whose melody is a variant of the English satirical ballad Lilliburlero. Originally titled "Hushabye Baby", this nursery rhyme was said to be the first poem written on American soil. Although there is no evidence when the song was written, it may date from the 1600s. It is rumoured that it was written by a young pilgrim who sailed to America on the Mayflower. He was said to have observed the way Native American women rocked their babies in birch bark cradles, which were suspended from the high branches of trees, allowing the wind to rock the baby to sleep. However, the branches holding the cradles steady had a danger of breaking, causing the cradle to fall and the baby in it to get hurt. Rock-a-bye as a word was first recorded in 1805. The nursery rhyme indicates falling near the end due to a terrible infant accident in 1706 where the Earl of Sandwich's son was tossed without warning from his cradle. The cradle was later found in the Temps River empty and alone. (tragic)
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - combining a French tune with an English poem, Mozart apparently loved the song. However, the original lyrics from the French song was "seduction" cool. (That's why seduction and flirting comes naturally to some, while others are totally clueless - the latter probably slept to the tune of pop goes the weasel or the silly monkey jumping on the bed song that keeps ringing in my head).

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Xuan and Momo

Other than the abvious fact that I've become lazy and inconsistent, I swear I wanted to post these videos and blog earlier, but things just keep happening to distract you. Like moments ago as I was writing this entry, I kept plying up and down the stairs to pacify, change and rock Xuan as he whimpered in his cot. His diapers had leaked and required the immediate and intense remedy of changing without exciting him too much. I failed, he was awaken and took eons to go back to sleep.

Anyway, his elder brother En is likewise growing up fast these days. He mastered the art of bossing people around so that it irritate the @#$% out of you. He also mustered enough guts to say "no" and "dun want" to every little requests I made and instructions I passed to him. Chasing Momo around the house had become his favourite pass time and provided his little brother live entertainment. To reciprocate, his little brother would eyeball his every movement intensely, let out a loud guffaw and would follow up with a mimic of En's actions.

I really fear for Momo's sanity in a few months time when the younger gets up on his feet.


video


video

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Momo's nightmare

En En is reaching the dreadful terrible two, and it definitely shows in his perpetual tantrums against everyone in the family when we do not give in to him. Although I must say his grasp of vocab is impressive, it kind of gets in your nerve when he uses them to boss you around :P

"Papa / Mummy sit here", "Papa / Mummy read book", "Put back", "No", "Piano" etc etc.

Currently, his temper is often targeted at Xuan, whom we know En loves a lot, but yet cannot stand playing with his toys. We had a preview of what's to come when the two boys would fight over toys in the very near future. Two screaming boys are not exactly music to the ears, and one of them cannot fight back yet. It will not be a lovely sight when both can actually fight, and we kind of place our bets on Xuan to win, as he is fast outgrowing En physically.

However, his favourite victim has to be Momo --- whose sweet temperament prevents her from retaliating.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

SAHD - definitely

I have been tagged by two mommies - BP and Shelia. Now I am stressed out. But I will start with BP's topic as it is indeed my ambition to be a SAHD. The photos in this blog entry has absolutely no relevance to the topic, except maybe the fact that En has taken after my TV freak genes.

I have always openly proclaimed this ambition as I rather enjoy staying home with the kids and doing a bit of housework. But having a maid / housekeeper around will definitely make the
experience more enjoyable. Therefore, I have, for the longest time, told my wife to climb up the corporate ladder swiftly and earn enough dough for me to stay home with the two boys. That will solve the problem of my wife constantly worrying about what the maid and other caretakers are doing with our kids while we are at work.

Watching them growing up in distinct phases is a rare treat and definitely therapeutic. For a while, I even enjoyed waking up in the wee hours of the morning to feed En, burp him, and pat him to sleep. It helps with bonding and I am rather a permanent fixture in En's billboard of favorite person -- No. 1 that is. It pays off, and the rewards are ...well rewarding. For Xuan, I got lazy. Only recently did I start to feed him at midnight daily. We are not as close, but am heading in the right direction. It's deja vu again, and I rather enjoy watching the bloke suckle the bottle while lying in his rocker -- he only feeds in his rocker. He's easy to burp (all thanks to Dr Brown bottle) and sleeps without the need to pat. Just rock him hard and he'll doze off after a while.

Finally, I can be the male version of tai-tai. Ha Ha. I will bring the boys to eat cake , drink coffee, hang out at libraries, bring them for children shows. In the evening, we will play basketball, swing the swing and slide the slide --- cool. There will be no more office politics, burnt weekends, and late nights trying to chase after people to clear work.

And Tag... you're it!
Now for us to hear from these fellow moms and dad:
Instructions
Folks, here’s how it works:
1. So easy peasy, if you were given a choice, would you be an SAHM or FTWM? Just provide 3 darn good reasons.
2. Include your post link to the list below and finally,
3. Tag another three mommies

List (so far -- inherited from JoMel, including my own dream job):
1. Immomsdaughter prefers to be an SAHM
2. Miche prefers to be an SAHM too.
3. SYH prefers to be a PTWM.
4. Shoppingmum is definitely an SAHM material.
5. WMD definitely prefers FTWM.
6. Nomadic Mom THINKS she prefers to be a PTWM.
7. Dancing Queen is a PTWM.
8. JoMel will be an FTTT.
9. BP dreams of being an FTBM.
10. Fatherhoot dreams of being a SAHD - no doubts about it.




Thursday, July 05, 2007

Magic

I was sick for the past two days. So I had the golden opportunity to stay home and interact with the kids. Both surprised me. But what touched me most was En finally grasping the concept of sharing and getting along -- albeit grudgingly.

First, we read a book of "big" and "small" with Xuan. En enjoyed boasting about his knowledge of the concept to his brother and answered every questions I threw at him
enthusiastically. He even cheered himself on when he got it right. His brother was obviously amused. Then, we went on to flash cards. Although En was resistant to the idea, he reluctantly shared his cards with Xuan when I demanded that he did so. Xuan went on to put the cards into his mouth. I asked En to "educate" his brother about the concept of edible. En looked bemused, paused, and put a card (8 oranges) into his mouth ---geez.

Then our neighbour's kid came to our house. He was fidgeting with our stuff (like he always does) and En was puzzled by this strange visitor. He kept repeating "Kor Kor" while eating his dinner, and even offered a toy to the kiddo after he was done. This has never happened before.

Then, En spent an enjoyable evening playing, prancing and making a fool of himself with his cousins and Momo across the basketball court. This was quite a feat considering just a week ago, he was crying everytime he saw the same cousins. He refused to even go near their house when we bring MOMO for her evening walks. We were hoping it was a phase and Miew tried to bring him there more often to socialize. Guessed it worked. Under the navy blue sky and sweltering heat, the adults sat on the deck, watched and were duly entertained by the kids. It was magical while it lasted ---- until dinner time that is.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Words roll

En is now on a roll when it comes to speaking. He is picking up everything we are saying like a high IQ parrot, either we start to swear in 3-syllabus words knowing his cap is at 2, we better start to think before we speak. Shit (oops). Anyway, over the weekend, he had been babbling non-stop, and has mastered the irritating word "No", shit (oops). Other comprehensible words in his dictionary (as of 1 July 9.p.m --- when he went to bed) includes:

Words/meaning:
Car - cars (his first word). Different type of vehicles are differentiated by sign language e.g. riding a motorcycle.
Bus-ssh - bus.
Big - big. Commonly use with Big Bus. When use on its own, refers to elephant.
Star - stars.
Papa - me.
Didi - Xuan his brother.
Momo - dog.
Pour Pour - Maternal Grandma.
Gong Gong - Maternal Grandpa.
Ye Ye - Paternal Grandpa.
Bing Bing - his cousin across the street.
Kai Kai - his cousin across the street, Bing Bing's brother.
Poo - shit.
Duck, dog, cow, fish, cat, bear - various animals.
Me - him.
Peese - Please.
Mum Mum - eat.
Ham - ham.
Egg - egg.
Bl-ead - bread.
Fork - fork.
Spoon - spoon.
No - no.
Issh - yes.
walk - take a walk.
work - work. Usually referring to people not around in the house.
Two, four, six, eight - the numbers he can recite ... interestingly only the even nos.
Draw - to draw.
Sssss - the thing is hot.

If you are sharp, you would notice one important word missing --- yes "Mummy" which he still refuses to say. Strange boy this.

We went to United Square today, and for the first time he saw kids practising fencing footwork. He was engrossed, and thereafter keep jumping up and down, trying to assimilate the fencers' footwork -- strange boy this >++D