How to make my kid eat?

I have no idea. You would think most kids would love chocolate, or things in cute shapes like gingerbread cookies. Not my kid. Yesterday the daddy brought back a gingerbread cookie from office (it was a corporate gift). She initially said ok to the suggestion of eating it but when it was opened, first she smelt it and decided that it smelt “not nice”. Then on our suggestion of trying it, stuck her tongue out and took a little lick, and had a doubtful look on her face. She ended up not having a single bite of it.

She also wouldn’t have ice cream other than vanilla and strawberry flavour. Who knows any other kid that acts like anything she hasn’t eaten before is potentially poisonous??

Christmas time

Do you remember the time when children will not remember when adults said “later” to playground, so much so that adults will use “later” as an easy way to say no? I remember that with my younger cousins. Although I had no siblings of my own, I was 5 years older than the next cousin who came along and, being significantly older than them (in kids terms) I remember some things that they probably wouldn’t. One of them was many many clear recollections of one of them demanding to go to a playground that we walk past, and the adults saying lets head up to our apartment first to eat/take a bath/drop our things etc. Once up at the apartment the playground will be promptly forgotten and my cousins will be happily engaged with whatever occupation they could find at home.

My daughter is not like that. She REMEMBERS EVERYTHING! While I am not complaining about her good memory generally, it can be troublesome at times. And one such instance has recently presented itself. NTUC (the supermarket) has been giving out festive promotional booklets that comes with stickers at the back. Some of the stickers were alphabet stickers and Sophia made use of those to select Christmas gifts for everyone. Grandma and daddy got different tablet models, while I got a juicer. Cousin Samuel got a keyboard. No problem so far but she selected for herself a barbie doll set with what looks like at least 20 sets of clothes. As a general rule I’m not a fan of Barbie dolls. As a kid I never knew what to do with those I got as a child. As an adult I only have a greater objection because of the gender stereotype. So I am not quite keen on getting her the doll. But she doesn’t forget. And from time to time when we mention “Christmas is coming”, she replies with “Yay! We’ll have a tree and I’ll get the doll and clothes.” Argh!!

What do I do……

Random thoughts

So many restaurants are now using iPads as their menu or cash register, and I can’t help but feel its a huge waste of resources. I always get the lowest end of iPads for my personal use and it’s already able to do so much more than just taking orders. If apple could make a low end iPad, kids version maybe, like kindle or samsung, that would make it so much more cost effective to use iPads for this purpose. But then what’s apple’s incentive to create something like this? Probably none.

This world of consumerism and wastage… Sigh…

Random snippets around the “scary” / halloween themes

Storytime

The bedtime routine for Sophia is now that I tell her 4 stories then we turn off the lights and pretty much ignore her but stay in the room. Yes we. She needs both grandpa and mum in the room at the same time, unless mum is working late.

Two nights ago she asked for the story of Moses, which was in my Kindle Fire which I was lazy to retrieve and in any case I am inclined to limit LCD screen use prior to bedtime as it does somehow stimulate the brain. So I told Sophia lets turn off the lights and I’ll tell her the story from memory instead.

Bad idea that particular day because after quite a few late nights at work, I was so tired that I was nodding off myself once the lights were off. And my memory of the bible story was clearly more extensive than the children’s book version Sophia had read so she ended up asking many questions. When I got to the part about the Pharaoh killing the Hebrew boys, Sophia suddenly said “but I’m a girl!” which was rather random in and off itself, but even more random was my response “next time you have a race we ask the teacher to separate the boys and the girls ok?” And the reason for this response was that I had actually fallen asleep at this point and my brain in dreamland somehow constructed a reason for that statement of Sophia’s as being in the context of a race in school where she could never win the boys. How weird was that? Anyway, her next statement woke me up “Ok. But I don’t want to die!” And the sudden realisation that I was in the middle of the story and Sophia was worried that she would be killed by the Pharaoh. Dear dear.

Anyway, the day after I went to the movies with the husband for the first time in a long long time and saw a trailer of the story of Moses. Initially I was thinking this would be a good one to bring Sophia to, but before long I changed my mind. It was done in typical hollywood style, with lots of blood and violence, completely unsuitable for a preschooler. But the trailer also made me realise that even though the stories are simplified into short digestible parts contained in brightly coloured children’s books, many of the biblical history are actually extremely violent and gruesome. Something that someone growing up in Singapore in this day and age find it hard to appreciate.

Fury

Continuing on this theme, the movie we watched was Fury, and it was about WWII. It was gruesome (and full of vulgarities which were perhaps unnecessary but then again perhaps a reality of military life). Apart from the usual thoughts of how can I protect my children if a war comes along, it also occurred to me that even though Singaporeans generally have not experienced war (only a very small proportion of the living population experienced WWII), war is very real in today’s world and there is no real reason why anyone or any part of the world ought to be spared. It is all very disturbing thoughts and I really pray that the perfect kingdom comes soon. Although again all the Revelation prophesies are very scary and I do not wish any of my family to experience them.

Halloween

For the second year in a row we went to Woodlands for halloween. We were much more organised this time so everyone trooped off immediately after work and ate on the car. Its a nice experience for kids and they get all excited about the candies, although Sophia really only wanted to eat the strawberry ones and count the rest over and over again.

Sophia is actually quite brave (although she is shy) in that she is not afraid of typically scary things like monsters. Those rather scary living dead makeup or the skeletons or the spiders all don’t bother her. But strangely, she was actually frightened by this fake ghost made out of black garbage bags that formed part of the decoration at Daiso. All because her dad told her that its a black ghost that bites people and takes away their toys. Clearly 2 things she is most afraid of.

That night she kept saying she is scared of the black ghost and even after us telling her that we would protect her, she asked how would we protect her. Which was strange to me because it never occurred to me to ask something like that as a scared child. I always assumed that the presence of another human being will automatically make me safe. Clearly she was not as easily satisfied so I had to tell her that she just needs to call on the name of the Lord. And she still says how? And I had to tell her to just say “In the name of the Lord, I command you to leave.” because God is the most powerful being and ghosts will be scared if you command them in the name of the Lord. Thankfully, that satisfied her after a few repetitions. In the last few iterations, when I simplified it with just command the ghost to leave, she even reminded me to say “in the name of God”, “right?” How blessed are the children with their childlike faith.

Did I really strike it lucky with Sophia?

I never thought of Sophia as being a particularly easy or well behaved child. If anything, she is stubborn (refuses to use public toilet), petty (complains about a boy who stepped on her fingers and didn’t say sorry hours after it happened) and a fussy eater (eats few things outside of green leafy veg, plain rice, pizza, ice cream, bah kwah and Ikan billis). However, when I brought her to my office’s community service day (where I thought she was actually quite a nuisance walking among the elderly as they exercised and quite rude not talking much to people), my colleagues were jokingly smirking and telling each other “wait till her second one comes along, she won’t be so lucky twice”.

Come to think of it, she does have some surprising characteristics. Just yesterday she was given a lollipop at music class and, even though she loved it, because we told her it spoilt her teeth, she sucked it for a while and chucked the rest. She also very rarely threw tantrums outside, even pulling her away from the playground is more of a fun game of catching and teasing rather than of dragging her away with tears and screams. She also, of course, the most surprising bit to everyone, loves green leafy vegetables. I guess I did strike it lucky. Fingers crossed with no. 2!

Checklist for baby’s arrival

I’m doing up a list of things I need for baby and thought it would be good to share, so here goes:

Breastfeeding

  • Breastpad
  • Nipple cream
  • Breastpump (optional)
  • Milkbags / containers (in the early days small containers like snappies are useful; later on bottles that fit directly on the brand of pump you use are best – I use medela)
  • Cooler bag
  • Coolant pack

Bottle feeding

  • Steriliser
  • Bottles with teats
  • Bottle cleaning brush
  • Bottle cleaning liquid
  • Vacuum flask (optional)
  • Formula (optional)
  • Formula container (optional)

Clothes

  • Many onesies
  • Many pyjamas
  • Socks
  • Mittens
  • Pretty clothes for special events
  • Hats

Accessories

  • Bib

Bathing / cleaning

  • Washcloths
  • Tub
  • Baby shampoo and soap
  • Nappy cream
  • Baby powder
  • Baby lotion
  • Misc medications you believe in (gripe water, ruyi oil, Vicks…)
  • Nail clipper
  • Comb
  • Diaper
  • Wet wipes
  • Towels
  • Changing mat
  • Laundry detergent

Bedding

  • New mattress (used mattress apparently increases risk of cot death)
  • Sheets
  • Blanket / swaddling blanket / sleeping bag

Misc

  • Car seat
  • Stroller
  • Diaper bag (can be any big bag but diaper bags has many compartments which can be useful)

For mummy

  • Maternity pads
  • Nursing bras
  • Tummy binder

Why do people think its ok to touch your belly when you’re pregnant?

Actually the title was all I wanted to say about this topic, heh. I am actually a rather open person and probably more touchy feely than average by Asian standards. I’ll put my arm over the shoulders of people I haven’t known for very long but feel are nice people and am ok with a greeting/parting hug. But what’s with people who are not really friends coming over to rub your belly, and guys at that. Ladies I generally have not much of a problem with, although I can imagine finding it strange if some professional contacts do it. But men! Why do they also think its ok??