Lanterns – Made in Singapore


 Last saturday after Sophia’s dinner we took a walk in Chinatown as usual. Just Grandpa, Grandaunt, Mummy and Sophia. It was judging day for the lantern making competition held at Chinatown. These large lanterns were made by various youth groups, schools, volunteers etc. They’re not of professional standard yet of course, but after one lesson these youths spent nearly a month twisting very tough wires to form shapes, trying all ways to cover the shapes nicely with cloth. I admit, its beyond me. So even though they don’t look as impressive as the giant pineapple in the field nearby or the bunch of grapes near the garden bridge, I almost think these deserve more applause.

 Sophia likes them too. She didn’t quite like how too many people were trying to carry her though. I wish she would be friendlier.

Speaking of friendly, I can’t help but share how cute Sophia and her friend were at school last week. She has this best friend (or at least we assume they are best friends) at school and when Sophia’s dad went to pick her up, she saw them sitting side by side playing with toys. When Sophia saw daddy and stood up, the friend stood up too and hgged her as if unwilling to let her go home. How sweet! And all that reminds me why I send her to school.

Grandpa is unwell

Grandpa has been having severe abdonimal pain since last evening. Sophia didn’t quite appreciate it last night and still insisted on being carried and riding on him. Daddy and Mummy had to take her away and even when sleeping she was still crying for “gong gong”.

This morning she woke up and asked for grandpa again. Daddy kept telling her grandpa is sick but she kept walking in the direction of his room and getting dragged back by Daddy. Mummy chose to trust her and explained to her that Grandpa is sick but she can go in and take a look and “love love” Grandpa (ie stroke lovingly) but after that she must come out. Daddy did not believe that she would do so. What did you know, she did! She went in, patted Grandpa a few times then came out and got on with her life. She was just worried about Grandpa!

Sophia is definitely a child who responds better to reasoning than scolding, I can tell even now, which is just as well because I am really not very credible as a scolder!

I am the queen!

Sophia has been drinking all her milk from a straw cup since she was 13 months plus and has been holding her own milk bottle for months and months, so she’s perfectly capable of holding her own cup and drinking from it right? But when both grandparents and grandaunt are around, this is what happens:


I don’t love you

My mum and I were devastated. Last Saturday morning my mum randomly asked Sophia (in mandarin) whether she liked grandpa (nod), grandma (shake), grandaunt (nod), mummy (shake) and daddy (no reaction). I wasn’t present when this took place so I easily brushed it off as random reaction where she doesn’t know what the words really meant. But it affected me enough to try it again later in the day in English: Sophia, do you love mummy? (shake) Do you love gong gong? (nod) Do you love grand aunt? (nod) Do you love popo? (shake) Do you love daddy? (nod!!) Argh! The answers are the same!

After this though, she refused to answer these question anymore.

Even though her questions to the verbal questions are unequivocal, her actions are a bit ambiguous though. For instance this morning she insisted that I carry her rather than her grandpa and refused to let go of me even when we reached my workplace. In fact, when we were leaving home, she pointed stubbornly at my slippers and refused to leave the house with me wearing work shoes. At lunch when I returned she cried the moment she heard the sound of door opening indicating that I was about to leave home. Now if she doesn’t love me, she shouldn’t really care. I’m utterly confused.

My love for Sophia is unconditional of course. But I would strongly prefer it if she loves me back!

Babies do the funniest things

I though I would only start to experience the funny bits of observing a child when they start talking properly and hence able to express their very innocent thoughts. It was a pleasant surprise to start experiencing it now.

Wash wash wash my hair

At the supermarket, whenever we pass the shampoo shelve, Sophia will stick her palm under the dispensing spout of large bottles of champoo then pretend to rub the shampoo onto her hair. Too cute to watch.

I want to pinch you!

When taking our nightly walk 2 nights ago, Sophia started holding on to my hard with her fingertips, in  a sort of pinching action but I reckon its just her practicing her pincer grip. I told her “ouch, that’s painful!” and she immediately rubbed the area she pinched, then started pinching again. and repeated the cycle a few times until she got bored and moved on to pinching grandma. And after that reached for grandpa who was too far away so she stretched her hand and fingers out like a crab claw as if expecting grandpa to come over to be pinched. As if grandpa will be that dumb.

Wait wait

When we want Sophia to be patient we’ll usually say “wait wait” and do the stop sign with our hands ie hold up our palm and move it forward and back. Sophia has clearly picked up this sign and has been asking all sorts of things to wait for her, the funniest being two nights ago. We were telling Sophia its time to go for her nightly walk but she happened to be playing with coins from my mum’s wallet and was holding a coin on each hand. She walked all the way to my room and placed the coins side by side on my bed and told the coins to wait for her before heading out to wear her shoes. Of course, when she came back, she completely forgot about the poor coins waiting for her.

Not me!

Sophia would never be too happy about being strapped onto her car seat so we usually try to talk to her or give her some toys to keep her entertained. This particular night we happened to hand her a balloon on a stick but the balloon fell off leaving only the stick which she waved around and nearly hit my mum. My mum said “hey, you nearly hit my eye!” The cheeky girl immediately pointed at me. Of course I immediately said “its not mummy! Its Sophia!” She immediately waved her hand to say no and pointed at me again. I know I shouldn’t laugh but its just too funny.

Kiddy rides

Since Sophia wasn’t previously aware that kiddy rides could move, her encounters with them consisted of her peacefully co-existing with Barney on a stationary car, exploring the steering wheel and the various blinking buttons.


That peaceful co-existence lasted all of 5 seconds the moment you throw paternal grandparents in the mix. Without thinking, the grandparents took out dollar coin after dollar coin and slotted it into the machine in exchange for 5 minutes of jiggling around. This despite me assuring them that Sophia is perfectly happy on a stationary barney car since she is unaware it could move. Once she does know that it can move when a flat shiny object is slotted into a long thin hole though, she will never be content with a stationary ride ever again.

And hence commences my ordeal of having to cough up a whoping $1 which I think is such a rip off or having to whisk away a screaming and crying child whenever we walk past a kiddy ride in a mall. Why are there so many of them around? And who fixed the ridiculous prices, because when I was a kid, these rides cost 20 cents and taking into account inflation rate of an average of 3% per year they should cost less than 50 cents today, how did the vendors arrive at $1?? Oh, yes, of course, because parents, and especially grandparents, will willingly shell out whatever price they set because we have no choice.

When did she learn to make the connection?

Since when did the little wriggling wormlet who was only capable of waving her hands and making “eh” sounds  become capable of complex thought characterastic of an actual human being?

To illustrate my point: 2 nights ago, grandma brought Sophia out for her nightly stroll but only reached as far as the lobby before they turned back for it was raining. When grandma put her down to warm up her night feed, she walked in the general direction of the door/shoe cabinet. Grandma assumed she may be trying to reach her shoes but since the shoe cabinet was closed and the handle too high for her reach, its unlikely she’ll succeed. Hence grandma ignored her and went to the kitchen anyway. When grandma returned, what did she see but Sophia walking towards her with a foldable umbrella hanging on her wrist. She has it worked out that they can still head out as long as they bring a brolly!

Ok ok, I know its supposed to be like common knowledge but I assure you, its amazing to me.

Wrestling Ring

Look at all the padding my dad put around the bed when Sophia is sleeping. Its as if she’s taking part in a wrestling match on the bed! Of course, this only happens when he’s going to leave me alone at home with Sophia because, of course, mummy is incapable of paying sufficient attention to baby.

Fully padded bedside

Sophia the bone gnawer

Usually during dinner Sophia would be busy trying to grab our cutlery and throwing anything she can find all over the place. During dinner today she was surprisingly well behaved. All she did was to reach out to touch some of the stuff on the dinner table but otherwise she was basically sitting quietly on grandma’s lap while the rest of us ate. Grandma was so surprised that she asked me whether Sophia is extra tired today and I said probably.

Many moments later, Sophia suddenly spat out something rather large and hard. Turns out, it was this:

Pork bone

Yes, she picked up a piece of pork bone from the dirty hawker table and put it into her mouth. The meat was completely sucked clean before she spat it out again. We all had a great shock. Notice how sharp one end of the bone was. Shiver.