Monday, 28 September 2009

20090928 Mommy's thoughts

Kathleen has been attending childcare for 3 weeks.

A usual schoolday for her will start when papa woke her up and drove her to her childcare.  As they are usually in a rush, Kate will only have her breakfast in school.  Usually papa will try to stay with her till after her breakfast, but sometimes he will have to leave before that if he has a early meeting to attend.  Kate will stay the whole day at the childcare till 5pm, and that is when the school bus will take her to my mother's place.  As my mother lives at the edge of the housing estate furthest away from the childcare, the bus journey took more than one hour.  By the time which Kate was already cold from sitting in the air con bus.  So after the few days, we notify the teachers to add on one layer of long sleeve jacket for her before she board the bus, and now her hands are not so cold at the end of the journey.

My mother will cook dinner for her and me, and accordingly to my mother, she will not speak much when they are alone.  I will go direct to my mother's place after work, and Kate will come to the door when she hears the door opening, and will give a wide smile, declaring 'Its mommy!' many times when she see me.

My father (her 公公)will burn the joss sticks during the evening, and that has become her new routine of some sort.  She will insist that the two of us followed gong gong around the house as he walked to the different altars around the house, and we will have to  拜拜 to the different altar with him, a simple routine that bonded her slightly to her 公公.

Sometimes her papa will come and fetch us home, on other days, we will take public transport home.  Usually we will reach home between 9.30pm to 10.30pm, after which we will have to prepare for the next day, and Kate will try to play as much as possible before bedtime.  Which means bedtime is also delayed as she will refuse to sleep until past midnight.  The new arrangement also means that we have less time for story book reading, and we have been visiting the library less often, and sometimes, the borrowed books remain untouched.

After the first few days in cc, she keep repeating the word 这个 (this), which I assume is learnt when her assistant teacher Mrs Chua, keep asking her if 'this' (bag/shoes/water bottle) is hers. :P

Her childcare always start the day with the singing of the national athem, and saying the pledge in both English and Mandarin.  After the first few days, she began to sing the chorus of the National Athem, off key and with the wrong lyrics of course, when she is at home.

She also regressed abit, and started to use gestures (bringing her pinched fingers towards her mouth with a 'ummm' sound) to indicate that she wanted to eat, which I assume, is because the teacher does not understand her when she said that she wanted her milk, and she is unable to have direct access to food.

My sister and I thought we noticed a slight increase in chattiness.  And she sang louder nowadays too :P Her vocabulary had increased, as she learnt new phrases such as 'pass urine', 'swallow' (imagine at Taka, and she keep shouting 'Auntie Beth pass urine' loudly when my sister's helper went to the washroom).

But with childcare, she also have to deal with the other children, with 'fighting' for toys and to shower instead of bath.  The former gave her nightmares which she will cry 'give me' 'give me', and the later will make her shout 'dunwan' as she is afraid of water coming down on her from the shower head.  At the beginning, she will toss and turned and rolled around almost the whole night when she sleep, and shouting out 'give me' or 'dunwan', or cry.  Those are trying nights, as both of us (her papa and me) have to work the next day. A mommy friend told me that her girl's childcare teacher told her that the nightmares will last from 2 weeks to 2 months.  2 months!!!!  She also developed a fear of bathing, and will refuse to bath (bath, not shower) nowadays.  

She has also become more clingy to me nowadays, and now, all the activities have to be done by me, including hand washing etc which used to be done by papa.

Since she started on cc, the adults has been more tired as we travel more on the road, sleep later, and (for her papa) wake up earlier.  Poor Kate also have to withstand 3 additional journeys everyday (from home to childcare, from childcare to my mother's place, and later from there to home), on top of suddenly being transported to a new environment.

Around the same time, I also started developing back pains.  Not the usual ones, but nowadays my back is very stiff, with pains radiating down the legs, sometimes with numbness on the legs, and the waist will weak and by the end of the day.  Sitting is now painful (and mine is a desk-bound job) and certain position brought pain too.  Kate's papa suspected that I got ankloysing spondilytis (choy!) while my colleague said that the disc of my spine are disintegrating (choy too!).  The GP suspected that the bone is pressing down the nerve, but X rays taken by the polyclinic showed nothing, and the doctor there said most probably its a muscle strain that will recover on its own.  I insisted on a referral to the hospital but the earliest date I can get is in November.  

Meantime, I have to delegate some of the jobs to papa, as when the pain is bad, I am unable to hold onto Kate tightly (eg in the carpark when she always like to dash into the road) nor carry her.  He is never in favor of having a sibling for Kate, and the new responsibilities (sending Kate to school, bringing us back) and uncertainties make him even more firm in his decision.

So I guess there goes my dream to have a bigger family, and Kate will remain an only child, unless my goddess send a few hassle-free, lawful kids my way. :P

Saturday, 19 September 2009

20090919 playing with lanterns

大姨姨 bought some paper lanterns for the children to play with.  This is the first year that Kathleen has her hands on a paper lantern.  Previously we only allow her to play with battery operated lanterns.

A beaming Kate holding her lantern, which is the first one to be lit by 大姨姨.

Charlie joining in the fun.

A peek into her lantern....

大姨姨 busying lighting up the rest of the lanterns

Yuan yuan 表哥.  This cool gor gor later drop one of his milk teeth at the Takashimaya Mooncake fair on Sunday and just coolly put the tooth into his pocket and continue with his activity.

All the kids.  The area behind them is cordoned off for lift upgrading.

Having fun walking around a pillar....

Janice, who is older, is more concerned about setting up her own candle structures than joining in the fun...

Monday, 7 September 2009

20090907 Babycenter article on toddler mispronounces words

Extracted from

A 2-year-old will typically mispronounce just about any word. Most toddlers can say "p," "b," and "m" sounds easily because they can watch your lips and see how the sounds are formed. Consonants such as "k" and "g" are tough for toddlers, because they're produced at the back of the mouth, and your child can't actually see how to make the sound. Producing a "t" instead of a "k" is a common substitution and is nothing to be worried about unless your child is still doing it past the age of 5. Other sounds that may present difficulties for your child between now and the time he turns 3 include

* "r" pronounced as a "w," such as "wabbit" instead of "rabbit"

--> oh yes.. "mommy woll" when she is talking about rolling.

* "l" pronounced as a "w" or a "y," such as "yeg" instead of "leg"

* "s" lisped as a "th" sound, such as "thun" instead of "sun"

--> "thool" instead of stool. "nake" instead of snake.

* "sh" pronounced as an "s," such as "sip" instead of "ship"

* "ch" pronounced as a "sh," such as "wash" instead of "watch"

* "g" pronounced as a "d," such as "dame" instead of "game"

* "v" pronounced as a "b," such as "ban" instead of "van"

* "f" pronounced as a "p," such as "pish" instead of "fish"

* consonant blends such as tr, dr, sl, sn, sm, st, bl mispronounced by leaving one of the sounds off ("stop" becomes "top" or "sop")

* consonants in the middle of words left out, so "baseball" becomes "bayball"

* words with more than one syllable shortened or simplified, so "Emily" becomes "Memmy" or "Emmy"

Sometimes the difficulty in pronunciation has less to do with a particular letter sound than with the organization of the word itself. For example, your child may say "Dadda" or "Daddy," so you know he can make a "d" sound, yet he pronounces "dog" as "gog." In fact, he's mispronouncing it because the "g" sound comes right after it. Since the "d" is pronounced in the front of the mouth and the "g" is pronounced in the back, saying "dog" requires some tongue gymnastics that may be hard for your 2-year-old.

Saturday, 5 September 2009


Had wanted to bring Kate kite flying but the wind just does not like mommy (nor her kite).  So mommy and Kate walked along some fields and ... what is she poking at???

aaahh..its some shrivelled, wrinkled mimosa flowers and leaves... Kate have some fun searching for the mimosa leaves and then poking at them just to see them closed up....

After that, she went to the elderly corner near her home and have fun with the equipment again....

Friday, 4 September 2009

20090904 first day at child care

Today is Kate's first day at child care.  Papa and mommy brought her over, and stayed with her for breakfast, and then papa left for work.
Mommy stayed with her for a while more,and left when the teacher brought the whole class to the playground area as Kate had insisted that mommy sit with her during lesson time.
Here is a picture of Kate sitting on the floor while waiting for the rest of the class to be finish putting on her shoes.  A very beautiful shot, I might say, as it show how her super straight hair fly all around her (she was sitted below the fan), and the little bit of apprehension that is shown on her face.
Mommy went for a hair cut, and she went back during naptime.  The teacher told her that Kate had behaved relatively well, cried abit during shower, but have finished her lunch and managed to fall asleep with the rest of the children.
p/s the name of the child care is deliberately left out :)