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February 4, 2021

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Watch this space/ I did it

January 13, 2021

I’m probably going to try something. By “probably” I mean I don’t believe I’m going to, but I’ve ordered/ am getting everything I need for it.

_

Update-

:)

&.

extra update- round 2, with duck:

Likewise this reflection- I’m on my third draft. I might as well think of other things.

Last night, i dreamt I was in Singapore, and had to drive to Cameron highlands and back, but time was being shifted by someone unknown, and google maps showed the return trip would take six days and one hour. I couldn’t find my friends; they wouldn’t stay where I’d left them.

But the powers that be left an unexpected gift- I ended up playing captain’s ball with old friends from yf, and the exultation x exhilaration I felt was real- so real that to wake was to be disoriented, then sad. Maybe the new heavens and earth will be a rush like that, an unending one.

I suppose 2020 played out the way it has because I wasn’t brave enough, kind enough, patient enough; to strive for excellence in the little things; to pick myself up and try again; to be sterner with myself when I knew I was crossing lines of crossness and ill-temper. I wasn’t wise enough to see, and understand:

That children are more important than homeschool, a thousand attempts are worth walking alongside, and even the nightmare tedium of laundry, vacuuming, packing, cleaning are to be mustered/mastered.

.

In any case. 2021 looks to be more of the same- which means opportunities galore to be better than I was. Laundry beckons already. And also I owe my longsuffering husband a big hug.

at bedtime-

(E pretends to give me a flower, then turns to Clang Clang the toy piggy and gives him “a big one”)

Me (curious): is my flower big or small?

E: small

Me: i get a small flower and clang clang gets a big flower- (succumbing to temptation) does this mean you love clang clang more?

E: yes

Me: ??!! Why?

E (turning to hug clang clang): because I take care of him

Me: #mindblown

_

again succumbing to temptation, I repeat the above questions, ending with “why?”

E: because he’s little

Me: you mean, you love him more because he’s little?

E: yes

Me: #mindblownroundtwo

_

I ask him if he loves didi for the same reason

E: yes. (Pause-) Remember? Those who are little need chickencare of

Me: ah? You mean… those who are little, need to be taken care of more?

E: yes.

How, how is it that my 2 year 10 month old understands these things?

Part Peranakan

October 28, 2020

Ooh, look at the colour. Pretty bisque.

Pork-chicken stock simmering at the back, fish heads fried and ready to go, prawns getting their turn in the wok. In the end I had three pots going for a couple of days.

_

I made a bakwan kepiting spin-off! No crab meat because ain’t nobody in this household got the time to dig crab meat out of shells; I substituted it for prawns and it was crazy enough shelling, deveining, and mincing them while a bb clutched my legs and screamed for attention.

It took me about four to five days/afternoon chunks to get everything done; probably half the time needed for Individuals With No Bb Clutching At Their Legs Wailing.

_

Randomly, today I learnt that the french answer to “did she manage to get any x” is oui, elle en acheté beaucoup/non, elle n’en achète pas, which is ‘she x did/ no she x didn’t’, as opposed to our matrix which sets the pattern as ‘she did / didn’t get x’. I tried to think of the mandarin equivalent to hopefully make sense of this structure and came up with inconsistent examples.

Speaking of mandarin, I got a burst of energy recently and decided to write a whole bunch of Chinese characters first and slowly oppress my family by pasting them on walls in phases. I think my Chinese teacher would burst into laughter then give me a sympathetic hug.

_

If only math were swimming along like mandarin.

Homeschooling

October 16, 2020

English materials: Letterland + Lakeshore resources = approx $150

Chinese books: 2 sets = approx $60

Math: Target + Etsy resources = approx $70

Close to 300USD.

Then again, it was 200 weekly for E’s school.

Week one

September 28, 2020

Into week two now. Between planning for a chick (if I have a chick, I will give it milk and three seeds, and I will play peekaboo with it, and play music and we will dance), E has been asking for his father multiple times a day. Small e is bad too; if E plays a video that features their papa, e starts wailing. I find E’s questions a twist to my heart; is papa coming back from work? I want to go to office and fly with him. Is papa back?

There has been a spate of bugs in the house; biting ones and a roach I killed with soapy detergent water and no screaming. Cleared it with no screaming either, although it took E holding my hand as I swept it into the dustpan to make me feel braver. I don’t know where the various biting ones are from; big swollen bites on e’s thighs, basic mosquito bites, and now I have two small itches side by side; signs of a crawling bitter. I’d say bedbug. I hope it didn’t hitch a ride from the house we had lunch in. Argh. Hopefully my dad’s essential oil mix gets rid of it. A plague on them all.

Also, ten different tabs showing ten different pretty rompers; if I ever went into retail I’d call my shop romperholics

The last three days

September 20, 2020

we went to tangers first; and for awhile methought John had purposed to buy up entire stores, so quick to decide was he. Ultimately though, that was not the case. A few mad dashes and extravagant purchases later, we escaped the 42c heat and left, our two boys as least as hot as we were. Now I have pretty sperrys to slip into, and we have new clothes. I can keep my dad’s slippers I’ve been wearing for the last six months.

We spent the next morning playing with water; or at least the boys did. Big E liked it so well that we decided to go back on day three. Small e was very happy too, which is nice because it was his birthday. We made one year; cow’s milk and honey all kosher now, for the little one who still has no words but babbles entire conversations and somehow worked out that chairs can be for pushing around, then climbing atop of, to reach for all things forbidden; who loves cuddles and kisses more than videos or toys. Who doesn’t care much for toys, except when 哥哥 makes it look interesting. Our adrenaline junkie, whose papa loves him so.

Incidentally, we now have a nice collection of photos and videos to serve as a nice memory for when E asks for papa.

Where’s my papa, mama? He asks. Is papa at work, mama? Is he?

Yes he is; he’s- far away at work.

Is his plane broken?

Not this time.

is his plane old?

I don’t know, child. You have many questions and I don’t have all the answers. I don’t even know how I’m going to help you to literacy and numeracy, but I’ve resolved to be more diligent on that front.

Still, I do know that you love your father and you told your grandmother tonight that he’s your best friend. Although you might have a rival for his affections in your brother, who burst out crying upon seeing his beloved papa not at home, but on a phone screen.

Day 1; family is a precious thing.

I take it as a compliment

August 19, 2020

“Wah! What’s this! Japanese curry?”

(It wasn’t)

“Is this a paste or you made from scratch?”

_

He usually says it’s nice anyway, but today I felt pretty sure he wasn’t saying it just to be An Appreciative Husband

On the elder son

August 15, 2020

memories to keep

1. The two boys playing in the bathtub, us chatting out of their line of sight; turning to check on them, seeing him carefully pour water on his 弟弟 then himself, washing them one scoop at a time.

2. Him receiving The Cheap Soap I bought for him to play with, after waiting for days for it to arrive; me peeking in at bathtime to see Soap bobbing about in aforementioned scoop, him contentedly sitting beside it.
No matter how tall or sophisticated my son grows, I will remember that once upon a time, a little white bar of soap was precious to him.