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Showing posts from October, 2011

It's a Boy!

It was confirmed! We were going to have a boy! Mark has always wanted to be a Daddy to a son, someone whom he could do all the "Daddy-ish" things with - go trekking, camping, play chess, play ball, the list goes on. He was overjoyed. I, however, have always been deeply petrified at the thought of having a son. I have always wanted a girl, someone to giggle and play masak masak with. However, God in His infinite wisdom chose for our firstborn to be a boy, and not just any boy, but a real "boy's boy". Our son never ceases to surprise us in all the ways he lives up to his true boyish nature. He never walks but runs. He doesn't just eat but gobbles down his food. When we go for a walk along the canal, he insists on walking along the full-length of the iron grating beside the path. If there is a puddle, he insists on stepping in it. If there is a leaf, he has to either pick it up or kick it. Last week, he even tried to eat one. He leaps down stairs, two at a t

A Time to Rest

It's been exactly one week since our family took a brief respite from everyday life in Singapore for a five-day holiday. Just one day before our trip to Tioman, we sent an SMS to our neighbour to help us collect the newspapers and to help keep an eye on our home. To that, she keenly observed, "Wow, your family goes overseas very often!" Her comment is true; afterall that was our fifth trip overseas this year. Don't get us wrong - we are not among the most affluent families in Singapore; and this post is not meant to brag about how many times we go overseas. On the contrary, this post is meant to convey the importance that we place on taking time off from our work. As such, of the five trips this year, three were to Malaysia (by car), one to Indonesia, and only one "big trip" to Australia. Sue and I love to travel. We are exhilarated by the sights and sounds of a different land. We enjoy the natural beauty of a country's scenery. We love to imbibe the cul

First Steps

Our son took his first long walk last week. On that Friday afternoon, I received an SMS from my wife during the day that he had walked for a good distance along the canal where we lived. Jubilant on receiving the news, yet determined to see this for myself, I hurried home to take him again to the canal after work. It was a lovely evening. The glowing sun had not yet bid farewell to the day. The leaves were rustling gently in the breeze. And the two of us were holding the hands of our son as we guided him to the canal to reprise his afternoon's performance. My wife held him steadily, before gently letting him go. Both of us proceeded a few steps in front of him, waving our hands madly and gesturing for him to come to us. "You can do it," we cried. "Come to Daddy and Mummy!" Z stared blankly at us, his hands outstretched in a balancing position. Looking at us hesitantly as though we were strange creatures from a faraway galaxy, he gyrated awkwardly as though he wa

Curing the Epidemic of Ungratefulness

I have been feeling rather disturbed by a recent trend I've noticed among the children I work with. It started with a few of my tuition students demanding food and drink from me during our lesson - "I want a glass of water!" and "I'm hungry. Do you have anything to eat?" with no "please" to preface their demands, or even a  "thank you" after I had to rummage through my kitchen to find something to fill their stomachs with. Never mind the fact that I am their tuition teacher, and not running a restaurant out of my home. Then it carried on with one of my counselling clients in school telling me that his parents did not love him, though they had rewarded him for doing well by letting him choose two gifts of his choice - because they had not bought him a Sony PlayStation 2.  The final straw was at the students' graduation ceremony this week, when a boy who had won the best award tore open his gift envelope while still on stage, and