January 30, 2012

Conversation with my 2.5 year old

Mums are allowed to be biased right, so this is one of those “I’m biased” post.

I think Yan Yan speaks really well for her age.  She speaks in full sentences, and freely says “xie-xie” for everything that anyone gives to her.  And when she wants something and we say no, she’ll pout her lips, clasp her hands together and pleads, “Uh, please…please la!”  Cuteness!  Here are some snippets of our conversation.

She loves to kepoh whenever I make milk for her, and always insist on scooping the powder into her milk bottle.
Yan Yan: Let me put, let me put.
Mummy: No lah, mei-mei.  Afterwards you mess up the whole place.
Yan Yan: I will put PROPERLY loh (and flash her cheeky grin).

When I fetched her from babysitter one day, and one of her slippers was hidden beneath a bag.  So she asked, “Aunty, where is my shoe?”

I was on my laptop one night while the little one lies on my lap and chatted with me.  She started pointing to her body parts and wanted me to say them out loud.  When she reached her legs, she thrusted her right knee to my face and asked, “This one leh?” to which I just casually answered leg.  She did the same thing with her left knee and I replied the same.  She finally pointed her feet up and asked, “This one leh?” and again I answered “Leg” (bad mummy!).  To my surprise, she replied, “No ah, feet ah!”  Ooops!  My 2.5 year old correcting her mum’s vocabulary.

When she has something for me, she’ll run to me and say, “Mummy, I have something for you.”

She wanted to play with the play dough and I said no, coz it was way past her bedtime and I was tired and didn’t wish to clean up after her.  She pleaded, “Let me play la.  Play little while only la.”

She was looking through her jie-jie wallet and saw an Angry Bird sticker inside:
Yan Yan: Why got Angry Bird inside one?
Mummy: I don’t know.
Yan Yan: Teacher give him (her) one ah?

And here’s Yan Yan wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous year of the water dragon.

January 18, 2012

Making kuih kapit

When I was in my teens and early adulthood, every year without fail, we will make kuih kapit aka love letters for Chinese New Year.  Somehow when the kids came along and we got busier and busier with other commitments, we stopped making this the last few years.

Few weeks ago, mum casually asked if we wanted to make kuih kapit this year, so elder sis and I jumped at the suggestion, for memories’ sake J  And so, we embarked on this last Sunday.  We started firing up the stove, which was fabricated 15-20 years ago, at about 10.30am.

Mum preparing the canisters for storing kuih kapit

Unfortunately, we had a hard time doing so, possibly because we used old charcoal, and mum had forgotten to sun dry them prior to use.  After 1.5 hours of failing to ignite the fire, I decided to drive out to buy some “fresh” charcoal.  When I got back 10-15mins later, mum and sis had finally managed to get the charcoal burning and had successfully made several pieces.

Anyway, we worked for about four hours and produced these.


Along the way, some slightly burnt ones went into their tum tum.  Mum boiled some herbal tea the next day to ensure the girls don’t get too heaty.

January 14, 2012

Random updates of my 2.5-year old

I’ve been terribly slack in keeping tabs of Yan Yan’s progress, and I also noticed that I’ve not written about her for such a long time, so here’s a post dedicated to her.

She’s almost 2.5 years now and has very pronounced terrible two syndromes.  Among other things, she bites her jie-jie when she doesn’t get her way and throws things when she’s unhappy.  Because of these bad behaviours, she’s been smacked umpteenth times.  I don’t remember having to smack her jie-jie much those days.  The one thing that will put her in her place is when her jie-jie picks up the phone and pretends to call the police.  She falls for it every single time and would quickly stop misbehaving.  Ha ha!  Lets see how long more will this trick last.  Threatening her with the cane only works sometimes.

She also has a very short fuse and terrible temper – and it’s unusual to hear her scream out of nowhere whenever she’s frustrated when she cannot get things done.  And whenever she knows I'm angry with her and glare at her, she’ll close her eyes with her hands, behaving like an ostrich - I don't see you means you can't see me too :-)

Physically, she’s really strong and whenever she wants something and we try to take it away from her, we would be involved in a tug of war. But funnily enough, she’s a real scaredy cat – she wouldn’t go near the water at the pool or beach, and wouldn’t ride or even go near the horse and elephant that her jie-jie was so excited about!

She’s almost fully toilet trained, but we will put on diapers for her at night, as well as when we go out for a long period of time.  But most time, she refuses to pee in the diapers and insist that we bring her to the toilet.  The last few nights, she refused to wear the diapers to sleep and to our surprise, we didn’t have any accident.  Her pooing however, is my Achilles’ heel – she takes forever to poo poo, and it’s pure torture especially when we are out with dirty toilets and I have to carry her over the toilet seat.  Each time, I’d come out from the toilet wet with perspiration while she’d be humming happily.  These are the times when I wished she’s a boy, so that toilet duty can be delegated to the father!

She loves to sing and hum, and dance.  Her favourite song at the moment is “Rhythm of the Falling Rain” where she’ll twirl around the room holding her mini Barbie umbrella.

And oh, how she loves to talk!  She even tells us stories made up in her own fantasy like, “Mummy, yesterday I went to a party.  Yadda yadda yadda…” Or when she watches DVD, she’ll tell us what will happen in the next scene like, “Afterwards they will go dancing.”  She’s also a social butterfly who waves her hand to almost anyone when we are out.

When she was little, she used to be a good eater, but now, it’s getting increasingly difficult to get her to finish her meal.  And when we try to coax her to eat just a few more scoops, she’d just close her mouth with her hands!

January 11, 2012

Teeth extraction

A day before school reopened, babysitter noticed that one of Yiu Yiu’s permanent lower central incisors has sprouted and is growing behind her current milk teeth with the other one just about to cut through her gums.

I took her to the dentist last Saturday and we were advised to extract both lower central incisors to make way for the permanent ones.  Yiu Yiu was extremely nervous about it and she kept saying that she didn’t want to pull out her teeth, that she wanted to let them fall off on their own. The dentist and I reasoned with her that the teeth needed to be extracted so that her permanent teeth will have space to grow – otherwise she would end up with uneven teeth, so she reluctantly agreed.

The dentist explained the procedure to her and informed her she’ll be injecting some medicine into her gums and we assured her that it would not cause too much pain – just like an ant bite. However, when the needle was inserted into her gum, she cried out really loud. It must have hurt a lot, so not merely an ant bite :-(

She was still crying after the injection so the dentist tried to calm her down and asked her to choose a gift from her treasure box. We needed to wait a couple of minutes anyway, for the anaesthetic to work before jabbing in twice more. The pain must have subsided by then as she was back to her usual chirpy self. When it was time for the second and third jab, the dentist assured her that her gum had gone to sleep and she would not feel any pain and the two jabs went in smoothly. She didn’t like the taste of the anaesthetic in her mouth though, complaining that it was salty and had to keep rinsing her mouth.

She asked what the dentist would do next, and when told that it was time to extract her teeth, she got really terrified – kept saying that she didn’t want to do it, and even said that she’d prefer that I pull her teeth out with a string, coz I related to her how her kindy friend got his loose tooth pulled out. It took some time to calm her down, and I was also getting anxious as I was worried that the numbness would wear off. I think what did the trick was that we told her if she didn’t pull them out then, we would have to make another trip and she had to go through another round of painful injection!

Very reluctantly she leaned back against the chair. We asked her to close her eyes but she insisted on seeing the tool that the dentist was holding. I guess she needed to anticipate what exactly would happen next so the dentist obliged and showed her the flat spatula-like tool that she would use to loosen her teeth, and she cringed slightly during the procedure. She was on the verge of crying again when shown the dental forcep that would be used to extract the teeth and we reassured her that she would not feel any pain. She groaned a bit during the extraction, and after that, commented that it was painful but I’m guessing she just felt the tugging action rather than real pain.

The anaesthetic injection, and extraction

Look at her solemn and pitiful face.  Can you spot the teary eye as well?

The dentist placed the teeth in a bag for her, and asked her to put them under her pillow for the tooth fairy. I chipped in and said, “The tooth fairy with exchange the teeth with a gift for you.” She threw me an incredulous look and said, “But I thought you said there’s no such thing as fairies in this world.”  Ooppss!

(She watches this movie and asked me before if fairies were real and I told her NO)

So that’s how my firstborn lost her first milk teeth. The experience must have been quite distressing for her! I hope it didn't scare her off too much to the extent she develops a phobia of visiting dentists in the future, coz she has always been a good patient. Read about her previous encounters here, here and here.

January 08, 2012

First week of primary school

My immediate concern for Yiu Yiu during the first week is to ensure she can find her way around the large school compound.  She was a little lost on the first day, but was alright by the second day J

She followed the transporter to school while I made my way to the school separately.  On the first day, I mistakenly assumed that the children would be dropped off at the gate where they would be picked up in the evening but when there was still no sign of the van when school was about to start, I called the transporter only to be told that the children had arrived much earlier and they were dropped off near the main gate as it was nearer to the hall where they were to gather daily before class (to minimise disruption to the classes in the morning session).

I made my way to the hall and found her sitting calmly in her row but when she saw me, she immediately said:
Yiu Yiu: Mummy, I cry ah just now.
Mummy: Why?
Yiu Yiu: I don’t know how to go to the hall.  I asked Yihao (her cousin who was in the same van) to show me but he also never care about me.  He just ran away!

After making their way to the class, the students were given colouring papers to keep them occupied while the teacher settled some formalities with the parents.  There are many students from her kindy in the same school but none in the same class as her.  Parents meanwhile, were busy clicking away on their cameras, or exchanging phone numbers with fellow parents.

Left: Making funny faces.  Top right: The boy behind her didn't bring his colour pencils so she loaned him hers after she finished colouring.

The canteen operator made arrangements to escort children who are in the food catering program to the catering area before recess time, so Yiu Yiu had plenty of time to eat.  

Clockwise from top left: Food laid out on the table, Yiu Yiu washing her fork and spoon, tucking in

Before and after - fishball kuay teow soup on the first day and yee mien with fried wanton on the second day.  Portions are quite huge, and many students couldn't finish them, including Yiu Yiu obviously :-)

She bumped into Yihao on the way back to her class and they had some fun time together, and the earlier incident was all forgiven and forgotten J

They were escorted to the catering area even earlier on the second day, and by the time she finished eating, it still wasn’t recess time, so she made her way back to her class.  She got to take another break during recess, and was very happy to see her BFF from kindy in the canteen.

I dropped by the school during recess on the third day, as the children would be making their own way to the catering area, so I just wanted to make sure that she did that, and not go around to kepoh and look for her kindy friends, since she would have only 20 minutes to eat.  She had become fast friends with one of the girls in her class, and I was happy to see them holding hands and skipping to the catering area J

For the whole of the first week, the transporter went to the class during dismissal and taught them the way to get to the gate where they would be picked up.  It will be easy for Yiu Yiu as her class is quite near to the gate.

She’ll be on her own from next week and I’m sure she’ll be alright finding her ways around the school, taking instructions in Mandarin and making new friends.  The only niggling doubt is whether she’ll eat the catered food during recess.  But I think I’ve drummed it into her frequent enough (cannot waste food because there are people in the world who are starving, cannot waste money because we have to work so hard to earn them, etc) because on the third day, she overheard a mum telling her son that it’s OK if he didn’t like the noodles served, and that he could go to the canteen to buy something else, and she whispered:
Yiu Yiu: That mummy told the boy ah, if he doesn't like the noodle, he can go and buy something else from the canteen to eat.
Mummy: If you don’t like the food, you still have to eat right?  At least you are not hungry.
Yiu Yiu: I eat not because of my tummy ah, I eat because I don’t want to waste your money since you have paid already.

Good girl!

January 02, 2012

Primary school orientation

We attended Yiu Yiu’s primary school orientation on Friday.  Parents and students were assembled in the hall at 8.30am and the orientation started with the children being lined up according to their classes.

The afternoon supervisor proceeded to give the briefing in Mandarin, before the children were ushered out to their respective class, and a tour of the school compound.  Parents continued staying in the hall for further briefing by the headmaster, mainly on their fundraising initiatives and the excellent track record in co-curricular activities.

Parents were then asked to go to the respective classes to settle the school fees and complete other formalities.  When I reached the classroom, Yiu Yiu said she was ravenous (she only had some milk and we skipped breakfast as we were running late) so hubby took her to the canteen while I completed the formalities.

Peeping through the window of her classroom 

Outside her classroom

I joined them in the canteen later and we also decided to sign up for the food catering program offered by the canteen, coz I really doubt Yiu Yiu can go to the washroom, queue for food and finish her food within a span of 20 minutes during recess.  I find the catering rather costly at RM50/month (I was told other schools charge between RM30-RM35), but the range of food is good with over 20 items on rotational basis.  Will try it out for two months and see how it goes.  My only worry is wastage – whether Yiu Yiu will actually finish, or even consume the food.

Overall, Yiu Yiu was OK throughout the orientation (as do most children, I suppose since most, if not all, had attended at least two years of kindergarten).  Hopefully she’ll settle in well when school starts on January 4.

 Playing Pepsi Cola with some new found friends