Art zoo 

We had been so busy with work that I wondered if we were ever going to bring the kids to Art Zoo which was part of I-lights 2017. It was the highlight for sure, pun totally intended.

Half my mind was prepared to give this up.

Thankfully, the weather held up and off we went!

It was really amazing of all sorts. Whoever came up with this was brilliant to the max. It was beautifully executed and every station had a story of its own. 

The kids had a literal whale of time and we were knocked off our socks. 

The boys jumped through every station and had so much fun that it was hard to peel them away. They bounced and jumped in glee for hours till hunger and thirst got the better of them. 

The whole concept was well thought out and we hoped to see more of this in future.



It took a few days to reach the stage of ultimatum, of threatening the kids to cancel their air tickets for poor behavior.

It was a crossroad at times.

On one hand, we knew the kids were misbehaving to the point where going on trips with them would be a torture.

On the other hand, we craved for holidays and the kids’ company so we would bring them along.

The kids might not know at this point on the power they yielded, so they truly believed in our threats. It worked for us.

We received less tantrums and issues, though I wished it was more internally driven than externally motivated.

Counting down 

It was another 2-3 months to a break. 

Given that I had booked the trip last year, there really wasn’t much to do except to plan for the shopping list. 

Meanwhile, the children were reminding us day in day out. 

Actually, we spoilt them such that they had come to expect trips every school holiday. It would do them some good if we could leave them behind soon. It would also do us some good because we could pack a lighter luggage and spend less! 

I really should start counting down to the day we could leave them behind. This was an indication of the kids’ irritating quotient. 

HSX – Household Stock Exchange

It was like having HSX.

The stock prices of the kids’ behaviors were like a bear market.

Just the other day, I praised how well Z was. X also did a good job in learning to cycle.

Attitude ✅ 

Results ✅

Cooperation ✅

A few days’ later, I had Z acting up and even mucking like a fool during swimming practice. There was X who refused to pay attention and practice his cycling.

Times like these, I felt really thankful to have alternatives and that I was not a stay-home mom. Patience ran thin in 2 hours, let alone 24 hours.

Rounding up March holidays – Part 3

Z got off lucky today because his piano class was rescheduled. Instead, we arranged for him to attend an audition. This boy clamed up in front of the camera. I supposed he could only get more confident as time passed.

We had lunch at Peach Gardens, located at Gardens by the Bay. We celebrated birthdays and also checked out the Dino exhibits. They were big and colourful. If not for the horrid sun, it was a really nice place for phototaking.

By evening time, we headed to another birthday party. The kids had a blast but far too many tears. Z cried because he was bumped out at the piñata. X cried because he was punished by me for bad behavior, and missed out on the piñata. Okay, so what was up with kids and piñata? 

I talked about how trying X was, how impossibly tyranny he had been. While it was gratifying to see him regretting his act, I could not tell if he had regretted behaving badly or having regrets about missing out on the piñata. 

Anyway, I thought the kids had played way too much. 

Well, I was glad that school holidays had come to an end. 

Birthday moments 

We had 5 birthday cakes over 3 days. March was fast overtaking July as the populous birthday month in our books.

Rounding up March holidays – Part 2

Being really busy with work during weekdays meant we overcompensated for the weekends.

I barely crawled out of bed from the aftermath of the Friday party. Z headed out for his usual soccer training while X and I struggled with recovery.

When Z returned, we headed out for a birthday party at Waka Waka Polliwogs. It was a fact that Z had many commitments, so he had to skip out of the party at 130 for a class.

X played and even got to try the obstacle course.

He completed the course with much reluctance and whines, as usual. He was really afraid of falling. The thing about X at such a young age was a fear of failure. 

After Z’s class was over, we popped down to the Popular Bookstore sale at Bras Basah where Z picked up 4 books.

It was enroute to the swim school. It was not a fruitful practice due to lightning risks.  After dinner with the grandparents, we finally had the time to check out iLights Marina Bay.

We started from One Fullerton and ogled at the Merlion before starting the walk. 

The highlight was Uncle Ringo where the kids got to play and try their hand at carnival games.

It was 11pm when we left. The kids had a blast but were not tired. It was amazing how much reserves their batteries ran on. 

Parenting proficiency per child

With Z turning 8 this year, I could almost safely say that I knew him very well. Our parent-child relationship was stable because I knew how to handle him inside out. From the first day I took care of him, he was consistent in the sense of regular milk feeds and I always knew what to expect of him.

Z was predictable in my books. I knew the buttons to press, I knew how to push him without breaking him.  I knew how to make him tick. I knew him so well. I always felt that I could read his thoughts even as a child, so preemptive parenting made life easy for us. I probably scored a 9.0 with Z.

However, with X, it was always filled with surprises and inconsistencies. I should have suspected a thing when I could not even predict his milk feed timings. I should have guessed. 

Till now, I never truly knew how to read X. He wasn’t really unpredictable but he tended to get upset over the oddest of all things and bear a grudge for a long time. The bearing-a-grudge package included literal cries of protests, stubbornness and prolonged lack of cooperation. In that sense, he was consistent. 

It was definitely impossible to guess what could trigger off the package.

As a result of his loud and demanding outbursts, Mr H tended to give in to him. When Mr H gave in to him, it also meant Z often had to given in at the insistence of Mr H. I hardly thought that life was unfair for Z because he had it different. After all, he was usually the first owner and a recipient of more dedicated attention. 

However, the short term solution of giving in was creating a monster in X who felt everything must go his way. 

It was also this short term solution that made it hard for me to discover X. 

By virtue of the fact that I seldom gave in, I was a naturally unpopular parent. X came to me when he wanted cuddles and a book reader but he would go to Mr H for everything else such as a midnight PS4 game. 

When X hit 8, would I be able to manage the situation better having known him longer?

This I wonder. On a scale of 1 to 10, I probably was a 5 in my parenting proficiency with X. A lot of room for improvement!