Saturday, August 13, 2005

More niece moments

I wrote this half a year ago when my niece was two and a half:

"Gu gu 去哪裏?" (Where did uncle go?)

"去澳洲." (Australia)

"去澳洲做甚麽?" (What's uncle doing in Australia?)

"讀書, 回來度假." (Studying, now back on holiday)

"慧慧要不要去?" (Is 慧慧 interested in going?)

"要!" (Emphatic yes)

"去做甚麽?" (What will 慧 do there?)

A short pause...

"去吃 mum mum" (To eat)

My niece is now nearing two and a half and boy is she a chatterbox. My mum is always commenting that she feels a great sense of achievement seeing 慧 grow from a tiny baby into a now 96cm 13.5kg toddler. For me, it is a readjustment every 4-5 months I am back for a break. My mind is still stuck at the last time I've seen her and it is simply amazing to see that quantum leap in growth.

"慧慧去 gai gai!" (I want to go out!)

"要去哪裏?" (Where do you want to go?)

A short pause…

"去搭 MRT" (To take a train) or "去 IMM" (To IMM)

We then try to think of something FAST to distract her…

My niece is also at the stage of being able to walk quite confidently but doesn’t have the endurance to walk longer distances, nor climb long flights of stairs yet. So bringing her out can be a test of our endurance. Any parent (I know most of you aren't yet) would know that Singapore isn't exactly stroller-friendly, so we don't even bother with one now. Try carrying a toddler up an overhead bridge and you'll know it is no joke. Especially when she fidgets a lot! So we're not so keen on bringing her beyond a small radius around our flat. Her favourites recently are taking a train or going to IMM. Both are beyond that small radius!

"慧慧要不要 ngg ngg?" (Do you want to pass motion?)

"不要!" (No!)

"要不要 gai gai?" (Do you want to go out?)

"要!" (Emphatic yes)

"要 gai gai 就要 ngg ngg" (If you want to go out, you have to pass motion)

"慧慧要 gai gai" (慧 wants to go out)

"都跟你說了, 要 gai gai 就要 ngg ngg" (We've just told you, if you want to go out, you have to pass motion)

A short pause… then reluctantly walks over to her potty (portable type).

However, sometimes we have to use going out as a bargaining chip with her, like when she simply refuses to berak (pass motion) although all indications are she wants to. What are the indications? A lot of farting, discomfort when sitting down, preference to standing... She can be very obstinate.

After doing her "business", "慧慧 ngg ngg 了, 慧慧去 gai gai" (慧 has passed motion, now wants to go out) and she rushes to the gate to wait. An indirect way of saying I've done my bit, now you keep your promise.

So I have to close now, because I have to keep my promise to her. Children remember ALL the promises you make, so watch what you say to them. Good luck to all those of you becoming parents soon!

Heh... it is still enjoyable to read this and reminisce what my previous break in December was like. More specifically, what 慧 was like at two and a half years old.

Akan Datang: Beckonings II

230 days to go.


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