Daddee Yah!

A working Daddee learning to cope in a big big world

A tddler wakes screaming & crying in the middle of the night. I think Toddler Daddy can identify with this topic.

For 3-4 nights since Caitlin’s birthday party, we’ve been woken by her crying in the middle of the night. She’s not fully awake, she doesn’t suddenly scream prompting Daddee to reach for his baseball bat / hand-me-down golf club / nail clippers, she just starts by sobbing, & then cries. But her cries are comprehendable: Exclamations of not wanting for something required of her. Eg go shower, putting her toys away, etc.

While growing up myself I have heard of this old wives tale: That toddlers playing too much in the hours leading to bedtime will later have bad dreams & nightmares. I am never one to listen to these tales, & frankly cannot remember if that theory ever held true in my own childhood.

However, desperate for sleep, I carefully broached Caitlin the topic of her bad dreams. I shared the tale of what “the aunties” said, & suggested that we gave it a go- not to play too much after dinner, not too much running around ha-ha playing, resorting to just reading or playing with her birthday present puzzles. She was game for it, so to speak. Perhaps she too needed the sleep… No, she still naps in the afternoons. Maybe she pities Daddee’s panda eyes & thought he deserved a break.

I broached this carefully because she has sometimes surprised me by how easily freaked she is by simple concepts. For eg, she seems to be scarred by this one scene of one of Thomas’ friends (the tank engine) derailing from speeding. That show is now banned in this household.

I don’t think she is generally chicken, but I guess everyone has their kryptonite.

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And so Tuesday evening I didn’t play with her vigorously. She was very keen to unwrap her new Pooh Bear puzzle, even though she is guilty of losing some pieces of another simpler puzzle; it was a freebie actually from a purchase but you know… After setting some ground rules that she is only allowed to play with Daddee, we unwrapped it.

That night & the following night we only played with the puzzle or flipped through / read some of her new birthday present books.

Other than the routine “I wanna go pee” anywhere between 2-4am, we’ve all slept very well….

Which of your old wives tales tactics have actually worked?

Despite not having enough kids to invite & Daddee’s fumbling in organising it, Caitlin’s birthday party didn’t turn out too bad after all…

Admittedly Mummee, Daddee & Caitlin were out during the most of the day, only coming back to start the preparations a tad too late!

We were going to host the party at the common hall / “clubhouse” at our condo on Saturday. About a week prior, I had purchased some party balloons, a pump, enough simple party packs of annoying horns, masks, hats, & 2 simple Pooh Bear & Disney birthday garlands. But only on Friday did I start to wonder (or mildly panic) that the venue may be looking a bit too bare…..

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Although not as creative nor crafty as Forty-Two Roads’ handy crafts, I did try to spruce up the event somewhat!

I had known for a while that Pocoyo’s site has some templates for printing for crayon-colouring, DIY pop-out cards, & coloured graphics for placemats & garlands. So, on Friday afternoon, the eve of the party, I decided to print some out, thinking perhaps spending Friday night after everyone has gone to sleep that I would put these together.

And wouldn’t you know it, the office colour printer decided not to work.

Maybe someone’s programmed into the printer not to print bright colourful graphics of cartoon characters. Maybe someone knew I was planning a party & that I may up to no good with office equipment. Maybe someone’s just simply out to get me. If you know your printers, photos & graphics are a combination of CMYK- cyan, magenta, yellow, black. It is the combination of these that make up a colour printout, photo or graphic. My printouts were all too red- like there was double the red being printed, even on where it was supposed to be white. I kept trying the settings, printing out (effectively wasting the toner) more of the annoyingly same output. And I was fast running out of time.

On the way to pick up Caitlin, I called Mummee (who usually works late) if she has a colour printer in her office, & whether I could print them there. Yes & yes.

So after a quick call to mother in law to say I will be late for Caitlin, I headed over to Mummee’s office. Loaded the pdf files on her machine & alas, they printed out perfect. Looking at the product, Mummee says “Hey these Thank-you cards do look nice; why don’t we paste them onto proper cardboard to make it hardier?”

Not one to have done craft-stuff since primary school, I agreed & proceeded to paste them to sandwich a cardboard. In short, I ruined 4. Either the front & inside pages didn’t align, or that I forgot that once the card folded that the inner pages would crease at the fold.

Again, time was running out.

I won’t bore you with the other mini-disasters of essentially poor estimations of effort & time required to put these things together, suffice to say that we saw Saturday’s sunrise while STILL working on these things. Credit to Mummee who is heavily pregnant to still entertain this Daddee’s late decision on party deco.

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In the end we did get the following done:

  • Thank you cards, enough for the kids present
  • Flip out cheap-animation, enough for the kids present
  • Placemats of the characters, laminated and all
  • “Happy birthday” garland (pictured)

After only about 3 hours sleep & being out almost the whole of Saturday due to commitments & appointments, we rushed home only around 5pm when the party was supposed to start at 7pm!

This was the first time I used the balloon pump thing. I gotta say it’s a pretty interesting contraption that my older brother & I were wondering during the party how it works- in both direction of the pumping-action there was still air being blown out…

Anyway. My school friend & his family were the first to arrive. Embarrassingly I had to ask him to help continue with the balloons while I went to get the furniture arranged, & putting up the garlands & get the home-made crafts.

Mother in law was the only one who knows how nuts we were staying up so late! But then again she home-cooked a total of seven dishes in all, when we had only asked her to cook three! My own mum brought over some food too, & Sam & Mircle provided a very pretty birthday cake.

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I am going to break my own privacy principle just this one time & share a photo of my lovely Caitlin for you guys to see how happy she is!

That’s heavily-pregnant Mummee in the background, cheering at the unveiling of the birthday cake (from its upturned transport box)

The cake is made of jelly. I gotta find out the shop from which Sam got it. We had asked her to get this one because for her own hubby’s birthday she got a similar one (adult version of course) full of fresh-ish fruits inside. We thought it’d be easier to take this given it was a warm few weeks.

Throughout the night, the kids, including Caitlin’s older cousins, were generally having fun. Among Caitlin’s presents was a new bicycle, so she was quite happily trying her luck cycling around the mingling adults not bumping into people. From the start, I am sure our 2 blocks of resident-neighbours were already suffering from the party-pack-horns that Caitlin & her similar-human-sized friends blaring away.

But overall, I think everyone had fun.

Now Daddee is still lacking sleep!

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Happy Birthday my sweet Caitlin!

Grannee is feeding: Why do you eat so slowly?
Caitlin: Why do you eat so fast?
Grannee: …..

Mummee is driving Mummee’s car: ..I have to think about getting new tyres soon…
Caitlin: What are… what?
Daddee: Tyres?
Caitlin: Yah.. tyres
Daddee, leaning Caitlin closer to the window: See those black round things on the car next to us, touching the road? Those are tyres.
Caitlin: Why Mummee need new tyres?
Daddee: Because they are getting old…

I have found she understands that “old” means having been around a while, that the object is starting to be defective.

Daddee’s joint cracked.
“What’s that?”
“Daddee’s knee cracked..”
“‘Cos Daddee is getting old already…” Grins at Daddee..

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“Why are the boy & girl standing on the table?”

I didn’t even see it that way myself… I wonder what would happen if I drew lines / framed the three pictures..

“Why are there monkey bars in the bus?”

Heh heh!

What classic one-liners has your toddler said?

Since I started blogging I have also started subscribing to & reading other parenting-related blogs, from both mother & father bloggers.

One of the posting-threads I picked up whilst reading was this story at Inside Fatherhood“Graco thinks dads are stupid”

In short, Inside Fatherhood relayed on how Graco’s packaging had the slogan “Ask moms who know”, as if implying dad’s know very little, or only very little participation in child-related product selection & purchasing.

To Graco’s credit, they picked up on the story (I think unprompted), and Inside Fatherhood got a response from them.

This makes good marketing- they have indirectly got me (another blogger) commenting on it already, effectively spreading the word on their response. All the way in Malaysia, no less.

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Objectively speaking, in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia where I live, I cannot say I have had many such pleasant experiences of companies going a (few) steps further for the customer, during & especially after the sale. But as expected, the few who do tend to remain in our memory for years to come- at least for me.

The retailer from whom we bought the baby cot & stroller was one such experience. He was a sales person there, & if I recall correctly, he was serving another couple at the same time as us. Perhaps the other couple showed less interest, because our buddy was giving us a demo of what both the baby cot & the stroller could do (I blogged about how our cot had a few “stages” to follow the child’s growing needs). On these 2 products, he was riding it, standing & bouncing on them, folding / collapsing them; just to show the toughness & versatility of them.

Needless to say we did end up purchasing the items.

Another experience, though not parenting related, was from a furniture retailer. When we married we bought a teakwood bed & matching wardrobe. If you know your woods, you know teak is one heavy natural resource. The wardrobe was to go into our bedroom. Since we live in an apartment, getting it in & up into our unit was already a battle. The delivery guys were about to leave after assembling the bed & delivering the wardrobe into our unit (not our bedroom) when the store owner, Phil, asked where we’d like it. To cut the (unrelated) story short, he helped remove the wardrobe doors, helped chisel away our doorframe (because it was too tall!), moved the wardrobe into our bedroom with his musclemen, went out to get some wood putty (I drove, of course) to fix the doorframe, screwed the wardrobe doors back on, & polished the wardrobe a little, before leaving some 4-5 hours later. All for nothing.

By the way the guys were from the Midvalley branch of Homelife. And we didn’t even buy the furniture from this branch; we got it at their warehouse sale out in Sg Buloh.

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I should add that this, & all previous posts to date, are not paid posts. As my accompanying personal photos can attest, these are products that I already own & use.