Daddee Yah!

A working Daddee learning to cope in a big big world

And.. a… ONE!
Getting ready

And.. a.. TWO!
Up!
And.. a.. Hey I am up!
YAY!

And…OOPS!
On my ass!

Happy First Birthday, Caleb!

Soon you will be walking, and running, and we’d be chasing…..!

You are starting to show your traits:
You are compassionate. If you accidentally knock someone you immediately apologise without prompting from anyone. If jie-jie is hurt, you go to her asking if she is okay. And if she asks if you would share your toys with her, you go awright quite immediately willingly.

You are inquisitive:
You see things and you tell me you see them. Every single thing.

And then you go Right Daddee? Right?

You are like Mummee- independent, and OCD:
You wanna try things yourself, and you wanna do it your way. That is why if whatever you are attempting is being done wrong, we will never get out of there.

You are also sly:
You still pee in your pants; likely from being too lazy to stop whatever fun activity you are doing at the moment to go pee. And when you are caught, you change the subject hoping that your trouble with the adults will go away. Of course it won’t, and so you run away. Literally.

But above all, all these traits are better than you being the opposite of them!

Happy Birthday buddy!

Being the youngest I grew up with books and some comics already in the house (as well as contemporary music like The Carpenters, some Beatles, Glen Campbell, John Denver… Oh my I’m scaring myself while I list this)

One of the comics that sticks in my head is Peanuts: Charlie Brown & Snoopy, Linus & his security blanket, characters whose heads are way too big for their bodies.

I guess it’s not just the Peanuts specifically- I think in all comics & cartoons that, whenever a character is concentrating on a task, be it while writing, drawing, cutting, etc, that the character is drawn with his/her tongue out, as if in the midst of licking the upper lip. It seems like a universally accepted comic-body-language.

I have always wondered about this, even consciously stuck my tongue out hoping that my homework, drawing, whatever, would turn out nicer or better than usual. It didn’t work.

Then, I saw this only last night.

If you stick your tongue out, your work isn’t necessarily going to be good. But if you concentrate on the task at hand, the tongue comes out.

Try it.

Sorry for the quality of these photos. They are actually still frames from a video that I took of Caitlin’s tongue action with my iPhone- I freeze-framed these shots and screen captured them.

No I haven’t played them back to her yet. Hot Mummee just suggested that I do, and highlight this to her before she gets older and where kids are mean!

This, and last week, were quite significant for me.

My parents are moving to a new gated community along with my two older brothers. What is significant; I guess not just for me, is that our parents have been living in this house since 1984, when it was renovated, and since 1975 on that same plot of land.

Yes, a lot of memories surrounding this house.

  • I learned how to cycle there
  • I chilled at the kitchen’s breakfast counter watching the A-Team/Airwolf when mum was teaching yoga upstairs
  • The same breakfast counter I had cereals before school
  • The same house where our beloved Alsation grew up and grew old and died
  • All the kids had their wedding ceremonies there
  • All the Chinese new years
  • Nieces and nephews’ first steps
  • I had a birthday party there where my high school crush came
  • It was home when I returned for holidays whilst studying in Australia
  • It was home.

Anyway

I was there last weekend helping pack my accumulated junk since teenage years. Caitlin came along too; Caleb didn’t because of the impending mess that comes with moving. Naturally she questioned EVERYTHING she saw. She saw the birthday cards from high school girl-friends. She saw some of my obsolete computer hardware. She saw some of my cassettes of 80’s pop music (to avoid embarrassment I wont cite who they were!)

Today I wasn’t there for the “official” move (according to the Chinese lunar calendar today is a good day). But this weekend will likely be the last time i get to set foot in that house when the trucks ferry off the last remaining personal items.

I took this shot of Caitlin helping remove and sort out some really old photos from a 50+ years old album, of my parents’ dating days, and also baby pics of my older siblings!

I wouldn’t call it expert handling, but Caitlin’s been managing to get most of her food into her mouth with chopsticks these days.

She can’t open-close the sticks yet, but she makes enough of a fork-like position with them that she is able to get ‘em into her mouth. She is able to make the occasional grasp of the morsel; that will just be a matter of time before she will be able to grip all foodstuff, I reckon.

Caitlin with adult chopsticks

But the more remarkable thing for me is that she had worked out how to use my Macbook Pro’s trackpad!

Remarkable in that, since this is my precious, I very rarely let her out of my sight when she is “using” it for watching Sesame St podcasts. And since I haven’t yet invested in a good bluetooth mouse, I don’t let her use it at all, assuming she wouldn’t be able to work the trackpad- this kid has not been experiencing the human-computer interface as much as other kids her age. But I think she’s seen me use the trackpad enough to abstract-think my finger movement in the square of the pad and corresponding arrow on the screen.

Today I loaded the Playhouse Disney website and watched her interact with the instructions. Like a typical kid, she was “short-cutting” through the various screens not waiting for the kiddie voice to finish explaining how to proceed.

I think if and when I do get a mouse, I won’t be able to use my own computer much anymore… Just like how Hot Mummee’s already been monopolising the other time-waster: The tv remote.

Sigh…

Caitlin’s classmate Chloe had her birthday party at Centrepoint’s McDonald’s over the weekend.

I had organized Caitlin’s 4 year old birthday party before, and one of my criteria was that all the kids should enjoy the party or event. I did consider McD’s then, but didn’t think it was going to be all that fun, as I thought it was just all sit-down and eat, with party packs and hats to take-away, and maybe the chance for them to go crazy at the indoor playground.

I was wrong.

The party invitation, a McD stationary no less, stated that Chloe’s party is from 12-1:30. We only arrived around 12:10, cos since it was a Sunday lunch time all the good shaded parking spots were taken. Darn it I had to park in the sun, illegally no less. Went in, saw the sign that said “Chloe’s party” pointing upstairs. Went upstairs and some of the kids were already at their designated-just-for-kiddies long table munching away at their fries. An older kid came to greet us, and asked what Caitlin’s name was. “Hey, that’s my name too!” quipped the probably-10-years-old girl, and proceeded to write the name on Caitlin’s McD cap.

kid_crowd_tilt

Caitlin then was led to the table to an empty seat. Rather apprehensive at first, as she is when attending any event, she soon got comfortable with her friends and found her fries and the McD toy in her mealbox, with her hat on – which is still at home today :)

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Okay, so now what do I do? The playground doesn’t look like it will hold my weight….. I thought.

There were other parents there. I noticed some of them were talking to a McD staff. Others seemed to already know one another. Relatives, is what I thought. Do parents of school kids get involved with each other??

I didn’t know anyone, so I sat myself down to watch the kids for a while. Wait a sec, what about me- the kids are eating, and I am starting to get hungr..

“What would you like to eat sir?” said the same McD staff from before.

Isn’t this a fast-food self-order restaurant? “Err….” I was just thinking about going downstai…

“Would you like to try the Spicy Chicken McDeluxe?”

“Okay”. Can’t say I have heard of that menu-item before; Qtr Pounder and McChicken- yeah. This one must be new…?

Soon the staff came back with a tray full of the red boxes, closely followed by another with a tray full of fries and drinks. I warfed mine down, and so did the other parents; partly cos I was getting hungry, but mainly cos this is some tasty chicken burger with some spicy zing to it! ;) It wasn’t bad, just like the McChicken that I always get, but with that extra kick, and it also seemed crunchier. I never liked adding sauce to most things I eat (not even on fries) so the spiciness of this burger is just what I liked, without the sugar of sauces.

“Cabbage-between-the-teeth for seconds anyone?”

I soon realised that Chloe’s mum was taking care of even the adults’ meals as well, so after I kinda picked my teeth to make myself presentable (cabbage-between-the-teeth for seconds anyone?) I went over to thank her for it. Made some small talk. By this time the kids were being rounded up for some games and activities already.

I realized then that my impressions of a McD’s birthday party was all wrong. The kids didn’t just sit around wearing their hats, munching on fries and going home with party packs (which btw contained a colouring book, colour pencils, and stickers of “My name is…”). There were 2 staff there actually getting the kids to play pass the ball, musical chairs and even the quintessential happy birthday song, complete with a big chair fit for the princess for the day!

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In all this time, I was trying to capture as much as I can photos of my darling girl, who is growing up so quickly … and then, not suddenly but slowly …. something still didn’t feel right in my stomach.

Hmmm…

I looked around the upstairs a little bit. Should I leave Caitlin “unattended” while I step away for a while? Will she freak out if she can’t find me? Or will she even notice that I wasn’t around?

I took the chance. Headed straight downstairs hoping that it was gonna be a quick one, and found that there was a queue! Yikes, I gotta wait!

Tick tock tick tock….

Soon, it was my turn, and I conducted the “transaction” as fast as I could, and quickly went back upstairs, happy with myself with what I needed to do, and also that Caitlin didn’t even notice I was gone, being so engrossed with the games that the staff were putting on.

Sat myself down again, and enjoyed ANOTHER SPICY CHICKEN McDELUXE McVALUE MEAL!

mcd_burp

Heh heh! Now I was happy.

We left only at 2pm, even though most of the kids were still loitering. The real reason we had to leave was because, as stated in the invitation, the party was only supposed to be until 1:30pm, because at 2pm another one was starting!

Thank goodness I still managed to get the the second McValue meal- it’s actually catered for the lunch period, 12-3pm; but luckily it’s on everyday! Guess where I’d be having a value-lunch mostly these days, now that they also have a new menu-item (at least for me) that’s to my taste? RM5.95 only, no less?

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I did, twice in a day!

Just like the Daddee, my two kids seem to “attract” mosquitoes, as compared to Hot Mummee (and her family members). While she always says it’s because I “smell” (and effectively her own kids too- good one Mummee!) I say it’s because we are sweeter on the inside!

Anyway, Caitlin’s seen Daddee clap-smack mozzies whenever I see them. That’s apparently how one (adults) catches mozzies, it seems.

So this (Sunday) morning, when Caitlin came in to wake Daddee up with her often homemade handicraft- this time being a “surprise” board game that she’s developed (from the pile of A4 scrap from the office; she’s drawn lines on it and cut up another into shapes of whatevers), she saw one flying around within her reach.

Clap-smacking like she does when she emulates Daddee, she thought it was funny. Looking and inspecting her right palm, she notices a faint black marking. “Daddee what’s this?”

Already knowing the answer, I asked her to check her left hand. At first there was nothing, then she looked again and saw the dead mozzie between her fingers!

It’s actually quite funny to watch a 4 year old being freaked out! “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!” She was a mix of being all icky, freaked, funny :)

Having a lifelong hatred for mozzies myself, I kinda praised her for her good aim :P

Caleb with mozzie bites