Daddee Yah!

A working Daddee learning to cope in a big big world

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Just wanna share the joy of a friend whom have just had a new baby.

Congratulations Kathy and Tung, on their baby boy Ivan!

Since Kathy is soon coming to the end of her confinement; and as she has also already declared, she will want to be going out soon! I had only just left her a message about how when we (even only recently) need to go out, we had to pack the pram, bottles, diapers, milk, wipes, fresh clothes in case they puke, blankets, and a guaranteed source of clean hot water.

Then there will be the complaints of sleepless nights of being (more like forced) awake to feed the little human, the stench of their poop (at least it was for me!), the being grounded simply because we are now parents, (but) the joy of being with them and interacting with them.

But, soon when they are a little older they will be easier to handle. Like with Caleb, his grandparents will bring along the pushchair when they do their grocery rounds, bring them to the park with Caitlin after her school hours, or to the local kopitiam whilst waiting for school to finish.

Enjoy the journey guys!

When Caitlin had her 4th birthday party, I had invited these particular two friends of hers.

The first is a friend over a year older than her. Their Mummees have known each other before they knew their respective husbands, and naturally when both had daughters, they play when the adults get together. The second is a classmate she gets along well- she talks about her all the time after school; at parent teacher meetings the teachers have even complained that these two chatterboxes had to be separated!

If I can categorise these 2 friends- one is while in school-mode, the other is outside of school-mode; if you know what I mean. It’s not that Caitlin is or acts differently in and out of school, but she only sees these friends in respective surroundings and circumstances.

So this party was held in an indoor kids’ gym, you know- steps and rubber balls and slides. And these two friends were present.

Being host we arrived early. Caitlin was off to the gym. Her friends started arriving, and quickly joined in the fun. This was also the first time I watched Caitlin playing host, unprompted. Let me rephrase that: This was the first time I had to prompt her to be a host. But it was all good; after all, in a place like that, one (kid) would not really need much urging to join in!

Soon, both of these friends were present. And since both didn’t know each other, they were demanding the attention of Caitlin.

While Caitlin was quite happy following either one of them, the other was starting to feel neglected in that Caitlin either didn’t heed her plea to “come over here..” or didn’t hear her at all. When she played with school friend, the other was feeling left out and cried. So when we asked Caitlin to also include the other, somehow the first one then became somewhat left out too. Caitlin, in all this time, was busy accommodating one or the other!

So the tears were flowing, complaints being raised with the mummies, and Caitlin seemingly needed coaching.

But even I was at a loss somewhat. Naturally I was thinking in adult-mode: Can’t we all just join in and (learn to) get along? Hot Mummee and I were saying things to all 3 girls to try and pacify and solve the “issue”. “Why don’t you include the other…”, “Why don’t all 3 of you play together…”, “.. they don’t know each other, so you (Caitlin) have to try and get them to play together….”

While it is somewhat amusing to see this little dilemma, how would you have settled this triangle?? :)

We think about the good times, the laughs we had, the activities we did together, the games we played, the things we shared.

These are quite typical memories we have and we conjure up, when we are bored or when we miss those times, and especially so, the people who helped create them.

We usually also conjure up these memories that are from “way back”, like from many years ago.

Well, sometimes, maybe only from a year ago…. Such as with a 5 year old child! Okay she’ll be 6 in November :)

Caitlin has been telling me about her current class’ friends, how such-and-such doesn’t want to befriend her anymore, and; more funnily- how some are fickle in that they do, and then don’t, and then do, and don’t, etc. She says these are “not-good” friends. Good friends are ones who stay be-friended to you.

Recall that Caitlin started pre-school at Pre-1 level in 2008, proceeded to Pre-3 in 2009 because they didn’t have Mandarin medium for the Pre-2 level.

It’s probably the case that she had “fonder” memories of the 2009 class than of this year’s. She did make some “notable” friends from that batch. She was accepted as one of them when she joined them at the start of 2009 as a complete stranger to the year-batch that had already been together from 2008. I recall when I dropped her off at school for that first day with that older batch. I peeped through the door to see what she’d do.

Start of some lasting friendships? My own older brother has a friend from waaay back. They are in their late-40’s now; they had known each other since kindergarten!

So this Daddee has made it a point to re-invite her friends from the previous class, who are now already in standard 1 this year, for Caitlin’s birthday party come November; together with her current classmates of 2010. I just hope their phone numbers are still valid…

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!