Daddee Yah!

A working Daddee learning to cope in a big big world

This is a little-bit-techie post…

You know I like taking photos of the kids. I also like taking videos of them in action: Those first steps, the changing look(s), them in action in the walker / tricycle / simply playing, their vocab, changing the voice.

I sometimes find myself in a dilemma when various occasions present themselves for such opportunity that I am unable to decide which camera to bring along- the digital cam, which takes far more superior still shots than the built-in stills feature on the videocam; or the videocam, which can take better and longer video footage (is there a plural for dilemma?)

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If you have nieces or nephews, you will forever see them in a certain light. By this I mean; let’s take my perspective on these particular niece-nephew brother-sister.

This niece was one that was rather colic. I actually avoided going near her fearing I’d make her cry, cos she’d cry at high decibels and long periods. Her brother was one who seemed rather reclusive to me- while cheeky, he didn’t seem the type who was interested in a lot of things.

Fast forward 16 or so years.

And, since being a father, I had always wanted to participate in activities with my kids- doesn’t matter what activity, so long as we do them together. Sports, activities, games, hobbies. Since my kids are still so young, to date it’s mainly been real kiddie-stuff like going to the kids gym or movies or just a dip in the pool. Other than assisting her in developing these motor skills, I haven’t really thought much more beyond these current activities.

Tonite, I dropped by my brother’s house with Caitlin, just because. I caught my brother jamming with his two kids.

I found myself regretting.

I am not musically inclined insofar as being able to compose or write stuff, but I am not tone-deaf. My regret is that, while I was a young’un, my parents did send me to guitar classes. For whatever reason; likely due to simple no-discipline, I didn’t follow through and never continued with the lessons.

This bother however, self-taught how to play the guitar and the keyboard. Through repeated listening of songs he can replay them on these instruments. Of course having a good ear helps too.

And perhaps its also genetic, for these two kids seem to have that talent too.

jamming_tilt

I found myself admiring this scene on different levels.

This was very obviously not the first time they do this, cos they were jamming to a few songs in sync.

That they have very similar talents.

That they were doing this family activity together.

That they are not kids anymore.

And, I gotta find me something unique to do with my kids too!

I know- this something will come naturally. I just hope that I will be home or around them enough for this something to develop or be discovered.

PS: That’s my mum in the background, who taught me how to sing!

It’s the school holidays this week. I had taken Wednesday and Thursday off with plans with Caitlin.

We were going to include the following activities, initially in no particular order:

  1. Go watch the fireworks (it’s not a very well designed website, by the way, so if you are keen do be patient)
    Caitlin’s always been quite excited watching fireworks. When it used to, we could watch it from afar from my parents’ house on weekend, when they were letting it off at Titiwangsa after launching Visit Malaysia Year. This was when I started explain to Caitlin what “expensive” means, when they eventually stopped it!
  2. (Re) Visit Genting Highlands.
    For obvious reasons
  3. Go shopping.
    She likes to just window shop; be out of the house.

We managed the third and first item on Wednesday day and night respectively. The fireworks event was an adventure in itself. Wyluxx had wanted to try his hand at photographing fireworks this time, so given Caitlin’s likely interest to watch too, we went along.

20 minutes of straight booms and bangs and flashes was quite worth the ride all the way to Putrajaya, and the 2 hour wait- we went early, to secure good parking and viewing spots, but mainly cos we weren’t sure exactly where the venue was going to be. Anticipating the crowd (very likely learned from past experience) the local police had set up clear directional signs for the traffic, and had areas properly cordoned off for orderly parking.

I think Caitlin enjoyed it.

But because of these activities on Wednesday, Caitlin didn’t manage to get any afternoon nap, and also that the fireworks only finished at 10:20pm, we got home quite late. So I had wanted her to sleep in as late as possible on Thursday morning.

I had planned on doing item 2 on Thursday. But wouldn’t you know it, it rained. And rained, and rained and rained. Caitlin must have been psyched about going to Genting too, cos she auto-woke early.

I had to let her down by saying we cannot go after all. So, Daddee’s Plan B was to bring her for a movie. Her first ever movie experience. The only suitable one available was WALL-E.

And how did it go, you ask?

We went to Midvalley. After checking online the showing times I aimed for the first session of 11:45am; with the 12:30pm one as back up. I mean, I knew it is the school holidays, but wouldn’t the teenagers be more interested in Star Wars than WALL-E?? Why did I have to get the 12:30 one?

So, we got the tickets, and hung around for just over an hour and a half. It was ok; we ate our prepacked lunch, checked out the nearby pet store to talk to some parrots, went to the toilet before showtime.

Also, I didn’t know it was a 2-hour movie. But that’s not the “bad news”. 20 minutes into it, Caitlin asks: “Is it finished yet?”

She also has a slight runny nose, and the cinema was quite cold even for me. We left the cinema for a while just to get her a nice jacket to wear (she doesn’t have a nice one anyway). I got her a Pooh Bear World of Cartoon denim jacket which I do think is quite nice. It’s dark denim with orange stitching, straight cut buttons all the way like a shirt pattern and shirt collared. I got her a size 6 knowing it will fit her for a few more years.

Went back in, and time for another leave-the-cinema for a toilet break. Soon after, she didn’t like it, and we left the movie completely.

So that was my first experience with her on her first movie experience.

Few things I noted:

  • Toddlers have no sense of time.
    While she understood that the movie will start “when this hand reaches here where it says ’30’ on Daddee’s watch”, I had trouble explaining to her how long 2 hours was. I tried saying “It’s as long as 8 episodes of Jo-Jo” but it really didn’t work.
  • Toddler have no sense of length of time.
    Again, only 20 minutes into it, she was getting bored.
  • Toddlers can be prepared, somewhat.
    She was made to expect the dark hall of the cinema. She was made to expect the potentially loud sounds from the movie. She was made to expect not to talk too much. But she wasn’t told not to be fidgety, she wasn’t told not to lean too close to the seat (the patron) infront of her, she wasn’t told not to exercise the folding chair by folding it repeatedly.

So for tomorrow, being the weekend before the kids go back to school, I may bring her to the Aquaria with Moomykin and her boys. Anyone else interested?

Yup- it’s already going to be Friday already tomorrow.

Took today and Friday off from work, just to “do stuff” with Caitlin. All week so far she’s been holed up in the apartment with Hot Mummee working from home, and really working. Poor kids haven’t been outdoors at all for some 72 hours or so earlier in the week.

Today I took Caitlin for a long-awaited swim. Long, cos as you know she’s not been well, and then there was the hazy spell. Not surprisingly it was a good fun-time in the sun; we both got a slight but much needed tan from it. She hasn’t forgotten what she’s learnt from the pool- not that I had taught her a lot, but she still managed to paddle from the ends of the pool to the other, still with her floaties of course.

Later in the day I had wanted her to catch some shuteye before the replacement art class- again, replacement from when she was down with fever, but she won’t have it. 35min before the class was to start, this is what happened- I reckon she had only dozed off 5 minutes before I snapped this.

Who refused the catnap?

I still woke her up though, partly cos I was “selfish” and wanted her to still attend this cos, after all its paid for. But partly also I know (hoped?) she would still enjoy it.

Woke her, asked if she still wanted to go.

Rubbing her eyes, “Yes….”

When I signed her up for this replacement class last week, I had noticed that this session, being on a Thursday afternoon, only had 4 names. Today, she was the only one who turned up.

So, given the undivided attention, when I went to get Caitlin at the end of the class the teacher told me that because she was the only one, they had finished one, and resumed to make another :)

Not one but two!

So for tomorrow, Friday, I was thinking I’d bring her to go watch Up. Let’s hope the plan goes well; cos I have a feeling somehow it won’t….

UPDATE

Well, we managed to catch the movie Up.

As usual Caitlin didn’t catch her afternoon nap. I had to force her to lie down with the threat of no-movie if she didn’t try. As the protesting died down because she eventually dozed off, I snuck out to get the tickets in order to maximise her shut-eye time, waking her only at the last minute.

As I woke her, it crossed my mind that she may want to continue sleeping as she normally does when awoken “prematurely”, ending up being a grump for about 30 minutes. Waking her, I popped the make-or-break question: Do you wanna go for the movie (or not)? It was quite the waker-upper question- we were on time and all for the movie.

To my slight disappointment, being her third ever movie outing, she still asked “Is it finishing yet?” some 3/4 way into the movie. She is still obviously not mature enough to follow a storyline yet the first time (meaning she’s gotta be watching a movie repeatedly like on a DVD before somewhat understanding what’s going on.

Ah well, at least she did go to a cinema and catch this movie, after months of requesting we do each time we drive past the poster on the highway every morning.