Daddee Yah!

A working Daddee learning to cope in a big big world

Is making a lot of “noise” now, with..


Grr-grr- “go-go” is what is uttered whenever we are ready to go out. Now he’s the one telling us we should go out.

Ma’am-mee (nope, still not calling Daddee);

circa and dar (“circle” and “star”, when Daddee was doodling with him);

tonne-ner whenever we enter a tunnel, or even under overhead bridges that remotely resemble anything undercover;

Runs around in circles of present-moment’s object of desire on the floor- a toy, a piece of paper, etc.

She was pretty proud that she could rubber-band tie her rolled up doodling (“treasure map”) with a double twirl all by herself.

Caitlin’s cough and sniffles is getting better; thank goodness there’s no fever otherwise I’d be bringing her straight to a doctor, for obvious reasons of what’s in the air these days.

It’s mid afternoon. I think we’ll grr-grr to Midvalley using the tonne-ner parking, since really there’s nothing to do otherwise at home :)


Caleb fooling around

I gotta check the old camera again; I actually think Caitlin took this shot!


I keep bleeding, keep keep bleeding love

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So some of you know that I had been planning this trip for a while. After all, when you have an annual privilege like this from work, it’d be a waste not to use it, wouldn’t it? :)

So a few months ago I asked Hot Mummee where we should go with these free tickets. “Gotta save money lah, impending recession, you know..”

The long and short of it? I went ahead with the planning without her. I decided to bring Caitlin along to Adelaide, where I went to uni, where Hot Mummee wouldn’t be interested in coming anyway, and where (thus, since it was only going to be an adult and a half) I was able to crash at a uni friend’s house. Yes recession may be coming, but this trip is looking pretty cheap!

So, last night we set out for the flight. This was all quite familiar to Caitlin already, after having flown to Australia twice before already, within weeks of her 2nd and 3rd birthdays, and now her 4th birthday!

The train ride was fun, as expected. We didn’t have that much time in the terminal to run around like the last time, due to pretty-ok-thus-little-buffer-time planning during that evening.

As soon as we got on the plane Caitlin was asking for the headphones already! “I wanna watch Bob the Builder!” She was quite right, Bob the Builder was listed as one of the program on the kids channel. But it was only 1 episode. In the end, she ended up watching Finding Nemo, twice.

Which also means that she didn’t actually sleep that much. I guess a little like her Daddee, she was trying to savour every moment of the holiday by staying awake as much as possible. But being an overnight flight, this wasn’t something I had wanted, because it will mean that we’d be wasting the following fullday trying to recuperate from the lack of sleep. And I had forgotten to ensure that she didn’t have her afternoon nap the afternoon of the overnight flight.

Which was what we ended up doing, because Caitlin only managed about 3 hours sleep, and I even less. But you wouldn’t know it if you saw her in the Adelaide international airport. She was jumping and running and giggling all the way!

Just as well for the time difference. She knocked out at her usual Malaysian afternoon nap time, which was around late morning Adelaide time. So, come night time, she’d be adjusted to sane local sleeping times.

Which she is now asleep soundly as I type…

Tonight, with my uni friend we went to Fasta Pasta. Those of you who thought this sounds familiar is because these are the same guys who ventured into Malaysia at Ikano years ago. It’s quite a big franchise here in South Australia, and the menu is still the way I liked it when I was at uni here over a decade ago….

So, after spending a day here, these are the things I forgot to bring! (ie, as of today!)

  • Caitlin’s hairbrush!
  • Clothes for ME to sleep in!
  • Malaysian driver’s license! I am so used to the fact that it’s incorporated into our MyKad that I forgot to bring the “actual” one..

This title certainly got you clicking :)

Everyone has their styles. Some hold their groins scurrying and yelling “I gotta go I GOTTA GO” while others do so subtly, yet while others (still) don’t tell you AT ALL that they have done it.

As far as a number 1 goes, Caleb won’t tell you. At all. Until you carry him and feel the wet diaper on your forearm, or when you discover the puddle of pee on the floor, while he is still running around being his 2year old self discovering and/or copying what his older sister does.

For his number 2’s however, is something I haven’t seen “done” before.

I understand everyone needs their privacy, whether it’s cos the poop is gonna stink, or that it’s simply because it’s the action of pooping. But for a 2 year old, what’s “privacy”? So it is with a lot of laughter of adorableness when we hear about, and then get to see, how my boy does it.

In private.

When you kinda suddenly discover him missing, you start to wonder whether he’s okay- but more often than not it’s because he has run to some corner of the room/house; preferably behind something, and pushing. It doesn’t matter if the pusher is 2 or 20 years old, I believe all humans push the same way. It becomes a lot more “funny” when it’s on a 2 year old boy. The same slight-squirm, the same red-face. Only standing up, hiding in some corner.

When we discover him “midway” he is somewhat apprehensive, don’t-come-any-closer kinda gesture. Dunno why. Perhaps at (only?) 2 he is starting to feel shame and embarrassment already. This idea is emphasised when I tease him (yes this Daddee teases his kids)- at any “usual” moment I’d look at him and say “Ngg ngg? Ngg ngg??” (the local baby talk for pooping; I think you can imagine how that term came about!) where he’d quite vehemently declare “Mai! MAI!” (which till today we are wondering whether he is trying to speak Hokkien dialect when most of what he hears is Cantonese where “no” is “moi”, not the Hokkien “mai”) as if the act of it is shameful.

Not that we make fun of him, maybe he is starting to develop his own self awareness and image (self respect?)

For now, I will still laugh at him. It’s okay if he develops a complex surrounding pooping. Having a complex surrounding pooping is okay compared to “performance anxiety” surrounding peeing, at the men’s room urinal.


Here’s what’s in my car:

  • Caitlin’s shoes and slippers
  • My work shoes, by the driver’s feet, almost tucked under the seat
  • Work socks- don’t ask
  • The front passenger seat’s headrest, detached, sitting on the front seat itself
  • A tie on the front seat, within reach when I reach the office
  • A few more ties, in the storage box behind the hand (park) brake, for the rare times I bother to colour-coordinate
  • My staff ID / dog tag, in the glove box
  • My iPod FM transmitter, for listening via the car’s radio, to Dr Karl’s podcasts
  • Gym bag, in my boot
  • Gym shoes, in my boot
  • Go-out shoes, for when I, well, go out
  • A big-ish DHL box, in my boot, with my gym bag and shoes inside
  • Child seat, behind and left of the driver’s seat
  • Steering lock, by the floor under the child seat
  • The occasional toy, wrapper, used tissue near the child seat

This “attitude” of having almost the whole household in my car started since my bachelor days. Ahhh, the bachelor days….. .. when I was young, single and free to do whatever my heart (and FREE schedule allowed) fancied. On weekends, when I see my parents for meals, I even packed party clothes, all ready for a night out. Ahhh, night-outs on the prowl… And when I feel like it (meaning when I feel like it! Not when a schedule allows) I’d head on over to the gym. Ahhh, niche gyms targeting single male and FEMALE professionals ..

Outside of office hours, I leave my work shoes in the car, preferring to wear my slippers. It’s a tropical country, and I don’t quite care (anymore) what I look like with shirt, pants, slippers, wriggly toes. It’s also ‘cos it’s easier to slip on slippers, rather than socks and shoes, when I have to carry kids- bending over putting them on with one hand and baby in the other is no easy feat.

At nights, I also leave Caitlin’s schoolbag in the car for the next morning to school, only taking out her books if she required them- but usually all her homework would have been done by the time we head home from Grandma’s. Again, there’s usually my own bag to carry, plus other baby stuff of Caleb’s.

Caitlin goes home in her slippers, natrually. But on school mornings, she’d be fully dressed in her uniform and proper shoes. Daddee then makes it a point that her slippers make their way back to Grandma’s, again for her use in the evenings; and that her school shoes also make the reverse return trip with her / us for the next morning’s use.

While dropping Caitlin off at her school and when the teachers come up to receive them, they do most times get a peek into what’s in my car, especially when they open the door to help get Caitlin’s schoolbag from the front seat (where I usually sit it in the mornings). Okay, I do sometimes wonder what goes on in their heads, Gees, look at this father’s junk / tardiness- what example is he giving his kid??

The detached headrest? Caitlin likes to see where we are going when she is in her carseat!

So, defensively, this arrangement of stuff in my car, works; despite what Hot Mummee says! So there!

What’s in your car? And why are they there / not there?? :)

Caitlin will be turning 4 this week.

From experience of Caitlin’s 3rd birthday party, it was quite a task trying to organise a toddler’s party. We had some “trouble” thinking of who to invite: Caitlin hadn’t started school yet, her nearest cousins are at least 10 years older than her, she only has ONE toddler friend. Then there was the venue; we booked the multi-purpose hall at our condo, but it was hot as hell. And the food; both grandma’s were quite frantic in organising and cooking the food- a lot of which were left over. And then the cleaning up.

This year though, was actually just a little easier- she has been attending school this year and have some same-sized acquaintance.

So this year, I for one took the easy way out- I didn’t bother with streamers, balloons, party packs.

I outsourced it.

Since her birthday is going to be on a weekday (as I write this), we thought it’d be better to organise the party on the weekend, and going be the (local?) tradition, we planned it on the Sunday before the actual birthday (yesterday).

Kids her age absolutely love the kids’ gyms and playgrounds. During my last visits, I had noticed that they organise birthday parties for kids.

That’s how it clicked.

I consulted Caitlin, saying that Daddee and Mummee would like to organise a birthday party for her, and asked who she’d like from school to come to her party. Index finger to her chin, she ran through the list of names in her head, with Daddee tailing her with a pen and a pad.

Speaking to her class teacher I managed to get the contact details of the parents. Due to some administrative error, I had a red face experience when I contacted one of the mothers with a wrong child name. Honestly! It wasn’t my fault!

Again from experience / witness, a gym like this would be better suited for kids who are already able to run. I have seen tinier people being knocked over by toddlers and bigger kids. If you recall your physics lessons on conservation of momentum, at head on collision the body with the lower mass bounces off the one with the higher mass. Quite a hazard really for the little people… (Sorry Ann, that’s why I left Christopher out!)

Naturally I also had to ensure that I get the venue secured too. It was quite a tricky situation balancing fulfilling the package of set headcounts against those who would be coming (ie keeping to their word). Experience from organising events at work recently has proven boss’ theory of expecting a 30% drop out come time of the actual event.

The theory proved correct.

I did try to make some last minutes fillers; called up a colleague with a 2 year old boy, but he too fell into that same statistics category- his boy came down with a fever. He did warn me about this a few days before though that his boy was starting to exhbit some symptoms, so it wasn’t as bad as one of Caitlin’s classmates who RSVPed (this colleague has already passed me Caitlin’s present today at work), but when I called all the parents again the day before for confirmation that “Oh, we are actually going to be traveling North..” Yeah thanks for not bothering to tell me; what if I didnt’ call? Another one also didn’t inform me; when we were already 30min into the party I called only to find that the boy was at the Dr’s, also down with something.

Lesson here for organising any-age events:

  • Expect 30% to decline invitation, so invite 130%!
  • Expect some to RSVP but not bother to advise on their change of plans;
  • Call at least a day before again to remind them of the event.


We were very appreciative of the parents who did come on time, and even more appreciative of the presents for Caitlin. I was glad that some of the parents already knew each other; it made playing host a little easier. There were one or two who didn’t know anyone; a pregnant mother sat there the whole 2+ hours, while a dad went window shopping. Glad I decided on this venue- the gym is actually in a shopping center.

All in all, I think everyone had fun. Honestly I was a little skeptical on how well this would go; a feeling I suddenly had halfway through the 2 hour party slot. After the simple meal and games that the staff conducted, the kids were let loose again in the gym, playing and complaining about who wasn’t playing with who, who wasn’t sharing, who was rough on the slide, where are the lollies the staff gave out, and the parents chasing after them with bottled water.

She is four years old already…..