Sunday, August 31, 2008

"Somebody's Gonna Pay For Switching The Channels!"

Sophia in full piggy mode. She doesn't do this as often now but often enough to remind us that she is, after all, born in the year of the Pig. And to remind us that she would like to get her way once in a while.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

"Is She Malay Or Chinese?"

Neither, she is Malaysian!

Our people will never learn. In all the time I've spent in Singapore, and despite the rather unusual name that Sophia carries, I have NEVER been questioned by anyone on her race. And that's saying a lot because I'm out in Singapore with Sophia more than I am indoors. She has two activity classes a week and I've had to sign her up more than once for a few things; you know, the requisite form-filling and what not. People behind the counters or at their desks don't look at me, then at her and ask, "What race is she?" or "Is she Malay or Chinese?"

People would see us strolling along or taking the elevator to and from the MRT stations. They'd talk to her or remark on what a cute little thing she is. In all the times we've been out in the little island state, I've never once been asked a question on her race. Maybe the fair people in Singapore are so exposed to different races and the myriads of expats that one unusual name is but a drop in the ocean.

I get asked by other moms during Sophie's open gym sessions about where we're from. But that's because I also ask where they're from; they and their little ones. And also because we know that we are probably not locals seeing that we are taking our kids to let off steam at 2pm or 4pm on a weekday, not the usual times the hardworking locals would likely be there with their kids.

We've been wandering up and down Singapore for the several months that we've been living there and other than the fact that family and friends are in Malaysia, I feel more at home there than I do here. At least I am not classified as a race. The first question out of people's mouths when they see Sophia is not to ask what race she is. Does it even matter? It shouldn't. Instead they ask how old she is and sometimes whether she's a boy or girl. One of Sohia's teachers in class calls out to Sophie whenever she goes for open gym, "Sophia Meiyin!! How are you today?" and I comment to her, "Wow, you can remember her full name!" And she replies, "Of course, it's so unique!" And it ends there. Not a peep out of her about the origins of her race.

The attendant at Aquaria probably meant well, but it just goes to show how the whole race polarisation issue has permeated our daily lives and the mindsets of the people where all we can think of is if the other person is the same race as us or not. It's taken 50 years for the damage to spread to the masses, it'll take another 50 years, if not more, to undo the damage, if they manage to.

Luckily for the attendant, she directed her question at hubby who was carrying Sophia while I was busy with the stroller. I don't remember hearing his answer. But I was miffed. If it was me, I would have said, "Neither, she's Malaysian".

Happy birthday Malaysia? Until we can think of ourselves as Malaysians before we think of ourselves as Chinese, Indian, Malay or any other race that just happens to reside here, another birthday for this nation is just another mark on the calendar; it doesn't necessarily 51 years of independence.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Moving on

My monthly column in Mother & Baby ends in September because the editor left. As I'm not sure who's the new editor and whether they will continue the column, I've started writing for Notes From Venus online.

It's not too bad, I get to vent; I just have to do it within 300 words.

Being concise is not my forte, nevertheless, a paid gig is better than none. My piece just went up recently. Check out
this month's No Reservations.


I just had to post this, courtesy of the hubby of course. I about fell out of my chair laughing. Enjoy!

Paper cut

Daddy was careless while watching Sophia today. And annoyed that she'd messed up the living room with her incessant drawer-pulling, content-emptying shenanigans. He wanted to chuck all the stuff back into the coffee table but poor girl was in the way.


A paper cut that streaks from right below her right eye all across to the bottom of her lower lip. It looks worst right under her eye for about an inch or so where the cut is a garish, angry red. The cut tails off and is barely visible until you see the trail it's made across her lower lip.

Poor baby.

I think it actually looks worse than it feels. She was in shock right after the cut but calmed down sufficiently after. About 15 minutes later, it was as if nothing had happened. Even bathing doesn't seem to bother her. Nor eating. She'll just have to crawl around with a bright red scar for the moment.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Baby Steps

This week she's been practicing her walking, a few steps at a time. She walks to the cat, she walks to the chair and she walks to her mom and dad. If she's in a good mood, she'll walk to particularly nowhere.

I say walk but what I really mean is she steps. It's quite hilarious; it's like watching a zombie trying to walk after it's spent eons in the tomb. She holds out both arms almost diagonally out to her sides for balance and takes stiff, tentative steps. It's funny, exciting and exhilarating at the same time. And that's just what I feel. I wonder how she feels?

Any day now... .

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