The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

The things that Dads do

It is Father’s Day today as I’m sure you know. Unless you’re my Dad, Mr Li who only found out earlier today in our weekly call, though he thinks he may have heard someone mention something vaguely about it earlier in the week. But he doesn’t quite know because he can’t hear much and I think in our telephone call he just guessed what was going on and just asked random questions.


You see he had an accident with someone’s phone a few weeks ago and we think it’s burst his ear drum. I asked him ‘what about your other ear, can you hear me in that one?’ He replies ‘that one’s been gone for some years now.’ The things you learn about your own Dad. So now he can’t hear me in either ear. And yet he still calls up every week.


As #1, 2 and 3 get older, our household seems more and more chaotic. The noise levels, the things that need doing, the places that need getting to. We look forward to the weekends but there are occasions where it feels like everything is just none stop. As colleagues talk about getting up at midday and enjoying a lazy weekend, maybe go shopping, out for dinner or to the cinemas. I almost want to scowl at them. I probably do. I can just about remember those days and now I wonder how is it even possible to sleep in until midday. If I did that now, the kids would have missed out on two meals and a snack.


But there are occasions where I get to sleep in until 10.30am following impromptu Friday Night Beers. Or if I haven’t had FNBs then I may be up before dawn for an early morning run. Or I could just have had a good night’s sleep without realising that Husband has been up several times in the night tending to #1, 2 or 3.


The point is, if I am not doing the doing for #1, 2 and 3 then someone has to be. And who else would that someone be?


I know there are times where I have vocalised to Husband about the things that I think he doesn’t do. But equally what about the things that he does do. That all Dads do.


It’s still been quite a chaotic Sunday like any normal day but at least #1, 2 and 3 almost let Husband choose how to spend it in appreciation for all that he does for them. For us.


Husband says, ‘you know what my colleague says is the best gift you can give on Father’s Day? Breakfast in bed. Followed by a day by yourself.’


Happy Father’s Day to all Dads.



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Regaining a bit of ‘We’ time

By regaining a bit of ‘We’ time, I don’t mean ‘wee’ time in that I can now go and do my business without an audience.  I cannot recall a time that involved sitting on a toilet behind a closed door in my own home. To the point that when you come and visit, you should probably remind me to do.

No, by regaining a bit of ‘We’ time, I mean the ‘We’ of Husband and I on our own. Without #1, 2 and 3 in tow. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. That we haven’t been out on our ownsome or with other Responsible Grown Ups since becoming parents. It’s just those times have usually been after a full day with #1, 2 and 3 and then rushing to get out elsewhere. Having a shower but not enough time to do your hair. Those kinds of outings.


But a special occasion calls for a bit of proper ‘We’ time. Especially if you know that someone has spent much of the past few weeks getting up in the middle of the night tending to sick children whilst you sleep off your own illness. Husband has been quite the star doing all these things whilst I’ve been down with flu and sleeping in as much as I can in the mornings. So for Husband’s birthday this year, as a break from the norm, I booked us into a fancy pants place for lunch. Why not dinner you may say? Seeing as it’s a special occasion. I said regaining just a BIT of ‘We’ time. The other night when I went out for dinner with a friend, #3 sat by the front door and very softly said ‘Don’t go out Mummy, please stay at home.’ Whereas when you go out in daylight, it’s quite acceptable. Perhaps, I should try just going out for lunch and staying out. I know people who do that. Yes, you.


But anyways, going out for lunch is a start. Especially to a fancy pants restaurant where the cutlery isn’t one style fits all dishes and you get a knife. You’d be surprised how many restaurants in Singapore don’t have knives. Like, why would you need a knife to cut up your pork chop? What’s wrong with the fork and spoon combo? Admittedly, the fork and spoon combo is a rather efficient way of shoveling food in at speed. So fancy pants was this restaurant that for my starter, I was presented with chopsticks, knife and fork. Two ways to eat. Imagine that.

 Fancy pants restaurants no longer scare me. They once did in my twenties when Husband and I went to a fancy pants restaurant for the first time and we were the youngest by far. It felt almost like playing at Responsible Grown Ups. Everyone else was wearing black and I had on a sparkly silver top. Having just thought of this, I realise I was wearing black today. Oh no! I’ve mastered the art of blending in.


Husband and I arrive at the fancy pants restaurant towards the end of the lunch sitting and I could have gotten away with saying that I had hired the whole restaurant just for him on his Birthday. We sit at a neat table for two rather than the usual picnic bench for five. There’s a policy that no under 12’s are allowed in and for a moment we look around and imagine the terror and uproar #1, 2 and 3 would be causing at the moment. Do you know what a luxury it is to be able to sit still and not have to be retrieving a child from under the dinner table? Yesterday, #3 for reasons known only to herself, decided she would only eat her dinner if I pretended she was a stray dog we were taking home with us. I kid you not. And we did take her home and she woofed in appreciation.


As far as Birthdays have gone for Husband these past few years, he’s celebrated with a trip to the Bird Park, Universal Studios and a five year old’s Birthday party. I think this is the year to make him feel he’s not living the life of Tom Hanks in Big.


In previous years, I’ve talked about your own Birthday not being quite your own with small people around who seem to adopt it as an extension of celebrating something for themselves. Present opening, cake eating, special Birthday outing. Today though, there was an Assistant Director on the scene. #1 helped me to wrap the presents, he wrote on each present who it was from and then he hid them under a cover and got #2 and 3 to do a bit reveal in front of Husband who was naturally amazed and had no idea there was a pile of presents under a cloth in the middle of the room. He even wrote on an old wrapping paper tube a special Birthday message. Significant for several reasons that he had creativity, he did it all on his own and he wrote something without being prompted. #1 is not a fan of writing.


Husband could really see that #1 had put in the effort to make it special for him with these simple gestures. I hope it made #1 feel good to make someone else happy. I hope there are many more of these moments over the years.


#3 made us laugh as all Birthdays come with cake, presents,  party and games. When it came to bedtime, #3 said to Husband ‘but we haven’t played any games Daddy.’ So I invented a new game called Musical Sleep. When the music stops, you lie down and go to sleep.


Happy Birthday Husband, who declared that he is going to buy a Porsche and get the mid life crisis out of the way…











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