The Impossible Affair

16 November 2016, Wednesday

7:20pm. My mobile rings. It’s A2, asking where I was. … What transpired was so endearingly typical of A2 and so amusing I just had to WhatsApp S about it.


It’s impossible to have an affair when you have four kids that can check up on you anytime, anywhere!

Then again, it’s a privilege to have close relationship with one’s teens, pre-teen and learner-teen.

Earlier on, after school & stayback

4pm+. The kids’ friends I and H visited for a short impromptu playdate. Cos I offered to take them with me when I took A4 to English tuition at LitPlus, and walk them home (nearby) from there. This would give YY a bit of peace and quiet at home, without anymore send-&-pick duties.

The plan for after the playdate was to just send I and H home, and head home right away. So the boys’ pleas to continue their playdate at I and H’s flat were overridden by YY (I and H’s mom) and me. YY’s rationale that there was school the next day stopped all arguments.

So A2 decided to turn back home, instead of walking with us to the busstop. A3 came with us, and then decided to join me on the entire journey. I did phone A2 to let him know the change of plans, but he still preferred to stay home.

~7:18pm. (I remember it was around 7:15-7:18pm only cos we were looking for the 3rd-night super moon, and A3 figured it was too early to spot the moon) It was after all these drop-offs, after the bus ride home, as A3 and I were walking the last stretch home that A2 phoned.


I Can Run, But Cannot Hide

6 August 2016, Saturday

My herd is already between seven and almost-15 years old. Yet, I continue to not have toilet privacy. Within the five to 10 minutes that I was holed up, I’ve been paid not one but two visits. And by the two oldest too!

A1 wanted to know if the hair salon was opened today for her to cut her hair. “Yes. But, this being a Saturday, it may be crowded.”

A2 wanted to know when he could have his escape room-style outing with best friends JQ, J and JW (and maybe another new friend from school) for his belated birthday celebration. “I dunno. Maybe next Saturday? You go arrange and confirm with your friends when they can make it.”

In that short time, two “major” tasks were achieved. The throne’s the best place to make decisions from.

Stand Behind the Yellow Line

6 December 2014, Saturday

When you give instructions, better be sure to cover all perspectives!

The Context

Back in the days when Singapore MRT stations’ train platforms did not have glass walls for safety, the automated announcement would ask people to “Please stand behind the yellow line” whenever a train is about to pull into the station? Today, with the glass walls erected, they’ve done away with the announcement, but the yellow lines remain.

The Story Trigger

9:03am. Buona Vista MRT Station. Waiting for train, taking A2 and A3 to a one-off Scuba Diving for Kids workshop.

My Mr Smarty Pants A3 tells me with a straight face, “Stand behind the yellow line.”

Blur mommy didn’t catch the drift. So, A3 repeated it several times, facing me with a serious look.

The Punchline

For those who still don’t catch the drift … Which side of the yellow line is behind?

Little Miss Maths Whiz

8 November 2014, Saturday

7:09pm. At a busstop near Queenstown Swimming Complex after A4’s swimming lesson and a subsequent play in the shallow pool(s). Impatient with the wait for a bus we could take. Verbalised my contemplation whether to take a bus or walk to Sheng Siong two busstops away to get ice-cream. Walking would be over a tiring distance, but would take only 8 minutes. Bus would give us aircon comfort, but it would take 11 minutes to arrive and then still need to make its way to our stop. I couldn’t decide which to take.

After a while, A4 said, “But if we walk slower? Then walk will be longer.”

Busy, busy mind

To have said that, she would have had to process these concepts: 8 minutes versus 11; we could possibly end up walking slower; walking slow would extend 8 minutes to more, possibly exceeding 11 minutes; and if that were so, we would be better off doing the longer wait for the bus.

Moment of pride

Her mind registered and worked out numbers, and facts of life, very fast. And for her age too!


Talks Even When Sleepibg

3 October 2014, Friday

Wee hours. I had showered and was unable to sleep then. So I continued working.

Around 1am+ (I think) rustling sounds were heard coming from the floor, off the edge of the bed on S’s side. It was A4, shifting about while asleep. Something was said then, but I couldn’t make out what it was. (I think this episode was after I showered for the night. Can’t recall for sure)

She quietened soon after. I thought I had peace for the night now.

But then, after some time, the next voice from behind me. A3. He was sleeping in our bed, on my side, which was right behind me as I worked at my laptop. He was so loud I thought he had woken up.

“Ann, Ann, Ann …
… Ann, wait …
Wait, Ann, wait …”

Wonder what his dream was.

It was I think 1:29am then.

Sweet Meat Up in Smoke

16 September 2014, Tuesday

6:37am. I was about to bite into a succulent slice of bak kwa (BBQed sweet meat) when I was rudely yanked from the tantalising moment.

A2 had barged into our bedroom, exclaiming, “Mom, urgent! I don’t have any PE T-shirt to wear to school today!”

Apparently, a bit of a shoulder seam had come loose on A2’s second PE T-shirt, and it had been put aside for Mom to sew at a later date. And his other one is in the wash.

Bye bye fattening dream, hello another day of helter skelter!


If you have not guessed by now, I was about to bite into that slice of bak kwa … In my dream!

And in the end, the easiest solution to A2’s problem was to have him wear one of A3’s two PE T-shirts. Never mind the wrong-coloured name tag, never mind the wrong name!

Image of bak kwa from Bee Cheng Hiang.

Who Needs a Sweater when …

14 September 2014, Sunday

A4’s hair was so badly matted after days of not brushing and letting it loose. It took so long to brush through it all that we were all late for church.

Half hour late. Slipped into back-bencher chairs. Less freezing than our usual spot. But still it got cold there.

At one point, A1, patting her lap, asked A4, “Come, A4, wanna sit on jie jie’s (older sister’s) lap?”

A4 obliged, seemingly thinking it was a loving gesture by her older Sis and loving the attention she’d be getting. I am older and wiser, and knew better.

I turned to face A1 on my right, to give her the eye and to flash her a knowing smile. “You are cold, right?” I asked, frankly and almost rhetorically.

A1 smiled back at me with a caught-in-the-act facial expression.

Yeah, that’s right! Who needs a sweater when you can wear a warm body?!