Sunday, November 1, 2009 ;
10:26 PM
When we were at Jurong West, we tended to spend time around the area. So the kids go to the library, Chinese Garden, took bus to the entrance of the Bird Park (for fun), Science Center, Jurong West Swimming pool, SAFRA Club...

Now that we've moved to our in laws' place for the period of our apt's reno, we try to go to places around this area instead. Sometimes, I get the use of my mil's car when she's not using it. Then I bring the kids to the zoo (it's really very near, like 10min by car or less). Else there is the Bt Timah Nature reserve and its many "extensions".

They've built many park connectors, so there is the Dairy Farm and Singapore Quarry links now. We've walked to the Singapore Quarry about 4 times so far and tried the Dairy Farm Nature Park once (ds1 cried there cos an ant bit him! I was a little impatient cos it was, an ant, and I stressed that the ant is so many times smaller than him, so it shouldn't be that painful, but he insisted it was the most painful bite in the world etc etc etc).

Thereafter, ds1 was most concerned about not stepping near a crowd of ants. I hope it is a short passing phase. I read about fears and phobias in kids as developmental phases. And I remembered the times when they were younger and were afraid of the dark. They wanted the lights on even when they were going to sleep at night. Then there was the fear of loud aeroplanes flying past, or even the time when fireworks scared them to death.

During those times, it was always "oh man! how will we ever get to enjoy fireworks as a family if they're like that?!?!". Now, with more years of parenting, and on hindsight, every thing passes like a phase. So we can be a little more patient and more relaxed, just not be that worried and let it run its course.

Like my kids are finicky eaters, at least in the eyes of most Chinese in Singapore. Perhaps partly due to us being away from Sg for 3 yrs, there are some local yummy delights they still don't appreciate, or simply wouldn't touch. Or, they would like chicken rice without the chicken, pau without the filling, dumplings without the filling, and fishball noodles without the fishball.

A lot of people don't understand why they don't like prawns or crabs or abalone. To most Singaporeans, these are heavenly pleasures. I've had people say my kids are stupid, don't know how to enjoy life, "everything don't eat, that's why so thin" etc etc.

When they were younger, we'd really take these comments seriously. We'd try very hard to get the kids to eat whatever "offending" item that others deem necessary for kids to try or eat, sometimes to the point when the kids cry and we're still trying to get them to eat it.

Now, we just shrug. We'll encourage them to take a small bite or try it at least, if they don't like it, they need not eat anymore. It makes mealtimes much more pleasant and enjoyable, although we still have to endure comments from relatives and friends that our kids are fussy, poor eaters blah blah blah.

Dh is especially relaxed, when I am the one who would still worry what the boys will survive on if they were in school or worse, going through NS and have nothing they like to eat. Dh told me he ate the same thing when he was young (pork porridge) every single day for years, because he refused to eat anything else. So his mom had to cook that for his lunch, even after he started Primary school. Every day. But he still grew up strong and healthy. Yes, he and his siblings are genetically thin. But so are my sis and I. So how can our kids be nice and plump?? Unfair to expect them to be the sturdy muscular kind, isn't it?

Dh said he went through NS without a hitch and always got gold for IPPT. He said he learnt to eat other things along the way, so I shouldn't worry. Still, I think I shouldn't cook the same thing everyday. Haha, but now, I cook the same things every week. As in, the menu is still limited, cos there are just those few dishes the 3 of them all like. But let's try and see if we can expand the repertoire over time!

We have a friend in church now who's from USA. He's here for a year to help teach in the Bible college. We dined with him a few times and realised our kids are very like him. He's been here for almost 11months, and he only likes roti prata, and iced Milo. The rest of the stuff in the hawker center doesn't interest him and some things, like sushi or BBQ stingray actually look disgusting to him.

ds2 is exactly like that. ds1 is just slightly better only. So I guess the 2 yrs spent in US has kind of Americanised them somewhat in their eating habits? Another fellow blogging mom talked about formula milk. My kids don't drink that, they only drink fresh milk. This is also because we were overseas. But anyway I like the taste of fresh milk more than formula.

Ok, back to the pics and about our Bt Timah capers. These photos are taken when we went for the walks to the Singapore Quarry.

Kids were introduced to mimosa, and they were gently swiping the mimosa leaves with their feet or shoes to see the leaves all close up. Kids always find that fun. I told them about mimosa before we left Singapore 3 yrs ago but they don't recall it at all. Glad to get the chance to show them again. ds1 was grabbing ds2's shirt as if he was scared the mimosa would eat him up.

After we reach the quarry. I had to explain to them what "quarry" meant, and how it is formed, cos to them, it looked like a pond. There were cattails, ducks, fish and tadpoles and all those pond creatures.

And plenty of mosquitoes as well!

I made them sit there for at least 20min. It was tough getting them to keep still and quiet, but I intend to train them to do so for longer and longer periods each time. Cos the signs said there were many different bird species to be spotted there, but I told them there was no way we would spot any if they ran around playing and shouting.

We did see ducks and a couple of little grebe. Very adorable, and amazing how the grebe dives into the water and can stay underwater for quite long!

The only problem with walking in Singapore is the heat and humidity. I miss the hiking in USA when I didn't have my whole head full of perspiration and going back with my clothes soaked. There was this sticky feeling all the time too. Sigh.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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