Academically speaking…

Exam fever

Truett’s first exam starts in 2 weeks and things are getting straight up academic around here. I don’t remember what my first Primary 1 exam was like or ever preparing for it.

At the start of the year, I told the husband that I’d let Truett learn at his own pace and not stress him out about the exams, but 2 weeks out from the first paper, I’m totally flip flopping because here we are, with 116 pages of past year papers from other schools to get through. I might have also told him that if he fails his exams, he would have to join Kirsten in redoing his Primary 1 next year and they can be classmates. Does that still happen? Fail then kenna retained??

At first, he was all “yay, we can be best friends and go to Primary 1 together”, then he realised the implications of that particular scenario and he said, “I think…no thanks.”

In any case, Truett has been a real champ, powering through 4-5 exam papers after school everyday without the onset of his usual ailments such as a headache, stomachache, and excessive boredom. Even if he doesn’t kill it during the exams, I’m so proud of how well he’s done.

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E is for English

I can only conclude that whoever created the English language wasn’t a very nice person. It’s like he was trying to be annoying about it just because he could. You think you know these rules that govern the language but really they’re just sort of vague guidelines that may or may not be applicable to similar words.

For example, singular and plural forms. By and large, it’s relatively simple, just add an “s”. Bam. Problem solved.

Except for when it’s not. When it ends with “y”, you sometimes change it to “ies”. Not always though, because some “y”-ending words like “boy” continues with the “s” rule. When it ends with a ch/sh/s/x, you have to go with “es”. “O”-ending words are tricky. Tomatoes vs casinos. Heroes vs photos. “S” or “es”, how do you tell? You just have to know it to know.

Foot becomes feet. Tooth becomes teeth. Child becomes children. Woman becomes women. House becomes houses but mouse doesn’t become mouses. They transform into mice. And don’t even get me started on axes, crises, formulae, chateaux, mothers-in-law, cacti, octopuses? octopi?

Then of course, we have words that refuse to change even when they’re pluralised. Sheep. furniture, aircraft, deer, offspring. They insist of having the same word represent both singular and plural forms. Why? Maybe they want to be special.

Oh wait, there are also words that can’t make up their minds as to whether they want a plural form or not. Bread is bread even if you have many slices of it. Unless they’re different kinds of bread like wholemeal, white and wheat. Those guys don’t like each other very much, so you have to use breads to refer to them collectively.

“Why don’t they just make it easy and add “s” to all the plural words?” Truett asked as I tried to explain the randomness that is English plurality.

“Well, it wouldn’t be fun now, would it? If it was easy, you wouldn’t get to laugh at people who say mouses because they got tricked by the non-rules of English. Kidding. Don’t laugh at people who say it wrong ok, that’s mean. Besides, would you rather be learning Chinese?”

“No way.”

Orange you glad…

I was sharing an orange with Finn yesterday evening and here’s the thing: sharing a potentially messy fruit with a child who’s all dressed and ready for bed requires a system. I peel the orange into perfectly de-skinned, bite sized pieces for him while he carefully picks up those pieces and puts them in his mouth one at a time. No fuss, no mess.

As he picked up the last piece of orange, I saw him put it between his tiny hands in an attempt to divide it in half. “Don’t!! Don’t squish it, just put the whole thing in your mouth.” I said in my mom voice. “You’re already in your jammies, let’s not have to change it again.”

With juice dripping down his pyjama sleeve, he shoved one half of the squished up orange into his mouth and offered the other half to me in his outstretched hand.

“For you, momma,” he said.

URGGGGH.

Of all the lessons I’ve learnt from the kids, perhaps the most important one is “If you really want to overreact and yell at your offspring for doing making you do extra, unnecessary chores, make sure they’re not just trying to be a sweetheart and giving you half of their last piece of orange.

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Bros before um…other stuff.

Being a big brother is hard. But what’s even harder is being a big brother after having been the baby of the family. You get used to being babied by everyone all your life, then suddenly, you have to give up all those wonderful baby privileges to a smaller baby who’s clingy and chubby and cute. Urgh. The cute ones are the worst.

Also, everyone starts calling you a big kor kor like that’s some kind of mysterious perk whenever they want you to give in to the other baby. Annoying.

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9 months in and Finn has adjusted relatively well to the role of a sandwiched big brother. Well, mostly. It’s been a big change for him, having to relinquish dibs on everything ranging from toys to attention to mommy-time.

I try to baby this second littlest child of mine whenever I can but I think he still feels it sometimes, especially when Theo gets all needy and clingy like he’s been so often lately.

This happened some nights ago.

Finn: Momma, is it you don’t want me?

Me: What?? Why would you say that, baby? Of course momma wants you.

Finn: You don’t want Finn Finn, you want baby Theo?

Me: No way. Hey, momma will always, always want you. I know sometimes I have to feed baby Theo first and you have to be patient. You’ve been a really rad big brother. And mommy will always want you, you know that right?

Finn: Which one do you like, momma? Baby Theo or Finn Finn? Which one do you like?

Me: Both. I like you both. See, this is my heart, and this heart loved kor kor and jie jie. When Finn was born, my heart got bigger so I could love you too. And when baby Theo was born, momma’s heart got really big like this. So that there’s always room for all of you. Promise.

Finn: Ok momma.

Me: Hey Finn, do you like baby Theo? I know it’s really hard being a big brother, but baby Theo is your baby too. Do you like him?

Finn: Yes momma. I like baby Theo, he’s super cute like a pumpkin.

Me: You’re so cute like a pumpkin.

Finn: No, you’re so cute like a pumpkin, momma.

Sigh, I do wish I could make it easier for this impossibly sweet, big-hearted little boy. 

I brought all 4 kids to the playground yesterday and Finn yelled from his spot at the top of the slide. “Mommmmmm, I need to carry baby Theo. Quick! Bring him here!!”

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I think they’re going to be ok. I hope so.

Over and out.

Great news! The marble is out, I repeat, THE MARBLE IS OUT. My in-laws are the lucky winners of the super gross family treasure hunt that’s been going on and this is how it all went down. Want to hear it? Sure you do.

Wednesdays are typically the kids’ “midweek party at ah kong and ah ma’s house day”, and this week, I thought of having Truett stay at home with me so I could dissect his poop meself, in the name of parental responsibility and all that. My awesome in-laws were like “it’s ok, we can do it,” and you know me, I’m not one to rob anyone of the joy of partaking in poop treasure hunt. I’m happy to report that yesterday afternoon, they found it, all shiny and round and covered in poop.

Thank you, dad and mom!!

I now declare the poop hunt officially over. And it’s only day 3.5 out of 7. I was prepared to do this for 7 days and I only had to do it for 3. That’s some serious discount we’re talking. It’s like setting aside money to pay full price for your favourite bag, then to find it on sale for half the price. Now you’re like, I have all this extra money, what should I do with it?? Except now I have all this extra faeces-free time to to all sorts of non-faeces related things.

Also, I think I’m done talking about poop. It’s been less than no fun while it lasted.

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Hang on, it doesn’t seem right to leave a post like this, talking about not wanting to talk about poop. One time, I was reading The Graveyard Book before bed and that night, I tried to force yourself not to think about cold-blooded murderers hunting for tiny babies as I fell asleep but that was all I thought about the entire night. (Do not recommend! To clarify, the book was fab, but the timing, exceptionally poor.)

Moral of the story? Always remember to neutralise your brain with adorable cat videos on the internet before going to bed.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a cat, but I do have a baby who’s growing up far too fast for my liking and he’s as good a brain neutraliser as any.

Here’s Finn to wrap things up today, over and out.

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