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What is up with girls and princesses?

Me: Hey sweetie, what would you like to be when you grow up?

Kirsten: A princess!

Me: If you want to be a real princess, you’ll have to marry a prince and there are very few of those to go around.

Kirsten: What if I just want to be a pretend princess.

Me: Oh, that’s much easier. Ok, close your eyes.

*I sprinkled some pretend fairy dust on her eyelids and made her open them again*

Me: There you go, princess Kirsten.


I’ve been asked about what it is with girls and princesses and I have no idea. I do know that my spunky little girl adores them though. In my world of make believe, I’ve much preferred to be a supreme court judge over a princess but I turned out to be neither so that was that.

At first, I was resistant to the whole princess madness and I tried to steer her in other more down to earth directions. Like maybe a rock star or artist or writer but she had her heart set on being a princess so over the years, I’ve learnt a lot from my daughter’s obsession with all things princessy. I guess you can call me a reformed princess convert. 

I asked Kirsten why she wanted to be a princess and she told me the following:

1. Pretty dresses are nice.

True that. I’ve never been much into them myself but I can see the value in poofy dresses with lots of frills. You can twirl them, dance in them, swish them around when you walk…so many different uses!

2. Princesses use their powers for good.  

I think she means privileges. Princesses have a responsibility to look out for others who need help and go out of their way to do it. WIth great power and all that. I think she might have gotten mixed up with spiderman a little bit but still, all good values.

3. Princesses keep their promises.

Can’t argue with that.

In all likelihood, she’s not going to end up being a princess but it’s what makes her eyes light up and I’m not about to squash that out of her. Maybe one day, she’ll be all princessed out and she might want to be a goth/hipster/zither player (please, God, no!!) and we’ll figure out a way to help her chase those dreams.

Besides, I asked Truett what he wanted to be when he grew up and he said “angry bird.” Now that’s a tough one.


Who’s the fiercest of them all?

Husband: Guys, who’s more fierce, daddy or mommy?

Both kids: DADDY!

Kirsten: Mommy is not fierce at all but daddy is one thousand million super duper giant fierce.


Me: Hey! Mommy can be very very very fierce too, you know.

Both kids: *looks at each other, then…* Hahahahahahahahahha


Tru: I wish I can be an adult because adults don’t do any wrong things.

Me: Um, wow, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Tru: When children do wrong things, adults can make us go to the naughty corner but when adults do wrong things, who will make them go naughty corner?

Me: That’s true but you know what? I actually wish I could just go to the naughty corner every time I make a mistake. When adults make mistakes, it’s usually far worse.

Tru: Other adults will scold you?

Me: Well, yeah, sometimes. And some of them can be really mean. Or it can be way worse than scoldings. Like sometimes when adults make mistakes at work, they get fired from their jobs. Or if they commit a traffic offence, the traffic police will give them a ticket. Or if they do drugs, they can get very sick. Or if they do really bad stuff like killing other people, they get sent to prison for a long, long time. Any number of bad things can happen when adults make mistakes. But kids just get to face the wall when they make a mistake, that’s not so bad right?

Tru: *looks appalled*

Me: When mommy was your age, I got disciplined by Grandpa and Grandma a lot so I learnt not to make most of those mistakes as an adult.

Tru: *silence*

Me: I know it sounds crazy but we do it because we love you and we want you to be better. So you won’t have to learn these lessons when you get to my age. It’s far more painful to learn it then.

Tru: *silence*

Me: Hey son, you know we always love you SUPER SUPER DUPER HUGE GIANT MUCH no matter what happens, don’t you.

Tru: Yes yes I know I know…


I didn’t tell him then but of all the mistakes I could ever make, I’m most terrified of doing it wrong as a parent. Those lessons, I didn’t get to learn as a kid so we’re mostly winging it as we go along. And there’s no real way to know if you’re doing it right until it’s too late.

Sometimes, I think that perhaps we should maintain some illusion of perfection as parents until they’re old enough to know otherwise but then I also think that a far more important lesson is for them to know that parents make mistakes too – we just try our best to learn from them and do better next time.

I hope we don’t mess things up with these incredible kids.

Most of all, I hope they know that we really do love them unconditionally.


Facebook?? Why don’t you face book and study.

kirsten & truett

Husband: Kids, do you know what daddy does at work?

Both kids: I know, social media.

Me: What is social media?

Truett: Um, Facebook! Also twitter and instagram.

Me: How do you even…WHAT? How is it that you guys know that?

*Both kids looking very pleased with themselves*

Me: Ok, how about mommy, what does mommy do?

Kirsten: Also social media?

Truett: *whispers to his sister* Kirsten, say blogger.

Me: No way…you guys are too smart.


Kirsten: Mommy, I show you something…

Me: Ok show.

Kirsten: *holding up a notebook*

Me: Oh, nice notebook.

Kirsten: It’s not a notebook. It’s my facebook.

Me: Hahahahahhahahaha. This is going up on the blog.



Nobody’s doing any marrying anytime soon


Truett: Last time when you were small, was daddy your brother?

Me: WHAT?? No…Why?

Truett: Then how did you marry daddy?

Me: Ohhh, that’s where you’re going with this. Ok, see…kao fu (uncle) is my brother, just like you and Kirsten. We grew up together and had lots of fun but siblings don’t get married. I only met daddy when I was 19. We were friends in school and then one day daddy asked me to marry him and I said yes. That’s more or less how it happened.

Truett: Daddy is your friend? You married your friend??? Hahahahahahahah how can you marry your friends?

Me: How is that funny? Well, first he was my friend and we liked each other a lot so he became my boyfriend. Like an extra-special friend. And after a while, I realized daddy was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with so I agreed to marry him.

Truett: Then next time who am I going to marry?

Me: Don’t worry, one day when you’re older, you’re going to meet someone special. Someone who loves you and makes you happy and who will be just right for you.

Truett: But what if I don’t meet anyone special?

Me: Trust me, you will, son. In fact, I think you’ll be too busy fending off girls so remember to pick a good one ok. And hey, you’re too young to worry about stuff like that now.

Truett: Ok.


Kirsten: Kor kor, I cannot marry you anymore. I will choose from my N2 class – Elliot, Derrick, Javier, Afiq or Berwin.

Me: Young lady, there will be no choosing until you turn 18. Or 25. Daddy is going to make sure of that.


You talk ang moh

In a bid to get Truett ready for Primary school, we’ve been trying to expose the kids to more Chinese. This includes the occasional smattering of Chinese in our daily conversations, Chinese storybooks and letting them interact with others in Chinese, which also means not jumping to the rescue and translating when others speak to them in Chinese. The hope is that they will somehow infer and respond accordingly.

It doesn’t always work though. In fact, it’s been quite hilarious watching him.


Truett was at the hairdresser to get his hair done and I think the lady was from China so she spoke to him in Chinese.

Hairdresser: boy boy 坐直…

Truett: I don’t know what that is. You need to speak english.

Hairdresser: Sit high here.

Truett: *stares blankly at her*

Me (reluctantly intervening): Aunty said you need to sit up straight ok? Don’t slouch.

truett haircut


During Chinese story time, I usually pause at key phrases and quiz them on what certain words mean.

Me: Guys, who knows what is 对不起?The tree said 对不起 to the animals right?

Kirsten: I know! 对不起 means eat food.

Me: Your head. 对不起 means I’m sorry. It’s got nothing to do with eating food.


Last week, we met an elderly lady in the lift who asked Truett how old he was.

Aunty: 你今年几岁?

Truett: *holding up 5 fingers* Five years old.

Aunty: 五岁…很大了hor?

After we stepped out of the lift, Truett turned to me and said “Old people like to talk in Chinese. Next time when I’m old then I will talk in Chinese. Now I must talk in English.”

Nice try there, but you still have to learn Chinese. You’ll need it for Primary one.


I think I wanna marry you. And you. And you.

Kirsten: Next time when I grow up, I will marry daddy.

Me: Sweetie, um, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Kirsten: I love daddy you know?

Me: I know! But daddy’s already married. To me.

Kirsten: No, not now. I mean when I’m a big girl like you. Then I will marry daddy.

Me: Well, by the time you turn 30, daddy will be 58, like Ah Gong. I seriously doubt you’ll want to marry him then.

Kirsten: Ok fine. Then I’ll marry kor kor.

Me: Actually, you can’t marry kor kor either. You’ll need to marry someone else.

Kirsten: But why? I love kor kor so much.

Me: Besides, if you marry kor kor, who’s going to marry baby Finn?

Kirsten: How about grandma? Baby Finn can marry grandma.

Me: What?? Mmm, I don’t think either of them would want that.

Kirsten: How about I marry baby Finn and kor kor. I will marry so many people.

Me: Wait, do you even know what getting married means?

Kirsten: Yes! I show you.

*grabs Truett and makes him twirl her around the room.

Kirsten: See, when I wear a pretty dress and do a twirly dance like this, it means I’m married.

*cue a whole minute of laughter

Me: Seriously, where are you learning this stuff from? Also, aren’t you far too young to be dreaming of a fairytale wedding?

not how you get married


P is for Prammy

Truett rode on a buggy several times during our stay in Bali and the first time he got up, he called it a prammy.

Tru: Cool, we get to ride on a prammy!

Me: A what??

Tru: That one. That looks like a pram. Is it called a prammy?

Me: Um, good deduction but no, it’s called a buggy.

Tru: Oh ya, I got mixed up. Prammy is school right? Like Prammy 1, Prammy 2…

Me: *LOL* I think you mean Primary. We need to work on your pronunciation, son. We can’t have you going too to prammy school and visiting the libry.