So just because you have kids, you get rights?

I experienced two incidents over the past week which have made me really think about this question.

Gather round, my friends, and let me tell you a little story about an exhausted pregnant woman with an overtired toddler who just wanted to get the hell out of the supermarket.

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You’ve been there, right? You’d rather be doing a billion other unpleasant things than stand there any longer while your kid screams at you for more sushi (which you’ve had the audacity to open before paying), you’re carrying a basket which was only meant to contain a couple of lightweight items but now makes it look like you’re stockpiling for Y2K all over again, and your womb-mate is creating all kinds of crazy havoc up in your pelvic floor muscles.

Get me out of here. Please. 

I frantically scan the checkout aisles for the one that, in my estimation, will end this torture the quickest. Ah! There it is, almost too bright for me to look at directly due to what I perceive as a glow of hope surrounding it. A moderately empty, moving checkout line. I hauled the stroller with its yelling, hungry occupant and my gigantic belly over to that blessed lane as quickly as possible. Continue reading

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Social Graces for Babies, Toddlers and Parents: The Dos and Don’ts of Play Dates in Singapore

Hi readers! I wrote this article for the lovely team at Sassy Mama Singapore on play date “etiquette”. Thanks for sharing the love, you sassy ladies!

When that precious little bundle of joy arrives into your life, the social building block known as “The Play Date” will become a regular feature on your agenda, mama. These little meet-and-greets of tiny humans and their respective caregivers tend to start happening once the shell-shock of your tiny human’s birth has worn off, and the first few weeks of what I like to call The Newborn Blur have…well…not passed, but have become an acceptable part of your outlook on the world.

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Your first play date will be many things: a little weird, a little new, a little “What exactly are we going to do?”, and more often than not, a little bit thrilling as you realise that this is one of the key ways you are going to survive this thing called parenthood.

In order to adequately equip you for your very first play date, or if, perhaps, you’re like me and are a play date veteran but need the occasional refresher as to what is and is not okay, I’ve put together a handy little guide of dos and don’ts to keep you and your kid from being the ones that don’t get invited the second time around (just kidding, people are usually quite forgiving; but really though, read carefully). Continue reading

Dear Haze, you are straight up irritating.

Dear Haze,

It’s time for us to have a heart-to-heart. I have a few things to literally get off my chest, not limited to your nasty little PM2.5 particles that I can feel invading my respiratory system.

You know, when I first heard about you in June 2013, I wasn’t too fazed, Haze. You were no biggie. I was on a business trip in gorgeous Auckland, New Zealand, breathing in crisp, cool, fresh air. I was newly pregnant, but didn’t know it yet. My husband would tell me over the phone how bad it was and while I tried to sympathise, I thought everything was getting just a little too OTT. Come on guys. It’s a little pollution. We’ll get through it.

Clearly, I underestimated just how bad you really are.

Haze, you are straight up irritating. In every sense of the word.

I do not appreciate the 2-month-long nasal tap you have bestowed upon my 19-month-old. We were getting to a good place sleep-wise, and you’re really messing things up for us. I miss wearing clothes sans the snot stains. The cost of tissues is going to bankrupt us.

I am not a fan of the fact that you have kept us indoors for so long. Cabin fever has been redefined. Right now, The Bunny Hop song is on for the twenty-seventh time this morning. I do not want to hop like a bunny, jump like a joey or leap like a froggie, any. more. Continue reading

5 ways a sick toddler puts life into perspective

We were hit with the trifecta this weekend: sick daddy, sick Tuna and…”The Haze”.

The last of these, while sounding more like a cheesy horror/sorority movie, is an actual thing with which those of us living in Singapore have become all too familiar. Essentially, the air outside becomes horrible to breathe due to forest fires in Indonesia and the winds that very kindly blow them our way. You’ll recognise the more paranoid amongst us as we constantly refresh the same trusty website on our smartphones – “how high are the PM2.5 levels now?!” So what ends up happening is we all stay indoors, cooped up, with our air conditioners and purifiers on maximum levels.

That sounds like exactly how toddlers, and their respective parents, would probably love to spend their weekends! I hear you saying. Yep. No really. It’s a dream. The minute you hear whisperings of “The Haze is back…” you genuinely start to fear for your and your child(ren)’s sanity because all usually viable options for getting energy out, and keeping cabin fever at bay, are limited, nay, destroyed. Continue reading