“Where Did You Learn That?”

Hey kid, when someone tuts and screams at you, “That’s stupid!  Common sense tells you not to do that!”  You should comeback politely with, “Where did you learn that?”

We adults tend to forget that you have only been on this amazing planet a fraction of time we have.  Your motor skills are as reliable as Australia’s train services.  Your intuition spans only as far as knowing that grandparents are putty in your hands.  You haven’t even spelled cataclysmic let alone experience it.

The definition of common sense is “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts”.   I believe it is honed by adequate knowledge and experience and hence we pack a different set of common sense from say Genghis Khan.

Try reading the following with mom and dad:

I cnnoat blveiee that I can aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I am rdanieg.  The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rseearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae.  The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm.  This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe.  Azanmig huh?  Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt.

If you hadn’t even learned to read you wouldn’t be able to apply “sound and prudent judgment” to help you decipher this anti spelling message.

Now how about this:

Die Knasthälscferbnude um Wogfalng Bhlcratcei ist siet Oetbokr vliutreert – dcoh wieerte sieenr gshcteefäln Wkree kntönen scih wewtleit undeentckt in Mseuen und Saungemmln bdnfieen. Das mmaßutte ein Blierner LKA-Kisommsar bei eenir Fahctaugng im Bode-Msuuem.

Think how mom and dad would feel now if a child, who knows German, were to laugh at their inability to understand the above paragraph.  Well, of course this is just one small way to decode common sense.

So kid, the next time you:

  • Give your brother a flying kick to the head
  • Touch a hot iron cos you can’t see why not
  • Pierce with your knife and saw with your fork
  • Jump onto a chair that has castors
  • Put a cup dribbled with Milo on a piece of paper mom just printed stuff on

Try to remember with all your might what your parents are gonna tell you after that.  Cos what they are trying to teach you is – if it looks like shit and smells like shit, it’s not the sense of taste you should use to confirm that it is shit.


What’s Fun and Boring?

Ohhhh... boy.

Wednesday was one day shy of the mensiversary of my myomectomy and since I’ve ventured more than 500m away from home alone.  It was drinks with the usual suspects at No. 5 Emerald Hill.  I said hello to someone familiar but whom I couldn’t immediately identify.  He then explained that it was because he is botak now – only 7 months into carrying out his National Service in the Armed Forces.  And the next word he said was …

Botak: Boring.
Me: Really?   My nephew served in the Police Force, he said it was interesting.
Botak: Why?
Me: He told me he saw crime scenes, dead bodies, handled domestic disputes… he liked dealing with people and learning about social interaction.
Botak: But I’m going to Taiwan for 5 months soon.
Me: That will be a great change of pace and environment then.
Botak: Boring.  We’ll be going to Thailand and New Zealand after that.
Me: Make the best out of it. Broaden your mind.  My nephew got his driving license in the meantime and patrolled in a squad car.
Botak: Ours is more fun, we get to do parachute jumps.  Boring.
Me: How can you say something is more fun and at the same time boring?  I don’t understand.
Botak: Well, think about it.  I could be earning $3000 out there instead.
Me: (Thinking to myself) Are we playing seven degrees of factual separation?

‘Lame’, ‘awesome’,’ lol’, ‘I dunno” and my favorite long and draggy ‘huuuhhhhhh???….’

Many of us are guilty of using these dendrite shrinkers too, lol.  I think if we get away with using these expressions in their modernly broad context, we might lose touch with how to convey feelings and thoughts to others efficiently and effectively. 

Kids should be given a chance to be heard.  Help junior use accurate words or phrases to express his/her feelings and thoughts.  Play guessing games to stimulate the observant, information gathering, Sherlock Holmes in them.   It will be jaw dropping to learn what they are really trying to say when you guide their thought processes with questions.  This in turn helps you understand their psyche and how to better tackle various aspects of their lives.  Try it!

Family Fusion

A double rainbow punctuated the evening leading up to our gathering of gluttony.

Happy holidays to all.

And to my cousin and friend who each has a family member dancing in the clouds beyond these spectrum of wonder, I’m happy you have these people worth remembering.


Pre Entrée


Cookiehenge Game

So you’ve baked your Sweetheart’s favorite cookie.  Now here’s a borborygmus idea for you and your partner in crime.

  1. Each of you write a list of rewards you’d like e.g. I get foot rub, I skip next mom visit, you wash car, you bathe dog.
  2. Get the cookies out, clear the table and set a timer for 1 minute.
  3. Shout “Persnickety!” (start timer simultaneously) and both of you build a tower each with these deliciously uneven discs.
  4. The idea is to have the taller tower that’s standing at the end of 1 minute.
  5. Winner gets 1 reward on the list each round.

Ready… get milk… go!!!

By the way, I used this recipe and we loved it.

Out With the Bottle

Parenting takes lots of knowledge, time and effort.  Resist trying to keep your child a baby.  Your actions/inactions are lived out by them – sometimes long term.

This charming little boy I know will be turning 5 this year and he still drinks milk from a milk bottle, lying down, at least 3 times a day.

Up till last month, these were his exact practices:

  1. For meals, only ate congee, mee suah, mee kia and yellow noodles with absolutely no other solid food like vegetable, meat or fish
  2. Only ate the noodles with bak kut teh soup or just a handful of other types of soup
  3. The exceptions to point 1:  He would eat deep fried skin of fish, sio bak or ikan bilis (they are toppings for his congee and noodles)
  4. Also ate snacks like cookies, chips and ice cream and chocolate occasionally

Without even seeing this little boy, a speech therapist guessed all most of the above daily habits right.  She basically said, “Don’t waste your money seeing me, change his feeding habits first because his tongue muscles are underdeveloped.  Sucking the milk bottle while lying down has to stop.”

If you have a hint that your child has delayed speech development, click the links to read what you can do about it.

Stages of eating development

Stages of speech development

Take Care

  • Have you ever driven home after having a little too much to drink?
  • Ever fallen asleep after putting the kettle on the stove to make a cup of tea?
  • How about not seeking medical attention for an ankle that has been swollen for over a year?
  • Or perhaps just letting your work take a toll on your health?

Imagine what your partner goes through when you are of sound mind and yet act irresponsibly along these lines?

Quoting a man whom I respect without prejudice :

The idea is that relationships shouldn’t only be “you take care of me and I take care of you”.  It is just as important that “I take care of me for you and you take care of you for me”.