Making Light of Things

June 2007 Archives

Two for Two

Just the other day I was sharing with my colleagues on the experience of having a kid.

“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done”, I tell them.

They then tell me that I should be an official advocate of child-bearing. Not sure if they noticed the contradiction in the comment they made to my statement, I clarify that I just said it was the hardest thing I ever did.

“It’s not what you said. It’s how you said it”, they tell me. Something along the lines of how I made it sound like a good thing.

Anne smilingThe apparent paradox sums up the act of bringing up a child, as I am sure many parents can attest to the fact. It seems almost masochistic - that we subject ourselves to the sleepless nights, the arguments, the financial burden, but when the kiddo smiles time freezes and all the pain in the world ceases to exist for that split second.

Many people have been telling us to have number 2. Reasons given ranged from the “while you’re still young” to how Anne needs a companion should we ever kick the bucket.

The government has been trying to encourage Singaporeans to have more children. An aging population that isn’t replenishing itself doesn’t bode well. Sometimes I look around and I think they’ve given up on us. The influx of foreigners into our schools, our living spaces and our workplaces - aren’t they meant to replace us? Even as national day draws near and propaganda about how “Singapore is our home” starts perpetuating the airwaves, I find my appetite for sentimental notions for Singapore waning. I think Singapore is the pragmatic spouse. She goes where the money is. I can’t blame her, but I wish she’d stop blaming us should we do the same. Singaporeans who leave for other countries are called quitters, yet we’re actively recruiting people of other countries.

But I digress. While the government tries to address the peripheral issues of child-bearing, offering monetary incentives, the question isn’t answered: Why should we have children?

We have no time to enjoy our children. Dual-income families are almost a requirement here, with homes coming at quite a premium. Faith and I are perfectly happy living in basic government housing, but even that costs us a third of a million dollars. Anne is growing up fast and we’re missing the experience because we’re stuck in office cubicles. I’m up late finishing work.

Anne started school Monday. Faith and I weren’t there for her first day of school. I regret it very deeply. We’ve little precious time with her, what more if we have a second? We don’t really want to get domestic help - it’s absurd to give birth to a child and have him or her raised by someone else. The happy compromise is having the grandparents take over the job of parenting. But it is what it is, a compromise.

I want to enjoy my children. I do not care for repopulating the country.


Pardon the dust. I’ve been having the itch to redesign for the longest time. This was pretty much put together in an hour.

Dim-witted Stereotype

At the iX Conference 2007 this morning, Mr Chan Yeng Kit, the CEO of IDA reassured us that the “buzz” was back in the IT industry by showing us increasing student enrollment in computer-related courses.

Slides from IDA with Bright Students as a category

What on earth is a “bright student”? And even if you did have some criteria for it, what makes you think the others aren’t bright? I take offense at the stupid generalisation.

Now please, get out of my elitist, uncaring face.

Marvel and DC

If you haven’t already seen this, you’re really missing out.

Music, Dancing and Airplanes

Sunday nights are spent having dinner with Faith’s side of the family. When you put Anne and Seth together, hilarity often ensues.

Thought Aunty Audrey might want to know what a normal Sunday dinner is like, if there is such a thing as “normal” when the 2 kiddos are put in the same room.

Here’s a video of Anne providing the music, Seth dancing and occasionally checking for airplanes that fly in and out of Changi Airport.

Jurong Bird Park

Ralph, Ai, Faith, Seth and Anne at Jurong Bird ParkIt’s the school holidays, and that means that Faith finally gets a break from teaching. We went to Jurong Bird Park last week. Ralph, Ai and Seth came along too. It was my first time there in more than a decade - or two - I can’t remember my last time there.

We’ve brought Anne to the zoo more than half a dozen times already, so the Bird Park was a change for all of us. On the way to the Bird Park, I began to understand why the Bird Park saw considerably less visitors than the Zoo.

Oftentimes the packaging is an important lead-in to the actual product. PCs come in drab brown cardboard boxes while Macs come in beautifully designed glossy pieces of art that’d’ say “Designed in California” as you opened them. There is a tingle of excitement as you marvel at how they included little pockets for the tiniest items like the remote control or the USB cable.

This is no fault of the Bird Park, of course. But as we travelled through Jurong we passed by heavy factories, and we were constantly surrounded by huge trucks and tankers, very unlike the Zoo which was located in the middle of greenery and beside a beautiful reservoir of water.

Continue reading Jurong Bird Park »

When she was good...

We had a visit from Anne Teresa on Vesak Day.

Anne Teresa

She’s growing up faster than I can chronicle. She sang her first “pop” song yesterday. Holi-holiday by Boney M.

She’ll probably regret this in her teens, but my dad had a blast hearing her sing one of his favourites.

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