Monday, August 27, 2012


"Hey Babykins," I call to Maddie as I have done countless times before. She is, after all, the baby of the family, and at 3-years-old it's a cute little term of endearment.

"Don't call me Babykins!" she replies, "I'm not a baby anymore, Daddy."

Maddie can't wait to grow up. And you can see it in every little thing she does. She feeds herself, what little of it she chooses to eat. She wears her own shoes, although once in awhile, she slips up and gets them on the wrong sides. She wakes up at night on her own to take a pee, and she wipes her own poo.

In fact, she so self-reliant that she's all but ready to move out on her own and never look back. And that breaks my heart just a little. Yes, yes, Daddies are supposed to learn to let go, but she's three I just need a little more of my Babykins just a little longer.

"Can't you just be Daddy's little Babykins for a little while more?" I pleaded. This was not looking good for me. This is exactly how Daddy get wrapped around their daughters little fingers. But alas, it was futile.

"Daddy, I'm a big girl now," she said as she looked earnestly at me, as though assuring me that Daddy's little girl is all grown up and that everything was gonna be alright. I was almost resigned to the fact that Maddie was never gonna be my Babykins anymore, when I remembered I still had a trump card up my sleeve.

"Ok Sweet Pea," I responded, "but how about Daddy bathe you now?"

"I want Daddy to bathe me," she squealed. And right there in the bathroom, we're back to being Daddy and Babykins once again. :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Aunty Yit

There was a time I ate only eggs and not much else and no one could tell me different. I was eight at the time, and I pretty much ruled the world. That was, until I met her.

Aunty Yit was Dad's 2nd wife. She was a beautiful woman, but it was a nasty kind of beautiful. She had a death stare like the worst of them, except hers was accentuated by a pair of tattooed eyebrows - the sort that was perpetually in a state of fury. And, she didn't take shit from bratty little 8-year-olds.

"Eat!" she boomed. My blood curdled as I quickly raised my fork and stuffed a glob of lifeless, overcooked spinach into my mouth. It tastes like shit. Shit, seasoned with the salt from the sweat of my brow. I gave it a couple of feeble chews and gulped my misery down.

"Eat!" It was the very word that would shape my life, and unfortunately my adult body. (Which is overly large, in case you were wondering.) It was the word that heralded the beginning of my relationship with her.

Aunty Yit was toughs as nails, intelligent and funny all at the same time. And she loved children as much as she loved tormenting them. Although I painted her as the embodiment of the wicked stepmother in my childhood, I would learn over time, that she loved me as one of her own. And she loved Mae, Jesse and Maddie too.

Aunty Yit passed away on 6th July 2012. She had lived 65 years but the last six of those she spent battling cancer. She spent the last few months putting her affairs in order and gave us explicit instructions that her funeral arrangement was to be simple, cheerful, and full of eating. Aunty Yit was cremated and laid to rest in the ocean. And immediately after, we ate.

"Eat!" she said, and we did. And with that, Aunty Yit left my life as she came into it.

Footnote: A day after the funeral, we tried explaining to Maddie what had happened to her Grandma. "Do you know where Grandma is?" we asked. "Grandma is sleeping in the oven," she said. Hahaha. If Aunty Yit had lived to hear that, she would have enjoyed it immensely.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Under Where?

"Daddy," my son suddenly said in the elevator as we were heading out to school, a solemn look washed over his usually cheerful disposition. He continued, "yesterday was reaaalllly bad."

Jesse is 8 which, in my book, is still just a little kid. But sometimes he'd speak like an old soul, with all the right emphasis in just the right words, and the right look to match, creating all the right nuances in all the right places. Like this conversation we were having.

I was concerned, but I feigned a little callousness to diffuse the tension in the air.

"Why, what happened?" I casually asked.

"Yesterday, when Mommy took out my clothes for school," he explained intently, "she gave me Girl-Girl's panties." At that point, he started chuckling, "I didn't know until I got to school."

I laughed my ass off. How he managed to squeeze into his little sister's undies defies the laws of Physics. Maddie is just 3. Heheh.

And no, you're not allowed to embarrass him about it when you see him. That's his Daddy's job. :P