Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Education of Jesse

At 2 years and 6 months, Jesse can barely string a bunch of words to make an intelligible sentence, but dammit, the kid knows his ABCs and 123s.

He's been reciting his alphabet and numbers, even before his 2nd birthday. There was a time whenever we went shopping, he'd stop right there at the signboard just to point and identify the characters. As you can imagine, our shopping trips became twice as long just waiting for the boy to read all the signages in the shopping mall. Heh.

Anyway, one day I decided it'd be fun to screw with his little brain and so I started showing him sign language of the alphabet. But the boy started learning that too. Then Mae thought it'd be funny if we pressed the wrong floor on the lift and let him out. But Jesse was way ahead of us. In fact, one time I actually got off on the wrong floor and my boy called me back in.

Lately, he's decided to write. So far, he's managed the letters P, L, E, A, V, M, T, H, L, O, N. If I didn't know better I'd say he's trying to spell, "Please leave me the hell alone" or something.

For now, Jesse is enjoying his mornings at the Kindergarten, learning new stuff. Today I paid him a little visit and saw him and his little friends learning how to use the scissors.

Hmmm... it looks like there could be interesting days ahead.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Way to a Man's Heart

gimme! gimme!

Men (the ones of the masculine persuasion, anyway) are simple creatures. We are easy to please. So easy, that I have no reservation whatsoever to speak for my brethren:

Men love fried chicken.

It's not exactly the great big secret of the universe, or the meaning of life, but it does come pretty damn close. The thing is, women know this. But for reasons that elude me, when a woman transitions in her life to become a mother or a wife, she conveniently forgets. Allow me to illustrate.

My mother was in town only recently. "James loves steamed chicken," she tells Mae. "He does?" Mae reconfirms with Mom. "I love fried chicken," I yell from across the room, disturbed by the conversation that was taking place before me. "Yah, he loves steamed chicken."

Isn't it amazing how mother knows best? That was just barely a month ago.

A couple of weeks ago I call home. "We're having rendang chicken," Mae tells me. "Why can't we ever have fried chicken?" "But you love rendang chicken," she rationalises. You can never really talk to a woman.

Still, miracles do happen.

Monday night, Mae made fried chicken. And that night, as I clocked up my cholesterol count, I fell in love with my wife all over again. Isn't it any wonder that the physical manifestations of love closely resembles a mild cardiac arrest?

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Kindie Report

On Friday, after a good thirteen days in kindergarten, Jesse finally gets it; kindie is fun. And with that, I present to you the Kindie Report - not to be confused with the Kinsey Report, which is juicy little report about sex. This is just a report about my kid and his kindergarten experience. I'll sex it up as best I can, but no promises, ok?
Mae and I send Jesse to school on a Wednesday. The kid is wary of his new surroundings but since we're there, he's ok. We even make a break for it, halfway through and he was just fine.

The last day for parents to stick around, Mae takes Jesse there, but keeps her distance. It was too much for our boy and he decides to lead a mutiny. The Leader of the Revolution grabs his little Barney backpack and heads for the door crying his eyes out. This riles up the crowd and suddenly the all the three year olds are packing up and crying for mommy.

Mae leaves Jesse at class and heads for the door. The boy cries as teachers pry him away from his Mommy. The ordeal is too much for Mae. Jesse cries much of the day. He also becomes a legend, as every teacher has had a hand in consoling our cry baby.

I bring Jesse to school to give Mae a break. I walk him to class and he's all agreeable to the whole idea of Kindergarten. The moment I leave, the kid starts his kicking and screaming. Teacher Lavender pats me on the shoulder and looks me earnestly in the eyes, "I'll take it from here James, ok?" She was trying to console me. Jesse cries a lot during the day.

With all the crying, we had expected Jesse to refuse to go to school, but surprisingly, the kid actually likes it there. He'd cry whenever he got there but would be quickly distracted by the class bicycle, which he loves. Problem was, that was all he did - cycle around. Kids sit at the table, our kid would be on the bike. Kids would be eating biscuits, our kid would be on the bike. Kids would be lining up for the john, our kid would be on the bike.

Mae finds out that her son is as melodramatic as she is. He'd cry when she left him at school. Then he would proceed to have a good time right up until school's over. And when he walks towards the door to his Mommy outside, he'd cry, just for effect.

Teacher Lavender takes drastic measures to get our boy to participate in class. The bike goes. And the boy finds that there is live beyond bicycles. Again, he puts on his saddest puppy dog face when he greets Mommy at the end of school.

Jesse was so excited at the prospect of school that he forgot to cry. Fortunately, he remembered just in time when Mommy came to get him.He did, however cry all the way to school because he hated his brand new uniform which he wore for the first time today, but more about that in another post!

No more tears! Finally.
And that concludes the Kindie Report. As for the sexed-up bit, well, Kindie is a good place to meet hot young moms. Hahahah! But don't say I told you so.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sick Days

As of today, I have been sick for 6 days.

I hardly get sick. And even if I did, I'm usually up and about in a day or two. But for some reason, this time around it's really bad. I've been in bed all day long both today and yesterday. Guess these old bones just aren't what they used to be.

It's a stark awakening that this year I turn 36. With the dwindling mortality rate, that makes me middle-aged. Yup. Next thing I know, I'll be buying a sports car or something. Except that at my age, I haven't made enough to buy a sports car. Now that, my friends, is a new mid-life crisis.

Goodnight folks, my cocktail of pills await.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Dorjee: A Tibetan Love Story

Dorjee, like his name, was a thunderbolt out of the blue. He was a remarkably beautiful man - masculine and chiseled, yet his ruddy complexion and sunny demeanor betrayed the mischievious boy within. It was no wonder that he was always popular with the girls, even back in Tibet, from where he came.

But there was this one Indonesian maid, in the condo where he worked, who wouldn't give him the time of day. Despite his winning smile, she'd always turn a nose on his best efforts.

"This girl is like a fiesty wild llama," he bragged to his compatriots in the security office, "and I shall break her in." There was a glint in his big brown eyes as Dorjee's mind drifted away to the flora and fauna of Tibet and instantly his friends knew that the Indon maiden would be no match for this scoundrelly Lothario. They were convinced that as soon as she warmed up to his charms, she would soon be warming his bed.

. . . . . . . . .

"They've been calling each other every day," Mae exclaimed as she scrolled through the call logs on the Nokia we had loaned Roma, "and right under our noses too!" Roma had wanted a phone in case her hubby ever called her when we were out, and now it was being used a tool for her little tumble with the Tibetan Casanova.

The alarms went off in Mae's head. In her eyes, this was betrayal of trust. It was a security threat. And it wasn't the way good people behaved.

But I, I was always a fool for love. In my eyes, I saw a lonely girl, thousands of miles from home. I saw a young wife so often disappointed by her deadbeat husband. I saw a woman longing for love. Of course the fact that our security guard looked like the finalist for a Shah Rukh Khan lookalike contest didn't help matters. Heck, if I were a lonely woman, I'd be all over that handsome bastard in a heartbeat!

In the end, Mae and I decided that the best course of action was subtlety. One night, out of the blue, Mae went and had an impromptu heart-to-heart with Roma, her conversation peppered with liberal mentions of Roma's husband and their two-year-old daughter, Yunita. And despite not ever having let in on the fact that we had discovered her sordid little tryst with that handsome devil, our plan worked like a charm.

Our girl began to keep her distance, not replying his calls. Soon, she found it convenient to simply leave the phone at home. And just like that, it was over. The guard eventually quit and was never seen in our neck of the woods again.

. . . . . . . . .

Dorjee gazed into the Himalayan mountain range as the sun ebbed into the twilight. He had come home to nurse his broken heart only to find that there was a new beginning waiting for him in Tibet. "It's time we went, Roma. Dorjee's got an itch you can scratch," he whispered as he gingerly patted his new pet llama amourosly on the rump.

Friday, January 5, 2007


Mae has recently started blogging. After having read the hundreds of posts I have written about her and Jesse, she's finally decided that she might want to have a voice on the blogosphere as well, on a subject she is reasonably well-versed with - vanity. Heh.

And since a husband's job is to plug his wife (*ahem*) - I present to you Powderpuff Mae. Do go and say "Hi!" and keep an eye out in case I ever decide to make an appearance there. Not her choice, of course, but since she refuses to learn more about Blogger she'll just have to live with it. Case in point - here! Hahaha!!!

Since I'm in the mood I'm gonna plug two other ladies as well.

First up, is a good friend. Jean is a dentist with her own practice. I worked on her logo and her blog as a favour. In exchange, I got a few free consults and Jean promises to make my consultations as painless as possible. *Hiak* You'll find snippets of her life there and a wealth of resources on dental torture care.

Next up, is Sharon Low, the founder of Stemlife. She left a comment in an old post to say that she is now blogging. If you're expecting your baby and have considered saving his cord blood, head on over and you'll find some useful info. Incidentally, Jesse's cord blood is stored at Stemlife in the hope that it will someday benefit someone who needs it. And if that never happens, he could always drink it and let it absorb back into his system. Heh!

Ok. I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

School Day Blues

We survived Jesse's first day. Yay! The boy was a little apprehensive at first seeing the crowd in the place, but the moment he saw tables upon tables all strewn with toys, he quickly got into the game. Unfortunately Jesse isn't much of a people person, so after awhile, he just went his own way doing his own thing.

it's Daddy's first day of school

On their first week, classes run from 9:00am to 11:00am only. Our first hour we distanced ourselves, staying in sight so our boy could see us. At the second hour, once we saw that he has gotted comfortable in his new surroundings, we quickly split the scene.

the lone ranger surveys his grounds

All in all, it wasn't bad. Today, however, was a different story altogether. I didn't go today, so Mae managed it on her own. Unfortunately the poor boy was feeling a little fragile today and there was screaming and gneshing of teeth. Ugh! Hopefully he gets accustomed quickly cos this Kindie is pretty militant about parents' presence. According to a Handbook we had been given (yes, they're THAT efficient!) we're not allowed on school ground after Day 3.

teacher Lavender illustrating the birds and the bees

I'd like to tell you a cute little story of my first day at Kindy, but for the life of me, I can't remember a damn thing about it. Either it was such an uneventful day that I forgot or I have suppressed the horrific memory of my mother deserting me. Heh! I guess eventually it'll turn out alright for Jesse.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

First Day

It's 8:12am. We leave for Jesse's Kindergarten in 3 minutes.

Mae is a wreck. "I need to take a fag," she tells me. She doesn't smoke. Me, I'm calm. Like the calm before a storm.

Jesse is all dressed up and ready to go. But he's awfully quiet today. He knows something is going down. He's probably saving the big screams for later when we ditch him there. Ugh! The principal assured us parents last Saturday that things will be under control. This week, they bring in the calvary - a horde of Form 6 school leavers who will act as assistants.

We're going to be okay.

Yes. We are.


getting ready for the daily grind

We've been prepping Jesse for his big Kindergarten adventure, hence the schoolbag you see in the picture. Despite our best efforts, he doesn't seem to know what's going on. Can't blame him really - he'd just turn two last August so he's probably not old enough to understand what all the fuss is about. Well, it's either that, or he's just screwing around with us.

Tonight, we sent him off to bed early. Mae had spent over an hour trying to get him to sleep but that was not to be. The weird thing was, he didn't kick up a fuss. Instead, the tried to buy time!

He kept asking Mommy questions, if just to keep the conversation going. "Where's elephant?" he asked referring to his stuffed elephant. "Elephant is sleeping," Mae was quick on this one, "Jesse should be sleeping too." But the boy was relentless. "Where's purple?" he enquired of his purple magic marker. "Where's shoe?", "Where's Kakak?", "Where's truck?", the boy went, mustering every single bit of vocabulary he knew. When assured that his every single possession had gone to bed, the boy decided to take on a new strategy.

"Ahmie, water," he asks Mommy for a drink. He never asks for water. But he had this heartbreaking little voice so we relented. And when that was done, he found yet another reason to not sleep. "Brush teeth," he pleads. Mae and I were not buying any of it, "No Jesse, everybody is sleeping. Toothbrush is sleeping!"

Seeing no other way, Jesse pulls out the trump card.

"Deh-dee," he turns to me and looks me in the eyes with his sad little puppy-dog eyes, "wee-wee!" A whole month of potty training and the kid refuses to indicate his desire to take a whizz, but tonight when it counted the most, he says it. Unfortunately though, he was only pulling a fast one. *sigh*

It surely feels like he knows something big is going down tomorrow.