Friday, May 25, 2007


shiver me timbers... arrr!

Jesse's kindie holds a Pirates Party.

We bought the boy a plastic sword and a bandana, snipped up some clothes and a belt, and drew him a seafood tattoo. Too bad we can't put an eyepatch on him, otherwise he might have had a real shot at Best Pirate Costume award.

I sent him to school and called Mae after. "Did the other kids have better costumes?" the wife asked, to which I answered in the affirmative. "Aww, you should have drawn him a moustache like I asked you to," Mae sighed with regret.

Mae is a soccer mom.

Me, I've found my calling in life. Making costumes for my kid. :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Corporal Punishment

Jesse is currently in his Terrible Twos phase. As the name implies, he can be terrible at times - kicking up a shitstorm in his wake when he doesn't get things his way. Unfortunately for the boy, Mommy's been reading Dr. James Dobson. If the name sounds familiar, well, he's the guy you hear on radio's Focus on the Family. And he's all for corporal punishment.

So in a particularly difficult episode of tantrum and tears, Mae brought down the cane on Jesse's butt. Expectedly, he cried his eyeballs out. Unexpectedly, however, minutes later he turned into a sweet little cherub of a boy - laughing, hugging and kissing Mommy.

"Children expect to be punished," Mae says smugly, regurgitating the good Dr. Dobson.


Yesterday, Jesse was throwing stuff around in a fit of tantrum. I warned that I would cane him but he continued his rampage anyway. And so I brought out the cane. One look at it, he cowered into a corner pleading for his life, "Daddy, dunwan!"

It melted my heart seeing my kid plead for mercy (heh!), but I knew that I had to follow through or I'll never earn his respect for my authority. "Give me your hand," I said sternly, then lo and behold, the boy raised his hand fearfully but obediently. I was so impressed that I almost hugged him and kissed him there and then. But I regained my composure quickly enough and brought down two light strokes on the palm of his hand, reading him his rights as I did - just to make sure he understood why he was being punished. He gave me one of his obligatory cries to signify that he had indeed learnt his lesson, and that was good enough for me. And soon after, hugs and kisses and laughter followed. :)

I hate the idea of beating my kid but I accept that, properly administered, a beating can be the best thing for a child. My grandma used to beat the crap out of me, and look how wonderfully I turned out. Heh.

Footnote: Read this. It's important. BTW, just because I'm for caning doesn't mean it's okay to beat your kids whenever you feel like it. It's also not okay to beat them out of anger and frustration. And don't ever let me see you beating your kid in full view of the public (e.g. supermarkets) - I'll kick your ass (unless you're bigger than me). Pull him into corner somewhere and spare him the public humiliation, if you really need to discipline him.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Indecisions Indecisions

I have a client who can't make up his mind without consulting his horde of minions. Which is fine, except they're all monkeys.

"Hey monkeys," he'd ask them, "what do you think of this new brand identity design."

"Ooohh ooohh aaahhh ahhh!!!"
they'd screech in unison, "Monkey wants bananas!"

That's when he'd come up to me and say, "Sorry James," almost apologetically. "I like it, but I think my guys prefer something yellow."

This started out as a rant. I was all huffy and puffy and about to blow the house down and then I ended up amusing myself very much with my own clever little story.

Cheaper than therapy and just as effective. Viva blogging!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

5 Little Words

The dinner had been sumptuous, as it had always been in this household. And as they have always done, father and son sat out on the balcony chatting the night away, beer in hand.

"So how was that Composite Index today, son?" the father enquired. "That little dip in the morning sure worked up your old man's heart," senior said with a chuckle.

The son, however was uncharacteristically quiet.

"Father, I..." he couldn't quite put it in words.

"What is it, son?" the old man was concerned with the furrow in his son's brow. Despite being well over 40 years old, dad had always doted on him. Senior put his arm over the younger man, "C'mon son, you can tell me anything."

It was right there at the tip of his tongue, but these words has always been difficult for him to utter. He had never been able to say it all his life and today was no different.

"I... don't know how... to say it," said the son, his breath laboured as little beads of sweat formed on his forehead. "Father... I..." he stuttered as tears welled up in his eyes, struggling to express himself. This was his demon. This was all that has been torturing him all his childhood and even now in his adult life.

The father could bear it no longer. "Just say it son," dad said, his voice quivering with emotion at his son's suffering, "just say it."

"Father," the younger man found composure at his father's encouragement, and over forty years, the words finally came. "Father, I have to urinate."


Heh. Jesse came up to me last Friday evening and said, "Daddy, I want to wee-wee." At long last, I dare say that the boy is finally on his way to being fully toilet-trained. I was so proud I announced it to our friends who were here for our weekly church group meet. And they all gave the boy a rousing ovation.

Now we just gotta work at, "Daddy I want to poo-poo!"

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Homeward Bound

roma & jesse, 29th April 2007

Last Sunday, we sent Roma home.

The weeks leading to the day had been difficult. While we had done everything to ensure a smooth transition between the new maid and Roma, the biggest concern for us was how Jesse would take to his new Kakak. Roma had been with us since Jesse was merely 6 months old, and for the last two years she had been a pretty big part of his life. And so we spent many weeks prepping the boy for the day, explaining to him that his Kakak would be going home to her little girl, Yunita.

On Saturday, we introduced our son to Anie. It was awkward at first, but the boy warmed up quickly enough. Too quickly, in fact.

"Our son is a Faan Guat Jai," Mae exclaimed at how our traitorous little boy was now devoting all his attention to his new chaperon. I can only imagine that poor Roma might have felt slightly... erm... slighted. Still, the girl hides it well.

Then came Sunday. Roma was about to step into the departure hall, when I got the boy to say goodbye. "Buh-bye," the boy said, and then he added, "I love you, Kakak." And right there at the entrance of the departure hall, Roma broke down in sobs.

As as she stepped in, it occured to Jesse that that would be the very last time he would ever see his big sister again and our seemingly heartless little boy cried and cried. As he did, we did.

A chapter of our lives had come to a close, and that is always ocassion for a few tears.