Taken – The Ultimate Parenting Guide

Had a hot date with the husband to watch Taken a few days back and I must say, it was surprisingly good. Taken is your typical, no nonsense, action movie where Liam Neeson went around beating the living daylights out of everything that moves. The intro was a little slow, but once the fun started, the action sequences were tight and somewhat realistic, so all in all, it was thoroughly enjoyable. (I have a weakness for these swashbuckling, one-man-show CIA super agents)

Thanks to Luc Besson, Neeson’s character is like James Bond, Jason Bourne and Jack Bauer all rolled into one incredible fighting machine. I particularly loved the sequence where he stabbed 2 metal sticks into the Albanian mafia dude’s thigh (who abducted his daughter) and proceeded to electrocute him senseless.

But underneath the carnage and destruction, the movie actually has many important messages that parents should drill into their kids. It’s like the ultimate parenting guide (or propaganda). When Kirsten turns 16, I’m gonna make her watch this with my own running commentary in the background.

Lesson 1: Going on a road trip across Europe with friends will result in abduction.

I’m pretty sure at some point she’s going to want to travel with her friends to whatever is the next big travel destination in 2018. I’m going to instill a rule where there will be no traveling alone until she turns 24 or gets married (which should not happen before she’s 24 anyway).

It’s a catch 22. If she goes with a bunch of girlfriends, there’s no way any of them will be able to put up a fight in the face of imminent abduction. (Don’t believe the Alias female Kungfu fighter nonsense) A bunch of adolescent girls on a holiday is like spreading honey on your chest. You can’t be surprised if a swarm of killer bees sting the crap out of you.

But if she goes on a trip with some adolescent male friends (we all know what teenage guys have on their minds 24/7), I can bet my life that there will be some hanky panky going on when she’s halfway around the world. Not an appealing prospect as far as I’m concerned.

Lesson 2: Don’t talk to strangers, especially if they are handsome and French.

Handsome guys are usually up to no good, so avoid them like the plague. If you must talk to boys, choose those ugly-ass ones with pock-marks, buck-teeth and giant, geeky specs. Better still if they are with their mothers and speak only Mandarin.

handsome french guy = bad

handsome french guy = bad

geeky guy = good

geeky guy = good

Lesson 3: Don’t make the sexytime unless you want to get sold off to prostitution and die.

I couldn’t help but notice that the two girls ended up with very different fates. Amanda, the promiscuous one, ended up DEAD after OD-ing on drugs. Kim, on the other hand, who showed some restraint in having her cherry popped too early, was rescued by her super spy of a father who went on a rampage across the whole of France.

amanda-kim2

Kim was saved thanks to the fact that she was certified 100% pure (exact words from the movie), so if you’re reading this eventually, Kirsten, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MAKE THE SEXYTIME until you get married. Your father will hunt down the unfortunate chap who is responsible for the deed and after he’s done, the poor fella will wish he was the Albanian dude who got electrocuted.

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Adventures of the Hunky Pool Boy

Some may say that comics aren’t legitimate literary forms, but go ask Neil Gaiman, the god of graphic novels (it’s just a fancy name for comics) and he will probably tell you that you’re an illiterate fool. 50 years from now, high school students will be dissecting the genius of graphic novels as part of their pursuit of literature, alongside Shakespeare and Harper Lee.

For me, I’m a fan of all forms of literature. I enjoy Harry Potter as much as Jane Eyre (btw, John Grisham and Jeffrey Archer novels are my guilty pleasure). When I stumbled upon the Sandman series by Gaiman, I was absolutely riveted. Comics are an art form, mixing visuals and prose to form a complex tapestry in which the narrative is masterfully woven.

Which is why I’ve decided to try my hand at comic creation. It’s probably too short to be a graphic novel, so maybe I’ll just start off with a graphic novella.

Enjoy.

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Mother will blog for Meals, Milk or Money

You may have noticed a new addition to my blog page – a pink icon at the right column that says maternity exchange. Yes, it’s an advertisement. And that means I’ve officially moved to the big leagues of celebrity bloggers.

I’ll be starting an autograph session every Saturday along the streets of Orchard Road. (You can spot me by the little tin can on the floor beside me)

When I started this blog, I had no idea where it was going to take me, or that it would have become such a big part of my life. I certainly didn’t think it would be big enough to attract the attention of ahem, advertisers. Gosh, it sound so fancy. I’ve had the best time of my life writing and knowing that other mothers (and non-mothers) can identify with the myriad of motherhood experiences.

Well, I just got approached to host my first ad, and I must say, it feels awesome to be paid for doing something that I love. I mean, who doesn’t like to be recognized for their efforts and given a nice pat on the back?

So now that I’m well on my way to making my first million (rupiah), I have a very big announcement to make.

*MOTHER WILL BLOG FOR MEALS, MILK OR MONEY*

If you don’t have a product or service for me to advertise (you losers), I also have the following skills that may be of interest to you.

1. Babysitting

Unlike other fake-wannabe babysitters, I will actually SIT ON YOUR BABY. I have many years of experience under my belt and I come with glowing recommendations from satisfied customers. I’m proud to say that all the children I have babysat are all within the ideal weight range.

Thanks to my unique service, obesity is now on the decline in Singapore. Unfortunately, there’s been several mysterious cases of unexplained trauma among children. (They have absolutely nothing to do with me, I swear)

2. Breastfeeding

You have the option of breastfeeding from the bottle (expressed) or directly from the breast (more expensive, clearly, since there are so many added benefits like bonding and emotional development). With my nutritious diet of chocolates and durians, you can be sure your baby is getting all the goodness and nourishment.

3. Tutoring

I can conduct classes to teach your kids a variety of subjects like mind-reading, telepathy and hypnotism. Nowadays, it’s all about getting a headstart in life and your precious little ones will be equipped with the necessary skills to manipulate their gullible classmates to do their homework, clean their shoes and warm their toilet seats.

4. Dog-sitting

Unlike babysitting, I won’t actually sit on your dogs (come on, that’s retarded). Instead, I will make them sit in the corridor all day leashed to a pole. It’s to teach them obedience while I do my usual stuff. I will check in on them every few days to make sure they’re still alive, so you can rest assured your canine companions are in good hands.

5. Cleaning and washing

Tru will go around your house eating up all the dirt and within minutes, it will be spotlessly clean. Some of the stubborn stains may take several sessions of cleaning to get rid of, but it still beats some of the commercial cleaners out there.

6. Tru-badour

After all the time and money I’ve invested into my son, it’s only right that I exploit his vast array of talents to make some extra dough. I was watching Slumdog Millionaire and there’s this blind kid in who sings at street corners for donations. Not a bad idea. Of course I’m not gonna gouge out his eyes, but cute kids that sing are practically a gold mine.

We’ll make quite a team. I can play the guitar while Tru can belt out hits like Mariah’s Without You. He’s still working on getting the lyrics just right, but I’ll be happy if he manages to pull off this performance below. At the worst, people will pay us to shut up. But hey, whatever it takes.

*To find out more about the packages, rates and special discounts, just drop me a mail.

I will also be taking in donations to the make-me-a-millionaire fund. The money will go towards funding my liposuction and you-know-what augmentation. (Impersonating Pam Anderson will be my backup plan in case this blog thing goes awry)

Picture Perfect

If there’s one thing I should have done more as a mother, it’s to take more pictures of Tru. Most mothers have a gazillion pictures of their tots and I have a grand total of about a hundred since he was born (Most of them not even taken by me). I bet strangers have more pictures of my kid than I do.

That’s the thing though. We’re totally not trigger-happy people. During Tru’s delivery, we didn’t even bring a camera to capture the pivotal moment. I was lying on the operating table with my stomach flapping open, witnessing the following conversation take place.

Gynae: Ok, where’s your camera? You can standby to take pictures of the baby.

Husband: Er, we didn’t bring one.

Gynae (incredulous): Camera phone? How are you going to take pictures?

Husband: Actually, our phones have no cameras.

*Awkward silence*

From time to time, I browse through some of Tru’s old photos (yes, all 100 of them) just to look back at how tiny and helpless he was back then. Here’s a few.

Every time I look at how small he was back then, and it makes me go all mushy inside. That’s it, my middle-of-the-year-resolution is to TAKE MORE PICTURES OF MY KIDS.

Truett’s top 5 TV shows

The topic on whether TV is good for kids has been debated to death. So I shan’t keep flogging the dead horse. My philosophy is that there are plenty of good programs out there and when consumed in moderation, there’s probably not much harm.

What’s more, I LOVE TV. It’s one of the best discoveries of all time, right next to sliced bread.

My son has come up with a list of top 5 TV programs on Playhouse Disney.
(I’m not sure if I agree with all of them though)

5. Higglytown Heroes.

Higglytown Heroes

First of all, what’s up with the giant storage pouches in their stomachs. Believe it or not, they can hop inside each other’s pouches and hide, which is so wrong on so many levels. And why are they mutated pudgy, legless beings? Most annoyingly, they keep coming up with retarded suggestions, plus they take advice from an ugly talking cat. Go figure.

4. Thomas and Friends.

Thomas and Friends

The husband claims that the trains are possessed. They are supposed to be youngish trains but it’s so disconcerting that they’ve got overly-large eyeballs that roll around and deep-baritone-grandfather voices. And the accent. The only people who speak like that are old farts drinking in the taverns of Manchester.

3. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

There’s Mickey Mouse and his exclusive Clubhouse of which JT, Britney and Christina are members. The social status alone is a big enough draw for any kid.

2. Pocoyo.

Pocoyo

This is Tru’s alter ego. The only problem is that he wears the same clothes ALL THE TIME and he’s got a duck, an elephant, a dog, a sleepy bird and a mysterious, old  narrator for friends. Other than that, he’s hands down the cutest 4-year-old on television.

1. Bunnytown.

Bunnytown

Definitely the best cartoon on Playhouse Disney. They’ve got all kinds of awesome music, ranging from hip hop, rock, rap, gospel and jazz. It’s also got a very witty script and lots of colorful bunnies. Tru’s all-time favorite segment is the Bunnytown Hop, a bunny-concert where all the bunnies go all rock and roll. Good stuff.

Technology, the bane of my life

I have a love-hate relationship with technology. I love it because it has made my life a lot easier as a mom (I can’t imagine how mothers used to survive without the assistance of modern technology). But I hate it when it fails me.

I’d like to think otherwise, but on the scale of technology idiots, I’m probably way ahead of the pack. I’m bright enough to recognize the giant (usually red) on/off buttons to work most devices, but when it comes to customizing complicated settings and troubleshooting for problems, it will usually involve some hair grabbing and guttural howls.

There’s nothing more frustrating than having some technological device fail you in the middle of something important like say, preparing a meal. Cooking a decent meal for Tru is tough enough, (I’ll save my culinary exploits for another time) and it is too much to ask for all my kitchen appliances to cooperate?

As usual, the husband and I were puttering around in the kitchen trying to whip up a pot of nutritious porridge for Tru yesterday (it’s a two-men operation) when my blender decided to commit kamikaze midstream. Halfway through the carrots, it let out a final screech and died. It then decided that it could only dice tiny pieces of food one at a time, which is more painful than having to chop it by hand (at least my hands won’t go on strike).

It was just terribly frustrating, to the extent that I considered flinging it against the wall and letting it go out in a blaze of glory.

Die, you pathetic excuse for a blender.

Good thing there’s Superdad to the rescue. After struggling with the accursed appliance for a few minutes, it suddenly resurrected from the dead and sputtered to life. And that’s how I decided to let it continue its miserable existence. But I assure you, it will not be so fortunate the next time around.

Fat Girl Slim

Over dinner with some former colleagues (all ridiculously thin) who came to visit last week, I was made painfully aware of the fact that I’m no longer in the league of svelte, sultry young things anymore. The operative words being no longer, because I sometimes still reminisce the days when I was a size 6.

We live in a world where thin people have it easy. Designers create couture with a size 4 in mind, and it just doesn’t look the same when transposed onto a XXXL. You comb through the racks to find a nice top, but once you put it on, it will look decent at best.

Think about it. The seats in public transportation are meant to comfortably fit a thin person. Ever tried sitting next to an obese dude on the subway? You get really acquainted with the extra folds of his bottom as it presses up against yours. Even elevators are biased against corpulent individuals. The sign may say it fits 10 persons but if you look at the maximum weight allowed, it’s 500 kg. Do the math.

I never used to think twice about eating a chocolate fudge brownie with extra vanilla ice-cream, and still manage to pull off wearing a bikini right after. To be sure, I was never skinny, but at least I had some semblance of abdominal muscles and there was ample space between my thighs when I walked (it’s called the thigh test – as long as it doesn’t give you abrasions, you’re fine).

But with 2 consecutive pregnancies, I have since bade a tearful farewell to the thin(ner) version of me. So the colleagues (there’s a reason why they are FORMER colleagues) were having a very stimulating conversation on a new and highly effective slimming product and they managed to come to the conclusion that even that would not work for a case a severe as mine. Thanks, Bhav, good going.

But I’ll postulate that Slimspa can kiss my size 12 bottom because BIG IS BEAUTIFUL. It certainly took a while to get used to lugging an extra 30 kg around and I still get breathless after some brisk walking. But look on the bright side, it’ll give me a chance to form a special bond with my neighbors on the train.

The way I see it, I won’t be a fat chick forever and I’ll get back my figure soon enough. The abs may take a while to make a comeback, but I’m aiming to fit into my old jeans by Christmas. From now till then, I can either feel miserable or take a deep breath, suck in the stomach and enjoy the benefits of being big.