Category Archives: Escapes of Father and Son

Tiny Slippers

Dear Jacob,

I have already lost count of the number of times we have been away from each other. It is inevitable, given your Mom’s current condition or at least I like to think of it that way. I expected that it is not going to get this tough not having you and your mom around having been through it countless times but I was wrong. I have no problem taking care of the basic things like laundry, cleaning of the room and preparing my own meals but the silence is beyond bearable.

I arrived in our house at around 3 AM on Sunday excited of the freedom that I am going to have while you are away. I practically leaped to the bed upon reaching our room and I am sure there was this devious grin on my lips. Don’t get me wrong. It is not that your presence is unwanted, I love having you around and totally enjoy the days we spend together just you and I. However, adults sometimes need time to be alone, and quiet to do what they have to do and put their lives into perspective. I was about to raise my hands in celebration of the many quiet hours ahead when my eyes froze on those tiny slippers at the base of the cupboard that seem to be waiting for your wiggly feet. My moment of joy was cut short by the underlying implication of not having you around which my conscious brain keeps pushing back. I will miss a lot of things most of all your stories, unending questions of why things are like this or that and our Father and son escapes.

Those tiny slippers had their way in me. They seem to be staring back with questioning eyes…where are those wiggly little feet? It’s been a while why haven’t they come to take us for a walk?

It is going to be a week since I left and many times I have been tempted to pick-up those tiny slippers and hide them away in the store-room but I have chosen not to. I want them to be where I can see them as a reminder that I have to make wise decisions so in the future we will not have to be separated again.

I am having a hard time coping up for now but I will be fine…more or less.

Love,

Dad

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Short-lived Moments

He's brushing his teeth by himself for the first time!!!!

those moments will come to pass and that annoying as they might be, I have to learn to enjoy them

It takes a lot of patience to raise a kid. I don’t know about you but most of the time my patience runs out when my son does his rather annoying stints. However, I know that soon those moments will come to pass and that annoying as they might be, I have to learn to enjoy them because once my kid grows older, I would have to kiss those times goodbye!

A few evenings ago my wife asked me to tuck my son to bed – that means wash him up, brush his teeth and get him into his pajamas. My son upon hearing this protested, “No I will do it by myself”. We replied excitedly, “Really? Go ahead then” without the intention of really allowing him to do those things by himself. And so he did and continued doing ’til now under my strict supervision. Times like that bring out the proud father in me – well who wouldn’t? Nevertheless I have to come to the realization that my son is growing up and soon I will have to give him over to his independence. Soon providing his needs would be as far as my fathering would go barring circumstances where I would have to intervene or advocate in his behalf. Soon he will be ready to take off and take life head on. Yes soon….

In the meantime we still have memories to build and Father and son escapes to do!

8 POSTS LATER (milestone 1 of daddy’s pen)

Have you ever wondered how many times I tried to become a blogger? Let me recall..

There was the friendster-linked blog which was my very first. T’was not successful maybe because I was too proud to learn. I was able to write several posts and received several comments but in the end abandoned it. My purpose for blogging perhaps was not clear at that time it was just to test my writing skill which turned out to be less than interesting.

A few years later I started a new one think-n-tinker.blogspot.com. Wrote a few posts and got one subscriber!!! Actually I coerced her to subscribe and she had to give in because she is a good sibling hehe…thanks Lala! A month later, I forgot the password and did not bother retrieving it. Expert bloggers would definitely say that my choice of site-name was very poor. It sounds good but too many people are using it. Try to google it and you will get tired scrolling through the search results but you still won’t find it.

Thirdly, I started private panorama here in wordpress but abandoned it after writing the about page…don’t ask me why!

Finally daddy’s pen came to life!  It was conceived with the main purpose of sharing the fun time I spend with my family especially with my son. I enjoy writing about those moments and I could say I will be here for quite a while!

Today I would like to share with you my joy as I celebrate. After eight posts, this blog achieved its first milestone…getting 1000 visits! It may not be much for the better bloggers but it is a big thing for me. I have no formal internet training, no HTML knowledge and zero SEO knowledge when I started this blog. Eight posts later…I have learned a few tricks of driving a handful of internet traffic to this site (I still have much to learn!). Eight posts later…I am more inspired to write. Eight posts later…I am more excited about my next bonding time with my family. Eight posts later…Eight posts later…I have all of you to thank for visiting my site and putting up with my rants and raves! Thank God for all of you!

Jacob’s Glossary of Terms

Often it is a wonder how parents can understand kids who seemingly speak a totally different language or a tweak of the original mother tongue. Let me share some of my son’s personal slang!

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 Igannnyan mo – this word is used to denote anything he would like you to do and is always paired with a demonstration of all sort and a tantrum if you don’t get it the first time. (Standard meaning – do it this way)

Ex. Igannnyan mo nga this one. Nooooooo! Like this o…Igannnnnyannn mo!       Waaaaaaah… Need I say more?

Kanina – Anytime in the past (Standard meaning – a while ago)

Ex. Just like kanina sa house natin na may stairs. (“Just like a while ago in our       house which has stairs”. There is actually nothing wrong with it except that we stayed in that house 2 years ago!)

Kutsilya –  A tool used to slice food. (Standard meaning – knife)

Ex. Daddy wala akong kutsilya pa’no ako mag-eat? (“Daddy I don’t have a knife       how am I going to eat?”. We were eating noodles!)

Favorite ko ito – any delectable cuisine usually eaten in a cozy restaurant most of the time is fish and chips with lots and lots of sour cream eaten with a Kutsilya. (Standard Meaning: This is my favorite). The same food served at home or served without a Kutsilya does not qualify.

Ex. Jacob in Fish & Co. holding a Kutsilya:  Hmmm favorite ko ito!

Jacob in Jack’s Place holding a Kutsilya: Wooow….favorite ko ito!

Jacob in a hawker centre served with fish n chips without a Kutsilya:                                    Ano ito???? (What the heck is this???)

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I always thought kids are witty in their own ways. They say things which take you aback, amaze you with their logic or utterly slam your attitude right into your face. I bet your kids have their personal slangs too!

Touristy Park – Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden

I was scheduled to work nightshift overtime but my boss called me to work the following day instead. It was already late in the afternoon, a very tempting time to just sit down and splurge into facebook but I have promised to bring my son out. So I hurriedly geared him up with one word in mind – “International”.

There is this place I went with him before where kids of all sorts of skin colour flock in, that is Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. I thought this place would be perfect for the few hours we have to spend outdoors. We took a train to Orchard area then boarded a bus to Singapore Botanic Gardens. It was too late when I realized that Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden is located at the Bukit Timah side which is exactly the opposite of where we dropped off – What was I thinking???? I was tempted to hail a Cab to take us there but it would defeat the value on which this “escape of father and son” was built – have fun and do it cheaply! So we trekked through the lush greenery stopping from time to time to enjoy some of the attractions Singapore Botanic Gardens has to offer.  It was worth my walk and my son’s ride on my shoulders. Whewww!

On the Way to Jacob Ballas Children's Garden

On the way to Jacob Ballas Children's Garden

The 20 – minute hike seemed endless and I was getting tired. Just when I was about to grumble and ask my son to get-off my back I saw this sign which got my adrenaline flowing!

Just a few minutes more!!

With just a couple of minutes more we finally reached the destination. Along the way my son was complaining that he was very hungry and that his stomach was “growling like a monster”. There’s a small canteen at the entrance of the garden and just when I was about to order food my son was pulling on my shirt excited to go inside the garden and eat later! “What about the monster growling in your stomach?” I asked. He just answered with a brief “Let’s go”. So that was just what we did!

Inside the garden was already bustling with children playing rough-wet-wild-and-dirty of course my son immediately joined the chaos! There are plenty of things to do in the garden but he likes to do 2 things only…play in the sand box and get wet in the fountain!

A Sand Box full of fun!!!

Wet-Wild-and-Dirty! Picture frenzy for the Blogger Moms.

So if you are like me who is financially constrained to be able to bring his son to international school and yet would like to expose your kid to international culture, Jacob Ballas children’s garden is for you :P. Guess I sound Kiasu there huh! In fact after playing at the fountain with all those western kids hearing their western-English-twang my son approached me saying “Deydi! Eyts quite Cawld in heyr”! So I rest my case. More photos in FaceBook

Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden is open daily from 8am to 7PM except on Mondays and could be reached by bus SBS Bus No. 48, 66, 151, 153, 154, 156, 170, 186 and SMRT Bus No. 67, 171. Alight along Bukit Timah Road, NUS Bukit Timah Campus bus stop. It is open to children up to 12 years old who MUST be accompanied by an adult and admission is FREE. Food is not a problem since they have a canteen which offers great western comfort food. For more info check out their site at http://www.sbg.org.sg/bukittimahcore/ChildrenGarden.asp.

First Family Out of Town

Yes you read it right this was officially our first family out of town vacation with no other agenda but to spend time together. Me and my wife spent time checking deals in the internet and in the end we booked a 2D1N batam getaway offered by deal.com.sg. It was short but it was fun and relaxing.

We took a ferry to Batam and were surprised that there was a complimentary guided tour (by BEST of Tour) included in our package although it was not that interesting 😦 (I am sad to say that). We visited a layered cake factory (or bakery) and got to taste freshly baked layered cakes. The cakes were good but the tour guide did not deliver her promise that we will get to watch them make the cake instead I got to see them slice the cakes! At least that part I saw 😛

Included in our package was a 5-course seafood lunch. We had our lunch at the Golden Prawn 933 restaurant. The food was fine though it’s not the best seafood lunch I had or maybe my expectation was up because of the “5-course” description. I have this notion that an “X-course” meal means fine dining with excellent service so I would rather call it a 5-dish lunch hehehe… My son did not like much of the food but me and my wife were hungry so we dug in!

We toured around for a few more hours in souvenir shops then to a shopping mall. Imagine my boredom…but my wife and the other 4 tourists travelling with us seemed excited. Once at the Batam City Square mall, me, and my son separated from the shopping crowd to a game arcade. I was expecting an enjoyable time but the place smelled bad because most of the people there were adults and smokers! Me and my son had to withdraw to a play pen which I’m sure he enjoyed a lot!

After an hour in the mall we were taken to the Hotel (FINALLY!!!). Harmoni One (Convention Hotel & Service Apartments) has an elegantly designed Façade which awed all of us as we entered the driveway. The lobby I must say is equally elegant with matching large furnitures and chandeliers (again that stench of burned tobacco). My son’s jaw dropped once in the lobby and was even more ecstatic when we entered our room. He’s got this thing about nice and elegant places that by the time we went home he was crying along the way saying “Ayaw kong umuwi! Ang Panget ng House natin!!!” (Trans. I don’t want to go home! Our house is so ugly!!!). We had a great time at the Jacuzzi and swimming pool! They also have gymn facilities but I did not even have a look because the swimming pool was so inviting.

After dinner we went to our long awaited Javanese Massage! Me and my Wife were actually worried about where to keep our son in holding while having our stress relieving time. Divine intervention had it that our son drowsed off while listening to the soulful songs rendered live at the Lobby Lounge. So we had our 2-hour massage + body scrub undisturbed. The massage was good although painful at times but the body scrub was an indulgence – so relaxing that the masseuse had to wake me up afterwards. You might have guessed just right that I continued snoring once I reached our room 😀

In the following morning we had a great buffet breakfast (although again the food is not the best Batam has to offer) at the Bamboe Café & restaurant just at the hotel lobby. We ordered beef bolognaise via room service before checking out and as expected it was not as good as that of Pasta Mania. Harmoni one I could say is a sight indulgence but lacking in culinary appeal. My overdue review of the Hotel coming up shortly.

We had a great time together as a family and at the moment we are planning for another one which is very soon! Stay tuned for it. Meanwhile, check out our photos…

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Been out too long!

It’s been a while since my last post. I don’t have any excuse really except that I opted to rest even before I got tired :P.  Anyway I will try my best to give an account of what I have been up to these past few days.

Firstly, the next 2 weeks after my last post was quite busy for me at work. I was called back to work during my off days to which I readily said yes because it meant a bigger pay check. At the same time we were busy packing our things because we had to move to another house urgently – I will try to fill in on this in another post. In those 2 weeks, my wife and my son got the chance to hangout with some friends. They had a great time at the Singapore zoo and Jurong bird park – again, post coming up in a moment…hopefully :).

I suddenly realized that I have been to places and I have a lot to write about but in the mean time this short post should warm me up and get me into the writing craze again and of course to let the people who read my blog know that I am not bailing out…not today!

Meanwhile just check out my previous posts starting with the first!