Difficult kid questions (Part 1): Why do some parents abandon their kids?

We were at a friend’s baby’s baptism (Hello Alison Png!) earlier in the day. Late, no less, cos we were waiting for Evan to wake from his nap; the fella slept on and on, so I ended up with a (truth be told, much needed) one-on-one date with my firstborn. After the party- grateful that we caught the tail end of things, I decided to swing by Animal Resort so this animal loving kid could go feed some animals.

We were just about done there when this lady who voluntarily takes care of several abandoned parrots came by and brought out said parrots for a small meet and greet. Naturally, we had to go see the parrots, one of which was blind, squawking its guts out and almost featherless. Q, of course, had to know why this bird was bald when its friend was in its full plume glory.

Q to the volunteer lady: Why does the parrot have no feathers?
Lady: Cos the parrot is sad.
Q: Why is the parrot sad?
Lady: Cos his mummy and daddy didn’t want him anymore.
Q: That’s terrible. (To the bird) I’m sorry you are sad, parrot. Here, have a carrot.
(We had a pack of carrots cos we were just feeding the not-very-hungry horse)
Lady: He’s blind, so although he can hear you, he can’t see the carrot.
Q: He cannot see? How come?
Lady: Cos he had no shades in his cage and the sunlight made him blind.
Q: He needs sunglasses.

We left shortly after and he was recounting to me in the car all the animals he saw at the farm and spent a long time talking about the parrot with no feathers. Other than telling me that he had to tell Evan and daddy about the parrot- that he saw, fed and pet it; he had more questions for me. I had an inkling as to how this was going to go down….

Q: Why the parrot’s mummy and daddy don’t want the parrot anymore?
Me: I don’t know son. Maybe they felt like they can’t take care of the parrot anymore.
Q: Did they throw him away?
Me: I suppose so.
Q: That’s not nice. (Long pause)
Me: Some mummies and daddies think they can take care of a parrot, or dog, or baby; but then they realize they cannot. So they have to give them away and hopefully someone else will take better care of them.
Q: Like in Myanmar

It took me a while to figure this link out, then it dawned on me he was talking about Grace Home Orphanage cos Aunty Amar (matron of the home) explained to him the last trip that some kids there were there because their mummies and daddies could not take care of them (or want them anymore).

Me: Yes, like in Myanmar. Grace Home. Like Noble (his friend at the home his age)
Q: We (should) buy Noble bubble tea. I am tired, I going to sleep.

Five minutes later, this little boy was fast asleep in his car seat.

These are the moments I really wonder what goes on in that little mind of his; how much he knows, how much he understands. There are moments he seems to get a lot- far more than I ever give him credit for. Then there are moments, like when he was home and talking to/at Evan- about the giant rabbit, the noisy ducks, the hungry fish and the bald parrot; it seems the depth of what he asked me about in the car never happened. Its like his brain hits a “query”, he asks-gets his answers, files them away in this little mind vault, and he’s moved on to the next curiouser thing.

Kids, they keep you on your toes don’t they?

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Letter of the week: W

We are nearing the tail end of our letter of the week series and cos Q had learnt about W ages ago when he had a big I-like-whale phase. Actually, he had a big underwater thing going for the longest time thanks to his discovering Finding Nemo. He went through a period of time when he wore this shirt he had with Whale prints on them.

Anyway, we were particularly excited about heading to week W where we were going to learn that W is for Walrus and Whale.

So, other than make our letter crafts, we spent a happy (hot) afternoon also playing with (W is for) water.

And as a happy coincidence, we headed to the Harry Potter Exhibition at the art science museum where he also learnt that W is for Wand!

Review: Dora the Explorer Asian Tour

Unfortunately for me, Q discovered Dora the explorer a while back, no thanks to my niece who is a big Dora fan. We were in Penang on a joint holiday and my niece popped in a Dora DVD into the player and all the kids (Q included) settled down to watching (several) episodes of Dora the Explorer. And the intrepid pink shirted explorer and her monkey sidekick gained a new fan.

Over the last year or so, Q has really amped up his fondness for Dora and her adventures and so I figured he might have fun watching Dora live. I drew the line at a meet and greet, but we scored fairly good seats.

From the synopsis: Dora the Explorer has lost her teddy bear, and the search is on to retrieve him! With the help of the audience, Map, Backpack, Boots, Diego and their courageous friends, Dora uses her map-reading, counting, musical and language skills to successfully pass through the number pyramid and the mixed-up jungle to reach the City of Lost Toys. But watch out – you never know what that sneaky fox Swiper might be up to along the way! Dora the Explorer fans will delight in this two act, song and dance spectacular that invites them to think, sing and play along.

The show itself was a slight disappointment actually. The production was a little more than a shopping center showcase. Ok, it was clearly longer and they had songs and some moving props, but, really, it was a LONGGG puppet show. I gotta say, though, the show picked up a little when Diego came along, but really, I felt every LOONNGG minute of the show.

Perhaps I had just come off an amazing Wiggles concert, but, really, for the ticket prices they were charging, they could have done a better job.

Review: Ace! Festival- Just So!

Its been a while since we last caught a for kids theatre performance and I was particularly excited when the ACE festival rolled along with a slew of shows for kids. We were fortunate to catch the opening show at the new Goodman Arts Center .

From the synopsis:
 Have you ever wondered how and why the camel got his hump? How did the leopard get his spots? How did the elephant get his trunk? How did the Rhinoceros get his skin? How exactly did the Armadillo happen? Rudyard Kipling’s lively, hilarious stories, collected from all over the world are intertwined with pearls of wisdom about the pitfalls of arrogance and pride and the importance of curiosity, imagination, and inventiveness.

It was clearly a popular show seeing as the entire place (with free seating) was packed crammed full of (relatively badly behaved) kids from a primary school.

The poor fellow audience behavior notwithstanding, the show was pretty good- the actors were engaging, the plot was simple but funny and the localized music more than made up for being slightly squashed. The musical boasted a series of stories on how the animals came to be and they had designed the program to appeal to even the toddlers and Q had a whale of a time.

He spent the rest of the evening telling daddy the stories he had heard about how the greedy rhino got folds in his skin and how the curious elephant ended up with a long nose.

Two thumbs up!

Letter of the week- Q

Of the 26 letter of the alphabets, we are clearly most familiar with our letter of the week- Q. Because- duh!- Q is for Quentin. Also, we call Quentin “Q” most of the time. Well, sometimes, Q-ball too. So, Q is mighty familiar with the letter Q.

And well, Q is really the first letter of the alphabet he ever learnt. Small wonder huh?

Because of his familiarity with the letter I had to think of something a little special to initiate this letter of the week and we decided to head to Qian Hu Fish Farm cos, well, the place began with Q. I know, stretching it a little but, we can only try right?

It seemed to work well enough cos he was duly excited to see the big (fake) fishes and so we stopped to chat about where we were and we got him to count the number of “Qs” in the sign and then got, duly, distracted by all the pretty fish in the place.

I didn’t have high hopes for the place but it turned out to be a real gem of a day. In particular, we had fun dipping our hand into the fish spa pool- I’m sure we weren’t really allowed to do that but, well, we only did a short spot of that. And spent a happy half hour trying to catch long hang fish; we were dismal in that only catching four tiny things in that time. I blame the net for being too small (its the size of 2/3 of an iPhone).

After our day at Q is for Qian Hu Fish Farm, we embarked on our letter of the week craft, making a Q is for Quail and q is for queen.

I’m thinking of making a big letter Q with Quentin’s face on it… hmmm… we’ll see.

Letter of the week- H

One of the things we love to do is to head over to the nearby Saddle Club and look at the horses. Sometimes when I remember to buy and extra pack of carrots, we pack some spend a happy half hour feeding and patting the horses (the horse owners are good and nice that way), then letting Q run amok on the lovely grass patches that define the place.

And that was how we initiated our letter H week because H is for horse! And well, for house, honey and Henry the Octopus too. We didn’t dwell too long on lil Henry cos I didn’t want Q to get confused between H for Henry and O for Octopus and got him to sing a made up song- “H for Henry and O for Octopus”. Heh!