Two kinds of horror

I got diaper duty Sunday afternoon when we were at Paragon because Naomi was busy at some shop – so Kai and I made our way to the diaper change room at level 5 to get him cleaned up.

He knows the drill, and he’s familiar with the change room, which is small, functional, and quiet enough to keep your baby/toddler calm while you change him, except when it is on occasion invaded (there are no locks on the sliding door) by Paragon staff looking to get hot water from what seems to be the only hot water dispenser in the building. Apart from that, it’s kept pretty clean, and we like it.

However, on Sunday, when we were changing Kai’s diaper, a woman came in with her helper and baby, and went about trying to get her changed as well. She kept admonishing her helper for not being gentle enough with her baby – which is ok, cos you really want people to handle your child the right way – and then she asked if I was about to use the sink next to me. I said I wasn’t going to yet, because I was still putting Kai’s pants back on.

She then thanked me and then proceeded to put her now diaperless daughter into the sink SO SHE COULD WASH HER POOP OFF IN THE SINK!

Anyone else seen this happen? I was so horrified I didn’t know what to say to the crazy inconsiderate woman.

The other thing that’s made me cringe in horror is this CD they sometimes play in kids’ shops – a CD of songs sung by kids with very strong Singlish accents. I’m really sorry, and I know it’s just me and my snobbishnessness, and if I can accept that the old Ribena ad from the ’70s is cute, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the harmonious sounds of children singing:

Twinker Twinker Leeter Star
How I One Der Wa’ You Are
Upper Ber Der Were So High
Lai Ker Die Mern In Der Sky
Twinker Twinker Leeter Star
How I One Der Wa’ You Are

One Litre Two Litre Tree Litre Indian
Four Litre Fye Litre Sikhs Litre Indian
Seven Litre Eight Litre Nigh Litre Indian
Tan Litre Indian Boys


Kai pooped in his potty. Not once, but twice and almost three times.

He missed his hattrick only because I was busy putting the dishes in the sink and he went in his diaper before I could sit him down.

Then there’s the reading. About a week ago, he started reading the letters on his alphabet biscuits completely unprompted. He doesn’t get every letter right, and insists on calling the letter “O” a “zero”. We’ll fix that later.

And, unlike his famously monolingual father, he’s learned to count in Mandarin and English. And unlike his famously sinophobic father, he counts better in Mandarin.

Then there’s his teaching Grandma how to play Angry Birds. She can’t get over how well this 22 month old boy manipulates the iPad.

And when it’s time for bed, he carries his two favourite soft-toy friends – a monkey (which he calls Tarting) and a dinosaur (Didotaur) – says goodnight, and then walks to his room and to his cot, waiting to be carried into it.

We are so proud. But we also did ask him one night before giving him Tarting and Didotaur, to stay a baby for a while more, and not grow up so quickly.

A merlion in your room

They’re building a kelong-like structure around the Merlion and (wtf) turning it into a hotel suite, and this is what it’s going to look like.

No word on whether they’ll keep the water running, so it’s like a spa or something. No, wait! A bidet! Japanese guests would like that! Just like in this ANA commercial from two years ago:

DIY Stroganoff

We haven’t visited a restaurant that serves beef stroganoff since the last time I wrote about it, and suggestions from readers haven’t been taken up either – too far lah, sorry.

But we did manage to fix up a dinner using Jamie Oliver’s recipe for it, which requires “a small glass of brandy”. We got some cognac instead from a really old bottle that was just sitting around in Naomi’s mum’s house. I think she’s had it since Chiang Kai Shek was Generalissimo of the Republic of China.

It wasn’t half bad, and we might have staved off the hankering for a while.

The day someone said Cheebye on radio

I only ever listen to the radio while driving, or when one of our friends is hosting a radio show. But this year, the stations (except the lonely non-Mediacorp ones) have been constantly reminding listeners that radio in Singapore is 75 years old.

They’ve been airing radio DJs talking about their favourite radio moments, and one of these clips has Maggie of The Gold Breakfast Show reminiscing about a program for kids in the late 70s and early 80s called “Happy Talk”.

Happy Talk was hosted by ventriloquist Victor Khoo and his puppet Charlee, and every Saturday, thousands of kids tuned in, suspending belief, thinking that Victor Khoo actually bothered to put his hand up Charlee to manipulate him when no one could see him anyway.

They even had a live call-in segment, where kids could win prizes if they answered a simple question correctly. There was no pre-screening of the call-in, and everything was ‘live’.

So on that fateful Saturday, Victor (or Charlee, I don’t remember), asked a six year old boy the question, “What is the female equivalent of a rooster?”

The boy didn’t seem to know the answer, and was umming and ahhing a bit, so Charlee (or Victor) rephrased the question, “If the male chicken called is a cock, what is the female chicken called?”

The boy’s answer was the most triumphant Cheebye I had ever heard. Victor was gobsmacked, and if he had really been operating/manipulating Charlee, the puppet must’ve been slack-jawed in horror.

Happy 75th, Radio Singapore.