D-1; A typical evening

Tomorrow is the day I return to the workforce.

Just like that, six months has flown by.

I don’t feel particularly nervous, nor excited; work is a necessary evil to reconstruct the mental structure and exercise I need, to regain that little bit of my old younger self.

Unfortunately I’d spent the past weekend battling a painful sore throat and all the flu works while my bosses at home rejected my application for sick leave.

Life went on, mummy duties went on, flu or no flu, voice or no voice.

Yesterday was “bonus day” Monday, and I spent the evening with the two girls just like any typical weekday evening.

It was a good “typical” weekday evening.

While I have the new schedule and arrangement all worked out in my head, I can’t help but wonder what would remain, and what would change.

Would I still be amused at dinner time, watching Clarissa pull her chair to sit right next to her sister to “make sure she eats properly” while getting too distracted herself to eat properly?

Would I notice Allie looking longingly at Clarissa’s plate while grudgingly chewing her own porridge?

Or would I be suffering from indigestion just trying to get both girls to finish their dinner quickly?

Would I have the energy to indulge Clarissa in a honey lemon making session, and watch her face light up as she tastes the honey lemon she’s made on her own?

“Mummy, come! You must try my honey lemon! It’s very nice!” She’d said to me last night as she dished out a spoonful of the honey lemon she made and held up the spoon for me to take a sip.

Would I spend time chilling with the two girls after dinner? Or would I be rushing to finish up stuff?

Last night, I watched Allie crawl from one end of the sofa to the other end, where Clarissa was sitting; to and fro, over and over again.

She would lift her butt up really high before slamming it down again, and move, an inch forward.

It was much more challenging trying to crawl on the sofa as compared to her playpen or mattress, because there was no loose cloth for her to grab and pull herself along.

But once she reached her target and tried to grab hold of it, her sister would nonchalantly get up and walk to the other end of the sofa.

She didn’t cry or throw a tantrum, and would instead start her crawl to get to the other end, all over again.

Determination, is her middle name.

Although sometimes she would stop to say hello to me, mid crawl.

I’m glad I managed to capture a video of one of her numerous arduous journeys crawls.

Right after I stopped recording, she managed to grab hold of her Jiejie’s hair and squeezed her Jiejie’s cheeks, while her Jiejie good-naturedly waited for me to rescue her from the grubby little fingers.. and walked to the other end of the sofa, again.. while Allie started her crawl towards Jiejie, again.


And then it was milk and bed time for Allie, and shower time for Clarissa.

Would I still smile watching Clarissa climb up and down opening her various drawers to gather her own pyjamas top, pants, towel, diaper and shower basket, or would I rush to do it myself just so it’s faster?

Would I hurry her along by laughing and telling her, “Mr Lizard can smell your hair, you’d better finish brushing your teeth soon if not he will jump onto your head”, or would I nag at her to get into the shower NOW?

Almost every evening as she steps out from the shower onto the dry floor area, she’d playfully sweep her wet feet across the floor, and make me guess what she’s drawing.

“This looks like a rabbit!” She’d exclaim. Sometimes it’d be Snoopy, sometimes a swamp monster, or an elephant, or Mickey Mouse.

I would always remind her gently to be careful not to slip, while adding my thoughts on what that shape on the floor resembles.

Would I still play along or would I get her to hurry up and put on her clothes quickly?

After her shower last night, I turned on Nat Geo for her to watch while I went for a quick shower.

“I’ll be quick ok? I don’t need to wash my hair tonight,” I said to her.

“Come, I smell your hair,” she said to me, leaning forward to take a sniff of my hair.

“It smells good lah! I washed already in the afternoon!” I protested, laughingly.

“No it’s smelly! Mr Lizard will come and catch you!” She said.

Mid-shower, I heard her reminding me again, “Mummy, please, you must wash your hair huh!”


When we were both clean and safe from Mr Lizard’s clutches, we went to her room to read.

One English and one Chinese story, I’d say.

How about one English and two Chinese stories, she’d negotiate and then pick the books she wants to read.

I ended up reading two of each.

I hope I’d always enjoy our bedtime reading and discussions, regardless of how tired I am.

Just before shower time, the deliveryman came with the supergirl cape and mask set I ordered for her.

She was so delighted, putting on the mask and cape and zooming around the room just so the cape could fly.

I hope I’d allow her to indulge in impromptu play times like this, and not rush her to brush her teeth and shower.

“I’m happy today because I have the supergirl cape!” She shared with me after she finished her milk.

I took the opportunity to remind her about the superhero day next Monday, and gently broke the news that I’d be away on a business trip for five days, from Monday to Friday.

I’d also miss the mothers’ day celebration, I said to her.

She frowned.

“Why?” She asked. “Why must you go on business trip? Why I cannot go with you?”

I explained that it was work, and I have to go.

“No, you cannot go,” she insisted. “Five days is too long. Can you just go for two days?”

I laughed, but had to say no.

She pouted. “Then next time I don’t bring you to Taiwan. I bring Daddy and Meimei.”


We also chatted about my return to work.

“What if Meimei pulls my hair and pinch(es) my face, and no one can help me?” She was concerned.

“You can ask Yaya for help,” I tried my best not to laugh.

“Huh, no. What if Yaya is not at home? What if Meimei do(es) naughty things and there is no one else at home?”

We’d never leave you and Meimei alone at home, I assured her.

And then it was lights out.

I’ve tried to get out of having to tell stories and hold her hand while waiting for her to fall asleep.

“Or choose one,” I’d told her.

“No, I don’t want to choose. I want both,” She’d insist and I’d relent.

But last night I was almost out of voice after reading four stories and chitchatting with her.

So I said, no story tonight ok?

“Huh no story?” She was disappointed.

After I turned off the lights, I held her hand and started telling her a story.

“Once upon a time there was a little girl. Her name is called Clarissa. It is bed time and she wants her mummy to tell her a story. So her mummy said:

“Once upon a time there was a little girl. Her name is called Clarissa. It is bed time and she wants her mummy to tell her a story. So her mummy said:

“Once upon a time there was a little girl. Her name is called Clarissa. It is bed time and she wants her mummy to tell her a story. So her mummy said:

She caught the joke after the third round.

“Why is it the same!” she laughed as she held my hand tighter, closed her eyes and tried to fall asleep.

I was glad she liked my little story.

I might have been over-indulgent, writing about the entire evening in minute details.

But it is important to me.

I’ve realized that it is often not the grand gestures, but the little things and the feelings, thoughts and details in the little things that I hold most dearly in my heart, as a mum.

I imagine myself to be even more tired and frazzled, busier than ever, juggling work and family.

And these are the things I want to remember, and hope I’d never lose, no matter how exhausted or weary or jaded I become.

On our way to buy lunch today, the little boss said to me, “Yay I will see my fish later!”

No prizes for guessing what we were having for lunch. AGAIN. πŸ˜‚

I was worried that she’d be disappointed if she didn’t find the fish hanging at the stall. What if the charsiew rice uncle decided to throw it away afterall?

So I tried to preempt and cushion the blow, “Mmm maybe the charsiew rice uncle brought the fish home? So the fish might not be there?”

“No, it would be there!” She was certain.

She ran ahead as we approached the stall, and caught a glimpse of her little fish hanging at the entrance of the stall.

“Mummy, my fish is still there!” She said to me happily. “See? I’m right!”

Thank you for the #clarissawisdom of the day.

Yes, I need to have a little more faith.

I’ll do just fine.

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