Archives for March 2012

A lot harder than I expected

I cried twice while reading this book aloud to Kyle.

Teaching Kyle the concept of death through picture books turned out to be a lot harder for me than I expected. I thought that it will manageable for the both of us to start with books illustrating the death of pets, but it proved out to be otherwise. 

This book gave a strikingly realistic and poignant picture of a child coping with the loss of a pet, and it just brought a plethora of memories, especially to the day that the family had to make a tough choice to put our family dog, Shawn to sleep. When I was midway reading the book to Kyle, I had flashbacks of the moment when my sister, dad, hb, mom, Kyle and I were huddled around Shawn, moments before he got the euthanasia shot from the vet. And the tears started flowing.

All I could say to Kyle when we finished reading the book was, "Its so sad…" Kyle was rather amused to see me cry while reading the book for the first time, and insisted that I read the book a second time that evening to see my response. I didn’t think that I would cry so easily the second time around, but I did. I told Kyle that it is ok to be sad when you miss someone.

I cried again while writing this post and reading this account again after 4 years, from my sisters now-defunct blog.

Kyle had little emotional attachment to Shawnie, as he was barely about 2 years old then. The only loss he has experienced so far is the death of one of his hamsters, Doh Doh, which he has little concern for. So he could not understand and found it rather amusing that, "Mommy cried after reading a picture book with me."

Death is a hard subject to broach, a lot harder than I expected. But I will still go ahead with helping Kyle learn about it, as it will not get any easier down the road if we ever have to experience a loss.

My extended family has since gotten a new dog, barely a few months after Shawn died, and we all love him dearly, but somehow it is not quite the same. Hb once said (after the loss of his extended family dog) that he will not want to have a dog ever in our nuclear family, as it will be too hard to experience the loss of a loved one every 14-15 years or so.

I will getting hold of this book Dog Heaven by Cynthian Rylant for myself the next time at the library.


In loving memory of Shawn

1994 – 2008

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Can perspectives be rationalised?

This week, I have encountered many situations which have taught me that not all perspectives that I adopt can be rationalised. But in certain instances, rationalising does provide some solutions to the challenges that I face constantly or in the areas of parenting a 5 year old.

About Complaints

I am into Day 3 of no complaints. It was a struggle when I first started, but I realised the key to stop complaining is to start seeing complaints rationally. Before I sense a complaint rising, I try to identify if the problem is an irritation or an issue. By identifying this difference helps me to calm down and decide logically, if this is a problem, what are the solutions. And if this is just an irritation, I know that I have to be more flexible, patient and willing to extend grace to the person or the situation.

This has helped me to be less highly strung, more positive for the past 3 days and this experiment has been proven useful in changing my attitude towards people and situations. I cannot tell if I will continue to keep this up, but I think half the battle is won when I am able to rationalise my emotions.

So I have learnt that rationalising the root of complaints will prevent complaints from recurring.


About Failure and Personal Setbacks

Every once in a while, life may throw curve balls at you. Since January, I have been looking for a full-time job, thinking that it will be able to solve the financial issues for the family. In these 3 months, many doors opened but shut very quickly which left me feeling really defeated.

Instead of allowing failure, self-doubt and condemnation to knock me down, I will not allow these things to hold me back and stay down. I have learnt that life is not about avoiding failures and being perfect. It’s about accepting my weaknesses and becoming more dependent on God’s perfect love and His power at work in us.

Instead of being concerned about where the next dollar is coming in, God has been very faithful in providing through my hb, as we have been able to pay bills and loans with some money left over at the end of each month. Many other unexpected doors have opened this last week, opportunities that I did not expect, opportunities that will allow me to keep my WAHM status. At this moment, I am still not certain where these new opportunities will bring me, but I know I will be heading the right direction as long as I follow His lead.

Can I rationalise failure? I think so, as failure might even be the very thing that stretched me to do more than I think I can and push me to try other methods of doing things when one way doesn’t work. Failure can be hurtful, but it can also be beneficial to build resilience and faith.

As for faith, can one rationalise faith? I can but only to myself, as I believe because I want to and proof comes in the many instances that God has pulled me out of deep holes and shown His existence in my personal experiences.


About Life and Death

This is something that Kyle and I rarely talk about since we have not encountered this topic until Monday this week. An extended member of the family passed away on Monday; a great great grandfather from the maternal side of the family whom Kyle has never met.

I approached this subject rather gingerly, but ended rationalising the concept of death as he had little emotional ties with this late extended family member. So, I wasn’t too sensitive about it, when I used an analogy of a piece of fresh chicken being left in the outside to go bad, when he questioned the need for preserving the body.

Apart from that insensitive comparison, I explain why there is a need for funerals, as it is a way to bring closure to friends and family involved, while at the same time, honouring the person who has died. So he did not feel fear or apprehension when we were at the funeral, and it helped when he saw smiling relatives at the funeral. But I do need to revisit this topic again, more sensitively the next time, with the help of picture books.

A reminder to self, the concept of death can still be rationalised with a 5 year old in this instance, but it needs to be taken with more sensitivity.


About Fear


I discovered that fear can spread so quickly amongst moms when our kids safety is being threatened. Our maternal instincts just want to sound the alarm amongst other moms in network to remind them to be vigilant, and watchful of our kids when we are in public places. Some of us get indignant by the lack of precautionary measures by the government, some blame the influx of foreigners, while others get irate how the media takes the situation so lightly.

Instead of trying to change these things that are beyond our control, how about taking control of the situation ourselves and educate our kids? Education is the best defense for a problem of this sort. If teaching your child about the perils of stranger danger is not effective (especially if the child is under 2), watch your kid like a hawk and never let them out of your sight in public places. Or you could simply ignore disapproving looks from other moms by putting your child on a child-leash.

Most men tend to think more rationally when it comes to a problem that needs a solution, do read here to get a father’s perspective. Winston from has incorporated some good ideas in his blog.

So fear can be rationalised in this scenario. Only then one can find solutions to address it.


From this post, u can probably get a glimpse that I am one that thinks too much into things, tend to be more of a rational thinker, than a feeling or sensing thinker. I will make a bad counselor, as I would only want to provide solutions, when sometimes all people want is a listening ear.

I used to dislike personality theories and tests, when taking my psychology minor in the University, as there were too many generalisations and stereotypes created with these tests. However, while writing this post, I realised that each of us will have differing perspectives and varying responses to situations that reflect certain traits of our personality.

So in line with developing stereotypes, I can probably say that I think more like a man (rational, often insensitive), than a woman. If u wish to find out what personality stereotypes you fall into, check this out – Myer Briggs personality test.

I am a INTJ! Do share with me what is your personality type if you have tried out the test.



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Experiment No.1 : How to not complain for 14 days

This experiment is to see how long I am able to go without any complaint, negativity or criticisms on someone else. The target is 14 days, that is 2 whole weeks of no whining, griping or non-constructive criticisms of any kind.


14 days without a complaint can be quite a long time for an accomplished complainer like me, so I will share the experiment logs on separate posts to track how long I will take before I can successfully complete 14 days without a single complaint.

Here is the method I will use –

1. I usually wear my wedding ring on my left finger (you can use other items like a bracelet or a rubber band worn on either hand)

2. So each time when I complain, I have to switch my wedding ring to the right finger. And then start all over again at Day 1.

3. If I successfully end a day without a complain, I can go on to Day 2, then Day 3. And so on.

4. However, reprimanding Kyle for bad behaviour, or sharing about his misbehaviour with hb, does not constitute a complaint. As life still needs to go as a parent of a 5 year old.

5. The target is 14 days. I really wonder how many days I will take before I can successfully have 14 days of no complaints!


Experiment log –

Thursday, 15th March 2011

This is the first day of the experiment and it started off really well as Kyle and I was on my way to meet a friend and her child for lunch and a playdate. We got on the PIE and traffic was smooth, until I changed lane and had to follow behind another car. The complaint came in the form of, "Come on, don‘t stay on the 3rd lane if you are so slow! You are road hogging!"


Friday, 16th March 2011

Back to Day 1 of the experiment. Was again driving to meet a friend for lunch, again I failed terribly. There was a traffic congested on PIE and hardly anyone on the 1st lane wanted to give way to my vehicle when I tried filtering onto the expressway. I got frustrated and muttered, "Please! Will it kill you to just give way to me, Singaporean drivers are so selfish!"

I really should not drive when I am running this experiment.


Saturday, 17th March 2011

Day 1 again. Its Kyle‘s birthday and we were preparing to go out for lunch and watch the movie The Lorax. When I was all ready to go, hb looked at what I was wearing and started making a comment on the print of my blouse. As his comment bugged me, I decided to change. But I was silently griping about what bad taste in clothing hb has and his choice in his own clothing.

Oh boy, this is becoming challenging, I need to watch my thoughts as well…silent gripes are also complaints.

Will have to start all over again this morning for Sunday 18th March. I really need to be on alert in regards my attitude and watch my mouth during this experiment. I will be putting up experiment logs as I continue this experiment.

If you would like to join me to do this experiment, do drop me a comment here. It will be nice to have companions for this experiment. 

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