Raising a Reader – 21 August 2017

On 21 August 2017 Evangeline went to school so I and my wife go visit Bugis Library. This is the biggest branch of the library, there are 7 storeys total of book collections. Some are so rare and can be considered antique collection. This fact I know from my friend Pat who worked for National Library as a librarian. We wanted to register Evangeline as a library member.

From the counter on the first floor, we were directed to go to Basement 1. “Find anyone in blue”, that’s what the officer in the counter said. What’s good? Colour coding your employee so customer can pinpoint them. What’s not good? Everyone was wearing blue including janitors. It also doesn’t help that the Basement 1 do not have table counter where we can find librarian. So their staff is practically roaming around.

So I proceed to the Basement 1 and we saw a small cave with cartoonish jungle decoration at one corner. It’s the children’s book section. My wife proceed there to browse some book while I split to find the librarian to register Evangeline’s library membership.

After being ping-pong-ed by three staffs, I manage to find someone who does NOT wear blue, who is willing to attend to my inquiries for registration. Alas, she asked for proof that my daughter is a Permanent Resident to enjoy the PR rate. Because she’s yet come of age, she doesn’t have the Blue IC yet, so the librarian requires the Re-Entry Permit to register her. At that point of time I know I will flunk this opportunity, because who bring around Re-Entry Permit on daily basis? But to make this trip fruitful I get the detail from her the required documents for registration. It’s super simple. Any form of identification to register and the proof of Permanent Residency to enjoy PR rate. So basically I only need birth certificate and REP.

I returned to the small cave where my wife browse the book to borrow. She already shortlisted these following book. I told her about the registration hiccups and she said it’s alright since we also can use her library membership quota. One thing that we notice is the book in this library is significantly more tattered. I believe because the library is one of the more central with higher traffic, so the wear and tear is understood.

The following books were borrowed from Bugis Library.

Where’s Bear?
The book by Emily Gravett have nice illustration on clean white background. It tells the story of Bear and Hare taking turn playing hide and seek. While hare (Angel refers this animal as Bunny) is adept in hiding, bear is having difficulties to hide its large body. Bear did hide in the same place as bunny, but the funny part is when the bear hide behind something, the foreground object can’t even cover half of his body.

Sweet Snout by Liesbet Slegers
This translated foreign book by Liesbet Slegers is a flap book. The unique concept is that two animals with the same snout/ mouth/ beak are presented in the same page. When you flip to side A, one animal will appear, and when you flip the flap, it will turn into animal B. The illustration is not the best you can find, but this book promote curiosity in Angel and she likes flap book in general.

Bye bye bottles Zebra
I’ve previously mentioned that the books we borrowed are for various purpose. Some are for activity-driven purpose (counting, spot the difference), some are for extending vocabulary (list of objects with pictures), and also some for behaviour building. One of the example for behaviour building is when we borrow the book about baby or becoming a big sis to prepare her for our second daughter. This book is one of the behaviour building book. Or specifically, our attempt to let Angel sleep without bottle. Simple story by Michael Dahl that the little Zebra one day decided don’t want to drink milk from bottle any more simply because Zebra think he’s already grown up.

Gossie and Gertie
Another book by Gossie series. When borrowing the book by Olivier Dunrea, engineering approach prevails. If it works, don’t fix it. We’ve started by buying the Gossie book first, and subsequently Angel is hooked with all the characters presented at the back cover of the book. I made a mental note to review all of this character in one dedicated post for the benefit of the parents of young readers who read my reviews.

And for the next post in Raising a Reader series, we will cover how I register Evangeline’s library membership.



What is Dead May Never Die

“Papa go down please. This is my bed.”

Evangeline, 2yrs 5½mths, refuses to sleep on her cot. Sleeps on my king size bed with my wife.

Me? I sleep on the floor on the portable mattress we initially bought to prevent her falling from bed.

I have asked few friends and apparently this sleeping configuration is not uncommon. Mama and baby sharing bed and Papa sleep on the floor is the new normal. What is not normal is my 13.8 kg baby rolling around in her sleep and occasionally fall to me due to her excessive kungfu choreography. My wife is occasionally in dilemma witnessing these events, unsure whether we were in post-collisions concussion or just a deep sleep slumber.

According to her, we look unconscious. Until we snore in tandem.


She just dived right to my ribcage two nights ago. She woke up and asked me “Papa are you okay?”, giggled, kissed my cheek, said “okay sleep sleep.”, climbed up to her mama’s side and tried to sleep again. I had a nightmare kena langgar by Scania.

We’ve been through the baby 1st month no sleep ordeal. We’ve been zombified.

What is dead may never die.

An Angel by Your Side

Being parents is to be the better version of yourself for the sake of your children.

*slouching on sofa, intending to skip Zombies, Run session
“Papa run please. See you later.”

*playing smartphone in bed at night
“Papa sleep sleep. Papa black phone sleep.”

*snoozing morning alarm
“Papa WAKE UP!”

Evangeline, 2yrs 5½mths, my little authoritative guardian angel.

Raising a Reader – 17 August 2017

I still have not find the time to take care of the library quota. But from recent whatsapp conversation with Dina in our whatsapp group (yes, we have a whatsapp group), Dina told us that the quota was bumped up to 16 in view of school holiday. Now that school holiday has ended, the quota is returned to 8. So apparently my library membership falls into the same category with all these schoolers. One thing I don’t know is their holiday schedule. That’s where having primary school teacher as a friend comes in handy.

Due to time constraint, I finally just returned four books in order to borrow four more books. Next visit I will make a point to register library membership for Evangeline. This way we will have extra 8 books quota. For now, let’s move on with the book review.

Paddington Bear all day
We had a paddington bear book at home in the shape of double decker bus. We planned to let her watch Paddington the movie when she’s older. It’s a nice kid movie with fluffy bear as the protagonist. She has a teddy bear plush she’s familiar since she was baby. On the first few days of school, she can’t be separated from the teddy bear. There was an incident too where she fought her classmate because the bear was taken from hear. So any book with bear as a protagonist will surely click well with Evangeline. This book by Michael Bond tells the story of a day with Paddington the bear since he wake up, eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and then sleep again. We use this as a bedtime story book where Evangeline will tell Papa what has she done all day, and end the story by saying “Now Angel sleep.”

A birthday for Cow!
Not in the mood to risk whether Evangeline will like new book, I go with known author. This book by Jan Thomas is a safe bet considering she likes the previous book we borrow, The Dog House. This time, the group of animal is celebrating the birthday of Cow. Mouse, Pig, and Duck are preparing the birthday cake, and for the love of turnip, prepares a turnip to go with the cake. Evangeline read this joyfully and sing Happy Birthday song for cow everytime we read this book. Yes, 5 times reading, 5 times singing. 10 times reading, 10 times singing. While this may sound idiotic to you non-parents, this is a joy for parenting as when child is singing we have half minute break from reading the book non-stop.

Jasper & Joop : a perfect pair: one tidy, one messy 
Gus explores his world
These two books are from the Oliver Dunrea series of Gossie the Goslings. We purchased the Gossie the Goslings on the go before we are exposed to this library world. Well, at that time, we don’t really have the time nor courage to go to library with our mythical beast. She’s too young and will rampage there, I presume. So we bought a book, yay! Knowing the style of Oliver Dunrea’s series, we just go ahead and snap these two and true enough, it’s consistent with the other Gosling books. Good writing, concise, and nice illustration. There’s an option for downloadable audios which we didn’t use because for us reading with the kid serves as a bonding time and playing audio on laptop or smartphone means she will snatch it and ask to watch youtube instead. Yes, I wrote all those bonding stuffs to make other parents feel bad. We are just equally tortured to read the same book for forty times. Anything for raising a reader. Consider this time spent as an investment. Once the kid develops the love for reading, you can drop them in the library and go to Maldive. The library has enough books for her.


The Joy of Parenting

Joy is the relatively peaceful weekend despite visiting uncharted territory. Had a shower with warm water after Zombies, Run session. Felt refreshed and clean and the fragrance from the soap and minty feeling from the shampoo still linger after the last rinse.

Went inside the bedroom and wife said.

“Papa! I miss you.”
“I miss you too.”

“I want to poo. Let’s go!”

Joy is a myth of minty fragrance in this shitty circumstances. This is the joy of parenting, this. Is. Sparta.

The Lazy Guy

I’m constantly reminded that 天外有天人外有人.

Few days ago, we met my friend from Surabaya who married a Jakartan, gave birth to first child in Singapore and migrated to London, second child born in London and migrated to Newcastle.

Today we attended farewell party of Angel’s classmate. The Japanese family with their cute little daughter is migrating to Bangkok. It came as a surprise considering the first time I met this family during school registration I learned that the Japanese girl was born in Manila. When you say Japan I will think about shoguns and ninjas, not travellers and nomads.

Seeing these people moving around sometime felt like a slap on my face. I haven’t even spare the time to see Stella’s baby Cas. It’s so simple, just buy ticket using Traveloka apps (maaf ngiklan), yet I’m so lazy. Oh please, I need to plan almost a year to see Dina’s family in Jurong.