Category Archives: new mom

Scouting toddler hang outs

We would have spent the first two years of Kavin’s life majorly at malls and indoor play areas. This worked great for us because 98% of Singapore malls are equipped with breast feeding stalls and since Kavin was still crawling/waddling , I could keep a better eye on him in closed spaces. Besides indoor play areas are always strategically located next to breast feeding room, and you can’t help but thank the air conditioning in malls in this sweltering heat . Indoor play areas are also great at shielding you from the haze and the prices are quite pocket friendly when your child is under two . Did I mention that most spaces have built in cafe’s ? I swear to God, the coffee was a bigger incentive to me, to get my lazy self out of the house and explore these places .

But despite all these conveniences, after Kavin turned two, I started to get restless, and Kavin; bored. That’s when I began to scout for different places to take Kavin. We briefly put Kavin in a Montessori school, but pulled him out pretty quick , for many reasons which I will discuss some other day . Living in our small 1 bedroom apartment was naturally constraining for the hyper toddler – so  our adventures began.

Now I don’t want to sound like those complaining NRI’s who don’t live in India, yet cringe about their country of residence. No – I absolutely have nothing to complain about Singapore. Yet, let’s face it Singapore is expensive ,and  as a foreigner doubly .. no wait … triply expensive . That being said, we are a single income family – as hard as I try to be prudent in our spending, there is that occasional indulgence . Which is why most of our toddler hangouts are usually free places . This doesn’t mean we don’t have options. That is the best part of being a Singapore mumma, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to free places for kids. Better still, keep a lookout for coupons. YES coupons for child play areas exist !

I just thought I could share a few of our adventures, honest accounts of how we planned, enjoyed and what learning came of it . Though the point is not always to learn, but rather to have fun.

When I was thrust into this whole ‘parenting’ thing, I didn’t know a thing. I still don’t . If at all I teach Kavin anything its because I follow his lead . To me – as Kavin’s parent/friend – FOLLOWING HIS LEAD , is the most important thing . Much to my husband’s disappointment – none of our days are planned. Though I love craft, I do not force it on the kiddo . Kavin is about to turn three, and intuitively I feel this approach has worked out . Like any kid his age he is inquisitive by nature, and cannot stop asking questions . This is what I love about kids , the way they question everything .

His questions have led us to all this fun .. I hope you share our joy !

The Beginning

I remember the nervousness, It had been only 20 days since my wedding, I was late by 8 days. In the pit of my stomach, I dreaded the worst ..

My husband had left me with my inlaws almost immediately after the honeymoon. It was new, unfamiliar terrain, and I felt so sure . I called and texted my husband a few times to speak of my fears . He brushed it aside, he said it was too soon, and I was being too anxious . Truth be told, he was the kind of guy, who didn’t even know that home pregnancy kits existed .

I called my best friend, he was a doctor, tears rolled down as I explained, he found the whole situation amusing . I still can here his casual statement, ‘Go buy a pregnancy test’ . I was furious, this was not what I had signed up for . Marriage was supposed to be, oodles of cuddling, romantic selfies, walking hand in hand , not rubbing my tummy and checking my weight .

It was three days since I suspected, and I couldn’t bring myself to go to a pharmacy . How could I go, how could I ask, and to top it all, I was stuck in this new house. That day after lunch, I burst into tears, my mother in law commented, ‘Oh she must be homesick’. It was far from homesick, I had lost my appetite, my husband thought I was joking, my friend offered to get me a test- how embarrassing, and I couldn’t find an excuse to leave the house . I mean what would I tell them ?

Day 4 dawned, I had given up on my husband, though he promised he would take the flight to Chennai that weekend, I wanted to get it out of my head. I faked a headache and mustered the courage to go to the pharmacy. It was a nightmare .

My fresh yellow mangalsutra shined bright, I felt every eye in the pharmacy was on me. My face was red and hot with embarrassment, and I remember running out the store. The actual test was even more humiliating . Did the instructions really say, I had had to add pee on the stick. ‘Ughh disgusting. That is so yuck’ – that is all that played in my head. Besides how was I supposed to do that ?

A few minutes later I remember being completely blank, staring at 2 lines. Absolutely blank, Oh and then the tears came…