Our little abstract artist

The moment I stepped into the house this evening, the little one was standing a little away from the door, waiting for me with this piece of drawing in her hand.

"Mummy working! I draw this with Yaya," She explained to me.

"Oh, what did you draw?" I sat down on the floor beside her to look at her drawing.

"I draw Daddy, Mummy and Baby!" She said excitedly.

"Oh which one is Baby?" I asked.

She looked hard at her drawing and tried to find the picture of herself.

Errr.. I don't know!

She said, nonchalantly.

And then, she reversed herself to sit on my lap and started pointing out random parts of her drawing to me.

This was what she said / I made out.

Yes, Mummy is the dark figurine and Daddy looks funny too. 😂

Water makes sense and the more you look, the more the mouse looks like a mouse.

Our future (abstract) artist hard at work.

(Oh, I asked her what the big circles are, but she said, "I don't know!" 😂)

I fed her dinner, took a shower and had my dinner.

She said she wanted to cycle and the next thing I knew, she was in her tricycle, right beside me.

Probably just two weeks ago she could only do a few paddles forward and backward!

Tonight she cycled backwards from the wall to the dining table where I was seated. 👍✌

She could also cycle forward, but she did much better cycling backwards.

I guess she's finally figured it out after trying to show Peppa how to cycle.

I updated her about the plans tomorrow.

Breakfast, parents teacher meeting, meet Auntie O and Auntie L, sleep, go out.

"So, tomorrow Teacher L will tell Daddy and Mummy if Clarissa has been a good girl in school. Is Clarissa a good girl?" I asked her.

She thought about it briefly and said to me softly, "No, Clarissa is 坏蛋."

I was slightly surprised so I asked her, "Who said you are 坏蛋?"

"Ah Gong!" She replied without skipping a beat.

And then she pouted and made this face.

"What did you do that made Ah gong say you are naughty?" I asked.

"I don't know!" She said nonchalantly and repeated "I'm 坏蛋!" nonstop before breaking out into giggles.

"You are not 坏蛋!" I tried to tell her firmly. But she simply kept laughing. 😒

I'm very appreciative of my FIL for all the effort he takes, picking her up and everything. It's beyond what he needs to do.

But the older generation's tough love is not easy for a two year old to understand.

There are times when Clarissa is indeed naughty, refusing to greet him properly.

But most of the times she does it properly and his response is always to say she's "坏蛋!"

I can only imagine how confusing it is for a two year old, that no matter what she does or how she does it, she's just 坏蛋 by default.

Last weekend she actually took the courage to go and wave goodbye to Ah-gong before we left.

She was waving really hard, but Ah-gong asked her very sternly, why she wasn't saying anything.

She whispered a meek "谢谢, byebye!" Before running off to the door.

I laughed then, but I could see how hard she was trying.

Happy, Angry, Sad and Naughty face respectively.

Her sad face is 😂😂😂.
She was closing her eyes and pretending to cry.

While I was eating my dinner she said to me:

Mummy, you eat properly! If not I'd be angry and upset!

And she made her cute angry face at me, fists on her tummy instead of her waist. 😂


Her hand is much better today!

The big patch of swelling on top of her hand has gone down and become smaller patches.

Fortunately the oral antibiotics works! Otherwise she'd have to be put on the drip.

I told my boss how bad I felt about even entertaining the thought of taking her to the doctor only at night after work and how much worse it could have become.

He was very understanding about it and said I should focus on spending time with her over the weekend.

We spent the past 3 days (2 for me) offsite at MBS for my function's training and it dawned on me that:

1) Perhaps the peak of my career is over
2) I don't feel particularly sorry about it
3) And "peak" to me, is not my band level
4) It takes courage to define your own priorities, and your own success, and be at peace (and ease) with it
5) There are many bosses I'm reporting or have reported to whom I respect a lot, and I'm so thankful for them

By "peak", I mean the point where I feel the best about what I'm doing and where I'm heading, and I felt that just before, and probably the year after my promotion a few years ago.

I still love what I do, and the function and organisation I'm in, but I guess the feeling is not quite the same now, as compared to the younger me, before having a baby.

The past few days I sat through announcements and anonymous questions about promotions raised by some folks.

Someone got promoted to a leadership team position and thanked her hiring manager, who'd now become a band level lower than her.

She said she hoped the hiring manager doesn't mind her mentioning this, and I briefly wondered if she would.

Someone asked why our structure has become a pyramid with so few "top" positions.

Someone asked why working hours are getting longer and why pay per hour is getting lower.

It's perhaps only human to always think about getting to the next level, getting there faster.. but few stop to think, what's next? And so what?

It takes more courage and mindfulness not to be sucked into it than to go all out and win the rat race.

And if you decide that the rat race is where you want to be, it's only right to suck it up and put in the effort for it.

At the end of the day you reap what you sow. You set your own goals. You define your own happiness.

And whether you think you can do it, or whether you think you can't, you are right.

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