Wordless Wednesday – through the looking glasses

This day Rockstar decided his outfit needed a little something extra.

A tad much?

A tad much?



 Not wanting to be left out, Queen E then had to have her tongue pierced.

Hah! Gotcha


Hah! Gotcha! Before I get a call, NO she did not get anything else pierced, she got a hat, thank God (because otherwise we will be chasing her about with a dropper of non-alcoholic disinfectant to keep the fresh piercings clean.. but in case you thought I’m germ freaky to be germ freaky – uh, no. I’m germ freaky about this (and say, clean toilets) because I’m LAZY. D’you have any idea how much more work these things are when they have bacterial infections or UTI <signs to ward off evil>??

By “things” I mean “children.” And I’ll have you know my thing about UTI is because a former colleague, seasoned equity trader (a.k.a Has Stomach Of Steel) no less, once described with tears in his eyes how his 6 year old child had to have one of those perpetual antibiotic drips taped to her hand for a severe UTI. She then screamed such bloody murder when they were putting the thing in her and trying to tape up the drip that he had to hold her down. She therefore proceeded to pummel his head and chest with her other fist. Can’t remember if his glasses broke when they went flying.

I mean, this is 15 years ago and I suppose technology has advanced enough now. They probably have drugs for this sort of thing. We see it on tv all the time, the darts they use to bring down the lions for tagging on National Geographic, or the mutant children for experimentation on Xmen II.

But y’know, just in case <shrugs>

ps: Eye test by HK Govt for free, just scheduling is a little tough because obviously you mostly have to take whatever timing they give you, unless you wanna go private. But they do followups and everything also for free and are pretty thorough. They write the prescription and then you take it to any lens shop.

Queen E came with, sporting a couple Trolls in her pockets, for good measure. They took one look at them and I heard "Oh, ESF" in Cantonese. Dunno what that was about but since the kids didn't go batshit or steal a bunch of facemasks off the counter to draw happy faces on, I HOPE it was a good impression

Queen E came with, sporting a couple Trolls in her pockets, for good measure. They took one look at them and I heard “Oh, ESF” in Cantonese. Dunno what that was but since the kids didn’t go batshit or steal any facemasks off the counter to draw happy faces on, I hope it was a good impression

Rockstar really liked the govt optician guy, who said just have a pair handy and rest his eyes to keep the short-sightedness from getting worse… and he doesn’t have to wear glasses during games or on the playground etc.


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Miss-Speak #85: More Indomitable Spirit Of Queen E


Parenting has a horrible way of kicking your pride in the behind (a.k.a. the bigger your ego, the bigger your ego’s behind) when you least expect it…

Queen E: (watching Trolls) Listen to those trumpets. 

Me: How d’you know those are trumpets? None of those ridiculous animals jumping about is holding a trumpet.

Queen E: Just li-sten. You can hear trumpets.

Me: <thinking: Wow those really are trumpets. I didn’t even know she could tell what trumpets sound like. (For real though, she probably picked it up in Kindy because now I remember her saying they’ve been playing music from the Trolls soundtrack in class)>

Then at Cantonese Music Class:

Queen E: This song. It’s this song again. I said I would not be doing this song.

Me: <thinking: don’tpanic don’tpanicdon’tpanicAileen there’s only 9 other super obedient little boys and girls in this class who seem to know everything and chirpily volunteer all the right answers while you struggle to translate the Cantonese for Her Highness and wait for her to work out the answer to the question from 20 minutes ago> <as calmly as I can> You refused to play it weeks ago, when you were allowed to choose what you wanted to play for your friends. This is a different lesson, this is all of us playing it together.

Queen E: We agreed I would not be playing it.

Me:This is different!! Last time, you could choose which one you didn’t want to play. This lesson you have to play it, it’s part of the class.

Queen E: <calmly> No I don’t. When (teacher) comes, I’ll say, “I’m not playing this.” <sings> I’m-not. Play-ing thissss……. <trails off>

Me: How are you going to get out of playing it when it’s your turn. <immediately regrets asking>

Queen E: Like this- <pretends to be asleep>

Me: Nobody believes you’re really asleep!

Queen E: <still with her eyes closed><slowly sinks under the keyboard>

Me: <thinking: OMG. How’m I going to dig that limp body out? And… is there room under there for me too?>

Queen E’s friend: What’s Queen E doing?

Queen E: <from halfway under the keyboard> I’m sleeping. 

Me: <snaps> You are obviously not asleep.

Queen E: I’m talking in my sleep.

Me: How about playing this in your sleep.

Queen E: <pretends to be asleep> 

Mercifully only half the class has to play, before they move on to something else…

Me: You can stop it now. “The coast is clear”. Sigh.

Queen E: <gamely sits back up in her seat>

Me: What would’ve happened if you had to play it?

Queen E: I’ll have to give up music. 

Me: How about I give up parenting.

Queen E: You still have to take care of Ko-ko. 


Queen E: Mummy I need to put a sign in front of my house. I need help to spell something?

Me: Sure darling, what do you need help spelling? Hello? Welcome?

Queen E: Can you please spell “Every-cat-get-out-of-my-house-and-don’t-come-back-in”?

Me: ??

Rockstar: <indignant> Is that how you’re treating your cats? I’m not giving you any more cats. 

Me: ???

Queen E: Ok, ok, then instead, how d’you spell “I-like-gwapes”.

Me: …You now want… the sign in front of your house to read “I like grapes”.

Queen E: “…And bananas.”  

Rockstar: <mollified, turns back to laptop without another word>

Me: What just happened?

Queen E: I don’t like bananas. I love bananas.


Playing a game in the car…

Queen E: I’m thinking of an animal… 

Rockstar: Is it a cat?

Queen E: Yes and you’re not allowed to speak anymore. 

Circus Act

Circus Act

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Of Trolls, Princesses, and How Much Entertainment Has Changed For Our Kids

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILER ALERT (but betcha watch the show anyways :) )

Was getting Queen E little Trolls Legos and the shop lady asked what was so special about Trolls because she was considering ordering more stock…

We also bought a Trolls potting set, following both kids having gardening activities in their schools…

Rockstar actually carried a piece of radish in his hand all the way home from school to see that face when he fed it to her

Rockstar actually carried a piece of radish in his hand all the way home from school one day, just to see that face when he fed it to her

…and of course Queen E has to photobomb the plants we were buying for the pot, in Wellcome


img_1163 img_1164


(Thought Gemma would like to clamber on it, but she was unimpressed – truly a City pet – on an aside, Queen E left the cage open again recently and we found Gemma curled up in a ball surrounded by lots of little paper bits, near about 5 of Rockstar’s books that had their spines chewed up in the night)

We happened on the Trolls movie by chance, after a trailer in which one of these hideous things pooped cupcakes, inspiring Queen E to drag Rockstar to see it after school one day.

...which was Queen E's main fascination with the movie -pic from daytunes.com

SOLD. -pic from daytunes.com

He sat there guffawing at the absurd animals and colours, “My eyes! Oh, my eyes!” 

I mean, how ridiculous does this choir look, singing Sound of Silence? - pic from freshfiction.tv

I mean, how ridiculous is this choir, singing Sound of Silence? – pic from freshfiction.tv

Even Rockstar however cannot fault how awesome the music was.

Way up front in the mostly-empty cinema, two little heads are bobbing enthusiastically, very long blonde curls flying about. Soon, the little girls are prancing back and forth in the aisle in front of their seats. Way behind us are a bunch of Singapore International School kids still in uniform. Idly, I realise I can detect no Singlish being spoken. I also count maybe 10 “LOL”s in their conversation.

Queen E’s new favourite song is True Colours. (Not sure she can actually sing, but she’s been very interested in the lyrics)…

“I see your true colours, and that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show…
Your true colours are beautiful…”

So I told her it means you are loved for who you are, not who you might try to be, or the parts of you that you try to hide.

Meet the true heroine of Trolls, the Movie:

This is Bridget, who is not just a Bergen, much feared by the Trolls, but a Bergen of the lowest social standing - she's the Bergen scullery maid

Bridget, a “Bergen” of the lowest social standing, who thinks no one will ever love her for who she is – pic from webneel.com

Ok lemme back up a bit.

This is King Gristle Sr, Bergen King who during his reign declares an Eat A Troll Day once a year, where the Trolls are harvested like fruit

This is King Gristle Sr, Bergen King who declares an Eat A Troll Day once a year, where the Trolls are harvested like fruit – pic from webneel.com

Now we’ve (finally) come to why this story is so awesome: It’s a story of the Bergens believing they must achieve this… thing – catching and eating a Troll – in order to be happy. They stake their happiness on being able to do this.

Naturally, the Trolls stage a jailbreak to escape being eaten. There is this horrifying (to me) moment when little Prince Gristle crawls into his dad’s lap, looks up all vulnerable and expectant into his dad’s face and asks, “Will I ever be happy?” and gets “Uh… no. You will never, ever, ever be happy.” Freak out. Now.

pic from wisconsin gazette

pic from wisconsin gazette (which also describes Trolls as a “big-hearted sensory overload”)

Troll Princess Poppy grows up super cute and popular… and all about having a good time. Her irresponsibility leads to the Trolls being discovered and some of them captured after she ignores another troll’s warning and he throws at her, “I can’t believe you’re going to be Queen one day!” It’s really not sugar-coated. I like. This is how different children’s entertainment is nowadays. I also like that she’s made Queen after she has proven she can handle the responsibility.

Traditional Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White etc stories are a pet peeve – they all revolve around princesses who wait to be rescued by princes who are – get this – taken by their beauty and therefore whisk them off to live happily ever after in castles. (I told Rockstar this, and he said the story of Mulan is way better – think he mentioned it was a Y6 play at his school; on an aside, this is one of the benefits of a big school – the kids show projects amongst themselves and across the years, Rockstar recently came home from a Y6 Science Exhibition having won… a Pokemon drawing to bring home and colour.)

img_1355 img_1353

(Normally, Rockstar hates colouring, but this time he actually googled the correct colours for this thing, having rattled off the facts he repeated in the quiz from the exhibition posters prepared by the Y6 students. And btw – a Y6 kid drew this cartoon?? Quite nice right…!)

Anyway, back to the story – faced with an actual Trial by Fire, Princess Poppy then shows her true mettle.

Her positivity helps her get really far, while being chased by weird animals and eaten by strange plants (did they have a Kids’ Design-A-Creature Competition for this, because these things look really, really creative.)

It’s however Bridget, mistreated and lowliest-of-the-low Bergen, who sets an example of selflessness and courage. Charged with delivering the captured Trolls at the Bergen dinner, she instead sets them free – then goes into the banquet hall alone with the empty dish, to face the wrath of the hungry, miserable Bergens, allowing the Trolls enough time to escape. Instead, all the Trolls turn back, to stand by their new friend:

So that’s the happy ending – everyone learns Bridget’s lesson, one she arrives at despite having lived a subservient and miserable existence mistreated by other Bergens, in miserable Bergen Town:

“Happiness Comes From Within.”

Epilogue: Branch’s singing voice was so awesome I went to Google it and that’s how I realised he’s voiced by none other than former Mickey Mouse Club-er Justin Timberlake who also does the music for the show. Double approve. Because at the back of my mind is a caveat re Mickey Mouse Club, High School Musical etc… 

This is Justin Timberlake and his sometime girlfriend Britney Spears when they were tweens on Mickey Mouse Club

This is Justin Timberlake and his sometime girlfriend Britney Spears when they were tweens on Mickey Mouse Club – pic from snakkle.com

Here are other former Mickey Mouse Club-ers/ Disney Channel-ers. From left to right, Lindsay Lohan, Vanessa Hudgens, Christina Aguilera (pics from baklol.com)….

bcf1705253af75f2b9c084f4ed3d8b3a1462208470 de28b4bd9f14aaa5e99280b56bea1f951462207810 images-64

...and Miley Cyrus - this is what she looked like when she first auditioned for Hannah Montana - pic from

…and Miley Cyrus – this is what she looked like when she first auditioned for Hannah Montana – pic from backstage.com

You do not need “after” pics to get my point right? 😛

Disney surely has an eye for talent and musical ability (and for a long time I didn’t give Justin Timberlake credit until Trolls). Why wouldn’t little girls everywhere want to be like these talented little girls on tv, and why wouldn’t their parents be fine with it, they look so sweet, don’t they? I’d want my kids to look like these super happy, talented, bubbly kids. The problem is, then they become… legal 😀 . And showbiz is…… showbiz.

One of the managers at a frequent playdate haunt of ours is a fairly new and doting dad of a little girl, and he was initially so sure Miley Cyrus became the Miley We Know Today because of…. “a bloke.” (That’s the default assumption right haha speaking of which, Miley has been linked not just with Liam Hemsworth but Peter Schwarzenneger.) In reality however she and Britney Spears share a manager who in some accounts is given the erm, credit for her image change. She wanted to shock (and horrify I guess) with her career image in mind, and so that’s exactly what she did.

Thing is, Miley is the daughter of country superstar Billy Ray Cyrus (who initially was quite unhappy with her whole twerking act) and godmother Dolly Parton stated “…the girl can write. The girl can sing. The girl is smart. And she doesn’t have to be so drastic…” In 2011 at around the age of 18, she already made top 10 wealthiest teens in Hollywood with a net worth of around USD 120 million. So I can I put this towards Rockstar Career Advice Part III (multi-shudders): Your job will affect who you are.

Hence my aside about child stars. Supposedly your child being an independently high-earning superstar is like a dream come true and there must be parents out there who are (deservingly) super proud of their child’s considerable acting/singing/dancing etc abilities. But Murphy’s Law of No Free Lunch (yes I make these up as I go along) implies there is a risk, or cost.

Kirsten Dunst was a tween when she achieved widespread recognition for her nomination at the Golden Globes as Best Supporting Actress alongside Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in Interview With A Vampire.

Dunst as Claudia - pic from Wikipedia.com

Dunst as Claudia – pic from Wikipedia.com

Awesome, right? Ok lemme expand on her role – she was required to play the part of a little girl turned into a vampire by those two adult male heartthrobs. While the movie has an 11 or 12 year old Dunst playing the part of a mature woman in a child’s body kissing Brad Pitt (bad enough right), the original critically acclaimed book (which forever horrified me as a teenager) places huge emphasis on Claudia being… 5.

As a 5 year old child she is turned into a vampire and matures in mind and emotions into a woman…… trapped for all eternity in the body of the 5 year old little girl. (I suppose this is inspired by Sybil, who asks the Greek god Apollo for eternal life, but forgets to ask for eternal youth. She becomes trapped for a thousand years in an ever failing body, unable to find the blessed release of death.) This slowly drives her to intense hatred and insanity. Now to my point. You can have a talented child play that, and do intense hand holding as the child grows up (and btw becomes of age to legally be able to make their own mistakes decisions, which may affect other kids who recognise the face behind the character they identify with) or you can use a computer animation. You could even make the computer animation hot pink with sparkles for freckles. Just saying…




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