• The Things You Do

    Getting Older

    Dear Xander, You’ve always been a lot closer to your mother than to me. It is a perfectly reasonable bias, admittedly; she is much more better-looking than I am, for one. And she does treat you better than I do on most occasions. I do envy your mother sometimes for the attention she receives from you. Perhaps it is because we spend so much time together, that I can’t help but use her as the superior parenting benchmark and wonder where I went wrong. One evening when I was giving you a shower, you taught me where I went wrong. I was just recovering from a gruelling bike training session…

  • The Things You Do

    Lessons Learnt From a Stubbed Toe

    Dear Xander, If change is the only constant in life, then the human capacity for learning is the one constant that will not only reinforce change, but allow us to embrace it. And the lessons we can learn can stem from the simplest and least expected situations. When you managed to stub your toe last Tuesday, your experience created not one but three lessons, learnt by not one but three different individuals. It happened at your grandmother’s house, after school and just before I came to pick you up. You were bawling — hard — in front of your dinner bowl by the time I arrived, and your grandmother felt…

  • The Things You Do

    The Star

    Dear Xander, Last Saturday, at a birthday party hosted by Mummymoo for her 2-year-old son, you managed to score a big bunch of helium balloons, 5 normal coloured balloons topped with a gold star-shaped balloon. You always had a love for balloons of any sort, but that evening you were particularly infatuated with the gold star balloon in that bunch. But after the party, as we were driving, I noticed the star balloon was losing its volume slightly faster than what one would usually expect from such balloons, so I said to you, “Your balloon’s losing gas. You know what would e a good idea? If we let it go…

  • The Things You Do

    Year One: Xander Writes Back

    Xander celebrated his fourth birthday today (and yesterday, and last Friday too, as 4-year-old kids usually do with their various social circles), and Dear Xander the blog celebrates its 1st year anniversary as well. As we wind down for bed tonight during this holiday season, Xander has asked to write a letter to me. A letter. To me. And up to this point, he has no idea this blog exists. So here is his letter, dictated to his dear old dad (who sneakily logged in here to transcribe his words), addressed to both his mother and I, completely ad verbatim. Dear Daddy, and Dear Mummy, I love you daddy. Because…

  • The Things You Do

    The Fight

    Dear Xander, So we sort of had a fight, you and I. As father and son, these things happen. In the history of you and I, these things usually happen. But I’m noting this one down as unique because of how this ended, and because you’re only 3 3/4 years old now, I want to make sure you know what happened. We had just gotten off the bus near your grandma’s house when you saw a food stall. I knew you were hungry because you hadn’t had dinner yet, but I also knew your grandma usually cooks for an army when she hears you, your mother and I were coming…

  • The Things You Do

    The Family Vacation

    Note: I understand Nuffnang sent out an e-mail inviting bloggers to First World Genting in July. I’d just like to clarify that this isn’t a participating blog post. We went on this trip before Nuffnang sent out its notification, so this isn’t a tie-in/advertorial/sponsored post (mainly because I didn’t think very much of the place, unfortunately). Dear Xander, I’m writing this at 3am, at the lobby of the First World Hotel in Genting Highlands. The 3-star hotel, together with its theme park, shopping mall and just about every amenity it holds in its autumn-temperature environ, is truly a step back in time – the whole place looks and feels like…

  • The Things You Do

    And Justice For Dad

    Dear Xander, Your mother was invited to a mommy blogger gathering which I was allowed to tag along, if anything, to keep an eye on you while your mother mingled with the other mommies. It was decided that we would meet up at Fusionopolis, where a new indoor playground called Happy Willow opened 6 weeks ago. I was heartened to find that adults were allowed into the playground which boasted a large ball-pit, to ensure the safety of their playing children. In my head, this effectively meant I was paying $18 for your entry, and I got to play for free, and when your father is pushing 35 years of…