30 April 2013, by Dannie Cho
Hello again! It’s been a long while since I put in an entry. And while there are a few stories to tell, none of them seem really substantial enough to fill a blog entry.
Ah well, I will eventually share those stories. Just need to get my thoughts organised!
But first, I want to apologise to R, a fellow dad and a close friend of mine. During a recent social gathering, his wife, Z, mentioned that she was nervous because R was bringing out their son alone for the first time.
I scoffed. “What’s there to be nervous about? I do it all the time!”
Then I realised that hey, no. I’ve never actually taken Coco out on my own before. Sure, I do sometimes drive her from point A to point B alone (that’s happened a lot more since she started going to school too!), but I have NEVER. ACTUALLY. BROUGHT. HER. OUT. ON. MY. OWN.
In fact, I don’t even know how to pack a bag to bring her out. So I got Yi Lin to email me a list of things to pack when bringing Coco out.
1. Pull-Up diapers (x2)
2. Disposable changing sheet (in case of the dreaded poop)
3. Wet wipes
7. Water bottle
10. Milk powder and bottle (for afternoon outing)
Seems straightforward enough, eh?
So, one afternoon, I decided to put my grand plan into effect by bringing Coco to the swimming pool. Well, sorta. I had an afternoon meeting, so I got my sister-in-law to bring Coco to the pool on her way to the gym.
Well, Coco had a great time splashing about, and I think (hope!) she really enjoyed herself. Then it was time to go, so that I could pick up Yi Lin from work and surprise her with our daughter in the car seat.
Time to go, meaning that it was time to shower Coco, powder her, put on her diaper and… leave her alone while I showered? Dang! Forgot that the wife and I usually take turns to look after the little one while the other showers!
Ah well, what to do? I wasn’t about to just carry Coco to the car and drive off wearing just my speedos, right? Later kena arrested because somebody thought I was a lao tiko, you know?
So, at the ripe age of 18 months, I brought Coco to the guys’ changing room. Thankfully, no one else was around. “Coco, put your hands on this bench. Don’t touch anything else!” With that, I dashed into the shower for a quick 5-second rinse before rushing back out in my towel. Her wide, innocent eyes studied me, wondering what the big deal was. Kids. Heh. 🙂
The wife was duly impressed. And it was really great, going home together as a family, singing songs and pointing out stuff to Coco on the way home. I wish I had pictures of that day, because according to some diver friends, “If there are no pictures to prove it, then it didn’t happen.”
A couple of weeks later, I brought Coco out alone again – this time, to the Marina Barrage. No need to shower when you’re just sitting around and watching the kites!
And after kite-watching, there was also a photo-taking opportunity with a local celebrity, because Class 95FM was giving out car decals at Satay by the Bay! Woot!
But you know, these two outings made me realise something. Coco doesn’t really need to be excited by beloved activities like swimming or new places like the Barrage. All she really needs is some quality bonding time with her parents. And with Yi Lin having eaten a baby and walking around with a bloated tummy, it became increasingly important for me to step forward, from a secondary caregiver role to a primary role. And that, my friends, is how I resolved to start doing fun things with my kids, by being kids with them!
Give it a whirl, fellow fathers! Put down your laptops and phones and tablets. Play with your kids’ toys. Play with your kids. They will love you for it. I’m pretty sure mine does.