note to elliott

Note to Elliott – 30

Dear Elliott,

30 months. That makes you exactly 2 and a half years old. That’s definitely easier than saying 30 months old! At 2.5 years old, you’re a little chatterbox. You talk about anything and everything and sometimes, I wish I can record everything that you say in that cute babyish voice because one day, that voice will no longer be the same. You point out vehicles on the road or you tell me about the moon in the sky. I shared this conversation on the blog’s Facebook page so that I can remember to add it into this entry:

Me: Oh where is the moon?
Elliott: There! In the sky!

As we drove along, the moon will disappear behind buildings.

E: Oh! The moon no more! It’s hiding!
Me: Where is it hiding?
E: Behind the tree! Over there!

When we moved, the moon would (of course) appear again.

E: Mummy look! Moon! Again! Moon follow Air-yiot go home.

And when it disappears yet again:

E: Oh, no more moon.
Me: Where did the moon go?
E: Moon go shopping. Buy cars.

Somehow, you have come to associate “going out” to be “buy cars“. I try and tell you that we are only going to “look at cars” and not buy them but you’d have none of it. When you hold onto yet another new toy and utter in the smallest voice “Mummy buy“, and I answer: “Sorry, Mummy has no money“. You immediately say, without skipping a beat: “Daddy buy“.

Aiyooooo.

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I’ve been trying to teach you that you are a very lucky boy with WAY TOO MANY TOYS and that we cannot be buying you a new toy whenever we are out. I also try and tell you that other than shopping, we go to parks, to the playground, or to the beach! But they all fall no death ears. Your selective memory only remembers “shopping” and “buy cars”.

Gulp.

I guess it does not help that whenever I drop you off at your Ah Ma’s house, your Ah Ma will say excitedly: “Ah Ma 买 new toy!” The sheer number of toys you have at your Ah Ma’s house is astounding.

The past month also saw a first for us – you were turned away at playschool! At the usual health check, an ulcer was discovered growing inside your mouth. Eeeeks! I had a 9am class that morning so it was a mad scramble to send you to Ah Ma’s house instead. We are forever thankful that your caregivers are always ready for you, regardless of time and day. As it turns out, it was just an ulcer and wasn’t the dreaded HFMD. You cannot imagine the relief I felt when our family doctor certified you HFMD-free.

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I would also like to put down on record right here that on 22 August, you had a MASSIVE meltdown at school drop off. Popo bought you a new tow truck (yet another new toy) and you insisted to take it with you to school. I said no. You went into meltdown mode, and promptly decided to remove your shoes from the cabinet and flung them across the corridor. I was mortified, to say the least. But at the same time, I knew that you were acting up because of that tow truck. I had to literally extract myself from your death-like grip on my legs (you managed to wrap yourself around my left leg like a koala) and walked out with a very heavy heart.

These crying sessions break my heart, son. You will never know it but it truly does. I go into the office feeling crest-fallen and it takes me a while to feel balanced again. Thankfully, I think I might have discovered the trick to prevent these meltdowns. I used to let you sleep all the way to school in your car seat, only waking you up when we get to school. This almost guarantees a meltdown because you have just woken up. These days, I wake you up at home and chat with you all the way to school. Our conversations usually go like this:

Me: Today is (insert day of week). Mummy has to go work and Elliott has to go to…..?
Elliott: SCHOOL!

Me: That’s right. Elliott goes to school and Mummy and Daddy go to work, right? Can you cry when you get to school?
E: Noooooo (said in a “Of course not!” tone)

Me: That’s right. We cannot cry when we get to school. Mummy will see you later when you are done with school, right?
E: Yes! Mummy come!

And I am pleased to say that once we get to school, you run in happily (!), and allow the teachers to do the health check readily (!!). On really good days, we’d do the usual hug-and-kiss routine and when I say “See you later!“, you say the same back to me. And those, my child, are Very Good Days for me.

I was also pleasantly surprised when your Ah Ma showed me a drawing that you did. According to you, it was a balloon. And it sure did look like one! And yes, your Ah Ma is using an old calendar diary from…1998. Phwah.
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People say that parenting is a learning journey and I have learnt that you much prefer the soft approach. One recent incident at your gym class saw you insisting to bring your milk bottle into the gym (food and drinks are not allowed). Daddy tried to get you to give it to him which led to you screaming “Noooooooo!“. Remembering the soft approach that you prefer, we allowed you to take the bottle of milk in and after a deep breath, I stooped down to your eye level to start my reasoning.
I held your hands, and talked about how exciting the monkey bars are (which you love) and that you will not be able to swing from them if your hands are holding onto the bottle. Thankfully, most of your friends started to enter the gym by then and seeing them having fun, you quickly ditched the bottles for the monkey bar.
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Meltdown crisis averted. Big phews all round. I have to add that it does not work all the time though. It is (still) a learning journey for all of us. For now, it is still a work-in-progress whenever you want to buy (yet another) toy car/vehicle whenever we are out.
Next up: Potty training. I have mentioned in my previous note that you already know how to tell us when you need to do a #2 but somehow, whenever we offer the use of a potty or a training seat, you simply get agitated and run off to hide behind the door (see picture example below). I guess we can’t rush such things and we will go diaper-free one day. School has also taught you how to remove your own diapers so sometimes, you decide that you need to diaper-less and I’d find you bottom-less with a used diaper in your hands.

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At 30  months old, you have strong opinions of what clothes, socks and shoes to wear. It’s always the “aeroplane” socks and shirts must not have a tag because you will then say that it’s “itchy” or “painful” and get all upset. I have since learnt to give you TWO choices so that you get to pick. Sometimes, you also decide that there is sand inside your shoes and insist on removing them. I guess this is all part and parcel of growing up, or what some term as the “Terrible Twos”.

To be honest, you haven’t exactly been terrible. You do, however, say NO a lot.

Elliott, can we go shower?
No!

Elliott, shall we pack away the toys?
No!

Elliott, time to go to bed.
No no no nooooooooooooooooooo! Mummy NO!!!

I’ve tried to reason with you, or pre-empt you of what’s to come and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Maybe one day, we can cut down on these daily negotiations.

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You interact a lot more with Moon these days. You try and play “fetch” and will attempt to plant a sloppy kiss on her head to wish her good nite. You are also fascinated with her tail and we’ve had to constantly remind you NOT to tug at it. Moon has been an absolute darling around you. She’s patient and allows you to pretty much do anything to her. It is also hilarious to watch you try and give her commands (“Moon! Sit! Moon Go!“).

On the eating front, you have suddenly decided that you like kiwis again and can easily polish off one on your own. You are still loving the carbohydrate diet and noodles+soup are still your most FAVOURITE FOOD EVER. Whenever we ask if you’d like to have rice or noodles, it is always “NOODLES!“. You are getting tired of eating porridge and I don’t blame you, to be honest. I just hope that you’d get more adventurous with your food so that we don’t end up at Chinese/Japanese restaurants all the time. You have also discovered this amazing thing called ICE CREAM and CAKE and would ask for more if you are given some. As I’ve always said – Everything in moderation, my child.

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2.5 years old is such a cute age. You say the darnest things that make us laugh, and you surprise us almost everyday. You are an affectionate little boy who dishes out hugs and kisses to your nearest and dearest, i.e. Daddy and Mummy. You also love waving and saying “Bye bye! See you LATER!” with gusto to random strangers in the lift. Please stay this way for a long long time.

Happy 30 months, my cutie patootie!

Lots of love,
Mummy xoxo

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