Thursday, 17 January 2013

Bird Tables and School Projects - Siao!

This morning I went outside to find that KC, who had gone out to feed his rabbits, was standing stock still in the middle of the garden with one hand held above her head. In that hand was a piece of bread... I watched for a moment or two - it was at least -3 degrees out there but he stood stock still.

I asked him what he was doing. 'Ssshhhh,' se hissed, 'Its for my school project.'

I waited...

'We have got to see what birds come into our garden and write them down for school.' he whispered.

'And you are...?' I questioned.

'I am being really still so the birds think I am a bird table and then I can see them.' Of course, this made complete sense to an 8 year old. TJ came to see what I was looking at... He took one look at his brother standing in the frost covered garden and simply said disdainfully, 'Siao' and walked away. (For the sake of my non-Singaporean friends you pronounce that as in 'miaow' - years of speaking Mandarin translated into English have helped with that one. I even did a whole TV series that way - but that's another story - that involves bikes and kites... and setting myself on fire... another day!)

But back to today and I now have to clarify that comment.

Yesterday after street dance KC came home and was eager to share his 'moves' - I asked him if he was going to 'throw some shapes' - he looked at me as though I had just spat at him. 'No, but I'll show you my dancing,' he replied. And so he went into his routine - which I have to say was pretty impressive - particularly as he was running the song in his head and so all we heard was the sound of his feet and hands making the beats. But, I have to say, he has pretty good rhythm! Anyway, once again the suitably dismissive TJ walked into the room, watched his brother and said, 'Siao'.

I was quite taken aback. 'Where did you hear that I asked?'
'Papa says it all the time,' came the reply.
'Does he?', I said, 'And when have you heard him say that?'
'Whenever you are dancing in the kitchen and think no-one can see.'

(I now have to add that 'siao' is Hokkien - a Chinese dialect spoken in Singapore - and means 'crazy'.)

I looked at TJ, 'Do you know what it means?' I asked.
'Yes,' he replied, 'It means 'you are not cool',' and then added, 'Which you are not.' He then left the room and went upstairs to play Skylanders. I thought our kids were supposed to worship us as Gods until they were at least 15!

Back to this morning. I brought KC in and told him it was too cold to be standing outside, even if he did want to feed the birds. 'Can I wear my gloves then?' he asked. 'Not today, 'I said. 'besides it's time for school.'
'Then can we get a bird table for the garden,' he said.
I thought about it, 'Why don't you ask Papa when he gets home? Just tell him it's for your school project and he is bound to want to take you to get one at the weekend.' We'll see who is 'siow' then!

On a final note, Papa is 40 next week. He has told me not to blog about it - this is due to the fact that he is already moping. Apparently, his life is now practically over and he has nothing to show for it and can we all stop talking about it and reminding him... Well, dear, its very hard not to talk about something when everytime I turn on an electrical device it flashes up the days, hours and minutes I have left in which to purchase your birthday present!!!!!!!!

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