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The darndest kid quotes and antics

Family life as we know it Milestones and growing up Nat Kao The darndest kid quotes and antics

My littlest, 3 years, 4 months

June 30, 2015

Nat Kao_3years4months

Someone’s got a pretty good brain that’s been doing lots of quick thinking lately, not to mention the really glib tongue.

Someone who’s just barely turned three.

Someone who’s the apple of my eye.


Me: So Nat, shall we skip the diaper today?

Nat: Yes! Gimme my monster underwear!

Me: Remember to go pass urine in the toilet bowl, k. You have no diaper on.

Nat: Ok, I am a big boy now!

A while later, a yellow pool floods the sofa …

Ben: Ewwwww! Nat passed urine!!!!

Becks: (running away) Yucks! Nat passed urine!

Me: (running to the sofa) Oh no, Nat! Thought you said you would go to the toilet? Haiyah!

Nat: Haiyah! Why you didn’t wear diapers for me?

Me: -_-


Fatherkao: Who wrapped masking tape on the blind’s string? It’s all so sticky now!

Kao kids: (silence)

Fatherkao: Better own up now, whoever did it.

Nat: Dada, maybe the lizard did it?


Nat: Mama!

Me: Yes, my dear Nathanael?

A while later…

Me: Nat Nat!

Nat: Yes, my dear Elizabeth?


At the USS Gift Store

Me: Nat, check out your favourite fruit.

Nat: Come on, everyone, let’s do it!

Kao kids: Ba-ba-ba-ba-bu-na-na!


Banana Kao Kids

(Self) Examination Happy days Milestones and growing up The darndest kid quotes and antics The Kao Kids

A lesson on beauty my children taught me

February 20, 2015

When there’s Chinese New Year, there’s always Miss Universe.

On free-to-air TV, that is.

I don’t know if anyone has realised this, but for the longest time, I’ve always caught snippets of this beauty pageant on Chinese New Year, since I was a kid.

Yesterday afternoon, after an exhausting stint of going from northeast to central to northwest and back to northeast of Singapore (also known as Chinese New Year obligations visitations), we went home to rest for the evening and I told the kids that the free-to-air channels sometimes show really hilarious Chinese movies about mahjong and kungfu during Chinese New Year.

We were curious, so we started flipping channels. And that was when we met the five finalists of the Miss Universe pageant.

Miss Universe 2015

Me: Ukraine. Miss Ukraine. She looks so perfect, like a Barbie doll.

Becks: Yucks. She’s not pretty at all.

Me: I don’t think we can even use the word ‘pretty’ to describe these women. They are beautiful. Oh, look! Miss Jamaica! Beautiful?

Ben, Becks and Nat: (in unison) No, not beautiful.

Me: How about Miss USA?

Ben: No lah, not beautiful.

Me: Miss Colombia? Oh my gosh, her teeth are so white. My goodness, such gorgeous curls.

Ben: Eeee…Why this girl doesn’t tie up her hair? So messy.

Me: Oh man, Miss Netherlands. Beautiful, right, Nat?

Nat: No. Not beautiful at all.

Me: Ok, guys, seriously. If you can’t call these women beautiful, I don’t know who you can call beautiful. These are the best in our world, you know. That’s why there’s this thing called beauty pageant. Tell me then, who is beautiful to you?

Ben, Becks and Nat: (in unison) YOU, Mama! YOU are beautiful.

Me: *speechless*


How pure the worlds of children. We all started grasping our idea of beauty through the people we love, until the media and our society defines what beauty is for us.

Last evening, I wore an invisible crown in the comfort of our home. No pageant, no competition, no gruelling Q and A, no swimsuit parade.

Just a simple declaration from the mouths of babes.

That I am the most beautiful in their universe.

Have an unbleatable Goat year, y'all! From the most beautiful mom to her kids and her three darlings

Have an unbleatable Goat year, y’all! From the most beautiful mom to her kids and her three darlings

Ben Kao The darndest kid quotes and antics What to Expect... As a Mother

Welcome to Ben’s world – turning 6, and spouting nonsense

November 7, 2014

Ben Kao

Is 6 the age when your child starts to say all the things you never taught him to say?

Ben is turning 6 in February, and starting to say many, many things which I have never introduced.

Like “what the…”

And “bloody hell…”

And “ne ne pok”

And “ah bu neh neh”

Best of all, he doesn’t even know what all these things mean. He tells me, “My friends say so I say lor.”

I asked him the other day when he said, “I can see your ne ne pok!” where exactly are the “ne ne pok” and he didn’t even know where to point. I asked him if he knew saying “ah bu neh neh” was derogatory and he didn’t even know it was referring to people.

He thought it was some poem.

I think he also thinks that hell is a bloody place.


I think I’m going to be facepalming a lot when he goes to primary school.


Milestones and growing up Nat Kao Parenting 101 The darndest kid quotes and antics What to Expect... As a Mother

Goodbye Spiderman, Hello (Cast) Iron Man

October 2, 2014

It was a busy day for me. I was out and about, on my feet and in the car, settling paper work and fixing administrative matters for the business in between ferrying children to kindergarten, picking them up, getting them ready for their piano lesson, plus squeezing in a two-hour private tutoring class for someone who urgently needed my help.

By the time I returned home for good without scooting off again, it was 7.30pm. I was greeted with restless children, and I swear I wasn’t hallucinating when I say they were so restless to the point they were climbing walls.

They didn’t get their movement fix that day. It was school, home, tv, toys and one another. The littlest (since he didn’t go to school) seemed the most deprived. They all looked like they needed to move around more freely beyond the confines of our humble five-room flat. After their father emerged from the study (he too was holed up in the room finishing up work), I told him that the kids needed to run, climb, jump and release the monkey trapped in their human bodies, and that he needed to bring them to the playground to do so.

The Kao kids and Fatherkao came home shortly after their playground play and I was instructed to prepare to go to the A&E immediately. Apparently, Spiderman happened, and Spiderman fell. And Spiderman, who would usually rebound quickly after a fall couldn’t grip anything with his right hand and had a trembling right arm. Spiderman was in pain, and we suspected he might have fractured his arm after falling from a climb.

If you know Nat, you would also have met Spiderman.

So four x-rays and two consultations with a junior A&E doctor later, we were told that he might have just sprained his arm and suffered a hairline fracture.

Sounds good, I thought. This boy would recover in no time.

Our night at the A&E ended up with Nat returning home in a sling. He only cried once when the doctor examined his arm and pressed at the place of injury!

Our night at the A&E ended up with Nat returning home in a sling. He only cried once when the doctor examined his arm and pressed at the place of injury!

Then we made an appointment to see our orthopaedic specialist the day after (who also saw Fatherkao through his multiple-fractured right leg in 2010) and he totally frightened me after examining Nat when he said he had sustained a crack on his right humerus (complete with swelling) and that he needed a cast for two weeks, and I was all ready to bawl my eyeballs out and ban anything Spiderman would be planning to do from now on in the house.

The orthopaedic specialist was impressed by how he endured what he thought would be great pain for a two-year-old. This boy is such a trooper. He didn't even wince and held his arm so still when it was being wrapped!

The orthopaedic specialist was impressed by how he endured what he thought would be great pain for a two-year-old. This boy was such a trooper. He didn’t even wince once and held his arm so still when it was being wrapped!

But this boy, apparently, has made other career plans.

With his cast (which is so, so, so hard by the way), he’s declared himself Ninja Turtle…

Ninja Turtles have hard shells, he says. And his cast is his hard shell.

Ninja Turtles have hard shells, he says. And his cast is his hard shell.

And Iron Man…

The cast is part of the Iron Man armour, and so it looks

The cast is part of the Iron Man armour, and so it looks

And hasn’t stopped for a minute to wince and moan or cry and complain about any pain or discomfort.

It’s business as usual, and nothing’s gonna stop all that climbing, jumping and bouncing. I guess what’s assuring now is that with his “armour” and “shell” on him now, I would never have to worry that he would end up breaking a bone if he fell again (on the same arm). In fact, we all have to careful of him now – because his cast can be used as a weapon which could injure all of us instead!

(Self) Examination Ben Kao Family life as we know it Milestones and growing up The darndest kid quotes and antics

Police force

July 3, 2014

Five is the age of policing. I am so convinced it is. At least that’s the case for my son.

Ben has a strong sense of justice and a constant need to know if something is right or wrong. He tattles, quite often, but doesn’t do it just so his siblings get in trouble. More often, he does it because he needs to know from the adult if a behaviour or an action is acceptable or not.

Which means he takes on the role of the moral policeman in the house.

“Becks, you need to say ‘Please’ when you need something. I want to hear it before I do it for you. C’mon.”

“Nat, this is wrong. You need to say ‘sorry’. Go and say that to Mama now.”

“Mama, do not check your phone in the car. No reading in a moving vehicle, remember?”

“If it’s wrong for me to say ‘idiot’, why does Dada call some drivers ‘idiot’ when he drives? Dada should not do that.”

“Aunty A, please pronounce properly. It’s ‘prawn’,  not ‘frawn’. Say it correctly lah.”

As you can see, everyone in the house gets corrected by him all the time, almost every day. And he’s usually right 9 out of 10 times. His correction would often leave you embarrassingly speechless.

Just the other day, the police force in the house just said something that took the cake.

Ben: Mama, why is Becks so lucky?

Me: Why is she lucky?

For the record, I dislike that word. We never use it and it was the previous helper that taught him that. We tell our children it’s always God’s grace, never luck. So you can imagine the annoyance in my tone when I asked him why.

Ben: Good things always happen to her.

Me: Really? What good things have happened?

Ben: The good thing that happened to her is me. She’s so lucky to have an older brother who do everything for her. I help her, give in to her, pack for her. She can throw tantrums but I will just help her still. Aiyo... this is lucky what.

Me: *speechless*

I really didn’t know what else to say. You’re talking about me, Motherkao, Ben’s mother, who must have the last word.

See? We have the force right here, always checking to see who’s good and bad, who’s naughty and nice. There, my five-year-old for you.


That night I related the conversation to the husband, who, after hearing about it advised me to pay more attention to the children’s emotional needs. He saw what I didn’t. He saw that Ben in his policing was seeking our approval. It was clear to Fatherkao that Ben needed to know that we would always approve of him.

Just at that moment, Ben interrupted our conversation in the bedroom by coming in to tattle on his sister. Like I mentioned, I don’t think his intention was for us to head out to discipline her. He came and told us something she did which was not right, along the lines of her leaving her seat before her dinner was finished.

The response Fatherkao had and the subsequent exchange between father and son was pretty amazing. This was it:

Fatherkao: Ben, I don’t need to know that. I want you to tell me or show me what’s important to you.

Ben: Ok, Dada.

And my five-year-old proceeded to do a forward roll to show his father, and they all had a good belly laugh on the bed.

So. The moral of the story. The moral police in the house stops policing and starts behaving like the five-year-old he ought to be the moment he knows that he is loved and approved by the two most important people in his life. In all that he was doing, pointing out people’s mistakes and wanting to know what’s right and wrong, he was crying out for us to look at him, hold him and affirm him.


Motherhood has such thrills, isn’t it? It’s a steep learning curve but you learn so much. Your children teach you to love, how to love, and how to be more human every day. At least that’s the case for me.

Ben the Just

Ben, you teach me more than you can imagine. It’s really my honour and a privilege to be your mother, sweetheart.

Family life as we know it Milestones and growing up Nat Kao The darndest kid quotes and antics The Kao Kids What to Expect... As a Mother

Sound bytes of our lives (V), ft. Nat Kao

May 31, 2014

If you don’t already know, there’s someone in my life right now that makes me cry and laugh at the same time. He exasperates me to the point I think I am going insane yet possesses the ability to turn my heart to mush with that face of his.

Yea, it’s this someone.


This someone has done the darndest things from stuffing toilet paper and scooping guppies from the fish tank and leaving them to wriggle in soap water to eating dirt and flipping out his diaper filled with poo. Recently, I caught him hiding behind the sofa bed stuffing cashew nuts in his face from a jar that’s he’s snitched from the larder. And just a few weeks ago, he was also caught in the kitchen doing this:

Nat_drinking Ribena 1

Nat_drinking Ribena 2

Yep, that’s the two-year-old alright, poking multiple straws into multiple Ribena packs and having a drink of his life. I bet if he could figure out how to open the jars of chicken essence, he would have tried some.

Nat is now 26 months old and beginning to say the darndest things too, which makes me roll my eyes and hyperventilate while amusing me with laughter at the same time.

Nat_handsome smile

Recently, he’s starting to learn how to snub me right in my face, and I am now resigned to the fact that I’ve got not one, not two, BUT THREE little tikes in the house who would always have a ready word for Mom to leave her speechless.


You can see if you…

In the car one day, passing by a bus stop with a ‘Frozen’ poster ad

Nat: Look, Mama! I saw Frozen!

Me: Nat, I can’t look. I’m driving.

… … … … … …

On the bus on another day, passing by same bus stop with a ‘Frozen’ poster ad

Nat: Look, Mama! Frozen!

Me: Where? Can’t see lah, passed it.

Nat: (yanking my sunglasses) Take off sunglasses then you can see!

Me: -_-


Explain to you also no use

Me: Please don’t run. It’s slippery and you’ll fall.

Nat: Why?

Me: There’s water so if you run you may slip on the puddle of water.

Nat: Why?

Me: Aiyah, how to explain to you. Just don’t run! Listen to me, k?

Nat: Yes, Mama. (RUNS OFF)

Me: -_-


Why? Because!

Me: Why do I have to force you to come brush your teeth every night? Why, Nat, tell me why?

Nat: Because because!

Me: -_-


Liar, liar, pants on fire

Nat: Mama, can I eat pistachios?

Fatherkao: No more, Nat. I said enough.

Me: Dada has already given you a lot to eat, right? No more.

Nat: Can I eat, Mama, please?

Me: Please go check with Dada.

Nat: Dada, can I eat this?

Fatherkao: Enough for now, k.

Nat: Awww, ok. (walks back to me…)

Nat: Dada said ‘CAN!’, Mama. Nat can eat.

Us: -_-

… … … … … …

Nat: Mama, I like this snake.

Me: That’s Korkor‘s rubber snake. Did you ask before you take?

Nat: Yes. Can bring out?

Me: Please go ask your brother for permission.

Nat: Ok. Korkor! Nat can bring snake out?

Ben: (from a distance) NO!!! IT’S MINE! NO BRINGING IT OUT!

Nat: Mama, Korkor say can.



Family life as we know it Milestones and growing up The darndest kid quotes and antics The Kao Kids

Sound bytes of our lives: the darnest things we say (IV)

April 16, 2014
Bitten by the wanderlust bug!

Bitten by the wanderlust bug!

Wanderlust’s been taking over the Kao kids these days and they’ve been asking again and again when they can be on the aeroplane. We’ve only been to Hongkong once last year and the kids have tremendously fond memories of that trip. Speaking of planes, we’ve been sighting at least three flying above us every day. I guess one of the perks of living near Seletar Airbase is that the kids get to revisit that memory of being on a plane every day hearing those planes zoom past.

Ben: Can you bring us to Europe, Mama? Can we go to Italy? Or America? Or Japan?

Becks: Can we go to Hongkong again?

Ben: Can we go to Disneyland, please?

Ben & Becks: Puuleeeazzze, Mama? Please?

Me: Guys, we need to make time, and we need to have money. All these need planning, you know.

Becks: Mama, do you know Navin has a plan? He’s already in Australia.

Me: *cue rofl laughter*

(FYI: Navin is Becks’ classmate who’s emigrated to Perth recently. He’s been telling her that he would be living in Australia and she’s ENVIOUS.)


Ben: What’s going to happen if you need to sleep on the airplane?

Me: You just sleep lor.

Ben: Then your pillow?

Me: There’s one on the plane.

Becks: How about bolster?

Me: I guess you gotta bring your own. Like you did bringing your Penguin Bolster.


I know, I know, somebody’s thinking of first class already.


The Kao kids and their fond memories on the plane

The Kao kids and their fond memories on the plane

Becks Kao Ben Kao Family life as we know it Milestones and growing up The darndest kid quotes and antics The Kao Kids

Sound bytes of our lives: the darndest things we say (III)

February 25, 2014

Someone’s being bullied these days and suffering from the tyranny of the majority.

On the way to school on Monday

Ben: Ugh. It’s Monday. Can we not go to school?

Me: You think?

Becks: Yes?

Me: In your wildest dreams.

Ben and Becks: Huh?

Ben: You mean I can dream? If you let me dream, I dream of you not letting us go to school.

Becks: And you will do ALL our homework!

Me: -_-

The mess is too great to bear

Me: Every day this mess at home is getting worse.

Ben: Why? We are playing what.

Me: But you guys don’t ever keep.

Ben: Ohhkaay… we…will..keep… (moving around slowly to pack) Becky, come help!

Becks: Ohh…kaaay… (moving about slowly) Hey look, korkor… (pointing at me who’s packing at double speed) A SERVANT!


An everyday sight

An everyday sight

No Money

Becks: Can I please buy donuts? Or fruit juice?

Me: No.

Ben: Can I buy more Transformers?

Me: No.

Ben: Why every time we ask you, you say no?

Becks: Ya lor… (on the verge of tearing)

Me: I have no money. Remember I don’t work? I don’t have money to buy frivolous things.

Ben: I have an idea. Go ask from Dada. Tell him “I need your money to buy toys and yummy food”.

Becks: I have an idea. GO AND WORK! We let you go.

Me: -_-

Since when do you kids order me around?

The two "big" bullies

The two “big” bullies

Everyday fun! Family life as we know it Happy days Milestones and growing up The darndest kid quotes and antics

A tale of three camps

February 5, 2014

These kids do play well together on good days. These days the house is nicely split into two camps: the Domesticated Camp and the Grunting zoom-vroom-bsssh-cheebaaaboooom! Camp, helmed by Becks and Ben respectively.

Domesticated camp

The Domesticated Camp, where the sorting and folding never ends

Grunting boys camp

The Grunting Boys Camp, where the world is what you imagine to be and the noise you make never ends

Of course, Nat has pledged allegiance to both sides, and is a much sought-after member of each camp. I’m just glad that one is teaching my 23-month-old how to fold towels and the other is teaching him how to squawk like a boy with Lego and Transformers.

I’m really not complaining.

These good days must be cherished and I’ve since started my own: the Tired People Camp. I told the kids that they are welcome to join me any time.

Tired camp, where all you do is zzzzzz

The Tired People Camp, where the Zzzzz never ends

Can’t wait to receive new members!

Becks Kao Family life as we know it Milestones and growing up The darndest kid quotes and antics

Little Miss Bossy Random

January 17, 2014

My little daughter is now three half and she is the queen of randomness. She’s a pretty jumbled-up person in thought, speech and action it’s kinda both amusing and maddening to be around her. She hasn’t lost a single shred of that bossiness she’s been born with, so you can imagine what living with this powerpuff is like, here at home everyday.

Can’t? Here’s a glimpse.

On being pretty, Part 1

Becks: Mama, you look so pretty in this.

Me: Oh thanks. Just simple t-shirt and shorts, babe. But thanks.

Becks: Erm… so what do you say to me?

Me: I said thanks for the compliment.

Becks: No… you shouldn’t say that. You should say, ‘You look so pretty too, Becky’.

Me: -_-

On being pretty, Part 2

Becks: Korkor, you look so handsome!

Ben: Thanks.

Becks: So what do you say, korkor?

Ben: Becky, you look so pretty!

Becks: YES! That’s correct!


Me: So, what did you learn at kindergarten?

Becks: Erm… I forgot.

Me: How can you forget?

Becks: Because because because!

Me: Come on, don’t use what I always say, ok? Try harder to recall.

Becks: I already said I can’t. And the reason is because, because, because.

Me: -_-

I ate God

Becks: Erm Mama, where is God?

Me: In heaven watching over you. In your heart, close to you.

Becks: (lifting her shirt) Erm… I just checked and He’s not in my heart.

Me: Yes, He is.

Becks: No, I think He went to my stomach.

Don’t interrupt

Becks: Mama, I want to tell you something… You know, Abby has…

Me: Not now, please. Don’t interrupt when Dada and I are having a conversation.

Becks: (sits in silence)

A few minutes later…

Me: Ok, I’m done. So what is it you want to tell me.

Becks: Erm… erm…

Me: Something about Abby?

Becks: No la. Do you know that I dreamt of crocodiles in my dream?

Me: ???

Becks: And I want to buy purple shoes next time!

Me: ???

A little too sassy, don't you think?

A little too sassy, don’t you think?