Monday, April 4, 2016


If I had to use one word to describe the last couple of days with a toddler in a sea of relatives and of course well-meaning strangers(!), it would be this!

Picture this. I have only just landed at the airport and am queueing for immigration with a very unsettled toddler, who just happened to tear my filled-up immigration form into two. And there is not one but three strangers who are so nice to about my toddler's eye (Pickles has a stye) and giving me random tips and suggestions about how to deal with it but not nice enough to offer me their place in the queue and yet they still expect me to graciously accept their not-so-valuable advice with a smile. I thought they ought to be thanking me for not breaking their noses in the state that I was in.

Also, I don't know what I was thinking, taking a toddler to a family function filled with relatives who have never seen him before. Here is a sample of our experience.

Pickles and I walk into the crowded function room, complete with loud music and a healthy dose of staring strangers. As I walk in, I start to recognise a few familiar faces. I nod at a few, smile at some and completely avoid some others.

Aunty 1: Oh Maya! When did you come?
Me: Yesterday!
Aunty 1: What happened to his eyes? (No preamble whatsoever)
Me: Oh, that's just a stye.
Aunty 1: You should just put some saliva on it!
Me: Huh! sure, thanks. I'll see you in a while.

Moving on..

Aunty 2(while pinching Pickles' cheeks): Hello Maya, he's so cute!
Me: Thanks!
Aunty 2: Just put his own spit on it in the morning and it (the stye) will be gone before you know it.
Me:  Oh, I took him to the doctor. He's on antibiotics.
Aunty 2: You don't really need all that, you know! Just try the spit.
Me: Uh Huh!

Uncle 1(while hugging Pickles): Hello hello!
Me (happy to be rescued from the previous aunt): Hello Uncle, how are you?
Uncle 1(shaking my hand): Oh good good! You know we are planning a trip to Singapore!
Me: Oh great! You should come stay with us.
Uncle 1(still shaking my hand): We'll let you know.
Me: errrr, yeah!
By now, Pickles is wailing away! He wants out. He keeps saying "out" and "bugga bugga" which is Pickles-speak for 'lets go out and watch some trucks'.

Although I did meet(or see, rather) some of the people I really went there for, I didn't really accomplish much other than the fact that I had ticked some boxes in family politics for being there. Don't get me wrong, I have a great family! But my extended family really has some interesting characters to say the least. But this one definitely takes the cake.

This aunt who comes up to me and offers absolutely no preamble and no niceties. Considering she is part of the far far extension of the family, I don't know her much. She offers no acknowledgement of Pickles (thankfully) and pays no heed to the fact that he's pulling my hair out and wailing away.

Weird aunty: You live in Singapore, no?
Me: Uh, yes.
Weird aunty: If I gave you this guy's name in Singapore, would you be able to check out that guy?
Me: Huh! what?
Weird aunty: No, this guy we're interested in for my daughter, could you find out his details if I gave you his name and telephone number?
Me (thinking it's not like I'm the CIA or something!): Errr..I'm not so sure.
Weird aunty: Ok,  I'll send you his number.
Me(with half my hair in Pickles hands): ok

And then she's gone. While I'm happy I got rid of her, I'm not sure what I got myself into.

Note to self: NEVER again!

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