How To Be A Kor Kor Garisms

I had a hilarious conversation with Gar recently. He wants to be older than what he actually is. Even though he has just turned three, he keeps talking about being four years old. He also wants to be more senior in rank, so he was telling me that he wanted to be a kor kor (big brother). I cannot remember the entire conversation, but it should go something like this.

kor kor gar

Gar:  I want to be kor kor.
Me: But you do not have any didi or meimei (younger brother or sister). You need one in order to be a kor kor.
Gar: Ok, I want a didi or meimei.
Me: That means mummy must have a baby.
Gar: Yes, I want a baby brother.
Me: But Papa and I are not planning to have any more.

The thought of going through pregnancy and looking after a newborn was too much. The conversation became a little repetitive, with the both of us repeating similar things, so I decide to switch track.

Me: Ok, so if we have a baby, then you could be korkor.
Gar: Yes!
Me: That means you have to move out of the bed and go to the kids’ room, because the baby will need to sleep with mummy on the bed.
Gar: (suddenly throwing a jealous fit) No! Hmph! I so angry with baby.
Me: Why are you angry? When you were a baby, you slept here so that I can feed you and look after you.
Gar: The baby can sleep in the kids’ room!
Me: The baby is very young and we need to look after the baby. You will be big enough to sleep on your own.
Gar: No! I so angry with baby. I don’t want baby brother anymore.
Me: Are you sure? Then you cannot be kor kor.
Gar: But I want!

Finally, I came up with a win-win solution for both.

Me: I know how you can be a kor kor and not have your place taken up by the baby.
Gar: How?
Me: When jiu jiu (my brother) gets married and then have a baby, you will be kor kor.
Gar: Yay! I want jiu jiu to get married and have a baby.
So the ball is in my brother’s court.

When I spoke to my colleague, she said that her daughter told her she did not want any younger siblings. Her daughter is only 2! That shows that if we ever want to have more children, we should have them before our children can protest.

The Art of Lying

the art of lying mickey mouse painting
After weeks of missing lessons, El finally finished his painting of Mickey Mouse. His teacher had explained the concept behind it, but I had forgotten who the artist was. It was supposed to be have vintage feel, with all the patterns and designs behind Mickey Mouse.

mickey mouse el vintage painting

When I saw it, I liked it very much. His current art school, HeART Studio, is more interesting than his previous school, where they did blending of colours all the time. He has a greater sense of achievement here because he gets to see his completed works on canvas or on paper, instead of sketches in a notebook.

When we went home, Gar saw the painting and immediately became insanely jealous. He started saying it was his. We brushed him aside and said it was done by his brother. Agitated, he threw a tantrum.

“I painted this,” he reiterated, when he saw the painting on the wall the next morning. He was lying through his teeth and became upset when we repeated that it was done by his brother.

I had remembered reading articles about lying. Lying is actually a good thing for the children, because they require cognitive skills to tell them. The earlier they lie, the brighter they are. However, we have to guide them and not let them get away with lying. If not, they will continue lying as they get older.

I went to search for the articles and read them. According to Victoria Talwar and Kang Lee’s developmental model of lying, they mention that at the primary stage of lying, which occurs around age 2 to 3, children lie blatantly. It is very easy to tell they are fibbing, because it is impossible for the event to happen. Gar’s lie was easily exposed. At the secondary stage of lying, which occurs around 4 to 5, children tell lies that are more plausible. At the tertiary stage of lying, when they are around 7 to 8, they will tell lies that depend on facts and they have follow ups.

The articles mentioned that we do have to address the issue right away, and not much later. We should not let them get away with the lies. Young children might not be able to tell between make belief and reality, hence the tall tales. He could have told the lie because he had liked it very much and had imagined himself drawing that. However, he did not express it the right way.

We should also avoid showdowns, and not accuse them of what they did. Very young children do not know that they are in the wrong. Instead, we could talk about the other party’s feelings, or mentioned that something had happened.

To resolve his issue, I asked him later in the evening who had painted that. Again, he said he did. I was a little glad he did, because that meant I could address this properly this time round.

“Do you like this painting very much?” I asked.

“Yes,” Gar answered.

“Do you want to have your own painting like this too?”


“Do you want Mummy to paint Mickey Mouse with you?”


“This painting is done by Kor kor (El). Is it very nice?”


I took a deep breath, and hope that he would be able to tell the truth this time round.

“Who painted this?” I asked again.

“Kor Kor.”

I heaved a sigh of relief.

El was in the living room when this exchange happened. I told Gar to tell El that his painting was very nice.

Gar shouted, “Kor Kor, your painting is very nice!”

El kept quiet and pretty much ignored him. I went to El and told him that someone had just paid him a compliment. He should acknowledge that and thank the person.

After some probing, El finally said, “Thank you for your compliment.”

I went back to Gar, and told him what to say.

“You are welcome!”

Children need to be taught how to respond in different social situations. I find that El can be quite nonchalant at times, and I need to get him to greet people, including his teachers and friends, or say goodbye to his friends.

Going back to the painting, I sat down with Gar to do the painting. I searched online for a picture of Mickey Mouse, and asked Gar which one he wanted. He said he wanted a blue Mickey Mouse, and selected a picture. I sketched it out, and got him to paint.

He had been doing some painting with my mother, who is very talented in drawing. My mother had reminded me to use the white colour to mix with the colours, so that the pictures would be more dimensional instead of flat.

He wanted various colours for different parts of Mickey Mouse, and after he had painted the mouse, I got him to paint the background. When he was done, I added the outline to make the picture a little better. I also added some touch ups to the side.

mickey mouse gar painting

Gar was extremely proud of his painting and demanded that we put up his artwork on the wall too. When he observed that his brother’s painting had a name, he asked to include his name on his artwork too. His father wrote his name and he was as pleased as a lark.

Garisms – Funny Stuff From A 33-Month Old Boy

Gar is currently 2 years and 9 months old. He is getting funnier. He is speaking a lot, but sometimes incoherently. Sometimes he shows how sly he can get and. He worships his brother, but is prone to jealous rages.


1. Gar loves Hello Panda biscuits and demands them constantly. To prevent him from opening one immediately, I told him to spell ‘panda’ first, thinking I could buy some time. Immediately, he started saying ‘H’, ‘E’, ‘L’, ‘L’ and ‘O’. Sorry kid, wrong password.

hello panda

2. Whenever we go to my parents’ place, he will knock on the door and say, “Arbody home?”

3. Instead of saying what is this, he says, “What der this one?”

4. Gar: I want to play Wild Crab.
Me: Wild Crab? Crabs? (deliberately not understanding him and makes crab movement)
Gar: Crab brothers! (exasperated)
Me: Oh, Wild Kratts.

Previously, he was calling them Wild Wild Wild Kratts. I only realised a few days ago that he was singing the lyrics to their theme song.

5. He also loves to play a Wild Kratts mathematical game. On a few occasions he could add 1 plus 1, up to 2 plus 2, but on most occasions, he could not, so the adults ended up playing the game for him.

wild kratts creature math2

6. In the above mentioned game, he says, “Felican not happy”. What’s a felican? Hint: It’s not a pelican. It’s a … (drum roll, please)…

wild kratts creature math


7. My husband told me that Gar had been doing this slyly over a period of time. I happened to see it for myself finally.
Gar: What der this one? (pointing to a card from El’s Chinese classes on the window, that has the Chinese phrase ‘du shu’ (study))
Hubby: Du shu
Gar: What der this one? (pointing to the card next to it)
Hubby: Dian Nao Shi (computer room)
Gar: Papa computer (requesting to go to the study to use his father’s computer to play Wild Kratts)

chinese cards

8. There is a card from his school that says “Baba” and “Mama”. It is also pasted on the window. He points to it and asks, “Where wo de baba?” I correct him and say, “wo de baba zai na li’ (Where is my papa?). He replies, “Where wo de baba zai na li”.

baba mama

9. Gar usually calls his father as ‘baba’ and El as ‘kor kor’. In the past one week or two, he suddenly started referring to them as ‘my daddy’ and ‘my brother’.

10. The boys had been using blue water bottles, but recently El got a new yellow water bottle. Gar became insanely jealous, because his favourite colour was yellow. He is really obsessed with the colour. He is always using the yellow paint.

He kicked up such a big fuss, including snatching the bottle and drinking from it even though El was germy. I had to buy a yellow water bottle for him the very next day. Since his blue water bottle was still very new, we still let him use it. He insisted on getting using his yellow bottle, despite already in bed, when he spotted El using his yellow one in the dark.

yellow piyo piyo water bottle

11. He is insanely jealous of his brother’s art work (mostly canvas paintings), and keeps asking why his brother’s works are displayed at the entrance of the house. I tell him he could only attend the classes when he turns three.

This morning, when he spotted a new painting done by his brother the day before, he repeatedly said, “Dragon?”, stressing each syllable and pumping them with emotions, “Why Kor Kor has a dragon?”

el art gallery1

I had to assure him that when he turns three, he could go for art classes.


12. He has to win his brother in everything. When we are in the car, he must get his seatbelt buckled first. If he hears the click from his brother’s seat belt first, he will get very upset.

Gar: I winner. Kor kor loser.
El: It’s ok. You win some and you lose some.
Gar: No, I winner.
El: It doesn’t matter. (and it goes on and on)

13. Spotting yellow medicine on my finger, he asks why mummy’s finger ‘tong tong’ (painful). He starts saying Ah Ma’s knees ‘tong tong’, as his grandmother had fallen down recently and applied ointment on her knees.

14. This morning, he woke up and kept shouting about why his brother hit his head on a boat. I had to decipher that. We had just gone to Alive Museum and his brother leaned back without thinking and hit his head on a boat. Does Gar dream of all the events that had taken place?

Sigh, he is influenced by his caregivers who speak broken English. I don’t know how to get him to speak grammatically and articulate well. I also do not know how to get him to be less competitive. I just hope he grows up well.

Read here for more Garisms!

garisms3 Garisms: Funny Quips From Gar

garisms4Garisms: Gar’s Quips


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