Gar And His Kiddy Rides

I seldom spend much time with Gar, but since I can work from home today, I decided to spend a little more time with him. In the morning, he woke up pretty early.

At around ten in the morning, I played with him and he took his books to my room. We went through sounds made by alligators, monkeys, and elephants. There was another book with pandas and snow leopards and how we can help to conserve them.

He climbed up to my bed, and took my handphone to play. He likes to play the keyboard app, so he made me play a few notes after he played some. He had his bath already, but when I showed him a picture of him and his brother in the bath tub, he suddenly decided he wanted to bathe again.

Immediately, he started trying to remove his shirt. When that failed, he moved towards the part of the bed where we would remove his clothes to get him ready for the bath. When I refused to do that, he jumped off the bed and went to the bathroom and pulled the plastic bathtub out. The shower area had glass panels, so he just kept trying to push the bathtub in, without realising he had to slant it a little to get it in.

Crying Over His Bathtub

For the next minute, he was screaming ‘Mimi’ and whining, and slamming the bathtub into the glass panels. Finally, he gave up and then found interest in my keys. He played with that for a while, ran out of the room, ran back in, and headed to the wardrobe. He insisted on opening the wardrobe, so I did that and lifted him up. He spotted his yellow Barney polo t-shirt, and yanked the clothes hanger off the hook. He insisted on changing his clothes, so I did. He was happy as a lark at that moment.

In the late afternoon, I felt like taking him out to the playground. He took his penguin bag with him, something he did whenever he could go out. I thought of going to a sand playground in AMK, but when I reached that area, rain started to fall, so I took him to AMK Hub instead.

He spotted the kiddy rides, and we spent half the time at various rides, such as Garfield and Barney. Initially he refused to leave the first ride he was on, but after some time, I was able to coax him to go away.

Then he spotted a Barney ride. He spent some time there. I got him to say ‘bye’ and he was able to understand the concept and he left willingly. When we went up the escalators, he spotted more kiddy rides, and thank goodness he did not kick up a big fuss when a boy was hogging Barney.

barney1When we went to the opposite end, a mother asked whether Gar wanted to share a Hi-5 ride as she was going to put the coin in for her daughter. Gar only wanted to sit in a car with a steering wheel, so we left. That same kid from the Barney ride jumped up the revolving ride. So fast, where did he come from?

After that, we went down to shop and I bought a pair of socks with cars on them for him. There were cute bagpacks for children, and he wanted to touch every single one. He saw a black toy coach and shouted ‘bus’ and was very interested in it, but I did not let him get it.

We walked past a football merchandise shop, and we went in to see. I wanted to get him a small ball, so that he would not fight with his brother over it at my parents’ place. However, there were only Liverpool and Chelsea balls. I would not buy any other club’s footballs. I am already facing the fact that there is a Manchester City ball in my house, courtesy of Gar’s uncle. Oh well.
When we left the shop, Gar spotted the Barney ride at the level above us, and he dragged me there again. This time round, there was nobody at that ride, so I let him play there for a while.

I was getting bored, so I decided to show him his next favourite things – buses. AMK Hub is connected to the bus interchange, so we watched passengers queue up in the lines, and then go out of the air-conditioned mall onto the bus. He kept saying ‘bye bye’ to the passengers, but everyone looked down or straight, and he was too soft anyway. We walked by here twice, so the second time he was here, he just ran straight to the door to watch. I guess I should take him on a bus ride one of these days.
Bus Interchange
We also looked at the MRT trains since the MRT station was just opposite the shopping mall, and the overhead train tracks allowed Gar to spot the trains. Earlier on our way, he was attracted by the trains in the depot too.

Finally, I decided to head home. He refused to be strapped initially. It took me some time to convince him to go back where he could meet his brother. I ought to really spend more time with him before he grows up.

Favourite cartoons

El and Gar love to watch cartoons. Here are a few of their favourite ones.


I love Pingu! Pingu is a penguin that speaks penguin language, so everybody can understand the story without the need for translation. What I do with Gar and sometimes El when he is there, is to be the narrator. I will describe the scenes, the things, the actions, and come up with dialogue for him. This will help him to pick up a language better.

One of the favourite episodes Gar likes to watch is Pingu The Mountaineer. What I did was to talk about the items in the house, such as the bag where Pingu comes across an old photograph of his father climbing a mountain with a cairn, or a stack of stones. At the funny parts, such as Pingu’s rope was stuck between two rocks, I added some sound effects to get Gar to laugh. At the part where he was scared to cross the crevasse, I pretended to be very frightened, and then added words of encouragement from the father.

Educational Benefits: Moral values, Life skills, problem solving

Barney is an all-time favourite. Gar is obsessed with Barney, and wears Barney shirts, carries Barney toys, and does actions to the songs. When he spotted picture of BJ on the floor at United Square, he squatted down and kept pointing at them, every time without fail. El likes Barney too, as he is able to understand them better.

Compared to El, Gar’s attention does not last that long, so even though we were watching Barney and friends live on stage, he would want to leave. However, he watched a lot of times because of the amount of time we spent there. When it comes to El watching Barney live, he was glued to the purple dinosaur. He danced, sang and did all the hand actions. He likes many songs.

Educational benefits: Language, social skills, mathematics, science, nature, singing, character building

Thomas And Friends
I thought I had watched Thomas The Train before, but it was acted by real people, with large engines. That was more than 2 decades ago. The latest type is 3D animation. Gar likes to watch them over and over again, but is somewhat scared of the Fat Controller. There are many stories, but I am not that attracted to the stories. Gar likes to wave whenever the theme song comes on and there is a boy waving at a bridge at Thomas. We went to watch Thomas and Friends at City Square, but Thomas could only puff in and out, while the rest of the show was carried by two workers, whom we are not familiar with.
Educational benefits: Moral values, character building

Bob The Builder
El had only recently started watching Bob The Builder. He loves to sing the theme song. What I like about Bob The Builder is there is usually a moral behind the story, and some lessons to be learnt. One example was to listen to what people need, and not do what you want, when an over-eager Scoop brought Sumsy all over the place to introduce the place to her. Other lessons included simple sums, as Sumsy could add up 3 and 2 to make 5.

Educational Benefits: Social skills, Mathematics, Engineering, problem solving

I have not really watched much of Octonauts, but El discovered them on youtube. They are a bunch of animals and vegimals (mixed) in the underwater world going on adventures on aquatic vehicles. They try to rescue people. They introduce real sea creatures.

Educational Benefits: Science, problem solving, adventure spirit

Peppa Pig
Peppa Pig is a female pig with a younger brother and her family. There are story books available in the library. The stories are simple, but I heard that many children like to speak like Peppa Pig with a British accent.

Educational Benefits: Language, social skills

The Magic Schoolbus

I might have caught one or two episodes of The Magic Schoolbus when I was younger, and all I could remember about it is that the magic schoolbus could expand and shrink as the teacher takes them on excursions. I did not know El had watched it until just a few days ago, when we were on our way home, he started exclaiming that there was a magic schoolbus right beside our car. A van had the decals of the magic schoolbus on it, with a pretty large picture of Ms Frizzle. That was when he told me he had watched it on youtube. The series teaches students about science in an interesting manner.

Educational Benefits: Science, Problem Solving

Christmas Decorations 2013

It is Christmas time, and all the shopping malls are decked with beautiful decorations, and they have many exhibitions.

Square 2 at Novena
There is a lego exhibition. Gar was mildly interested in the lego animals.

Gar and Lego Gar and Lego Lion
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