A mother asked his boy "Do you like your lunchbox today?" The boy replied "Yes!".
As the boy grows older each day and becomes more vocal, he begins to ask "Can you make Lion, Panda, Dinosaur, Giraffe....etc??".
Baymax! Guess every kids are familiar with him - a healthcare robot in Big Hero 6 movie. He was made of Japanese rice which I mould into different parts of his body. My boy never failed to amaze me with his keen eye for details. He actually pointed out that Baymax's mouth was not so wide. Indeed, after I compare my creation with this :-
His lunchbox has teriyaki chicken thigh, stir-fried celery/carrot and green grapes/apple. Baymax gave up his life to save Hiro and Abigail. And requested Hiro to state that he's satisfied with his care, which is the only way he will be able to leave the boy's side in order to deactivate himself. A simple story about sacrificing. I was actually touched by the ending. Do you?
Yesterday, we headed to Elias Mall in search of Sampan (bumboat) playground. Another old school mosaic sand playground at Pasir Ris. We love to go to playgrounds. My boy could happily play sand at the playground all by himself even if there were no other children. Therefore, I would try to visit new playground as a form of outing during his school holidays. Moreover, it's free! We had previously visited the Dragon playground at Toa Payoh, Watermelon playground at Tampines. Dinosaur playground in Fushan garden at Woodlands, and Train playground at Tiong Bahru. This sampan playground was actually not in my list. But I decided to drop by the vicinity to check out the neighbourhood since I have no plans for that day. We knew it was around Elias Mall but got quite lost until we asked around for directions. The playground was situated next to the coffee shop.
The playground was simple and probably lack of 'fun' factor. Nevertheless, my 6 years old boy proclaimed he likes it despite complaining the slide was too short.
The bento was inspired by Just Teddy, a storybook written by Emily Lim. It is about a lonely teddy bear trying very hard to fit in with the toys in a toy factory. He even goes to great lengths to blend in with the polar bears, pandas and penguins and almost lose his identity. We had borrowed and read this storybook many times. An excellent read that I even bought it as a present for his cousin, Elly. I could resonate the story. Being an only child, my boy long for playmates and always wants to blend in with his friends. Monkey see monkey do! A follower initially. As he grow older, assertiveness sometimes come into play and occasionally, I could see him being a leader during a game. I have reminded him repeatedly that he must have his own mind and not to follow blindly. I hope he would find his soul mate just like the teddy in the book.
Teddy bear was made of onigiri with his features punched out from seaweed. I used a toothpick to represent teddy' holding a marker. Dab a grain of rice and wrapped around the pointed tip with nori before inserting into his paw. Notice one of his eye was different from the other? Yeah, a mischief and a permanent mark that left behind as a result of attempting to blend in his animal friends. (Read the book and you will know what I mean.) His rice was flavoured with wasabi furikake. On the side, he has stir-fried chicken breast with soya sauce, celery with carrots plus some imitation crabstick red stars I pressed out from a mould. Some green and black grapes to go along.
We did a little experiment during a homework-free-day. To see how light is intensified through a magnifying glass and check if it is melted faster than the other ice cubes. Materials need :-
ice cubes direct from freezer
It was pretty cloudy and not in our favour. Sun was partially covered by clouds that day. We got some direct sunlight and the next moment, it disappeared. It went on and on like this dramatically :-
"Yay, there's sunlight! Quick, beam on the ice!!"
"Ohhhhh, no more light. It's gone...."
We had fun really!
It has been a month since he started to school. The boy's most exciting period in his Primary school are Physical Education (PE) and recess time. His annoying and boring subject is Chinese. Overall, he managed well with his English spelling making a few careless mistakes here and there. Apart from his academic, I was so concerned over whether he could buy food from the school canteen on his own. Probably over concerned and I had forgotten to really listen to what he wish to tell me and wanted me to know. Until I realised much later when we had a few conversations that he gradually revealed the 'things' he bought from the canteen's bookshop which I disapproved. For some reasons, during the recess time, kids loves to buy things from the canteen's bookshop and they sell all sorts ranging from stationery, stickers, musical instruments..etc. Since he had amassed so many stationery, I become very uptight when he asked permission to buy things like ruler, pencil, etc from the canteen's bookshop. Of course, I gave an affirmative 'No'. At that moment, my boy kept quiet. The truth was that he had already bought a ruler and a pencil from the bookshop. He was just merely sounding me out. Clever!
He also generously gave 50cents from his pocket money to help his friend, Shawn, to buy a whistle with a lanyard. Reason being, his friend did not have enough money, so he wanted to help. Since he did not understand the meaning of 'lend' or 'borrow', the idea of returning the money was alien to him too. This was the second incident. Another time, he bought a 30 cents ruler for the same boy.
The next item he wanted to buy was tennis ball. To satisfying his desire to buy from the bookshop, I agreed to it for once mainly because firstly we could work on some science experiment with it and secondly, he sought my permission first. Unfortunately, he told his father. The latter, however, (like me in the first place) said 'NO' to my son. He was too afraid to disobey his father. So until today, he still has not buy the tennis ball from the bookshop without his father's permission. But my son kept reminding Papa to buy for him since he could not buy with his pocket money.
Since my boy dismissed at 1.30 pm and the school was within walking distance from our house, he normally ate his lunch I prepared at home. Above is one of his bento box with California sushi, tamagoyaki and some Japanese cucumber sticks. We have been playing with flags of different countries which I bought from Tokyu Hands from Orchard Central. These flag picks are 2 sided; iconic picture on one side and the country flag on the other. I used black and white soccer ball flag pick to blend in with the white box. The country that present it was England on the other side of the flag.
We craved for cold drinks everyday after school. It has been scorching hot and sunny during the afternoons. I literally have free sauna standing outside the school gate while waiting for my boy. Nothing beats a cool honey avocado milkshake!
It was the end of second week of his Primary school days. There was no pressure and he managed the lessons like a breeze. He brought back his first spelling lists for English words. A balance of some easy and difficult words which I thought was very encouraging to the children for a start. I have started practicing spelling with him and would do the last round this Sunday before he would be tested on Monday the next day.
The school also introduced a 15 minutes snack time on Mondays only starting at 11.00am on top of his early recess time at 8.30 am. I have mistaken it was an everyday affairs. Hence, I gave him a packet of oats biscuits on a Tuesday which he told me he "secretly ate under the table" in the classroom. I bet the form teacher knew it since the latter reminded the class that snack was only allowed on Mondays ONLY although he said nobody saw him eating.
I hope I did not bore you with some snippets of this Primary school days and yeah, I would be writing more about it on my blog for a while. Have a nice weekend ahead!
This is my first bento for year 2015! And also my son's first lunchbox after school!! A 'fishy' business (onigiri) with a Japanese flag foodpick which I bought it from it Tokyu Hands at Orchard Central. It contains some boiled broccoli, potato, carrot, hard boiled egg, Japanese cucumber, cherry tomatoes and char siew that Granny brought over yesterday.
A brand new year means also the start of my boy's primary school education. A few days before the school opens, we talked about his new school and how did he feel about going to Primary school. I was expecting he would say "excited". Instead, he told us that he felt "nervous" about it. Probably, we have over emphasized that he need to behave in school, pay attention in class, listen to instructions, adhere to the school's rules....etc. We also explained it was entirely different from the carefree kindergarten environment. One aspect of which, we did highlight was bringing homework back home. Whilst I was penning down my thoughts, I began to realise it really does not sound very fun in Primary school the way we put it across to him though. Nevertheless, he settled well on his first day of school last Friday, 2 January 2015. Parents were allowed to stay behind and observe the kids during the recess time only for the first day. Hubby and myself saw him munching his healthy lunch box quickly provided by the school (only on the first day) and could even showed his classmate where to wash hands after meal. Afterwhich, both of us attended a 3 hours parenting workshop organised by the Parent Volunteer group. When the school dismissed at 1.30pm, we saw him walking out together with his classmates led by his form teacher, smiling and happy!
It was interesting to note that given freedom to my son, he would come out something unexpected or rather something not approved by us. The liberty to buy any kinds of food from the school canteen instead of packed bento from Mommy. Yeah, speaking from a boy longing for independent - this was what he was looking forward. We agreed but on the following days:-
Monday to Tuesday - buy lunch at school
Wednesday to Friday - Packed bento to school
On the second day of school, Papa gave him a $10 note pocket money for the whole week. And it was a Monday which he could buy food on his own. Shockingly, he bought a piece of fried seaweed chicken nuggets for 50cents and a packet of seaweed tibits for 30 cents! Where's the healthy lunch box we saw him eating on the first day? Next was even unbelievable! The canteen was too crowded that he and his Primary 4 buddy could not find seats to eat. My son knew his choice of food was unacceptable and has asked us to give him another chance. Well, on the third day (today), he actually bought the healthy lunch box from the Chicken rice stall but still standing to eat his lunch. At least, they found a table. Basically, a healthy lunch box has meat, vegetables and fruit.
Academic wise, he began his Hanyu Pinyin and English lessons. He was amused during the Hanyu Pinyin lesson and discovered fun learning it. I was pleased he enjoyed his lessons.
Since I started to make gingerbread man cookies last year, it has become a tradition (I guess) to make it again this year. In fact, I was in love with these cookies perfumed with aromatic spices. Using the same receipe but I half the amount ground ginger to suit my son's palate. Both of us enjoyed icing on the cookies. My boy also even attempted some snowflakes which I recalled he did not dare to to do it last year. As I was counting, he actually did 12 out of 25 cookies !! Can you spot his creations? I thought that was a remarkable improvement for a boy! We gifted some to his playmates; a pair of twin girls, Pei En, Pei Xing, their grandma and his Malay friends/neighbours. He chose to give away mine and kept his cookies for his beloved jie jie (s), Christine and Evelyn and 'Yi gu' whom would be flying to Singapore from Penang for holiday on Christmas Day.
It was also a timely reminder to teach my son that Christmas is not only about receiving presents but giving as well. To make it meaningful for the little mind, we bought a brand new softtoy earlier from Ikea which we dropped off at its designated box to be donated to unprivileged children.