Yesterday, we had a dinner appointment with a dear friend who is back for CNY from Beijing. Now, allow me to digress a bit here. The friend suggested eating at "Ah Loy Thai" in Shaw Towers. I must admit she made a great recommendation. It was good authentic Thai-Chinese food at affordable prices and surprise, surprise, no MSG (I think so, cos I was not thirsty at all after that.)! I am certain this place will add onto our regular favourite list.
These days, going out requires a great deal amount of planning and thinking ahead. Who to bring along? If not bringing along, what is the babysitting arrangement? Do I have to bring out the breast pumps? If one of the girls or both girls is/are tagging along, what to pack with me? Is The Husband coming back to fetch us? If not, how to get there if the kids are with me? Anyway, I shan't bore you further with the planning part.
So, after some deliberation, we decided to bring Anya out and leave Arielle at home with The Helper. When we were at the bus stop, it occurred to me that this is the first time I am out with Anya alone since Arielle came along. After that, I was struck by how much she has grown behavourial-wise. At the same time, I was also filled with nostalgia - now that there are two, these one-to-one moments are especially cherished.
It is interesting how much she has changed. She is able (and willing) to walk further distance than before. We alighted at the bus-stop in front of One Raffles Link and walk all the way through Marina Square to Suntec (where we met The Husband) and then further to Shaw Towers with minimal carrying. To some extent, she now possesses the maturity to have better behavior. For example, she is less fidgety on the bus, contented to look at the moving scenery outside, people-watch the other commuters and read her book I recall it was only a couple of months ago when I had to wrestle a hyperactive imp (I was with a bulging belly, what's more) on the bus.
She took a keen interest in her surroundings and notices details that she never used to. She appraises her own reflection in glass railings. Occasionally, she says 'hello' and waves at strangers who looked her way. Other times, she would shy away by hiding her little self behind me when they tried to catch her eyes. Through her eyes, I start to notice things that I never bat an eyelid at. Sleek-looking home appliances whose functions I never knew existed displayed at electronic store, trucks on the roads, the various floor surfaces that we stepped on along the way.
One thing that especially caught her attention was the huge water feature at the drop-off point of One Raffles Link. She stopped in front of it, staring at it in awe, riveted. I must have passed by that feature a hundred times, and have never taken any interest in it. But when I stood there with her, hand in hand, looking at it properly for the first time, I must admit it looks darn grand.
I thought it was really sweet the way she kept asking for Daddy - she must have gotten very used to the idea of having both of us around together whenever we are outside. A few times, she almost wanted to go the opposite direction from me but decided to follow me instead when I told her we should go my way because Daddy is waiting for us at the end. When she finally saw The Husband, she was thrilled and ran straight into his arms shrieking, "Daddy! Daddy!". That drew a few smiles from fellow passers-by.
Here's some snapshots that I took of my little companion: