Wow… I really do find myself saying how time flies these days, especially after having Ethan. He’s already four!! How did that happen? Maybe time has always flew by that quickly, except that it’s a lot more noticeable when you have a little one! We didn’t go out of the way to prepare for his birthday this year though. You could say that’s because of my preference with low key / quiet celebration than all out party. One surprise for Ethan this year though, is that at least his grandparents in-law are coming to Singapore to celebrate his birthday with him. They’ve been pretty consistent visiting him during his birthday every year as far as I remember.
As we weren’t going to chuck a big party, we decided on a ‘staycation’ instead. Wild Wild Wet water theme park had been on our list for a while, except we never ended up going there as the reviews on it weren’t great enough to justify a trip there being all the way out east (first world problem I know). With the promise of renovated and integrated shopping mall and hotel, there’s probably enough of a reason for us to check it out. Besides, swimming is and was until recently, the one consistent thing that we know Ethan likes. You can’t go wrong! (Or so we thought). The kid normally never refused any opportunity to jump in a pool! So, we booked one of the last hotel room available during his birthday weekend and head out to the theme park.
It was merely a 15-20 mins cab ride away. We ditched our luggage at the hotel reception and headed straight to the water park not long after opening time in the morning. Except.. Ethan did not to go! So I ended up strolling around the renovated shopping mall next to the water theme park briefly enjoying a bit of 1 on 1 time wit Ethan. I put it down to timing, as it might be that he didn’t want to go anywhere near water in the morning. The mall itself wasn’t that great, but it had an arcade at least, which we donated some money to.. Even went on a bicycle ride on shared bike to the nearby park.
It wasn’t until after lunch that we finally convinced to go in to the water. No doubt he enjoyed it, and probably had the most of fun in the ‘long kan’ (river ride), and the slides.
All up, it was probably only 2 hours worth of actual water park time for him. It was hardly worth the ticket we paid for him to go! Frankly the adults had way more fun..
When we finished, the sun hadn’t even set yet, and we had enough time to do a quick cake cutting ceremony for him!
To be clear, this would be his second cake cutting ceremony, as he already had one at his school just the day before. Oh.. and Ethan’s birthday coincides with Singapore’s cultural day, so the kids were all extra dressed up..
Overall I think he enjoyed his birthday celebrations. He’s certainly well aware of his birthday and knew of the special treatment he was given by his teachers and us as well. Just not sure how much of it he will remember when he grows up!
To summarise Ethan as a 3 years old, it’s probably the year that I noticed his speech improving the most by the day. We still don’t understand half of what he says occasionally, but at least he is able to better convey what he wants in sentences than before. It’s the year he was switched to a “public” kindergarten (Newton Kindergarten) which has a lot more focus of Chinese language with dedicated mandarin speaking sessions. He still refuses to speak Mandarin to us, but at least we think he understands a bit more. I do my little bits to try and encourage him to speak it, like making he say his own name and age in Mandarin before I will pick him up. It usually goes something like this:
Ethan: 爸爸抱! (Carry!)
Me: 你叫什么名字? (What’s your name?)
Ethan: 黄拔辉 (Wong Ba Hui.. his Chinese name)
Me: 你几岁? (How old are you?)
Ethan: 三岁 (3 years old)
Hopefully the vocab will expand much more beyond that this year!