The Adventures of Squirky the Alien

A Children's Book Series on Adoption


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A Massive Catch-Up

The past few months have been busy for Squirky, and as a way to remember all the fun things we did, I’ll be recapping them in this post (so I don’t forget).

1. Did a storytelling-cum-craft session at Literacy Plus to over 30 children. They especially loved drawing Squirky and it was lovely to see how some of them “adopted” Squirky as a personal friend ­čÖé

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2. Launched The Adventures of Squirky the Alien #2: Where is Planet Q? at MPH Parkway Parade and Buddy had a ball hanging out with his favourite buddy Zeph.

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3. Did another storytelling-cum-craft session at Sengkang Public Library for around 50 children. This time, we had some help from the kind people at timidworkshop with the craft activity (making a photo frame using ice-cream sticks and MT tapes to frame Squirky portraits).

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4. Did an adoption awareness event in collaboration with OrphanCare at MPH Nu Sentral in KL. It was really nice to connect with the adoption community in Malaysia!

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We’ve also just sent Book 3 out for printing! A teaser on this to follow ­čÖé

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Family. Always.

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Last year, while C. was throwing a huge tantrum about not getting some toy, I gave him a time-out in his room. Two minutes later (our usual time-out duration), my husband went to check on him and he was huddled in the corner of the room and sobbed,

“Mummy don’t want to be family.”

That just broke our hearts.

Later, my husband and I talked about why he would say something like this. He’s going to school everyday now (bumped up from three times a week) and is probably still adapting. He’s also starting to ask more complex questions like “Why is mummy a girl and I’m a boy?”.┬áWhen my husband scolds him, he tells me “Daddy does not want to be my friend.” But family?! ­čśŽ

I remember an adoptive mum telling me that time-outs did not work for her tween daughter because her girl would feel very abandoned and would start yelling “No one wants me.” As such, she tweaked such discipline sessions such that she is in the same room while the daughter does her time-out.

And so, I tried a similar approach the other day. I sat by the door while C. had a meltdown about wanting to scoot when it was dinnertime. I sat by the door while he writhed on the floor. He kept telling me what he wanted and I kept explaining to him (being very careful not to shout or tsk or sound impatient) why he was in the room, why we needed to eat dinner soon and why he should not be talking to daddy and mummy this way. And after about 15 minutes of this back-and-forth, it’s like something broke through and he ran over to hug me and said, “Sorry Mummy.” He stopped crying almost immediately after that and ate dinner peacefully.

I’m not sure if it will work the next time round but I feel like that I need to be more aware of his temperament and current developmental stage – basically always observing what he best responds to at that point in time. The balance between parenting┬áwith love while not overcompensating is so tricky.

And also, all the stuff that I’ve been “preparing” for in writing the Squirky book series – it finally feels more real than ever.


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The Other Parenting Project

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2015 started out with some not-so-good news in the health department. As someone who’s been sickly from young, it’s not something I find surprising. But this time, the news rattled me more than usual. In an ideal world, it would be wonderful if C could have our company till he’s a full-fledged grown-up. However, with all the health scares I’ve been getting in recent years, I really, really┬áneed to work on a healthier lifestyle for the long-term.

With the parental responsibilities come a lack of sleep, little time to exercise or meditate, and eating takeout food because I often feel too lazy to cook my own food after cooking food for C. But while these circumstances are understandable to some extent, they’re also cop-out excuses. I could have easily used the time on social media and TV shows to sleep more or┬ámake a salad.

I also know I’m a lot more impatient and cranky when I’m tired or sick. So this year, my other parenting project besides working on the Squirky series would be to be a lot more disciplined healthwise . When I’m healthier and stronger, I’m also a better, happier parent (and person overall). It’ll hopefully also set a good example for C as well.