In the Name of Nuturing the Child

I am going to share something part and parcel of every couple’s life- an argument in the morning. We were in the kitchen together and my husband was carrying 8 month old Matty while I was preparing her milk. Matty gripped his shirt tightly and he teased her that she was going to crumple his shirt. So what was the big deal about it? I was most irked at how he said it to her. As an attempt to develop both Matty’s English and Mandarin properly in the long run, Daddy will be speaking mainly to her in Chinese while I will be speaking to her in English. Parenting or language experts will tell you that children learn languages more effectively this way. So Daddy spoke in Mandarin but for the word ” wrinkled”, he used a dialect word for it. I snapped at him harshly and asked him why must he use dialect for that word? So he defended by saying it will be good to let her pick up some of our dialect as well.

I have nothing against dialect and I am proud of my own roots as a Chinese and dialect group. It was just that I do not want her to be influenced and speak with Chinese or English that is mixed with dialect jargons. To be frank, it sounds crude and as a parent, it makes me shudder when I imagine if my daughter speaks like that next time.

After snapping at him, he said to me firmly in a controlled manner that I should not had lost my temper and bark at him right in front of the baby. What if she learns that from me and eventually disrespects him? I could have spoken to him about it privately.

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”
― James Baldwin

I went silent and apologised meekly, then he went off for work. Those words hit me hard and I thought about everything that I intended the “best” for our daughter. Was that moment of teaching what is the ” best” for her?

He was right. It was not about how good my intention was for our daughter but how I talked to him. I had displayed rudeness, disrespect, harshness and impatience to how I responded to his actions. If I dont change my behaviour, I think it is soon that our daughter is going to pick it up from me and react to Daddy in the same way that Mummy does.

I can’t explain why, since the birth of our daughter, I have been snapping at him more often. Many a times, it was related to things he said or did pertaining to our daughter which seemed to me were not essential or beneficial. I think the phrase ” primal mother’s innate defensive mechanism” is definitely not a reason for me to react this way to him. It is time that I should start praying about this aspect and that God give me His grace to be gracious to my husband too.

Later in the noon, I text him and apologised again, assuring that we love him and will never want to disrespect him. He said it was fine, and when he got home, we spent the evening happily together with our daughter.

Weighing between what would seem to benefit my daughter’s linguistic development versus the virtue of respect, the latter is paramount and nothing will change this.


Aquaducks Swim School at Tanglin Village

On the left side, there are the shower rooms. At the back, it is the resting area where you can change your babies into their swim attire. Right side, the pool.

On the left side, there are the shower rooms. At the back, it is the resting area where you can change your babies into their swim attire. Right side, the pool.

Alright, here is what I am going to show everyone how the pool which Matty goes to look like.

Why did I sign up Matty for a swim course?

My best friend used to show me Youtube videos on how babies and very young toddlers can actually swim. We thought it was really cool and nice that a baby can do that, plus it is a life saver skill. But those babies shown are usually from overseas like countries in USA or Australia. In Singapore, I have never heard of anyone sending their babies for real swim courses. We were saying if Singapore really does have such programs, it would be great if Matty could enroll in one.

Hence when Matty turned 6 months old, I began to source on Google if there are any of such programs in Singapore. Finally, I found Aquaducks and I emailed in for a trial lesson at Tanglin Village, 29 Harding Road Singapore 249537, at Dempsey Hill beside The White Rabbit .

During the trial lesson, I joined a small group of about 3 mothers with their babies of similar age to Matty. The instructor used nursery rhymes to incorporate into the swim lessons objectives and all the babies were very engaged. For example, part of the routine exercises was to sit baby on the ledge and parent had to bring the baby down into the water to simulate falling into the water. So, the nursery song was ” Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall” and when the instructor said ” ..had a great Fall”, parents will bring their babies into the water. Also, there was also some light submerging and instructor taught us the techniques. The instructor would also used a small pail and pour water over babies’ heads to let them practice holding their breath for a short while and to let them adapt to underwater.

Lesson was 30mins long and everyone enjoyed themselves. There were no yelling and screaming babies, maybe except some would just whine and cry for a short while. I was pretty impressed by this at how the instructors could really pacify the kids.

After the trial, I decided to sign up Matty official as an Aqua Duckie at Level 1. It is $120 for 4 lessons a month, each lesson is 30mins. Price is excluding GST and registration fee. What I really loved about the lesson is that it allowes me to bond with Matty in a very unique way, learning about trust and confidence. In addition, the group was really small, and babies get most of the attention.The instructor to baby ratio is about 1:3 for older babies or 2:3 for younger babies.

Besides this, I enjoy the short stroll from the bus stop to the site Dempsey Hill is all quiet with its lush flora and fauna, and the sun at 9am was just fine for us.

After the swim lesson, you can be expected that your baby will fall asleep by themselves without fighting sleep! How awesome is that!

This is where Aquaducks Swim School holds their swim classes at Tanglin Village.

This is where Aquaducks Swim School holds their swim classes at Tanglin Village.

From the photo above, you can see some of the props used during the lessons, and these are usually meant for older babies from 1 year plus. The pool is chlorine free and can be heated up. I like it that it is sheltered despite being an outdoor pool.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for my next post to catch Matty in action when Daddy is on leave to video the process.

For more info, visit them at

A key to building trust and bond with your baby

“… So, when you pick your baby out of the water, look at her with your eyes and smile. It is like telling her that Mummy is here, everything is going to be OK, and your child will have the confidence to excel and achieve…”

– words by one of the Aquaducks instructors-

These words are so precious to me that I decided that I must blog it down and it is one of my key principles when I go swimming with Matty now. What happened was during the first trial swim lesson, I was not sure if I was doing holding her right or doing the techniques correctly, so my face showed it all. Doubt and fear. Sensing my awkwardness, the cover instructor on that day shared with me these words. He was only a young lad and probably not married yet, so I was really amazed by what he shared.