Finally, it’s happened. We have embarked on the long, tedious, and frankly rather disgusting journey that is Pet Ownership. Here’s the little critter:
(See him in the cowering in the corner there? So would you, if you had his owner. Also: be glad that there’s no scratch ‘n’n sniff function on d’internet; two days and his cage already smells like the bathrooms at a boys' school. )
He arrived two days ago - after a laborious process involving a Responsibility & Kindness Chart (which was manipulated for its short-term gain, and abandoned as soon as we stepped foot inside the pet shop) – and our conversations have been variations on the following ever since:
Me: Put him DOWN. The vet said you can’t touch him for at least three days.
Boy: I AM HIS OWNER! I CAN DO WHAT I WANT!
Me: Including kill him?
Boy: He’s not dead yet, is he? So what are you worried about?
Me: Can’t you just please stop touching him? Just until Friday.
Me: You need to be... ouch!.... careful putting him in the cage...
Me: You also need to CLOSE the cage...
Boy: STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO IT’S MY HAMSTER NOT YOURS
(Ah yes, but for how long? I give it two weeks, then the whining about wanting a dog will begin again.)
In other news, we are all getting back into the swing of normal, boring Singaporean life. I’ve remembered all the things that drive me mad about living here:
- Preservatives and gelatine in every single thing you try to eat
- How damn hot you get when you blow dry your hair
- No matter how poker-straight your hair finally is, it makes fuck-all difference the minute you poke your head out the front door
- The fact that no one – NO ONE! – seems to know what that strange wandy thing sticking out beside their steering wheel is (IT’S AN INDICATOR PEOPLE - TRY IT!)
- Cooking in our (non air-conditioned) kitchen is a form of Bikram yoga
but also everything I really quite like:
- The weather ( “Like walking into a warm embrace” as the Man says)
- The pool, as our default answer to the daily “How the hell am I going to kill a few parenting hours?” question
- Cheap cabs
- Even cheaper car parking (50p an hour street parking. Woo hoo! IN YOUR FACE LONDON)
- Blessed, blessed school... (Not that it’s any better than any other school anywhere else, but it is the one the children are enrolled in, and have restarted as of a week ago. Mid-August is the new early-September!)
- Oh, and let’s not forget our proximity to Bounty-ad holiday places. I got a bit carried away last week and booked five (ahem) getaways for the next few months. (Including this one, which we can drive to (except for the last, watery, stretch). It’s our version of the South Coast. Let's hope the similarities end there...)
In other other news, I am trying to spend more time with the Baby in the mornings (the combination of her calling the maid “Mama” and saying her (scant few) words in a Philippine accent made me realise that perhaps I need to up her Mummy Time). To this end I have organised a Parent & Toddler group thing through the school. (Go me! [Reluctant Launderer: Bringing haggard parents together since 2014]). Inaugural meet-up is meant to be tmrw. I BET I’m the only one more interested in the “Parent” element. Assuming anyone else turns up that is.
Speaking of Parenting, I must go check on our latest addition. His name, by the way, is Pink Red - on account, apparently, of his pinky-red legs. Yes, name-shame on top of everything else. Poor little bugger.
(Ps: Recipes should resume with some regularity now that the thermostat on our oven has been fixed. Turns out there was a reason for every single thing I cooked burning black. (Also for the kitchen heating to 700 degrees.))
(Pps: The Baby has just kicked the ball-bound hamster across the room. Hilarious. Not for the hamster, obv.)