Climbing the walls for Mother’s Day

This morning, after my wife had opened her mother’s day cards, I got the children out from under her feet by taking them down to the Tiong Bahru Bakery for bread-related shenanigans. That meant a quick detour to a public lavatory, where Destroyer first demanded and then denied the need for a toilet, and then a bus ride to the Bakery, which was standing-room-only at 9:15. That wouldn’t fly, so we went next door to the adjacent French bistro where the girls could eat pain au chocolat and I could chow down on scrambled eggs.

When my wife caught up with us, we got onto another bus and rode to the Singapore Art Museum, which has an exhibit about memories of Singapore. This was variably entertaining for the kids. There was an enormous vinyl mural of Singapore, where you could spend hours picking out landmarks. There was a room full of oversized knitted sea anenomes to play with. There were some fun installations of fibre optics. And there was a cinema showing short films that made both girls scream with fear when a large man was yelling at some cats. Honestly, it’s not a good day if the girls aren’t reduced to tears.

After that success, we placated the girls with fruit and went to Glasshouse for a coffee, where the girls were distracted by a wedding photoshoot, and then on to Entre-nous, the French creperie where both kids acted like gormless hellions for a couple of hours.

When that ordeal was over, we took them to a play gym. La Serpiente was being rather irritating by walking off and not listening, and when I admonished her about this, she walked off without listening, which got me mad just as my wife disappeared in the lift. Cue howling and screaming from La Serpiente – two meltdowns in one day. We were blessed.

I took off after depositing La Serpiente at the play gym and went climbing for an hour. After four weeks, I finally managed this problem:

It was (mostly) in the start. The first hold has precious little grip, and the second likewise. I’d been wrapping my hands around it horizontally, when the key is to have your forearms and hands vertical and hang lower, so you have enough space on the hold to move your hands around. The rest of it was an appalling grunt fest (the penultimate hold is a smooth floater that you cling to with imaginary friction and little else). But after having somebody show me the key – get the grip right, and keep your arms straight and your weight as low as possible – I finally conquered this one, and then found I was wrecked for anything else.

So I went home, transporting a case of tonic water on the front of a dodgy hire bike and then had one more meltdown when we refused to read La Serpiente an infinite number of books this evening, on the basis that she’d been acting out.

At least she was exhausted by this and went straight to sleep. I was too worn out by the emotion provoked by Peppa Pig’s Learn To Tell The Time book to care much any more, and slunk to the sofa to recover. Still sore now.

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