Albany Turns Three

Sometime back, I asked Angie mama what comes next after "Terrible Two". Her reply was "Terrible Three." Dear Angie, by the way, is expected her newborn in a few days' time. Let me take the opportunity to send my pre-congratulations to the prettiest mother in Punggol.

Meanwhile, Albany turns "Terrible Three" today. A year ago, I did not read parenting books about "Terrible Two" on purpose. I didn't want to subject or prepare myself to expectations to avoid having preconceived ideas on what I would be experiencing. That was done so that I could fully appreciate the full extent of the challenges of a father at that stage. To be honest, I enjoyed "Terrible Two". Perhaps I was lucky, since many had commented that little Albany was "easy to take care" as a comparison to their own children during their casual observations. Not that they were wrong, but children being children, Albany had her fair share of tantrums and temper. It was by no means an easy year of parenthood for us. After all, we have no parents around to lend us an occasional helping hand when needed. We were all on our own, no cheat code whatsoever as a backup during desperation. The bar were raised even higher after Jenny decided to take on some part-time work. Somehow we survived "Terrible Two."

Though it was a year of toil from a parent's point of view, "Terrible Two" was a critical year for Albany. Through consistent practice, she was able to feed herself independently seated on her high chair by the table with us during every meal. During the week Jen went back to Singapore, leaving me to take care of Albany alone, I even removed her bib and told her she had to learn to eat cleanly such that she would not dirty her clothes. Surprisingly she understood and began to be quietly conscious of it. During one dinner, she declared proudly, "Daddy I never dirty my shirt," at the end. I took Albany out of her chair, hugged her tightly and celebrated her achievement with her gleefully. 

Unlike the first year where much had been focused on the infant flipping, sitting and finally walking, year two opened up a wide spectrum of learning for the little toddler. Jen decided to toilet train Albany when she could barely run. The process was tedious but necessary. It was heart wrenching for a father to watch her daughter weep helplessly as her pee flowed uncontrollably down her legs. For some reasons, she was inconsolable whenever she did that even though we told her it was alright and nobody was angry with her for creating a mess. It was a painful fortnight for all three of us but it paid rich dividends at the end after she eventually developed her consciousness (again) that she had a muscle in the bladder that she could strengthen and learn to use to control her bowels. Before long, she could set up her own toilet seat on our normal toilet bowl using a small stool and eventually flush out after she was done. I used to argue with Jen that she was subjecting Albany to doing too much too soon but each time, Albany proved me wrong. Gradually, I built my up faith in the toddler and started encouraging her to take on tasks that I thought she wouldn't able to complete properly.

Jen's latest ambition was to develop Albany such that she could go to bed in her bedroom by herself. Each time, it resulted in a tragic end. Back to my usual lenient ways, I negotiated that Albany should be weened into it but Jen's patience eventually ran out. As a result, I became the Minister of Sleeping lately. No doubt, my hesitance would impair Albany's route to another tick of independence but still, I could see improvement in the sense she was willing to dive into bed these days to be pat to sleep. In the past, she would cling on me like a Koala if I was in the room. It would be a difficult task then, to put her into bed when she fell asleep eventually because she would wake easily and cry for daddy. Though it takes up time as a guardian of the bed, I am willing to do so till now because I did not want Albany to build up a resentment towards bed time. Now that she has turn three and can understand what we say better, we will find a way for her to go to bed on her own. I will miss the moments just as I miss the little moments during her infancy. It has been an awesome feeling watching your child in deep slumber.

As usual, we celebrated Albany's birthday quietly at home. Despite the lack of fanfare, decoration or an impressive cake, she was contented. Sometimes we read too much into these. We tend to give them what we want, not what they want. At this age, I came to realised that all they wanted is us.

Onward to Terrible Three.


  1. Happy birthday to Albany.

    I could not agree more to this sentence(I have a 4.5yr old son) : Sometimes we read too much into these. We tend to give them what we want, not what they want. At this age, I came to realised that all they wanted is us.

    Total waste of money to spend it lavishly which is my own opinion..It is not like they are going to remember it at that age..

    1. > At this age, I came to realised that all they wanted is us.

      Yup, I concur!

  2. Happy birthday to Albany

    - Your young satki friend, Yoda

  3. Happy Birthday Albany :)

    Hi Nix, how did the crabbing trip went ? really curious

  4. Hi Nix, I am totally supportive of you. I have a six year girl and I am really proud to say that she goes to bed almost every night happily. She has only managed to fall asleep on her own at 4 years old. What you are doing now is similar to what I did last time. On one night after she has just turned 4. I told her gently that maybe she can try to fall asleep on her own. So I switched on soft music and lied down beside her. And viola! She fell asleep after 15mins without any tantrums. Since then, she has been falling asleep on her own.