Wednesday, March 18, 2015

lu’s 7

This year, we do it this way: Each girl gets a small cake-cutting ceremony at home, and an outing.

Lu turns 7.

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She’s been through fire, the first few months of primary school have been the most stressful in her young life. But I think she’s finally settling down. These days she’s been shedding teeth at a clip, she merrily reaches her hand into her mouth to rotate what she feels are irritating loose teeth until she can yank them off the singular gum thread, leaving a trail of blood behind. She’s brave that way.

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* Just after yanking out a canine

And she’s grown taller. I can see her knobbly usually gray (dirty) knees in all her too-short dresses now.

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* Her favourite Strawberry Shortcake

I gift her with a bunch of Science Adventure magazines, which earns in return an hour of complete silence after the cake is cut because Lu, Jo and Day are nose-deep in the magazine, and a bunny which she picked herself. (yes she saw it and fell in love with it so I bought it and wrapped it up and even though she knew exactly what was inside she was no less thrilled to spot the rainbow through the slit.

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* Hello, Bunlu! (KK's name for the bunny)

As for her little outing, we bring her to the Night Safari, because last-minute work kept me away from her in the day.

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We discover that its free entry for birthday kids. She gets a huge badge which she wears proudly, but which she later regrets when the tram commentator spots the badge and makes the entire tram sing Happy Birthday to Lu.

The Night Safari is a place which is dear to me because I worked there as a tram commentator when I was 19. The Babirusas, Mouflons, Bearded Pigs and the like look exactly the same as now as 21 years ago, and I am glad the script hasn’t changed one bit.

But it’s also lovely for the rest of us because despite it being the one-week March holiday, we go on a weekday and its blissfully empty, even of tourists. There is much space and time to enjoy the animals.

Jo and Lu get the luxury of being able to write down the name of every animal they see (excepting those from the tram where they then passed me their notebook and I had to write in pitch darkness). When we get home, its past 11.

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