Sunday, September 11, 2011


Ryan's nanny told me to bring Ryan to Marina Square for Okto Channel's Curious Tots festival, presented in partnership with Friso. She said that Noddy and Tessie Bear would be there. I know who Noddy is - he's a character created by Enid Blyton, originally published in books from 1949 to 1963 - but I have never watched a single Noddy cartoon or read a Noddy book, plus I have no idea who Tessie Bear is. But according to Ryan's nanny, Ryan knows who they are. She said he can spell,
"N-O-D-D-Y... Noddy!"  

So, after swimming class on Sunday and a quick brunch, we dutifully made our way there. We couldn't stay very long because Shichida class was at 2.30 pm. We didn't know what time Noddy would appear so we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.

We got there about 12 pm. There were various game stations/stalls and a good crowd there. We got Ryan a paper crown from Friso and we joined the line for a free family photo. The notice board said that Noddy would be onstage at 1 pm so we walked around just having a look-see as we didn't want to get stuck at the stations when Noddy appeared. An Indian dance started up over at the stage - two little girls dancing! - we sat on the floor in front of the stage to watch the performance. We were the first ones there and a large crowd soon gathered. After that, Peter Draw (a caricaturist) took the stage. He was quite entertaining and quite good with the children. He got three children to come up on stage and draw pandas.

Then, it was Noddy-time! He and Tessie Bear came out on stage and Ryan stared at them, enraptured. They didn't say anything, they didn't sing or dance. They just walked about and waved and the emcee did all the talking. She asked the children to put their hands up on a count of three and she'd pick ten children to go up on stage and play a game. Then, after the show, these selected children could take a photograph with Noddy and Tessie Bear. She would do two rounds so there would be 20 children in total.

When I heard that, I was a little disheartened. We don't try to get Ryan up on stage if he has to do or say something - he's still a little unpredictable being so young and being put on the spot by a stranger is not one of his favourite places to be. This time, we decided to take a chance. Richard waved his arms about and I raised Ryan's arms in the air as well to catch the attention of the emcee. But Ryan was not selected. It was a good thing actually, because on stage each of the ten children had to answer a question by the emcee. They were very simple questions, like what is the colour of Noddy's hat, etc. Still, sometimes Ryan won't tell you the answer even when he knows it.

After that, the emcee selected another ten children. Again we frantically waved our arms about and, whaddyaknow, the emcee pointed at Ryan and told the ushers, "I want this one! He's so cute!" Yippee!!! Ryan was very willing and excited to get on stage, as he had already seen the first batch of children do it. However, once he got on stage, he looked like this. Rock still.

Hmm. Do you think Noddy was making fun of him?

I just realised while uploading this photo that Ryan looks just like Noddy here! Red top, grey pants, blue hat, red shoes! And because of the paper crown resting on his ears, his ears are sticking out like Noddy's! I promise it was not intentional - if it were, I'd certainly have brought along the yellow scarf!

Anyway, Ryan waited patiently for the emcee to pick the rest of the children, once in a while stealing glances at Noddy and Tessie Bear.

He was the tiniest and youngest participant and the ushers were a little worried he might get too close to the edge and fall off the stage so they carried him and put him at the end of the line where an usher was within close reach of him. That was really thoughtful and I appreciated that a lot. 

Here he is, still in the same position, hands clasped together, calmly waiting. The emcee explained that they would play a game - the children were to dance with the music and when the music stopped, they were to stop dancing and strike a pose. The game would be played three times and one child would be selected as the best dancer/statue. Phew! Ryan can do that! Ryan loves to dance! Thank you Lord! We weren't interested in winning, we just wanted Ryan to have a good time, and Ryan got the best deal - dancing is definitely not a problem!

The music started up and all the children started gyrating and swaying in their places. The emcee and the crowd cheered them on. Richard and I clapped our hands and moved and flapped our arms (while still sitting down) to encourage Ryan to dance. He didn't move at all. He maintained his position, quietly observing what was going on. The music stopped and the children assumed their poses, eg. a ballerina, a kungfu pose, a robot, etc. Ryan was still in the same pose - that counts right?

The music started up for the second time and suddenly, just like magic ... Ryan started bopping. I guess that, after watching the first round, he understood what to do and he was raring to go!

He was a-hopping-and-a-bopping, a-movin'-and-a-groovin' and a-rockin'-and-a-rollin'! Oh my, he was a dancing machine! He danced his way all around the stage, although the rest of the children were dancing on the spot. He was so happy!

It was such a cute thing to watch! This tiny toddler, who was only as tall as the shoulders of the other children, getting down with the disco! I'm completely biased but he was CLEARLY the best dancer there! Check out that footwork!

The funniest part of it was when the music stopped. The rest of the children immediately froze on the spot and assumed their poses. Ryan on the other hand, stopped dancing, put on his serious face, clasped his hands together and quietly walked back to his original position and waited there. It was a complete rewind to the beginning. The emcee was laughing, she kept saying how cute he was.

The music came up for the third and last time and Ryan danced his heart out again, grinning from ear to ear, rolling-with-the-feeling! It was amazing to watch this little munchkin dancing his heart out! And when the music stopped... it was back into position again! Hahaha! I guess he didn't score very high on the "statue" part of the game!

After the game, each of the twenty children got to take a photo with Noddy and Tessie Bear. Here it is! (The green plastic bag contained some "prize" items that they gave to each participating child.)

Ryan had a fabulous time and I'm so glad that we made the trip there. We were truly blessed that day - we got there just in time to get a good spot in front of the stage to see Noddy, Ryan actually got chosen, Ryan got to do what he loves - dance, dance, dance!, and he got a photo with Noddy and Tessie Bear! The best part was definitely the dancing. I chuckle to myself everytime I remember how my little boy was jiving and movin'-and-shakin' on stage. Just like magic.


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