I Love You

August 20, 2008 at 9:13 pm

Taught Zaria how to sign “I Love You” 2 days back.

Yesterday, she was flipping through a book with pictures of real horses. When she reached the page with a horse resting, she signed to the picture “I Love You” while mouthing the words; and then proceeded to lean one side of her cheek on the picture (her way of ‘sayang’ or showing her affection).

When I asked her “What about us?”
She then also did the same thing to Zara, Daddy and me while saying “Aff (love) you che-che” “Aff you mummy.” “Aff you daddy.” while signing “I Love You”.

Sweeeeeet…

Love You (Thanks to Sasha for making this into a gif)

Zaria signing I love you

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I like her way of signing smelly too. She puts her hand near her ear, bends and stetches her fingers.

Smeh-yee

Zaria signing Smelly

Zaria’s Speech Development

January 9, 2008 at 11:57 pm

Zaria

It’s getting really interesting with Zaria, who starts to say words here and there based on her understanding of things and her perception of the world.

She calls a banana, Nana
Any type of fruits besides banana to her is Ah-Per (as in Apple).

A cat to her is, Cat (evolved from AO).
A duck to her is Duck duck
Any other furry animals besides a cat is Eh-bit (as in Rabbit).
Any flying creatures, birds, bugs is Bird bird

She calls every body except Jelly.
Zawa or Jeh-jeh for Zara
Papa for Daddy
Mummy for me
Kakak for Tuyam
Yeh-Yeh for FIL
Ah-Ter for older looking men and Kor kor for younger looking boys.
Bay-Bee for toddlers and babies.
And she calls herself “Meh-mei” for Mei-mei

When she wants milk, she calls for me, “Mummy” (signs milk) and says “Milk”(yes, perfect sounding), then she’ll proceed to lie down on the bed or point to the sofa where I normally feed her.
After feeding, she likes to press on my breast and cheekily says, “Pee Peet” while flashing a smile.

She knows when to use Please. E.g.
Request for biscuit, “Ker Ker (Biscuit), (points to the biscuit, and then to her palm which is “more” or “want” sign) “Pis”
Wants me to get her the doll, “Doh Doh! (points to the doll, and then to her palm) Pis.”
Wants to go some where, “Go (points to the location), pis.”

She likes to stroke people and says “Ah Yang” (Sayang, Malay : Pat lovingly).
She likes to be held and walk about now, she says “Walk walk” and holds out her hand to be assisted.
She answers “K” for OK or Yes. E.g. “Zaria wants to go upstairs”; she’ll answer “K” and smiles.
She says NO by either saying “No” or makes the sound “Ugh!” while frowning.

Once we saw Zara snatching a toy from Zaria, while saying “This is Jiejie’s!” and Zaria shouted back, “Meh-Mei!” .
Another time, Zara tried to replace a toy Zaria was holding with something less interesting, and Zaria shouted, “No!”. Zara replied with a “Yes”. And Zaria responded with another “No!”. It was cute seeing them talk to each other like that (Maybe it won’t be so cute any more when the real verbal fight begins).
Then today, when Daddy showed her his pair of socks next to hers, and said, “Zaria, see, Daddy’s socks so BIG.”. Instead, Zaria smiled and pointed at him “BIIIIG Papa!”

I asked Daddy if these were a fluke shot, but Daddy said it can’t be, based on the way she interacts and communicate with us. She is doing as well as her sister in terms of language development at 1 year old. Fun!

Baby Signing

December 11, 2007 at 12:55 pm

I’m not an expert in this field, but I tried to sign to my girls as soon as they were able to give me eye contact. Since babies’ fine muscles for hands will develop sooner than their muscle required for speech, baby signing will equip them with some means to communicate to us even when they are too young to speak the words.

I don’t believe the maids or myself can master too many signs, so I’d only picked a few signs which I think is important, such as, Milk; More; Eat; Drink; Sing; Pain; Scared; full (patting the stomach); and I love You; and I taught the maids the signs.

To help the girls associate the sign to the word, we do the sign when we speak the word.  Example : “Do you want milk?” When the word milk is spoken, we clenched our fist to sign milk. In the end, the girls may pick up the actual sign, or they may invent their own which is suitable for their little hands. The most important is, we are able to communicate with signs.

I pick up baby signing through these sites : 
Singing with Babies, just to get started
American Sign Language (ASL) Browser, which lists words alphabetically, and provide you with videos of each sign.

Zara signing More

An archive pix of Zara signing “MORE”

When the child knows you can understand her when she tries to communicate with you, she will try to communicate more. That’s my experience. So watch out for your child’s own baby signing, or babling which may mean something.

Just to share two incidents where baby signing helped save the day for us:
1st :
It was Zara’s 1st birthday, and at 3am that night, she woke up wailing. We tried pacifying her thinking it was just one of those nights. However, she kept signing “pain” while crying. We immediately brought her to the nearest A&E. She actually had very bad stomach flu, with bad stomach ache, purging and vomiting. We wouldn’t have known and rushed her to the hospital if she didn’t tell us she was hurting.

2nd :
The 2nd day Zara attended her class, she was still scared to be left in class. I told her we’d be waiting outside. On a few occasions, I peeped in through the opening of the door to her arts and craft class and signed “I love you” when she looked up warily. She nodded, and smiled, then went back to work. When she needed the re-assurance, she just looked up and I repeated the sign to her. It was like a secret code, calming her and making her feel good.

Looking at Zaria Watching TV

December 7, 2007 at 11:35 pm

I love watching Zaria’s expression when she’s watching TV.

Look at Zaria, all geared for the show, even before the show began she was already signing ‘more’.
Zaria signing more

The show began, the animals were appearing, Zaria was getting real serious.
Very serious

The cows went Mooooo, look at Zaria attempting to do moooo.
Moooo

Watch Zaria signing bath (again, her own version but not the ASL standard) as the pigs were bathing now.
The bathing scene

More animals were coming out, Zaria was getting really excited.
The geram look

The show was about to end. She’s probably asking, “Where are the animals?”
Where??

The last scene where all the animal puppets appeared for the last time. Watch her go “THERE……”
There!!

Finally, when the show has ended, she wanted me to play it again. “I want more!”
MORE in exclamation!

I love to see these expressions. While Zaria is watching Baby Einstein – Baby McDonald, I’ll be watching her. 🙂

Zaria at 11th Month

November 29, 2007 at 1:27 pm

Zaria at 11th month

What can this 11th month old do besides messing up the house?

♥Mobility & Dextirity♥
She moves around the house mainly by cruising, or crawling on her knee (I thought she would not be crawling on her knee like Zara, but I was wrong).
Can stand unsupported momentarily.
She’s starting to enjoy walking about with her hands being held.
Her pincer grip is getting better, able to pick up small rice puffs for eating.
She likes to pick things up and place them in bottles, boxes, containers.
She is able to climb down from the bed, buttocks and legs first! Even stairs, with some assistance.
Favourite Activity : Climbing Up and Down stairs

♥Speech Development♥
She’s really doing well, and her vocabulary is expanding. She likes to talk and express herself, some words are still not comprehensible (to us), but we’re understanding her more. Here are some of the new words she can say.
Zara : Zah-Wa
Jiejie : Teh-Teh
Daddy : Pa-pa
Banana : Ah-Nana
Bear : Beh-Beh
Park : Pak-Pak
Bath : Ba-Ba
Duck : Duck-Duck
Back (put back, come back) : Back
Biscuit : Kuht
Bird : Ber-Bert
Pat : Peh-Pek
Rusty (our cat) : Tih
Book : Boo

Every morning, when she wakes up, she’ll turn to check for Zara, she will point to Zara and shouts, “Zah-Wah! Zah-Wah!” Sometimes she’ll crawl to Zara’s bed and pat Zara and shouts some more “Zah-Wah! Zah-Wah!” (she normally talks in a shout like voice).

When I ask her, “Where’s Daddy?” If she could hear Daddy in the shower, she’ll shout, “Pa Pa! Pa Pa!”

Me? When I ask her to call Mummy, she grins and keeps quiet. 🙁

Another example of her talking :
When it’s time to go to the park, she’ll shout excitedly, “Pak Pak!”. When we leave the house, she’ll look up and point to the sky, and say, “Ber Bert!”; flapping her hands at the same time. When we reach the park, she’ll point to the rocking duck and shout, “Duck-duck!”, asking for a ride.

♥Other means of communication♥
She sign pain, but in her own way by fanning her face with her fingers, and frowning (she can even do this on demand).
Zaria signing Pain
She expresses her happiness by clapping.
She compliments the chef (good food) by cluthching  her fist with a little of her thumb sticking out.
She demands more of some thing, by tapping her pointer to her other palm.
Zaria signing More
She says YES by moving her head forward and backwards.

She’s also able to understand simple instructions like, “Give mummy the book, mummy read to you.” “Danger Zaria, come back.” “Cannot put in the mouth!

♥Food and Milk Intake♥
She loves eating. We give her 3 meals a day, and some light snack in between, such as rice puffs, fruits, Baby Bites.
She is still still fully on breastmilk, and I feed her on demand (she’ll come to me, and sign the milk sign, or sometimes, she’ll point to the study and sign the milk sign to whoever is handling her).

♥Sleeping♥
Unlike Zara who only stopped taking 2 naps when she’s close to 2yrs old, Zaria is occasinally taking only 1 nap a day. 🙁
She sleeps at 9:30pm (if she only took 1 nap) or 11pm together with Zara (if she took 2 naps on that day).
She wakes up at about 8am daily.

♥Emotions and character♥
She’s more clingy now, preferring me over most people. However, she only fusses a little before she allows another person to carry or handle her.

She shows her displeasure by crying, at times a bit dramatic by crouching on the floor and crying. However, unlike Zara who can cry for hours, she can be easily pacified.

She loves books, flipping them, pointing at the pictures, saying the names of familiar objects (“Ao” for cat, “Ah-nana” for banana etc). Sometimes even laughing when she sees a funny picture (e.g. a baby doing a funny face).

She enjoys Zara’s program occasionally, especially when there are lots of singing involved, and can sit at the sofa watching together with Zara; clapping her hands, and moving to the music.

She’s rather independant, we can normally leave her alone with some toys or books, and she can keep herself occupied.

Zaria’s Language Development

October 31, 2007 at 7:24 am

Little Zaria turned 10th month old on Sunday. This post is more on her language development.

Zaria at 10th month

She knows the name of more things now, e.g. aeroplane, banana, ball, fan, doll, bear, upstairs, biscuit, cat, book, Mother Mary (a picture we have of Mary hung on the wall), park (as in play ground), duck, speaker, mum-mum (Chinese : food), trees, leaves, up, down, face, etc.

She understand these words : nice, good, hot, cold, clever; and will turn back if she heard us saying dangerous, no loudly, etc.

She knows the name of some actions, and able to do these actions on demand (but depending if she’s in the mood), e.g. kiss, pat pathug, sayang (Chinese : pat or stroke), sit, stand up, knock, bang, shake, wave bye bye, flying kiss, throw, etc.

She understands some instructions, but following them is another story: e.g. come back, No, Cannot (e.g. Cannot put in the mouth, Cannot touch)

Funny face

This is the face she’ll give you if you ask her to do a ‘funny face’

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Signing milk

This is how she tells me she wants milk when she comes to the study

She’s getting better with her hands, so she’s doing her baby signing better. Signs she can do :
More : tapping her index finger on her other palm
Milk : Open her hand, then clutching her fist
Scrared : Patting her chest
Full : Patting her stomach
Good : clutching her fist
Yes : bounching up and down

She moves both her arms like flapping when we say fly, put her hand on her ear, when we say Hello or go on the phone.

She can do the action to the song “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” (opening and closing her palms); “If You Are Happy And You Know It” (clap her hands, stamp her feet, raise her hands to the words Hooray, point to her face).
Even without the song being sung, and only the music is played, she would be doing the actions.

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The first word she’s spoken must be mum-mum on her 7th month. She’s started mimicking a few more sounds, and able to say a few more words. E.g.
Ta-Ta (calling Tuyam, kakak)
Doh-Doh (for Doll)
Jer-Jer (the Badger sunblock as there’s a badger picture on it)
Cat to her is “Ao” (just like Zara)
Aeroplane to her is “Aaaa-ohhhhhhh” (very similar to the cat sound, but she would drag it longer).
When she sees me and she wants milk, she’ll say, “Mak”. Probably her short form for saying, “Mum, I want milk.”

When we’re drinking, and she’s nearby, she would say a short “Ah” when we finish drinking and move the cup away from our lips.
When we ask her how does daddy snore? She’ll do the sound “Keghhhh”.

There!

Pointing is her favourite hand action now, point to things she wants, places she wants to go

She also communicates with us with her facial expression, and making other sounds, and pointing to things she wants or pointing to places she wants to go.

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Unlike Zara, she’s not eager to please. With a bit of encouragement and praising, Zara will repeat her action or say a word when we ask her to do so. Zaria on the other hand, will only do an action or say a word when it pleases her, or when she needs to express herself, not so much to please us.

Zaria 9th month old

October 1, 2007 at 5:03 pm

Weight : Unknown
Height : Err, 64cm? (Daddy measured with me pressing her down)
She took her first flight this month, and she enjoyed it.
Weee, I'm flying

Wee! I’m flying, and I can’t sit still!

She’s picking things up real fast these days:
1) She started crawling back and forth earlier this month and can go very fast now. A few times she lifted her body to attempt crawling on her knees but then after her while, she slumps back down, preferring the comando style (Zara never wanted to crawl on her knees too).

2) She’s able to sit herself up from a crawling position; pull herself up to a standing position, and then sit back down; and she has also started cruising. This means, the house is for her to explore!
Cruising

Cruising… exploring

4) She raises her hands up when we say Hip Hip Hooray!
Hip Hip Hooray

Hip Hip Hooray!

5) She recognises and remembers objects. When we asked her where the aeroplane is, she’ll look at the sky.
When we asked her where the fan is, she’ll look to the ceiling.
Other items she’s able to recognise or know its location and names are :
~Her Baby, Boo! book (“book”);
~the cat figurine that’s hung on our door (“cat”);
~the Santa Clause in our living room (“bell bell” as there’s a bell each on the Santa’s legs);
~banana;
~her bowl for eating (“mum-mum”);
~her cup (“cup”); etc.
She’ll look towards the item and utter “Ugh” as a confirmation she’d spotted it.

She also knows Daddy’s tea cup is not touchable as it’s hot. She’ll move her hands closer to herself when we bring it near her.

She response to the name Zaria and knows Zara is referring to her sister.

6) Just like Zara, she learnt how to give kisses through the Baby, Boo! book. She’ll lean forward to kiss objects or people she likes.

7) Signing No More (by turning her palms down than up); Scared (by patting her chest)…Ok ok, we didn’t really teach her the ASL or British standards, it’s really whatever that’s easy for her to do, and for us to differentiate.

8 ) She says Mum-mum when she sees food, her bowl, and sometimes me (or was she calling me mama?…. dream on).

9) When she hears singing or music, she ‘sings’ along, bounces and waves her hands in the air ‘dancing’.

10) She understands “NO” “CANNOT”, and will stop what she’s doing or where she’s going when we raise our voice and say these words.

Eating :
This girl really loves food, and she’s now having about a bowl (Chinese rice bowl) of cereal each for breakfast and dinner. Lunch is a little bit of fruits or biscuits. She doesn’t like sour things like cherry tomatos, berries, yogurt.
She’s still fully on breast milk, drinking when she demands, which is about 3 hourly.

Emotions :
1) Still an easy going child, forgives and forgets real fast.

2) She prefers me over others but can be easily ‘tham-ed’ (Cantonese : convinced) to accept others.

3) She cries always for a reason, e.g. in pain, frigthened, or hungry; sometimes, she cries when she sees Zara crying; and very easy to pacify. And when she’s happy, she squels, makes funny faces (e.g. strethes her lips to the side and bears her teeth or just winks).

4) She loves water, to swim in, to bath in or to drink. Nowadays, she’ll crawl to the toilet if she knows someone is taking a bath as though she wants to join in.
I love water.. err.. and grass

I love water.. and err… grass too

5) She likes to dig into containers, drawers, baskets, takes everything out and throw on the floor. Another hurricane in the making.

Hee HeeHee Hee, I’m going to throw out e.thing from the basket once I get my hands on it!

Time really flies, and it’s just amazing to see her grow!

Zaria Turning 8 Month Old

August 29, 2007 at 8:55 am

This month we saw great development in Zaria, in her ability as well as her emotions.

Little girl Zaria doing what she likes most

Put her in the pool of balls she’s happy, put her in the pool of water, she’s happier!

I don’t know what her weight is nor her height, but she’s definitely growing. Clothes are tighter, skirts are shorter.
Her 2 upper incisors started growing 3 weeks ago. With 4 teeth now, and with her very strong sucking motion (Zara never used to suck so hard from what I recalled) nursing her can be a bit of a pain, imagine piranhas nursing! (OUCH!)

Other things the little girl can do :
1) Sitting without support like a pro now, only loosing balance occasionally
2) Clap her hands and give us five
3) Signing more (but it’s Zara’s version by tapping 1 finger on the other palm)
4) Waves bye bye; pats her stomach when we asked if she’s ‘pao pao’ (Cantonese : Full); but I don’t know if she knows the meaning of these actions
5) Raises her hand when we asked if she wanted to be carried; turns her hands and head away from whoever she doesn’t want
6) Making new sounds like ke, pa, te (effect of my new purchase? I don’t know.)
7) Crawl commando style, but right now it’s going back wards.
8 ) Seems to understand words like No (following it is another thing), Carry, mummum (Chinese : food, eat), no more, go park
9) Cover and uncover her mouth which produces the wa-wa-wa sound
10) When she sees food, she smacks her lips and says mummum repeatedly, does this mean she’s uttering her first word already?

Eating :
She absolutely loves eating. When she sees us eating, she tries to reach out and grab.
She has breakfast and dinner at the dining table together with us, so she doesn’t have to stare at us eat. Sometimes she wants to try what is on our plates, so we’ll give her a suck on the fruit we’re eating, or give her 2-3 rice grains to munch.
Still on 2 solid meals (breakfast and dinner, ~2.5 tbs) and have her milk 3 hourly (I let her rest for an hour before giving her a milk feed after her solid meal). Snacks on babybites biscuit at noon time.
She only takes home made cereals, fruit or vege puree. No meat introduced yet (will wait till 1yr old).

Zaria at 8 month

Clock wise top left : absolutely love this pix taken by my neighbour in the park; showing off her clapping skill; On her Tripp Trapp, her new found favourite; Spending lots of time in the walker

Sleeping
She takes 2 naps in the day for about 1hr to 1.5hr per nap.
She sleeps at ~9:30pm. Wakes up 1 to 2 times in the night (depending on how soundly she sleeps), requests for the breast, and drifts off to sleep (most of the time I too drift of to sleep with her) midway nursing.

Emotions
She started having preference on who can touch or carry her. She never used to be that particular, but this month, it’s different!
She dislikes wrinkly people in particular. MIL, out! My sis’ elderly maid, out! She will look at the person, hold the stare for 2s, then she’ll cry, with big drops of tears!
She needs time to warm up to people whom she doesn’t meet that often. SIL once jumped out from no where to greet her, Zaria freaked out, cried like there was no tomorrow.
Every time when we enter someone’s home, she’ll be looking from ceiling to the floor and around, clinging on to the one carrying her tighter, sensing the unfamiliar ground. People started saying she’s ‘papai’ (Cantonese : fussy), but I think she’s just getting more aware of things.

She prefers me over most people. When my maid is carrying her and she sees me walking by, she’ll be calling out for me  and her eyes will follow where I go. If I didn’t stop to play with her or carry her, she would be fretting, making crying sounds. However, she prefers Daddy over me when she’s in a playful mood, because Daddy plays a lot with her.

She likes
1) to touch, shake, knock just about any objects she gets her hands on
2) to stand or to bounce herself up and down
3) anything that makes sound and music
4) go to the park (and she loves to lift her head to watch the swaying leaves on trees)
5) baths
6) grind her teeth playfully (the top with the bottom) which gets on my nerve (hate the sound).

I like it when she feels manja (Malay : TLC required) and lays her head on my shoulder when I carry her.

I just love this little chilli padi!

My Chili Padi – 7 month old

July 30, 2007 at 11:08 am

Zaria recently has shown some of her ‘spunky’ side, I’m not sure if it’s her constant exposure to a screaming, shouting, demanding toddler, or she’s now just slowly ‘blooming’.

1. She now knows how to tell us what she wants.
E.g. When she sees me and wants me to carry her, she’ll look at me while kicking her legs and flapping her arms towards me and babble happily, “Ugh! Ugh!”.
She does the same when she sees a toy she wants, and her arms will be trying to reach for the item (or her stare will follow the object of desire) while doing so.

2. She knows how to fake a cry if what she wanted was denied.
E.g. When I walk on without carrying her, she’ll fake a cry, “Eh-Heh.. Eh-Heh.. Eh-Heh” with eyes fixed on me.

3. She now knows how to insist on her demand.
E.g. If I don’t give in to her fake cry, wave bye bye at her, and disapear, her tears will start flowing, and she’ll start arching her back, straightening legs, and bawl.

If I picked her up, she’ll stop crying immediately. It’s the same when the toy she wants is given to her, she’ll stop her crying, and immediately play with the toy happily. That’s one thing good about her, she gets pacified easily.

Last Sunday, Zara got a baloon twisted to the shape of a bear from 1U.
I took it out for Zaria to play at night. We were all seated on the bed, Zaria on my lap happily took the baloon from me. Zara who was reading with daddy a foot away in front of us, immediately snatched the baloon from Zaria, and said, “It’s mine! Not meimei(‘s)!”
Zaria reached her hands out, and did her fake crying (2) but Zara ignored her.

The next moment, Zaria just lunged forward; by straightening her legs and kicking very hard with her arms reaching out towards Zara, she propelled herself into Zara’s arms; but Zara was quicker, and held the baloon high up above her head. Since Zaria miss her airm, she bawled!

Both Daddy and myself just stared at each other, and said, “Wow”. I said out loud what we both were thinking, “Looks like she’s going to be chili padi. “

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Other things the little girl can do :
1) Sitting without support : she can balance herself when she leans forward, but still not very good in regaining her sitting position if she tilted to the side.
2) Twist her wrist (as though saying No more)
3) Babbling wider range of sounds, e.g. Ba Ba Ba Ba, Ma Ma Ma Ma, Mum Mum Mum
4) Signing MILK when she wants me to give her milk

She likes to :
1) Blow raspberry
2) Straighten her legs to stand (of course very much supported), sometimes preferring this over sitting
3) Burry her face on my shoulder, suck on any of my expose skin (shoulder, arm).
4) Eat – she loves her solid and milk. She’s taking 2 x 2 tablespoon of cereal/fruit or vege puree daily, and then taking 6~7 times 3.5~4 oz milk feed.

She has 2 lower central incisors now, the right one appeared early this month, while the left one sprouted last week. Her latest mischief : biting on me when she’s nursing. Unlike Zara, where I only have to tell her NO twice and she stopped biting me totally for the 1.5yrs she was nursing, little chili padi is still doing it after many times of saying NO to her. She even gives me the cheeky smile after biting, showing me her 2 cute teeth, declaring her innocence!

Zaria at 7 month

Bits & Pieces

April 26, 2006 at 2:06 pm

I was changing her diaper. She suddenly blurted : “Fish Ball!”.
I was curious why she said that, I just guessed and said, “Zara thinks Zara’s toes look like fish ball is it?”. I pointed to her toes.
Zara looked at me (as though I was stupid), then started pointing her finger at her mouth while saying, “Mum mum *point point* (Chinese: eat), Fish ball.”
(Tuyam said she does that very often, when she asked for something to eat, and Tuyam couldn’t understand her, she’ll point to her mouth and sign to us, like we’re some bozos)

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This morning, while at play, she shouted, Mita Boo (Mr Blue), where are you? Want suck tum (thumb)!”
(She has the habit of sucking her thumb while holding her soft toy Mr Blue)

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While pushing her in the stroller yesterday, Zara counted, “For, fai, sik, sehwen, egg” And repeated. Asked her to do from One, it will go something like “One, Egg, Ten.” (She knows they are numbers but doesn’t know the sequence).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zara’s reciting the nursery rhyme Hey Diddle Diddle sounds like this:

Diddle Diddle, Cat the fiddle, Cow oh the moon, spot, away spoon

(Actual, Hey Diddle Diddle, The Cat and the fiddle, The Cow Jumped over the moon, The Dog laughed to see such sport, And the dish ran away with the spoon)

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