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Cafe | Wooden dreams November 22, 2012

Filed under: raeann — yulingxpress @ 2:30 pm

ImageThere is a big buzz in the homeland now – the little Missy has built up a little cozy cafe corner in the hall and we are all roped into her make-believe world that is as real as it can be.

It all started when she got all frown-browed at me for shifting around the furniture in the house. I badly needed a space that isn’t overrun with toys, a small corner where my tea can sit in the teacup, steaming in serenity. So I moved away the chest that doubled up as her ‘kitchen counter’, and tucked her wooden kitchen set in an L-shape set up as suggested by the husband, leaving us a small area along the wall for our chairs and side table.

I called her space a cafe which got her to stop hopping in madness for a while, and the neighbour who happened to miraculously walk by bemused, “Wow, Raeann! You have a cafe!” So it stuck. She has a cafe!

That afternoon, I made her a welcome sign and we drew up a menu (she wants to sell beer and pomegranate smoothie and lemongrass ice cream!). That night, before she went to bed, she flipped over the ‘Welcome’ sign, and it said, ‘Bye Bye!’. “The cafe is closed! Come again tomorrow!” she joyfully cheered as she skipped into the bedroom.

The next morning, she woke up before me and flipped the sign to say ‘Welcome’. She named all the furniture in the house – “That is table one. That is table two. If there are more customers, they can sit on the chairs first to wait.” And when I started mopping the floor, she thanked me for cleaning up ‘her cafe’ and offered to make me a coffee while I mopped.

One night, we went shopping for presents at a Lego store when she uncharacteristically picked up a big box and insisted on buying it. We later realised that it wasn’t the Lego item she wanted to buy – it was the red ‘Sale’ sign she wanted. When it was told to her that the sign can’t be purchased, big tear drops rolled down, and the stall assistant fumbled around to make her smile again. “I give you this, but you don’t tell my boss!” the kind man offered. We came home with this:


“Everything in my cafe is on sale tomorrow! Everyday! Everything is on sale everyday!” she exclaimed on the way home. I shall confess that I wanted to cry. Tears of amusement, of pride, of bittersweetness that my girl, all of four, has a entrepreneurial spirit I never thought possible in a little one.

She keeps her wooden pepper shaker in the compartment of her kitchen she assigned as the fridge, while the salt shaker stays outside. “Because you keep the pepper in the fridge, mommy! You don’t keep the salt inside!” Cheeses, fruits and veggies are in as well. In goes the pizza too, because “there is cheese on the pizza, Mommy”. Yes.

She holds make-believe birthday parties in her cafe. I’m made to bake a “big roasted vanilla chocolate cake” from this “new recipe book that has many many good recipes”. I help her pack goodie bags for the birthday party. She sets up a tray with little stack cups and a teapot – “So my customers can pour iced water themselves and I won’t be so tired!”. The teapot gets ‘refilled’ when the sound stops (this teapot makes some swooshing sound when it gets tilted).

My picnic basket is now her pantry. She stores sweet treats from school in a bag. These, she wants to serve coffee with. “It’s a surprise when they order!” And there are stickers (real), and ‘marshmallows’ (not real – they are the tap knobs in the kitchen set”) that go with every order. She collects short pencils – “these are for my customers to try the ice cream flavours”.

Her latest cafe addition is the receipt, an idea from Aunty Imp. She keeps them neatly in a small basket, ready to be issued out to her make-believe customers.

Oh yes, she has ‘Daily Specials’, subject to change in accordance to her whim and fancy. I know her Tuesday’s Special is grapefruit sundae, but “if it is not available, you can come another day. We have strawberry orange cake with vanilla today.” Everyday, there is latte and cappuccino and flat white, because “we have coffee everyday”.

Just last night, we caught her snooping around in the corner of her cafe, tearing up a pack of sweets I gave to her, meant for a treat after school the next day. We were presumptuous and scolded her for eating sweets without our permission. In between her chokes and tears, she explained later that she was trying to save the sweets for her cafe so “every customer can have a sweet with their coffee”. Oh, the guilt that cut through me like a steel fork scratched across the blackboard.

She’s come up with a Christmas menu. You can look forward to wooden strawberry shortcake and orange macarons. We are going shopping for Christmas sweets (real, not wooden) to serve our customers with. Daddy’s buying her a folder to keep her menu dry and neat, and we’re brainstorming names for her little venture.

Reservations are welcome. I’ll make a ‘Reserve’ sign soon.

If you are keen to work for a bossy but impossibly entertaining little girl, you may apply here. Be prepared to get scolded once in a while because the boss is incredibly particular about the neatness of her work station and you must always “serve with a smile and say “Enjoy your meal!'” We can’t pay you much but you can help yourself to free flow wooden food.

To be continued…


23 Responses to “Cafe | Wooden dreams”

  1. lilsnooze Says:

    We’ll be there when we are back! Can she serve me teh? ;)

  2. Eveeleva Says:

    My boys and I want to come too! The cakes sound scrumptious!

  3. valerie Says:

    So net and cute!! Can I make a reservation? :)

  4. jaslyn tan Says:

    she’s soooooo super duper cute….was smiling to myself while reading it….she totally has ur genes ya =) need to get joel to interact with her soon =)

  5. Kate and Beth would love some juice!

  6. allofmia Says:

    Raeann, can you introduce “piccolo latte”? I prefer my coffee with less milk :) thank you!

  7. Lisa Says:

    That is sooooo precious!

    How have you been?

  8. bookjunkie Says:

    Felt sweet emotions reading this. I love coming to your space and your lil girl is utterly precious. Hope to do this with my nieces when they get bigger :)

    Absolutely loved that she thanked you for cleaning her cafe when you were mopping – made me chuckle a lil too…so cute and sweet at the same time.

    • Yuling Says:

      Thank you for sharing our joy in the little things that she does! :)

      Kids do say the darnest things, and I’m blessed I get to hear them every day, haha!

  9. momo Says:

    We need to visit her cafe soon!!

  10. Singapore Memory Project Says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    On behalf of the National Library Board (NLB), we would like to invite you to pledge your blog to the Singapore Memory Project as part of efforts to collect memories that are already manifested in existing online channels.

    The Singapore Memory Project (SMP) is a national initiative to collect, preserve and provide access to Singapore’s knowledge materials. Spearheaded by NLB, the SMP aims to build a national collection of content in diverse formats (including print, audio and video), to preserve them in digital form, and make them available for discovery and research.

    By pledging your blog to SMP, you are affirming that every memory matters. Whether your posts are an account of your daily life, or an expression of your thoughts, the SMP hopes to find a home for your memories so that it can help build towards an understanding of Singapore. You will also receive a badge that you can display on your blog in recognition of your contributions.

    Contributors to this blog pledging initiative will be listed on Singapore Memory portal’s blog pledging webpage. All blogs pledged to SMP will archived using NLB’s web harvesting software, in addition to images of each blog’s landing page.

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    Krishna |Social Media Analyst|Simulation Software & Technology (S2T) Pte Ltd 583 Orchard Road #14-02 Forum The Shopping Mall S(238884), Singapore o: +65 61006747 | f: +65 62341956 | w:

  11. Lady J Says:

    I’m sure you two will make a great team… you making the bakes and lil’ Missy serving up the goodies. Wanna be your customer when that cafe opens :)

  12. DR Says:

    Can I request for coffee with rice milk because this auntie can never have a baby-friendly cuppa outside?

  13. P Says:

    Ahh had some trouble with the login! But thanks for the add!

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