Our cute n’ chaotic playdate with Kate Pang’s babies

Also known as the day we personally witnessed the super-mum in action

Our cute n’ chaotic playdate with Kate Pang’s babies
05 May 2017

Our cute n’ chaotic playdate with Kate Pang’s babies

Photos: Tammi Tan
Videos: Vina Chia

Aden Chen is not even three years old yet, but the celebrity toddler is already a pro when it comes to making his guests feel welcome.

We dropped by Kate Pang and Andie Chen’s apartment one morning last month to catch up with Kate, who took a step back from showbiz when she became a mother but has been inching back into the limelight with various variety and hosting gigs (including this year’s Star Awards). However, Aden and his 11-month-old little sister Avery inevitably became the main attractions during our visit, seemingly refusing to let us have a moment alone with their mum.

Not that we really minded the distractions, to be honest. While we were trying to interview Kate in the living room, Aden barged in with a bowl of sugarcoated almonds and offered them to us. We happily accepted the snacks – who are we to resist? – and this encouraged the boy to return with a second bowl of nuts (his mother was not exempt from the feeding frenzy, but she gently told him, “I’m trying to lose weight”).

Speaking of Kate’s reaction, that day was the day we got to personally witness the 34-year-old super-mum in action: she is patient, but she doesn’t simply let them get away with anything; she is affectionate, but she doesn’t mollycoddle her kids.

For instance, when Aden and Avery interrupted our interview (usually by suddenly crying out or tinkling away at a toy piano), Kate would gently tell them to stop, and good-naturedly explain why they shouldn’t do things, or try to find a fun, creative way to keep them quiet, such as by playing the classic “whoever speaks first, loses” game (it only worked for a while, but at least she tried).

We finally managed to snag a few precious minutes with Kate when a helper brought Avery into her room to sleep, and when Aden was told to retreat to the dining room with a phone to watch YouTube videos on. But we barely got halfway through our chat when we heard a disgruntled “I don’t like this one!”, followed by the patter of small feet back to the living room.

Mummy duties were calling for Kate again.

(Continued on next slide)

Kate, Aden and Avery hang out in a giant inflatable playpen
05 May 2017

Kate, Aden and Avery hang out in a giant inflatable playpen

Aden’s energy levels remained high during lunchtime, which Kate insisted we stay for before getting someone to go out and buy packets of chicken rice for everyone. Bouncing happily in his high chair while being fed meat and boiled egg whites (he doesn’t eat the yolk), the natural entertainer suddenly burst into a self-composed jingle with the lyrics (in Mandarin), “I don’t like tomatoes!”

His little sister was so tickled by the display that the poor darling laughed until she choked.

The rest of our time at the Chen quarters was spent trying to take photos with the children. Here’s an important tip if you want a picture with Aden: take a front-camera selfie instead of getting someone to snap a photo for you, because there’s a much higher chance of him actually looking into the lens, or rather, at himself on the screen.

We also played around with filters that turned them into adorable animals – even Avery could not stop staring at her cute self (with virtual whiskers and bunny ears).

Alas, our playdate had to eventually come to an end (in fact, we were there for two hours longer than we originally intended). When Aden learned that his new big sisters had to leave to go back to the office, he actually looked like he was about to cry…until the front door opened and Andie walked in, bending down to give his son a big hug. Daddy makes everything better – and he made it easier for us to slip away without feeling too bad.

Whew! Is that what Kate has to deal with all the time? Mums really are phenomenal. Happy Mother’s Day to Kate and all other mums (and mother figures) out there!

Read on for what we managed to get out of Kate during our interview, where she reveals her ideal Mother’s Day gift, how Aden treats his little sister and more! You can also see what went down as a whole (disruptions from the Chen children and all) in our video here!

Watch Kate Pang's episode of Take A Break! on Toggle.
Kate Pang's new info-ed show Little Maestros premieres June 5 on Channel 8.

AWWW: Aden gives his mummy an Eskimo kiss and a peck on the cheek
05 May 2017

AWWW: Aden gives his mummy an Eskimo kiss and a peck on the cheek

Toggle: Are you in the habit of celebrating Mother’s Day?
Kate: I’ve always celebrated it for Andie’s mother and for my own when I go back to Taiwan. I haven’t really thought about explaining the meaning of the occasion to Aden yet because he’s too young. For now, he associates Mother’s Day with cake, and as long as there is cake to eat, he’ll be happy!

Kate and Aden strike a pose for our camera, while poor Avery looks a little confused
05 May 2017

Kate and Aden strike a pose for our camera, while poor Avery looks a little confused

Now that you’re a mother yourself, is there anything you’d like to say to your own grandmother (who raised you)?
[Starts to get emotional] I’m really thankful to my grandmother who managed to bring me up so well in a difficult environment. After becoming a mother, I realised that raising and educating a child is a challenging task, and I began to treasure everything that happened in the past even more.

Don't let that tiny piano's size fool you - it causes an absolute racket!
05 May 2017

Don't let that tiny piano's size fool you - it causes an absolute racket!

Is there a particular Mother’s Day gift that you wish to get from your children one day?
I just want their gratitude. [Aden causes a ruckus by banging on his toy piano] Actually, I just want them to behave! (laughs) I want them to be healthy and happy. That would be the best present.

A preview of the various interruptions we experienced during the interview
05 May 2017

A preview of the various interruptions we experienced during the interview

How have you changed after becoming a mother?
My temper has improved so much. Now I’m very patient no matter what my kids do, and I generally don’t get angry at them. Even if I do, I’ll calmly explain to them what they did wrong and educate them in a very rational way.

The interruptions continue... note how Kate is still able to keep a smile on her face
05 May 2017

The interruptions continue... note how Kate is still able to keep a smile on her face

Have you ever lost your temper at your kids?
I have, but not to the extent of hitting or shouting at them. I just need to use a very low, serious voice to speak and that’s enough to scare them.

Kate asked for a kiss and what she got was this
05 May 2017

Kate asked for a kiss and what she got was this

What is something that tests your limit as a mother?
Sometimes Aden just refuses to listen to me. For example, if he doesn’t want to go to bed, he’ll come up with a hundred excuses not to, and it’s especially frustrating when I’m tired. However, I still try my best to hold back and patiently to coax him to sleep.

Kate tries to teach Aden how to read our mic collar (he did it, by the way!)
05 May 2017

Kate tries to teach Aden how to read our mic collar (he did it, by the way!)

You’ve said you aspire to be a stay-at-home mum. What made you return to showbiz?
Because we need the money! And I feel like this industry isn’t one that you can stay away from for long. My husband told me that after I gave birth and was stuck at home all day for almost a year, I became very “auntie”, so I should quickly go back to work! (laughs)

We got Aden to draw something for his mum, and Avery tried to get in on the action too
05 May 2017

We got Aden to draw something for his mum, and Avery tried to get in on the action too

What are your conditions for taking on a new project?
I don’t have that many limits, but as far as possible, I try to pick something that allows me to go home at night to spend time with my children. I would love to start acting again, but I have a few concerns such as the long filming hours and not being able to divide my time properly.

Avery and Aden playing with the many toys in their playpen
05 May 2017

Avery and Aden playing with the many toys in their playpen

What is a role you would absolute not take on?
Anything that requires me to expose too much of my body, because it does not suit my image. If you need me to play a coquettish young woman in a bikini, sorry, you’ll have to ask my husband first. (laughs)

Here's Aden a.k.a. Mr. Hospitality going around offering nuts to everyone in the room
05 May 2017

Here's Aden a.k.a. Mr. Hospitality going around offering nuts to everyone in the room

Did you also go back to work so that your husband can pursue his own ambitions?
Yes. My husband has very big dreams and is working hard to achieve them. Our goal is to go to Hollywood one day, but since I’m clearly not cut out to be a Hollywood superstar (because my English is so bad), I’m pinning all our hopes on him.

We asked Aden to give his little sister a hug, and he immediately squeezed her like a teddy bear
05 May 2017

We asked Aden to give his little sister a hug, and he immediately squeezed her like a teddy bear

What kind of a brother is Aden to Avery?
He’s still very young, but I do ask him to help out with Avery sometimes to give him a sense of responsibility. For instance, he’ll help to hold the wet tissues while I’m changing Avery’s diapers, and I’ll get him to stop her from doing things she shouldn’t do, such as biting dangerous objects.

Aden looks like he's about to stop Avery from putting that toy in her mouth
05 May 2017

Aden looks like he's about to stop Avery from putting that toy in her mouth

Do Aden and Avery get along very well?
I think Aden really loves his sister. Once I pretended to spank Avery in the dark (I really just hit my own hand), but Aden, who believed that I actually hit her, spoke up, “She is my sister!” He is very protective of Avery and won’t let her be bullied.

Kate reacts to Aden putting a toy ball into his mouth
05 May 2017

Kate reacts to Aden putting a toy ball into his mouth

What are your biggest hopes and fears when it comes to your children?
My biggest hope is that they will grow up to be empathetic and creative people. My biggest worry is that they will either be negatively influenced by others, or be a negative influence to others.

Are you going to interview your sister with our mic, Aden?
05 May 2017

Are you going to interview your sister with our mic, Aden?


Avery claps her hands happily
05 May 2017

Avery claps her hands happily

Avery turns a wooden bowl into her teething toy
05 May 2017

Avery turns a wooden bowl into her teething toy

What are you doing, Aden?
05 May 2017

What are you doing, Aden?

Cover boy-ready Aden strikes a handsome pose for our camera
05 May 2017

Cover boy-ready Aden strikes a handsome pose for our camera

For some reason, Aden decided to hand us this toy in the middle of our interview with Kate
05 May 2017

For some reason, Aden decided to hand us this toy in the middle of our interview with Kate

We accepted it, of course, but we still don't know the purpose of his "gift".

WATCH:
Andie Chen thinks Kate Pang is becoming more "auntie"?
How does Aden Chen fare as a big brother to Avery?

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