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Honesty is a Virtue

Honesty is a Virtue

Just before the music lesson ended, the teacher reminded the whole class,”Next week we will be having a term break. So remember not to come for class, ok?!”

A little voice piped up,”Hahaha! Yes! My Daddy always forgets! So many times!”

To the hub’s horror, the voice came from the 宝贝, who was sitting beside him.

Honesty should be rewarded. I allowed her to eat an extra biscuit – her favourite.

Hand in Hand

Hand in Hand

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Hand in hand, sibling bonding. A peaceful sight.

Before long… The mind starts to wander…

Hmmm… Jie jie’s fingers… Sausages…. Fingers… Sausages….

I wonder what they taste like…. Wonder wonder….

Why bother with wondering?? I’m a man of ACTION! *pops them into my mouth to savour….*

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Extremely loud shriek from Jie Jie “Di Di is eating my fingers!!!”

Facebook

Facebook

Hub : In a few years’ time I’ll get a Facebook account!

Me : Why “in a few years” and not “now”?! I thought you said social media is a waste of time and is bo Liao?! (He’s one of the extremely few persons I know who doesn’t have a Facebook account and he’s in the IT line! Heck! Even my dad who’s a retiree is my friend on fb!!)

Hub : Well, kids are so techy nowadays. When 宝贝 gets a Facebook account, I want to be her first friend. *beams*

Huh?! The mountains and seas couldn’t move him to register for a fb account. No wonder there’s a Chinese saying, “Daughters were their Daddies’ lovers in their previous lives!”

Hmm… That means my friend who has 3 daughters must have been quite a Casanova in his previous life. :p

Happy Father’s Day!

P.S. Darn! That means I can’t complain about him on Facebook anymore!!!! Never mind. There’s still twitter!!

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Silly Triangle

Silly Triangle

It’s the once a term teacher-parent session. I don’t think my parents had ever stepped foot into my schools in the entirety of my studying career. Because during my time, only parents of naughty children were summoned to school. I certainly weren’t an angel but didn’t justify for parent summoning.

Now, parents want to see the teachers, to keep track of their children’s progress. Even pre schools are doing it now! Once every term. Parenting has indeed evolved. From the hands off parents of the past to over zealous ones of the present.

For 宝贝, it’s the usual stuff. No red flag. Good enough for me. No news is good news! No more weird feedback like her lining up for 3-4 helpings of food when she was in nursery 1. (Her n1 teacher must think that I starve her at home…)

Something caught my eye as I was leaving.

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I almost burst out laughing. It’s so “her”. I call her Silly Sally whenever she does silly things at home. The rest of her friends were using the normal textbook adjectives. Maybe I should tone down on the “Silly Sally” usage… Hmmm…

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This is her BFF’s. It really looks like the child, right down to her cute bangs.

Children’s art – a reflection of reality.

Let Them Grow

Let Them Grow

“She doesn’t know how to take the bus.”
“You must be kidding!! Isn’t she in Sec 2 this year?! I went around on buses when I was in Primary 5!!”
“Well, she’s always been ferried around by her mother…”

Oh my goodness…

Overprotective parents. Are we helping or harming our children?? Sure, these youngsters are academically brilliant but completely inept in handling normal day to day stuff.

I even see it in 宝贝. She’s been ferried around so much that taking mrt and bus are treats. I recall that it was the other way round for me. Buses (mrts were only operational very much later) were the norms. Car rides were the treats!!

When I gossiped with my friends about these “lucky” kids, it made me more mindful that I need to stop mollycoddling my children. Sometimes, for the sake of convenience, we “help” them with their tasks. Are we really helping or over helping??

We sometimes underestimate the abilities of our children. They are in fact, very capable of performing many tasks. We, parents, should have confidence in them and let them do it.

宝贝 was able to feed herself at a very young age. Of course, we went through lots of cleaning up and soiled clothes before we reached that stage. It was so tempting to just take over the spoon and shovel the food into her mouth so that I could save myself the task of cleaning up the entire mess!! I shudder at seeing grown up children (even the ones in primary schools) being fed by their parents and maids at the restaurants or even at family functions. Ok, I’d rather go for the mess at home during training than to be caught dead with an academically brilliant imbecile who still requires feeding at an advanced age.

Sure, she wants me to help her with everything, if she has the choice. It’s the easy way out. i usually let her choose – either she does it herself or everything remains status quo. No coercion or begging. Her choice.

Definitely, if the tasks are dangerous to perform at her age, I’d definitely take over. Her grandmas and some friends of mine think I’m too brave. Their idea of “safe” differs from mine at times. :p

There’s no better time than now to let go and let them learn. In fact, I have to constantly remind myself to let go for I can’t take care of her forever.

At the age of 3.5, she can do the following things (which I think all children of her age should be able to do) :
– Use the toilet on her own with the help of the handy ikea stool. That stool is worth every single cent and a hundred times more!!
– Dress herself.
– Prepare her own breakfast. Simple one of course.
– Feed herself.
– Pack her schoolbag.
– Walk home after she alights from her school bus
– Set the table (cutlery and plates) for the whole family at mealtimes.
– Bring her own dirty plate and cutlery back to the kitchen.
– Return her toys and books back to their original places after use.
– Do her own laundry. (Just putting them into the laundry basket and then into the washing machine, turn on the washing machine at the right setting).
– Use the phone, dial the correct numbers and “buy” groceries, (She places her grocery orders with my Dad. Haha.) or simply chit chat. She remembers a few people’s numbers for this purpose.
– Send whatsapp messages with single words.

Quite a long list! Next one on the list – bathe herself adequately.

Of course she gets treats when she does her chores. I just have to take the risk of cleaning up the mess if she fouls up. But hey! It’s for the long term benefit. Think of the amount of time and money you can save when she can help out with the household chores??

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Meanwhile… Here’s my little housemaid in her Hello Kitty apron. That’s extra incentive. She likes to look good when she’s performing household chores. :p

Favouritism

Favouritism

“Eh! You are very 偏心 (show favoritism) leh! You flooded your Facebook with photos of no. 1 but we hardly see any photo of no. 2!!”

Huh?! Really? I checked my Facebook. She really had many more baby photos but then again he’s only 3 months old. However, it’s true that I’ve fewer photos of him in my phone. I used to snap her in every compromising position and laugh over it.

Maybe the novelty of snapping baby photos has worn off? Because we have been through it once and we kind of know or even expect it when he does certain things at the “right” age.

The bigger reason is probably because we used to have only 1 baby. Now we have a young child and a baby. The child demands attention from us and so does the baby. There’s simply no luxury of time for us to hold up the camera and patiently coax the baby into the positions that we want him to be in. Not with a little child hopping around us, demanding for her needs to be fulfilled.

At the same time, 宝贝 wants me and me alone to help her with her activities when she was previously contented to have her grandparents help her with it. She’s sensed that her attention from me has effectively been halved with the arrival of the baby and wants it back.

Do I love her more or the baby less? Love is something that can’t be quantified. Hah! This drives the statisticians mad. I love both of them. I love to cuddle with Ms chubby and the baby. Sometimes 3 of us just cuddle together.

But yes, I’ve only 24 hours a day. Time has to be shared. There’s no other way out of this. And while she is lucky enough to be first born, she had an extra 3 years’ worth of 100% love and attention from us. I refuse to agree that 小小宝贝 has been short changed, for now he has the attention and love from everyone plus his doting sister. She’s extremely gentle with him.

She showers him with love and kisses every day. She even holds conversations with him on her daily activities with him “oohing” and “aahing” in his baby talk. I’ve been trying to capture it on video but she clams up when she sees me sneak up with my phone. Sigh… I need to pick up some stealth skills for this paparazzi work.

Both my 宝贝s captured in a shot. *V*

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Tango – Puppets @ Play

Tango – Puppets @ Play

I’ve wanted to blog about this for quite a while. Edited the photos and kept them in the photo stream. My iPhone just ran out of space (yes yes. I know people probably find this unbelievable that a 32gb iPhone can actually run out of space. But I’m a photo cum video hoarder), so I thought I should just blog about it and clear a little space for more photos. The immediate solution is to just buy myself an iPhone5!! :p

This was the first puppet show that I’ve ever brought 宝贝to. We have been catching plays and kiddy shows on and off. And I figured that this would be a refreshing change. I googled it and found pretty good reviews on it. It’s a one man show by an Argentinian puppeteer, brought in by Act 3 Theatre.

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We had to set out pretty early as this was the first time we were going to the Act 3 theatre. I’ve heard horror stories from friends on how tough it was to find parking. Sure enough, the car park was only just large enough to house 6 cars and the nearest car park was along Anthony Road which was quite a distance away. It would have been quite disastrous if it rained. Mental note: no more shows at this venue unless hub comes along.

We were dropped off and since we were early we joined the rest of the families on the wooden benches outside a small little wooden structure.

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宝贝 munching on her biscuit while waiting for the show to start. *nom nom nom*

I was wondering what the interior of the theatre looked like when its exterior resembled a pre war storehouse. My curiosity was finalized satisfied and yes it was a storehouse on the inside!!

The little stage was filled with the props, there was sitting space right in front of it and everyone rushed to grab the the best seat nearest to the stage. I preferred to sit on the first row of chairs so that I had an elevated, unblocked view and I wasn’t too keen to jostle for space.

The show started with the puppeteer recounting how he became interested in the art and his journey. With a heavily accented English, he spoke in a very animated way and soon infected the whole crowd with his enthusiasm and positivity. His props were simple yet imaginative, very colorful and brought to life by his acrobatic movements and well trained actions.

Every single part of his body could be used, to animate one, two or even three puppets at the same time. He made use of lights, simple every day items to produce various visual effects to wow the crowds. His shadow play was amazing. With a twitch of his fingers and parts of his body, he produced creative shadowy images that thrilled the minds with his innovation.

We were not allowed to take photos of the performance so I had to take photos of the brochure… Better than nothing lar!

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We are being exposed to all kinds of media every day. They tend to be very blatant and very “in your face”. You don’t need much imagination or creativity to absorb the imagery that is conveyed. You can’t help but wow at the innovative ways that the puppeteer has used to bring his puppets to life.

But what struck me as the best part of the performance was the last bit, his ending speech.

Children are the best things that can happen in your lives. Now they love you unconditionally and treat you as their whole world, worship you like gods. There will come a time when they will outgrow this and move on with their own lives. You, as parents should cherish this phase of their lives because it’s very short and once it’s gone you will never get it back. This is the time when you should spend the most time with them and it will be the best part of your lives. Cherish this moment and give them all the love you have. Hug Them, Kiss Them, Shower Them with all your Love.

I can’t help but wholeheartedly agree with him. Images of 宝贝 in her baby phase and now her toddler phase, the hilarious things she did or said. Yes. I can’t turn back the clock and she’s growing up in leaps and bounds every day. She won’t be making the same cute mistakes and she’s now talking more logically. She’s still adorable in her own more mature way now. But I couldn’t help remembering how she was like just months back or even 1-2 years ago.

I felt like quitting my job on the spot and spending all my time with her!! (hee hee.. realistically, I don’t think I can last more than 2 weeks as a Stay At Home Mum though…)  It’s never too late to manage my work life balance and make the most of these precious years when she still adores me unconditionally. (everyone tells me that she will soon start talking back and make me mad. :p)

Anyway, back to Tango – puppets @ play. If you have missed it this year, remember to go for it next year. Enjoy it with your children.  These are one of the simple things in life that can make you smile.   🙂