Archive for May, 2012

Autonomy

May 28, 2012

Little Calvin has been asserting his independence recently by resisting bedtime and nap time. On the worst night this past week, he threw a great fit and tantrum when I turned off the lights after he had his ‘three more minutes’ (He seems to think that three minutes lasts indefinitely. Or more like that’s the magic phrase for not doing things he doesn’t want done like going home after a walk.) He thrashed and cried and said all the things he could think of to get his daddy to rescue him. Since I couldn’t give in to his tantrum demands, I had no choice but to hold him tight, hoping to wear him out. After maybe an hour, we were both pretty worn out but the little guy is still persistently in a rage. Finally his dad came and the tension released in that exhausted little body. Within minutes, he was fast asleep. Later that night, after we both went to bed, he woke up from night terror and was totally inconsolable. (we thought it was a continuation of his earlier tantrum and I got rather mad. It didn’t help that he was saying the same things like ‘turn on the lights’ ‘go downstairs and play’) Apparently, kids are more likely to have such irrational nameless fears at night if they are over exhausted.

So we needed a new strategy. First we thought that maybe we’ve been neglecting him a bit because we were busy with D3. So no more playing when we are with him. Next plan was to tire him out with walks so he sleeps easier at night. And lastly, I’m letting him make more decisions so the little boss stuff knows he is in charge (sometimes) – things like do you want a big bottle of milk or small one, or do you want xx or yy for a snack, or do you want to change diaper now? There are non negotiables of course but I guess most things are rather inconsequential. It must be frustrating for him to have most aspects of his life controlled by parents. So far, something seems to be working though i can’t say what exactly but at least bedtime is more like a little struggle than a war now.

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Introvert(s)

May 18, 2012

I’m reading this book called Quiet, the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. I’ve always found it strange that I had some extrovert traits especially when I was young and somehow become more and more introverted. And I would feel bad that I’m not as social as other people are. I would rather be at home reading a book and playing a game than to go out for a dinner engagement. I remember the times when I went for my primary school class gatherings and I just didn’t feel like I belong at all. I would sit in a corner and wonder why I was there. The strange thing is i was rather gregarious when I was young. I liked performing in front of an audience; I wanted to go to school and make friends etc.

Regardless, it seems I’ve become firmly in the introvert camp now. In retrospect, perhaps that why me and Johnny hit it off well. It was the resonance of two introverts who are able to enjoy long silent walks together.

It’s no surprise that Calvin seems to be exhibiting classic introvert behavior as well. He prefers to watch other children play than join in the fray immediately; he takes a while to warm up to new toys. But today, when we went to the new family picnic, he surprised us by enjoying himself a lot running around near the order children. He didn’t exactly play together with them, but at this age, parallel play is normal anyway. He had a really great time running around going ‘neenaw’ and even ventured around by himself boldly. Even though he’s still not confident about climbing and sliding and other physical playground activities, he can enjoy himself without clinging on to us, which is what he usually does. It’s funny but that really made me feel very glad and happy coz I was worried about how he will cope with being in school. At the end of the day, no matter his temperament, I just want him to be happy and will try my best to support him in what he wants to do. That is except when he throws a tantrum about random silly things…

Running and other changes

May 16, 2012

I’m proud to say that I am stilling jogging regularly, about two to three times a week for about 15-20 mins. Jogging is quite rewarding in that you can really see yourself improve after a short while. I can jog a lot further than when I started a couple of months ago and actually do it without any running. I just thought about how pathetic I was in school when we had to do the 2.4 km run and I would walk at least one third of the way and just barely squeak by with a pass.

It definitely lifts my mood on the days I go running and it seems to be good for my knee as well. Yes, I certainly feel age creeping into my bones. I have strange aches everywhere. I’m not even super concerned about my weight anymore since it seems to be under control at least. I don’t think I’m losing any but I’m not gaining either. So much for my short lived dream of being a skinny girl.

Sometimes in my idle time, I’m assailed by doubts of whether I’m living my full potential. Having little Calvin in my life brings to me a whole new perspective about living. When I worried about him being a normal healthy boy, it occurred to me how important it is to have good health. And learning to cook for him, the health nut in me became totally rejuvenated. I’m very happy to cook healthy food that my family actually enjoys. When I think about going back to work, one of the biggest drawbacks would be that I wouldn’t have the energy to cook as much anymore. I feel like such a changed person because of the little Calvin. In fact, I’m not sure I’ll even want to go back to a regular 9-5 job anymore. (The question of whether I can after so many years hiatus may make that a moot point to consider)

Going home and other stuff

May 15, 2012

I was looking through my old posts of Calvin and I was thinking of how I miss the pictures of him so I’ll probably going to slowly go back and add pictures to all those posts that I made using my iPad. I kinda miss having my own PC but given the amount of personal time I actually have, it’s quite a waste of money at the moment. Things may change when he really starts school in earnest, so we’ll see how it goes.

We are eagerly awaiting the Diablo 3 delivery to arrive so that we can play with it. It’s been a while since we’ve found a game that excites us so I hope it lives up to its expectations.

It also looks like we will be going back to Singapore for a while this summer. We weren’t planning to but they wouldn’t defer my Singapore citizenship registration any further so we thought might as well get it over and done with. So it’ll a bit of last minute scramble to get tickets etc and think of how we are going to handle the little rascal on the super long flight.

Back to the little Calvin, our little trooper has been surprisingly good with the car seat. After spending most of his life so far sitting in my lap in car/ bus rides, we actually managed to cajole into the car seat quite easily. All it took were the two handy dandy hand puppets (one blue one called ‘cookie monster’ and the other one simply ‘girl’), some encouraging words, his trains in the cup holder and a yummy snack after that. Of course it also helped that we made the seat forward facing instead of rear facing. We really thought we’d have a big tantrum/ whining/ kicking/ fussing in our hands, but once again he surprises us at how easy going he can be. I guess I am getting much better at calming him down. Yesterday, when we went out for a short grocery trip, he refused to get in the car and leave so I just bundled him up, strapped him into his car seat with him kicking and straining and telling us to ‘break it (the seatbelt) in half’. I don’t even remember what I did but somehow he managed to calm down quickly.

It’s funny when I thought of how bad i was at comforting anyone in the past. I think I do a lot of what J does not, which is to try and help explain/ rationalize instead of listening and understanding. Somehow it took being a mother to really help me learn. I guess being able to defuse tantrums and meltdowns is a pretty big incentive. All those parenting books I read really did come in handy after all.

;

14 May 2012: Lining up his blocks

Summer has begun

May 11, 2012

Things have finally calmed down now that Johnny has finished his term. Ever since daylight savings started, the little one has been sleeping later at 10pm instead of 9 so we get less night hours to do our own stuff. At least he now rarely wakes me up before 7am. Somehow I feel a bit more harried because I used to do a lot of relaxed cooking at night previously. When I cook during the day, I can’t just sit and read on my iPad during the little breaks in between waiting for the food to cook. And the notty lithe guy is always impatient for his food.

Yes, I’m still keeping up with my daily cooking. We eat out about twice a month on average. But I get bored with my own cooking…. I can only get excited about cooking when I’m trying out new things. I actually made radish cake the other day (Luo Bo Gao). The texture is right but the flavor still needs some work =_= sometimes I feel kinda amazed that I’m doing all this cooking stuff when I was barely cooking anything before we came. During our uni days, I only knew a few dishes and most of the time we just eat out. And we were definitely easier to please in those days. We still can’t help but laugh at our regular meals of rice with sausages and canned mushrooms when we were living in the dorm. And the many many unhealthy TV dinners we ate…. I don’t even want to touch those any more.

And my little Calvin is now so boyish, with a mischievous smile and increasing willfulness. His command of english and vocabulary is improving speedily. He’s now talking in complete and sometimes complex sentences. He knows words like ‘remember’, and even some 4 syllable word that I can’t recall now. One of his favorite things to do is to deliberately mispronounce words and make us correct him. Eg, in this book, it talks about a truck ‘crossing every state’ and every time, he will grin and say ‘crossing every steak’ until we tell him that it’s not ‘steak’, but ‘state’. He seems to have his own little private jokes too… For some reason, he keeps giggling when we read a line about the sound of ‘papa’s boots falling down…thump’.

14 Apr 2012: Super Cheeky Kungfu Kick

He’s been very good in playing by himself as well. We recently got him a little garage with ramps for his little cars and the little guy spends at least half hour periods doing his own pretend play scenarios with it eg like how the tow truck is looking for his friends, or they all go into the garage and sleep etc. seeing how happy he is, I can’t help but want to buy more toys for him, even though the house is filled with his stuff as it is. I am a softie after all….

This coming Sep, he will be attending a co-op daycare and I can’t help but worry if he will fit in well and if he will make friends. Especially since his motor skills are somewhat lacking and he is still a shy boy around strangers.

For now, we will just be enjoying our first summer here. We recently bought a car so at least it will be easier to get around.