Archive for February, 2013

Learning chinese

February 27, 2013

Learning Chinese is going well? At least he doesn’t have the accent of an ang moh speaking Chinese anymore. He can even understand silly phrases like “红色妈妈” and new words like 牛奶 and 蛋糕.

Runaway stories

February 27, 2013

Calvin 0213 (46)His great imagination never fails to amuse me.

“Traffic light truck gliding around. Look at all the contrails it made”

Or when he pretended that a white monster was in the house and his papa and him were running away from it. Then they would both hide with mama. I said I would hit it with a wooden spoon and chase it away. To which, Calvin replied that the white monster broke my stick into many pieces. So we ended up all running away from the white monster and we all hid under the table. Using our telescope and binoculars, we spotted the white monster near the big white plastic bag with a smiley face and the monster was throwing the plastic bag around. Mama went and scolded I’m for making a big mess and shooed the monster away. Apparently, the monster ran and hid in the big red car, but he couldn’t drive. So we all went and captured the big white monster. Calvin gave it a hug and made him all nice so he became a friendly monster that lives in Calvin’s toy garage.

Tired and grumpy & Scrapbook

February 25, 2013

Calvin: Mama, are you happy? (he asks that when I seem grumpy)
Me: I’m not angry with you, Calvin. I’m just grumpy and tired.
Calvin: I don’t like you to be grumpy and tired.
Me: Can I get a hug then. Hugs always make me feel better.
(Calvin comes over and gives me a hug)

Today, we also started his own book/ scrapbook out of a spiral notebook. He painted a dinosaur inside which I labelled, parts and all. I also made a little cutout of his hand just so I can remember how small his hand is. I hope we’ll add many more wonderful things inside.

Thoughts of a Stay at Home Parent

February 22, 2013

Long before, I said that if I ever had kids, I would like to stay at home and take care of them at least during the early years. Perhaps that is from the fondness I have for the days I spent with my mummy until I was kindergarten. Though I can’t remember what I normally do during the day when my siblings are in school. I know I like to follow my mum around the house when she does chores. I’ll help with peeling the vegetables. I kinda remember hanging up the wet laundry but that must have been when I was older or I wouldn’t have been able to reach the clothes line. I remember too waiting for the school bus in the afternoon with my mum for my brother and sister to return. I used to read a lot of the chinese books and comic books that were lying around though I can’t tell what age I was then. When it boils down to it, I’m not exactly sure why I thought that way and still think so. Maybe it’s an innate distrust of other people to teach my child the way I want. I hope against hope that he/she will pick up my values. All in all, it’s probably a narcissistic reason.

Now that I’m older and I’ve actually done both the taking care of him full time and leaving him in daycare, I came away feeling that it is the right choice to be a stay at home mum. The few months when we were both working and he had to attend childcare was pretty tough. He was sick all the time and I really literally mean all the time. Not more than one day would pass before he came back with another drippy nose. He didn’t eat very well and looked very small indeed. It is certainly wonderful that I can watch him as he progresses through his early life. At daycare, I didn’t feel like I know what’s going on with him at all. And most importantly, now that I’m cooking, he’s been eating very well even though he’s entering a faddish stage – some meals he’ll eat only meat; some meals only vegetables etc and it would seem like he’s been growing well. He started preschool being much small than the other children (he is after all the youngest) but recently, he’s starting to look like he’s of comparable size. And most of all, I want to cherish the time when he wants to spend time with me (even if it means we’ll “fight” sometimes because I’m too tired to be patient with him). When he’s older, he’ll probably start to drift away and feel embarrassed to be seen with his parents. I’m dreading the teenage grunt-osaur years already…

Honestly, I wonder if I have the courage to have a second child. Not only are the first few months difficult, I’m worried about having another premature baby. It was a harrowing experience to have him stay at the hospital for a month before he could come home. We drove everyday so we could see him for an hour or so. Seeing him hooked up with a feeding tube and other contraptions, it was hard not to feel guilty that I put him through all that suffering.


Being sorry

February 21, 2013

I’m so forgetful sometimes it’s terrible. I had something to write about the other day about Calvin but for the life of me, I can’t remember what it is now. I wonder how much of his cutest moments have I forgotten already. Some of the happiness is so normal and pedestrian but just as precious nonetheless. I watch him growing and I can’t help but feel proud – he can manipulate his tinker toy and trio building blocks very well now and build his own imaginative concoctions of train, car, bus, robot, plane etc; I like the way he talk about drawing his house while he scribble on his drawing paper, drawing oval shapes for windows and then antennas and a conductor??

Oh right, and I’ve finally taught him the proper way to act when he does something wrong. Previously, I’ve always thought he was rather willful when we scolded him for doing wrong things. We can tell that he knows that he’s done wrong but he would try to act normal and continue playing. It finally dawned on me that he just hasn’t learnt what’s the best way to respond yet. The other night, we were playing/ chatting in bed after the lights are out, he playfully bonked me on the head with his pillow and started to giggle. After that he decided to bonk me in the eye with his fist just for kicks and started to giggle again. I got really mad but managed to push down my irritation and asked him,

Me: “Calvin, remember when you bonked your head on the table? That hurt right and you didn’t like it. How do you think mama feels when you bonk me on the eye?”

Calvin: “hurt” ( sounded cowed at this point)

Me: “Can you give me a kiss to make it feel better?”

Calvin: “I’m sorry. ::kiss::”

And then there was one satisfied mama.

Calvin 0213 (37)

Ding Dong Bell

February 16, 2013

So I’ve been teaching him new nursery rhymes as and when I remember them. This one goes like this:

“Ding dong bell, pussy in the well

Who put her in, Little Johnny Green

Who took her out, Little Tommy Stout”

Except…… me being me, I forgot the name of the second boy and called him Johnny instead of Tommy. So Calvin was all tickled that there were two Johnnys (on top of the one Johnny that is his dad)

Then yesterday, his dad sang it to him at night before he slept. Well, he didn’t fare any better, he remembered it as Sally Stout instead of Tommy. And Calvin started to giggle.

“Try again, papa”

So his dad did it two more times before figuring out that it was Johnny Stout that I taught little Calvin. So when he sang “Little Johnny Stout”, Calvin said “You did it, papa. You finally did it”

Another Cold

February 15, 2013

And Calvin caught his 3rd cold this winter…. with explosive snot sneezing out of his nose etc…. >_< Children supposedly average 6-10 colds a year so I guess he’s still ahead so far and this is with the flu shot he had last year. I guess I’ll definitely let him get another flu shot next year.

I’ve been inspired to cook new stuff recently. This week, we tried out Char Siew which turned out not bad even though I thought the meat was too dry. Then again I was never a fan on char siew. Next up, I shall try making gyoza and maybe even bagels when J’s qualifying exams are over. Life is certainly more exciting when you have something to look forward to.

Butting Heads with the Little Man

February 10, 2013

I must be getting old….for the past week, I’ve been thinking about things I wanted to write about Calvin during the day and by the time I actually sit down to do it, nothing comes to my mind.

Well, for the past week, we’ve been having some trouble getting him to sleep in the afternoon or at night. I can tell he is obviously sleepy but he’s just reluctant to lie down and actually try to sleep, saying “I don’t want to close my eyes, then I can’t see my toys”. I tried leaving him alone to play with his toys but he just ended up playing for almost two hours before I couldn’t take it anymore and forced him to put the toys away and just lie quietly. It was hard having fights like that with him. I felt like most of my day was spent lying in bed waiting for him to fall asleep. After talking over it with J and working out my own feelings, I decided to try another tack instead. Rather than make this a power struggle and making him associate sleep with something unpleasant, I thought I should just spend more time with him before sleep having fun in bed bouncing and rolling around. I think I’ve been so tired I must not have been paying enough attention to him during the day. Since we spend a lot of time just lying around in bed not doing anything fun, what time I have to spare have been spent cooking or indulging in my own entertainment. I guess that makes it a vicious cycle. Well, surprisingly, that, together with not allowing him to bring his more engaging building toys to bed, seems to have made a difference so bedtimes are more manageable now. Even though he still threw a tantrum this afternoon, I somehow managed to placate him and he fell asleep within 10 minutes of lying down. I guess he really picks off from my mood — when I’m patient and talk to him about his choices and understanding what he wants, he calmed down pretty quickly. Sometimes, I get impatient with him and use a commanding tone with him and that surely sets off the stubborn streak in him.

I’ve been watching a lot of Japanese dramas recently (making up for all the lost time??) and I really enjoyed watching the one about family life and I think it really help to get me thinking about how to be a better mother or wife. I mean it’s all rather cliché if you put it in words but the presentation makes all the difference when it comes to accepting a new way of thinking. The fact that I’m not working has really made me feel like I’m not making the most of my life but at the end of the day, I’m happy with the decisions I have made. Putting off my career and focusing on family first isn’t that bad a compromise to make. I just have to do a lot more thinking to see what I can do in the future for my own personal self fulfillment.

Fixing Mama

February 6, 2013

I’m having my usual bad ulcers in my mouth and even on my tongue. What’s more, my throat wasn’t feeling so good. When I told Calvin that I wasn’t feeling well, Calvin ran to me with his bucket.

Calvin: Doctor Calvin is here. (puts bucket at my chest)  Thump thump, thump thump

(pretends to take a wrench and fixing me) Ki-koo ki-koo. Are you all fixed?

Me: Oh Calvin, when people are sick. They need medicine.

Calvin: Here you go, mama. Ah (pretends to squirt stuff into my mouth). Mama, you are better now!