Archive for August, 2013

First day of school

August 30, 2013

Today was orientation day so all the parents were with their kids at school. There was one boy who seemed to have some issues with sitting down for any length of time at all. He seemed really upset most of the day except during free play time when he could play with vehicles to his hearts desire.

Calvin was great. He talked during circle time, sang loudly during all the song moments,managed to share toys nicely with other children and was happily helping to clean up the blocks while pretending to be a loader. He ran around lots during playground time and was trying to play with Ezra though they had a bit of argument when Ezra said Calvin used up all the muddy cupcake batter and Calvin insisted that there was plenty left. I’m glad to see that Calvin was able to assert himself properly when dealing with the other children.

Playing with Legos

August 30, 2013

So we got a big tub of lego bricks delivered yesterday. Calvin has been building non stop with it. When he concentrates, his mouth pouts cutely the same way his daddy does. He also have the same anal trait of wanting things to color match and be of the same color. Johnny built him a red tank with a black turret yesterday and he quickly ripped that off and gave it a red turret instead.

Calvin 1308 (59)One of the things he likes to say when he got frustrated at not being able to press some pieces together “Mom/ papa, it doesn’t want to go in!”

So far, he does best a taking apart our creations and customizing it to make his own robots/ vehicles/ boats. He’s definitely the type who likes building more than the finished product because he quickly takes things apart to make other modifications. Well I’m just glad there’s no temptation for me to buy him those lousy special kits that makes only one thing and comes with huge instructions on how to put it together. I think keeping those sets separate in a way that can be rebuilt would be such a big pain.

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Poor Big Papa

August 28, 2013

Yes, poor big papa hurt his back yesterday and has been experiencing excruciating pain the whole day. In the morning, the pain was so great when he got out of bed, he nearly blacked out. Good thing he didn’t actually faint or he might actually hurt more than just his back.

Calvin was quite fussy though because we both didn’t have much time for him, but he’s such a great boy. He said he would be very nice to papa and even pat his papa, saying ‘there, there’ like how we comfort him. I guess he doesn’t understand the source of the injury and how serious it is so he though papa would just get better very quickly and ‘we can go to the park/ we can go swimming later’. Sometimes I feel bad for getting impatient with him because he didn’t understand that Johnny is too hurt to even walk well, much less drive and go to the park/ pool.

Calvin and I went out to the cstreet parents meeting together in the evening. Since he was being wonderful, I tossed in two gummy bears to surprise him. He was indeed surprised and asked where it came from. Then he decided it a a gummy toy and started squeezing it. I helped him hold it while he eat the rest of his snack and his hot little hands had made the gummy all sticky. I commented to him as such. He asked ‘why is it sticky’ so I told him it’s because it’s a type of food and it Mel’s a little. I encouraged him to eat it and he popped the whole thing in his mouth and promptly declared ‘I do like gummy bears!’

Well. Hope Johnny’s back recovers well. It’s quite sad when he can’t get anything done. It’s such a helpless feeling and I’m really not very good at helping him. Mainly because I’m worried about hurting him even more, but we are both learning to manage I guess.

Morbid Humor

August 27, 2013

Calvin: Mum, what will happen when I stop breathing?

Me: Then you will die.

Calvin: Then where will my skeleton go? In the graveyard?

Me: Yeah

Calvin: Does the doctor put my skeleton there?

Me: No. It’s someone called the undertaker.

Calvin: Why is it called ‘under’? Will mama and papa come and visit me? What will you say/do?

Me: Yeah, we will visit. We will be so sad because we miss you.

Calvin: So if Calvin is dead, papa and mama will miss me. If papa is dead, mama and Calvin will miss him. If mama is dead, Calvin and papa will miss you. It’s all different people. (Chuckles at his own revelation)

(pause)

Calvin: Then who will eat the yummies?

Me: Papa will eat it all I guess.

Calvin: (Takes lots of deep breathes) See, I’m breathing well.

Looks like Calvin is definitely of the live to eat camp 😛

 

Hay Fever

August 25, 2013

This year, I somehow started having hay fever symptoms just like Johnny did last year (and this year too). The worst part about it all is not the uncontrollable sneezing but uncontrollable sneezing in the middle of the night, getting my nose all blocked up and become unable to sleep. The funny thing is I think I used to have the same symptoms when I was young though that is more related to sleeping in an air conditioned room? Well, I thought I just had a sensitive nose and it actually went away as i grew up. And now as i grow even older, i get it back again….. doh, but at least i’m familiar with my triggers – dust, strong scents, probably air con, some types of plants. Gah, I wish I didn’t wake up and sneeze at such ungodly hours, which I also did when I was young but I fell asleep better then. Sigh…

Edit: On a whim, I bought some un-petroleum jelly to make up the amount to get free shipping. Then I read that some people put vaseline in their nostrils. This purportedly helps to get all the allergens/ dust/ pollen stuck to the jelly and not into the nose canal where it causes irritation. Well, it certainly worked for me. Yesterday night when I woke up and was about to sneeze, i quickly smeared some of it and I could actually go back to sleep. Hurrah!

Lego

August 25, 2013

Calvin is very into Lego nowadays. We got a free kit for making a police car from toys r us a few months ago and he has been modifying it like crazy this past week, making formula one cars, delivery vans, various types of spoilers and wings etc. I’m so tempted to buy a Lego set for him now instead of waiting for his birthday so we could play together, but the lego sets are expensive and usually come with a lot of small 1×1 and 1×2 parts instead of the other more playable pieces. I would probably keep the tiniest ones in a bag and not let him play with those because from experience, they are likely to get lost and he doesn’t have the dexterity to deal with it yet. His nails (and mine) have peeled a couple of times from trying to remove those small bricks from each other. Most of the time, we help him take off pieces that he needs to remove. I even contemplated getting the Lego separator tool made by Lego but today, I finally found the ultimate in Lego removal in our house – the steak knife >.< inevitably, the bricks gets a little scratched in the process but that's too bad.

As I looked through the different basic sets that Lego sells now, I remembered playing with Lego myself as a kid. Well, I only remember helping my sister build lego houses, complete with walls, windows, flowers, beds, sinks etc. I guess it was more like a doll house. I remember that I loved opening the windows and doors and peer into them (even though the house we built doesn't have a roof and I can see everything much better from the top. I wasn't much into building with the bricks unlike my brother. I think I have trouble visualizing a design in 3D and then making it. Even now, I build things willy-nilly based on my whim rather than with any purpose in mind.

Edit: Today, Calvin surprised us by actually following the instructions and building the police car model all by himself. His papa was building one at the same too so there were some visual cues. I’m still rather proud of him though.

The Odd Things that Kids Pick Up

August 23, 2013

When Calvin is angry, he says things like “I’m not going to be in your crew any more” — from Lightning Mcqueen’s line to Mater? Or he will say I’m going to leave this house. And he willalso make the angry 哼 sound when he doesn’t like what I’m saying. Today during dinner, Calvin was playing with his toys while I was feeding him rice balls (rice and salmon and cucumber wrapped in seaweed, lovingly and individually made) in his excitement, he waved his toy around as I tried to out the spoon in his mouth and the food spilled. I told him off and said he shouldn’t wave his toys around when we are eating and that I won’t feed him while he does that. Then he said “I don’t want that. Mama, you leave this house” and made his angry grunt. I was really annoyed to hear him say that and I told him that I don’t like what he said and that it’s something that if he said again, will get him sent to bed with no toys, no books and no mama or papa. He at least had the sense to say in an apologetic voice, “I won’t do it again” and so I was placated and all is well again. But I have to say I wonder where he learnt this whole leaving the house thingie. The other time, he said he was going to leave this house and look for a dark empty house where we can all live in…

Well, at least I still got some really nice kisses and hugs from him before bed time. I also like how he would look at me and say “mum, why are you not making the happy kind of face?”

 

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Random anecdotes

August 10, 2013

Calvin explores a little path next to the side walk. He stops halfway and started backing down. “Mama, the bush is spiky”

As we cross the street, he stumbled on my foot and fell down. “Mama, you made me fall.”

During nap, I was going to leave so he can fall asleep alone. “Anything you need to tell me before I go?”, I asked. “I need a hug” I happily obliged. Then the little man threw his arm around my neck and gave me a tight hug… For a long time…. Then he grinned and said “Now you can’t go.”

He repeated that again today except he grabbed my shirt, giggling as I try to get him to let me. If only we could do the hug one again… 😡

Pretending to be a transformer - Hot Rod

Pretending to be a transformer – Hot Rod

My Happiness is Private?

August 9, 2013

Sometimes, I feel like I have less of an urge to blog when I’m really happy. Writing is an outlet for my rumination when I feel like I do not have anyone to talk about things. When I’m happy, I tend to be absorbed in my own activities like reading, spending time with family or generally engaging in productive work. Am I happier when I’m busy? Recently, I feel like everything looks bright and cheery once again and I feel hopeful about the future. Maybe it’s because I feel very close to my family right now and the feeling of social belonging keeps me mentally satiated.

I’ve been spending a lot of time recently reading and playing jigsaw puzzles of all things. I’m trying to do more of what I enjoy most when I was young. Surprisingly, I can still read chinese novels after a long hiatus of having nothing to do with anything chinese. I recently read two novels, inspired by the hong kong movies i watched: one is a wuxia story called 鹿鼎记 and the other was 蓝血人. I’m sure I mentally skipped plenty of words I didn’t remember but at least I didn’t feel any difficulty reding through the whole thing and understanding the plot etc.

Recently, we, as in me and Johnny, tried to speak to each other in Chinese, something we’ve actually never ever did before. It was all in the grand plan to get Calvin to pick up more chinese or at least acquire the correct accent… But it felt kinda awkward and we easily fell back to English again. On the other hand, I can see that it might be very helpful because Calvin was starting to parrot what we say.

Learning to Say No and Accept it

August 4, 2013

I wonder if other kids are the same but Calvin has a hard time taking no for an answer. This morning, I woke up early and went downstairs. I just started the kettle to boil when I heard Calvin wake up. When I went upstairs, I found him in the bathroom, getting the potty seat all ready so I went to look at him and see if he needed help. “I only want papa to be here”, said a strident voice. “Ok, I’ll go then but papa is sleeping so he can’t come so you’ll have to do it by yourself.” Then a lot of loud protesting from the little man ensued. He stubbornly stood on the stool. He even pulled down his diaper and pants and just soon there refusing to sit down. “I can’t sit down unless papa is here”. This coming from a boy who can do it perfectly well normally. So I went to the bedroom and decided I might as well get some nice couple time hugs while the battle ensues. After a long silence, it sounded like he got off the stool. Without sitting down on the potty. He declared “I’m going to leave this house”. I was a little alarmed. Where do little kids learn things like that anyway?!? So off I went to detain him at the stairs. “We can’t go down until we’ve brushed our teeth and used the potty. After that we can go downstairs”. I managed to calm him down with my surprisingly zen, non-confrontational reaffirmation of his emotions – yes, you are angry because papa didn’t come and help etc. He stomped hard a few times to show he was very angry, then was suddenly defused. Sometimes I’m surprised too at how well this method works. So every time I have the urge to berate him for being silly, I remind myself to treat him kindly and acknowledge that he’s a little man with difficult emotions to handle and most of the time I was rewarded by the return of my happy silly boy again.

I can’t remember what happened now but his temper erupted again in the morning over what I must have thought was a trivial thing since I can’t remember why. Then he started throwing his toys and I had to give him the bad cop face and told him I was going to throw that toy away as promised. He immediately told me he was sorry and promised he won’t do it again. Except it again happened in the evening. He wanted all of us to go downstairs together but I was so tired I just wanted to rest in bed a little while. He threw his little toy cement mixer on the bed and this time I was adamant about getting rid of it. He tried saying sorry, thinking it’s some magic phrase that restores all brownie points. He tried pleading. He tried to hide the toy. In the end, his papa felt bad for him and said we’ll give him one last chance. If he ever throws any of his toys again, we’ll take away two toys.

Some days I just feel like I’m so exhausted from running around with him and then cooking for a whole hour in the hot kitchen after that, that the zen juice in me just isn’t flowing. Sometimes I wish I could be kind and wise and wonderful and be able to keep him a happy boy. On the other hand, I also wish to teach him good lessons that he won’t forget quickly. We’ll see if this really all worked out. I dread to have to actually take away his toys from him because he’s so attached Toni’s possessions. Just think of the time when I sold off his baby toys and he never stopped reminding me that I took away his toys every day for a whole month!