Archive for June, 2015

Scared of the Dark

June 24, 2015

Recently, Calvin has started becoming scared of the dark again. He used to say that his indoor playground looks like a monster with window eyes and mouth and slide tongue. We sold off his playground when summer started since he outgrew it and summer is good time to sell it off, on the side, I thought that would solve his problem. Instead, he started thinking that there are things in his closet. I guess even when we help him to rationalize that monsters are not real etc, it’s hard for him to not feel scared even when he believes there should be no monsters. I mean he would say “There are no such thing as monsters, they are mythical” but I think deep down, that fear of darkness is very much alive when we are young. I used to be petrified about going to the bathroom whenever they screen those olden chinese ghost movies. The special effects aren’t even that good but when you are young, all you need is an idea and your imagination will fuel the rest. I used to think that a ghost/ monster would pop out from the potty while I am sitting on it. That would of course be a very sad sewer monster if he ever exists. Or I’ll think I’ll see something scary in the mirror instead of my own reflection. Thinking back, I can understand now that these are fears that cannot be rationalized away. Eventually, when I grow older, that feeling just went away. Especially after I started secondary/ middle school. I probably just had more things to worry about.

Finally, we came out with a solution which is to leave one of the lights in the living room on after we go to bed and Calvin has been calmer since. We didn’t want a light in his room since he is a light sleeper as it is. The darkness really gives him a better night’s rest. Hopefully, that resolves the “I’m-so-scared-I-didn’t-want-to-go-use-the-potty-until-you-are-awake” problem or he won’t be graduating from his night time diaper anytime soon.

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Playing (and Fighting) with Playmates

June 9, 2015

Since summer holidays started, I’ve had many abandoned blog posts that didn’t have a chance to get developed. I’ve put off this one long enough.

My sister and family were here to visit for a week in May. We brought them to the strawberry farm, Luray caverns and Washington DC. My little nephew, J, is 3 years old though he looks more like a big 4 year old in size. Calvin loves to show him his toys but J is not used to sharing toys with other kids. For example, J likes to play with Calvin’s trailer truck but when Calvin wanted to turn it around to show him the back, he didn’t want to let go. Their communication skills are lacking as well especially in the listening comprehension department so that creates a lot of misunderstanding and opportunities for arguments. It’s funny for us to see Calvin arguing with anyone though because he would normally avoid conflict and just run off to play by himself in school. I guess when the someone is your house guest and it’s your toys he’s playing with, even Calvin’s territorial instincts will kick in.

Indeed they would fight over anything and everything. Like when Calvin was telling Lil J that he hasn’t eaten dinner yet, Lil J replied “This is not a restaurant you know. This is a house.” Calvin said he knows it’s not a restaurant or something but Jordan though he didn’t believe him? Jordan:”It’s the truth. I’m angry with you you know.” Somewhere along the way, Calvin went to apologize to him since he got mad but Jordan didn’t want to forgive him so Calvin got mad too.

Then there was the time when they were both playing with a big toy ramp and Lil J didn’t let Calvin use it. Calvin came out of the room with his cars and started to play loudly under the table, declaring that “This is my base. I am having sooo much fun here. *shyooom*” J came out and said “Calvin korkor (means brother in Cantonese),what are you doing?” and something like ” Why Calvin don’t play with me”. Finally after more of Calvin’s happy monologue, Jordan said “Calvin, I’ll move my trucks then after that you can use the ramp”. Triumphantly, Calvin emerged from his ‘base’ and they went back to his room to play.

And of course not forgetting the episode with the stroller. So we went to Washington for 2 days, 1 night. With 2 kids in tow, we only arrived about 1/2 hour before the air and space museum closes. After that, we walked to the Washington Monument and then to the white house and then all the way back to Chinatown which was a 2.5 mile walk. J was in his stroller most of the time so my sister asked him to let Calvin have a turn, which he did. Except for a little 3 year old, it’s hard watching someone else use your things so he quickly wanted it back and promptly got a scolding. The next day, we visited the Natural History Museum in the morning. Lil J was in his stroller as usual, then near the end, my sister suggested that he share it with Calvin, which he reluctantly did. We went downstairs and sat at a bench to wait for Johnny to pick us up with the car since it was raining. There was a dinosaur sculpture behind us and Lil J asked Calvin if he wants to go see it. Calvin bobbed up on the stroller seat and said “Ah, I can see it from here” and quickly settled into the seat to make sure no one can take over it. =_= Kids!

Well, I thought it was good to have someone to argue with too because they do learn social skills that way. On the other hand, I thought to myself, “Good thing we didn’t decide to have #2” Imagine the craziness that would ensue!

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At the Lego Store – Calvin doesn’t forgets to make a creation wherever there are bricks

Summer Plan 1: Intensive Chinese !!!

June 2, 2015

Summer has officially started, but I am obviously still dragging my feet. Not getting enough sleep is definitely affecting my energy levels during the day. But it’s time to stop slacking off and get into the swing of things. First up on my to do is to get Calvin to learn into the habit of learning Chinese. Initially, I had grand plans of working on his reading and writing but he was not enthusiastic about any of those things. It’s hard to get him motivated about all of them at once so I’ll leave the English and writing to his teachers in kindergarten and work on Chinese first.

My mum was telling me about how she had to lure me with treats when I was young to get me motivated to complete the homework from my extra lessons and to learn to write my name in kindergarten. All of which I have no memory of! In my mind, I was perfectly happy to complete all my work though I did remember getting McDs every weekend whenever I had those classes…. I also remember that I learnt to write my Chinese name only when I had to in kindergarten. Though I do feel that I should not bribe him with rewards to learn, I guess I would be surprised to find any kid who enjoys the mundane task of practicing writing. Especially the Chinese kind that makes you write whole pages of the same words over and over and over….

So here I am, once again planning out Chinese lessons. I need to find a way to make learning more interesting >_< It is indeed a lot of effort for one kid instead of a whole bevy of them. Maybe I need to make this feel more rewarding for me too. Or maybe it’s like a positive feedback loop i.e. I put in effort to make it fun, Calvin enjoys the learning process, I feel rewarded and decide to put in effort.

I whipped out my 四五快读 book again and this time, I’ll implement the revision games rather than do the boring flash card methods. I’ve listed a bunch of activities to do and also a bunch of small rewards if we reach our goal for the day of learning new words, reading one chinese book and writing a few words like going for a picnic, extra story, baking with me, doing a science experiment etc… So tomorrow, we start operation anti-kentang >_< (Kentang means potato in Malay. Also the nickname given to those who are very westernized and is good in English but poor in their mother tongue)