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Friday, June 29, 2007

Toys at the Paediatrician Clinic

I wonder why they always have toys at the Paediatrician clinic. I know its hard to keep little sick, restless, whiny, kids occupied but what about the germs? I always worry about my kids catching some germs if they play with the toys at the clinic especially if they are not sick but at the clinic for routine jabs.

I try to prevent them from playing with it but its hard. Its hard when the other kids are playing and my kid looks at me and asks me "Why can't I play?" Then I wonder how come the other parents are not worried. Most of them allow the kids to head straight for the toys.

Once a doctor even fed the kids little honey stars from a spoon. He tried to use the spoon to pour the honey stars on the children's hands but my boy tried to put the spoon in his mouth. I know the doctor was just being kind and trying to prevent my boy from crying so loudly and bringing down his clinic but I couldn't help imagining the germs that are being passed around from one kid to another through the shared food and toys.

Hmm... is it just me? From what I've observed everyone else appears rather relaxed about it.

Food Art for Young Kids

Vegetables have interesting shapes and they double up as natural "rubber stamps" during arts and craft sessions with the kids. (They're cheaper too compared to the store bought ones. Lol!)

We got some lotus roots, ladies fingers and potatoes for our craft. The potatoes need to be carved a little.

Here's my boy's batik with a little help from me. The lotus roots and potato carvings didn't turn out that nice because I didn't cut them evenly enough but the ladies fingers are nice and easy to do. Just dip in paint and press onto the paper.

My girl decided to paint in some alphabets to hers.

The kids love it! Its easy and fun too! (And not very messy. If you hate mess like me.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Are Firstborns Smarter?

I read the following article recently.

Firstborns found to have higher intelligence - A study of 240,000 Norwegian men says eldest children have IQs 2 to 3 points greater than younger siblings'. Wading into an age-old debate, researchers have found that firstborn children are smarter than their siblings — and the reason is not genetics, but the way their parents treat them, according to a study published today. The complete article can be viewed at latimes.com

Thats very interesting indeed. I'm not sure how true the research is but one thing is true. Its true that we do treat the firstborn differently. Not because we love the secondborn less but because of time constraints. We try our best but somehow the firstborn had more attention from us than the second in terms of everything.

She had more attention from us in watching out for her developmental firsts. She had more attention in reading to and with her, playing with and teaching her. We try out best with the secondborn but somehow time always got in the way.

Hmmm.. this reminds me to pay more attention to the second and teach him more.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Separation Anxiety has a voice

My boy is extremely "manja", in other words, clingy! He was like that from the time he was a baby. I thought that separation anxiety was just a phase that they go through but.....

When he was a baby he used to cry whenever I was out of sight. Now that he is a toddler, he tells me,
  • "Mummy, where are you? What are you doing there?" I hear this tearful voice every morning. Either this or I hear loud cries and see a little boy looking very cross and upset with me for not being by his side.
  • "Mummy, are you downstairs/upstairs? I want to go too. Or else I can't see you. I will be sad." then he puts on his sad little face
  • "Mummy, I wanna hug hug you. Little while only/long time. I wanna hug hug you because I love you." This is very touching actually. He would be very happy if I hug hug him all day long. Hahaha.

Now that he is older, he still cries whenever I am out of sight and he tells me that he will be sad if I am out of sight. He really is a super super glue!

The Messenger

Sometimes, not only do we pass the buck, we also treat the little one as a messenger.

MG: Can you go and tell your daddy blah blah blah?

My Girl: Ok Mummy.

Mr MG: Can you go and ask your mummy if blah blah blah?

My Girl: Ok Daddy.

Or worse still when we get mad at each other then we may use the little one as an intermediary.

MG/Mr MG: Go and tell your daddy/mummy that blah blah blah

Having kids is so much fun. Sometimes when we get mad at each other, the kids make us smile and make up again. However, sometimes we also argue about the kids too. Now, isn't that fun? Lol! Life certainly isn't boring with the kids around!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Passing the Buck

My Girl: I want to go to toilet.

Mr MG: Go and tell your mummy.

My Girl: Why is blah blah blah?

MG: Go and ask your daddy.

My Girl: Can I blah blah blah?

Mr MG: Go and ask your mummy.

And we do this all day long. Do you do this?

Friday, June 08, 2007

Homemade Father's Day Card using Sponge and Finger Painting

Father's Day is approaching. Its a craft opportunity time! So we sat down and did some sponge and finger painting. My boy who is 3 was not very interested in doing the crafts. He kept on saying "Wait first" preferring to play with his toys instead but my girl who is 5 loves it. We did a card each for both of them and we ended up designing both sides of both cards. Phew!

My girl started with the inside of her card. She drew her daddy and she said she wanted to put some heart shape patterns on it. So I cut out some heart shaped sponge and got her to paint with those.

Then I showed my boy how to paint some flowers with his fingers. I painted some yellow ones with mine. He wasn't interested. So my girl painted on his behalf instead. She painted a row of red ones and said they were roses. She said mine were sunflowers.

After that she wanted to finger paint the front of her card. She got carried away playing and smearing her fingers and her card with paint. I reminded her not to make her card "ugly" by playing too much and she cried! Oh dear, bad mommy should not have made such an insensitive remark. She felt so bad thinking that her daddy would not like the card she made for him. (I forgot that kids are sensitive creatures and should be encouraged with positive remarks not negative ones.) So I hurriedly got her to sponge paint more hearts on the front of her card and she was happy again. She said "Daddy will be happy with so many hearts I give him."

We finished up by hand painting the front of the other card to compare their handprints with last year's Father's Day card to see how much they've grown. After we finished the craft they cleaned up by throwing the sponges and newspapers away but the best part which they enjoyed the most was washing their hands, the brushes and the paint pallete and watching the way the paint came off in the water and became other colours when they mixed it around. Lol!

Related Link:

Find Deals on Art Supplies

The Best Toys

The Best Toys are cheap
and some of your time

The Best Toys are funny
and lots of imagination

The Best Toys are interactive
and loads of attention

The Best Toys are fun
and full of creativity

The Best Toys are you
and mummy, daddy and baby

The kids just love these origami ice cream cones we made. They use it to "paint" the wall in various colours, feed their toys and of course themselves. Lol! Its cheap, its fun, its interactive, its funny (to me watching the ways they come up with to play with them) and of course they need me to help them fold it and thats the most fun part of all to them (having me pay attention to them and spend time playing with them).

Read more of my poems here.

I love hosting local ads on my site

I enjoy hosting local ads on my site. Every weekend I look forward to checking which company, product or service is going to be advertised on my site. Take for example this week, I am so pleased to have MPH my favourite bookstore advertising on my blog.

Its fun to see the latest promotions etc being delivered right to my blogstep. I must admit that usually, I'm the first one to go and check out the promotions or sites being advertised. Hahaha. Unlike adsense, I won't be penalised for clicking on those ads so I would definitely click to find out more.

I don't care very much about the local ads war. At the moment I've just signed up for Nuffnang because they are the first I came to know about. It seems strange to sign up for both so I'm sticking to just one for the time being. I have no complaints so far accept that the price it fetches for me is a bit low.

So which side are you on in the ad war?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Why are kids so attached to the maid?

My part time helper is fond of telling me the story of how attached her previous full time employer's kids are to her. She told me that they only want her to feed them and when the are out, they prefer to hold her hand and look for her and they even sleep with her. Well, its no wonder then, since they sleep with her!

I can think of several reasons why kids sometimes prefer the maid.
  • Sometimes when mum is busy, mum tells the maid to drop everything and play or look after the kids. So in this case the job for that moment is to look after the kids without distraction. Of course the kids love this. Kids love attention without distraction. I am often guilty of being so distracted when I am trying to pay attention to the kids that I don't give them my full attention so if there is a maid whose job is to give them full attention even for several minutes in a day, of course the kids love it and them.
  • Maids have no authority to scold or discipline the kids when they are acting up. Now this is something which I think is a big problem for parents who have to rely on maids. If you give the maids the authority you may worry about the maid abusing or over using this authority and yet if you don't you may end up with kids who abuse this lack of authority. Kids are smart. They know who they can bully. Its a fine line to draw. You don't want to have kids who are rude and disrespectful to the maid.
  • During mealtimes, when the kid acts up, the maid is given the job to cuddle and carry the baby while mum eats. I see this very often in a restaurant. I'm not saying that mum does not want to pick the kid up. Yes of course mum loves the baby more than anything in the world but in a demanding situation pressed for time when you hardly even have time for yourself and to eat a decent meal it is very tempting to ask the free hand around to pick them up while you have a quick bite. So at the end of the day, you get a baby or kid who is more attached to the one who gives them the attention when they cry out for it.
  • When you are out at the mall. I see a lot of mothers browsing around while the maid plays with and runs after the kids. Its very tempting to browse around when you don't have the time to do so instead of having pestering, whiny kids clinging to you but at the end of the day again you have a situation where the kids have more attention from the maid.

Thats all I can think of for now but I'm sure theres a lot more situations that you can think of.

What does all this translate to? Kids love attention so they end up loving and being more attached to the person who plays with them at home and outside, picks them up when they cry, and doesn't scold them. And most certainly they will get attached to the person who sleeps with them as in the case of my part time helper with her previous employer's kids.

I'm talking about kids but the same goes for the man of the house too. I know a friend whose maid treats her husband better than her. The maid is always ready with a cuppa or the newspaper, is there to greet him when he comes home and puts away his shoes, reminds him of his keys, bags etc when he leaves the house etc. Lol!

Related posts:

Read Mothering is really hard work Heres an excerpt:

"...........due to the lazy human nature, I must say that I am tempted, very very tempted, to ask the part time helper to feed, bathe, change, wash dirty smelly little bottoms and do all the other "hard" parts of motherhood while I just sit back and do the easy part of playing, loving and cuddling them.

The counting discipline

"Finish brushing your teeth/washing your hands/face, gargelling/whatever. I'm going to turn off the lights on the count of 3. 1,2,3!"

Then I see four small feet scampering, four little hands being wiped on the towel and two kiddoes rushing out of the bathroom. No amount of shouting, reasoning, talking nicely eg "hurry up, stop playing with water" etc works but counting does.

"Pick up your toys before you play something else/we go out/we go to sleep etc. I'm going to count to 10. 1....2....3....4...5...6...7...8....9....10!"

This works very well too. In fact, my boy thinks its a game. Sometimes when I forget, he asks me to count. "Mummy count!" then he goes about rushing to keep his toys in their assigned places. I have a place for everything and I like everything in its place. When the kids are playing I let them play till the whole area looks like a hurricane has struck but when its time to move on to another activity/to go out/or to go to bed, then its time to pack up or clean up.

"Ok. No more talking. Lets see who sleeps first on the count of 20. 1........2........3....... ("Mummy, why...") Shhh....4........5.......6.....7......8......9.......10......11........12..........

I just tried this recently and it worked. By the end of 20 baby was almost asleep and my girl fell asleep soon afterwards. Otherwise they would chatter non-stop. However I don't think this trick will work very long for napping sessions. They'll catch on sooner or later. Hahaha.

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