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Monday, June 30, 2008

When you have two kids...

This mommy wants to hear my experience as a mother of two. She wants to know what it was like initially and how did I cope with a newborn and a toddler. I checked my Mothering Times blog and found that I had written so many posts about this. This must be my favourite topic. Hahaha. Here are the links to the posts.

Since I've written quite a bit about it before, I won't revisit those areas which I've mentioned. Instead, I'll like to add here about what fun it is to have two kids. My husband and I would like to have more kids but we can't due to my age and health. So, we are happy with our two.

Our two kids are the best playmates to each other. We often hear them talking nonsense, playing silly games and giggling or laughing hard at their own silly jokes. This is one thing that my husband and I can never be to our kids. We can never be the kind of playmate they are to each other, no matter how hard we try.

Of course they fight all the time too but they also support each other and are the best of friends. Sometimes they "gang up" against mommy but that is just one way of them supporting each other. They challenge each other and compete with each other but they also encourage each other too and I think the best way to teach a child to share is to give them a sibling.

As parents, I find that (now that the children are older) we actually have more time for each other (our spouses) since the kids are such wonderful playmates for each other. We don't have to worry about entertaining them since they can entertain, play and fight with each other. Haha.

We try to be fair to both of them but I do think that the eldest child by default usually gets extra time, attention and new toys and clothes. Still, we will always try our best to be fair to both.

On love, there will always be enough love to go around for all our kids. I believe that the more kids you have the more love you can give and receive. However, I do think that it is also the parent's job to try to make sure that our kids remain the best of friends instead of becoming arch enemies in later life.

For example, I love my sisters and we are the best of friends to each other. In fact, we are lifelong friends. We will always be around for each other in times of need. That is something very reassuring. But I do know of siblings who played together when they are young but no longer talk when they are in adulthood. That is just so sad.

On finances, I guess, yes, its true that the more kids you have, the less $$ you have to go around them all or you'd have to work extra hard. But what they lose out in terms of $$ and time, they gain, hopefully, in terms of love and familial support. They also have to learn to share and support each other. For example the older ones, support the younger ones etc though its really not that easy to make sure that this happens especially when the kids are very close in age.

Oh gosh. I'm long winded as usual. I hope I have answered that mommy's question. :)

We always tell the kids. "We are one happy family. When you go out there, sometimes there are people who are not nice to you (for example when their buddies "don't want to friend them"), but you can always come home to your family and know that your family loves you and cares about you very much. Your family will always be there for you, so be nice to each other." We tell them this when they are fighting. Haha.

Psstt: Any other mommy or daddy with two kids or more who want to give your opinion, please leave your link/url in the comment box after you have done so and I will link to you in my main post. I know many moms with 2 kids but I'm lazy to tag anyone on this. :P

Friday, June 27, 2008

Teaching Kids About Manners, Good Habits and Safety

Reading about this mommy's panic gave me quite a scare and reminder to be mindful about the kids safety. (Not that I'm saying you are not mindful Moomykin. These things do happen). I remember once after we parked our car at the shopping mall. I was holding my boy's hand when he suddenly decided that he wanted to walk with his daddy instead. He pulled free and ran towards his daddy. There were oncoming cars and it gave me a shock and a big scare that he could suddenly run off towards an oncoming car without my being able to control him or stop him in time.

I think its time for me to take out the kids flashcards about Good Habits and Safety again. We have many books about manners and safety but I love these flashcards the most. I bought it at a local bookshop for RM10.90. It has 32 flashcards about manners and safety with pictures in front and words at the back.

My girl can read the words on her own but we will usually look at the pictures and discuss them together then I'd ask them what the pictures mean and they love to tell me. They just love a "discussion". They love to look at pictues and talk about them so these cards are perfect. They've got this "Don't accept gifts from strangers" so ingrained in them that once the girl questioned me on why we took the food sample handed out at the supermarket. I had a hard time explaining that one.

Whenever we cross the road together, we would play a little game or sing a song. "Look left, look right, no cars? Then we cross." So much so, that when I forget to stop, they would remind me. Hopefully these little things help. They may not be foolproof but give the kids more credit. They do remember the things we teach them and hopefully they remember it in times of need.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Preparing for Kindy Year End Concert

The kindy my daughter is attending has started preparing for the children's year end concert. Everyday I hear a little bit about it from my girl. At first the teacher told me that they were considering her for the English MC (Masters of Ceremonies) role. "She is very good in her English and she is one of the above average students", the teacher said naming two others as well.

My girl was very excited but I think they've given the role to someone else. Then she said "I don't want to sing solo" afraid that they would ask her to do that instead. The next day she said "The teachers asked everyone to hop here and there to choose who to dance at the concert. They didn't choose me" she added.

"Nevermind, don't be disappointed if they don't choose you. You still get to sing along together with the rest of your classmates in the group song." I told her. "Or maybe you can become a tree, like daddy." and we both giggled. Yesterday she came home and told me "The teacher said I will be conductor. What is a conductor?" (That may mean that she doesn't even get the chance to sing with her classmates and we may see only her back at the concert. Lol.)

I showed her some choirs with conductors on YouTube then told her. "The conductor is a very important person. It is the conductor who will give the confidence to the group to sing. The conductor's job is to guide the group and remind them of the words of the song, the actions and remind them to smile and keep to the timing of the song." I told her and that is the truth. I used to sing in school choirs and the conductors make a difference. Our conductor used to be our headmistress and she was very good. Of course its not really like that at kindy level but I was trying to make her feel positive about her role. "Are you happy about being conductor?" I asked her and she said "Yes." To me, it does not matter what role she plays as long as she is happy.

Anyway, I don't think I've heard the end of it yet......

Monday, June 23, 2008

My 4 year old boy

"Mummy, there is so many work to do. Have to help you hang clothes, have to play game, have to play drawing board, have to play playdoh."

Hahaha. Well, I guess little ones are very busy people too aren't they?

My 4 year old boy is the most affectionate little boy. He loves cuddles, hugs and kisses, sitting on people's lap and being carried. He loves to be carried so much that sometimes he feigns tiredness or pretends to be tired by dragging his feet and letting his arms fall down. Its a funny sight and we often have to struggle not to laugh to discourage this behaviour. He usually does this at the shopping malls. One moment he'd feign tiredness and the next, he'd be off running leaving us panting while chasing after him.

He would kiss me often and count the kisses as he does so. He smiles and laughs often. He has been this way since a baby. He loved to smile as a baby and this trait has continued even now as a boy. We always ask him to smile "until eye small small, mouth big big" and he'd happily grin at us.

He is a little bit of a cry baby though. A small fall or if bullied by his sister or if does not get his way sometimes, he would cry like a baby. If I scold him, the cry would escalate to bawls and he would rush to hug me and say sorry. Its hard for me to dislodge myself from his I'm sorry hugs but I try not to encourage it because I do not want his appologies to be insincere ones.

Complain, Cry, Bawl, I'm Sorry, Its Okay. This is the cycle that I do not want to encourage. Still its really very very hard not to hug a boy who rushes to you to hug you. I will hug him but usually not immediately. (that is if I can stand it) He is smart isn't he? Next time the girls will have trouble with this affectionate boy who really knows how to tug at your heart strings. Speaking of which, I really do treasure his hugs and kisses now because one day soon, he will be too shy to hug and kiss mummy and later on his hugs and kisses will be reserved for girlfriend and wife and not mummy and I will be very sorry I turned down his I'm sorry hugs.

You hear that son? Once upon a time you loved to hug and kiss mummy. (This is for the benefit of the little boy whom I imagine may read this when he is grown.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

First time at the Movies

Yesterday we took the kids to the cinema for a show for the first time. It was the Kungfu Panda Movie. Taking the kids to the cinema for the first time is worth recording down in a blog. Their reactions are precious.

The little one said. "I'm scared. Why is it so dark? Whats all the lights doing up there? Why don't they switch on the lights? Why is it so long?" Hahaha. The older one just enjoyed it. We bought 4 tickets but by the end of the show we were only using 2 seats. Yup. The kids had crawled up onto our laps for the rest of the show. Haha.

We had just had lunch so we didn't get them snacks and drinks. Otherwise, I think they would enjoy it even more. Lol!

On the movie, I think the Panda looks rather cute. I like its facial expressions. When we got home, daddy searched YouTube for clips of the show and the little one was impressed. "How come daddy so strong and clever knows how to find it here" (on the computer)? Haha.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Teaching Kids About Life Through Books

My kids love books. We go to the bookshop most weekends to browse, read and buy books for them. I love it when I get a good bargain in books ie finding a cheap but good book. A cheap book that is printed on cheap paper may be much better than the expensive colourful one printed on glossy paper if the content is good. With books, its much better to look for content rather than appearance.

My kids don't go out much or travel much because we don't but the books provide them with a lot of exposure. It is also easy to explain to them about the things they are going through by reading books. There are books on potty training, overcoming shyness, sharing, bullying in school. These are things that they relate to and when they read a book it helps them to understand the situation better and feel that they are not alone.

For example to overcome my girl's Nighttime Fears, we read a delightful online book called The Monster on Top of the Bed from Lets Be Creative.org. The ebook is also available on CD and hardcopy, you'll have to visit the site for more details.

The book tells the tale of a monster who lives under the bed who believes that the girl sleeping on the bed is a Monster on Top of the Bed. My girl was really amused to think that the monster would think of the little girl in the book as a monster. These kinds of books help to allay the child's fears because it helps them see things from a different perspective and in a way that they would understand. The monster becomes less frightening when she realises that the monster is equally afraid of the little girl as well.

The exposure that my girl gets from her books surprises and amuses me. Sometimes when I ask her where she learned a certain word or where she learned to draw a certain picture, she'd go "Mummy, its from xyz book!" Then she'd run to her bookshelf and pull out that book to show me.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Impatient Mommy

MG: Don't come in the kitchen when I am cooking!

My Boy: Can I stand here? *runs to the corner of the kitchen*

MG: Huh? Ok. Can. Can.

My Boy: Don't say Can Can. Say Can.

Kids are very sensitive beings so we should always try to speak to them in a patient manner. They can always detect it when we are impatient or not really listening and will feel rejected and unhappy.

My kids are always trying to get me to repeat the things I say. "Mommy, say again. I did not hear." They would get very upset if I did not repeat myself. Its a call for attention.

Its hard to give them my full attention all the time but I guess I should really try if I want to avoid repeating myself throughout the day.

I wonder do your children get you to repeat yourself all the time and get upset when you don't or is it just my kids?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mummy where is our beach?

I use to record my conversations with my girl on this blog but now that my boy is older I can record our conversations here as well. Last night before we went to sleep we had this conversation..

My Boy: Mummy where is our beach?

MG: Huh? What do you mean? We don't have a beach.

My Boy: Yes we do. Its at.... (names the old condo where we used to live)

MG: Oh that. Thats not a beach. Its a swimming pool. We don't have a beach.

My Boy: But we do. Where is the beach where we play sand castles?

MG: Hahaha. Oh that. No. That is not our beach. Its a public beach. It was in front of the hotel where we stayed during Chinese New Year.

My Boy: Oh. I want to go there.

Hahaha. I think he was disappointed. How lovely it would be if we did own our own beach. Lol!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Father's Farewell

I read about Randy Pausch on http://www.rd.com/children-parenting/. Randy is a distinguished professor of computer science, human-computer interaction, and design as well as founder of the Alice Project, which lets young students tell their stories in three dimensions (it's named for Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland).

Randy has pancreatic cancer and 3 children under 6. He is 47. He has been told that he has only a few months to live. Yet he is so full of life, so optimistic, living and loving every moment of it. How hard it must be for him yet how brave.

Reading his interview and an excerpt of his book called The Last Lecture made me think of my own mother (She died at age 46 leaving behind 5 children and a spouse) and it reminds me that Life is Short and full of unexpected challenges.

We should choose to spend our days in contentment with our loved ones and not sweat the small stuff. We can choose to be optimistic, happy and fill our days with love and live our life to the fullest instead of complaining about small everyday routines. We should look at the big picture and always remember that the people around us matter most of all. Give out love and you will receive it in return in manifold. Do you give out love to your children and to your spouse instead of grumbling about them all the time?

You can read Randy's interview with the Reader's Digest on http://www.rd.com/children-parenting/. I am happy to have discovered the Reader's Digest Online's Parenting Channel. It has many great reads for Parents of Young Children like me. I am going to bookmark it. You should too. Not only do I get Parenting Tips from it I also get blogging ideas.

Last but not least, to all the Father's who read this blog, I want to wish you all a very.......

Monday, June 09, 2008

Educational Field Trip for the Kids

During the school holidays, I tagged along with the kids on their school educational field trip. I had wanted my 4 year old boy to go with his sister but they told me that he needs a chaperone (me) since he was not a student of the school, is still young and they did not understand his temperament or his needs.

And so thats how I tagged along with the kids on their educational field trip. It was educational for me too. It was fun to ride on the bus for the first time together with the kids. They were delighted and thrilled. Not being able to see the driver from where we sat, my boy was amazed when the bus moved at first "Can move by itself!" he cried. Lol.

There were two buses that day. One was filled with teachers and kids ranging from 4-6. The other (the bus I was in) had younger kids (4 and below), parents as well as older kids (7-12). I must say that the older kids are very much harder to control compared to the younger kids. With the younger kids, just a loud tweet from the teacher's whistle brought everything to order. The older kids were more rowdy and less respectful of the teachers and the younger ones. They had with them expensive handphones and digital cameras too. (Kids these days!)

There were about 10 parents who had tagged along, most of them were slim fashionable mothers who wore fashionable shades and outfits and then there was me and even a brave father. Haha.

There was even a "tourist guide" on the bus urging the kids to sing and informing them of the schedule as well as telling them a little bit about the next place we were going to visit. I guess the "tourist guide" was useful but just like any other "tourist guide" I find that they talk too much. Sometimes I just like to look out the window peacefully without the endless droning of their voices.

Every stopover starts off with a toilet visit for the kids. I must say that the toilets are horrendously dirty. Bleargh.

Apart from that, the kids had a wonderful day and when they are happy, I am happy too. :)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


My boy has a bit of a tongue-tie. His paediatrician had wanted to clip it to facilitate breastfeeding because we were having so much problems breastfeeding then but I declined. Clip my few days old baby's tongue? You've got to be kidding! But thats just me. Its supposed to be a very simple procedure and in the old days midwives used to keep one fingernail long in order to sweep it across the baby's frenulum moments after birth if the baby was found to be tongue tied!

Anyway, my boy's tongue-tie does not give him any speech problems. I can hear and understand him when he speaks. He does have have some problems pronouncing his "Ssss" though. Recently I was trying to correct him. (Normally I don't correct them because they sound so cute when they mispronounce words. Like the way he refers to his "milk" as "nuke". Lol!)

He tends to omit his "Sssssss" when they're at the beggining of the words for example he would pronounce the word "Small" as "mall"

MG: No, no, baby, not mall. Its small. Say slowly "Ssssssss mall". Then quickly. "Small."

My Boy: Mall sssss. Mmm ssall.

MG: No. Its Ssssss mall. Small.

My Boy: Ssssss mall. Small.

MG and girl: Yeah. *Clap clap clap clap*. You did it. Ssssss mall. Small.

My Boy: I know already. I know already mummy. Ssssss mall. Small. Ssssss big. Sbig.

MG and girl: *speechless*

Lol! Now, thats what I call initiative!

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