Monday, June 25, 2012

Smashed, kneaded and sculpted

Hubs and I recently started attending a new parenting course called Growing Kds God’s Way. It follows the same series as the Preparation for Parenting a.k.a. Babywise course we had done a few years back in the B.C. (Before Children) era before two became three.

True to form, prior to the course, I checked out various forums and reviews on the book and programme to find out more about what to expect, especially since encountering various criticisms on the general content and philosophy of these programmes.

As with all things, there are both good sides and bad sides to the story. There are just too many parenting books and philosophies to choose from in the world nowadays, so why this one?

But after some discussion and reflection, we agreed to attend the course not because we want to become perfect textbook parents, but primarily for the interaction and dialogue we can have with the other parents attending the course so we can journey along together with them and be honest with our own parenting questions and concerns as we encounter them along the way.

Yesterday was the second class in this 19-session course featuring the need to establish the right beginnings of the relationship between the husband and the wife as the priority in the family.

We revisited the age old story of Adam and Eve where the first romantic lines were ostensibly quoted:

“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh”

The significant point being that man and woman are one. And the first thing that came to mind was this story shared by my friend Irene on ‘smashed clay’ – this part of the poem/story was my particular favourite…

…Take one lump of clay
Knead one you,
Sculpt one me.
Smash them both into pieces,
Mix them with water,
Knead another you,
Sculpt another me:
In my clay there is you,
In your clay there is me.
In life you and I share a single coverlet,
In death a single grave!

It was all I could do right in the middle of the session not to snigger or snort out loud imagining my dear Irene’s emphasis on the smashing and the death and the grave. The smashing analogy is especially accurate for me – quite a few smashings, kneading and sculpting occurring along the way. I’ll try to remember this story in future to take all the smashings in good stride.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Young boys should never be sent to bed

Hubs being like any typical guy doesn’t often get emotional over touchy-feely moments. So I was surprised to see him emerge from Nathan’s bedroom moist-eyed after putting him to bed the first night after we arrived back from KL. I guess he was feeling a little more nostalgic with his sister being married off and being with his family and all.

He told me that as he sat there humming Nathan’s bedtime lullaby, it suddenly hit him how fast Nathan was growing up. He experienced an almost a piercing sadness and pain realising how fleeting the years are. In a blink of an eye, before we even have time to realise it, he’ll be all grown up.

"Young boys should never be sent to bed...
they always wake up a day older,
and then before you know it,
they're grown"
(J.M. Barrie, ‘Finding Neverland’)

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Nathan’s growing vocabulary

DSC01529This week as I was jotting down notes for Nathan’s daycare, I decided to include a list of some vocabulary updates for our carer’s reference. After all, it’s been over two weeks since she saw him and there are a number of new words he’s picked up since then.

So I thought to jot them down here too for memory’s sake. Nathan will turning 18 months old in one week. He develops so quickly and learns so much every day that it’s hard to pinpoint exact moments when he learns something new. But here are some fairly new words he’s recently added to his vocab over the past couple of weeks…

Poo-poo = Poo (i.e. #2)
Pappy = Nappy
Wice = Rice
Joop/Toop = Soup
Fok = Fork
Po-po = Chinese term for grandma (my mum was really pleased with this one)
Tock = Clock
Tak = Stuck
Twak = Truck
Tar/Kar = Car
Pok-pok = Poke (referring to the pom-pom poking game I made for him)
Noma = Thomas (as in Thomas the train)
Doys = Toys
Bop = Drop
Doh = Door
Dwoh = Draw
Waiht = Write
Weht = Wait
Waip = Wipe (he will actually grab a cloth and wipe a surface where he spilled something or his nose after he sneezes)
Top = Stop (he will hold up his finger very firmly as he does this – something he picked up at daycare I think, as I don’t do this)
Aiyoh/Aiyah = new expression picked up in Malaysia

And of course he has already been calling us mummy and daddy for a while. But sometimes he will call out “niiiiiiii” to his dad, mimicking my way of calling “honeeeeey” to hubs… the exact same tone and inflection used is uncanny and very comical.

Other long time words he has already been using:

Up = when he wants to be picked-up, carried or taken out from somewhere
Mum-Mum = eat/food
Mik-Mik = Milk
Na-na = Banana
Shoo/Shoos = Shoe/shoes (I always think of Jimmy Choo when he says this)
Haaai = Hi
Baaai = Bye
Bek = Bag
Beht = Bird
Wower = Flower
Bok = Book
Bo-bo = Ball
Dak/Dakee = Duck/Duckie
Teti = Teddy
Dok = Dog
Behbee = Baby
Bah-beh = Bubble
Tick = Stick
Nai-nai = Nite-nite/Good-night
Ais = Ice (he enjoys sucking/munching ice, a rare treat which started one time when I gave it to soothe a cut on his lip)
Pahpee = his term for “peekaboo
Japechay = his term for “TV” (not sure how this one came about – maybe he was trying to copy us saying “watch TV”)
Uh-oh = an expression that comes out whenever he drops something on the floor

Words I know he understands but he has not spoken (in my hearing at least):

Chair (he will listen to us when we tell him to “sit on your chair”)
Bathe/bom-bom (we use both terms interchangeably)
Sleep/oi-oi (we use both terms interchangeably)
Head back/up (during bath time when we’re rinsing his hair)
Kiss (when we ask him to blow a kiss or give us a kiss)
Kai-kai (Chinese term for “going out”)
Water (a point of frustration as he asks for and drinks a lot of it every day)
Phone (also a point of frustration because it’s a favourite ‘toy’ he looks for)
Pen (sometimes a point of frustration when he wants one to draw with)

Words he says out loud when reading specific books together:

Ror = Roar – as in “roar like a lion
Nei = Neigh – as in “a horse goes neigh
Wibbit = Ribbit – as in “a frog goes ribbit
Wo-wo = Woof-woof – as in “a dog goes woof-woof
Fwok = Frog
Wabbit = Rabbit
Pish = Fish
Dok = Dog
Bo-bo = Ball
Teti = Teddy
Behbee = Baby
Mum-mum = when he sees a picture of a baby eating in one of his books
Nai-nai = Good-night – when he sees a picture of a baby going to sleep
Tach = Touch – from a storybook “God made my hands, I can tach!
Tee = See – from a storybook “God made my eyes, I can tee!
Noose = Nose – from a story book “Good made my noose, I can smell”
Tess = Taste – from a storybook “God made my tongue, I can tessss!
Peek = Speak – from a storybook “God made my mouth, I can peek!

Whenever he can’t find a word for something he wants, the word/phrase he falls back on is “titi-titi-titi!” (which I surmised to mean something like “that thing, that thing, that thing!”) which he calls out whilst pointing frantically at the ‘thing’ he’s after.

His pace of learning is so rapid that I can hardly keep up with this list of words. I know there are probably other words I’ve missed out and by the end of the day, he will have added at least one if not several new words to his vocab.

Also, 10 words to avoid around kids

Friday, June 15, 2012

A real boy

I know for a fact that my son is a boy. But it wasn’t until this recent trip back to Malaysia when I realised how much of a ‘boy’ he really is.

At home with me, mummy the playmate, he likes to hang around the kitchen with me and play masak-masak (cooking) with pots and pans, ‘help’ me hang up laundry by handing me pegs, read story books together. Sure sometimes he likes to play with his ball or zoom around on his toy-bike… but somehow this trip really unleashed his boy adrenalin (maybe it was always there but I just never saw it in full throttle like this with hair plastered in sweat and all).

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Cars were a big thing throughout this trip. I was amazed at how he instinctively knew how to ‘zoom’ them across the floor or any flat surface. He could get so engrossed in them until he would not bother about eating his meal.

Sigh. Boys.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Keeping a toddler occupied when travelling

So we’re back from a two week family trip to Malaysia. The main catalyst for the trip was to attend my sis-in-law’s wedding. After that we took a road trip down to Melaka and Batu Pahat with my parents and my aunt + nephew + niece.

Travelling with a nearly one and a half year old toddler was a totally different experience than our last trip with a 10-month old. As his schedule was complete different now, I anticipated that he would be awake for most of the flight. I armed myself with a busy-bag filled with all sorts of things to keep him occupied as I didn’t want to be the target if glaring looks from fellow passengers with a cranky, fidgety toddler in tow.

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Clockwise from left:
Snack trap filled with nibblies which Nathan can reach into without spilling the contents out'; Activity/colouring/sticker books; Favourite story books; Play-wallet – I filled an old purse with unused cards which he can fiddle around with; Pompom popping game – an old container with a hole on top and a few puffy pompoms.

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The pompom popper was a real winner and could keep Nathan fully occupied with quiet play for at least 15 minutes at a time… that’s considered a long time in toddler world.

More toddler busy-bag ideas.