Category Archives: Household

Away from home 

I was away for a work trip for a week. I had feared that the boys would miss me and cry over it.

Leading up to the trip, I was extremely firm and fierce, leaving them with little reason to miss me. You know what, the boys did fine. Mr H said Z would count down to the day I got home and he was a great help at home. He had been sensible and obedient.

I was glad that he did not cry. I felt a lot less guilty.

X was a handful but he had too much fun with Mr H and Z to miss me. Double yay on the reduced guilt bit.

The technology bit helped too. Face time was a fun affair nightly. The boys enjoyed the “unveiling” of shopping loot. Such times only reminded me how the boys were becoming more sensible, mature and independent.

A novelty

The thing about reorganizing furniture at home was creation of novelty. I found this the next morning.

  

X had been extremely interested and insisted on sitting down next to Z for learning.

We used a picture book and he was really earnest in learning for about 15 minutes. He grew tired and wriggled away. 

Well, we would get there eventually.

It struck me that the difference that Z as a Dec child versus X as a Jan child meant that X had a leading advantage over other children, while Z had a lagging disadvantage. 

What I liked about the current setup was the tidiness. I wondered how long it would last before all 3 boys (Mr H, Z & X) would mess it up again.

Shared zone 

  
Instead of setting train tracks or leaving it to the boys to make a mess of this tiny corner, this had been rezoned to a shared workspace for the boys. 

It sent chills down my spine when I saw the amount of toys to pack and tidy up. Thankfully the books had been sorted out and I hoped the boys would take more initiative to read since the bookshelf was right next to the table.

In my dreams, probably. 

Great weather, sporty evenings

This would go into the book of our family traditions. 

Both boys looked forward to their weekday evenings. They loved it when we knocked off on time and they knew there would be time for them to play “downstairs” before dinner. The weather, though dry and hot in the day, promised dry evenings for the boys so they could play to their hearts’ contents.

On Monday, they scooted.

On Tuesday, they kicked the soccer ball and had a simple game with their dad.

On Wednesday, they cycled.

On Thursday, they scooted again. 

On Friday, we had to send Z for martial arts.

So that pretty much wrapped up our weekday evenings.

The ball game

The cyclist   
 

Squeezing more time

I wrote about our typical day previously. I hoped to improve the processes and efficiency over time. With the kids swinging their preference towards pork ribs’ soup, I had been obligated to boil soup the instant I woke up in the morning. I threw all ingredients into the soup pot and would leave it on the stove from 7-745am before turning off the fire. I would continue to cook for another 30min once we got home so that the pork ribs would be juicy and soft. One might ask, why don’t you just use the slow cooker? I was particular about taste of meat and did not like the way slow cooker stripped the taste and juiciness from the meat. In doing so, I realized that I saved some time when I reached home. I could use the time to do other things like… Going down to the pool and watch the boys play.    

 
 

I considered this Work Improvement Project at home. We had WIP at work, why not apply it at home?

I was really glad to have created a pocket of 5-10 minutes to see the boys swim and play with water. I sure hated to repeat this so many times – time flew too fast for my liking, especially when kids were our walking indicators of time. 

Father’s Day in our context

In our family, Father’s Day meant as much to the kids as Mother’s Day. Mr H cut a very hands-on fatherly figure in both Z’s and X’s lives.

He was always there when they fell, because I didn’t believe in over coddling.

He was always there when they fell sick too, because I could not always get the time to take leave or worse, when I was straddling a part time MBA or when I had to travel for work.

He was always there to clean their mess, literally and figuratively.

He was always there to wipe their tears, their boogers, their dirty hands and of course, the poo-filled diapers.

He was always there to teach them how to play soccer, tennis and more. 

Sometimes he even stood in to cook porridge or simple meals. 

He could handle both kids without a sweat because he knew them as much as I knew them. 

He prioritized family time above all, as with how I prioritized the family above all too.

For that, he made an awesome father (and husband). 

Happy Father’s Day, Mr H! Thank you for loving all of us!

A typical day for us

For my own sake, I thought to record this.

715am – Mr H wakes up and handles the kids’ breakfast. He gives X a bottle of milk and pours milk for Z. He will also put out the breakfast for Z which could range from sandwiches, biscuits, overnight oats or more. Meanwhile, I get to bathe, put on make up and dress for work.

745am – Ideally, everyone is ready to leave. There may be last minute tantrums from X or Z might be dozing off at the dining table and not done with breakfast.

8am – We are all in the car.

810am – Mr H brings X up to his school. Z & I chat in the car; we talk about anything from what Mr Google advises, to air resistance versus design of sports car, friction and more.

815am – Z is dropped off at school He is in K2 and is expected to walk in by himself.

830am – Mr H buys breakfast for me enroute to work.

840am – I reach work, and I usually work till 6ish while Mr H picks Z up at 530pm and then X up at 545pm.

615/630pm – I usually leave work at this timing, barring no events or special projects.

645/7pm – I reach home and cook dinner. If the weather is good, the boys get to go down to the pool deck to play (scoot, cycle or swim).

730pm – Dinner is served.

8pm – We are done with dinner. The boys get to play or do some work.

9pm – If the Channel 8 drama is good, we huddle up on the sofa and watch. It’s a great way of teaching life’s concepts to Z. If the Channel 8 drama is bad, we do not watch and will do more reading or watch cartoons.

10pm – Ideally, the kids sleep at this time. Sometimes, they loiter around or they tuck me in.

1030pm/11pm – I sleep by this time on most days. Mr H is the laundry man, so he stays up till 11pm to hang the laundry or to watch EPL games or some sports programs or hustle the kids (usually X) to bed if they are still mucking around.

Of course, on weekends, we operate on a totally different schedule. There are also occasional times when we meet our friends for dinners or we have to work late, then such schedules are thrown out of the window.