Category Archives: Parenting

Terrible Three wannabe 

In the month leading to X turning 3, he was an absolute nightmare to bring out.

He would have noodles and no rice. If you served him rice, he gave hell.

He wanted things done to his pleasing immediately.

He had a particular milk bottle and declined the rest. 

He was always crying about one thing or other, as well as sprawling on the floor.

He demanded the brother to follow his actions.

He refused to go toilet when he needed to and peed in his pants several times.

And more.

His behavior was particularly bad when Mr H was with us.

If Mr H was not around, X was much better behaved. 

One day, I overheard Z telling X, “Daddy is not with us. Only Mummy is with us. You better not make her angry.”

When I heard that, I was pleased with Z’s teaching to his brother.

The next statement that followed was, “Mummy is very fierce one.”

A brand new day in 2016

For the very first time for the family, we are spending the New Year Day overseas. When I asked Z what he thought of 2015 and moving onto 2016, he said he could not bear to leave 2015. It had been such a great year for him!

I thought my boy had grown up significantly.

As for X, the moment he heard it was a new year, he said it was his birthday and told us to celebrate for him with a song. When asked what he would like to do on the actual day, he said he wanted to go to a hotel. Such a funny toddler to be asking for a staycation!

We would still continue to enjoy our last 2 days in Tokyo before a new adventure, a new year began. 

Happy 6th birthday to Z

Dear Z,

Happy birthday to you, my blessed, cheerful and happy boy! 

It felt like 6 years had gone by in a blink. While the day you arrived in our world was still crystal clear in my mind, the difficult times you gave us had long disappeared like wisps of smoke. From learning to nurse you, to changing your diapers and teaching you your first word, those milestones were plentiful and memorable, each as meaningful as the last.

The joy and euphoria we shared as you mastered new skills were developmental checkpoints as years and time rolled by. 

There was always a tight squeeze of pride whenever we saw a fine, young boy in front of us. Similarly, the balls of frustration whenever infuriating times popped up. Regardless of ups and down, our hearts were always filled with love for you.

Parenting taught me unconditional love in a far swifter way than I had expected. You made my world more beautiful because you charmed us with your smiles at birth, your giggles at one, your first words at two, your hilarious antics (& tantrums) at three, your  big brotherliness at four, your outspokenness at five and your generosity at six.

In the past year, you had shown us how big-hearted and kind you were to your brother and friends, and the little ways you cared for others. 

You have a heart of gold, a penchant for sincerity and generosity to a fault. Your sensibility in loving and engaging your younger brother, your responsibility to your commitment and your ability to focus, digest and converse reminded me that you were always growing up. 

Time and tide waited for no man, so while I would not dwell much on the past, but your babyish moments had a permanent place in my heart. 

Age was just a number. 

However, I thought that on this special day, I wanted to say this.

Thank you for letting me be your mom. You gave us (the family) so much joy, love and laughter.

Thank you for loving us, thank you for being our boy.

We love you and wish you a happy, happy birthday.

Lots of love,

A very happy & loved mom 

On Z going to P1

It was expected as a natural progression.

You always knew it would happen and yet, when it happened, it felt surreal, odd and surprising.

Surreal that a good 6 years had whizzed by.

The baby whom we brought home from TMC had more than doubled his height.

The toddler who was learning to walk could dribble soccer balls.

Odd that he was going to primary school but still felt like a baby in my heart. Odd that he suddenly knew everything. He went into the school barely able to string a sentence together.

Surprising … Because it felt as though the realization only hit me now. The best way to describe was putting on weight gradually and finally looking into the mirror to see a very fat person. It was a lousy analogy but you got the idea.

Cheery Z 
He had gone to this school as a 24 month and 1 week old toddler. Look, how far he had come.

Before long, I should be sobbing over the various graduations, National Service and more.

Cleaning the mess

One day, X poured out 100+ mini cars from a shared play tray. Most of the toy cars belonged to Z. However, Z was watching Harry Potter when X made the mess. 

Featuring part of the crime scene 

I told X to keep the toys but he refused to budge. When I took the cane to threaten him, he got off the sofa reluctantly and turned around to pull Z to keep the toys with him.

I was appalled by his actions. I told Z not to help and insisted that X tidy up his own mess. He eventually started on it but when my back was turned, X got on the sofa to watch movie again. 

Guess what he said when I asked him what he was doing…

X replied, “Me tired. Kor kor keep…”

Needless to say, I whipped out the cane to threaten him and X kept crying that he was tired. He played defensive mode before I even lifted a finger on him. Talk about being a drama king!

In the end, Mr H had to come out to support my decision and X knew that he had no choice but to keep the toys himself.

What did I have on my hands man? 

Martial arts & Z

Before we knew it, Z had completed 6 months of martial arts classes. He had enjoyed it. I guessed he really liked his coach. 

One evening, the coach asked to talk to us and another set of parents. In summary, the coach felt that Z had progressed well and a lot of potential. He suggested that we send Z for a day camp so that Z could be brought up to speed and learn more. In the coach’s words, Z was a boy who had to be motivated through pushing.

While I was not so overly concerned about Z’s progress in martial arts, I was intrigued that I was NOT ALONE in my observation that Z had to be pushed to perform.

Many times, I had seemed like a demanding mother in the way I pushed Z. I actually felt glad that someone who had only coached Z for 6 months echoed what I felt. 

The question which begged us all, when would we know if we had pushed him to the optimal effect? 

Small puzzles in the big picture 

I felt bemused whenever people exclaimed about difficulty of raising a child.

Believing the parenting was a difficult chore meant losing half the battle before you even started.

Parenting was just a part of our lives which we had to integrate and enjoy the ride while we could. I wished people would stop thinking that this was foreign and tough. 

It was like learning mother tongue.

It was like executing a new project at work.

If you had not tried it but deemed it as difficult, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. We only had to focus on the big picture and not let unfamiliar puzzles derail us from our goals.

Just like how we treated life, stay positive, think positive and it would be better than we expected.