Tag Archives: milestone

First dental checkup 

Amazingly, and scaringly, we had not brought Z to a dentist till he was 2 months to 6 years’ old.

He had his teeth checked in school a few months’ earlier and there was no big issue. We were lucky that this boy had no cavities.

He had a new lower front tooth growing up. We were advised to be patient and let nature take its course.

Z’s Sports Progress Card

Z had become such a lean, tanned boy that I thought I should record his preschool, sporty years. It would be useful to refer when X turned 3 next year though there would be a certain degree of deviation!

When Z was 2.75 years’ old, he could pedal very well on his 12″ bicycle.
*X to clear at 2.5 years’ old

When Z was 3.5 years’ old, he joined Aqua Ducks’ swimming class.
*Z’s instructor requested for us to coach X on breathing and kicking and to send him to Swimfast at 4 years’ old. Well, not quite sure if we could master X’s water confidence by ourselves!

When Z was 3.75 years’ old, he joined Shaw’s Little League’s Multi Sports Class.
*X to skip this and join Z’s school for soccer at 3 years’ old.

When Z was 4.25 years’ old, he was able to scoot & balance on 2 wheels.
*If you noticed, Z had never scooted on a 3-wheeler scooter before because Mr H was so paranoid about it! But X was able to fly on his 3-wheel scooter from 1.5 years’ old onwards. 

When Z was 4.5 years’ old, he was able to cycle & balance on 2 wheels.

When Z was 4.5 years’ old, he switched from a multi-sports course to International Soccer Academy’s soccer class.

When Z was 4.5 years’ old, he switched from kiddy swimming to Swimfast for mainstream swimming class.

When Z was 4.75 years’ old, we began to coach him on tennis personally.

When Z was 5.25 years’ old, we began to coach him on badminton personally.

When Z was 5.25 years’ old, he joined a nearby community centre’s wushu class. 

When Z was 5.5 years’ old, he joined Inlinex’s roller skating class.

In the pipeline for the rest of this year:

At 5.75 years’ old – Ice skating.

At 6 years’ old – Skiing.


X learns to cycle

This boy could touch the pedal but his legs were not long enough to complete the full revolution. This did not deter him because he sorted out the problem using his own way. He half-pedaled and was able to steer the bicycle himself.

We were very impressed because he picked this up from observing Z. We were also impressed that he was not bothered by the height from the ground.

Here was the cheeky boy and the wrist gloves which belonged to Z2015/01/img_0697.jpg

Being the second child, you lose some and you win some.

A pen grip


At 1 months and 10 days to turning 2, X impressed us with flicking the pen and holding the pen in this grip. He was able to doodle within the small paper too.

If I had thought that I had taught Z less, I had taught X lesser but he seemed to be very good in picking up such skills.

Number 2s rocked.

Passing the freestyle test

Towards the end of the first term with Swimfast, there was a test at the 9th class. Thankfully, Z had pulled his socks up with respect to being serious if the time called for it and passed the test. He had commenced his backstrokes class and had demonstrated a whiff bit of it.

Once again, it proved the point on how well if he would if he paid attention to what was required of him.

At Swimfast, it would have taken most kids two years to clear the basic foundation (BF) and basic swim class (SK1). The kids would then move to Freestyle class (SK2), then Backstroke class (SK3) and more.

However, he gained a head start with Aqua Ducks and shaved off the learning period by more than half. He had been able to swim independently 7 months into the class (as he turned 4 years’ old). Aqua Ducks, while not the best school for strokes, gifted us with a water confident boy. When he joined Swimfast, he was placed into SK2 right away.

He had his off days when he was not swimming right and was almost demoted. We made him understand that he could not always fool around like when he was at Aqua Ducks. Thankfully he pulled his socks up and was promoted to the next level, instead of being ‘demoted’. You could hardly tell that this was the same boy who had to be threatened with withdrawal from swimming school weeks earlier! Of course, Mr H ensured regular practice on top of the weekly lessons.

What an awesome present 3 months before his actual birthday!

It coincided with a movie treat to catch Disney Planes.


Roomwarming party for X



As a follow-up to the room transformation, I decided to throw a cosy roomwarming party for X.  I wanted to create an anchor in his mind of the new milestone in his life.  These were part of my parenting strategy to show X that we understood and acknowledged that he was in a new phase of his life.  We should not be referring to him as a baby.  We were aware that he had opinions, a little mind of his own and we were ready to embrace all of that.

Party snacks (pooled from existing inventory) 20140706-195035-71435103.jpg

A simple party in X’s room20140706-195035-71435594.jpg

X was thrilled that we made such a big fuss out of the whole thing.  He was already very pleased with his ‘new’ room.  Throw a party where he was the guest of honour?  He was majorly pleased.  We ate, chatted and fooled around.

I got to ‘serious business’ and told X that being a toddler meant he knew the world better.  However, he was no longer a baby and should not resort to crying to demand his way all the time.  X seemed to understand this bit and was even shaking his head when asked if he had been a good boy.

I also asked Z to share some tips with X on how to be a good toddler.  Z explained to X that he was to eat faster (this was more of a problem for Z), listen to daddy and mummy as well as to take care of his toys.

The revamp of the room and the party had made a significant impact on little X.

It was a recognition of the ‘upgrade’ in status.  X also seemed more reasonable in accepting some of our explanations when we were not able to give in to his odd demands such as eating wet wipes.  Toddlers had a different agenda of their own, a different perception of the world and too strong willed to accept deviations.

By our show of acknowledgement, I wanted X to feel that we heard his little voice.

And it worked.



Read a book


It was more of a milestone for me than for Z!

I managed to coach him into reading a book independently (actually two books) in less than 15 minutes. It seemed like my tutoring skills were very much in place. I used to give private tuition for 6 years as extra pocket money. I taught mostly secondary students and I would have stopped giving private tuition totally by the time I started work. However I had a student whom I taught math from Primary 5 and her mother requested that I complete up to O levels with her. That explained why the tuition stint was 6 years.

I had to admit that I was not good with teaching basic fundamentals like writing ABC. However, I still made a good private tutor, and it sure looked to be a lifelong tuition job going ahead.

Z was bursting with joy when he realized he was capable of completing a book on his own. I picked a simpler book to boost his morale and it was a real encouragement. He went on to read to Mr H who was very surprised too. However, he probably was tired and made some mistakes for subsequent rounds.

Z was so upset with himself that he cried.

I might sound sadistic but I was happy to see him so concerned about his reading performance. I used swimming and sports to explain fatigue and stamina. He would become better at reading eventually because practice made perfect.

In any case, Z’s teachers were right and they had been instrumental in prepping him to read as well as guiding us to teach him.