Tag Archives: growing up

“.. Light the corners of my mind…”

Originally posted 2009-10-19 22:17:27. This, and last week, were quite significant for me. My parents are moving to a new gated community along with my two older brothers. What is significant; I guess not just for me, is that our … Continue reading

I don’t wanna go to school (again), and cries.

Originally posted 2009-02-04 17:44:35.

I didn’t think it would escalate to this point.

I thought I had addressed it with her properly; case closed.

But alas.

Yesterday was the first day back in school after the Chinese New Year week-long break. When Grandpa went to pick her up, apparently he was told by Teacher Rachel something about Caitlin crying earlier.

This morning about halfway during the journey to school, Caitlin started protesting that she didn’t want to go to school. Ever. After realising that the protests was not going anywhere, she “suggested” that she didn’t want to go to school “only today”.

We arrive at the school, and she is starting to get teary eyed. Okay; I am a sook. She is the apple of my eye. I admit for a brief moment the thought of giving in flashed through my mind.

We sat in the car for a few minutes. Me twisting in the front seat straining my bloated mid-section from all the CNY feasts, to rationalise with her in the backseat.

She said something about disliking the teachers walking in and out. Gotta admit I didn’t quite get what she was saying.

She only relented when I promised I’d have a word with Teacher Rachel upstairs.

Up we went, and since we were a little late, Teacher was already starting her lessson. The other kids were already seated. I gestured Caitlin to enter, and motioned for Teacher to come over for a quick chat. Caitlin was of course still very hesitant.

I said in Mandarin that Caitlin had started to “fear” coming to school. Teacher shared that, perhaps from yesterday or the days before the week off, that Caitlin finds comfort in having her (Teacher Rachel) around when Teacher Ann comes in, and when she is teaching. Yes, Teacher Rachel was sitting at the back of the class. She even shared that Caitlin had come/run over to hug her when Teacher Ann came around / came in. She also did say that there were times when she had to go out of the classroom sometimes / visit the admin office etc. I think Caitlin starts getting edgy as soon as she steps out of the classroom.

Teacher Rachel reassured that she’d be present in the classes, for Caitlin’s sake.

I wanted to then leave. Caitlin starts crying, not wanting to let me leave. It was quite hard detaching her off me without really creating a scene; which would only make matters / emotionally worse for her.

It was quite heart wrenching- I know now what parents really feel on first days of school. This, coming from Caitlin who has been going to school all last year without an incident.

Two things I learned.

  • Caitlin doesn’t really communicate well at times.
  • She doesn’t handle stress very well.

More to come.


Update Thursday 5 Feb

That was yesterday. Caitlin was again distressed this morning.

The “incident” wasn’t as long though, mainly because, well, I didn’t hang around.

We reached the door and Teacher Rachel came out, seemingly already had something in mind to tell me. What she managed to tell me was that Caitlin is (also?) unhappy with the amount of homework she is given; something about Caitlin saying “.. but I have already done this homework- why am I doing / writing this again…?”

Managed, because Caitlin started crying and wanting to hug me again at the door. Teacher Rachel then started ushering her into the class, and I wanted to get out of Caitlin’s sight. Waited for 20 seconds or so, decidedly not to wait anymore if Teacher Rachel was gonna come back out to complete her “analysis” of Caitlin’s frame of mind.

Last night I did ask Caitlin how her school day went, seeing as that was the same morning as the first incident / post. She did offer that school day was okay, no incidents.

She also offered something about “I was paying attention” (and thus I wasn’t scolded, or reprimanded, which seems to be the crux of her issue).

Apparently that may have been the issue- that she wasn’t paying (enough?) attention in class, getting told off for it. I am only guessing this.

That, and perhaps that she (therefore?) did not know how to answer something / do her homework, that she was “scolded” for it.

Maybe in future I will just walk her to the stairs, and refuse her request to walk her to the classroom door… What do you think?


Update 2 – after school today

Teacher Rachel called me out of courtesy. Very nice of her.

I guess she had wanted to finish what she started telling me this morning; possible adding new insights into the situation…

  • Indeed, Caitlin (also) thinks that she has too much homework; you will recall that our arrangement for Caitlin this year is that she will be getting extra attention;
  • That Teacher Ann does speak / scold loudly, and even though it may not be directed at Caitlin, she seems to take it “personally”;
  • That Daddee matters a lot in her life

“Our strategy” now is to re-gain or re-instill Caitlin’s confidence and interest in school, using that last point: Daddee has to show (greater) interest in her schoolwork, justifying the amount that she (complains) has to do, to kinda give praise (positive reinforcement) to her work done.

We will start this tomorrow morning.

It’s going to be interesting this Saturday, given she has replacement school-days because of the week-long Chinese New Year break. Interesting because I will be dropping her off in my non-work clothes, and she is going to complain she still has to go to school!

Lazy Sunday afternoon..

Originally posted 2009-06-28 14:26:55.

Caleb:
Is making a lot of “noise” now, with..

buh-bye;

Grr-grr- “go-go” is what is uttered whenever we are ready to go out. Now he’s the one telling us we should go out.

Ma’am-mee (nope, still not calling Daddee);

circa and dar (“circle” and “star”, when Daddee was doodling with him);

tonne-ner whenever we enter a tunnel, or even under overhead bridges that remotely resemble anything undercover;

Runs around in circles of present-moment’s object of desire on the floor- a toy, a piece of paper, etc.

Caitlin:
She was pretty proud that she could rubber-band tie her rolled up doodling (“treasure map”) with a double twirl all by herself.

Caitlin’s cough and sniffles is getting better; thank goodness there’s no fever otherwise I’d be bringing her straight to a doctor, for obvious reasons of what’s in the air these days.

It’s mid afternoon. I think we’ll grr-grr to Midvalley using the tonne-ner parking, since really there’s nothing to do otherwise at home :)

Downside of being popular?

Originally posted 2010-06-27 17:39:11.

Yesterday was (also) Caitlin’s school’s parent-teacher meeting.

Chief among the things that Teacher Rachel told me was that Caitlin is among the popular kids in her only-15-student class.

It’s not surprising really. Caitlin makes friends very easily. She approaches humans her height, greets them with her smile/grin, engages them in what they may be up to. She does also almost follow them around, which I have seen kinda freaks the new-stranger kids out. But as with kids her age (at least last year anyway), they talk to each other and go from there (becoming friends). One time we were out and she was already galavanting with these stranger-kids, and when I told her that we had to leave, she shouted “BYE FRIEND!” Obviously didn’t know their names!

Teacher Rachel, whom have had Caitlin in her class since 2009, has kinda watched her grow. She’s also shared with me that Caitlin likes to have friends, likes to be around people, does not like to be alone.

Therefore it is no surprise that Caitlin likes going to school. Her report card from yesterday showed that she had only missed one day in the total of 96 days so far this year.

The downside, however (I won’t say is typical but not surprising to me) is that she cannot be shamed or be put on the spot.

Because she is (or has to be) popular, she finds it very difficult when she is reprimanded when she is at fault- either forgetting her homework, doing the wrong thing, etc. Teacher Rachel also said that Caitlin is (therefore?) somewhat competitive. There is a particular girl that Caitlin is quite friendly with, with whom lately I hear stories about how they are competing. Whatever the friend is doing or has achieved, Caitlin seems to need to be one better.

… Sounds like she has obviously inherited these traits from Hot Mummee! But jokes aside, looks like I have my guiding-work cut out: To guide her on the positive side of being popular and competitive, but coach her on the negative aspects of these, such as negative influence / peer pressure, what “healthy competition” means, etc…..

“The thread that strings the chapters of my life..”

Originally posted 2008-08-01 15:34:32.

The place where I work has recently just launched a blogsite. To out knowledge, there’s only one other company in our industry that has a blogsite. So, we are kinda proud!

And naturally, I am one of the blog contributors ;D

I wrote this one recently, and thought to share it here too. It may not have much to do about my own experience in parenting and kids, but; well, I’ll let you read it yourself…. Let me know what you think?

The thread that strings the chapters of my life..

I thought I heard Pa mention we were going to fly back to KL. I think we drove up in the car that was meant for his site engineer’s use. I am going to fly to meet Oscar (Goldman) who will brief me on my next exciting mission, to fight the bad guys again, to rid the world of such malice. I will show up in my smartest clothes of giant collared shirt and bell bottoms, man. Oh boy wait till I tell my school friends about this! I will still remain cool even though this is my first ever aeroplane trip; I will listen to my Pa and Kor-kor and remain seated even though the aeroplane has landed but still driving… I wonder why Kor-kor kept looking at this slim girl in uniform; the one who was serving the hot drinks, the one that other uncles near me were also constantly looking… Ee-yer, the stairs coming down from the aeroplane was so steep, but I shouldn’t complain- Steve Austin wouldn’t complain.

“Here, let me pin this on you….” He said, and then leads me to get my passport stamped, by this man in uniform sitting in a very tall counter. I am alone, wearing only my backpack, going to visit my jie-jie in Singapore. It’s the school holidays, you see…. Then he leads me to this big room full of people. We walk towards a counter infront of another door that leads somewhere, and asked me to sit here and wait, and speaks to another man that was behind the counter, and leaves. Later, the second man asks me to follow him; everyone else in the room was still sitting and waiting. I follow the second man through this door, and down this tube towards the aeroplane… After we land, another man comes to me, looks at the pin on my shirt, and asks me to follow him. We walk into another big structure, passing his friend also in uniform, who said “kid’s stuff, eh?” and they both chuckled a little. Yeah, like I don’t understand you are talking about me… We come to this big glass door, and he asks if I recognise.. Ah, there’s jie-jie there, waving….

I am going to be away from home for a long time. Mummy and I flew to Singapore first, for me to catch another flight to Sydney. We are to meet a friend who is on the same flight, in the same boarding school I will be attending. The flights’ timing meant that Mummy didn’t need to exit the terminal, only enough to see me to my departure gate, and she can then board another plane heading home. I will always remember the sight of her walking away from me, after saying goodbye, after trying to hide the tears welling in her eyes. I watched as she started walking away; watched until she couldn’t be seen anymore. She didn’t turn around at all. I know why. I wished she did. But I wished she didn’t. And I am glad she didn’t….

Holidays. I love them. Especially year end ones when I can go home! What’s an 8 hours flight when we have something like 7 weeks of absolutely nothing to do? Oh look- the magazine says “Back to the Future” is going to be on on this flight! Now if only those window passengers would close their shutters so that we can all watch the screen infront, and “Miss, can you ask that passenger 2 rows infront of me to recline his seat? I can’t see the screen, and it’s about to start….” At least they are giving out wired speaker headphones these days, and I hope it’s that crew who will be serving me- she’s kinda hot…

“You nervous, honey?”
“Yeah- do you think your parents will like me?”
“Of course they will…”
“…..”
“Just try and relax; hey look, at least now we have our own screens and you can watch that chick-flick you wanted to watch..” Thank goodness- I was never interested in that movie!

“Headset for you, sir?”
“No thanks…” I don’t feel like it. I am going back for a family funeral….

“How was the flight back, dear?”
“Good; even though we got a bassinet, baby didn’t like it, so I held him most of the time…. The crew was very helpful and understanding.. The flight wasn’t the nightmare I thought it might be with an infant… ”

“Oh, by the way, I will be going on a company trip.”
“Cool, where are you going?”
“Istanbul and Sydney. We are going there as part of the evaluation, as part of our tendering selection process”
“Wah… ”
“And did you know that managers get to fly first class?”
“WAH! No wonder you guys are losing money!”
“No, not really. The plane is flying anyway. We take those seats only if they are unsold….”
“I guess.. First class. I am so jealous…”

“Hey sweetie, wanna go to Sydney and visit Mummee?”
“Yay Daddee! We are going to Australia!”

Okay, now how do I keep a 3 year old entertained on board, and would sleep through the whole journey?

When he poops.

Originally posted 2010-01-20 16:10:55.

This title certainly got you clicking :)

Everyone has their styles. Some hold their groins scurrying and yelling “I gotta go I GOTTA GO” while others do so subtly, yet while others (still) don’t tell you AT ALL that they have done it.

As far as a number 1 goes, Caleb won’t tell you. At all. Until you carry him and feel the wet diaper on your forearm, or when you discover the puddle of pee on the floor, while he is still running around being his 2year old self discovering and/or copying what his older sister does.

For his number 2′s however, is something I haven’t seen “done” before.

I understand everyone needs their privacy, whether it’s cos the poop is gonna stink, or that it’s simply because it’s the action of pooping. But for a 2 year old, what’s “privacy”? So it is with a lot of laughter of adorableness when we hear about, and then get to see, how my boy does it.

In private.

When you kinda suddenly discover him missing, you start to wonder whether he’s okay- but more often than not it’s because he has run to some corner of the room/house; preferably behind something, and pushing. It doesn’t matter if the pusher is 2 or 20 years old, I believe all humans push the same way. It becomes a lot more “funny” when it’s on a 2 year old boy. The same slight-squirm, the same red-face. Only standing up, hiding in some corner.

When we discover him “midway” he is somewhat apprehensive, don’t-come-any-closer kinda gesture. Dunno why. Perhaps at (only?) 2 he is starting to feel shame and embarrassment already. This idea is emphasised when I tease him (yes this Daddee teases his kids)- at any “usual” moment I’d look at him and say “Ngg ngg? Ngg ngg??” (the local baby talk for pooping; I think you can imagine how that term came about!) where he’d quite vehemently declare “Mai! MAI!” (which till today we are wondering whether he is trying to speak Hokkien dialect when most of what he hears is Cantonese where “no” is “moi”, not the Hokkien “mai”) as if the act of it is shameful.

Not that we make fun of him, maybe he is starting to develop his own self awareness and image (self respect?)

For now, I will still laugh at him. It’s okay if he develops a complex surrounding pooping. Having a complex surrounding pooping is okay compared to “performance anxiety” surrounding peeing, at the men’s room urinal.

Heh.

Discipline on time management

Originally posted 2009-09-29 11:14:29.

I was just reading this article about disciplining children, and reminded me of what had happened only this morning.

Granted it would always be the parents’ fault if children don’t get sufficient sleep/not going to bed early enough. Of late, I have found that Caitlin would still wake at around the same time in the morning, even if it wasn’t a school day (much like last week’s week-long break), even if she did not retire on time. She still gets her afternoon naps, so I am a little relieved that she would still be getting some growing-time (research says that baby lambs can actually grow cm’s while sleeping; let alone the rest the brain requires).

Still, no excuses though.

Of late on schooldays, I have also started waking her a little later than earlier this year- I have started waking her almost 30min later now. Decided on this because, other than both of us getting a little more sleep, I had also found that she used to be waiting to leave, all dressed and ready and catching a bit more of Playhouse Disney in the meantime.

Waking her this morning wasn’t as difficult as Monday morning this week (cos we were all at a relative’s wedding dinner and all retired very much later than usual). Still, being her usual self she was moping around and taking too long doing everything (getting her morning dose of milk, teeth-brushing, washing up).

Instead of grunting at her, I tried this: “You know, if you wanna do things so slowly, then Daddee will have to wake you earlier so that you won’t be late for school… Either you do things quickly and not be day dreaming and wake up a bit later/get to sleep some more, or I wake you earlier.”

Knowing that sleep is quite precious, I think it may actually work. “OKAY OKAY..”

Not to contradict myself, I didn’t have the time to go get the recent “toy” I bought her. I got her a cardboard clockface from MPH for RM6.90 (if I recall correctly) with movable hands and hour and minutes on the face. I have been trying to teach her how to read the clock.

I had wanted to show her what I meant about waking earlier. But “I will have to wake you even before the sky turns bright” was enough to drive the message home.

Let’s hope she sticks to it.