Tag Archives: gym

Organising a toddler’s 4 year old birthday party

Originally posted 2008-11-24 16:55:55.

Caitlin will be turning 4 this week.

From experience of Caitlin’s 3rd birthday party, it was quite a task trying to organise a toddler’s party. We had some “trouble” thinking of who to invite: Caitlin hadn’t started school yet, her nearest cousins are at least 10 years older than her, she only has ONE toddler friend. Then there was the venue; we booked the multi-purpose hall at our condo, but it was hot as hell. And the food; both grandma’s were quite frantic in organising and cooking the food- a lot of which were left over. And then the cleaning up.

This year though, was actually just a little easier- she has been attending school this year and have some same-sized acquaintance.

So this year, I for one took the easy way out- I didn’t bother with streamers, balloons, party packs.

I outsourced it.

Since her birthday is going to be on a weekday (as I write this), we thought it’d be better to organise the party on the weekend, and going be the (local?) tradition, we planned it on the Sunday before the actual birthday (yesterday).

Kids her age absolutely love the kids’ gyms and playgrounds. During my last visits, I had noticed that they organise birthday parties for kids.

That’s how it clicked.

I consulted Caitlin, saying that Daddee and Mummee would like to organise a birthday party for her, and asked who she’d like from school to come to her party. Index finger to her chin, she ran through the list of names in her head, with Daddee tailing her with a pen and a pad.

Speaking to her class teacher I managed to get the contact details of the parents. Due to some administrative error, I had a red face experience when I contacted one of the mothers with a wrong child name. Honestly! It wasn’t my fault!

Again from experience / witness, a gym like this would be better suited for kids who are already able to run. I have seen tinier people being knocked over by toddlers and bigger kids. If you recall your physics lessons on conservation of momentum, at head on collision the body with the lower mass bounces off the one with the higher mass. Quite a hazard really for the little people… (Sorry Ann, that’s why I left Christopher out!)

Naturally I also had to ensure that I get the venue secured too. It was quite a tricky situation balancing fulfilling the package of set headcounts against those who would be coming (ie keeping to their word). Experience from organising events at work recently has proven boss’ theory of expecting a 30% drop out come time of the actual event.

The theory proved correct.

I did try to make some last minutes fillers; called up a colleague with a 2 year old boy, but he too fell into that same statistics category- his boy came down with a fever. He did warn me about this a few days before though that his boy was starting to exhbit some symptoms, so it wasn’t as bad as one of Caitlin’s classmates who RSVPed (this colleague has already passed me Caitlin’s present today at work), but when I called all the parents again the day before for confirmation that “Oh, we are actually going to be traveling North..” Yeah thanks for not bothering to tell me; what if I didnt’ call? Another one also didn’t inform me; when we were already 30min into the party I called only to find that the boy was at the Dr’s, also down with something.

Lesson here for organising any-age events:

  • Expect 30% to decline invitation, so invite 130%!
  • Expect some to RSVP but not bother to advise on their change of plans;
  • Call at least a day before again to remind them of the event.

Anyway.

We were very appreciative of the parents who did come on time, and even more appreciative of the presents for Caitlin. I was glad that some of the parents already knew each other; it made playing host a little easier. There were one or two who didn’t know anyone; a pregnant mother sat there the whole 2+ hours, while a dad went window shopping. Glad I decided on this venue- the gym is actually in a shopping center.

All in all, I think everyone had fun. Honestly I was a little skeptical on how well this would go; a feeling I suddenly had halfway through the 2 hour party slot. After the simple meal and games that the staff conducted, the kids were let loose again in the gym, playing and complaining about who wasn’t playing with who, who wasn’t sharing, who was rough on the slide, where are the lollies the staff gave out, and the parents chasing after them with bottled water.

She is four years old already…..

Friends among 4 year olds

Originally posted 2008-12-26 18:39:32.

When Caitlin had her 4th birthday party, I had invited these particular two friends of hers.

The first is a friend over a year older than her. Their Mummees have known each other before they knew their respective husbands, and naturally when both had daughters, they play when the adults get together. The second is a classmate she gets along well- she talks about her all the time after school; at parent teacher meetings the teachers have even complained that these two chatterboxes had to be separated!

If I can categorise these 2 friends- one is while in school-mode, the other is outside of school-mode; if you know what I mean. It’s not that Caitlin is or acts differently in and out of school, but she only sees these friends in respective surroundings and circumstances.

So this party was held in an indoor kids’ gym, you know- steps and rubber balls and slides. And these two friends were present.

Being host we arrived early. Caitlin was off to the gym. Her friends started arriving, and quickly joined in the fun. This was also the first time I watched Caitlin playing host, unprompted. Let me rephrase that: This was the first time I had to prompt her to be a host. But it was all good; after all, in a place like that, one (kid) would not really need much urging to join in!

Soon, both of these friends were present. And since both didn’t know each other, they were demanding the attention of Caitlin.

While Caitlin was quite happy following either one of them, the other was starting to feel neglected in that Caitlin either didn’t heed her plea to “come over here..” or didn’t hear her at all. When she played with school friend, the other was feeling left out and cried. So when we asked Caitlin to also include the other, somehow the first one then became somewhat left out too. Caitlin, in all this time, was busy accommodating one or the other!

So the tears were flowing, complaints being raised with the mummies, and Caitlin seemingly needed coaching.

But even I was at a loss somewhat. Naturally I was thinking in adult-mode: Can’t we all just join in and (learn to) get along? Hot Mummee and I were saying things to all 3 girls to try and pacify and solve the “issue”. “Why don’t you include the other…”, “Why don’t all 3 of you play together…”, “.. they don’t know each other, so you (Caitlin) have to try and get them to play together….”

While it is somewhat amusing to see this little dilemma, how would you have settled this triangle?? :)

Doing stuff with the kids..

Originally posted 2008-12-29 02:08:01.

If you have nieces or nephews, you will forever see them in a certain light. By this I mean; let’s take my perspective on these particular niece-nephew brother-sister.

This niece was one that was rather colic. I actually avoided going near her fearing I’d make her cry, cos she’d cry at high decibels and long periods. Her brother was one who seemed rather reclusive to me- while cheeky, he didn’t seem the type who was interested in a lot of things.

Fast forward 16 or so years.

And, since being a father, I had always wanted to participate in activities with my kids- doesn’t matter what activity, so long as we do them together. Sports, activities, games, hobbies. Since my kids are still so young, to date it’s mainly been real kiddie-stuff like going to the kids gym or movies or just a dip in the pool. Other than assisting her in developing these motor skills, I haven’t really thought much more beyond these current activities.

Tonite, I dropped by my brother’s house with Caitlin, just because. I caught my brother jamming with his two kids.

I found myself regretting.

I am not musically inclined insofar as being able to compose or write stuff, but I am not tone-deaf. My regret is that, while I was a young’un, my parents did send me to guitar classes. For whatever reason; likely due to simple no-discipline, I didn’t follow through and never continued with the lessons.

This bother however, self-taught how to play the guitar and the keyboard. Through repeated listening of songs he can replay them on these instruments. Of course having a good ear helps too.

And perhaps its also genetic, for these two kids seem to have that talent too.

jamming_tilt

I found myself admiring this scene on different levels.

This was very obviously not the first time they do this, cos they were jamming to a few songs in sync.

That they have very similar talents.

That they were doing this family activity together.

That they are not kids anymore.

And, I gotta find me something unique to do with my kids too!

I know- this something will come naturally. I just hope that I will be home or around them enough for this something to develop or be discovered.

PS: That’s my mum in the background, who taught me how to sing!

Spoke too soon…

Originally posted 2009-04-01 09:53:55.

Only a few days after that last post on how Caleb is starting to sleep through the night, he started (again) to not be so.

Why does he wake? Just because.

Just because I made a little noise.
Just because Caitlin needs to go pee.
Just because I shifted in my bed.
Just because he shifted in his bed.
Just because.

And he wails. Lucky for me HM is the one who wakes to sooth him back to sleep, with some effort too mind you.

So in that time, I am woken, Caitlin is woken. (HM’s work hours are a little flexible in that she doesn’t have to be in the office very early).

And we both suffer from lack of sleep the next day. I can cope with this with drug laced beverages, but feedback from Teacher Rachel is that Caitlin either dozes off in class, or is moody and thus teary I-wanna-go-home.

Thus, we (mainly I) have to decide for both of us what to trade-off in order to bring forward bedtime.


My time surfing the web and catching up on online reading
vs
Caitlin’s Playhouse Disney time
vs
My time reading with Caitlin
vs
Caitlin’s revision or practising Mandarin conversations with me
vs
Daddee’s recent thinking-about hitting the treadmill early in the mornings

Sigh…..

Lines on my body..

So I was in the bathroom a few days before, checking out my physique, topless.

Caitlin walks in, and asked what the heck I was doing.

I decided to be honest.

“Daddee’s looking at the lines on my body**”.

“Lines? What lines?”

“These lines” point at the curved lines beneath what used to be spectacular pecs*. “Daddee’s getting fat.”

Now she is telling people she doesn’t wanna eat so much because she doesn’t wanna get fat- “Otherwise I will get lines on my body like Daddee…”

Yeah thanks kiddo.

* Okay I exaggerate.

** The lines look like bra-underwire marks on my body now- this, I am not exaggerating. I will spare you the photos lest you cannot look at me in the face the next time we meet…. or vice versa.

It’s a combo of gravity, fat, and the lack of youth.

I am in trouble now….