Saturday, July 28, 2007
One of Nicholas' favourite spots in the house. The huge window view which allows him to admire the heavy traffic of the main road, the skyscraper, the huge green space ahead and the bikini-clad gals suntanning by the pool... He holds a pen, pondering his next move. :p
It has been a few weeks since Nicholas started calling "mama" and "papa" when he sees us. It is unmistakenly clear and obvious that he understands and uses them appropriately. So heartwarming...
Friday, July 27, 2007
The second time he met her, they went to the ExplorerKidz and had more fun. This time tickling, chasing, held hands and rolled about.
She left an impression in the boy's mind. Whenever he sees her pictures, he smiles and asks his mummy "where is Kana now?"
She is really pretty, chatty and very charming for a 4 year old. Daddy is suave and mummy is elegant. Third date?? :P
After his months of scribblings, he has evolved and now he draws. Really draws. Most times, we can identify the subjects of his drawings and he will tell us stories about them. That bus has wheels so it can move on the road, that the road is straight...that the bus goes to our house or not.. that a bus has lots of people or very few people, .. that the sun is out, so it is very hot.. etc etc... I showed him how to draw clouds, birds and trees recently and once in a while he will draw clouds for me. And now he is beginning to introduce colours into his drawings with crayons. I can't wait to see more colourful drawings from him. Should start scouting for some drawing/colouring competitions for him.
Recently he has shown huge interest in writing too. Ever since he came back from school one day writing some letters on his own and announcing to us proudly, he has made incredible improvement. Now he can write lots of letters and numbers and would concentrate really hard sitting at his red table, writing with a giant marker every night after his bath. I have never expected a kid so young to want to write so much, especially when we have never actively encouraged him to write. I suspect watching the older kids in class writing has fanned his interest somewhat and he must have picked it up just by watching them.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Today, while giving me a koala style cuddle, he suddenly looked up at me with a cheeky grin. Ran his hand over my upper body before I could stop him. Jumped off and came back with his small coach bus. Moved his toy coach down my shoulder and across my chest and announced, "Mama look! The coach is going over 2 bumps!"
I couldn't stop laughing at his cheekiness and creativeness. He joined my laughing before I summoned up enough seriousness to tell him that this is a private area so the coach can't go over it. I cheekily told him that he has 2 bumps on his back (referring to his butt). Ever since, he tried once in a while to move a coach on his bumps unsuccessfully. Heehee..
"the bus jumped over the house
and crashed into a black taxi with a yellow top
and the taxi crashed into a white lorry
the lorry crashed into another car
and the car hit the kerb
and crashed into a yellow taxi with a black top
the car was stuck to a SBS Transit double decker bus
and the giant bus exploded
there was a coach stuck to a long, long bus
the wheels of the long long bus fall off
so the long long bus cannot move anymore (with hand gesturing "no more")
when the wheels got fixed
the bus can move on the road again (with a big smile)
Mama, no more story. You like it?"
Of course I love his story and fascinating imagination. And what a theme! The tone and manner in which he told his story was just like that of the Linking Memory activity used in SM class.
Yesterday when a candidate came for interview, Marcus immediately went over to talk to her about his car. Even asked her to smell his garbage truck and told her that the garbage is smelly. She played along rather well too and last night when I asked him if he would like this auntie to live with us and play with him everyday, he replied yes readily and offered he likes her. When I asked him if he likes Auntie Mary (the previous one), he said no and if he misses her, "no" again.. if he wants her to come and play with him again, again he said "no". When i asked him about a few other people, he always replied yes, he likes them.. so he likes everyone except our former maid.
Perhaps children really know more than we think. I think he is clairvoyant too, plus he is probably telepathic with me. He could probably felt all the stress and unhappiness that our former maid was causing me so he dislikes her. It has to be, since it seems unlikely that she could have ill-treated him in any way as I have never left them alone in the house before. Well, it is a good sign that he has taken an instant liking to the new maid. Hopefully she will be a blessing in disguise and my days of going out with E without the kids will happen in the not-so-distant future.
Marcus has always been able to play independently and happily for a long time since he was real small. Nowadays he can do that for a good half day on his own as long as whenever he wants attention, we are around to talk to him or answer his questions or just respond to whatever he wants us to. Then he will be happy enough to return to his own games/toys and his little world and he seems to have endless projects to embark on his own.
Which gives me time to spend with Nicholas who is really more needy, even so compared to Marcus when he was this small. I can't leave Nicholas in the playpen or just sit on the floor to play on his own. He cries buckets the moment he is left alone. Even in his cot. Marcus used to play and talk to himself when he woke up or I could buy time by throwing him a few books and he would flip the pages for a long time. I used to wake at 9am when Marcus was small, but now I wake at 630am because of Nicholas' screaming. Still, Nicholas is so sweet in his own ways. He melts my heart to prefer me over everyone else. He is so contented and happy whenever he is in my arms. He smiles and talks to me a lot whenever we are alone and he loves to place his little nut on my shoulder and cuddle me and these days, he has begun to rub his cheeks gently on collarbone and would "talk" a lot.. i like to think that he is telling me how comfortable he is and how much he loves doing this... he must know that i love so much, and that I am probably the one who loves him the MOST! :)
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Fun day out with papa and his friends at the ExplorerKid at Downtown East.
Marcus getting tickles from American/Jap Kana and German Nelson... and obviously enjoying it.
After ten minutes or so of our exploring, Marcus announced "he likes the church" and when I asked him if he wants to return in the day time when it is crowded with people and perhaps we can sit in during the mass.. he replied an enthusiastic "yes" without hesitation. So perhaps I will bring him back one Sunday morning... though I have only sat through a mass once in my entire life.
E and I are not religious people, we don't see the need to be religious, as long as we try to be good people. Perhaps that will change one day and when we feel the need, we shall be one of those church going folks. Perhaps my little boy will inspire us to want to do so.. who knows.
This brings to mind a very cheerful classmate of mine who went on to become a monk soon after his 21st birthday. We lost touch with his family when I was 14 and when my mum bumped into his mum a decade later, they updated each other of their children's lives. My mum was shocked and so was I, to learn of this boy's decision and we sympathised with his mum a lot who had wished for her son to lead a happily married life. She had resigned to fate that she cannot change her son's mind and hopefully he has chosen well. As a parent, I can understand that. I believe I will be disappointed and sad if my son were to choose like his. Or maybe I won't when I am older. I may be wiser and contented enough then to realise that as long as it brings him true happiness, it is good enough for me. I once asked E if he would be disappointed should our boys work as some cashier or production operator for the rest of their lives, instead of becoming some successful professionals. He thinks he wouldn't as long as they are happy. Huh? I would, even if they think they are happy. So yes, I do hope my boys will become "dragons" ... "wang4 zi3 chen2 long2" as the chinese saying goes..
Monday, July 16, 2007
On the same day, Marcus came to our bed and picked up Piglet (which I am currently cuddling to bed) and said "hey Piggy, how are you? What did you do yesterday? Shall we sleep together?".
I told Marcus this morning that I have to take medicine.
He asked "so you are sick?"
Marcus: "so you have to see doctor?"
Marcus: "so you are very poor?"
Marcus: "oh poor mama. so mama has sore throat and cough?"
Marcus: "so mama must sleep and cannot go take long, long bus?"
Sunday, July 15, 2007
He lets me put him to bed now on some nights and he goes to bed rather easily and happily. And he reciprocates with "I love you too", kiss me on my lips/cheeks and gives me cuddles freely whenever I ask for them. Nowadays he will acknowledge that "mama loves Marcus" with a big smile instead of the previous "no, mama doesn't love Marcus. Mama loves chic-chic and papa loves Marcus". Recently when I asked him if he wants to go on a cruise with me, he said "I want to go with mama and papa and Chic-chic". Aww.. my little family.
Later he came home and roleplayed with Sulley and Mikey and his bendy bus. E overheard him tell them "Sulley, Mikey, you get off the bus here. We are at Orchard Road now. We go shopping at Toys R Us. You go buy long long buses."
I am really impressed with how much improvements Marcus has made at the Speak Mandarin department. He can answer "mei you", "yao", "bu yao" to name a few and ask "zhe ge ne?" etc etc.. He sings a lot daily some chinese songs which i have never heard before. When asked, he would say "lao shi sang them".
Earlier he was playing with his toy stroller when he suddenly swung it around and one of the wheels hit Nicholas' cheeks. It all happened so fast and unexpectedly that I wasn't able to stop it. Poor baby cried for a while. Immediately after he realised what had happened, Marcus dropped the stroller, rushed over and kissed Nicholas on his head. Aww.. then E told him sternly that he musn't swing his stroller around... and he burst into tears. He cried louder than Nicholas as if he was the one who got hurt. Probably he was, except he was hurt inside. We had to talk gently to him to calm him down and then he dropped the bombshell "I want chic-chic to be exploded". WAH!! He has used that word a couple of times lately. Once after his bath, he played with the glass door in the bathroom, I told him off and in between sobs, he said "mama, I want the glass door to be exploded".
Friday, July 13, 2007
It always makes me laugh how Nicholas would bite the spoon I used to feed him water at mealtimes and then attempt to blow bubbles with the water in his mouth instead of swallowing it. He knows it makes me laugh, so he does it with a cheeky grin most times.
Marcus does cheeky things every day. He is the only kid who waves like a monkey with a cheeky grin in his first class photo when all the other kids just sit straight with a proper smile. He gives cheeky replies such as "oh yes, long long bus!" to my "how are you today" questions and asks cheeky questions like "mama, you want to eat the long long bus?" knowing perfectly well that it is inedible. Later he will correct me, if I say "yes" that I can't as the bus is made of metal. And let out an exaggerated "HAHAHA", accompanied with his move-head-in-clockwise-direction gesture. 6 year old Rohini from his class even told me one day outside the school that Marcus is a very funny boy. He makes everyone laugh. And he has a funny laugh which I suspect is this particular one, and when he laughs like that, it makes even the teachers laugh. And Marcus enjoys that attention very much. He was smiling with a huge cheeky grin the whole time while Rohini was telling me.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Undeniably, I get impatient and grumpy when I am tired and insufficiently rested. Certainly not something I'm proud of and I constantly wish I have more willpower to control that uncontrollable surge of emotions when I feel like leashing it out at someone. My current can't-get-to-sleep state annoys me. I can't lie in bed listening to snores as it keeps me up even more, while annoying me concurrently. And I can't listen to music as I ended up becoming very alert, strange but true.. which is what happened after listening to an hour of Keane's music. What is the point of this post? Err.. not much I guess. I can't sleep, so I thought i might as well post it so that I can read about my silly guilt of being insomniac years later and laugh about it with my boys. Gonna go back to admire my sleeping hunks (big and small) and kiss their cheeks. And I mean ALL their cheeks... :P
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
In his room. 16 months. Jan 2006.
16 months. Jan 2006.
April 2006. 19 months.
21 months. June 2006.
26 months. Nov 2006.
33 months. June 2007
Marcus announced today "mama, I am a big boy now". I am so proud of how my little boy has grown up. Still small in my eyes and I guess will always be my little boy, no matter how old he gets, married or not. He tells me everyday when I pick him up from school that he "needs" to cuddle mama. Funny he uses the word "needs" instead of "wants". I wonder if he knows the subtle difference and how by his choice of word, it makes it impossible for me to say "no" to his request. I always ask him why he needs to cuddle mama, is it because he is lazy or tired or just want to be close to mama, and he will always reply "I want to be close to mama. I need to cuddle mama".
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
My cheeky little baby initiated "peekaboo" yesterday. He was roaming around the living room in his walker while I surfed the Internet. Heard him say something so I looked in his direction and saw him pulling the curtain with a big smile. The moment we made eye contact, he let out a chuckle and promptly pulled the curtain over his face. He pulled so hard that the curtain covered his entire body and walker. Few seconds later he unveiled himself and chuckled some more. Then repeated the whole process another few more times. I laughed so hard. It is such a precious experience. He realised he was making me laugh a lot, which seemed to please him too. When he saw me whipped out the camcorder, he promptly dropped his game and played "chasing" with me.. He wanted my camcorder!
Monday, July 9, 2007
Marcus doesn't always welcome Nicholas though, and often he may say "I don't want Nicholas, I don't like Nicholas". And I have to explain that Nicholas is only small and is his baby brother, so we must be nice and gentle to him. That he will always be his little brother, so Marcus ought to be nice to him. I also explain that Nicholas doesn't mean to do things, whatever it is that upsets Marcus at that time..
I can imagine all the wrong things that parents can potentially say to siblings which result in sibling rivalry and we are not immune to this. Everyday I hear myself and E say things which on reflection, I realise we shouldn't have said. I hope we haven't done any big damage yet. I am doubtful but still I worry. Nevertheless, I understand it is impossible to be a perfect parent. It will be suicidal and utterly depressing if I demand myself to be one and i am far from attaining it. But I shall try harder tomorrow and each day to ensure that whatever I say, I am not encouraging sibling rivalry. At least, don't make it worse.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Later, he was stretched flat on the floor, tummy and chin down, examining his bendy bus when he was overheard saying to Mikey (from Monsters Inc too) that "this bus does not go to our house. We need to take a different bus." replaying what I told him several times about the buses that he wanted to take. Then he ran to his red table and picked up a green taxi, told Mikey "we can take taxi first and bus later."
Not just Homer Simpson says that.. Marcus too. He has learnt it from E, found it funny and now he uses it and uses it at the appropriate moment too! It is hilarious to watch him punctuate his sentences with it. But I forbid him from watching the Simpsons in case he picks up something else. Just the other night when E and I were watching Meet The Fockers, I was momentarily worried that Marcus would pick up the "S-hoole" word from the tot in the film. Luckily he wasn't even keen on the film.
Friday, July 6, 2007
I shouldn't complain really, and I am not. It was my intention, right from the day one that co-sleeping is not for us. I need my space and sleep and I prefer not to have my tiny bundle squashed between our two overly tired and sleep-deprived bodies. Besides I reasoned that it is better for the boys too, to have their own bed, to get used to sleeping on their own, though Marcus' cot was in my room for his first 18 months.
We finally hardened our heart and moved his cot to his own room in March last yr when he turned 18 months. I was pregnant then and decided that he should get used to sleeping in his own room long before baby arrives. It wasn't as hard as I imagined it would be. We had to leave the door open, stayed inside till he fall asleep, but we didn't have to pat him anymore after the bedtime routine. Just read a few books, kissed him and stayed next to him till he fall asleep.
Then came the night wakings. The night terrors or nightmares, some would say. Which is which, I can't say really, but it was just a tough time for him and us all. He kept waking up nightly, crying, wanting milk, cuddles, calling out to us... Though his room is just right next to us, the hassle of dragging our exhausted body out of bed was too great on some nights that we caved in sometimes. Accidental parenting, says the Baby Whisperer. First, E began to cuddle him till he fall back asleep before returning him to bed, but after a few weeks of doing so, he got tired and lazy and allowed Marcus to sleep in our bed. And the boy refused to sleep on his own, in his cot, or his room anymore. We felt sorry for him whenever we see those big fat tears streaming down his cute cheeks. So we ended up cuddling him till he fall asleep, before tiptoeing to his room and lay him in his cot. Nightly, he would wake, scream and the cycle repeats. Till sometime in August last yr, when I decided enough is enough. I was due to deliver in 8 weeks. So we adopted the Baby Whisperer's method to sleep-train him. It was heartbreaking, but worth the effort.
First night, he cried so bad, he threw up. I promptly picked him up and let him sleep with me in our bed. E was overseas then.
Second night, I took many deep breaths and was prepared for the worst. He fell asleep on his own within 20 min.
Third night. The crying stopped after 3 min and when I peeped, he was relaxed in bed, cuddling his soft toys. Peeped again later, he was fast asleep.
It took only 3 nights! I was prepared to go through it for a month. So it was a victory. Thereafter, it was a breeze to put him to bed. And the night wakings stopped. So I believe the Baby Whisperer was right! He just hasn't learnt how to fall asleep on his own, so when he did wake in middle of the night, he couldn't fall back asleep. So teaching him how to do so on his own is a valuable lesson for him.
And for us too. We romanced our pillows more nightly, till Nicholas arrived and it was chaos again. I straightened it again recently with the same sleep-training, though it doesn't always work when E puts him to bed. We take turns and when I do it, he tends to go to bed more willingly, happily and allows me to step out of his room while he is still awake. Not with E though. Perhaps it is like what Maria Montessori said in Secrets of Childhood that the child loves the adult so much that he refuses to let him out of his sight. Hmm..
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Anyway I decided to wait a bit and in the meantime, just give him 2 choices to select every morning and he just has to learn that even his favourite shirts need to be washed. That being said, we don't get major meltdowns ever, over selection of clothes/shoes etc.. like I hear from some parents.
Marcus has always been fairly agreeable on such issues and I don't think it is because he is a pushover. He is just agreeable and such things don't matter as much to him. When it is something that does, he will be more assertive and cry and fuss but still I think we are persuasive enough on most occasions to persuade/reason with him. When all fail, he will cry and get really upset, but it doesn't last that long either. All tots have their moments and so does my boy. Some days he just want to play with his buses all day long and refuses bath, change of clothes or brush his teeth etc.. but again it takes some persuasion. A friend kept commenting that Marcus is just so obedient. He is a good kid, of course, but it helps if parents are consistent in our approach.
Today can be considered a good day though we didn't do much except for the usual. Well, I managed to spend some good time cuddling/bonding with nicholas while Marcus was in school, spent time with Marcus during N's nap and got the boys down for their evening walk. Marcus spent some time chasing big ants with sticks, which made both boys laugh. I guess it does make a big difference to my day when Marcus is relatively agreeable throughout the day. He woke up relatively happy, not grumpy before/after nap/at mealtimes, ate all his food and no major tantrums. In fact, it is really a tantrum-free day, except just before dinner time when he was starving and waiting for his fish fingers to bake. Still, it wasn't a tantrum, more like a small complain that he is hungry.
And Nicholas is so sweet as usual, though he is beginning to protest more now and harder to feed than a month ago. But he really makes me feel so loved and wanted by the way he prefers me ALL the time and I love cuddling his soft, warm body which always smells so nice. My baby goes to bed by 830pm, all fed and clean, giving me enough time to bond with Marcus before his bedtime.
I am not overly tired, nor stressed out, no major mistakes by anyone else in the household etc... so it is a relatively good day.
by Maria Montessori.
Finally finished reading the whole book. It is a small paperback with only 200+ pages but I seem to take forever to finish as I find the book is quite full of blah-blah... though once you get through the blah-blah, there are lots of insights into the secrets of childhood which I find very beautifully described by author. Reminder for me once again that my boys are only boys and they are truly beautiful, with an innocent soul and I have to look at them and their world, appreciate their intentions and actions from their perspectives. Easier said than done on a daily basis, but I shall try harder.
A child is an explorer.
An adult can substitute himself for a child by subtly imposing his wills, substituting it for that of the child. Power of suggestions.
The special object of a child's affection is the adult. It is the child who oves, who wants to feel an adult near him, and who delights in attracting attention to himself. Adults often fail to appreciate this deep love of the child.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Marcus: mama, you want a double decker bus or a train?
Me: er.. a train please.
Marcus: oh no no no (shaking his head and index finger), you want a double decker bus. OK! (excitedly)
Marcus: mama, you want a taxi or a long, long bus?
Me: er.. I want a taxi pls..
Marcus: OK, you WANT a long, long bus! OK, I draw mama a long, long bus.
Haha... though I'm given choices, regardless what I choose, Marcus the artist will still draw his favourite double-decker and long, long (bendy) buses.
Was so amazed how sharp (or not sharp I am) Marcus is, or maybe he is just a geek when it comes to buses. He told me earlier that all double-decker buses are SBS Transit buses and all bendy buses are from SMRT. Wow.. I didn't know that. Never interested, and never known.
Told me last night at bedtime that Tarun (his classmate) bit a dragon's tail. Asked him what dragon? Said it is a black dragon. Asked him where. Told me it's in Tarun's bed.
Monday, July 2, 2007
Marcus drew this in April, which has a bus, taxi, letters of the alphabet, a woman and man, and a flower in it.