Lessons Learnt Through Parenting

After more than a year into this whole parenting thing, I’ve grown to realise just how much I have learnt from bringing up this tiny human. As a person who is stubborn as a mule, I am surprised myself at how my perception of things are now, in a good way of cause, and how I continuously look forward to being a better individual. I did not occur to me until recently when Isaac got bitten (twice) in toddler class. I’ll get to that later. Meanwhile, here’s what I’ve learnt.

“Patience is a virtue” – I used to think whoever came up with that saying must be a saint. I do not know how it is possible for anyone to wait for anything without getting annoyed, or keep their cool over the slightest frustration when they have had a bad day. All I want to do is have everyone just leave me be until I have cooled off. Of cause now that we have a toddler at home, I cannot possibly ask him to leave me alone. Even when he tests my patience further, I find myself taking a deep breaths and dealing with the situation in a very calm manner. Simply because he is only a child and I do not want to be filled with guilt after losing my temper at him.

“To err is human; to forgive, divine” – As mentioned earlier, Isaac was bitten in school last week. His teacher wrote us a note to inform us what happened because she could not get us over the phone. According to her, Isaac did not want to share with another kid in class which led to the biting incident. My mister and I did not pursue the matter because we knew for a fact that children fighting/biting is inevitable in school. It only made me think what if the kid who had bitten someone else was Isaac? Would I want the other kid’s parents to scold my child? I sure as heck hope not! I must admit I was upset to see such a big bite on his chin. But we decided to teach Isaac to share the toys instead of fighting back. That same week, he was bitten again. By another kid this time. At this point, I started having doubts about telling him not to retaliate. Did I indirectly teach him not to defend himself? After all, what’s done is done. I chose to teach him to forgive. At the same time, we informed the school to watch after the kids closely because children will be children. I do not blame the kids, I am just upset that the school’s oversight allowed this to happen.

“Children learn more from what you are than what you teach” – I cannot agree anymore with this quote. Especially at this age (21 months), Isaac is extremely impressionable. He is good at mimicking commercials or anything that we do. Once, he saw his daddy toss a book onto the sofa. The very next moment, he picked up the book and did exactly the same thing. Did his daddy have the right to tell him not to throw anything? Sure, but it contradicts his actions which he had just displayed. With such an impressionable toddler around us, it constantly reminds us to behave how we would like him to behave. Without a doubt, our little one is an unique individual. However, I do see some of our behaviours in him. I strongly believe that if we show him to be kind and respectful to others, he will mimic our behaviours even if he does not understand it yet.

“Better bend than break” – When I was much younger and before I had my own kid, I had in mind exactly how I would raise my child. I knew for a fact I was going to be a very rigid parent. I would probably end up being the one setting all the rules, while the kid has very little power and say. But as I grew older and entered parenthood, I noticed the need to be more flexible with the way I see things. I remember how I used to think that I would not expose my son to the television programmes until he is 2 years old. But I gave in before he even turned 1. Did it stunt his growth in any way? Nope. He ended up learning to sing, dance and count while watching Elmo’s World. All that I want from being flexible, is for my child to know that he has the right to make choices and I am always willing to listen. This will also help to develop his confidence and decision making skills in future. At the end of the day, it really is his feelings and our relationship that I value the most.

“A little more kindness, a little less judgement” – Every time I see any parent dealing with an upset child, I no longer judge. Simply because I do not know that mom/dad. It is certainly not the easiest job in the world being a parent. After all, a little bit of kindness / compassion goes a long way.

Life lessons
It is really amazing how a tiny human can make such a huge impact in our lives. While in the process of teaching our little one to be a good person, I realised that we are actually teaching ourselves to be a better every time. This is undeniably the best journey in life thus far.

My Amazing Little Toddler
My Amazing Little Toddler

Our Toddler’s First Day at School

19th December 2016 marks Isaac’s first day in toddler class. I spent the night worrying about how he’d react if he realise we were not there with him. So I prayed really hard the night before that he will be okay and by God’s grace, it turns out that my worries were in vain.

The night before, his daddy took out the backpack and told me to pack Isaac’s school stuff. It was then that I realised I had no clue what I was suppose to pack. All I knew was diapers. But actually, the basic necessities are stated in the parents’ booklet upon enrolment. Here’s what I ended up packing :

  • 1 milk bottle
  • 3 servings of milk powder 
  • 1 water bottle
  • 5 diapers
  • 2 sets of clean clothes
  • 1 bath towel
  • 1 comb / brush
  • 1 set of fitted sheet (for nap time)
  • 1 comfort pillow / blanket

Although the school recommends brining 1 serving of his milk powder, I decided to pack more instead because I was not sure if he would get used to the food at school. No harm bringing extra anyways.

the day

G (Isaac’s daddy) took 3 days off work so he can keep Isaac company in school while he adapts to the new environment. Prior to school, Isaac was taken care of by his grandparents and he has gotten used to the routine. I was so afraid there would be a lot of tears and meltdowns since I was told to prepare myself for it. This is also one of the reasons why G felt that he would do a better job at dealing with the separation.

Initially when we entered the school, Isaac refused to let one of the staffs check his mouth (daily routine to check if the kids have hfmd). He sat there sulking while we signed in on the register list. But the moment some kids entered through the door, his eyes lit up. When I was about to leave him with his daddy at school, he did not cry at all! He bade me goodbye very naturally.

Though I was at work, I spent the day asking G for photos of Isaac and his progress. I was informed that he was coping so well that the teacher encouraged G to leave the room 1 hour into the class. Although Isaac was left in class without either of us, he was too busy playing to look around for his dad. When he noticed his daddy was standing by the window outside the room, he even pretended he did not see his dad. LOL!

& then came the tears…

at bath time! he was probably uncomfortable with an unfamiliar person showering him that he started to cry. I guess that just need getting used to and he will be fine. In fact, he also threw a little tantrum when it was time to sleep. Pretty common for him when we are home and he wants to play even though he is extremely tired. So that, we are not extremely concerned about.

G went home (we live just above the school) after he saw the teachers trying to get the kids to sleep and only went to pick Isaac up at 5pm. The whole day went by just like that and it seems that Isaac adapted pretty well for a first timer. I am extremely grateful that there was not as much tears as expected and there was no separation anxiety for Isaac. Now that he is aware of how it is like to be in school, we will need to see how he behaves tomorrow when we bring him back to school in the morning. Our fingers are crossed for another good day. 🙂

Today is our little boy's first day at toddler class. His daddy took time off work to spend his first few days with him in class so he could adapt to the environment comfortably. It turns out that he was able to familiarise himself so quickly that the teacher told his dad to leave the class after an hour of companion. Being the worry wart mom that I am, I kept telling G to update me almost every half hour on how Isaac was coping. The funniest of all was when isaac spotted his daddy by the window and he pretended not to recognise him.. must have been thinking "why is my old man embarrassing me?" ? Jokes aside, we are extremely relieved that there was minimal tears (apart from bath & nap time) and the transition from gramps place to toddler class seems to be smooth up to now. Seems like my worries were in vain. Isaac is our brave boy! ? #proudparentsmoment

A photo posted by Priscilla.? (@ninjapris) on

For the love of… Tegu Magnetic Blocks!

We left our car at the workshop to be serviced this weekend. Not the best time because I had intended to get started with the Christmas shopping and it would be more convenient if we had the car. With Christmas just round the corner, the trains are packed and after experiencing it yesterday, we decided to stay home today.

One of the activities that we did at home today is playing with Tegu blocks. We purchased it at a fair earlier this year when Isaac had just turned 1 and he did not know what to make of those blocks. All he did was put 2 or 3 blocks together and then take them apart again. Now that he is older (19 months), he tries to make his version of cars or buildings with some help from us.

Here are some of the things he put together this afternoon.

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“Car car” says Isaac
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I must say, we really love these blocks. Not only do they look good, they are just so easy to put together! In my opinion, it is more appropriate for my toddler at this age as compared to Lego (which I am a huge fan of). If you are getting a gift for a toddler below 3, I highly recommend this.

Being the curious cat that I am, I was intrigued to know more about the makers of Tegu. If you haven’t heard of them or seen their website, you really should. It is fantastic! You can check them out here. Ending this post with my favourite line from the good people at Tegu –

We believe that every child possess the unhindered ability to build, create, and imagine. And they aren’t only creating towering block structures and backyard tree forts, they are building their futures.

Inside each Tegu block we pack the
power to dream about that future.


** Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Isaac is going to Play Group!

Just last month, we walked past the school that I have registered Isaac in when he turned 1. He was extremely excited to see the kids playing and stopped in his tracks to watch them and tried to get their attention from the window. Although we always say that there is no need to rush things and send him to playgroup at such a young age, I decided to just call the school to check on our queue number just to see how far are we from enrolment. Much to my dismay, I was advised that they are not allowed to disclose the queue number due to personal data protection. To be honest, i cannot understand what kind of data are they protecting when all i wanted to know was our queue number. Anyway, I was even more shocked when the lady over the phone said to me “To ensure that you have a spot or a centre to go to, we suggest that you register you child in 10 locations so you have higher chance of securing a slot.” 10 schools! I even confirmed with her that I had heard what I heard.

I mean seriously, I have heard from my friends and relatives that I should sign him up for school as soon as I can because the waiting list is crazy.. but this is unbelievable! I refuse to get sucked into this rat race because I know that there are many more parents out there who need to put their children in playgroups because they have no one to look after their kids. Since Isaac has his grandparents to look after him, my thought is if there is a slot, then we will put him in the playgroup so he can learn to socialise with other kids. If not, then so be it. I will leave the situation as is. Not gonna be registering in 10 schools.

Last week, I received a call from the school telling me that there is a slot for Isaac in Dec. I was pretty surprised because with the number of young families in Punggol, I was expecting to wait at least another 6 months.

So now that this is happening real soon, I have started asking around what I need to prepare myself for (besides emotionally) when he goes to school! So far, I have thought of a couple of things like loading the kiddo up on vitamins since there will be a higher possibility of him catching bugs from the other kids. Name stickers for his belongings. Perhaps a bigger water bottle because he drinks alot of water in a day.

What else do I need?

By the way, ever since I heard the news that he will be going to playgroup, this has been my image of how he would look like:

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Bad Boy Look

OK… Maybe not so bad boy… more like:

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As the date draws nearer, I have brought him a few times to look at the school from outside and asked him “Do you want to go to school?” He’d always reply “K”. Mentally preparing him for it although I secretly feel that I am preparing myself for it too. I hope he is able to adapt well to playgroup when the time comes. Otherwise, like what the hubs and I always say to him – Slowly but surely.

Our Favourite Paediatrician – Dr Ang Ai Tin

The one thing I cannot stand about parenting – watching my kid ill. 
Isaac turned 18 months over the weekend. Last Thursday, the hubs and I were talking about bringing him to USS again since we did not complete the visit the week before. On the same day, I received a call from my MIL informing me that Isaac had diarrhoea a few times that day and told us to monitor him. 

When we got home, he pooed once more and we thought if he continued to drink his milk and stayed hydrated, he should be alright. However, at 2am in the morning, he crawled over to me in bed and tried to grab me. I was surprised because he usually sleeps through the night. Then it happened – he puked on me, in bed. I immediately called his daddy into the room. When he turned on the lights, isaac’s face was pale and he was still gagging. After a few vomit sessions, he fell asleep at 5.30am. By 7.30am, he was up and did look a little better but the vomit saga went on. We decided to pack a few sets of his clothes (in case he puked on himself) and bring him to the paediatric clinic immediately. 

We used to go to the a&e at KKH. But after we were recommended this paediatrician, Dr Ang Ai Tin at Thomson Medical, we knew instantly that she was going to be our first choice whenever Isaac is ill. This is why we like her very much: 

1. Waiting time at her clinic is much shorter than that of KKH’s a&e

2. We prefer to have a fixed paediatrician

3. She is very professional when dealing with children who are unwell and is extremely clear when telling us what to expect over the next few days or so

4. She assures us on Isaac’s recovery with whatever form of treatment or medication she prescribes

while waiting for the consultation

This time that we went to her, Isaac was diagnosed with gastritis and was advised to be admitted so he can be put on drip. The last time Isaac was put on drip when we were at KKH, it was a nightmare. The procedure to set the plug was not done by an experienced doctor. I waited outside the room for slightly over an hour just listening to Isaac screaming and wailing non stop. Non stop throughout the WHOLE procedure. When he came out from the room, he was exhausted from crying and was fell asleep almost immediately when I carried him. I checked his hand and realised that he was pricked in both hands and feet. When I asked why, I was told “oh the doctor couldn’t find his vein”. I get that it can be difficult to set the plug for kids who are struggling, but couldn’t find his vein and they pricked anyway??? Unbelievable. 

This time with Dr Ang, the plug was set in no more than 20mins, just ONE prick. This is a very big consolation to me. 

Now that Isaac is more mobile than when he was less than a year old, he could not take it when he was not able to move around freely. He tried to yank the tube away from his hand or flailed his hand and kept telling me “take out take out” which broke my heart. 
As there was no single bedded ward available, we settled for a double bedded ward on the first day. A little uncomfortable because we didn’t want to be of any disturbance to our neighbour especially when Isaac is unwell and of cause a lot more cranky. Since we are sharing the ward, it also means that only one of us could stay over the night. So Isaac’s papa volunteered. This was how they slept throughout the night even though there was a cot for Isaac to sleep in. 

Papa said that Isaac will sleep better on his chest.

Went over early in the morning and we were told that we can transfer to the single bedded ward today. WHOOHOO! at least then we don’t have to keep shushing Isaac whenever he made noise. When we got into the single ward, Isaac went ‘WAH’ like as though it was a staycation. Maybe it was, at the hospital. Lol! He immediately pointed to the tv and told us to turn it on for him. 

like a boss

We told our parents not to come visit him because he’s end up crying buckets whenever they left. So we FaceTimed them instead.

facetime with gong gong

 By night we made an exception by letting him watch the Sesame Street on the ipad because there was nothing on tv he was interested to watch. So actually, really like party time for him since we made some exceptions for him. 

off the drip because his hand started to swell

Doc popped by to say that he is recovering well and should be ok to go back tomorrow if he doesn’t throw up again. It was that day’s best news ever! 

Next morning, Isaac was happy to hear that he could go home. When the doctor said “Isaac you can go home already today!” He responded with a “Kay! Bye bye!” When the doctor left the room, he proceeded to roll on the bed happily. LOL!

rolling in delight

Heartfelt thanks to the Thomson Medical’s team of angels (nurses) for putting up with cranky Isaac when he refused to take his medication. I really think it takes a lot to be a healthcare staff when they have to deal with sick and potentially very upset people all day long. Isaac’s recovery would not have been as speedy without their patience and care. Of cause, the same goes for Dr Ang Ai Tin.  

Most importantly, Isaac’s daddy for keeping Isaac in control when I am not able to. Not forgetting grandma and grandpa Lim for disinfecting our house while we accompanied Isaac at the hospital. There is really nothing more to ask for in life when there’s so much love showered upon us. Be healthy Isaac! 

Because… There are Super-Dads too

Today, I slept till 12pm…For the very first time in 17 months after the arrival of our child. When I awoke, my husband, G had already fed, bathed and clothed my son. When he saw me walk into the kitchen, he casually asked me if I wanted a cup of coffee when he was already making a glass for me. I thought to myself – “Wow, what did I do to deserve this today?” What may seem like very small gestures to others actually mean so much to me because I was well rested and happy to know that the daily chores had been taken care of.

To be honest, I consider myself very fortunate to have married someone who is extremely involved with taking care of our kids. Someone who fully understands that it is not all about fun and laughter, but there are also times when our patience is tested. Being the more impatient one between us, G often reminds me to keep my temper in check when our child misbehaves. He may not be a perfect dad, but to me, he is good enough.

G the ‘Bad Cop’ – Prior to the arrival of our child, G and I had agreed that there has to be a bad and good cop at home. He had decided that he would be the bad guy who will discipline our kid (or future kids then) when it has to be done. I remember him telling me how he did not mind our kids getting upset with him or disliking him when they grew older as long as the kids turn out to be good people.

G the Mentor – As a firm believer that children should try to venture whenever they think there is an opportunity, G always tells me to let our child try everything. Even if it results in a failure, the experience will teach them to try and do it better the next time.

G the Baby Wearing Dad – I can almost count the number of times I have used the baby carrier or rather, the lack of it. G carries the baby almost all the time. Right from the time we used the baba sling (when Isaac was an infant) to the time we switched to the Ergobaby carrier now that Isaac’s a toddler. I always like to see baby wearing dads because it just makes me feel that it is extremely sweet. If I have to tell you when do I think G’s the sexiest, it’d probably be when he is using the baby carrier (partly because it covers his belly too)!

G the Comforter – I remember when Isaac was diagnosed with Herpangina (mouth filled with ulcers), G carried him the whole night and tried to comfort Isaac to sleep. All he kept saying was “it is ok, daddy is here”. I have never been an emotional person, but hearing him say those words, I could feel tears welling up in my eyes.

Sometimes it is funny how simple gestures can trigger me to think so much. I am just so thankful for the amazing people in my life. I hope that one day, my kid(s) will grow up to be like their dad. 🙂

G & Isaac
Dad & Son

Embracing the Next Phase of Parenthood

It is unbelievable how time flies with a little one at home. In the blink of an eye, we are 15 months into this whole parenting journey and Isaac is no longer a baby! Like every parent, the usage of the classic line ‘where did all that time go?’ is inevitable. The transition from Isaac being a baby to toddler is a bittersweet experience for me thus far. Here are some of the things I like and dislike about this phase of parenthood. 

Our toddler can finally walk! I cannot describe how happy we are with this milestone because we no longer have to carry him all the time! Our friends tell us that it will be even harder to manage him once he starts walking because we have to start chasing him around. Though it is true that it can get tiring chasing after him, we still prefer it as compared to having to carry him all the time. 
With the steadiness of his mobility, I now have a hard time changing his diaper or putting clothes on him. I cannot help but feel like I’m battling with some mad Monster fish with crazy body twisting skills. At the end of the day, I give in by using the pull up pants instead. Then comes the clothing him. Before I’m done with putting the clothes on, the topless baby will be up and parading around the house in his diapers. 

Sleeping habits – The toddler seems to sleep less during the day now. Some days, he doesn’t even sleep when we want him to just so we can nap as well or get done with our grocery shopping in a shorter time. The good part about this is, this allows him to maintain the usual bedtime routine of 9pm-7am. The less sleep in the day, the earlier he turns in. Just yesterday, he broke the his record by sleeping from 5pm to 7am. That’s a straight 14hr sleep because even when he nudged me to make his milk at 5ish am, he did it with his eyes closed the whole time. 

Expressiveness – As the little one is more expressive now, he will show us his emotions towards what he likes or dislikes. For example, he will protest when we try to buckle him in the car seat. He will to look out for dogs, birds or planes when he’s at the park. He is afraid of sudden loud noises. All these little actions allow me to understand him a little better each time. 

The curious toddler – With the ability to move around by himself, Isaac tends to check out those random stuffs that we have lying around the house. With whatever he has gotten hold of, he would mimic the way we use it. Just like the television remote controller. He would pick it up, point it at the television and press the buttons on the controller just to see what happens. I like to see how he mimics us because it shows that he is learning, but it also means we have to start child proofing our home. One of my greatest worries are the electrical sockets. Which is why we have to cover all the electrical outlets with the socket covers. Even with those, I will ensure that he is supervised at all times. 

Learning to speak – Isaac can now say simple words (1 syllable). It is so much easier when he tells us specifically what he wants instead of us having to play the guessing game. If he is hungry, he says milk or mom-mom. When he wants to go somewhere he’d point and say ‘go there’. Cute toddler babbles, there is absolutely nothing I dislike about them! 

Follow simple instructions – This has got to be my favourite. An example of this is when we pass him something and tell him “throw away please”, he brings it to the bin. Trouble with this is, he seems to like to bring everything to the bin now! HAHA! The last time round when I changed our sheets, he was happy to pass me the bolster/pillow cases when I told him to. He can also keep his toys now when instructed. Who doesn’t love an extra pair of hands at household chores? 

I am certainly looking forward to more milestones with the little one. Things are just beginning to get fun around here! 

Isaac at 15 months