In just a month’s time, Isaac will be turning 3. At this point in his life, I know that if there is a competition in getting things done independently regardless of time taken, he’d be winning in spades. For this strong-willed child, his desire to be independent takes precedence over everything else.
At times when he takes a long time getting something done, we’d just complete it for him so we can move on to the next activity. This would upset him and we end up waiting for him to redo what was done all over again. For example, every morning before leaving for school, he’d take his bag down from the bench at home before putting on his shoes. Previously on days that he overslept, we will bring down his bag for him so he only has to put on his shoes and we can leave. When he noticed that, he’d put his bag right back where it should be (on the bench) and take it down again. This only means we end up having to wait a longer time for him to get out of the house. Now that we have come to terms with this, we no longer try to complete tasks for him unless he wants us to.
There was a point in time when I wondered if there was such a thing as too independent? But to think of it, I personally feel that it is one of my parenting goals to raise a self-sufficient child. Even if it means having to spend more time for something to get done.
Just yesterday, when I was dressing him up for school, he told me he wanted to button his shirt by himself. I said OK, I will show him how and he can do it himself thereafter. After he struggled with the button for approximately 10mins, he let out an exclamation “Why, Oli can do it you know?”. Oli is his classmate. After some guidance, he finally managed it himself and he was really proud of himself. Well, I did mention he is very strong-willed.
Honestly though, I think there are more pros than cons to him being (too) independent. Although I have heard comments by numerous parents like “I wish my kids would stop growing“, or “don’t grow up so fast“, quite on the contrary, I don’t feel that way. I think it’s not all that bad. I love it that he is independent because I have so much freedom now YAY! everything’s just more fun now! I can’t wait to bring him on more holidays, make memories together and for him to experience life!
Back when Isaac was younger, he showed no interest in what videos can be played on the ipad and his attention span on things was short. Hence, it was easy to keep the tablets/phones out of his reach. We’d also remind our parents not to show him videos on their phones because we were afraid that he’d become addicted to gadgets when he got older. However, in this age of technology, we finally gave in to exposing our child to the use of the ipad. Why? The main reason has got to be because everyone around him is using it. We, as adults are constantly on the phone / ipad / laptop most of the time. Be it work related or not, our kid sees us using some form of technology when he is with us. As he starts to get more curious at his age, how is it fair for us to tell him ‘no’ if he wants to see what we are doing. I remember it actually started with FaceTime. He realised he could still see his gramps or aunt even though they are not at the same place. It was only later on that he got more curious by what his cousins and friends were watching on the screens all the time. Am i guilty about starting him on the use of ipad? No. Here’s why:
I believe kids learn faster when they are having fun. We are careful about what he watches on the screen. I must say I am a huge fan of the YT Kids app. I can personalize my settings on the app like turning off the ‘Search’ function so it restricts the experience to a limited set of videos. The content that my kid is allowed to watch are suitable for toddlers of pre-school age. Best part of all, I can even set the timer to how long he is allowed to be watching the videos. In fact, he has learnt the words like ‘excavator’,’fire truck’ and ‘garbage truck’ from the videos. We are cool with him watching the videos as long as we are around (next to him) when he is watching them. Ooh yes, how can i even forget to mention how much he loves the Sesame Street?
Many people think that by giving kids the tablets, it will eventually replace the bond between the parent and child because more time is spent on the device. To which, I think it is not entirely true. That bond is only replaced if parents neglect their kids by letting them watch videos all day long. I’d take the time to sit next to my little one when he is watching and ask him questions like “what is that in the fire truck?” and he’d tell me what he thinks. From that, I actually learn what he is thinking, or his imagination of what is in the fire truck. After that, he’d tell me he aspires to be a fireman or a police when he grows up. Communicating with him is key. Bond is not broken by the gadgets. It is broken by what people fail to do. Quite honestly, I think watching the videos with him is actually bonding time for us.
I get to steal abit of ME time when he is kept occupied (of cause not all the time we’d occupy him with the ipad). I get to take a slightly longer shower, we get to eat in peace, we get to complete watching a movie. Sometimes parents just need a break.
That being said, we limit the time he is on the videos and try to balance it with other activities. When he asks for the ipad, we’d encourage him to play with his toys or read books with us. He usually co-operates knowing there are other fun stuff to do other than staying home to watch videos. Going outdoors usually does the trick.
At the end of the day, technology is here to stay. I am just going to take a step back from all our parenting book of rules and embrace it. 🙂
In just a blink of an eye, my baby has turned 2. I find it hard to believe that he was once so tiny and could be carried with just an arm. Nowadays, when i carry him for more than an hour, i will start to feel like my arms/shoulders are breaking. When he was just a baby, we were afraid we will roll over and squash him at night (we co-sleep). Now, he does not fail to remind us every night that he is there by giving us “back massages” with his mad kickings. Regardless, I cannot express how much joy he has brought to our lives and I am thankful everyday for him. Here are some memorable moments between his 1st-2nd year.
It has been so much fun watching this little one grow up and I would never trade that for anything else in the world. If there is one thing he should know, is that he is deeply loved by many. No matter what the future brings, mummy and daddy will always have his back. Grow up well my little one.
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.
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.
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
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.
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. 🙂
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:
OK… Maybe not so bad boy… more like:
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.
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
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.
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.
We told our parents not to come visit him because he’s end up crying buckets whenever they left. So we FaceTimed them instead.
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.
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!
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!