Category Archives: KIDS

Less is More

My motto for 2014 and onwards will be “Less is More” and I have happily:
- cleared out 3-4 boxes of books, papers and etc from the study, where TWO adults can actually walk around now

- thrown out 1-2 boxes of old VCDs – we still have a lot more to go!

- reduced the amount of trash I throw out by:
i) cooking / buying EXACTLY the amount of food we need and
ii) switching to recyclable bottles or containers instead of “refill” packs and
iii) started using soap instead of handwash liquid or shower foam

I am very, very, very happy with these changes because I can do the dishes faster now and only need to take out the trash once every two days.

It’s amazing how such small changes can make such a BIG difference :D

Besides that, I’ve also concentrated my time and energy on family and friends instead of being Mr. Nice Guy to everyone.

In the past, I have listened to almost everyone’s complaint, gossip or sob story. Uh, sorry, you’re an adult while I have two kids who need my attention and time.

Recently, I had lunch with an amazing person who survived a near-death experience – she totally agrees with my perspective on health and life and we both agree that if someone does not make us happy or helps us in any way, then we’ll just move on…

Isn’t it nice to have just a few friends who will cheer you up, make you laugh or even poke their head into your door and say,

“Hey, workaholic, isn’t it time to pick up your kids?”

or

“Cook for your kids!” LOL

Children’s Day (六一国际儿童节 liù yī guó jì ér tóng jié)

I love ice creamChina celebrates this special day on June 1.

Actually a big marketing opportunity since many Chinese parents will dote on their kids on this big day.

Any and every brand of “brain food” will be promoted and marketed to death.

Pamphlets of bright, chubby and smiling children doing super intelligent activities i.e. a baby reading a book, a toddler playing chess and all sorts of such nonsense -_-

You will see many competitions, games, entertainment in deafening volumes all lined up for children at the malls and mega malls.


Babies in crawling competitions, toddlers and preschoolers in various obstacle races – err, isn’t this supposed to be “Children’s Day”? Why are the children “working” on their special day???

Thankfully, my son’s school dedicates Children’s Day (celebrated on a weekday) to the children because:

a) he did not need to bring his heavy backpack to school

b) there will be no lessons for the day – YAY!!!

c) he would be getting an ice-cream treat :D

Poor kid. Chinese school has been a big adventure for him (and me) but he’s doing well this far. He has surprised many of his teachers although they wish he’d improve his penmanship…

Although I agreed with his teachers that he needs to write better, I wouldn’t hold my breath. He’s already a slow writer – if he tries to perfect his penmanship, I wonder if he’ll ever finish any homework!

Anyhoo, after school, I met a beaming kid who had received a notebook as a reward for good behaviour (or something).

He also got a goodie pack, which contained candy, chocolates and some small toys, which he will generously share with his little sister.

I had to ask him about his ice-cream treat as he’d been looking forward to it this whole week.

He told me that it was just a teeny-weeny cup LOL

He was slightly disappointed especially as the vanilla part turned out better than the chocolate part.

Anyway, he had a lot of fun because the school hired a clown and a magician for the kids.

I am really glad to hear that he enjoyed himself on “Children’s Day”.

Exams are kǎo shì (考试)

In the next few weeks, our son will be taking his mid-term examinations, which will include Composition, Reading Comprehension, Science, Math and Moral Studies in Chinese.

He enjoys Science and Math but struggles with Chinese composition.

As we do not have a private Chinese tutor, you can imagine how stressful it is for us to review his lessons especially as I am a full-time working mom AND we have a chatty preschooler who demands my attention with,

“Look, Mummy!!! I am drawing you and a house.”

“Look, Mummy, this is a ball machine! These are all the balls zug-zug-zug going round and round and round. Now, they are marbles!!!”

This weekend, in between:

  • washing, hanging, folding and putting away the laundry,
  • cooking a simple dinner,
  • juggling the 2 extra-curricular activities,
  • going to the wet market for school snacks,
  • shopping for new school uniforms (he has outgrown his “sparkling white” shirts),
  • finishing his Chinese homework and
  • cutting them fruits for a balanced diet – yup, they’ve been a bit low on fruits this week!

he managed to complete 2 sets of Chinese composition worksheets, which involve filling in the blanks, matching exercises, lots and lots of rearranging words to form complete sentences and basic composition (picture-based).

He balked at basic composition and some of the more challenging fill-in-the-blanks, whining that he could NOT do them.

First, he was distracted by The Christmas Toy Factory (Geronimo Stilton, No. 27) and Thea Stilton and the Secret of the Old Castle: A Geronimo Stilton Adventure.

Second, his happy-go-lucky preschool sister was chatting and singing as she happily coloured and sketched out some fun stuff.

Of course, Tiger Mom would stand no such nonsense since his composition skills in English are perfectly fine.

Armed with a Chinese dictionary and of course, a plastic clothes hanger (rapped on the dining chair) to ensure no wriggling, we managed to work out some new Chinese words and phrases.

With a bit of encouragement and some weary “Good!” and “Go on…”, he figured out some sentences and he could even complete a short passage with the required phrases.

Now, the rascal is enjoying some cartoons with his little sister while I have to fix dinner and get ready for school and work tomorrow!

A few whisker-licking-good weeks ahead ;-)

Growing Up (我长大了)

Pregnancy.
Childbirth.
Breastfeeding.
Starting solids.
First Steps.
First Words.
Potty Training.
Kindergarten.
School.

Sniff, sniff, how Time flies…

Baby to toddler to big kid.

Now, he almost reaches my shoulder.

Soon, he’ll be taller than his Mom.

Kids grow up too fast.

Every moment is a precious moment.

Sigh…

Kindergarten is 幼儿园 (yòu’éryuán)

We started the little one in kindergarten this year.

On the first day of school, she happily dressed up in her “school uniform”, carried her bag pack and waved good bye to her big brother when we dropped him off first.

I held her hand as we walked in together to check out her classroom. She was OK until she had to enter the classroom and sit down with the rest of the other kids. She started whining for Mummy…

Then, a little boy sat down next to her and another girl and another boy joined her table.

The kindy teacher was quite busy with school fees, uniforms and enquiries and didn’t give the kids anything to do. Hmm…

With nothing to do, the little one turned to stare at her mother and father, whining…

Thankfully, it was time to go to the toilet! She continued whining but I said that I’ll be here waiting for her. All OK.

After a while, they lined up again to go out for recess. We thought that was fun LOL

The drama queen happily joined her friends at her table and ate the bun I’d packed for her. She was quite happy to see that she has recess, packed food and everything her big bro has at his school :)

When it was time to line up to go back to their classrooms, she decided to run and cling to my legs!

When she saw the teachers coming, our monkey RAN away!

Of course, I ran after her and you can imagine the drama the other parents were treated to that morning. Everyone was most surprised because a lot of other kids were crying and screaming but not our little one. What happened???

After a bit, I decided not to catch her. She stopped.

Then she saw her father and ran towards him!

Her father knew that he would not be able to let her go once she clung to him so the 80 kg man ran to hide. Of course, the 4 year old spotted him immediately. -_-

With as much dignity as I could muster, I took big strides towards the “little angel” and picked her up. Together, we went back to the classroom and I yelled to the love of my life, “DON’T COME OUT!!!” God knows where he’s hiding. I hope the security guard doesn’t find him hahaha.

Another teacher helped me to calm her down and bring her back to the classroom where they started colouring a fun picture of kids flying kites.

Oops! I forgot to pack her colour pencils and she told me loudly, “MUMMY, YOU FORGOT TO PACK MY COLOUR PENCILS!!! We must bring my colour pencils tomorrow, OK?”

I smiled and said OK. All’s good – she’s thinking of going back tomorrow.

We are quite happy with the kindergarten as she has an interesting variety of friends, especially the little boy next to her, who helped to calm her down each time she howled and wailed after I left.

On the second day, she told me that she loved her “new” school. After about 3 weeks, she asked to be dropped off like all the other kids. I could stand outside and wave to her :)

She’s been having fun with art and craft, singing, outdoor sports and some reading and writing. She loves doing her “homework” and she has been reading her books at the top of her voice almost every night.

Last month, she happily showed me a huge party pack (lots of cute stationery) she’d got from one of her friend’s birthday. I think she slept with the party pack, clutching a few erasers hahaha.

Last night, she showed me a drawing one of her friends gave to her.

I am really glad that she loves her kindergarten – I must get my sony camera batteries ready for some beautiful memories ahead!

Singing Chinese New Year songs…

Have I ever mentioned that we have a little chatterbox who NEVER stops talking or singing?

Oh yes, she talks almost every minute of every hour of every day.

The only time she is quiet is when she’s just woken up from a nap or when she’s sleeping.

If talking 24-7 is not enough, she also sings!

She sings when she’s drawing, when she’s playing, when she’s marching, when she’s pushing her baby around in her stroller.

Thank God she doesn’t sing when she’s in the toilet -_-

Recently, she started singing a Chinese New Year song she learned from the kindy in a cute but LOUD voice.

She doesn’t know all the lyrics yet but I can hear “gong xi” repeated a number of times LOL

She loves talking and singing so much, I think she’ll like a microphone.

We can’t wait to hear her sing an entire CNY song in Chinese – our in-laws will be so tickled next year!