Monday, 31 March 2014

Eat.. Play.. Sleep..

To re-cap our short 4D3N trip to JiuJiu's house in JB..

Basically to eat.. to play.. to sleep.. to be LAZY..

Poor Ozzie traumatised by the kiddo

Sunday, 30 March 2014

"Tell me a story"

Iz: tell me a story daddy

Dad: ok.. Once upon a time, there was a little boy.. (Bla bla bla and decided to insert some moral values).. So moral of the story is, it is ok not to be rich but you have to be a good man..

Iz: hmm (must be %#&*%(%#^#%& inside)

A second later..

Iz: tell me a STORY daddy!!!!

Friday, 28 March 2014

"I don't want to answer you"

We have had difficult time waking IZ up for school these days. It was as if nothing could wake him up with a bright smile, except on weekends, of course.

This morning, I was trying, again. And I tried to engage him in a conversation.

I tried to ask questions so that he would be awake enough to wash up.

But he replied "I don't want to answer you".

To be honest, I was amused. At 3y3m? "I don't want to answer you"?

WOW.. to many more of "I don't want to answer you" to come and then to absolute silence when he is bigger I guess.

Cheers to motherhood eh?

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Painting @ Home!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014


We talked about attachment in play therapy classes. 

I remember watching a very old video by John Bowlby and couldn't help pondering if IZ was (at that point of time) securely attached. I remember the child in the video would cry when the caretaker leaves, and happy when the caretaker comes back.

I told my classmates and lecturer that my son has never cried when I left him.

I resumed traveling (for work) when IZ turned 4 months old.

He has watched me packing and leaving. He has watched me coming back. Whenever possible, IZ and daddy will be waiting at the airport to wait for my arrival.

Most of the times, he would run to me, smiling and give me a big bear hug.

And just like that, we reconnected. It was as if he has never felt my absence.

So why I did not think IZ is securely attached then?

He never asked for me, he never cried for me.

His Playgroup teacher told me he was somewhat unusual during the period I travel (when he was 18~24 months old) but he never cried. She then learnt that I was away during that period.

The few occasions he cried when I left him, was leaving him in a completely new environment, new school(s).

He has never cried when I left for work either. Every morning, I would give him a big hug and kiss and bid him farewell. From when he was a young baby. I'm sure glad we didn't have to go through the phase "daddy and mommy need to go to work for..". I guess my weak heart wouldn't be able to take that.

I finally concluded that he is indeed securely attached last weekend.

I brought him to a birthday party on Saturday, at a chalet we've never been, crowded with "strangers" we have never met before. I brought him to pee in the washroom, and asked that he wait for me to pee. He said "I wait for you outside ok?"

That 6 words were so powerful, they symbolized independence.

I somehow felt relieved there and then, I was happy he displayed independence. I was happy he felt securely attached that he trusted to explore on his own. I was happy when he made friends with strangers that he may never meet again.

I hope we can continuously walk towards connected secured attachment bonding so that he can grow up being a positive and trusting man.

(Source from here)

Characteristics of Secure Attachment

Children who are securely attached generally become visibly upset when their caregivers leave, and are happy when their parents return. When frightened, these children will seek comfort from the parent or caregiver. Contact initiated by a parent is readily accepted by securely attached children and they greet the return of a parent with positive behavior. While these children can be comforted to some extent by other people in the absence of a parent or caregiver, they clearly prefer parents to strangers.

Characteristics of Ambivalent Attachment

Children who are ambivalently attached tend to be extremely suspicious of strangers. These children display considerable distress when separated from a parent or caregiver, but do not seem reassured or comforted by the return of the parent. In some cases, the child might passively reject the parent by refusing comfort, or may openly display direct aggression toward the parent.

Characteristics of Avoidant Attachment

Children with avoidant attachment styles tend to avoid parents and caregivers. This avoidance often becomes especially pronounced after a period of absence. These children might not reject attention from a parent, but neither do they seek our comfort or contact. Children with an avoidant attachment show no preference between a parent and a complete stranger.

Characteristics of Disorganized Attachment

Children with a disorganized-insecure attachment style show a lack of clear attachment behavior. Their actions and responses to caregivers are often a mix of behaviors, including avoidance or resistance. These children are described as displaying dazed behavior, sometimes seeming either confused or apprehensive in the presence of a caregiver.

Letter H for House: 18th Mar'14

We had actually done letter H (twice: here and here), but he asked for letter H when we did letter X last week. I was surprised though, he told me, at the start of lesson that we've done H before. He really remember.

We started the lesson with greeting son, and tracing the feely (you can check here).

He was excited with H items, but had difficulty with
hornbill and hummingbird
Exhausted the art & craft for the letter given by Jann, I suggested that I draw a house for him to paint on. He said "No! I can draw myself!"
And so he drew

Even coloured them

The houses with windows and doors
Trees, one of them floating he said (the pink colour on top of the orange roof)
Blue clouds, he said the sky is blue
The green scribbles at the most right side is a man carrying a house
The patches below is grass.

And then he started adding "essence".. some "Chinese" words, some numbers.

Past Lessons:

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Ethics? Moral?

There's a saying in Chinese, direct translation means "it's easy to give birth, difficult to raise a child". I hope readers will take this literally. It's not meant for those who can't have their own baby under whichever circumstances, it simply means, labor is easier than bringing up a child.

Taking care of our children, doesn't just mean providing shelter, food, love and care, but also teaching them manners and social skills so they can.. survive?

It is the last part that is really difficult.

In no particular orders and not limited to these, I would like to share some points:

#1 You'll have to teach them to say "thank you" and "please", it felt like you've reminded them 10,000 times a day, YET they need reminder again and again.. again and again..

#2 You teach them to say "excuse me" when they burp or fart, maybe X 5,000 (coz it's generally lesser occurrence?).

#3 You have to teach them to share their toys, when friends come to your place, making a mental note to ask them to keep toys that they do not wish to share before their friends arrived.

#4 You have to teach them not to snatch what they want, but instead ask properly, which goes back to point #1 above. (With this point, will have to teach them that they have to live with disappointment. They can ask, but they cannot expect to get what they ask or want all the time.)

#5 You have to teach them to share their food (read chocolates) with people around them before eating them themselves.

#6 You have to teach them to greet elderly at home good morning, good night, and meal time.

#7 You have to teach them to greet elderly at home that they are leaving the house or reaching home.

#8 Just last night I added onto this list, to offer the best to others and take the worst. (In last night's case it was potato chips. My son chose the smallest chip for his dad, while took the biggest for himself.)

When the going gets tough and you thought you'll never see the end of the tunnel, here's what I would tell you, KEEP GOING!

At 3 yo, which seemed eternity, and after you repeated like more than a million times of "what's the magic word?", I finally can see some fruits.

I've seen IZ said "thank you Uncle / Aunty XXX", thanking and referring to names when he was given something.

I've heard IZ said "excuse me", when he silently farted. (Next step is probably to teach him not to say sorry if the fart is not audible.. haha!)

I've seen IZ greeting people by their names.

I've seen IZ greeting elderly at home automatically in the morning and when he leaves for school.

I've seen IZ generously offered snacks to his peers.

I've seen when IZ offered to apply medicine for me when I had pain.

I've heard IZ asked the daddy "how was your work, daddy? good?"

I've heard IZ asked for toys that he want (but couldn't hide his disappointment when he was rejected, that he always goes near to tears.. this is something we are still working on..)

All's well for now. The lernen-reise doesn't end here, it's a long long way to go, I'm glad we are on the right path.

For now, I'm really enjoying the morning ritual of IZ's "enjoy your day, daddy mommy!" when we leave for work. It truly make my day, everyday.

Random updates..

Colouring for X

Colourful Xiphias aka swordfish!

Current obsession..

Him reading Chinese to me
I think the teacher taught them the same way, using a pointer at each word

The boy busy helping daddy painting the house

Random block creation - for the superheroes

Got this from the Scott's Emulsion

Can you spot 4 things inside?
Tortoise, Spider, Humpty, and An Egg sitting on a wall

Imagination runs wild - acting like a spiderman

I must say I was impressed..
Poor sofa though!

Monday, 17 March 2014

IZ says..

Most complicated words at 3 yo: mechanism

Friday, 14 March 2014

"I wish my baby never grow up"

If you ever wished your baby never grow up..

Read this..

Think again..

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Parents Teachers Meeting: 13th Mar'14

Daddy and I went to IZ's school today to catch up on his development in Nursery (Term 1).

It was heartening to know from Ms Fizah that he has developed socially. Instead of mingling with only a selection of peers like he did last year, this term, he mingled with all his classmates, addressed them by their names and was very helpful.

He appeared to be the only one in the class to be able to write his own name, granted he only writes it in capital letters.

He also invited everybody (teachers included) to go to his house. No wonder he always tell me one of his classmates wants to come to our house.

Teacher also noticed he has difficulty pronouncing the sound of F. I've talked to Ms Fizah before, whether does it call for concern on his not clear pronunciation. She said at 3 yo, it doesn't call for concern. Most importantly is we try to correct him every time he does it.

He has some difficulty cutting using a pair of scissors as he goes round the paper instead. I think he has improved a lot in this, thus, I'm sure he'll be there someday.

When asked if he throws tantrum in the school, teacher said he has never showed any tantrums in the school. Lately he want to pass urine very frequently, like every 15mins. Not always urgent, sometimes, he could wait for 5 mins and then not needing to go. I wonder what's the reason behind. Is it because he was nervous? Is it because he wants to leave the class? Is it because he wants to see the outside?

Chinese teacher, Xu Laoshi feedback that IZ's Chinese improved tremendously. He began to speak mostly Chinese, although he finds difficulty in expressing some. He understands what the teacher was saying, and thus makes an effort to respond accordingly. We thanked Xu Laoshi, for her effort, as for Chinese, we dare say, it's 95% her effort that his Chinese improved so much.

He also started singing Chinese songs at home, although none of us know what he's singing, we were very encouraging.

She also emphasized that they are currently taught to recognise strokes, and words instead of writing. 

As like previous terms, IZ will flair "poorly" in terms of household items or chores. I should really reflect on this and do something about it.

All in all, we are happy with his development. Good job, IZ!

Added on 14th Mar'14:

Oh ya, I just recalled Xu Laoshi complimented that he can recognise some Chinese words too!

He would be able to group them together, in categories, he would not mix them cross-categories:

1) 爸爸 and 爷爷
2) 妹妹, 姐姐, 妈妈 and 奶奶 (see the confusion? they all have 女 at their side)
3) 弟弟 and 哥哥

So he'll never guessed 爷爷 as  奶奶 or 哥哥 as 姐姐.

Given more time, I'm sure he'll be able to recognise them accurately. Good job, IZ!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Lesson X for X-Ray/Xylophone: 10th Mar'14

As he asked for letter X for this lesson, I "frantically" look for things that start with letter X, which is.. only a handful!

I resorted to check on the internet.. I found X is for: x-ray, xylophone, xenops, xiaoxaurus..

So, where do I get that item to put in the Magic Bag? No way!

I changed last night's lesson to an art & craft fun session instead.

He sang the greeting song all by himself, I couldn't contain my happiness.

To be honest, I think this letter is quite tough for him. Maybe coz less exposure, but at least he could remember we saw a xylophone alike in the Malay Heritage Centre!

Last min decision to ask him to glue the bones onto the X
as feely, when he said "nothing on the letter?"

He's getting better in pasting

Tadah! That's our X feely!

I used daddy's chest x-ray

Letter X search!

And asked him to do some colouring
"I like colouring!", he said.
Something I discovered last night

Not bad right?
If you noticed, the pants are in blue and black.
He said the blue are socks, the black are the pants.

The second worksheet

Good job!