Archives for category: Imperfect Kids

A friend told me today that TIM is still on Page One of Google’s search results for “Malaysian mommy blogger”. And I still receive one request every few weeks for an ad exchange. And I haven’t updated this baby in over three years!

I can’t promise updates will be regular from today onwards but I will try very hard to put some time into this blog :)

So to catch you up, here are some more recent pics of the girls. They are now seven and ten, yikes!

Seattle mommy blogger: Back from the dead

Seattle mommy blogger: Back from the dead

Seattle mommy blogger: Back from the dead

They are both in grade school now, which is primary school in Malaysian parlay. Sky is in first and Rae in fourth. One more year and Rae will be in middle school, which is like junior high.

My business is still going strong and has eaten up most of my time. Running a business in the US is an ongoing adventure, but I’ve made many friends in the industry. I LOVE IT.

Seattle has become home and we are considering seriously the notion of becoming citizens. I have some reservations but I reckon with all that’s happening in Malaysia, the decision (when the time comes to make it) won’t be too difficult.

I will be back in July for six weeks to visit home and work a wedding. I am excited to also visit Perhentian for a vacay, show the girls a REAL beach and warm ocean water! Six years of almost daily rain has made me appreciate our tropical paradise SO much more :)

Until later, you can follow me at my Facebook page for my business, or twitter for more regular updates!

Daydreaming

If kids daydreamed more, moms would get a lot more done.

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A few days ago, at our preschool’s Parent Ed night, we were taught the four styles of parenting, something I’d gone through two previous times when my older daughter was at a co-op.

You know, the whole Helicopter/indulgent parent, the Drill Sergeant/Authoritarian (Asian) parent, the Skeleton/Indifferent parent and the nirvana of good parenting, the Authoritative parent who’s loving but firm, who knows how to set boundaries but also allow the slow, transfer of power from parent to child, and so on.

As we went through our notes, I could not help but notice the so-called negative results of the other three styles in my first child. Self-centeredness, because sometimes Lokes can be too indulgent. An inability to deal with failure, because sometimes I can be too hard on her with the rules. Insecurity, because perhaps I don’t pay enough attention to her feelings. 

However, she was also a confident child, top of her class and has many friends, my Raeven. These were the results of good parenting – an Authoritative parent. 

And then it dawned on me.

This class is for my parenting of Skyler, my second child – not Raeven. Not that it matters but I was surprised I was actually thinking more of Rae than I was of Sky when it came to “behavioral challenges”.

Skyler really has nothing in the first three columns mainly because perhaps it’s still too early to tell. She IS confident, because she’s never cried a day in class, even from the first day I’d dropped her off. She is very trusting of her teacher, the other co-op parents, her friends. She is easy-going and secure. 

I began thinking about my parenting styles with both my kids. And the parenting styles of my parents.

As the older sibling, I’d always been subjected to unrealistic standards by my own parents and even though I knew they meant well, it was hard to take as a kid. Luckily for me, I have a great younger sister and with time, the value of my tough upbringing gave me the tools I needed to deal with life and love. Still, I have my flaws. I can be self centered. I don’t like to fail and sometimes don’t admit to my mistakes. I am insecure.

I was also top of my class in school (I have a 4.0 GPA in my two semesters of college last winter and spring) and popular.

Raeven and I are so much alike, although Lokes’ and my parenting style and my parents’, are so different.

This makes me wonder how much really is genetic and how much of it can we change and nurture as parents, these traits and flaws. And why are both my kids so different since my parenting style is the same with both of them.

Or am I just seeing what I want to see? 

In any case, I know I am doing some things right, and there are some things I need to correct before it’s too late (like when she’s 12 and will call me on my dorkiness – “Why are you acting all weird, Mom? Oh, don’t tell me. It’s a parenting class thing.” *roll eyes*).

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Innocence flitting

We celebrated Halloween a tad early this year when the wind, once again, blew our power out. The girls put on their brand new fairy wings and tutus and danced up a (or should I say another) storm. And brought our power back after 20 mins.

This is what we get up to when the power's out

Hubby has a surprise for me tonight, taking me somewhere mysterious and, hopefully, very expensive.

:)

ps. Did you notice the new muted green walls? We painted them a few weeks ago. The gaudy-awful orange got a bit much after two years.

So Lokes and I decided it was high time the girls watched Star Wars.

And with all good things, we started from the very beginning. And the beginning was A New Hope.

We popped some corn and actually sat through the entire movie. There were a few run-and-hide moments; when the Jawas zapped R2D2 (Sky: Mommy, is the robot dead?).

When the sand people knocked Luke unconsicous (Sky: Mommy, is the boy dead?)

When Obi-Wan fought Darth Vader.

When the trash compactor’s walls closed in.

But at the end of it, both Rae and Sky sat riveted as Luke paid attention to the Force and slipped the photon torpedoes into the exhaust and blew the Death Star up.

When the credits started rolling, Skycried, asking for more.

Here are more quotable quotes from the girls.

Skyler, on Darth Vader: He’s so very black, mommy.

Raeven, on Obi-wan: Why is that grandpa fighting Darth Vader?

Raeven, on TIE-fighters: Do they eat Thai food?

Raeven, on Chewbacca: Why did Princess Leia call him a walking carpet?

Can’t wait for next Friday when we watch The Empire Strikes Back!

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What a fascinating first three weeks.

After Raeven’s first day of school, she told me she did not eat any hot lunch save three bread sticks because she thought she had to pay for it and had no money. I’d forgotten to tell her school lunch was already paid for. And she lost her classmates at second recess and cried for me.

And then I went and checked on her two days later, and found out that lunch money was the least of her problems because my six-year-old, who’s so used to being waited on hand and foot (not my doing, I assure you) does not even know how to carry a tray and walk faster than two steps per minute, and because everyone else was faster than her, she got all teary-eyed and upset.

Last week, she came home with her bag zipper wide open and her school folder was missing. Turned out she hadn’t taken it home in the first place.

Yesterday, Raeven came home without her lunch box and her school folder. The moment I asked her where they were, she exploded into a fit. That’s my girl for you. Embarrassment is something she doesn’t deal well with and I for one, am not a person who deals very well with ego.

“STOP TALKING ABOUT IT!” she yelled at me. We hadn’t even begun. 

For one minute, all she did was run away from me, refusing to answer my questions about where she’d last seen her things, worried that her school folder might contain something important (this is the second time she’s misplaced it and it’s Week 3 of school!). 

“I forgot okay? I am forgetful!!!” she screamed. It broke my heart. 

Finally, I sat her down and in a loud, firm voice to get above her yelling, told her to calm the heck down and that I was only asking her so that we could think of what to do next. She finally did, telling me she thought she’d left her lunch box on the bus because she remembered putting it next to her, and that her folder might still be in the classroom because her bag was all zipped up so it could not have fallen out. 

“See? Once you calm down, you can figure out stuff,” I told her. To this, she grunted indignantly. 

This morning, I asked Tanya, the bus lady, if she’d seen her lunch box and she promptly handed it over. You should’ve seen the grin on Rae’s face.

I can’t wait for what’s next.

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I am pretty sure there are Impatience and Easily Bored genes. If one of you Human Genome scientists could just find them, I need someone to do some sort of a splice on my daughter because man, I am running out of ideas on how to make her more patient and extend her attention span beyond two minutes.

We are trying to get through her summer homework and I’ve been telling myself to go easy, but man, we still have an inch more of all that paper to go through. Everyday, right before lunch, we sit down for two pages of beginning math (which I supplement with a Nintendo DS game called Professor Kayegama’s Cell Math – I think) and two pages of writing (all from the big pile her kindergarten teacher gave us right before summer hols) and at bedtime, we usually read a chapter from a chapter book (Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator is on now) which she has no problems with since reading is her favorite of the lot. But man, the math and writing is driving me up the wall because my daughter is, to put it nicely, spirited.

For example, she likes to “do things her way” – her exact words – rather than do things the right way, such as writing along the guide lines or counting with her fingers when counting in her head does not work. It’s all great but then she gets frustrated when the words don’t fit onto the page because she didn’t follow the lines and can’t get her math answers right because she counted it wrong in her head. And then she throws a fit and begins to sob over the fact she’s frustrated and refuses to finish. 

And YET, the very next day, she STILL decides NOT to follow the lines or use an abacus or her fingers.

Now a lot of people will say, “hey she is spirited, not wanting to be limited by lines!” or “she’s spirited, doing subtraction in her head!” and pretty soon, some will even say, “hey, getting it right is overrated!” but I am pretty sure simple subtraction and writing in straight lines are relatively standard expectations of a six-year old who could discern that five minutes is not as long as half an hour when she was four, especially when I gave her the warning to turn the TV off.

I am someone who values methodology and process. Not everyone does but I think at the very least these things should be respected. You may be a genius but the laws of the universe, and sometimes, the laws of man, still apply to you, whatever you may think.

Now I am proud to have a daughter who WANTS to be creative and spirited and wants to add a little challenge or fun into mundane things like homework but I believe there’s a time for everything (especially when you’re a SAHM!). And I think that it’s high time someone told my six-year old that her first grade teacher may not find it very funny when she decides to do things her way, writing vertically instead of horizontally, or takes all day to subtract three from ten because she insists on using her head, a head that is probably filled with, “If I buy THREE Barbies from the store which has TEN Barbies …hmm, how would life be with THREE more Barbies?”

And that was exactly what I told her this morning.

“Now you have to do what Miss A says. You can’t just do it the way you like, that’s not how it works,” I’d said, a little pissed off by then.

My six-year old thought about it for a while and went, “I’ll do what my teacher says.”

“Good. So do it the way I told you to do it. Use the abacus.”

“But you’re not my teacher.” she’d answered crisply.

And then there are days when you want to drive to the gas station and buy a pack of cigarettes and pay a visit to the liquor store next door. 

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