Sometimes we’re so busy cataloguing our lives, we forget to live in it.
2200: Late already. Dang. Put Kitten’s diaper on and dress her.
2217: Wolf finally dressed after bribery of stories I made up on the spot.
2228: Lights out. Kitten nurses. Play Ranch Rush on iPod Touch. Third time already. Quite bored of it. Play Orions. Wonder if still remember after such a long break.
2312: Wolf nurses along with Kitten. Play Orions. Thrash computer with my fave deck.
0012: Yay! Kitten and Wolf are out.
0015: Go get supper. Check Facebook. Reply email. Eat some Kettle chips. Drink organic milk.
0035: Kitten wakes. Sigh. Play Who’s Got The Biggest Brain game on iPod Touch. Attain Cyborg status by choosing most skilled tests on pro level. Bored now.
0056: Oh no, Wolf stirring. Phew! He went back to sleep. Kitten still nursing feverishly. Like a deep sea diver breathing.
0058: Try pulling away but she’s not letting go. Sigh.
0101: Try pulling away again but she still holding tight. Sigh. Gonna try to unlatch…
0104: Failed. Wondering if resident roaches eating my Kettle chips.
0109: Unlatched. Kitten flailed but went to sleep. Returning to chips.
0147: Wolf stirs. I spot a roach on my bed! Run out and get a rolled up newspaper, swat the bastard off, he falls on the ground. I whack but he escapes under the bed. Damn! And Wolf sits up rubbing his eyes. Ma, he calls. And I nurse again.
0225: He’s done.
0310: Wolf wakes up with a “Ma uh Nan”, sniffle. I’ve finished placing 2 more traps under the bed to catch that confounded beast. Tomorrow I’m buying industrial strength traps. Managed to order a nice silicone case, the Agent18 Flowervest (very pretty!), for my iPod Touch and download a couple of apps. Yawn. Will sleep after this feed.
0328: Kitten is up. Does her hyperventilating sound and I hurry to nurse her. Sigh.
0348: Kitten finally done. Can I finally sleep?
0354: Brushed teeth, turned off light and net, ready for bed. Checked for roach. None. Wolf wakes. “Mom Nan,” he says. I nurse him. Kitten wheezes. I cower in fear. she stops. Only sound is Wolf drinking milk. Gonna try close my eyes now. Hope the roach gets stuck in one of my traps!
0403: Reclaimed boob. Gonna zzz now.
0607: Kitten wakes. Nurse. Sleep.
0715: Wolf wakes. Nurse. Sleep.
1050: Alarm goes. I press snooze 3x before reaching for the chilled packet of crysanthemum white tea with Wolf still attached. I drink it and feel more awake. Time to get up.
Between the 0715 feed and now, the kids woke again, maybe twice but too sleepy to register.
The kids get 12 hours sleep each which is so important for the development of their brain.
Note: This post was written on my iPod Touch. Yay!
It felt like I had much more time to myself before I had a second child. Wolf was bathed, we had plenty of time to read books together and he had time to play games by himself while his Dad and I chatted or he gave me a quick back rub (for carrying his son around all day).
Having a baby and toddler definitely takes more time and energy, especially at night. We must leave wherever we are by 8.30pm or the very latest, 9pm. I bathe Kitten while Daddy bathes Wolf, in that order. Then I dress both children, read a little to Wolf (not as much as before I regret), Kitten gets tummy time, and lights out at 10.30pm.
Kitten gets nursed to bed first, while Daddy reads to Wolf or lets him watch some animals on YouTube. Sometimes he comes in looking for me and I nurse him too. He crawls into a kneeling position while I nurse Kitten on my side or at a 45 degree angle facing Kitten. Or else, when Kitten falls asleep, which can take on average an hour, I call Wolf and he nurses to sleep too.
That can take another hour. So if I am lucky, I get off duty (although on call) by 11.30pm. On average, it is midnight. Really unlucky, 12.30pm or 1am because Kitten has woken up and needs to be nursed again or worse, wakes Wolf up too so repeat and rinse.
By which time I am famished and parched and need a snack, which I enjoy in front of the computer, in the same room as the kids so I can run to them if they call for me, which is relatively often or by 3-4am. Or in Wolf’s case, maybe 2am. But usually after my supper.
I wish I and other stay-home moms would not be berated for claiming some me-time at the expense of sleep. We are human too, and need to unwind. And with 2, there is even less time left in the night to claim.
The strangest thing. I was in the kitchen fixing supper after the children had fallen asleep when I heard a meow from outside the door. It was Kaku calling me!
Kaku is my shyest sweetest girl and since the kids moved to the cat room I hardly played with her.
Gone were our late night petting sessions in the bathroom when she deemed me not so scary anymore. Only time she had me all to herself.
Even when I used to feed them before I got pregnant with Kitten, I’d be the only one allowed to pet her.
I miss her, my scared shy baby. But hubby says to wait till Kitten is older before letting the cats in again.
Tonight when I drew close, she hissed. I placed my hand close to let her sniff it and for a moment it seemed as if she would.
But then Buffy came forward meowing, then Tux, and the moment was gone.
Actually, I do school Wolf but usually on the go.
When we’re in the car we have a chat about anything under the sun. We converse on the go and I explain things to him as we see them. I gently correct him if he is incorrect. He gets it right pretty fast. I read that that is the best way to improve a child’s language. Just talk to him.
Creativity and Imagination
At lunch we use activity books for play with his Playmobil or Lego figurines and cars in imagined scenarios (they have pictures we pretend are cities or homes or parks or zoos. We take the family to the zoo for example or through the catacombs to look for treasure.
I recently bought some Lego characters from the Indiana Jones trilogy (with beige faces!) and some came with a map, torch, and whip. Very useful with his maze book which features tunnels and treasure!
Sometimes he’s happy to work on his dexterity by colouring or working on mazes or just drawing. Makes it easy to pop food in his mouth once he’s past his feed-myself threshold.
I try to answer all his questions honestly and scientifically as I can, explaining as simply as I can concepts of our world I’ve long taken for granted.
Why is the tree green? Why are the clouds white? What is dry ice? If I don’t know I tell him I’ll find out. He finds it all fascinating and soon we’re in a chain of whys.
Coffee helps keep the good cheer.
Math and the Value of Money (and How to Wait for What You Want)
He’s been wanting to buy toys so I make it a point to tell him the price of things. What is expensive and what is a reasonable price. He will only buy well-made toys after 3 years of brainwashing. :p
Big and/or expensive toys are reserved for Christmas. He’ll ask me, for Christmas? I say okay. These are over $20.
He is allowed to buy a toy under $10, preferably around $5 with my approval. Sometimes I see something *I* really want and I buy it for him. I try not to mention price during that instant…
He rarely sits on rides since I explain to him that $1 can pay for one hour of parking or half a bubble tea (which he loves). But of course, Grandpa always indulges, when I am not around, of course.
Today, with his daddy’s blessing and much cheered enthusiasm, I bought Wolf 3 Lego foam swords and 2 shields and we had such a ball play fighting. It’s great exercise for the children and he and his cousin Kaitlyn had a marvellous time.
They also played pirates with a cardboard box and their stuffed friends. And my Mom played the Cyclops whose food they stole!
Daddy takes him to the playground 2-3 times a week. He plays non-stop with other children or with Dad.
I’ve never said no to his climbing at home since he tried the very first time. I’d tell him to make sure what he is climbing is stable and to hold on tight with his hands and he would never fall down. And that those were the rules of climbing.
(It is so typical of our culture to say, no stop climbing, you will fall. But I never let that negativity pass through my mouth and Wolf ignores anyone who says that. Kids only hear the word fall. Then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy and eventually they become too scared to try anything. Sorry, had to rant about that. He has never fallen while climbing.)
Usually when we are out, I let him climb and run as long as he is not disturbing anyone, along empty walkways and empty sections of a cafe. I’d be the crazy mom running with him chasing me from the loo after changing his diaper.
It’s fun to be silly. Heck, we were all silly once. Wasn’t it fun?
I’ve been thinking very seriously about homeschooling the children. Today I bumped into my friend Maggie and her family and her 11 year old son told me that he was smarter before he started school. His mom and I agreed on that sentiment. There was a quote by this famous guy and I can’t for the life of me remember at this hour who and what, that said something about how the more education one had, the more narrow one’s mind. I gotta look that up.
The point of education is to inspire a child to learn, to love learning. If he or she ends up hating a particular subject, then it is most likely that the teacher had failed to inspire learning but instead caused the opposite, which is very unfortunate. It happened to me and I went to a supposedly good (but not too academically inclined) mission school. One teacher called us stupid and our form teacher even told the class we would never end up in junior college (most did, by the way).
Fortunately for me, once I left school, I began to love learning again. I’d scour through books on physics and mathematics and wish I understood them better, thanks to wonderful general science authors like Paul Davies who made complex concepts easier for the layperson to understand. I want the kids to love learning. Once they do, they have it set. They will teach themselves whatever they are interested in and no teacher in the world can ruin that for them.
Where to start? I really have no idea. I don’t personally know anyone who homeschools and I read somewhere in the local paper that homeschooled children are placed on a lower priority than schooled children should they wish to enter secondary school. Basically they’d have to score a lot higher than the usual requirement.
Then there is online homeschooling.
There is always the option to homeschool online. Pick up a curriculum and follow it. Utilise a Global student network. How hard can it be to teach it to the children, at their own pace? Teach the kids on the go, like I do now, with some activity books instead of sitting in a classroom. Teach them biology at the zoo or physics at the Science Centre. It would be an inspiring thought.
Since Kitten was born, Wolf went from waking once or twice a night to seeral times a night. He even wakes more often than Kitten. It is 2.33am now and he’s been up 3x since he slept at 11pm.
Undoubtedly it is insecurity due to his sister’s arrival. He almost always needs me to comfort him and will fight for milk in the middle of he night. Although, at bedtime he’ll let her drink first.
Daytime I try to spend more time with him but still sometimes he will ask me, Mom do you love me? It is so heartbreaking to hear. I always reassure him but sometimes it is not enough.
He dotes on her though. Tells everyone that she is his baby. Is largely gentle with her. I let him hug and kiss her, hold my breath and trust him to do well by her and he never disappoints me.
I trust him alone with her when I go and get something. He knows to watch and take care of her. He tells me, this is our family. He knows we belong together. This is when I know doing everything together benefits their bond.
It is so important for us to nurture their relationship. Too often, others will shoo the older one away from the younger one or say don’t touch or disturb her, but really we need to exercise some trust in our children or they may never learn to be trustworthy.
This would be Wolf’s second kiddy birthday party ever. The first he was around 2, stayed with me all the while. But today he keenly sat with the other kids to watch the storyteller narrate a tale. He also excitedly received a balloon sword and played swordfighting with several kids, primarily with a 6 year old boy who he managed to disarm.
I was proud that he wasn’t afraid and didn’t even stand down when the older boy returned with help to defeat him, lobbied a few other smaller boys including the birthday boy, to help, but the smaller boys all decided to tackle him instead. Later the boy even brought an older girl to help him and the two older kids were carrying balloon swords attacking Wolf. He held his own.
Wolf fought bravely but his Dad and I stepped in to intervene when they abandoned their swords and started to use their fists (but never hit him… yet). I don’t think the kids were being mean, maybe got carried away by the game. But the sight of two 6 year old kids getting ready to punch my kid was hair-raising.
Wolf was still enthused and told me, “Mama, I wanna fight.” I told him he was brave and good to not hit anyone but once the other kid didn’t want to play anymore it was time to stop. He understood, and thankfully didn’t seem perturbed that the older boy was upset at being defeated by him that he actually employed help to beat him.
At school this will probably happen. I am glad my son will not be bullied and it is my job to teach him to know his strength and never to be a bully.
Kitten models a felted flower headband I made for her
I realised why Wolf’s cloth diapers sometimes leak. He often sleeps in strange positions.
The hemp insert is pretty thick so it causes a gap between his legs and diaper. Hence when moving, the gap increases and causes leakage especially when he is peeing at that moment.
This time it was a side leak.
I made no fuss. Quickly changed him and put 2 towels in the wet spots and am nursing him back to sleep now.