Monday, June 27, 2011

Homemade Toys: Gone Fishing

What You Need:
Some papers or you can use your child’s masterpieces
Stick (I used disposable chopsticks)
Markers (to draw the sea animals)
Paper Clips (to attach to the sea animals)

Draw the sea animals on your children’s artwork or paper.
Cut out the shape of the sea animals with a scissors. Attach the magnet to the string/ribbon and tie the other end of the ribbon to the stick. Also clip the paper clips to the sea animals you have. Tata! You are ready to go fishing.

Pretend Play

As the boys reached 2.5 years old, pretend play is what they do all day. These are times when I truly appreciate them being twins as pretend play is so much more fun with a mate.

They referred to our book bin as the library and "drove" their buses to it. I helped them set up an "electronic" borrowing station similar to our library.

How did my laundry basket become a supermarket trolley?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Time Alone, with a child.

I didn't see how this is working for us when my individual time with one child usually lead to extreme jealousy from the other child.

Since they are twins, I don't get a lot of time alone with each child. The only times were the ones I dread, like one not going down for their nap or one waking up 30 mins into their nap. I started with 10 mins of individual time at home in my room doing some reading and playing puzzles with them. But that just resulted in 10 mins of individual time with one child and 10 mins of crying for the other. So, I changed my plan and brought one out each time. It can be quite enjoyable to bring just one. Being stretched with 2 toddlers in tow most of the time, bringing one out is a breeze. All was fine till recently, they cannot accept it's the other's turn. So, this individual time became another happy time for one and a devastating time for the other.

My plan has to change again. This week, I got my mum to bring K out and I made them go out first before Y and I set off. But I had a hard time with Y, check out his attitude from our conversation below:

Me: Hey, let's go ride on the LRT (I thought he would like it since he hasn't ride on one)
Y: No... I don't want.
Me: It's going to be fun. We are going to take a MRT train, then a LRT train.
Y: NO... it's raining (it was not and he continued to play with his toys.)
Me: OK.

Y (after a while, decided that staying home is not so fun after all): I want to take a bus.
Me: OK, let's go take a bus then.

On the way to the bus stop

Y: I want Mummy to carry you. (he is still confused with pronounce.)
Me: No, you walk to the bus stop and Mummy will carry you.
Y: Mummy will carry you when we reach the bus stop.
Me (trying to encourage him to get up the bus as he is a little scared of that): Will you try to get on the bus on your own?
Y: No.
Me: Will you try?
Y: I cannot.
Me: How do you know when you haven't even try?
Y: I do before. (started to ignore me)

The boys were really terrified of going up the bus and escalator but K has since overcome his fear from our last alone trip. When we reached the escalator, Y refused to take the lift so I told him he has to try to do it with me helping if he wants the escalator. He reluctantly agreed and was a little terrified when we were on it. But he happily exclaimed, "You did it!" when we got off and asked to do it again.

He slowly gained his confidence and was stepping up and down the escalator by the 3rd one. On our way home, I asked him again.

Me: Will you try to get on the bus on your own?
Y: No.
Thought for a while
Y: I want!

He did and when he got up, he exclaimed again "You did it!" (he meant "I did it").

It was from 2 alone trips that the boys conquered their fear and I'm starting to believe that individual time is beneficial for the children as we never know how much or how little attention we are giving to each one when we have 2 (or more for some) at one time.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lessons Your Children can Teach You

The boys have been driving me crazy (as usual) but they made me ponder over a few things for the past 2 days. After Y threw his toy in the dustbin in defiance, purposely played with his chair and fell off and later poured Milo all over the floor, I decided it's time to get out of the house.

We went to a playground further away from our home. With the hot sun, the playground was quiet, with only 1 boy around the same age as them. I found out later from his Granny that he was just a month older than them.

I have to use the word "brat" to describe him. He scolded his Granny "I'll beat you!!" whenever she asked him not to do something.

Y&K were playing happily at the playground when this boys decided to rush to anything K walked to. I was displeased but still asked K to play with other stations. K was very disappointed whenever the station he walked to was being hijacked by the boy, he just waited and went to it happily when the boy moved away.

Then, we were at the slide and the boy, again, got in front of him and even pushed him. K lost his balance and fell on the ground but he picked himself up. The boy then refused to slide down, sitting at the top of the slide. I was getting irritated as we have tried our best to avoid him. So, I told K to say "excuse me" to the boy and go down the slide first but K answered, "let the boy go first.". I was surprised and luckily, the boy slid down and K went after.

K wanted the swing and was walking towards it when the boy, AGAIN, dashed for it. I distracted K and asked him to ride on a motorcycle. The boy left the swing when he sees K on the motorcycle. K wanted to go to the swing when he saw the swing was empty. We walked over and was about to get up when the boy saw and ran over demanding the swing. This time, I was getting very annoyed. I believe I should teach my sons to be assertive instead of giving in to a boy with unreasonable demands time after time. I ignored the boy and carried K on the swing. Y was already on the other swing then. The boy screamed and ran to his Granny crying. I paid no notice to him but the boys didn't play long before they have this conversation between themselves:

Y: K, let's get down and let the boy have a turn. 
K: I want to get down and let the boy have a turn. 

I helped him down and he even ran to the boy and told him "it's your turn.".

I felt so ashamed. I was being petty as I think I was angry with the boy for pushing K but the boys has displayed such magnanimousness and also showed empathy to the boy who weren't nice at all.

Lessons I learnt today,
  • Don't fret over small stuff. It's just a push and K wasn't hurt, what's the big deal.
  • Forgive and forget.
  • Show empathy, be nice, even to nasty people.
So, here are my lovely boys, they seem extremely lovely today just now, until an hour later when they started throwing food on the floor and running away from me refusing to take their bath.  

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