Sniffle, sniffle; snot, snot.


I wrote about Conor being good about wiping his cold and snotty nose with tissue, but he recently adopted the “norm” — to wipe his nose on his sleeve. Ew.

Early in the morning, by the time we get to school, his sleeves already have a long wet spot. So much for freshness and cleanliness!

I’ve since left a box of tissue in his cubby, put tissue in each of his pocket and instructed him to replenish his pocket stash as soon as he used one. We consistently call him on it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

I searched online for help. I don’t want to give in to using a product that “cures” the symptom when there’s a way to properly address it. But you know, he gets busy hanging out with friends and playing and whatever else that keeps a pre-schooler busy!

Here’s what I found. Has anybody used Sniffle Buddies before?

I’m having an internal battle because if I bought this product, I’m caving in to convenience. I have the patience to consistently tell him to wipe his nose with tissue. Yet, I’m not with him all the time! That’s what sucks.

Anyway, if you’ve tried this let me know please.

What my pre-schooler feels about boys kissing boys


Conor happened to look at the article I was reading online that had an embedded video. The article was related to the movie Twilight, and the video was something about gay men.

My kid saw 2 guys sharing a sweet kiss and here’s what he said:

Conor: Two mans kissing? Yuck!

Me: First of all, it’s men not mans. Second of all, what’s wrong with that?

Conor: A boy should only kiss a girl.

Me: There’s nothing wrong with a boy kissing a boy, or with a girl kissing a girl. They have the right to do that. If you see a person kissing another person and you’re not comfortable about that, just look and walk away. Your reaction is not relevant. Now, would you kiss your friend K****?

Conor: Yes.

Me: What about E***?

Conor: Yes.

Me: So there’s nothing really yucky about that, is there?

Conor: Still yuck.

I’m not sure if that’s the best conversation to have with a kid who’s nearing 4 years old, but I had to let him know what I stand for as his mother/parent.

What I’m surprised and worried about is the reaction. Our family is not against any sexuality or religion, so where did he get that? Maybe at school? Is it innate? I don’t want to think that our reaction towards sexuality is innate, but that it’s influenced by our environment…but what do I know???

My toddler is a vampire!


It must be due to the latest Twilight movie because Conor decided to bite a classmate. For the first time, and I hope the last.

Image from growingtoddler.com

The teacher felt bad not to have noticed, I felt bad to be the parent of a biter…but, in a way I’m not very apologetic about the whole thing especially after hearing my child’s side of the story.

My child is very particular about his personal space. You would think a toddler can’t have a good grip of that concept yet, but my child broke that mold I think. He can articulate “<Name of kid>, I need my space!” and walk away. He even tells us, his parents, if he wants to be left alone. The first time I saw him very upset was at 2 years old. It surprised me that I was like deer crossing a road at night waiting to be hit by a car when it happened–I stood there frozen witnessing my child yell at the other 2-year-old boy “No, D! No hit!!!” If his eyes could spit fire, they would. That’s what he appeared to me. When we reprimand him, he usually goes to his room–or some other place away from us–to be by himself.

We sat with him that night to get a better idea of what happened. The other boy “hugged” him and was “beating” him. Expound on the beating part, Conor said he was hugging and kicking him.

Did you tell him to stop? Yes. When? Before I bit him. Where were your hands? Couldn’t you just push him a bit to let go of his hug? He was hugging me tight.

Well, if that were me it did make sense to use something else for self-defense–my teeth.

Did you say sorry? No. Do you think you should? No.

Uhm, this is tough. Let me think about it some more over the weekend.

The teacher told me that they are working with the other boy to learn to respect boundaries. All of us were shocked to find out that Conor resulted to such aggression, despite being very articulate about his feelings. By the way, no blood trickled, no skin broken.

We talked with him about how biting wasn’t the best thing to do. We talked with him about ways to resolve that problem. He knew that he could’ve walked away and told his teacher about the annoying kid, but if you were locked in someone’s arms and they are stomping or kicking your feet…well…after learning about the teachers currently working with him on the concept of boundaries, Conor may have been dealing with him for a while now and just couldn’t deal with him any more.

I keep thinking about it and it led me to an imagined scene at middle school–we get called called in because our child punched a kid. Of course, I worry but I also have faith in my child and in my parenting with Jon. We are not stepping in, nor have discussed approaching the other kid’s parents. Some social things are better left learned as you go along in life.

My child doesn’t pick fights, never has, but he is no pushover either. Childhood can be tough, especially being around kids who have no respect for boundaries or are simply socially inept. My parents NEVER interfered with any fight I had with other kids when I was growing up. I think I will continue that practice. Then again, I was with really nice kids and no direct experience with bullies.

Today, one of his teachers told me about a conflict yesterday my son had with the same kid. Though both apologized, the other boy wanted to hug to finally resolve that conflict but my son could only offer a handshake. It was left to simply saying sorry because neither was willing to give in. I’ve always wondered about my son having an old man’s soul. He’s barely 4! A toddler who wants to shake hands instead of hugging? But, I’m glad that he knows when to be civil and when to be truly loving.

Honestly, I’m proud that my child knows his limits, can articulate his feelings, never picks up fights and is not a pushover. I feel bad for the other boy, but consequences are part of learning and growing up. His parents should really work on teaching him about personal space it looks like. My child is not perfect and certainly pushes his boundaries; but he is not tolerated for any bad behavior displayed in our presence and we give full support to his teachers to educate him in all aspects.

My toddler and his piggy bank


I took my toddler to watch Puss in Boots for the first time last weekend. The dark theatre proved to be a good place for imagination. Needless to say, he probably watched half of it with full attention and half imagining he was in a cave or something like it that I couldn’t understand.

Anyway, after that I decided to take him to the mall across the road. My intention was to get him a pair of exercise pants for gym class. I got his attention diverted to going to the ice skating rink after seeing a toy shop as soon as we stepped in. I’m not familiar with the malls here yet because we hardly go to them, otherwise I would’ve chosen a different entrance believe me. Walking past a few more shops and he spotted a toy from RadioShack, which was right next to the photo shop I realized I needed to go to. I still managed to divert his attention but he didn’t forget! After getting the printed photo (for him to take to school), he had me running after him as he ran back to RadioShack.

Strategically, one of the shop employees approached us, and with my toddler starting to get grumpy I gave in and bought the remote control truck for $10.98. Of course with all the enthusiasm playing with it at home, it was easy to justify that purchase. At that time, though, my first reaction was no because I tend to say no when it comes to unplanned toy purchases.

But I tell you that I talked him into paying me back using his piggy bank money. I don’t feel bad about this, but I also didn’t’ take the money out just yet. He may not have plenty of toys like my friends’ kids do, but he has more than enough to entertain himself without sacrificing creativity.

As early as 3 years old, he was introduced to saving. He’s nearing 4 now. Everytime he sees coins lying around, he grabs them and announces that they will go to his piggy. We pay him for things we ask him to do when he does them outside of his responsibility that is putting his toys away. It pleases him when he makes his piggy fat and tells us that he will one day take his piggy to the big bank (a real one) to save them there. I’m not quite sure that he truly gets it but he already knows that if something has to be bought, the money comes from me and that has to change.

His face turns lemon when I tell him that if we bought something he wanted, but he doesn’t need, that he will pay me back using his piggy bank money. Half the time he changes his mind, the other half he is solid about his wants. I think it’s a good learning tool for him to associate spending with emotions and logic. He’s still very young but it’s never too early to learn about money.

Thank you, Daddy!


I would not know how to respond to male-function-related questions as a woman, but of course there’s always the internet to save me.

There’s a million reason why I appreciate my husband for being an awesome father. My recent reason is a truthful answer to:

Why sometimes I can move it, sometimes I can’t?

It being his ding-a-ling.

Haha!

Giving a scooter = letting go


We got excited to see a good deal on a bike and a scooter, so we bought both of them in May.

The kid took two days to get his bearings on the scooter and was cruisin’ the streets on the third day. Our house is next to a street 2-blocks long with a 30-degree incline from our end.

He had scooted there before, alongside me. He loves scooting downhill. Who wouldn’t with a newly developed skill on the scooter?

Having walked the neighborhood for nearly 2 hours, we headed back home and he looked up at me and asked if he could try scooting downhill the 2-block long street. After a short internal deliberation, I said yes. I was sure he will make plenty of stops in between.

Except that he didn’t. As he rolled down farther away from me, I started walking then switched to jogging to brisk walking to running to running like mad, yelling one after another asking him to stop.

At some point, I saw him with his back on me really set on his goal, except that he didn’t tell me what that was and at this point I didn’t exactly know what he was trying to do. Will he stop when he reaches the end? Of course he will. I hope he will. Well, lately he hasn’t been very keen on having us hold his hand when we cross streets.

He didn’t even look back or slowed down. It wasn’t like he was riding down very fast, but fast enough for me as a parent running after her child on his new scooter like a pro and failing to catch up.

I was scared. I was hoping that the street at the other end will have no form of traffic. Briefly, I saw a vision of me regretting not following him from the beginning. There was numbness but only for a moment.

He reached the other end using the scooter’s rear brake. He hopped off it, raised his arms, punching air a few times and yelled “I DID IT!!!”. From afar, I saw pride and accomplishment. I could play the scene again and again in my head, in slow motion with confetti, because that’s how I saw him savor his moment. Isn’t that one of those moments that I wanted for him? Something that he worked hard for and got the courage to try?

Letting go is easy to say but takes so much out of a parent to do. I don’t know now if telling me what he had wanted to achieve would make a difference. I probably would’ve run downhill with him if he had told me. That would probably kill the joy for him. But he’s only 3 years old!

He scooted back towards me. Did you see that, Mama? Still huffing, I congratulated him and hugged him. I let him talk about his accomplishment, I allowed myself to be excited about it. After a few minutes on our way back home, I talked about me feeling scared about his latest achievement making sure I didn’t spoil the joy.

Of course it was nothing but a child thing


Of course I obsess about the status of my child’s social relationships, so here is another post about it.

This just might be my understanding of it but it sounds good to me. So the conversation took place like this:

Me: Did you play with M today?

Kid: No. She was not in school today.

Me: Who did you play with?

Kid: E, but she didn’t want to play with me anymore.

Me: (feeling disappointed again) Did that make you feel sad or upset?

Kid: (looks up and smiles) It made me happy!

Me: (chuckling) Why?

Kid: Cos I got to play with K. He is so much fun.

Ok, so this not-wanting-to-be-his-friend is simply kids walking over to another group to probably play with a more interesting toy. That’s normal. I can live with that.

Towards the end of that convo, my husband walks in and I looked at him to show how relieved I am. It was my way to say – I finally got it! I was paranoid for a few days about this whole social relationships thing. I have these thoughts that my child would be a pariah, someone who didn’t seem cool enough to be friends with.

Do I have visions of my son being famous at school and at the same time a really nice, considerate and kind person–not to mention smart? Yes! As a woman myself, I don’t want him to be a jerk at all, but of course life will take its course and sometimes he would be a jerk. Just like the rest of us.

I’m aware enough not to be too worried and encroach on his personal space. Some things are learned without a parent around. All I can keep doing is to continuously evolve as a parent that he needs.