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.

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.


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.

The craziness of relationships start from pre-school.

My kid is learning about social relationships at school. I realized that it can be an emotional ride on a parent to witness that part of growing up.

My son has not been liking school as of late. We engage him in conversations while at play or while eating to learn what his day at school was like.

Image from visualphotos.com

His teachers commented about his stubbornness lately, which was easily put to ease after knowing that it also happens at home.

I put it towards growing up, getting older, and also being bored at school.

We all go through that, so I should be okay. Only I’m not. At least not fully okay. Guilt sets in. I should be available to take him out of school in summer and enjoy what life has to offer. But I have to work, and so does Dad. 😦

Unlike other boys, my son is not entirely rowdy and doesn’t like rough play except with his dad. He doesn’t rough play with other boys. He likes his quiet, which attracts girls to him. That kind of personality earns him a balanced set of friends between boys and girls.

So lately, he asks for a specific girl when we get to school.

Is M**** here today? I don’t know, bub. Maybe.

He said that sometimes M is his friend, sometimes she’s other kids’ friends. I tell him that’s okay, it happens. I don’t think he was emotional about it, but I wonder why he felt he had to tell that. Maybe he likes M very much.

I tend to ask more but I’m learning to wait for a response that he’s ready to give…especially, when he says things like: I want to continue reading the book now.

Jon believes that boys learn to keep their distance once they learn, from childhood as young as a toddler, that being too open and out there turns off girls.

A teacher paired them before going to the park. M asked to be paired with someone else because she didn’t want to be paired with my son. The hell??? My son is cute and charming. What more do you want girly?

I asked about M being his friend that day. My son’s version: She was shy today.

You can teach your kids ABC before they start school

As a new transplanted parent in America, I have to learn about the education system here. There were plenty of information on the internet, no doubt, but what I needed was a structured delivery of information. It took awhile of searching, and not searching, and it was during the pause that I stumbled upon scoop on schools.

The website provided me with information from understanding American educational system structure all the way to settling into a chosen school. It also provided information about involving the child in the decision-making process.

I don’t feel uninformed anymore. I’m well equipped with basic knowledge to guide the process of finding the right education provider for my child.

I also realized that the Pre-K he is enrolled in is a very good school. It is private ($790/month full-time). In NZ, he would’ve been in Kindergarten by now. They start at 3 years old over there! So I’m catching up on that. I’m lucky to have a child who is into learning too.

At 3 1/2 years old, my child can:

  • identify every letter in the alphabet
  • spell his name
  • spell other names if shown in print
  • read 3-letter words
  • make the sounds of each letter
  • add and subtract with actual objects

Image from momcentral.com

A teacher friend witnessed him spelling his name and her child’s name (printed and displayed), and she said that my child was advanced. Her first reaction was that it was not normal! My heart skipped a beat when she said that and I asked her what she had meant.

I introduced my child to ABC at 2 1/2 years old. I did it online. There are plenty of websites dedicated to toddler learning. It was easy that way because we encourage our child to be tech-savvy. Both Jonno and I are quite savvy in using technology to our advantage, why not develop that sense in our child? I’ve met parents who discourage use of computers or TV. We don’t but we have control over what he watches or plays with on the iPad or computers. Anyway, ABC learning was easy because it appeared as play to him. I was lucky if I could get 30 minutes of his time focused on it, but that built up into his knowledge now, a year later. Looking back, my husband and I think that it was just a matter of natural progression to teach ABC at such a young age, regardless of whether they absorb it or not. We feel that once a kid understands toys for playing, they latch onto that forever. We can’t just keep buying new toys. That’s ridiculous!

You should try it. You have no idea how spongy their brains are.

My responsible potty trainee

I get ahead of myself so many times that I should know when I start doing it.

My little man is still a trainee, really. I should remember to hold myself down and not get too excited just because it has been a month of success.

The other day, my husband told me how our little man pooped in his shorts because he was busy watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and then ran to the bathroom when the episode ran its credits. Jonno heard 2 flushing sounds, which prompted him to inquire with our son on what was going on.

The child was honest in saying that he pooped his pants and that he dropped them into the toilet and flushed. One just cannot get upset about the pooping and what he did to rectify the wrong decision of evacuating where he shouldn’t, but we couldn’t help ourselves from beaming with pride (and maybe even emotionally touched) about our toddler being so responsible and honest.

That was one of those days that, as a parent, I ask what I have possibly done right that my child is turning out to be GOOD PERSON so far. Sigh.