Tag Archive: The Twos

Milestones @ 34 months

How time flies.

Little man is coming to three years old in 2 months time, and he is growing up and learning new things so fast, I cannot catch up.

There are a few important milestones achieved in these 2 months and I felt neccessary to put it down in writing.

1. Diaper-free in the day
It has been a few months since we tried to get little man go diaperless. Not because we are in a hurry to save money on ever-so-expensive diapers, but according to his teachers, quite a few of his peers are without diapers in the day, hence we felt it is a good opportunity to introduce the idea of peeing in the toilet, rather than diapers.

However, little man was rather resistance to the idea and refused to wear his underwear instead of diaper, both in school and at home. He felt very insecured without his diapers. Seeing how much stress it caused him, I told the teachers that we shall not force it upon him, but just patiently ask him every day, until he is more ready.

One day, when he was sleeping over at my parents’, my mother lied to him that I have forgotten to pack diapers into his stayover bag. She asked if he can wear underwear for the time being. Somehow he agreed, and that is how we finally started him on underwears instead of diapers.

He has been diaperless in the day for a while now. There were a few times when he peed, releasing entirely while playing. He saw that I looked angry while cleaning the dirty floor and soiled clothes, so he came to me saying that he wanted to wear diapers again. I explained to him that I was upset not because he has peed on the floor, but because he knew he needed to pee, but refused to do so because he wanted to play instead. I made him promise me that he will not procrastinate peeing because of playing or watching television programmes. Later that night, I told him a story of how a boy hold in his pee so much that it made him sick, and the doctor has no choice but to give him an injection. I think he somehow got the idea, but much reinforcement is still needed for these few weeks.

2. Pacifier-free
If you follow our “pacifier story“, you would have known that little man is still holding on to that pacifier he can’t quite chew on. Anyway, long story short, I took the opportunity to throw away that pathetic pacifier while he stayed over at my parents’. He has been looking for it for a while now after coming back home. I told him that the pacifier was at Grandma’s house, he must have forgotten to bring it back. He keep saying that he will ask my mother about it, but every time he sees her, he forgot about it. Today when he asked me again, I told him that Grandma could not find that pacifier as well. He took it pretty well. I guess it will still take some time for him to completely forget about it. 我长情的小宝贝。

Bedtime conversation

It has been a while since we weaned little man off his pacifier.

We did not apply medicated oil on his pacifier as advised by many well-meaning elders as we were not too comfortable with letting him consume something that is not considered edible. Instead, I cut off his rather broken pacifier one day, and told him that it was completely torn because he has been very rough with his chewing. He was really upset but agreed to stop crying after I promised to “look for a new pacifier”. I told him that his kind of pacifier is not selling in many stores anymore.

He bought my story but was very adamant in keeping what’s left of the remaining pacifier. And he continues to chew the remaining small portion of the pacifier before bedtime, like it’s never broken.

Today, I decided to put an end to this unhealthy relationship once and for all. I cut off the remaining “chewable” portion of the pacifier before his bedtime. When he realised that he is unable to chew anymore, he asked me why. I told him that he must have chewed off the remaining portion, and chided him gently about being too rough with his pacifier. And just like before, I promised him that I would go and look for a new pacifier, although I kept him prepared that many stores are no longer selling such pacifiers. And I was truly amused by what he told me.

“妈妈,我明天穿 Batman 的衣服跟你一起去找奶嘴。我们飞去找奶嘴,叫 auntie 给我们奶嘴。”

The long weekend of Batman series playing on Channel 5 must have left such a deep impression on him, that he thought being a batman will give him a higher probability of getting a new pacifier.

My cutie pie. 😀

Language progress @2 year-old

Little man is getting more and more eloquent in his daily Mandarin conversations. He is able to express himself using complex sentence structures, conjunctions and simple idioms,成语.

I wanted to put these to record so that I will constantly be reminded that our efforts to speak properly to him will never go to waste.

There was once he threw his toys all over the living room. I came out and exclaimed,“发生什么事了?” (What happened?) He then sheepishly told me that,“我把玩具弄得乱七八糟。” (I created a mess.)

When he needed me to wipe his sweat, he will come to me and say,“我玩得满头大汗。” (I am very sweaty.)

When he find the sun too glaring for his liking, he will tell me,“妈妈,很晒。我要遮住眼睛。” (I need to cover my eyes.)

That day when we were in a cab on our way to see the doctor, he saw the driver driving really fast and almost hit the lorry in front. He started saying very loudly,“妈妈,uncle 驾车驾得很快,撞到罗厘了。” (Uncle is driving very fast, he almost hit the lorry.) I was so amused and actually secretly hoped that the driver hears him.

Just yesterday, he was telling me,“月亮在哪里呢?月亮被云遮住了,所有看不到月亮。” (Where is the moon? It is covered by the clouds, that is why we cannot see it.). Later that day, he saw me taking off my cardigan. He told me,“妈妈,不要着凉了。” (Mama, don’t catch a cold.)

Some other examples of the sentences he said,“我要先去洗手,才去看电视。” (I will wash my hand before watching the television.), “我先去冲凉,然后睡觉。” (I will bathe before I sleep.), “绿灯可以走,红灯不可以走。” (We can walk when it is green lights, we cannot walk when it is red.)

Recently, little man has also progressed from the “whats” to the “whys”. It is so funny seeing him ask questions in a serious and troubled expression. He seems to be really concern about these questions.

One night, he was still playing in the dark when he is supposed to be sleeping. I became frustrated as I need to wake up very early the next day for work, and I needed to sleep. I stood up and told him, “快闭上眼睛睡觉。” “为什么呢?” “因为已经很迟了。每个人都睡觉了。” “为什么他们要睡觉呢?我不要睡觉。” (Quickly go to sleep. Why? Because it is already very late, everyone is sleeping. Why do they want to sleep? I don’t want to sleep.)

These days, he was having a rather bad running and blocked nose. It became rather difficult for him to sleep. He tried to sleep for a while but gave up in the end, getting up from his bed and asked me,“妈妈,我为什么不可以呼吸?” (Why can’t I breathe?)

When Hubby saw that little man spat out all the vegetables, he commented,“改天不要让他吃菜,吃饭就好了。”. (Next time just let him eat rice without the vegetables.) He frowned, looked at his father and asked,“爸爸,为什么我不可以吃菜呢?” (Why can’t I eat vegetables?)

When Hubby refused to let him go down a floor to see the water fountain, he retorted,“为什么不可以下去看水?” (Why can’t I see the water fountain?), and when Hubby wanted him to take out his new pacifier, he came to me and complained,“妈妈,为什么爸爸说不可以吃这个奶嘴?” (Why Papa do not allow me to have the pacifier?)

Hubby sometimes was exasperated by his questions, he told him, “Because I say so.” I tried to let Hubby understand that we should explain things to him patiently instead of brushing his questions off like that. It is good that he asks things that he do not understand or do not agree with. It gives us the opportunity to teach and shape his young mind the right way.

Meanwhile, his “whats” are becoming more sophisticated as well. Instead of asking me what that thing is, he asked me for the English-Mandarin translation of things.

A huge lizard (I believe it is an iguana.) jumped out in front of us as we were on our way home. Little man was intrigued by the reptile and asked me what it is. I told him the Chinese term for it. After pondering for a while, little man turned to me and asked again,“妈妈,蜥蜴是什么?”. It took me a while to realised that he was asking me for the English word for the reptile, and it surprised me to know that he is actually interested to know how to name the reptile in both languages.

Speaking of English, I would say little man has improved quite a bit. At least, he is now able to speak properly sometimes in the language. Just now, when he switched on the television and saw The Ellen DeGeneres Show coming on, he shouted very loudly to get my attention, “Mama! Do you see Ellen?”

He also started learning to speak the words of his favourite cartoon characters from Ice Age. He would come and tell me, “Rule number one, always listen to Buck!”

That day, we met the father of his schoolmate, Gweneth at the park. The father told us how his daughter was upset because she was scolded by the teacher for hitting little man. His daughter told him that little man is her good friend. The father then asked little man, “Is Gweneth your good friend?” Little man started replying, “@#$%^&@#$%^&*… best friend is Rueben!”

Hm… okay, that can be considered as progress too right? 😉

Like a boss @ 2 year old

Communicating in English

If you have followed me from the beginning, you would know that Hubby and I made a deliberate decision to speak to little man in Mandarin since he was young.

Due to my personal experience in teaching the language, observations and feedback from many parents, I felt that children in Singapore are able to learn English at a faster pace because of our English-speaking environment. Many children only speak Mandarin to their grandparents, which is really not a good way to learn proper Mandarin as the Mandarin of their generation is often greatly tainted by the influence of their dialects. Hence, we make it a point to speak proper Mandarin in proper sentences to little man, trying our very best not to mix it with another language, which is so common in Singapore.

Our efforts paid off as little man become rather good in communicating in Mandarin. In fact, the very first week when he attended school, his Chinese teacher commented that he is very much stronger in the language than most of his peers. On the downside, as much as little man has a wide range of vocabulary in English, he is unable to put them to use when communicating with others.

This morning, I brought little man down to the playground.

He started to make friends with some of the older children who were there. They were very kind to take care of him while playing. I was rather amused, yet slightly troubled when I hear their conversation.

Boy A: Don’t go down here okay? It is very dangerous.
Little Man: @#$%^&#$%^&*@….. dinosaur… roar! (with a very dramatic act)

Boy B: I let you go down this slide, I will go down the other slide.
Little Man: @#$%^&#$%^&*@….. dinosaur… roar! (again with a very dramatic act)

And then my little boy went on to roar at his other playmates before ending it with a happy laugh. The other children did not seem to mind. They actually thought he was cute. I have to agree with them, he was really cute. But it brought along new sets of concern.

Perhaps, I should start conversing in English more often to him.

Embracing changes

It’s been another tiring week. (I believe this phrase will be sticking with me for a while till the next long break.)

Little man fell sick again with a bad running nose. When he kept sneezing last Friday, Hubby and I knew something was brewing. It has became so predictable after these two years. And just as expected, the sneezing turned into something more serious on Sunday.

Hubby took leave to bring him to the pediatrician on Monday. The queue was horrendous and they waited for a good 3 hours before seeing the pediatrician. While waiting, they went to the nearby shopping mall to have breakfast at Toastbox, played at the nearby playground and had lunch at Ding Tai Fung. Little man had so much fun that he told me that night while I was accompanying him to bed, “爸爸带我出去玩。” As for the doctor visit, he doesn’t seemed to have much memory of it, other than the pretty receptionist who ushered them in. Hubby, on the other hand, was so worn out by the morning’s events.

Having to accompany little man to sleep was very tiring for me as well. This is especially so when he couldn’t sleep well due to his blocked nose. He would wake up a few times in the night, crying for me. He would not take Hubby at all, resulting in a very tired Mama the very next morning.

I never really had to accompany him to sleep as he started sleeping by himself since ages ago. We will leave him in his room after shower, and he will be playing with his toys and entertaining himself with plenty of songs and gibberish. We would adjust his room’s lighting according to his requests and eventually, he will fall asleep. Ever since he attended school, he became so clingy to me that he will cry the house down if I did not accompany him to sleep. This meant that I absolutely have no time for myself before going to bed as it will be so late by the time he falls asleep. I would have to go to bed soon after, considering that I have to wake up at 6am the next morning.

I was really frustrated initially. Juggling between work time, parenting time and self time is so much tougher when little man is so clingy. Imagine after working the entire day, I had to rush off to fetch little man from school, and then cook dinner for him. After dinner, it will be house-chores time, little man’s bedtime and then my own bedtime. Where is the self-time?

However, as days go by, I realised how important my company is to little man. Hence, I started embracing this change. Instead of seeing it as a sacrifice, I started to cherish the night time together with him. He would sometimes tell me about his friends and school. It gave me deeper insights of what is on his little mind. Having said that, Hubby and I still hope for him to slowly be an independent sleeper again.

In the midst of one of his many tantrums.

Will get better

It has been a pretty bad week.

I did mention about it in my last post. But little did I know, right after publishing that post while little man was sleeping, he woke up suddenly, cried badly for Mama, and wouldn’t go back to sleep unless I stay with him.

Little man has been sleeping on his own since he was born. We have a baby monitor to keep us aware of his needs, hence very rarely do we sleep with him through the night. However, he was very adamant about having me with him. He woke up almost every half an hour to check if I was still with him. He would ask me to sleep with him on his bed, and then when he feels that he has not much space for himself, he would ask me to sleep on the mattress on the floor again. This went on for a couple of times that night. The both of us ended up with very little sleep.

The next morning, little man put up a “fight” to put on his uniform. At one point only with his diapers on, he ran away with his uniform and attempted to throw them away. I don’t know how we manage to get him to brush his teeth, drink his “milk-disguised milo”, put on his uniform and eventually leave the house. The “Majulah Singapura” MV and his teddy bear accompanying him to school must have played a big part in this major accomplishment.

That following night, history repeated itself, but just much earlier. As usual, Hubby was tending to little man while I took a bath. While in the bathroom, I suddenly hear a familiar cry. Then it came nearer and nearer to me, waiting just outside the bathroom door. I had to come out in a towel and pacify him before dressing myself. The rest of the night was like the last, just a little better because I was too tired to hear him waking up to look for me. I think in my dreams I did ask him to go back to sleep a couple of times.

By Friday, I was becoming a very easily-irritated zombie.

Like the past few days, little man was extremely cranky and highly emotional. He would cry at nothing and want nothing. Sometimes I think he just want to vent his frustrations. He became very volatile. Anything that goes against what he want, he would want to “hit” that thing/person. My sister, his favourite person other than his parents, overheard him being angry at his giraffe toy while he was going to bed. The conversation went something like this.

“Giraffe,这是我的抱枕,你不可以拿!” (Giraffe, this is my bolster! You cannot take it!)

Then he grabbed his bolster and turned the other way angrily.

“你坏蛋!打架!” (You are a bad boy! Fight!)

Then he threw the giraffe over his bed-guard onto the floor.

打架 is a term he sometimes used when he is angry and he wants to warn the person who is making him angry to back off. He rarely hit anyone physically, only show the action of hitting in the air. I think he learnt that from his favourite documentary “A walk with the dinosaur”. He would always tell me this term when the dinosaurs chase after one another. I will always try to explain to him that it is not right to fight, and most of the time he understands. But now it seems that he cannot quite control his emotions.

All these while, I have been trying to tell myself to be more understanding towards him. Somehow my baby has plenty of pent-up frustrations because he doesn’t understand why Mama wants to send him away every day. He is only two-year old. Such complicated emotions are beyond his ability to control. But that Friday evening, I lost it when he swept away the cup of papaya juice I made for him, creating a mess of himself and the dining table.

I grabbed, put him in the shower area and scolded him very harshly. When emotions almost washed away my rationality, I almost took the shower spray to spray at him. That moment, I suddenly saw my baby shivering and crying in fear and frustration. I have never seen him like that before. I stepped back, went out of the toilet and took a while to calm myself down. When I felt better, I went in and gave him a tight long hug until he stopped crying.

That night, when Hubby came back, I told him what happened. I felt so emotional to relive what happen. I must have been really tired due to the lack of sleep, yet that is not enough reason for me to treat little man like that. Hubby and I both agree that this is only a phase for little man, and we have to show him more patience and love while walking through this with him.

Little man has been a good boy. This message was once again shown to me strong and clear when sister was running through some of little man’s past videos through his two years. He has always been a good boy, although he can be stubborn and playful at times. But he will always listen to us when we try to explain to him about rights and wrongs. He will learn and he is able to repeat what we say to himself or others who try to do the wrongs.

This is only a phase, we should not judge him because of this. He is learning how to understand his emotions and expressing them without throwing a tantrum. It is not easy, even for adults. We must be more forgiving.

I am trying hard. And I hope instead of being drawn into his turmoil of emotions and become emotional together with him, I can be his pillar of support and love, just like what Hubby has been for us.

My little koala

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