everyday with my son

Small stories of how it all went along

Archive for the month “January, 2015”

The Playground

We child-safe our homes, buy all those gadgets and safety stuff to protect our kids. But one place that we cannot really protect our kids is in the playground, unless of course we decide to be on guard there all the time. Playgrounds has a mix of angels and bullies, I wanted to let Kenzo deal with its issues when playing with other kids in a public playground but half of me want to keep him safe.

The other day, Kenzo was in this small playground in Evia and since he likes red he naturally would choose to ride on the red rocking horse but sadly another kid who was there before us also likes red.

Since Kenzo is stronger and faster he gets to it faster and tries to hold on it when the other kid is near and leave it to play with other stuff when he knows the kid cannot reach it and whenever he tries Kenzo will make a dash to get there first.

On Kenzo’s part all is just play and it is just a normal kid instinct to protect his toys. The trouble began when the other kid is very upset for always not getting a chance. I can see him get mad and balled his fist. He is smaller than Kenzo but I know he is older by at least 1-2 years. Kenzo is just a big boy. I know Kenzo is a lot stronger and can hurt the other kid if it will escalet to a fight, but I am still afraid of the worst that can happen if I just kept on watching.

Half of me want to let him handle the violence the other kid is showing (balled fist, snarl and tiger look) but half of me is worried. I let this pass for a minute and passively watch and step in by calling out the other kid not to fight. Then he left and all went to normal but when kenzo jumped down from the toy and made a wild sprint after he saw the other kid tries to get to it, Kenzo bein’ really fast got there first. Bein’ late again for maybe the fourth time the other kid is flaming with madness this time as he again fell short in getting on the red toy. This time I had to step-in and control the situation I really talked to him and told him that there are other toys that he can use ( i said it nicely as possible, but I started with a stern voice and mellowed it as I went). He reasoned that he likes red too, i told him the other toys have red colors too (though not mostly red). With a stern voice I said NO FIGHTING and protected Kenzo by being there.

Of course, Kenzo was safe on that day because I handled the issue for him. But what will happen on days that I am not there? Will he know how to handle it? if not, when will he learn?

On the way home, I rehashed what had happened and told him not to be violent and hit kids, like the other kid plans to do, but I also told him to hit back if someone hits him, I guess I dont want him to be bullied but also dont want him to be a bully.

Playground are places where we can let let our kids enjoy and have active fun but underneath it lurks a bit of a danger and violence. Somehow, somewhere our kids will have to learn to settle this on their own and without the parents to protect them. There will be days that they will be defeated and some will be victories, and these are lesson they need to learn as they wade thru life.

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Playmates

Aside from his cousins, which he just see when there is an occassion, he has a playmate named Harry, a neighbor, 2 years older than him. He dont have much options as other kids are too old and big or too young, in harry he found the perfect mix to hang with.

Most afternoon If he hears Harry’s voice or bike outside he would hurriedly ask to go out and immediately scamper out the door. This is a very enjoyable momment for him, as all playtime for any kids. It is during this time that you can genuinely see him enjoying his play. Normally, he just play with adults like us, his tita, lola and yaya. but playing with kids his age provides him an outlet for his boundless energy, other than the physical benefits of play, he will also begin to understand the importance of friendships.

But yesterday just like in many previous days, when he went out in front of the house hoping and waiting for Harry to go out and play with him. After a few momments a group of big kids knocked on harry’s house and called harry to play with them. Harry answered the door and saw him, Kenzo’s face lit up when he saw his only playmate but instead of playing with him Harry went with the other kids and not him. Harry just told him, “I will be back”. from inside the house I can see his disappointment as he is again left alone without a playmate. This is actually the first time that he was left out, all the time his bestfriend will prefer to play with him than others, but unfortunately not this afternoon.

Kenzo stayed outside bringing his bike, scooter with all hope that Harry will soon come back to play with him. But after a lot of minutes he is still alone, then harry and the group of bigger kids came, I can hear him laugh again but that happiness did not last as harry and the other kids left again after just a cuple of minutes.

In most of this time I am just inside the house and I am just listening and passively observing him. I dont want to rescue him by giving him a new toy or bringing him to the mall, as I want him to learn on how to deal with this frustration. I honestly cannot stand to see him dejected and alone, I just stayed inside hidden and not watching him. I even thought about going upstairs and watched TV, totally isolating myself than see him wallow in his pain this way.

Seeing your kid wanting to play but his only playmate prefer to do other stuff is gripping for me, I am sure other parents would feel the same way. This momment is a learning experience for me as much as Kenzo’s, it brought me back when I was a kid and how I choose those who we play with and those who are not part of the ‘circle’. I remember as a kid (because I am 2-3 years older, I once get to be the leader) I have a power to exclude and include playmates, usually bratty, spoiled ones are excluded. I also remember is some occassion where I see other kids happily playing and really wanting to join.

So kenzo waited and waited, maybe for about 45 minutes already, around this time I asked him to walk and go where other kids are playing. He reasoned that Harry will be back. I said, he might not play with him and not be back. He gotta look for other kids to play with or go to harry’s group and hopefully they will asked him to join. After a few convincing, he went, as I tried to watch him go and observe what will happen. The playarea is a few meters away and I can barely see Kenzo, I can just see that no one is really minding him as others dont really know him. It is his first time to reach out to others. Then after a few moments I can see him walk back the house sad and realizing that he dont have a playmate—and this is a very sad part for me. It is surely one of the worst feeling there is, I can feel his frustration and defeat and it is really very tough and probably harder for me than to him. His strides are heavy and head low, I can almost feel him ask “Why dont anyone play with me?”

By this time it is getting dark, I asked him to go inside and told him the truth that Harry ain’t comin’ back, then he cried and wail. I tried to reassure him but it is all for naught, as his young mind still cannot quite grasp the whole thing.

Once inside we talked for a few moments, pep-talked him about what happened. I tried to cheer him up but I myself need a cheering up as I feel very sad and surely sadder than him. Then lo and behold Harry entered our open door and immediately played with him. Then I can see him smile again and hear is sweet laughter. I left him with harry and let him enjoy his momment with his bestpal.

photo-49

UPDATE: And just about a week after the sad episode above, Kenzo got new friends to play with. It came quite as an accident and I was not even there when it happened ( I went out to buy milk of Liam), I just saw him in the middle of play.

Now it is a bit different, unlike before he only play with Harry but now he can join others in a game.

Kenzo loves action ( kinda violent variety ) games using guns and sword, goodthing for him other kids decided to play war games and since he has an arsenal of swords, laser guns and rifles he got to join, he suddenly was welcomed by other kids because of it.

He still tag along with Harry and probably will not be playing with others if he is not there, he is his ticket to be able to hang out with his new ‘playmates’.

It was a fun game of guns and sword fights. It was an escalated war between two group of kids. They gambol around, hide, shoot and pretended to kill each other. While I would wannna watch, I choose to stay inside and so I can let him learn to interact on his own, learn and have fun without me hovering around.

Kenzo is the youngest and other kids who lead the group maybe is around 10-12 years old, while he is only 4, the problem I am quite sacred about is other kids can take advantage of him by getting his toys (just what I used to do with others when I was young, I borrow/steal toys). I know there is a chance that one may be tempted to borrow his toy and not give it back, since he is too young to protest or even take note who he lend his toys to. So, what I have been doing now is just let Kenzo bring out cheap toys and keep the expensive and hard to find ones inside.

Overall, It is a welcome change that he gets to spread his wings and hopefully this will lead him to be socialable, friendly, and enjoy the goodness of friends.

Nuthin’ much yet

Liam is still a peaceful boy. Nothing is happenning much as he is still too young. He can now roll over, recognize faces he likes and hated or scared of, he grab stuff, reach out and other little things. But the funny thing he just learned was the sound of his milk bottle, the ‘squish-squish’ sound while you shake it–he smiles when he hears this as it is a signal that he is about to feed, his face will instantly brighten with a smile.

I dont have much time that I share with Liam as my hand is filled with his rambunctious big brother. But the few moments I shared with him was mostly peace sprinkled with a few smiles and giggles, few ‘uhhgs and mmmms’ sounds, a few grabbing of my fingers or things in front of him, staring at colorful objects etc.

I know in a few months maybe around his 7th month and onwards there would be a few more ‘magic tricks’ that’ll happen and nicely to watch out for.

Now a biggie?

I remember when I was a kid I hated it when a grown-ups will ask me to taper or stop doing ‘stunts’ like Kung-Fu or wrestling moves, climbing trees, biking very fast etc. Kids are almost never afraid while grown-ups seems to be overly afraid, now I understand why. This past few months, I now let Kenzo do his stuff like biking on the street, running at a break-neck speed, playing by himself on the playground, sword fights and all those active fun games.

It is really hard at the start to let him go out the house and play unsupervised. Even now, after about 3 months of doing this, I am still filled with worst-case scenarios from falling off the bike and breaking a bone or tooth to kidnapping to bullying.

Most afternoon he will ask permission to go out and play. I will let him out, run thru some instructions, which the same as yesterday and the previous day, like watch out for cars and share your toys and then let him out and I then just patiently wait ’till he finish.

It is never a peaceful momment to wait and hope nothing bad will happen but I just need to let him slowly be independent and learn to discover life and its challenges on his own.

Walk of Shame

It is that harsh moment that you feel that everyone’s eyes are focused on you. The stares, side comments, shaking of heads, snickers etc that darts your soul and gripped it. And it happens everytime Kenzo throws tantrums in public or those family gatherings & parties.

It is an awkward situation with no good immediate solution, because tantrums are developed thru a long period, by giving in too much to your kid’s every whim, hence the soultion to it is also a process of undoing his bad actions and correcting it. Tantrums are a bit unexpected too, with Kenzo at home we dont see this as a big deal but when you bring him out with other people and it happened that is the time you get to realized how bad the situation has gone outta hand. We kinda see his his fake cries more if it is done in public while at home we got accustomed to it and does not noticed it as much.

Tantrums are reflection of how we are as a parent, in a way it is like a report card which we sadly got a C.

Back to the drawing board as they say. We need to redraw our parenting styles to stop all this. We need to have him disciplined or else we will continue to pick him up from the floor and crying in every parties or toy store we go to.

& for those great things

There is an unbelievable feeling when you see your baby smile, giggle. Those great sense of pride when you see him growing slowly and gradually attaining his milestones listed in http://www.babycenter.com. An unexplainable feeling when you see his eyes glow when he recognized you or when the sun bathe his smooth skin with yellow sunlight.

Indeed those are the great perks of parenthood and not to be had by those single, childless folks. Yeah, those free, hip, joyous, moneyed, happy, relaxed, chill kinda folks. Uhrrmm… back to the topic, having a baby is indeen a moment of joy… though, scientifically it is really just evolution to make you feel good so that it’ll stop you from throwing your crying kid in the middle of night when you have to go to work early the next morning to finish your stacked work or reach your work deadlines.

Whether evolution or natural instinct the thing is it is still a good way to relax and make you forget how tough the world outside his tiny crib. Literaly, you can be lost in your baby’s charm and forget all the unpaid bills, cost of powdered milk and diapers, high cost of living, violence, muslim seperatist, slow internet connection, falling stock prices, climate change….

French Parenting

With all our challenges with Kenzo on how he behave a few (or maybe most ) times in public or at home, I thought about maybe considering getting help from the good ways of French Parenting.

‘Bringing Up the Bebe’ the book of Pamela Druckerman descirbes how behave and disciplined French kids are, and this is where Kenzo is a bit on the weak side.

It has good points and I am really interested in trying it to Liam. I picked up the book at the prefect timne us French starts most of their ‘learning process’ at 3 months and this is what Liam’s age as of now.

I am all for it in trying this new way of parenting which is entirely different from our american-based style. But sadly, I am the only one. His Mum does not want any of it and insist on doing it on her own parenting norms. “if ain’t broke ( or not soo broke ) dont fix it.” is maybe her reason on why not too keen on doing it.

I still continue to read the remaining pages of it just for enetertainment as I know His Mum wont even consider a page of it. Well, it is a good book even though learnings I get from this will never be used. I maybe will just give it out and let other mum ( with open mind to new stuff ) benefit from it.

Liam

I have been quite distance to him because taking care of Kenzo is lot already. It would be difficult for anyone to keep an eye on both. At home, I will just keep Kenzo company while I let his Mum or Nana to thier magic.

This set up is easy for all of us but it also mean getting just a few bonding times with Liam. On days that Kenzo is not here and Liam is alone, I prefer to just recharge by hanging around and relaxing to be energized when Kenzo come back.

Anyway, it is still a long ways to go. Maybe by his last quarter of his first year will be a time for me to get my ‘feet wet’ , so to speak.

Just a week ago he begun to turn to his side and lift his head, which is a milestone for him.

Liam is such a nice boy. so peaceful and he look angelic, I know all parents say that, but really he is.

hope he grow up to be like his kuya but a little tame version will be nice.

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