everyday with my son

Small stories of how it all went along

Archive for the tag “stories”

Foreigner?

The Nana of Liam had been asked a countless of times, if Liam is a foreigner’s son or at least one of the parents are.  Liam has a different face and not very filipino, more Far eastern asian than south eastern. He can pass as a Chinese, Japanese or Korean and not very believable as a pinoy.

Some of the good points of Liam is his being pleasant and friendly, it seems he likes all people and would say “hi”, “bye”, “hello” to strangers automatically.

When he is dressed in real nice clothes I still always marveled how he look good, really, not because I am biased, but because really he is damn nice.

I ain’t religious

I am not religious. I had read more of R. Dawkins, C. Hitchens than bible verses. The only time I will watch a religious program is to be amused on how hard they try, how they make it dramatic, how they scare people with guilt and the ultimate punishment of eternal fire and that part they ask for donation always cracks me up.

Now I am remiss in teaching my kids about God, Jesus etc. I really struggle because I myself is not 100 or even 10% into it. Good thing the school is squeezing a few bits and pieces about it otherwise they will be the only kids in this uber religious part of the world that cannot understand that if you pray Jesus can win you basketball games, make you pass exams, keep storm, floods, earthquake away from you. I will also struggle to explain how there are very poor people and very rich ones and why God don’t bother to assist the poor once in a while  to balance it all out.

But really how can I explain that Jesus is actually the son of God, but he is also a son of Joesph and Mary but Joseph is not his real dad.. yes, Mary is the real mom but God is not the husband. Now Jesus was sent here to wash our sins.. which was committed by Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God. yes, it is the sin of Adam and Eve but since we are human decendants of them we also get to be part of that original sin.  God sent Jesus , his son, to earth from heaven to show us the way, get crucified, and die violently on the cross. after being dead for 3 days, he will resurrect and fly back to heaven.. yes, he flew like being transported up, similar to how aliens kidnap earthlings to their spaceship. It is like an invisible vacumn tube that just pull him up to the sky. Now by accepting Jesus that will wash away all that sin we inherited from the first humans. Now we need to accept Jesus with all our heart, it can not be half-hearted otherwise that will not count… and yada yada

Come what may, I just hope school will do its job because I cannot do that religious part.

Tutoring Liam

Kenzo is back in the USA for his annual vacation and I am told that he is having a blast, but who would n’t? He is enjoying a cold weather, at Tahoe they were  able to catch snow, when I was there 3 months ago I got snowstorm and it was borderline scary.

Now since Kenzo is away I thought to corner Liam and tutor him step by step, but it is not as easy as teaching Kenzo. In fact, Kenzo just learned mostly on his own via his Ipad.. that was in fact any lazy parent wet dream, almost no effort was needed.

I tried to crawl (figuratively) to hold Liam;s attention and to make him know that learning is important. I have to be creative and work my way slowly to get him to start learning but I am not as successful as I wanted to be. I lose interest and easily give up. I really have to snap out of this slump or else Liam’s future is at stake.

I know it is never a child’s fault for not learning, it is my belief that it is always the parents fault for not trying hard to teach. But really it is hard, or maybe I am just spoiled on how easy it was with Ken, to teach a toddler… but we got no choice but to succeed

 

Leaving his small school

5 days ago Kenzo graduated from kindergarten and is now ready to move up to grade 1 at San Beda. He even got an loyalty award from his school (Jose Maria Montessori School) for staying there there for 4 school years.

Yesterday, I went to the school to get Kenzo’s Evaluation card and all his old stuff like shoes, extra clothes, some work papers etc.. and while waiting outside it hit me that it will be the last day I am gonna be there and Kenzo will maybe never ,go back to that place where he spent his toddler years. It is kinda sad to leave a place like a second home to him, it is where he slowly matured to a young boy he is now, he learned  and met his friends,  loves going to school and really enjoyed it there. But sadly it got to end as he need to transfer to a big school.

He started there at 2 years and 8 months, yesterday I looked back at the days when we still have to carry him to the door of his school and will only agree to go down once his class is about to start. His first Nana was Joy and she would carry Kenzo from the car to the front door of the school and wait there until the teachers ask him to go in.  In his first year, often he would cry and will fear going to school. We even have to force him to wear his uniform and ride the car.

Kenzo had come a long way now, as he is more sociable (but still relatively shy) and more mature than his first year there. He has grown and have to say good bye to his small school.

He met his first Best friends there Rai-Rai, then it was Gabe and last school year was Ken and Gab.

Yesterday I was standing outside the school and realized that was the exact spot where I used to wait for Kenzo everyday for about 26 months. Day after day starting Jan 2013 until Sept 2015 I will brought and picked him up, waiting there made me remember the past as if I was waiting for kenzo again but in fact I was waiting to get his stuff and talk to his teachers maybe for the last time.

Thank you, for all the wonderful memories, stories and for teaching him. Thanks!  ‘Small school’ — Jose Maria Montessori.

Tension

Stressed and tense are the words to describe the situation in our home currently. It is the first time I felt this much bad and heavy cloud inside our house. Usually it is just me who brought the heavy stuff but there is now mum and I, a combo of negative, hateful emotions.

Even from a distance and judging from our body language anyone will know  that we are turning into a ticking time bomb and is just waiting for a trigger to start the countdown to destruction.

To make an analogy, all is now on the downhill path. We reached the happiest point and now we are rolling down.

The saddest part of all of this is that the two kids are oblivious of it, they just continue doing their happy games, acting to be like any normal kids, enjoying their youth and not knowing or realizing that all is likely gonna end…

 

Wild, Wild West

A conflict ensued this morning, and the reason was nothing new it is the same scenario but just on a different day.

It all started with  Kenzo’s school work and mum’s participation with it.

What I am tried to say: As parents you need to really take part in your child’s education and I don’t mean just paying tuition fees or buying new shoes and bags. What I meant was, parents should be on top, below and in the middle of the kid’s school work, in other words, we should be updated and very aware and has an active part in it.

I read bout an experiment made by Dan Ariely where they asked people to do puzzles and to be submitted to a proctor afterwards. Now, there are two situations 1. after receiving the papers the proctor without looking will shred it and 2 the proctor will look at it and file it properly. They found out that when learned that their papers and asnwers were checked and filed they put more work on it and when it is just shred and ignored they will not spend as much effort to solve it.

I just want mum to check Kenzo’s work and I said it will just take her 5 minutes to do that and streaming her TV shows would take longer.

What she understood: I am attacking her and her hobby. That it should be my sole job to teach Kenzo because I stayed at home. And that in our current situation, she is at a great disadvantage because of the responsibility of financially providing for everyone, including me. And that she was a fool to stay in such a life.

In most part, I agreed with her and that is the reason why I SHOULD GO. There is really no reason for me to stay as I am just a dead weight, a burden. I don’t have monopoly to good parenting ideas and basically insignificant and useless. I can die now and my absence will not be felt, maybe for a week they’ll weep but after that it’ll be normal.

I knew I am useless and I know that even before Kenzo was born, sadly my kids are now forced to have a dada like moi.

One day I have to go, I must go. I am a bad influence to my kids, an embarrassment, a dead weight.

So there,a simple lecture on helping kids to study ended with slapping of the truth that I am just a dirt bag. .. but really I am… and cannot blame her for that.

*A late post, was posted as a page weeks ago, I just now noticed it and copied it to be a post.

 

Real Estate

Later today we will finalize the purchase of the lot of our future home, not really the final step but today will be the day where we can officially say that the lot is ours, the next step will be the finalizing the release of the loan/mortgage.

I really hate the deal with the seller and her brokers but the opportunity to get a lawn is too much to let go. And the only reason why I am still patient in dealing with the seller is because of that tiny piece of Lawn that I really love to have.

I am planning to have a  lawn big enough for us to play football, make a mini putting green, shoot Nerf, play catch baseball etc. the Lawn is like a dream come true, I remember as a kid we played a lot on the bermuda grass spread out in Tio Diony  Talipapa house and those were happy days. Up to know I can still feel how the the grass makes tiny punctures on  my skin, the smell of it in the morning, and how the green color relaxes our eye.

These past few days, I have been day dreaming on what sport to play on our future lawn. I am now looking for putters, Irons and maybe have a small putting green. Surely we will play football and baseball. I am eyeing a mini soccer goal at SNR and some old putters at SOS in Festival Mall. And mere thinking about playing there excites me and yes that is why I am putting up to the spoiled brat of a seller we got.

Nerf shooting games will be a thing to do too, I also saw a trampoline  and a big play house at Landers QC. Right now I am making mental notes on what to put on the lawn and what to do there and I know it will be fun for the little boys.

In Manila very few houses has lawn and only the very rich  will keep an area open to be used as lawns. Because Manila is very densed it is seldom for people to waste a property and kept it idle just to grow grass. I went against the flow and  decided to just  have a small house and use the extra space as lawn for the kiddos to play on.

Lawns are (next to disneyland) are one of the happiest places on earth. When we  visited California one of the unforgettable things me and Kenzo did was play, dive on the grassy lawns of the play grounds and  that is  what I want them experience here when we are not in the US. Surely the lawn will give them a  happy area, a play ground, a place for us adults to make backyard barbies (barbeques) and I know most of our happy memories will be made on top on those nice, green bermuda grass.

 

 

 

 

 

Picky eater

kenzo still has not outgrown his milk and have not ate anything really considered real food. He often feast on junk food and sweets, good thing we have taught him how to brush his teeth often that is why he still has a good set, but some are starting to have cavities.

He loves Pancakes ( he call them Tubby toast as it looks like the telletubbies’ food), vienna sausage, Pan De Sal, but other than those it is all junk food.

Now Liam is learning how to eat mashed veggies, Kenzo is now in a way forced to compete and also would share Liam’s food. So, as we start Liam on solid foods Kenzo is starting too.

Just this morning, We spread Nuttela on his bread and since he dont know Nutella yet, he obviously refused and just want his Pan De Sal. Then we made an act of making a Nutella sandwich for Liam, and him sensing this would give Liam an upper hand in the eating race he agreed to try and loved it.

We are just about around the starting line on this race to make him eat real food. We envy other parents that make their kids eat but what we can we do, we got the most picky of all. But the nice thing now is we are slowly moving in the right direction, though too late and a bit of a crawl, and hopefully it’ll stay that way.

Henry Hugglemonster

hugg

This morning I was watching Henry Hugglemonster with Liam and Kenzo, and never thought that momment will be sort of a epiphany moment for me. Really life can deal us with crazy curveballs and a tap on our noggin also in a similar, crazy way.

I consider myself to be a bit on the side of worry, I kinda tend to overthink as finding the ups and downs, the nooks and crannies, corners and angles in almost everything is normal and easy for me. My mind can swoop to all the possiblities good and bad, happy and sad, scary and mad etc.. ( sorry for the extended rhyme and explanation) in almost an istant and those thoughts make me worry. Unlike, others who deal with just the positive (even it has no chance of happening) and scratch the negatives, I sadly deal with all of the possibilities.

I refused to be labeled as a pessismist but rather a realist. I tend to compute the probabilities, risks, benefits of a situation more than blindly choose optimism or pessimism. I rather get the facts and compute the possibilities, And I can do that in one instant snap.

So what does a cartoon about a Hugglemonster have anything to do with all of these? In the middle of the show the mom Hugglemonster approached Henry, ( the start of the show) who is in a somber mood, and told him that “we will find a way”. And yes, instantly, I figured that I can always deal with negatives and rather than get defeated by it I will just find a way.

Now I have a little cute mantra of finding a way, I plan to also use that and make it useful for Kenzo and Liam. And even life serve us with lemons we just have to find a way around, under and above it—in my best Hugglemonster way.

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.

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