Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Good morning!

This morning, we were in my sister's room and I showed my son the ABCs at Starfall. He loved it (thanks Melissa!) and was fascinated with the helicopter at Letter H. He kept on telling me "helicopter again." So our ABC activity early this morning was like moving one letter forward and then going back to letter H.

After we wrapped up, I was checking things in the Internet and let Matt "explore" my sister's room (where we dumped all our not kid friendly stuff). At one point he was exploring the CD ROM and kept pressing the open/close button - he is always entertained with this mechanism (in DVD/VCD players). It was while he was "exploring" that he inadvertently got an 8-mm mini CD stuck inside because he inserted it all the way through the ROM. So at early morning today, armed with a screwdriver and hair still unkempt, I found myself tinkering with our PC.

BTW, yesterday, he peed on a pile of CDs! I'm really such a good mom (smirk) that I left him touching things -and pulling some in the process. There was already a good pile of CDs on the floor and he peed on these. I had wondered what kept him quiet while I was composing an email and moments later found out the reason. :D

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Monster Moment

Screaming. I read somewhere that kids would adjust and adapt to it and you end up having kids that is so used to your usual shouting and they won’t budge unless they hear you raising your voice octaves higher. Or worse, they get too used to your habitual shouting that they develop deaf ears to your requests.

With that, I find myself always trying my best not to raise my voice. Not to shout, no matter how bad I feel. But let’s face it, there really are times when one is too frayed at the edges and unwittingly does that. Me, I mess up and do that at times. But it doesn't really excuse the act.

The first time I shouted at my son, I cried silent tears. No kidding. I cried because I saw fear and shock register on his face, not to mention the copious tears in his eyes. Fear is the last thing I want my son to feel towards me. I cried because I was frustrated at someone who should have known better and who should have let patience run a mile longer. Instead, I failed to control myself and allowed my emotions to run ahead of me. I felt so wretched at failing and letting someone pay for my unbridled emotions.


And again, here is an antithesis to something I wrote few days back, a tale from someone who is trying not to resort to spanking. Not positive, but it's a tale of truth (and reality) of my life as a mother.

Coming home from the night shift, I found myself sitting in front of Matt's cabinet at so early in the morning. I was folding the pile of clothing that he had lovingly strewn all around our room. Sleep-deprived, I had wanted to return the room in a semblance of order as fast as I could.

Plak! The door of a cabinet connected to my face, at the upper left side of my cheekbone, a millimeter away from my eyes. Caught by surprise at its impact, I recoiled and instinctively brought my hand to my face where a sting was beginning to spread. I was shocked. When I turned my head upward, I saw him - the culprit of this banging. Irritation, surprise, pain – I’m still not sure what but I screamed and shot my hand, grabbing his foot and giving it a spank.

I over-reacted and I was too flustered at my reaction I had to walk out of that door because I couldn't trust myself if I stayed with him a moment longer. Was it shock that registered in his face as he stared at me with tears streaming down his face? He looked so scared and was still crying “Mama, mama” when I walked out that door. Bad Mama, that I was. I felt horrible, and that's could be an understatement. But of course, who wouldn't? There's just no excuse that could justify what I did. No excuse, and I felt all the more awful knowing this.

I had apologized to my son (and he had given me his sorry) but I still haven’t forgiven myself for doing what I did.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Corn, Popcorn, Corn beef

After buying some corn from a peddler, Nanay (my mother) showed them to Matt.

Matt: Popcorn, Nanay?

We had gathered around the table to partake our share of corn. After seating himself, Matt turned to me, "Corn beef, Mama?"

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Celebrate 2!

So at home in Barney's arms...

...that for awhile there, the host was worried Matt would request to bring Barney at home.


Sunday was boxing day!

Opening his gifts....

Thanks to everyone who came and who sent lovely gifts - they may not be able to read this, but thanks all the same.

The last three pics were pictures of his fishing set. A cousin got it for him. He got so thrilled when he saw the pieces. But the fishing rod didn't even last for a day; he was so enamored with it that he, almost immediately, broke it.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

If It’s Good For Babies…

It was still dreary this morning but we were in the airport to send my hub off to his work base. We had decided to wait awhile until we hear that flights would push through as scheduled (yesterday’s flight was canceled due to visibility problem). So it was while waiting in the parking lot that nature called. No big deal. Really. IF ONLY THE CRs WERE WORKING.

Yesterday, I was in this same track so I can still imagine the OUT OF ORDER signs hanging by the CR doors. No water supply, I found out. There was no water the last time we were here and that’s a couple of weeks ago. Can you imagine how inconvenient that is? It was just a stroke of luck that, after met with refusal after refusal, I was able to coax a saleslady in one of the souvenir outlets to let me use their CR despite the lack of water. I was already a big begging baby all ready to explode cry. Out of frustration, desperation, irritation –name it.

This morning, there would be no question that begging would no longer be an option.

But you know the feeling of trying to suppress something, you only end up increasing the feeling to nth degree. So? So excuse me, I’ve got to resort to something unconventional, to say the least.’ Yes!

Good thing our car tint is the as-long-as-the-lights-inside-are-out-you’ll-remain-almost-invisible-outside type. And good thing I always carry extra diapers when we bring Matt with us because you'll never know when they can be handy. But why not? If it’s good for babies, then it must be good for me, too.

But really. What a relief! You just couldn’t imagine the relief after trying so hard to control the flow so there's no leak-out.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Screamless Parenting

Do you believe in that? I do. But as much as I believe in that; I must admit that I have a doubly hard time doing that. I also have a hard time believing in parents who say they have never screamed at their kid(s) –not once, not ever. My apologies, but I need more than lip service to believe that. But I will not get into that now.

My husband, who is working away from home, has not screamed at Matt ever but maybe that’s because he doesn’t feel the stress/pressure of parenthood 24 hours a day/7days a week/30 or 31 days a month. (Or maybe he’s just so patient, so unlike me.)

But okay. So I believe, and I try not to scream. In fact, I am trying everyday. But that is not to say that there was no instance that I did not fail, albeit not without remorse or guilt. I should say I failed a handful of times in the past, and they always make me feel wretched. There were even times I truthfully feel like a monster mom, like my kid doesn’t deserve a mother like me. And no matter what the situation was, I feel there’s just no excuse that could justify screaming. And that what’s making me feel so low in the spirit in those times.

So in my attempt at screamless parenting, a long time ago, I devised a way, a maybe-silly way to keep myself from screaming while emotionally high-strung. I recorded voice messages in my phone! And play these when I get exasperated already and feel like screaming.

Matt, please behave.” “Listen to Mama and be a good boy.” “Do not climb.” “Please drink your milk.” And lots of other of messages that are devoid of any hint of anger or irritation. Although I cannot say of the ratio of success I get with these recorded messages (and there could be a downside to this :D), they at least give me an option, a detour, a maybe-better way around a sticky situation. And also gives me a breather until I have put my raw emotions in a tight rein or until I have collected myself. They have saved me – a lot of times already from becoming a monster mom and feeling monstrous myself. Not to mention, saving me the exertion of saying everything a hundred times. :D

I had wanted to have my hub’s voice recorded too, just so there’s a balance to what Matt hears. I really should have done it a long time ago. But up until last night, I have only been reminding myself to do that but have been forgetting all the time when he’s home. But finally, I have what I needed in my phone now (there’s even an I-love-you recording too). I have even tried it this morning, with satisfactory result. :D

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Almost 2

- I was working on this and I was ready to post it last night but was unable to post because the crying interrupted me again. :D

November 14 1600H.

Technically speaking, Matt will be 2 years old by 5:27PM this afternoon. That's just few hours from now! So in that note, I'm going to post 24 random things/developmental notes about Matt.

1) He can identify the bridges (that we usually pass) and says "Mama- water?" when he spots the rails customary to these bridges.

2) He drinks his choco+milk drink in a cup but refuses to, if it's just milk. "Mimi" still has to be in a milk bottle.

3) He is already an expert of power buttons --of remotes, of the TV, of the PC, of the monitor. In fact, he gets his kicks pushing the power button of the CPU while Mama is all-eyes on the monitor and busy tapping on the keyboard. Or the TV button (remote is hidden!), when I am seriously glued to a TV show.

4) He can identify logos --of the company I work for, of Shell, of Milo, etc..

5) He can take orders now. It's his "job" to throw the used diaper in our garbage bin and he delivers his job well.

6) His vocabulary is improving. He loves learning "Opposites." (Like, opposite of dry is wet. And is slowly applying the concept). Sometimes, he will count 1 to 10 ; other times, he won't and I'm not sure whether he's just teasing me or if he's just bored or maybe he's forgotten how to. He has yet to perfect the Alphabet though. (I don't really want to pressure him into learning something he may not be ready for) :D

7) He now refers to his pedia as his "friend." After our visits in October, I think Matt has learned to be comfortable with the doctor. He even tried making a chitchat with the pedia on those last two visits.

8) He loves singing. He loves to sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Itsy Bitsy Spider, etc... even the funny songs (in our dialect) that my father has taught him. And loves his guitar.

9) He still calls Winnie The Pooh, "Bobby"; battery, "batte-te"...

10) He still loves water -the rain, the faucet, taking a bath.

11) He still won't do the "Keep still" or "Sit down-I'll be right back." When taking a bath, he's just too excited. But he can keep still when we clean his ears and change his diapers.

12) He still kicks, pulls my hair and pinch my face when piqued (or when he wants to :D).

13) He still "manipulates" me with his I love yous, his apologies (Mama, sorry), his hugs and kisses.

14) He still loves to read his disjointed books.

15) He still drinks his vitamins without a fuss.

16) He is thrilled when his toy cars are broken and works so hard to break them. And when they are broken, he tries to fix them.

17) He still drives me nuts when he throws his toys, his books, and pulls everything else on the floor.

18) He still loves to run around and to play catch-me with anyone who wants to. But I've seen him use his imagination more and more. Like pretending chairs are cars or talking over the phone, with or without the other party.

19) He still demands to play Where-Is-The-Flag. I've lost count of the flags he can identify now; but it's not too many (20-plus maybe, or 30 :D). And he still likes to point at the planets in the Solar System.

20) He is still scared of the dark, of the vacuum cleaner and the hair dryer. And when scared, he says "Hug-a Mama." (That sometimes I am tempted to scare him - I'm sorry!)

21) He still loves to eat vegetables. And still thinks that ampalaya (bitter gourd) is yummy. And ice cream is hot.

22) He still loves to tinker with the screws, the electric outlet, the tv, remotes... In fact, the other morning, he did it again. I woke up and saw him playing with our aircon remote control, with the battery compartment already opened and the batteries nowhere to be found. But not only that, minutes later, I found out that he had poured water inside the empty battery compartment. I was aghast! I dried it up for 2 days but I'm glad it's back working (lucky me!).

23) He is still thrilled to see babies and kids. He would shriek with joy when he spots babies or kids in the mall, or passing by our house.

24) He still wears a diaper. He has not perfected the potty, he's just starting but I will be seriously training him from now on. (?!)

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I have to admit that there are nights when Matt is fast asleep that I sneak out of our room and start romancing the keyboards in my sister’s room. Because that is my only chance. And tonight is one of those times.

After tidying up our room, I tiptoed and carefully twisted the doorknob. But it was while I was trying to make a slight opening of the door, just enough for my little frame that it made a creaking sound. Perfect! Matt flipped on his back.

"Mama here now?" He asked.

I froze.

(Hours later, I tried again :D)

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Nighttime Stories

Early to bed, early to rise. So they say.

Early. Yes, my son is in the habit of sleeping early. We’ve helped him establish that pattern and I’m thankful because it gives me an ample time to catch up with housework and the Internet.

And early to rise. Yes, he is. And that's the reason why, almost always, I wake up to a mini pandemonium that is our room.

But between bedtime and rising up, there may be stories to tell.

Apart from the “mimi na” (calls to feed) times, there are nights when I am disturbed from my nocturnal activity (read:Internet) awakened from deep slumber due to Matt’s cries. Dreams, maybe nightmares, I can only wonder what. Maybe a horror story about the Vacuum Man is slowly unfolding in his sleep. But because I do not know what else to do, I just hold him while he cries his heart out for some unknown, maybe imaginary monsters.

There are better nights though when he smiles or even chuckles heartily with eyes still closed. Wonderful stories, I wager my last peso. He must be having a blast in those dreams!

And then there are some nights when he sleep-talks. Yes, he would mumble incoherent words and broken sentences. Stories? I still have to figure that out.

One story could be about my childhood. I used* to sleep-talk, too and it was a longstanding joke in the family. (*My husband says I don’t do that now, so maybe that’s a thing in the past.)

But really, I didn’t know that kids as young as Matt could talk while they sleep. I also don’t know if this is the right thing to do, but whenever he starts sleep-talking, I always try to strike a conversation as if it’s broad daylight and we’re talking about how fine the weather is. Like last night.

“Eat – eat – Mama, eat,” eyes still closed, Matt muttered.

“Eat what?” I softly asked.

“Eat na rice.”

What?! Eat rice? In the middle of the night?! No, I didn’t really believe he wanted to eat rice so I stayed still and quiet.

Matt, however, couldn’t remain still. He was slowly kicking his feet while muttering, “Get –get-”

After a momentary pause, “Get socks,” he continued.

Again, I couldn’t believe he wanted socks so I, unbelieving but ready to scramble and bring the socks if he asks for it again, whispered back, “Get what?”

Instead, he prattled on, “Get – get – Mama – get.” He was almost crying now but for the life of me I couldn’t make out what he really wanted. Restless and with eyes still closed, he finished off, “Get here Mama.”

Putting my arms around him, I gently assured him, “Mama is here now.” And she will forget about the lights, the PC and a job opportunity waiting in the other room for now.

I must have slept after that because when I woke up it’s already morning.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Of germs, bottom and taking a bath

This may not sound too good. And I guess, Moms, I could partly be blamed. Because I have always been a trying-hard Mom and trying so hard to explain things to an impressionable toddler.

For example, I taught him that we should wash the hand always because if we don't, germs may gather there. Actually, I don’t have to graphically illustrate the concept of germs to him because he saw it on TV – in one of the TV ads.

But I was taken aback when, coming out from the bath, I passed by my son en route our room.

Matt: Mama?

Me, stopping in my track: Mmm?

Matt, continued: Mama? Clean bottom? No germs?

Yes, I'm sure that it must have been during the wash-your-hand and take-a-bath-always lessons that I have inadvertently shown Matt the relationship between bottoms and germs.

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Matt's Pool Debut

Taken last November 4:

Too good to be true!

I could stay here forever....

I could do that too...

For a while, Mama. Am not yet done.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Too Honest

I couldn’t imagine that there would come a time when I wanted to clap my hands over my toddler’s mouth. Oh, I can sense some violent reactions. I’m sorry. I guess I’m just a good mom and you are the better mom. :D

Anyway, if you have read me before, you already know that we’ve been to the doctor few times last month. Actually, four times, because Matt had bronchitis.

Once, to the doctor's hospital clinic and three times, we went to this doctor’s home clinic – that’s not too spotless, if I were to say.

While we were in the doctor’s home clinic, would you believe what my dear son said?

Matt, after his random blabbering about whatever, dramatically paused and said, “Abog.” Dusty!

With all the emotions he can muster, he very clearly said so. And it didn't happen once. Nor twice. But all the three times we were in that clinic, with little variation of the tone every time. And in front of the doctor, all those times.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

And I Thought

"Rat! Dead Rat!" Wrinkling my nose, I said to my mother as I retreated back to the living room.

I had wanted to sleep but it was a malodorous stench that greeted me when I opened our bedroom door. Though the prospect was not appealing, my son, who was with his father - catnapping for sure, was sleeping there and so I decided to forget about myself and examine every corner to see where that smell was coming from.

Surely, that's a dead rat or rats! Yikes.

There's really a dead rat somewhere in here, I thought. When I got in, I kicked (gently :D) my husband and told him so. He just looked surprised.

Looking everywhere, I found nothing.


Kneeling down near Matt's sleeping form, I stooped low and brought my nose to his bottom. Eeeeew! Rats! Dead rats! :D

It's a wonder my husband didn't smell all that. (And I need not say more :D)

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Dirty Papa

“Dirty. Dirty. Papa, dirty. Papa, dirty,” on and on Matt said.

I was frowning because my husband was technically clean at that moment. My husband, who was sitting on the floor beside me, also had the what-is-he-talking-about look written all over his face.

“Papa, dirty. Papa, dirty,” Matt breezily said.

He is joking. But no sooner had I thought that than he tentatively pointed to the faint stubble just right above his father’s upper lip.

“Dirty, Papa,” he said again as he touched his father’s chin.

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