Mommy: Where are we going for dinner? Andy’s? or Mam Wok? or Golden Coral? or Sweet Tomato? or Grand Asia? or Southpoint?
Maddy: I want to eat at home.
Mommy: Eat at home? Who is going to cook? I’m not cooking today. Are you going to cook? Golden Coral or Sweet Tomato? How about Sweet Tomato becuase we haven’t gone there for a long time.
Daddy: Golden Coral sounds good to me.
Maddy: I want to go to Golden Coral too.
Mommy: But I want to go to Sweet Tomato!
Maddy: Ok. Mommy, you can go to Sweet Tomata by yourself. Daddy, Livy and I are going to Golden Coral.
Maddy is not a child who enjoys everything. With Little Gym, she liked the singing part, but was never into the group warmup or skill of the week. She liked simply playing on the equipment by herself. At the end, she was even tired of the bubble time so we stopped going.
We tried soccer because I always wanted to be a soccer mom and the SportPlex is 5 mins away from our house (that and I do think team sport is good for kids). The child did not want to have anything to do with the ball. I bribed her; I threatened her; I tried everything possible to make her play. At the end, I realized that it’s just too painful for the both of us although she looks awfully cute in her uniform. She look good, and that was as far as soccer got.
We tried ballet. For a whole month (four 45 min lessons) she stood rigidly in class while all the other little girls danced their hearts out. She finally felt ok after four lessons and now enjoys going to the class and does fairly well following Ms Kathy for the most part.
I started looking for a private piano teacher for her recently in hope that we can settle on a teacher by the time she turns four in the summer… called Village Music School located in our subdivision market place yesterday. They didn’t have private teachers for Maddy’s age, but did have a pre-school group lesson on Monday nights. I asked to go in as a drop-in trial class.
I am not a big fan of piano ‘group lesson’, but figured this would be a good opportunity for me to find out just how ‘unready’ Maddy is. The child got into her sulky grumpy mood right before the class started, and I thought maybe we won’t even have to go in after all.
She totally surprised me. She walked in with the four other girls and immediately joined the group with a smiley face. She was doing the finger exercises with them. She was singing with them. During the last 10 mins when parents went in to join them, she was doing the rhythm song on the beat like she’s done them before.
Perhaps the small setting is not so intimidating for her (there are only five girls); perhaps being with older girls made her want to do better. But something about her spirit there told me it is more than that. She was confident with the new things being taught, and she was comfortable being with the strangers there. Although being a first timer, she ‘gets’ what Ms Sue was teaching them. She gets them effortlessly.
I was so thankful I can hardly hold back my tears. My child is finally in her element, with piano. And of all things, her element is the same as what I hold dearly and comes to me naturally all along.
Livy can not be forced into doing anything period. Daddy tried to prop her so he can videotape her scooting around, but she didn’t want any part of it.
It was the face on the floor first…
It was looking sad next..
It was crying pathetically..
It was screaming in frustration…
We felt bad and moved the props to her easy reach(right in front of her):
It was then looking at them for a moment
Then cried cried cried some more, just because..
Daddy distracted her by playing with the turning toy
She played for a few secs, then back to the sad and angry cries. After all, it is all about her principles!
This clip is a bit long, but it captured the essence of our strong willed baby.
Livy is finally showing signs of crawling, at the whooping age of 10 month old. Not quite a crawler yet, but she definitely gets where she wants to be… very very slowly but surely. I would even venture to say that a snail is faster than she is right now, but she will make the most adorable snail of the year.
Since Maddy was banned from watching her Curious George due to her bad report on Friday, we decided to make fairies instead. If she were a teenager, I envision her making voodoo of me and poking me all over. Fortunately, she is just three, who takes her punishment quite seriously and really a easy-going girl for the most part, we had a great time passing our Sat morning TV session.
We the fairy makers also had a farewell ceremony for the butterflies: Gave them their ‘last meal’ in the morning and we set them free after coming back from Maddy’s ballet lesson. It was sunny and warm, and we think the butterflies had a good start.
Maddy was a little sad about it, but we knew they’ll be happier being free (plus mommy doesn’t want them to be mating in the pavillion and leaving us hundreds of eggs behind). We sat by them and watched most of them (all but one) flew away.
Fairy makers had other things to do like taking their Sat afternoon nap.
Lately, we’ve been dealing with a hormonal three-year-old who is as sweet as anyone can be one minute but moody and grumpy another. It must be a punishment for me, sworn never to join an all women group ever again (because one of them is bound to be overly sensitive or overly whining or overly taking things too personal), now responsible to raise one instead.
Our original strategy, the “you can be grumpy but go to the corner by yourself until you are ready to talk to us again” apparently is not working out well in school. The moody one repetitively ignored her teachers when she is ‘mad’ and left the group to sit in the corner (it would be fine usually, but not when the group and the teachers are supposed to be outside playing)
We had to change our rules today after getting yet another bad daily report. We role played and ‘practiced’ what we were to do the next time teachers or us correct her behavior.
She surprised me tonight when I asked her not to play with Livy’s heater by promptly and nicely saying “ok, I won’t do it again”. Now we just have to see if she carries on with it in school.
I used to be rational, consistent, and on-top-of things. Ever since I lost my daily planner and “couldn’t funtion” for three days in college, I was convicted to never again depend my life on any stupid schedule book. Life went on fine with my new daily planner called “the brain”. I remembered everything meeting, every appointment, everything needed to be done in my head…..until I became a mother of two.
All the sudden I couldn’t remember the time of the appointments… date, yes, but not the time, and that means I might as well don’t remember the appointments at all.
I also became so irrational and insistent it’s ridiculous. Maddy has always been on sort of a ‘fast track’ in her school. She usually gets promoted early to the next level class due to various reasons and I was always delighted to comply. Recently I grumbled about how she is held up in her current class because there is no space yet in the next class (and God forbid, she’s 3 1/2 years old for four entire days now). If she didn’t say “But I LOVE Ms Url and Ms Ritter and I want to stay in their class FOREVER”, I would have made a big fuss already.
To my surprise, I got a note mentioning that Livy is being moved to the young toddler’s class next month. I nearly freaked out. “But she’s not even crawling” “Don’t worry, Livy will be fine. It will help her when she watches other little ones moving about” Ms Lopes assured me. “But you know she is 6 weeks early. She needs two more months in the baby room”… “She’ll be ok. It’s the same time Maddy started in my class” “True, but she is not ready. She is just a baby. She is my baby. She is not ready” (I am surprised at myself for whining so much at this point. I am too embarrassed to admit that I am not ready for my baby to be a toddler)
Such a dork I have become…
We woke up and were pleasantly surprised to find a butterfly in the butterfly paviliion. If they’re as schedule as they’ve been, we will have more butterflies within three days. The weather is warm enough outside, and we will release them in the backyard (where our butterfly bushes are) this weekend.
It’s been fun doing this life science project… Low maintainence and short duration (total of three weeks - four weeks) Just the way I like it.
We came home to find all nine butterflies in the pavillion. They have really pretty colors in the back. We will let them go in two days.
Maddy swirled around with her princess PJ, and lifted up her outfit and studied herself in the mirror:
Maddy: Mommy, I am FAT.
Mommy: What? Why do you say that? You’re not fat. You’re the perfect size for a three year old.
Maddy: You see my tummy here? I am fat
Mommy: Your tummy is very cute and just the right size. Who said you are fat?
Maddy: Is daddy fat?
Mommy: [sighed with relief.. she got it from daddy when he look in the mirror and complained that he is fat while flapping his tummy the other day] Well, daddy is a little bit chubby. You know what? You’re not fat. Only daddy is a little bit fat, but that’s ok.
Maddy: I love you every day, mommy.
Mommy: That’s sweet. I love you too.. even when you’re grumpy and naughty and silly sometimes.
Maddy: I am not going to love you when I am 20.
Mommy: What? Why not?
Maddy: I am going to get married to Abe and have my own babies.
Mommy: Have your own babies? How many kids are you going to have?
Mommy: oh yea? Are they going to be like two boys? two girls? or one boy and one girl?
Maddy: Two girls
Mommy: Two girls? That’s great! I LOVE girls. Can I visit you?
Maddy: Yes, you can follow me home. Abe, I and my babies will just be next door.
Mommy: Oh good. I can visit a lot. Are you going to love your girls as much as I love my girls?
Mommy: I don’t know… I love MY girls a lot.
Maddy: I only have small boo-bies
Mommy: (huh?) Don’t worry, honey. They’re perfect three year old boobies. When you grow up, you’ll have grown up boobies. [guess she wants big boo-bies so she can nurse her babies]
I got tired of Maddy’s “I am mad at so-and-so..” and gave her a talk about how there is no reason to be mad at other people when she is the one who chooses to have bad behaviors (and therefore she is the one getting the consequences). I suggested that she is the only person responsible for her actions, and our conversation this morning went:
Mommy: Are you grumpy again?
Maddy: I’m mad at daddy until Friday.
Mommy: You’re mad at daddy because you didn’t listen and got a timeout?
Maddy: (paused a bit) I’m mad at daddy AND MYSELF until Friday.
Mommy: I see. Well, tomorrow is Friday.
Maddy: (paused some more) Well, I’m not going to be mad until Friday then. I am going to be mad all the way until my BIRTHDAY. Auguest eighteen nineteen.
Mommy: August eighteen nineteen? Your birthday is August Eighteenth. That is a long time to be mad. Looks like you’re going to be grumpy forever.
Maddy: Not forever, just until my birthday.
Maddy: I’m angry with you, and I am angry with daddy. I’m going to be mad at you for ten minutes and until Friday eight thirty fourty (must be a new way to tell time)
Mommy: ok. But if you’re going to be grumpy for a long time, go and be grumpy in your own room.
The girl is into “I am not going to xyz until Friday” (grumpy grumpy grumpy) but not quite figured out the ‘right’ things to protest… It’s been “I am not going to watch TV until Friday”, “I am not going to eat the snack until Friday”, “I am not going tell you a story until Friday”, “I am not going to play with the toy until Friday”. Mommy and daddy have been very graciously agreed with her right away.
I am eagerly waiting for her to say “I am not going to bother you until Friday”.
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