My Hands Are Full With This One

This little guy is the reason my stress level has been at an all-time high lately. A few months shy of being in his terrible twos, PHX is an energizer bunny. One second he’s seated on the couch, the next second he’s climbing up and jumping down. In a day I cannot count the many times I have to shout his name as a warning on what might happen. More often than not, he pays no attention to me. Adding insult to injury, he just smiles at me and goes back being the daredevil that he is.

But then again, this little guy is also one of the reasons why, despite his ability to drive me insane, I love staying home and being the monster mom that I am. He can melt me with his smile and add rainbows to any crazy day. Hearing his voice call my name is, simply put, music to my ears. Hubby teases that I’m turning PHX into a “mama’s boy.” Perhaps I am, but rightfully so. I know the time will come when he won’t look for “mom” as often and the time will come when he won’t like me smothering him with kisses. I’ll probably dread the moment he’ll bring home a girl! (Ok, that is thinking waaay tooo far!). But like Robert Munsch’s all-time bestseller book, I Love You Forever, even if this kid will drive me crazy a gazillion times, I’ll love him forever, I’ll like him for always, as long as I’m living, my baby he’ll be.

October 9, 2010. Tags: , , , . General. 1 comment.

Home Alone

It was a wonderful Wednesday and Zoe and I were out for her soccer class. There was nothing unusual that afternoon except that I decided not to bring Phoenix with us to Tahanan Village, where the soccer session took place. He just came from a bout of fever, cough, and colds a few days ago and I kinda blamed his previous visit to Tahanan’s park for it.

After soccer, we went out for pizza at El Buono, a new pizza place along Aguirre Ave. Zoe and I ordered just a slice of their 22-inch pizza (their largest pizza is 36 inches!) which costs Php99 and comes with one glass of iced tea. The little girl loved the pizza and ate a lot! I thought one giant slice was good enough for the two of us, but I was wrong. Soccer did make her hungry! I had a wonderful time bonding with Zoe. Little did we know that while we were munching on our pizzas, a drama was unfolding at home.

36-inch pizza box

El Buono Margherita Pizza

Our helper, R, left PHX supposedly for just a few seconds to go outside to the “dirty” kitchen. Just as she stepped into the dirty kitchen, PHX slammed the door behind her and the door locked automatically. That old kitchen door never had a key and there was no other way “R” could get in. The front door was also locked from the inside. Good thing she thought fast and she ran to our neighbor for help. Our neighbor had the right tool to cut through a window grill. They asked help from another neighbor to cut the grills, destroy the screen, and enter the house. Whew! Phoenix was crying almost the whole time he was left alone. It scares me just thinking about various worst-case scenarios so I’d rather not. What’s important now is that PHX is safe. Thank God. This also served as a lesson for us not to leave PHX unattended at ALL TIMES.

And I thought this only happened in the movies…

August 2, 2010. Tags: , , , , . General. 4 comments.

Answer this question please

In an effort to explain to Zoe, who can be so headstrong that she prefers to do things without any help, I told her this…

Me: Zoe, you know, sometimes mommy has to teach you the proper way to do things. The proper way to brush your teeth, the proper way to eat and hold your spoon, the proper way to color.

Zoe: But I like to teach myself!

Me: But sometimes you have to let grown-ups teach you so you will learn.

Zoe: Why not young-ups?

And to think I will be homeschooling the kid…ayayay…

August 5, 2008. Tags: . Zoe stories. 3 comments.

Dr. Seuss

My daughter’s latest favorite book is this Dr. Seuss book she received as a gift from one of her godmothers. I love Dr. Seuss and I can recall how i very much enjoyed reading Dr. Seuss as a kid. Thankfully, I had cousins who owned a whole set of them. It was with great pleasure that I introduced Zoe to one of my favorites. And so now she’s hooked, and now I’m totally horrified. My fondness for Dr. Seuss has turned into a nightmare as I’ve been reading the Fox in Socks for the nth consecutive night! I end up catching my breath and twisting my tongue after each page that I have to beg my daughter to change her favorite book even for just one night. Hubby was also initiated into reading the Dr. Seuss book. I think it was one afternoon when I wasn’t around and Zoe wanted to have some reading done before her afternoon siesta. That night, when I sweetly suggested that it was daddy’s turn to read, my husband swiftly convinced my dear daughter that mommy reads Dr. Seuss best.

I am now left with no choice but to read Fox in Socks again and again and again. If I get lucky, Zoe will prefer Marvin K. Mooney, which is less tongue twisting than the former, or Mr. Brown Can Moo, which is shorter. Aah, the many wonderful things we moms do…

July 3, 2008. Tags: , , , . Mommyhood. 1 comment.

PPBC #2: I’m Taking My Kid to the Best School

Three years ago, I was one of the moms who got everything planned. I had this toddler school that caught my fancy, well, because the name was catchy and the facade spelled fun. I was willing to spend more than what I can actually afford just to take her to the “best” schools in the area. All these changed when I came across an article of Bo Sanchez that tackles the 10 core principles of homeschooling and how you can send your kid to “the best school in the world,” your own home. Everything he said and wrote about just made perfect sense. I shared the article with hubby and he was very much open to the idea.

Right now, Zoe is 3 years old. While other kids her age are going to toddler school or preschool, I’m still comfortable with having Zoe learn what she wants to learn at her own pace. By now she knows her colors, shapes, and a few of the letters of the alphabet. She can also write her name (ZOE) by herself. She loves engaging in a conversation and her vocabulary is getting wider by the minute. She insists on pouring her own milk to the glass and on taking a bath by herself (although I insist on helping her on this). She also knows how to use the computer mouse when she goes to her favorite learning website, Starfall. She doesn’t have to compete with anyone for my attention. When she gets bored doing one thing, she can do something else. Everything is flexible and, better yet, everything is free. What more, I get to bond with my child as she’s learning. She learns from me, and I learn from her. I discover what she likes, how she likes things, and that, no matter how I insist on the right hand, she will always prefer her left.

Even if we haven’t actually enrolled Zoe to a homeschooling program, I’ve already received “violent” reactions from those around me who mean well. Their main concern is that Zoe might be missing out on something, and “how will she learn to socialize”? I have a vague memory of my preschool years, I could not even remember learning from nursery, but there are clear scenes that I still remember very well. At nursery there was this dollhouse where we all played during breaktime. There was this one kid, who, out of nowhere, slapped me on the face. I was shocked that I didn’t even get to slap her back. I couldn’t remember if I got hurt by the slap but I did remember that I spent the rest of the day at the back, clutching my schoolbag, waiting for the class to end. When I was in Grade 1, studying in one of the finer schools where you expect everyone to be, well, more well-mannered, a boy stuck gum on my hair. I was so scared I though I needed to go bald. Thank goodness for gasoline! My point on this? My daughter does not have to be exposed to a whole bunch of kids—some good, some bullies, some in-betweens—to learn how to socialize. If this is the socializing she will get, then I’ll pass. For now, it’s enough that she knows her manners, can say “please” and “thank you”, and talks to us and our little circle politely. She may be on the shy side for now, but heck, I’ve been a shy girl all my life and I grew up okay, more than okay if I may say.

Of course, Zoe is just a toddler and I am not rushing things for her. For preschool, I will be bringing her to the best school in the world, our own home, the very same place where she learned to crawl, walk, and talk. When she is ready, she can, if she wants to, go to the big schools. Before that day comes, I’m letting her enjoy life, explore every nook and crannies of her little universe, and immerse herself in the unlimited knowledge she can get from the world.

May 24, 2008. Tags: , , , . Blogroll, General, Mommyhood. 18 comments.

Rhyme Time

One fine morning…

Zoe: Mommy, what you call this?

Me: That’s called puto.

Zoe: Oh! Like the dog of Mickey Mouse, Puto!

Me: *Suppressing a giggle* No, darling, that’s Pluto, they have the same sound.

Zoe: You’re right!

The next morning, while chatting with my sis and telling her the puto-pluto story…

Me: Zoe, Tita Nica says she wants puto.

Zoe: Puto? Pluto? They’re the same SIZE!

March 2, 2008. Tags: , , . Zoe stories. 3 comments.

Desperately Weaning Zoe

I’ve been trying to wean Zoe from breastfeeding for the longest time. One year turned to two, two years turned to three, and she’s still at it. I usually get the “whaaat?!” reaction from people who mean well and I try my very best not to go into technicality on how breastmilk is still best for babies even beyond the 2 years’ mark. A part of me still wants to keep on keeping on, knowing that it’s best to wait for the time Zoe thinks she’s ready to let go, but a part of me wants to give breastfeeding a rest. Believe me, breastfeeding a newborn is far, far different from breastfeeding a toddler.

As much as I would want to self-wean her, I’ve also been desperate so as to try all sorts of tricks like ginger, lipstick, band-aid, and, ah yes, even Tabasco sauce, which among all these made me feel like I’ve been one bad, selfish momma. The Tabasco made her sleep without feeding the whole night, but come morning, she forgot about the Tabasco altogether and, to my surprise, breastfed as if there was no tomorrow. (Note: I fell asleep too without rinsing out the hot sauce!)

With credit due to Zoe, I’ve noticed that she’s minimized her feedings, especially her night feedings, and I see that she looks for my breasts more as a pacifier than a source of milk. I actually doubt if there’s still enough milk left. She usually gets her daily supply of fresh milk and can finish a one-liter carton in a day. I’ve been talking to her a lot about how she’s getting older and how, with God’s blessing, she might be an Ate Zoe in the near future. With this, I would relay to her stories of how she was when she was a newborn, how her future baby brother or sister would want my milk day in and day out, and how she will have to help me with that. Matter-of-factly, she tells me, “Oh I know, what if I will share my milk with my baby brother?” And when I prod her further that I might run out of milk and her baby brother/sister will have nothing else to eat because he or she can only drink mommy’s milk, she replies, “then mom, you’ll have to drink lots of water so you’ll have milk.” I suppress a giggle, but deep inside I was laughing and totally impressed at how her little mind works. I guess she still wants to get the best of both worlds, which means I have to face the fact that I might still be a “milking cow” for a long, long time.

P.S. Any suggestions on how I can wean my daughter sans the trauma of weaning will be welcome : )

February 10, 2008. Tags: , , . Mommyhood, Zoe stories. 8 comments.

Uh-oh

Hubby and I came home tonight without any “something for Zoe.” For 5 consecutive nights now, I’ve been bringing home an ice cream cone from Mini Stop as my little something for her. A treat for staying home alone with her yaya (she always begs me to stay home with her). This night, she didn’t get any. I didn’t expect her to make a fuss, but she did. She didn’t eat her dinner and she was in her crankiest mood to boot (she didn’t let me watch a koreanovela and bawled until I switched the channel to Disney playhouse). I think I’m spoiling her too much.

February 1, 2008. Tags: , , , . General. Leave a comment.

Midnight Snacking

For the past weeks, Zoe has been keeping me up till 2AM. Her sleeping pattern has drastically shifted for the worst! What used to be an 11pm or midnight sleeping time (egad, my mom is already going bonkers that I let her apo stay up this late) is now 2 hours late! I really don’t know what changed or how it started. It always goes like this:

(A little past midnight, we get into bed and hubby turns off the lights. All seems quiet for a few godly seconds. Hubby falls asleep easily and I hear his heavy breathing. Yep, he breathes heavily when he sleeps; I’m the snorer in the family. Then comes Zoe’s voice)

Zoe: Mom, I’m hungry.

Me: Zoe, go to sleep, everybody’s sleeping now. Just dede (no wonder I have no luck weaning her) and sleep.

Zoe: But mom, I’m hungy. I want to eat.

Mom: Ok, what will you eat?

Zoe: Uhm, chicken and rice. Come on mom, please

Now, how could I resist the little one?! I take 10 times the effort to carry myself out of bed to bring Zoe to the kitchen for her past midnight snack. When we get to the kitchen, she forgets about the chicken and rice she requested. Apparently, it’s warm milk she likes. So I heat her some, she sips a little. Then, she remembers there’s Milo in the cupboard, and she asks for some, too. But no, she stops me mid-air as I was about to pour water in the cup. She wants to eat her Milo, not drink it. When I tell her it’s time for her to go back to bed, she delays. She remembers the chicken and rice and asks for it. I still believe she might be hungry so I heat her some chicken. She toys with her food and doesn’t eat a thing! At this point I’m too sleepy to feel a thing, much less scold her for making a sucker mom out of me, so I eat the chicken and rice, and the Milo powder, too (hey, haven’t tasted Milo for a long time), and give the warm milk to Bailey, our dog. It’s no wonder most moms gain a few or more pounds, they end up eating all the leftovers! By now you must think I dread the evenings when this happens. Partly, I expect it so much I don’t dread it at all. I just think it’s part of my routine as a supermom. Yes, I’d rather think of myself as one because my daughter thinks I am anyway : ) And 5 years down the road, when someone would ask my daughter the question: “What makes your mom the greatest mom in the world?” I’d hear her say, “Well, because even if I get hungry in the middle of the night and look for chicken and rice, she’d get up, feed me, and keep me company.” Hopefully, she’d remember it right.

November 21, 2007. Tags: , , . General. Leave a comment.