Thankful… for #3 in so many ways

It was only when I was pregnant with Kate that I started noticing how caring and thoughtful #3 was. I had a very difficult pregnancy and was bed-bound for most of the 9 months. Initially, the kids were all very helpful, but they got tired of it and slowly became less and less helpful. Except for #3. Even till the end, she never hesitated or gave any excuse when I called for her. She pushed me to the toilet on the study chair, brought my food to the room, fed me on days when I couldn’t even feed myself, and dressed me when I had to make a trip to the doctor’s. I could be calling her throughout the day to fetch things for me and she always paused what she was doing and came to me. Ever since then, and after the birth of Kate, her character has really started to show, and I can say that there is not much more I can ask for in a child.

2 weeks ago she said, “Mum, is it ok if I take boy for a movie after school tomorrow?” I was slightly taken aback as #5 is only 7, and none of them has taken him out alone. “I asked him if he wants to watch the Lego movie and he said that his friends have watched it and he wants to watch it too. I know you are very busy so I can take him there by bus. Don’t worry mum, we’ll be fine.” Deep in my heart, I knew they would be fine as #3 is very independent and also very nurturing. Besides, the bus goes all the way to the terminal so there won’t be any roads to cross. I allowed them to go and told them I would pick them back so that they’ll be in time for dinner. It suddenly hit me that my kids have really grown up!

Sibling day out

When they came back, she immediately went to take care of Kate as she missed her very much, having been out the whole day. She’s also the one who spends the most time with Kate, playing with her, seeing to her needs, and teaching her all sorts of things. When Kate had quite a bad fall and bumped her head, she immediately ran to her, picked her up and consoled her. My sister-in-law said to me “Why are you sitting here so calmly? Looks more like she’s the mummy.” I quipped, “That’s her first child, but my 6th”.

Her real life toy

Sometimes after school, she invites her friends over to play with Kate as they all dote on her and Kate loves her jie jie’s friends too. We don’t own a dog and she knows that Kate loves dogs, so she goes to our neighbours’ houses to ‘borrow’ their dogs.

#3’s friend taking care of Kate
In the evenings, our helper used to settle Kate to sleep but these days, once our helper carries her into the room, she starts to wail as she wants to hang around with the rest of the family instead of going to bed. I was starting to get worried as this meant that I was a prisoner in the evenings. I was also wondering what am I to do when I go for my trip with my mum next month. One night, when I had to accompany the hubs for dinner, #3 told me that she would try to put her to bed, and she managed to! She even chose the safest bed for Kate to sleep in, which was the pull-out section of a bed, so that she will be sandwiched and won’t be able to roll off.
All in a day’s work

One wonderful trait of #3 is that nothing fazes her. She looks forward to challenges and instead of being stumped or anxious, she faces them squarely and thinks of ways to solve them. If one solution doesn’t work, she will think of another way.
          

I really love her can-do attitude. I took her for her dental appointment and as we were pressed for time, I instructed her to run up first while I went to search for a carpark. Just as I dropped her off, I asked her “Which floor is it?” (because I couldn’t remember). She hollered back, “I’m not sure but I’ll find my way!” and she dashed off. With this child, I don’t have to worry about her. 

You know, the strange thing was that when they were growing up, I had the most problems with her. She couldn’t sit still (too much energy), was always answering your questions with more questions (her mind thinks too fast), and was always getting lost (extremely curious child). But now, all that is working out really well. The same issues which I had with her became a boon instead of a bane.

I am indeed blessed.

Thankful Tuesdays:

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has” – Epictetus


Thankful… for our helper
Thankful… for my family
Thankful… for my mum-in-law

Linking up with:


~ wwww.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Lesson #4: A lesson on sincerity taught to me by #1

#1 had to do an assignment on social causes. They had to choose 1 social cause which they feel strongly about and to give a speech on it. When I read it, I was flabbergasted.

Her choice of topic: INSINCERITY

Dear friends,

I’d like to address you as the insincere future of humanity which I unfortunately belong to. 

I have always treasured sincerity but the fact that it is a rarity among many, even amidst those close to me, has sent me into resignation. Let me relate a recent incident that happened in the security and comfort of my own home – a place where we should all feel safe.

I know I have introduced myself as the girl who hates band. However, when I was tasked with a possible solo piece, I suddenly felt important. Needed. Brave even. With my joyous news, I went home and shared it with my second sister, in the hope of receiving a genuine expression of happiness for me and perhaps admiration (if I was lucky). I shared the piece which was a recording of the segment that I was responsible for. What I received in return was unexpected. She grinned and in her most insincere, superficial and pretentious manner said, “Oh ya, cool! Very nice!” I was not prepared for the feelings of the aftermath. I expected a certain degree of sincerity from someone whom I seek advice from and the fact that she is my sister makes it that much worse. 

This brings me to the topic of sincerity, or lack thereof. When did people stop appreciating sincerity? When did people stop practicing sincerity? And when did insincerity become unimportant? 

One masterpiece of insincerity is known to be the ‘power hug’. Have you ever been hugged by someone with an ulterior motive? Someone who hugged you for the selfish reason of winning you over? It basically tears down your walls, leaving you defenceless. If you look at the position of the person receiving the hug, the body language of arms outstretched signifies acceptance and openness; it is symbolic of a person’s vulnerability. She seeks comfort in the hugger who then takes advantage of that unarmed emotional state and easily convinces you to do their bidding. 

Now, think about it. How often do you give sincere hugs? Think about the last hug you recently gave to someone. Did it mean anything? Was it to comfort that person? Was it a means of strengthening your friendship or was it out of pure insincerity? 

Insincerity is now so rampant that people might not even be concerned about the fact that sincerity is so rare in society at this point in time. I am concerned over the triviality of sincerity, and it’s unimportance in society is somewhat alarming. These insincere gestures, fulfilled by many, might contribute to the reason why families grow apart. An insincere comment from a mother to her daughter can hurt deeply. And if such comments are received all the time, it might very well be all it takes to make the child stop confiding in her mother. I want you to be completely honest and think about the last time you hugged your mother and meant it.

Sincerity should help you sleep better at night. You know that the hug you gave earlier that day was completely out of sincerity and that you only meant to provide care, concern and comfort. Giving your unconditional love while expecting nothing in return is possibly one of the most relieving feelings you can experience.

Today, I appeal to you not to give out that one insincere hug, refrain from saying that one insincere comment, and learn to incorporate sincerity into your thoughts, words and deeds.

All these might seem slightly idealistic but it is completely true that a little sincerity goes a long way. No man is an island and to receive, you must first give. As Confucius once said, “To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of the soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness. Thus, I pray that sincerity, appreciating sincerity, and practicing sincerity will not be cast aside.

Thank you.

S I N C E R I T Y

Wow. So many thoughts were floating through my mind while reading it. The idealism and passion of youths. The sensitivity and maturity of my eldest child. Has she really grown up? But the most nagging thought I had was “had I been insincere to my kids”? And the answer, sadly, is yes. There were definitely times when I was busy or had too many things to think about that when they were relating some long drawn out story about something that happened, and when they asked me a question at the end of it, with their expectant faces, I just answered them with a ” Ya!” although I hadn’t got a clue what they had just said as I was deep in my own thoughts. Or I would answer them with a distracted “Uh-huh”. How that must have deflated their ego and enthusiasm. Or sometimes if they asked me if something was nice, I just gave them an offhanded “Nice!”

So I have decided that from this very moment, if I am not 100% present to them, I shall quickly stop them, ask them to give me a minute, finish whatever I’m doing or clear my mind of my own thoughts, then return to them fully present to listen to what they have to say, and to reply with sincerity.

After reading her impassioned speech, I am equally proud yet humbled at the same time. Ah, I still have so much to learn from my children.

Other lessons (which I’ve learnt the hard way):

Lesson #15: What are we worth, mums?
Lesson #16: What do you do when you get sick of parenting?


Linking up with:

mamawearpapashirt

~ www.mummyweeblog – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Build ’em and eat ’em!

(written by #5)

My aunt gave me a box of Lego that can be eaten! There are many things that I can build with it. For example, a house, a snake and a rainbow wand. The first thing I built is this dog.

Dog

This is an ‘S’. It may look like the number 5 but it is not.

‘S’

This is a cow although it may not look like a cow. It uses all of the colours. The one behind the cow looks like a bridge but it’s actually an ‘M’. 

Cow

This is a snake. It’s quite long. I copied it from the box. It uses all the colours, just like the cow. 
Snake

There are 3 things here. One is a rainbow wand, one is a duck and one is a house. The house only uses 2 of the colours but the duck and the rainbow wand uses all of the colours. The duck may be small but it looks cute. The rainbow wand is very colourful and it is actually a pattern.

House, duck and rainbow wand

The one at the back started as a pyramid but since I stacked up the 2 blue pieces, I thought it could be a castle instead. So I built it up into a castle. The other pyramid may be smaller but it looks like a real pyramid.

Pyramid and castle

It is very fun to built it and it is very nice to eat it. The flavours are very nice especially the blueberry because it is my favourite fruit.

~   mummywee – parenting 6 kids in Singapore without going mad or broke  ~

Our very first camping trip

(written by #3)

Over the National Day weekend, my #4 sis and I went camping with my aunt and uncle, and about 10 of their friends. The place that we were going to camp in was in Malaysia so we had to drive there. We saw a lot of greenery on our journey. It took us quite a long time to drive there but it was all worth it. After driving for about 4 hours we reached our destination. We were greeted by this beautiful scenery.

The first thing we did was to pitch our tents. We chose a flat spot right near the waterfall. It took us just 5 minutes to set it up. Ours is a 4-man tent and it has a rain cover. 

After settling down, we all went to have a swim at the waterfall. One of the uncles told us to jump into the water so that we would smell like the natives and the insects won’t bite us. I don’t know if that is true but we all jumped in. The water was freezing! After swimming for about an hour, we got out and changed.

Then we gathered the BBQ things and brought it down near the water. The adults needed to start a fire to cook the food. They dug a tiny hole in the sand and poured special charcoal on it. They did not need to light it up as when they threw the charcoal in, there was a fire automatically. They found 2 small logs which they placed at the 2 sides and then they laid the grill on. We roasted satay, pork, beef patty, sausages, mushroom, capsicum, pineapple, cucumber and pumpkin. We got our tent chairs and waited for the food to cook. The food was delicious!

When we needed to pee, we went behind the ‘pee tent’. It was actually a huge banner propped up by 2 long sticks. At night we went into our tent to sleep. It was quite a warm night. When we woke up the next morning, we sat by the waterfall. It was so peaceful and nice. 

Mummy asked us which was the best part of our trip? We enjoyed the whole trip very much but the most fun part was being massaged by the waterfall 🙂


(note from mummywee: Before they set off, I asked #3 to take some pictures and prepare a post. However, after they returned I found out that the place is part of a private property and visitors are not allowed. I didn’t want to disappoint #3 for all her effort so I decided to share with you her pictures. In future, I will definitely include details about getting there etc for places that are open to public)

Sane tip: Good for the kids to relax in the beauty and serenity of nature. Keeps them sane.

Save tip: Free lodging, free meals, free entertainment… what more can I ask for 🙂 

~ mummywee – parenting 6 kids without going mad or broke  ~

Milk Magic

(written by #4)

#4 learnt this over at a friend’s house and came home to show us. This is a really quick activity that can be done after a long day at school to unwind. The materials can be easily found at home.

Step 1: Gather these materials: 
  • Milk
  • Food colouring (3 is recommended)
  • Straw
  • Shallow dish
  • Liquid hand soap or dish washing detergent
  • Cotton bud
Step 2: Pour some milk on the dish

Step 3: Use the straw to dip into one of the food colouring (just a little is enough), then dip it in the milk.

Step 4: Repeat with the remaining colours.

Step 5: Pump a bit of soap onto the tip of the cotton bud.

Step 6: Dip the cotton bud into the milk and move it around to create your very own designs.

Have fun!

Sane tip: This experiment is really easy and safe even for a young child to manage on her own. But if you do have some time, doing it with your child is so much more fun! I don’t usually do much art anymore, but when I did this with #4 it was nice and relaxing to just doodle with the cotton bud and it brought lots of smiles to our faces as we saw our own beautiful designs come to life from a blob of colour 🙂

Save tip: If your milk has just expired, let the kids use it and have some fun.


~  mummywee – parenting 6 kids in Singapore without going mad or broke  ~