Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween 2009!

So today was Halloween celebration at school. Sean's class party started an hour before school ended and the children could change into their costumes then. Throughout the week, he said he was going for the party without any costume.

Yesterday, I asked him if he wanted me to buy him a mask or something. He refused, "I don't have to go in a costume!"

"But everyone's gonna be wearing a costume. You'll be out of place!"

"No, I won't. You don't need to have a costume."

Hmmmm...I was actually more uneasy than he was about going without a costume...wondering what his teacher and the other mothers would think of this 'cruel' mother who'd send her son to a Halloween party without a costume.

I started googling for "easy halloween costume" and saw nothing that didn't require loads of work. It was only later in the evening that I saw a picture of kids dressed as doctors (or paramedics I'm not really sure). And light bulb appeared above my head as I remembered the working stethoscope we had bought from Toys R Us in Singapore.

I said, Sean, you can go as a doctor! No! I'm going to look silly! You'll look even sillier when you're the only one without a costume! No! I don't want to go as anything!

Had to resort to asking Brian to threaten to ban tortoise talk unless Sean played dress-up. Sean reluctantly agreed. I found a face-mask, and for the doctor's white coat, I dug out an old white Anne Klein II working shirt I had bought in the late 1990s. Presenting...Dr Sean Leong :)

The make-shift costume was a hit; the other kids wore store-bought costumes (one went as Violet from The Incredibles, another was Hermione Granger, and a boy was Freddie Krueger I think). Remarks from other mums include, "That's the coolest costume!" while his teacher said she's gonna dress up the same way next year :) And entirely free too, plus there wasn't any frills or face-paints which he would have protested against.

Party decoration.

Cute Halloween cupcakes.

Dr Sean giving the all-clear to his class teacher Ms Jayne.

I am not the most creative person and as I said earlier, can't sew for nuts. Back in 2001, when Brian was 4, I made the costume below just the night before the Halloween celebration. When inspiration strikes, I get moving. He was the "King of Hearts", I made it out by cutting coloured paper and then drawing with a black marker. Heckuva lot of work but he won 2nd prize for best costume.

The thing is, even if I were crazy enough to make this costume again, there is no way Sean would put this on, NO WAY at all. The doctor's costume was about as far as I could push him. That's one leceh little boy I have.

Happy Halloween all!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Shouting: The New Spanking

So I've been doing a lot of the New Spanking since I stopped the Old Spanking (or Caning in our house) for a very long time now (My New Spanking always involves threatening to do the Old Spanking :)). I knew I should start reining in this bad shouting habit after I saw Sean just glancing sideways at me angrily when I shouted at him recently. Times like these, he seems a lot older than he really is and I don't really like what I see.

And feeling somewhat guilty after reading this facebook link from Hsien, I called out to Sean while preparing his lunch box this morning.

Sean: Yes?
Me: I love you.
Sean: I love you too.
Me: There's something else. Come here.
Sean: What is it?
Me (facing him ever so seriously and lovingly): I'm sorry I've been yelling at you so much okay?
Sean looks at me and says quietly: I know. (Note: Brian would have said it's okay mummy)
Me: Hmm...but you know why I yell right?
Sean: No.
Me: Because you don't do all the things I ask you to do.
Sean: But why do you have to do it in a loud voice?
Me (Er moment): Because if I don't yell, you won't remember to do it the next time.
Sean: If you yell at me, I might not want to remember it.

Shikes, dunno what to say anymore.

End-of-PSLE celebration

Backpost for 12 October 2009

We were leaving for Moscow the very night of Brian's last paper for PSLE but managed to have a celebratory lunch at Rakuichi, recommended by Hsien and Adeline. There are actually two branches, one in Dempsey and the other on the 3rd floor of Far East Shopping Centre.

Delicious fare but my favourite was the grilled sushi (last picture). You wouldn't think that grilled sushi would be good right? But it was heavenly, the sushi is only slightly grilled so was still succulent, and the rice was slightly grilled too, extremely fragrant.

We ordered the Rakuichi Set, the Rainbow Set, and one other set, I forget. Set lunch is about $36 - $46 each, not cheap but not exorbitant either. If you quote "I eat, I shoot, I post", you get 10% off the bill.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

6 Thinking Hats

I've done the 7 Habits programme but not Edward De Bono's 6 Thinking Hats.

When Sean said over dinner tonight that in school, they were learning about different coloured thinking hats, I didn't think that he was talking about the 6 Thinking Hats, but he was:

"We're learning about 6 Thinking Hats.

The White Hat is for Thinking about Information.

The Black Hat is Thinking about Weaknesses.

The Yellow Hat is Thinking about Strengths.

The Red Hat is Thinking about Feelings.

The Blue Hat is Thinking about Thinking which is Metacognition (a word his teacher taught him just a couple of days ago).

and lastly, The Green Hat, Thinking about Creativity."

Applesauce Cinnamon Bread by.....

...BRIAN!! hahaha, as if I would bake such an angmoh-style bread! On Tuesday, Brian and his classmates made this bread during their Electives class and he brought it home yesterday after the teacher baked the bread. When I took this picture, the bread was already one-third eaten. The biggest fan of this eeks, applesauce cinnamon bread, was...the breadmaker himself.

Sean took one bite and scrunched up his face. I tried to be supportive but couldn't take more than a bite, and we knew Eddie would never eat this. I told Brian if he wasn't the one who baked the bread, he would never eat it (he denies this)! So it's a good thing school is exposing him to different kinds of food, he ended up eating the entire loaf of bread before dinner and he claims it was really delicious.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

And we're back in Moscow!

Feels good to be home. We were living out of our suitcases for almost 4.5 months. I noticed Sean skipping along in a very upbeat mood the moment we arrived in Domodedovo Airport. As we walked towards the arrival hall, I turned to Brian and said, "Imagine if we're actually walking towards the airplane now, on our way to Singapore, and the past 4 months never happened! Imagine these past months had just been a dream, and PSLE is not over! Imagine that." We laughed. I added, "Even worse, imagine you don't actually have your DSA offer yet." Arrrggghhhh, just thinking about this sent unimaginable chills through our spines!

And then Sean said, "Imagine that all the years since you were born never happened. Imagine that!"

I pondered, "Hmmm, I wouldn't mind that. If I knew all the things I knew now, there would be many things I'd do differently." Quietly, I was thinking of timing the stockmarket based on what I knew and becoming a trillionaire, hehe, but I didn't say this to the kids cos before I could, Brian jumped in with, "No, you can't change anything. You have to do the exact same thing, if you had tripped over a rock, you'd have to trip over the exact same rock. Otherwise your whole future will be changed."

Okay, so maybe I won't be a trillionaire, but just for discussion's sake, I told them that based on what I know now, if I had to live my life again, thinking back of my rebellious teenage years, I said, "I think I would understand my parents more, I would be less unreasonable, I would be less reckless and I would definitely make a whole lot less mistakes." Wasn't trying to psycho my soon-to-be teenager in any way, that was just how I feel.

But as Brian said, we can't change things, can we? It did get me thinking about how I'd look back at the me of today twenty years from now. Would I wish I had done things a lot more differently? I really hope not...

Friday, October 02, 2009

Reward chart....without the reward :)

This evening, after dinner, Sean suddenly came up to me with an idea. He suggested having a chart that starts with 100 points and for every misdeed, points get deducted. I was intrigued...I was wondering what he had up his sleeves.

I asked him if he would have points added for being good. He replied, "You don't need to add points if I'm good."

Before I move on, I have to say I've never been one for reward/sticker charts. Probably cos I'm not organised enough. But I remember trying it out with Brian when he was little and he soon started coming up to me to report on the good things he was doing, hoping I'd add a star or something. That didn't seem right to me, my view is that behaving well should be something expected of them, so why should they be rewarded for that? Of course, I do praise them when I notice them doing good things (when I remember lah).

The boys have been bickering lots every mealtime. Brian doesn't wait for Sean to get to the table before saying Grace, and Sean refuses to say "Korkor chi (eat)" when this happens. I was actually wondering while cleaning up today on how to resolve this. And then, Sean came up with this idea, maybe he sensed my exasperation.

Anyway, I told him if I deduct points for his chart, I should also add points if he's being good. Then I asked him, "So what happens at the end of the week, after we have the final score?" He said, "Nothing"

"Nothing?? Then what's the point?" I asked.

"So that I'll remember to be good," came his reply.

"But what if you get many points cos you've been so good?"

"Nothing. I don't need a prize," he said.

"You don't need a reward? Really?"


Hmmmm....I found this a bit strange. What if you have very little points?

He thought for a while, then said, mmm, okay then you can smack my backside.

DEAL! A 'reward' chart without rewards, that sounds like a good bargain for me hehehe.

This chart thing is supposed to start on Monday and so far this is what he's come up with for point deduction.

- Check Mousehunt without mummy's permission: -10
- Disturb Korkor: -20
- Jump on the bed: -5
- Beat Korkor: -12
- Say Grace before korkor comes to the table: -8
- Shout at Korkor: -50
- Disturb Mummy: -40
- Disturb Korkor and Mummy: -60
- Try to get Korkor to play tortoise talk when he's doing his work: -80
- Don't listen to Mummy: -99
- Don't listen to Korkor: -88
- Go into Korkor's room when he's working without permission: -90
- Lock the door to Mummy's room so Korkor can't get in: -100
- Don't say "Kor kor chi": -15
- Say bad things about Korkor: -48

That's the list of misdeeds he can think of for now. I'm sure there'll be more by Monday :)

I've already thought of some
- Don't brush teeth before breakfast: -20
- Don't bathe myself: -20
- Don't put dirty clothes in the laundry basket: -40

I can't really think of anything for adding points...I guess we'll just stick to deducting points only then :) But looking at his point system, I think I should be kind and let him start off with 1000 points, or he'll end up with a sore backside every day of the week.