You are browsing the archive for 2011 March.

Playing dress up with granny

March 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

She was ever so proud of the big blue bow in her hair …. next came the ladybug outfit (but I wasn’t allowed to take a pic of that one)


March 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

I decided yesterday to take the baby clothes that Squidge has out grown down to Cotlands. Chances are good we’ll have no more kids (understatement: husband is adamant 2 is enough : ) ), and since we’re doing a big sort and clean due to renovations, I thought I’d start there.

It was really emotional for me – from one side, I’m admitting to myself my baby is growing up and there’ll be no more babies in the house. I’ve blinked and the last year has flown past. Very sad. And I’d love another baby if I could get a guarantee on it’s temperament!

On the other side, I got to Cotlands and all the kids came running to the fence. At that point I burst into tears…. how lucky we are – both parents, 2 kids, grandparents (granny that the kids adore living so close by), dog, cat (even if he is a grumpy old man)…

I had explained to Talia that I was taking the old clothes to Cotlands, a place where kids without mommies and daddies live. She grabbed a few of her stuffed toys and told me she wanted to donate them too. I was half convinced we’d get there and she’d not be able to hand them over, or cry when we left. But my super girl handed them over quite happily.

While I was there I mentioned that a lot of the baby gros had no feet (I cut them off becuase of Talia’s shoes), and the lady mentioned that they also have a clubfoot baby currently, also in shoes. I was too emotional to ask any questions, but I’ll phone them later and find out more details. Maybe there is something we can do for him or her (as I said, I was too emotional to even ask the sex!)

Beach trips and a toddler

March 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

Talia’s school organised an outing to the beach for her class …. and asked for moms to assist. Strangely (and against anything I thought I’d ever do), I volunteered to go along and help. Yes, a few years ago, if you asked me to be involved with a group of screaming kids on a school outing, I would have run screaming for the hills!

And even weirder – I really enjoyed myself!

As for my Squidge, she’s suddenly realised that she can actually stand by herself and walk (a bit). She’s been walking a little bit between people and things, but today she seemed convinced this was the correct mode of movement. I think we can officially say she’s started walking at 13 months. Where’s my baby gone?


March 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

This is Keira singing insy winsy spider with me.

This is her giggling right at the end, when I catch the spider, squash the spider, eat the spider and go YUCK! (our own version)

And now she’s looking for a way she can get into mischief…..


Battle hymn of the tiger mother

March 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

I met a friend at the aquarium the other day. Her toddler run amock, and we walked slowly around with our babies. I remember her being able to play piano really well when we were in school (I met her when we were in standard 8). I asked her how long she used to practice piano as a kid. 2 hours a day apparently. That was after her two hours a day of clarinet, and before she started her homework. She used to go to bed around 12 o’clock. And that was when she was in primary school, high school got more intense. The joys of being a Chinese kid.

I asked whether she’d be bringing her boys up the same way. Hell no, was the response, that’s why she lives here and not in Taiwan. That said, she added, It’s just accepted that that is how you raise your kids. It’s not child abuse, but the opposite, you’re doing it for your kids.

We chatted a bit about Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. When I read the book I had to keep reminding myself that this was Amy Chua’s story, not a manual on parenting. She’s not telling people how to raise their kids, she’s just telling people how she did it. And how it worked perfectly on her eldest and back fired on her youngest.

She does have some valid points – children do need to be pushed / encouraged to practice something. It is with practice that you become good at something, and with sucess in that activity you do gain self esteem. I believe most kids by nature would prefer playing to practicing an instrument or studying. Personally, I needed a lot of pushing as a kid. My mom was too soft on me (she pushed my sister too hard and it backfired on her), my dancing teacher wasn’t. I still look back with admiration at my teacher, although I clearly remember a little girl in her class (not me), turning and storming out of the studio, after she had called Shona a witch!. I have no talent for dancing (an examiner once called Shona in and asked her to get my ears tested, I am tone deaf!), but I excelled at it. And it’s because she pushed really hard, and I practiced really hard. 

What self esteem Amy’s kids gained though through excelling, I wonder if it was eroded at the same time with her attitude to them (she thinks it helps to compare her kids, helps to be-little and demean (the example of the birthday cards) them). Every “western” bone in my body freaks out – I hope I never get to the point where I threaten to burn my girl’s stuffed toys! 

She’s also the typical mother I think – she’s proud of her girls and believes that they are the best, yet knows that she’s being the typical mother and exaggerating a bit (she mentions her daughter being able to do maths and sets, when she knows she’s just drawing two circles over lapping.) It’s debateable whether she pushes them so hard for their benefits or for her own. Is she living vicariously through them? without a doubt. But I do believe she was trying her best to get her girls to perform for their benefit.

Personally, I don’t like her style of parenting, any more than she would like mine. But I don’t think the book is about just that. I think its a story about her growing wiser and understanding her kids a little more. Realising that you have to change your style to suit other people or the situation. Learning all the time. Or maybe I read too much into it.  

It is a controversial book. It’s also a quick and enjoyable read (if you don’t mind feeling uncomfortable and angry in places). And its just one way to bring up your kids. 

(Thanks Keryn from Bloomsbury, Simon & Schuster and Taschen Jonathan Ball Publishers for sending me a copy to read).

what happened to my promise to blog more regularly?

March 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

I just still don’t seem to have time!

So a quick one:

I was trying to get Talia to get dressed this morning. We have a star chart warning system. On request one, if she does as asked, she gets a tick. on warning two nothing happens. On warning three she gets a cross. The more ticks she gets the better the chance of getting a treat at the end of the week.

This morning, after counting to two, I told her I really didn’t want to get to three. She turns around and very seriously says “well mom, stop counting then”.

As for Squidge – she started walking yesterday. round in a circle on the trampoline. And if you stand her and distract her with something, she will stand for as long as it takes before she realises no one is holding her, then she will gently lower herself to the floor. Soo cute!

Also very excited, my new car arrived today (yippeee!), our builders started renovating the house on monday and I received a bread maker for my birthday (also today).

PS will respond to comments as soon as I get a chance (Ebony&ivory you’re welcome to use Talia’s pic, and I think it is a close match to Dora!).


March 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

This may seem like a strange thing to blog …. but Talia can write her own name and I’m so irrationally proud. My 3 1/2 year old … when did she suddenly get so big?

Day 3 of being a stay at home mum….

March 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

The sale of my business officially went through on Tuesday. I’ve sent off the CK2 forms, received the money and now my job is just to be a mom. So far, I’ve had a brunch in the vineyards with friends, 2 playdates, been shopping for new baths (we’re going to be renovating soon), have a fairy tea party …. and I’ve only had a few moments of feeling guilty (shouldn’t I be checking emails? Answering my phone? Paying invoices? Anything??)

Now theres two important things I need to do on the blog, one is a review on some fruit puree products I’ve received, but been waiting until I had time to blog to do justice to them, and the other is a review on a book. Both will come within the next few days… in the meantime I’m just enjoying being with my kids. Is it a co-incidence that Talia has been in a brilliant mood this week?