Mar 31 2015
It’s been a busy period for me lately, with work. Not crazy busy but nicely busy, where I get little blocks of work time during the day, and a longer, more peaceful stretch after the kids sleep. I think I like my life best when it’s all mixed up; I wake up to an editing assignment, run off to a playdate with the neighbours, have lunch with Z, work again if my mom-in-law comes by in the afternoon, and take a breather on the hour-long bus rides to pick Layla up after her gym practices. I’ll write more about work in another post, as well as share an upcoming project that opens to the public next week!
Things with Z are good. This is the no-expectations stage, where Z’s only responsibility involves taking his Lego City cars apart and putting them together again. He can count to 10 because of hide and seek, but things get a little messy after that. I started reading with him earlier than with Layla, and his current favourite titles are Karen Katz’s The Colors Of Us, and this Chinese story that borrows heavily from Eric Carle’s Hungry Caterpillar. He’s better at mimicking sounds (he may have an easier start with Chinese) and repeating long words although he doesn’t talk like a grown up, unlike how his sister was at this age. But he asks A LOT of questions and is always trying to figure out ways to get what he wants, and he usually succeeds.
Layla’s on the right track in school–she did well for her first round of tests despite all the gym training. I’ve given her some high targets to meet this year, in exchange for a reward. Her science test fell below the targeted score so we didn’t buy her anything this time but we did give her lots of praise for her other grades. Alf isn’t keen on rewards as he feels it impedes learning, and I’m thinking of a different way to motivate her for the upcoming exams. At home, I have to confess that it’s challenging to parent a child who will soon be considered a preteen. The difference between a younger kid and an older one: A 3-year-old will give you a hug for no good reason at all, but a 9-year-old will demand one to soothe her own hurt feelings, anger, and resentment in an already tense atmosphere. It’s more complicated, emotionally, and I’m not doing enough to be closer to Layla, but since some time ago, I’ve started to follow this site called Aha! Parenting to help myself in setting some new goals and directions for reconnecting with her. As a first step, I’ve rescheduled one of her gym training sessions to be on a Saturday morning, so she can spend two weekday afternoons at home instead of just one. And I think that’s about all I should reveal, without compromising her privacy too much.
The kids’ tops in this post are sponsored by Parisian online clothing store Melijoe.com, which now ships to Singapore. Melijoe was started by a mom of 5 (!), who wanted to create a store that would stock international designer brands along with practical and everyday casual styles. You can read her story here. I really enjoyed browsing their style guides for kids, and that’s a good place to start when shopping on the site, unless you already have a specific idea of what you’re looking for or want to focus on bargain buys.
As I’ve mentioned in some of my posts before, my mom buys almost all of Layla’s clothes and we’ve been dressing Z in mostly hand-me-downs. But as they get older and move away from kiddy designs, I can see us doing some of our shopping on stores like Melijoe, if our budget allows for it.
Layla is dressed in a grey fleece dress from Troizenfants; this is something I would’ve chosen for myself! (Half the sizes are currently sold out so I’m glad Layla’s size was still available.) Z, who has a mind of his own when it comes to clothes–as with everything else–refuses to wear anything out of the ordinary right now. No long sleeves, no traditional outfits, no polo shirts. He’s a t-shirt guy through and through, so I wanted to pick out something he’d definitely get excited over and this Stella McCartney Kids superhero tee did the trick.