24 August 2010

Garden Lust

I wish I had a garden to breathe in.

To run and play.

To have a pet.

Or two.

To explore.

I'm a city girl but urbanization and overpopulation suck.

All pictures were taken at Paradizoo in Tagaytay.

20 August 2010


I'm always talking about Explorations so I thought you might like to see what it looks like.

Introducing Sex

Talking sex to my earthlings is something I don't exactly looked forward to.  It is something so complex even to adults, what more to a young child.  But it is also something so natural and important that they should know about it sooner rather than later.  I want to be truthful and accurate but not quite sure how to go about the technicalities.  Then a few weeks ago I read this really good post Talking to Your Kids About Sex over at Gangcentral that seemed to be written just for me.  I was nodding and agreeing from beginning to end.

We've always called a penis a penis and a vagina a vagina.  That is my sex education 101.  I get so annoyed when one of them says its a pututuy and they start to giggle.  I can tell that they think it is something naughty.  Each time I correct them and say that pututuy is not a real word, it is just a made up word.  Then I get the "But my friend said we shouldn't say penis."  This makes me feel like giving this friend a sex talk myself but refrain and ask him "Would you like me to call you Juan instead of Gael?""No! That's not my name." he whines.  Luckily, I get the answer I wanted so I finish off  by stressing how important it is to call things by their correct names.  He hasn't used pututuy ever since.  At least not to me.  Knock on wood. 

We haven't had the need to go too far in the sex talk department but Gael is slowly getting more and more inquisitive.  They both were more than satisfied to know that they came from my tummy.  Period.  That was all they needed to know and they love to look at pictures of my huge belly with them in it.  That was enough until a month or so ago Gael asks me how he came out of the tummy.    "I had to push you out." I tell him.  "Did I come out of your mouth?" he asks.  "Actually, you came out of my vagina." I reply nervous as hell but smiling at him on the outside.  This is the ONE time I wish I had a c-section.  He bursts out with uncontrollable laughter.  I laugh with him and that was the end of that conversation.

A couple of days later he is playing with his cousins.  Gael tells them something about the toy or game they are playing then he adds "And babies come out of the vagina."  Then they continue playing as though they were thinking well of course, babies come out of vaginas.  Paco tells me I will be the most unpopular mom on the block.  So what else is new?

Sex is beautiful and amazing and that's how I want them to see it.  Not dirty or something that shouldn't be talked about.  How they see sex now will influence them as adolescents, teenagers and adults.  So it is important to me to make a good impression now.

14 August 2010

Traditional & Progressive Schools

I cannot understand why any parent would send their kids to a school where they would be 45 in a class and 5 or more classes per level when there are so many other school choices.  That is the exact sort of school I went to (I think we were 400+ in my batch) and it wasn't a very good learning environment.  It was great for making friends and planning for the weekend but we didn't have inspiring teachers or any prodigious developmental moments.  I know many people feel the same way.

When I was looking a school for my earthlings I didn't realize this traditional vs. progressive school was such a hot topic.  I didn't even know what a progressive school was.  What I did know was that there many smaller schools with exceptionally good educators and their goal was to help kids learn.  Unlike the big La Salle and Ateneo types that teach kids to submit their homework no matter who does it, memorize for the multitude of quizzes and tests and to pass to the next level.  It is inevitable, 40+ kids with one teacher is ridiculous.  There is no way that teacher, no matter how exceptional he or she is, can get through to all these kids or give them the attention they need.

Progressive schools are more expensive though so I see why a parent would think twice or thrice about it.  However if the budget permits it, then why not a progressive school?  I just don't get why anyone would choose the other option.  I don't get why parents would scrimp on their kids education.  Of all things to cut back on, your kid's education shouldn't be one of them.  Be cheap when you eat out, when you buy bags, when you travel, when you upgrade your gadgets.  But being frugal on your child's education is just wrong.

And please don't tell me that the dad want them to go to their Alma mater.  That just makes me want to puke.  You think that's good enough a reason?    

Explorations is hosting a discussion forum The Inside Scoop on Traditional & Progressive Setting.  It is a good venue to learn more about both school settings from parents and kids from both progressive and traditional schools.  They will have families of kids that go to Keys, Beacon, La Salle Greenhills, Ateneo and more.  I went to the one last yer and it is not at all biased, in fact it is more informative.  You'll get the advantages and disadvantages of both traditional and progressive schools.  The forum is on Saturday, August 21 from 9:00-11:00 am.  It is free for Explorations parents and guests will be charged a P350 fee per person.

We all went to traditional schools and didn't turn out that bad.  But I don't want my kids to be not bad, I want them to the best they can.  If they can do better than I did, then why not?

12 August 2010

Big Little Boy

Gael is such a big kid I tend to forget how young he is.  No, I don't forget his age like a lola who can never remember whether you are in high school or college or graduated or is that you or your sister.  Of course I know exactly how old he is!  I was the one who pushed him out of me, that is one morning my hips and I will never forget.

The thing about Gael is that he is so tall, he looks more 6 or 7 than almost 5.  He is 115 cm. tall which is close to being a 4 footer.  I always get asked what vitamins he takes by strangers at the pediatrician's waiting room or at school.  When I tell them he never has taken any vitamin other than vitamin C when he has a cold, they look at me with that LIAR! look in their eyes.  Aside from the obvious physical aspects he is also a very independent big little boy.  He slept alone in his room at 6 months, started feeding himself at 18 months, dressed himself at 2 years and has been able to play or be alone since he was born.  He has always been the sort of kid that I could take with me to any restaurant, party or store.  And it's not because he was so well behaved, he was one with crazy tantrums (still is!).  I'm not exactly sure what it is but there is something about him that is so cultivated.

I didn't realize what a big boy he was until the little devil earthling I call Aiden became a toddler.  At three, Aiden still calls himself a little baby, wants to be fed, begs to be carried, never wants to be alone yet doesn't want to play with other kids.  When Gael was three we'd take the metro and bus everywhere, he rode a bike with training wheels and he'd pick out and put on his own clothes.  Yin and yang is the best description. 

Today at Gael's 5 and up Taekwondo class I was sweetly reminded of how little this almost 5-year-old is.  Being one of the three little runts in the class, he is the one that fumbles and doesn't quite get the moves right.  He looks at the bigger kids and corrects his position, he doesn't get to do the complicated stuff and he doesn't get the attention of the big kids.  Despite being the class runt he has the biggest smile on his face from beginning to end.  In fact he thinks its the coolest thing to be with these big kids in the big school he is going to next year.

Looking at him being towered over by other kids today made me swoon.  Then as though he knew I was falling in love with him all over again, he turned to me, raised his eyebrows and gave me a big grin. 

09 August 2010

This Is What Happens When Eric Banes Retires

I feel horrible.  Aiden had a cavity.  To make things worse I didn't even notice it, my mom did yesterday.  God knows how long it's been there but from the look of things pretty damn long.  It isn't a little dark spot on the tiny tooth.  It's on one of his molars, it's brown and it's pretty much all over it.  How in the world could I NOT have noticed it sooner?  It's not like he doesn't shout enough for me to have full view of his teeth.  I know I'm a slacker mom but this is horrible even by my standards.  I think I should put myself in the corner for 36 minutes. 

Now to make me look even crappier, I know exactly why he has one.  It isn't from candy and chocolate, which he does eat.  It isn't from not brushing his teeth,  I make sure he does at least twice a day.  It is from drinking milk from a bottle to sleep.  Yes, I still let him drink from bottle at 3 and I don't care what anyone else has to say.  Hold on, let me correct that.  I didn't care what anyone else thought until the dentist puts me in the naughty corner for 36 minutes.

When he is asleep I do take the bottle and put it on his bedside table but he always manages to get it at some point in the middle of the night.  Why don't I take the bottle to the kitchen when he falls asleep?  Well, of course I thought of that!  But I've been selfishly wanting to sleep soundly and through the night.

Oh the shame!  Maybe I should be grounded as well.

I was never terrified of the dentist until now.  Aiden is not very brave when it comes to ... many things.  At his first visit a few months ago he sat on my lap and only let the dentist look at his front teeth with a firm 'cheese' and clenched teeth.  I dread even the thought of his molar being drilled and filled.  You think they'll sedate him first?  Maybe they could sedate me while they're at it.

I don't remember when I first had a cavity but it wasn't as early as 3.  How old are kids when they usually get cavities anyway?

Oh man, if only Eric Banes were here.

08 August 2010

04 August 2010

Bitchy Mama Guilt

At Gael's football class there are these two annoying yayas (nannies) that seem to think they are at a party and not at a 3-6 year old activity.  One of them plays music from her phone.  Not too loud but loud enough for her to annoy the hell out of me.  As if that weren't enough, she is constantly yakking with her seatmates.  Where do you live?  Is your kid good?  Are you happy with your employer?  Just like when you're watching a movie that has so much dialogue you really have to concentrate but there are these two women behind you backstabbing a friend of theirs and you can't concentrate, end up not getting the scene at all and it ruins the entire movie for you.

Shut the fuck up!!!!  I'm watching the drills and the game.  I yelled at her in my imagination.  Don't tell me, I know what you're thinking, what a wus.  Yup, mothering does the strangest things to you like be nice and considerate.  Where's the fun in that? 

For weeks I've purposely seated myself a good distance from her and I've been able to avoid a nasty confrontation.  I cheer with extreme passion and volume, hoping to ruin their conversations.  As my luck would have it, it rained last Monday and the class was moved to the covered court where the roof thoughtfully bounced yaya's incessant phone music waves right into my ears.  I am convinced this has got to be some test from the Gods and I have a feeling I will only pass if I keep my cool. 

I'm trying my best to behave, be a good example to Gael and not pick a fight.  But it's so damn hard.  Come on, she's certainly is asking for it.  Well, the truth is I already yelled at a cop (in my defense, there was no violation and he was looking for a bribe so he did deserve it) in front of Gael just a few days ago and he decided to tell all his friends, classmates and teachers.  Thanks, buddy.

So I'm left with no choice but to bite my tongue, count to 10,000 and be a figging role model for my earthling.