More Random Thoughts

Again, too lazy to construct my thoughts into a single, coherent piece. You’ll just have to deal with it until I can get my head out of my ass. (Or, alternately, when Glow Worm decides to go to bed earlier than 10:40pm. FFS, child. WHERE IS YOUR EXTRA BATTERY PACK? And can you hand that sucker over?)

1) Started Cookie Monster on his Singapore Math workbook today and he breezed through 53 pages out of 157. I would be more excited and proud of him if it weren’t super easy stuff (the book is for the first half of Kindergarten and covers easy things like the numbers 1-10). However, 53 pages really is a lot – but he wanted to do them.

He got so bored practicing writing number 1-5 that he started to write them in Chinese characters. I think that has me the most excited.

2) Speaking of Cookie Monster, I am starting to sense that some of the hardest things for him will be to actually follow directions in the workbook versus doing whatever he wants. I find myself telling him that if the instructions tell him to circle something and he colors it, he’s doing it wrong.

Is that too harsh? I mean, on the one hand, it seems somewhat draconian to force a kid to circle instead of color, but part of life is learning how to follow directions, right?

I compromised and let him circle stuff and color the circle in.

3) Also, I really need to teach Cookie Monster the calendar. He is confusing the crap out of me with him confusing his actual birthday with how many months UNTIL his birthday. Part of it is because the months in Chinese are literally, “1 month, 2 month, 3 month, 4 month” and the other part is because he isn’t using proper grammar so I have no idea whether he is talking about the actual month or if he’s talking about the quantity of months.

Was that too convoluted? I swear it makes sense when it’s happening. (Or rather, it doesn’t make sense, but I understand why it doesn’t.)

4) I’m getting excited about homeschooling Cookie Monster. Especially since it seems like he really takes to doing workbooks and learning new things. Hopefully, this excitement for learning keeps up and I don’t end up crushing his happy little heart.

5) I’ve also outsourced a lot of Cookie Monster’s education. I have signed him up for two Chinese classes, a Math Squared class that meets twice a week, Kung Fu, piano, art, and swimming. However, because most of these classes accommodate traditionally educated students, the classes take up a lot of evenings. Since my mother usually comes over in the evenings, I’m sad that my kids will miss out on key Ah-Ma time. (Especially Glow Worm since he’s the youngest and has the least amount of time with her.)

We’ll figure it out, but I always freak out a little bit when I see the amount of time with my mom dwindle. I immediately think that my mom will no longer spend any time with the kids and they’ll forget her and be robbed of her presence.

I know I’m being ridiculous and over the years, because of the many times my mom has had extended absences due to travel, schedules, or illness, I know things are not really that dire and that the kids still get plenty of time with her.

However, try explaining that to my panicky brain.

6) Glow Worm is finally talking more. Unfortunately, most of what he says is, “No” (with a finger wag). And if he gets annoyed with having to say, “No” too often, he switches it up to, “You, Go!” (with accompanying finger pointing). It is pretty hilarious and still adorable. Not so much at 10:40pm when he’s supposed to be sleeping.

7) Speaking of sleeping (or the lack thereof), Glow Worm is crazy. WTH, kid? Go to sleep already. I don’t understand how this kid just doesn’t sleep. I used to judge my friend, Not Another DB MBA, for letting her son (also the youngest of three) stay up until 11pm or whatever and how he wouldn’t nap and just be insane with sleep.

I apologize, Not Another DB MBA. I was wrong. So wrong. And as you can see, karma has bitten me in the ass.

8) And what of Gamera? Well, a few weeks ago, I discovered she had a year-long con going on with one of her teachers. One afternoon, her teacher, GLS, excitedly exclaimed to me that Gamera finally learned how to use scissors and was cutting out stars and how this was wonderful because Gamera didn’t know how to use scissors all year and even held them incorrectly.

I just stared at GLS and said, “Gamera already knows how to use scissors. She uses them rather well and cuts things at home and at her other preschool all the time.”

“What?” exclaimed GLS. “I knew she must have known in order to improve so much!”

When I related the story to Gamera’s other preschool teachers, they told me she tries to pull that same trick on them as well. But they make her do it anyway and practice.

I’m so screwed.

9) Although, my therapist tells me not to worry because children are supposed to manipulate people to get what they want. That’s how they get people to do things. Our job as parents is to teach them appropriate ways to get what they want. (Like asking for things. Or explaining how they feel.) Dr. T also suggested that when I think Gamera is being manipulative, to try and think why she may be doing so.

In regards to the scissors incident, perhaps Gamera wanted extra attention. Maybe she was lazy. Or maybe she didn’t want to use scissors. So many possibilities.

10) I tried to keep this in mind when two weeks ago, Gamera kept refusing to participate in kung fu class. She would throw a tantrum and just stand stock still like a statue while her classmates did warmups around her immobile body. Then, when the kids started in on the forms, she would allow herself to be dragged in to participate. After three or four of these occurrences in a row, I decided to use my brain and ask her why she wasn’t participating.

I forget exactly what she said, but I eventually figured out that she was throwing the tantrums on purpose in order to get out of doing the warm ups because they were hard and they made her tired. I told the Head Sifu and he gave her a stern talking to about practicing and she’s been fine ever since.

Did I mention that I’m so screwed?

11) This week was the first time (well, first time since last summer in Taipei) that Gamera has been in a class without Cookie Monster and she was very upset and would start to cry every time I tried to prepare her for this inevitability. Well, when I dropped her off at camp yesterday, she was so happy to see her teachers and friends that she forgot all about how sad she was and went off without a hitch.

The super cute thing is that as soon as she gets into the van after school, Cookie Monster will quiz her about her school day. And since he knows EVERYTHING about how class works, he is able to get way more information out of her than I ever could. Of course, the first thing he asks her about is what they had for snacks (and what she chose and how much of it she ate). He quizzes her on what crafts she made, what books, who had what role, who the new people were, and what toys she played with.

It’s adorable. Also, creepy. But mostly adorable.

12) Ok. It is really late and Hapa Papa is on “vacation” in NYC and I’m really screwing myself over for tomorrow morning. I’m trying to prepare the kids for no screen time before breakfast/school (because truthfully, I don’t care that the American Pediatric Association warns us not to exceed two hours of screen time a day – sometimes, we hit that number before breakfast – STOP JUDGING ME) and lack of sleep really doesn’t help!

13) Although, related to this is that I really started to feel exceedingly guilty about the kids’ excessive screen time so I made (and of course, cut and laminated, too) eight 15 minute “coins” for the kids to cash in throughout the day for screen time of any sort. They each get eight and if they are done by breakfast (although again, trying to avoid this), then they are done for the rest of the day.

It took a few days for them to get used to it, but now they are pretty good about rationing. Cookie Monster is especially aware of how many minutes he has left and when he realized the minutes didn’t rollover to the next day, has been militant in using up all his minutes by the end of the day. He is also getting really good at controlling his iPad time in order to get more Halo time. I don’t know whether or not to be happy or unhappy about this development.

I’ve also started to take away minutes when they’re being punks. Again, this works much better on Cookie Monster.

Kids, let this be a lesson to you. Don’t allow your parents to know what you love. All you’ve given them is leverage.

Ok. For reals now. I’m going to sleep. (No guarantees on this being the last post with disparate thoughts. This type of thing may continue for some time. Possibly because I’m tired. And exceedingly lazy.)

Thanks for reading and Have a Wednesday!