Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ready to be a Parent?

Well, here is one article from one of the dailies that tells, or rather, narrates, what it is to be a parent. We went through an ordeal of raising a family about 8 years ago, when my wife gave birth to our third daughter, while the eldest was yet a mere 3-year old girl, and our second girl was just a 2-year old baby.

Admittedly, those past 8 years were tough times for us, my wife especially. We can only look back now.

And I am writing this post today, which means WE SURVIVED! WE MADE IT!

Are you ready to be a parent?
It's not quite the same as having kids, you know

Are you ready to be a parent?
RECENTLY, my son has been bugging my wife for a baby sister. And a kitten. I won't go into detail, suffice it to say that he has read Peter Mayle's Where Did I Come From and realised that daddy and mummy can produce one if they put their bodies together. A baby sister, that is - not the kitten.

When my wife told me about it, I had a look that said, "Oh no, not again!" Followed by nervous tick, hyperventilation and subsequent passing out. Just kidding.

It's not that I don't like children, I do. But it takes time to adjust. And I was just getting used to having kids around the house. I still get surprised when I come home and see two kids running around.

I jest, of course. There's no way you can live in my house and not know that there are two other guys living there. For one thing, their playroom always resembles a scene from 2012, complete with carnage.

Screamfree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your CoolAnyway, back to parenthood: Some people take to it like a duck to water, some people just ... duck. It's understandable. Having a child is easy: Impregnate wife, wait 40 weeks or so and, voila, a child is born.

But when you become a parent, life really isn't the same any more. For instance, there's no staying out late or sleeping in (unless you count waking up at 7am as "sleeping in"), there's no swearing whenever the kids are within earshot, and I can't even take a dump without one of them kicking on the toilet door going: "Daddy, what are you doing? What? What? Are you passing motion? What, daddy, what? Tell me!"

Of course, you can prepare for parenthood. Before my first son was born, I actually borrowed books from the library on the subject - okay, my wife borrowed those books - but I realised that those books left out some pertinent information.

Parenting With Love And Logic (Updated and Expanded Edition)Gina Ford, for example recommended having a routine for your child: When to wake, eat, sleep, etc. She didn't say how one should deal with the screaming match when they refused to sleep on cue.

Dr Ferber said let your child cry themselves to sleep. Didn't add "only if you want your house to resemble Guantanamo Bay's prison cells during torture time - and you're the prisoner".

But here's the funny thing: I can tell you that being a parent is one of the best things to happen to me. I'm probably looking at life through rose-coloured glasses, but nothing can describe that melt-your-heart feeling when your child smiles at you - heck, just looks at you - for the first time.

Nothing compares to the joy you feel when you see the proud satisfaction in his face as he completes a shapes puzzle for the first time. And when he hugs you and says: "Daddy, I love you." It's indescribable.

Playful ParentingJust the other day, my son broke a glass bottle on the kitchen floor. Of course, I was grumbling as I cleaned up the mess, but then I looked at my son who, teary-eyed and lips quivering said: "Daddy, I'm sorry, please don't be angry." And all that grumbling just dissipated.

I have never known the likes of this before. It's like every little thing they do is magic and it's a kind of magic that leaves you with the feeling that everything is beautiful in its own way. And what a feeling it is.

It makes you want to have another child immediately. Just kidding, wifey.

The writer is a senior reporter at TODAY.

Grace-Based ParentingTaken from TODAY, Kids - Monday, 26-April-2010

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Monday, April 12, 2010

All that junk you can't dump

The story as told below almost applies to me, and I was simply collecting things, and while doing it, I would always muse to myself that 'this thing' has some use in the future.

Well, almost always, about 1% - 5% really is having some use afterwards. And what better way to be able to throw out what isn't needed than to have a spouse who is always on the lookout for 'keeping and throwing' things?

We have moved from a 3-room to a 5-room flat, and I'm always thinking when she goes on to her 'spring-cleaning' spree, we already have 'some space' to spare, so what's all the fuss now?

Turned out that our 'extra space' is really some extra space, and is not intended to be a storage for junk. So now, I'm also on the lookout now and then, so I don't 'contribute' to the trash build up.

Not to say that I don't have any 'collectibles' in the store room, but it is now down to minimum. Anytime you want to go in the storage, you can. And what you would find are usable and functional items.

I remember what one manager told about last time. A spare can of paint, if you want to store, you mark with a date. Put in a 'date of expiry'. The next time you visit the storage, check it out. If still not used by that time, then, though painful from the idea of 'separation and wastage', as is usually the internal battle that ensues in the mind, get on with it.

The satisfaction and freedom from doing so will have more beneficial effects later on.

For the news article, read the story below.

Feel free to leave a comment.

TODAYonline | Health | All that junk you can't dump

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