Monday, October 30, 2006

Talent Show Update

First of all, I must thank Dr. John for selecting my previous post on Talent Show as his "Today's Link". And thank you to all that visited my site from his link and left me precious comments.

Just to update on what's been going on with this talent show thingy. I thought it would be nice for my girl to do a storytelling bit based on the book DK Share-a-Story: The Caterpillar That Roared." Afterall, it was one of her favorite books when she was younger. In the book are suggestions on extra activities that the child can do. So we chose a craft where we cut out circles, colored and pasted decorations on them and then connected the circles to form a caterpillar (sorry, forgot to take a pix). My girl was to hold that crafted caterpillar as she told her story. Even got her little brother to act out the accompanying characters.

Well, what can I say? It would have been great if... she had really been interested in performing. It was fun to play around at home. They laughed and did funny things as we tried to get the story together. But I guess, to remember scripts was far from FUN. We ended up with a very stressed out Mommy and 2 unhappy children. In the end Daddy stepped in with the golden question "Karina, do you really want to do this for the talent show?" The answer was a "NO". So, that was the end of my attempt at getting her to do storytelling. My little girl was assured that it was ok if she didn't want to do anything.

Anyway, they had a rehearsal on Saturday and I took my girl because she said they were going to do a group pom-pom dance. As we walked in the hall, her teacher takes her aside and tries to encourage and persuade her to do something. I know she meant well but I think her persuasion just made my little girl feel bad. In the end my girl just succumbed and said she would like to sing "Written in Your Heart", a song from Barbie As The Princess and the Pauper. So poor Mommy, just to make her DD happy, went tinkling on the piano to see if she could play up the tune.

And oh, by the way, she ended up NOT being involved in the pom-pom dance.
So, she was at that rehearsal doing nothing. I, on the other hand, took some time out to chit-chat with some of the other ladies upstairs (after tinkling on the piano). Two hours later, DD finally comes up with a tired face and says "I'm tired at looking at people." So we decided to go home.

Now, did she REALLY want to sing that song? I don't think so. How do I know? Because I got the lyrics for her and asked her to practice BUT it was done half heartedly. In the end, the golden question again, "Karina, do you want to do this for the talent show?" She was like yes, no, yes, no and in the end, NO! So it was back to telling her, "it is ok if you don't want to participate." And she was happy with that. I think she had agreed to sing that song so her teachers would be happy.

Sigh! The teachers of course still hope my DD will do something at the talent show. But we've decided we're not going. Not because we don't want to support them but because DD still remembers the "I'm-tired-at-looking-at-people" part. She is happy with the decision not to go. I just hope the teachers GET IT that she is ok with NOT participating. I know they don't want her to feel left out and want to encourage her. I just wish they would accept and understand that she is perfectly happy NOT performing.

The way I see it, she enjoys singing, telling stories and acting out dramas. But she does it for fun at home, in the form of play. Having to practice such things just takes the fun out of it. So the best thing to do is to let her have her fun. There will be other talent shows in the future and who is to say she won't decide to take part next time right?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Talent Show

My church is having a talent show on the 4th November for the kids in primary. There aren't many kids in our branch so every child will have to do something, including my girl.

Here is my headache: WHAT SHOULD MY GIRL DO?

It's not that she hasn't any talents. She has plenty! So, what shall we do?

  • Sing? But what song? I think singing nursery rhymes at 5 years old is not considered a talent anymore. Maybe for my 3 year old. Church hymns? She is already doing that for their primary presentation scheduled another day. I was thinking maybe a song from the show "Land Before Time" Really cute songs and they've been singing it somewhat. But have to find lyrics and the music accompaniment. Sigh!
  • Dance? Need a choreographer. Can't just put on a song and have her do wild and weird movements. This time, lack of talent is on the part of the mother. Hehehe.
  • Story telling? She can't decide what story to tell. This is probably the best thing for her to do. Mom just needs to put some effort to do the coaching.
You know what I hate most about these concert type talent shows? It doesn't really showcase a child's talent. It's quite limiting in the sense that children have to do something they can perform on stage. How do you display:
  • talent for sports
  • talent for entertaining your baby brother/sister
  • talent for playing computer games
  • talent for math, legos or puzzle games
  • talent for fixing things
  • talent for making others feel good when they are down
  • talent for writing
  • talent for debating
  • talent for cooking
  • talent for optimism
  • talent for diligence
  • talent for courage
  • talent for solving mysteries
  • talent for gardening
  • talent for initiative
  • talent for helping others
  • talent for languages
  • etc....
Everybody has a talent, so I don't think it's fair to limit a talent show to that which just involves entertainment. BUT I guess they can't find a better name for the event. So I guess entertain we must. I just wish they could would call the show something else because the REAL talent show is being displayed in the lives of the children everyday.

Happy Deepavali and Selamat Hari Raya

I know, I know, I'm a little late with my greetings. But everyone is still in the holiday mood, so I'm still not too late.

Wishing all the Hindus and Malays a great time with family and friends. Eat moderate and drive safe. If you have left over cookies and goodies, my home is more then willing to accept them. Hahahah.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Proper Phone Manners

My son has shown growing eagerness in answering phone calls. Unfortunately I hadn't "trained" him in proper phone manners yet. So yesterday, I took 2 used toilet paper rolls and recycled them into make believe phones. There we were, the two of us just lying on the bed playing telephone.

Mom: Ok, when the phone rings, the first thing you say is hello. Here we go, riiingg, riiiinng.
D: Hello. What you doing?
Mom: No, no. You say, who do you want to talk to?

Mom: Ring, ring
D: Hello. What you want to talk to?
Mom: Noooo. It's WHO do you want to talk to?
D: Who you want to talk to.
Mom: Who DO you want to talk to.
D: Who do you want to talk to.
Mom: Good. Let's try again.

Mom: Ring, ring
D: Hello. What you want to talk to?
Mom: Noooooo. Who do you want to talk to.
D: Who do you want to talk to?
Mom: Can I talk to your mommy please?
D: Yes......
Mom: Ok, now you say 'please hang on' and then pass the phone to me.
D: Please hang on. Nah mommy (passing the toilet roll to me).
Mom: Ok, let's practice again.

Mom: Ring, ring.
D: Hello. What you want to talk to?
Mom: Noooo. WHO. It's WHO do you want to talk to.
D: Oh, who do you want to talk to?
Mom: Can I please speak with your jie-jie?
D: No cannot.
Mom: Why cannot?
D: Because she is a monster.
Mom: (rolling eyes). Ok, can I speak with your mommy?
D: Yes, please hang on.

Sigh! I think we need a few more practices. is a place for parents. Tons of parenting advice by parents. Good place to make friends too. I’m a parent, so hey, it was a good place for me to be. So I signed up (it’s free!) and they give you your own family page where you can blog and make friends. Check me out at
Some of the things you can do at

  • If you are the sharing kind, you can write up your words of wisdom and have people view and vote for you. Heh, heh, heh… lets see if your advice is worth anything. Just kidding.
  • Find advice
  • Ask questions
  • Rate articles
  • Write comments. Let your voice be heard. Plus I hear this is one of the best ways to make friends.

There’s lots of other stuff going on there too. I’m a newbie so haven’t yet figured everything out. Anyway, just thought it’s something worth checking out.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Uneducated Mosquitoes

My son just had his bath but still had mosquitoes biting him. This is his logic:

DS: Mommy, you know why the mosquitoes are biting me?
Mommy: Why?
DS: Because they THINK I am dirty but I am clean.
Mommy: Yeah, dumb mosquitoes. Don't know how to tell the difference between clean and dirty.
DS: Yes, I must give them work to do. (Meaning they have to study). They have to circle which one is dirty and which one is clean. When they get it right, I will give them a sticker. (The work my son does usually involves circling the correct answer. He gets stickers when the work is completed).
Mommy: So you are going to be their teacher.
DS: Yes, they musn't play.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Time for Playdoh

Almost forgot about this wonderful stuff called playdoh. Made some 2 days ago and the kids are still playing with it. Used to buy the stuff but now I just make my own. Saves me the heartache of seeing my money get thrown in the dustbin because you know how kids are... they don't keep in properly and it hardens up, little bits and pieces that need to be swept up which eventually diminishes the quantity of the playdoh, getting all the colors mixed up in one colorful ball etc.... Basically seeing your playdoh obey the law of disintegration. Make your own and you don't have to worry about their handling and abuse.
They are several recipes out there on homemade playdoh. This time round I tried this one:

1 cup cold water
1 cup salt
2 tsp vegetable oil
3 cups flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
food coloring

This is a non-cook playdoh recipe. I've never tried the ones that need cooking but I read that it's suppose to last longer and probably better texture. Anyway, my kids are not complaining. As long as they have something to squeeze, pinch, roll, cut, and mold, they are happy.

Did you know that playdoh helps your children have better handwriting? Yes, it builds the hand muscles and it is used in occupational therapies and special education programs. Also develops fine motor skills that help children with buttons and zippers.

I have a teacher friend who is currently teaching a boy with a learning disability. Part of his therapy is to squeeze a "stress ball". Its like a balloon filled with flour and you can make that yourself too. The point was to build up the strength in his hands. I thought it was funny that the parents were spending all this money to help their child and the remedy was to PLAY more. Maybe all this could have been avoided in the first place if he had been encouraged to play more and study less. So I guess this is further evidence that play has it's benefits. It's like little lion cubs rough tumbling with each other. Looks like fun but that is how they learn to hunt and pounce on their prey in the future. So it is with our children, playing with stuff like playdoh helps develop certain skills.
So don't you think it's an interesting concept? Children have to learn to play so they can play to learn !!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More Mind Boggling Questions

Today I was reading a children's rhyme called The House That Jack Built. You know how it goes:

This is the house that Jack built.
This is the malt that lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the rat that ate the malt that lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the cat that chased the rat that lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the dog that worried the cat, that chased the rat, that ate the malt, that lay in the house that Jack built.
etc... etc... etc....

Well, at the end of it all, my daughter looks up at me and asks "Who's Jack?"

Monday, October 09, 2006

Smarty Pants

Kids just have the knack of asking questions that you can't answer or making comments that very clearly says "Mom, I'm no fool ok?"

Here are two recent conversations to amuse you:

Grandma: Do you know what is the king of fruits?
K: No.
Grandma: It's the durian.
K: So, what's the queen of fruits?
Grandma: Errr... there's no queen of fruits.
K: I think it's grapes!
(Just because she is eating grapes at that moment and she truly loves grapes.)

Mom: Please stop kicking your shirt around. If you do that, your shirt will not like you anymore.
D: The shirt can't talk!
Mom: Yes, I know what it says.
D: Where is the face huh? The shirt don't have face!
Mom: Whether can talk or cannot talk you shouldn't treat your things like that.
(Sigh! It's tough when your lies don't work anymore and you have to think up of ways to save yourself).

Thursday, October 05, 2006

In The News: 300pc Rise In Children With Mental Problems

This was an article highlighted in the New Straits Times yesterday. The statistic refers to Malaysian children. What is your reaction to such a headline?
As for me, I feel pretty sad for all these kids having to deal with such problems at such a young age. Adults always think we have it tough, we forget that kids sometimes have it tougher. Yes, children do have stress in their lives too. It's not all just fun and play for them. According to the article, the main sources of stress for these problem children were:
  • Stress at school - pressure from parents to perform and pressure to live up to parent's expectations, also stress from teachers that bully.
  • Stress at home - parents fighting at home
I'm sure they are many other stressors that were not mentioned. It is scary to think that as parents, we may be the ones driving our children nuts. I know when I was a child myself, my priority was not to be a genius. I just wanted to have many friends, be well liked, engage in activities that was of interest and to do reasonably well in school. I'm sure many of you were like that too. And yet, as we step into parenthood, we desire our children to be tops in everything. We put on the pressure because we have good intentions but sadly our actions may lead to terrible consequences. This article serves as a good warning to me. It reminds me:
  • to be reasonable in my expectations
  • that a child's happiness is more important than a child's academic achievement
  • teach my children to love life and not just to endure it
  • the home should be a place of refuge and not a place of stress
  • to have a solid relationship with my children through open communication that they may have a place to confide their fears and concerns
  • that sometimes it is better to turn away from worldly trends
One thing good about the report is it shows that more and more parents recognize that their children have a problem and are seeking help instead of brushing it under the carpet. I just pray that for many of us, we don't reach that stage before taking action.