Saturday, 10 January 2009

A survival kit

Recently, I've been trying to manage my terrible-two son (luckily there is only one of them, can't imagine his childminder having TWO). And today, I've learn 2 important lesson.

LESSON 1 : getting involved
It was an early start on Saturday. I was trying to vacuum the bedroom and my son won't get out of the way. Needless to say, he was busy playing with his train. He saw me there, and since I told him to move and he doesn't even give me a look, I carried him to somewhere else where he can play without disturbing me.
And then he give a bit of fuss, and decided to run around in the bedroom. I mean... there is about 3 other room with plenty of space and toys, why would he bother me so much as if he did it on purpose! Then my wise husband called him.

"Here Josiah, lets help mummy to clean the room" and give him a spare hover head.

I can see a glimpse of joy in his little eye as his dad trusted him to help with the chores. Soon, he was helping me (or pretend to help me) with vacuuming the bedroom.

Then we went to Sainsbury (grocery store). My son is NO way wanted to go down and walk. He wanted me to carry him. But my arm is getting sore carrying 15kg that keep on squiggling non-stop. Then I told him. "Why don't you help to push the cart?" and let him push it along and drive it through the aisle. Yes, we just managed to knock 2 birds with 1 stone!

Soon, both of us has learn the tricks and and let my son took the things we wanted to buy from the shelf to the cart. And my son busy loading our shopping cart with vegetables and fruits. Okay I am a bit worried that some will turn up pretty squishy because my son drop it instead of place it in the shopping cart. But the idea is, children love to be trusted and get involved with whatever we do, which unfortunately me and my husband never get to know this parenting skill. Apparently, letting them do a bit of *work can help to keep them out of mischief (when I said *work, I didn't mean "child labour" kind of thing, ok?)

LESSON 2 : learn it now than later (or probably never)
In eastern culture (read as : my family), I didn't know how to properly wash dishes until I am 18 yo (read : without spending a gallon of water and a bottle of soap, and be as time efficient as possible). "Man, that's pretty late!" Yes, it is. The truth is, many middle class family like mine had nanny (or maid) at home. And since they are paid to do dishes, laundry, ironing, cooking and cleaning the house, there is no need for me to do any of those!

My granny told me during her time, parents are normally passing skills to their children. That's include baking cake, carpentry, handy man, basically anything... I felt this habit has decrease much in our society today. Unfortunately, I have to learn it the hard way. When I was 18, my parents send me to a university in Singapore for my bachelor degree. Having no relatives and such, I'd experienced my first "live-away-from-home" syndrome. It's not just the home sick or culture shock that makes it bad. I had no clue how to cook myself a decent food, I had no clue how to open savings in bank (my dad always did it) and the worst is I had no experience how to use washing machine which they said is the simplest thing!

Years went by, and soon I was to get married. I was so fortunate to have a missionary friend like Pastor & Mrs Moore otherwise all I can do for my husband is to boil eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When I came to her, I had no idea how to use an oven, and now I can cook bake rice with it. I used to wash dishes with 1 gallon of water (wash everything on the tap), and she taught me to leave all the dirty dishes in hot soapy water for 15 mins to wash all the oil and fat away. She even told me how to disinfect loo without buying expensive chemical, just use vinegar. (Now, I still don't know how to iron properly, probably sis. Tammy can teach me)

If I recollect those memory, I don't think I wanted my son to learn it the hard way like I did. So, I will teach him a survival kit now. I hope he'll be a perfect man by 18!


Liss said...

It can be fun to pass on skills and by the sounds of it you son seems keen on helping you.
My kids love making home made pizzas using muffins or pitta bread as the base. They are a simple and fun to make.

~ Jade ~ said...

Haha, this post reminds me of one lazy Sunday afternoon when my mum ask if I know how to cook rice. I was 7 years of age then. "Yes, I know" feeling all so grown up already =P I went on to do what I had to do and place the washed pot of uncooked rice into the rice cooker. Feeling so pleased with myself, I told mum that we will have the rice I cooked for dinner. =) My Dad gave a smile and went into the kitchen to take a look. He called out to my mum and me and immediately asked me "Howcome there is no water but only the uncooked rice in the cooker?" I proudly answered "Rice is dry, so no need water cos with water we will have porridge" =P Thinking back...silly billy me!

AG said...

well, lesson 1, very true. That's what we do in sunday school. They loveeee it when we ask for their help, and well, it helps us to avoid the fuss along the way *lol*

Gw jadi inget, gila, anak sepupu gw, dia pilek, dan tinggal teriak "mbakkk... tissue!"
padahal tuh tissue ada sekitar 1 meter dari dia. Buang tissue pun, ga mau buang sendiri."Mbakkk,buang!" gila ga? gw try my best ngedidik anak2 sekolah minggu gw, dengan cara didik mereka lebih mandiri, and then praise them for being helpful. They loveeeee it =)

Char said...

setting examples is great! sounds like you are a wonderful mom

sharilyn said...

hey, jessica, take a wee break from work and join our game of tag--i picked you! :) you can check it out at my post for today (1/13/09)

sharilyn said...

hey, jessica, take a wee break from work and join our game of tag--i picked you! :) you can check it out at my post for today (1/13/09)

J.H said...

hi everyone, sorry for late replying you all. I am really2 busy!

Wow, I feel honoured! yes, I'll check your blog soon :-)