Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another week, another post

It sure looks like my posts in this blog has been reduced from daily to weekly until such time when I get a line at home (when???? I truly wonder). In the meantime, this computer is still living its lonely existence in this yet-to-be refurbished-for-rental unoccupied apartment which I escape to when I need my weekly Internet fix and to write my fortnightly column for theSun newspaper.

We have been very slowly getting the new place into the look and feel I envision it to have. This can't be helped as we're busy with daily life on weekdays -- work, school, extra curricular activities, while the past few weekends, we've just been occupied with family events, leaving us hardly any time to do any DIY stuff around the house. Eugene however managed to put up some blinds at our pergola adjoining the car porch last Saturday.

This coming weekend is a long weekend with Friday (1st May, Labour Day) a public holiday. I hope we can get some things done in between me attending a wedding dinner on Friday and Caitlin a birthday party on Saturday.

I planted some plants a few weeks ago as I was tired of waiting for the grass to grow (look at the grass in the picture to get what I mean).

Apart from it being a newfound 'interest' for Rusty, they seem to be still 'hanging-in-there' with my daily watering. Some of them got bitten at the tips of their leaves while others got slightly trampled on by our curious four-legged boy despite me putting up those decorative fencing in the hope to deter him.... Poor Rusty who spends most of his time outdoors these days is probably bored without being literally at my feet and decides to entertain himself 'admiring' the plants. The past few days, he's taken to chewing the door mat, leaving it with loose,'sprouting' fibres....Have plans to get more plants and also start planting vegetables in future...

Caitlin has been using the phrase "thanks to..." very frequently these few days. she loves blaming other people and even things when things don't go her way. She's gotten her longtime wish to join an art class so now every Tuesday evening, she goes to one in the nearby hypermart mall. I still think she should resume her Mandarin lessons which I stopped last December but going back to the same centre means a fair bit of additional travel thrice a week (the Mandarin lessons require three lessons a week...), on top of her art, Yamaha and drum lessons. I need to find one nearer home or get a personal tutor (but that's pretty expensive). While Mandarin is not an exam subject at school, I still feel it'd be good for her to at least know it even if she does not master it. I always wonder how some parents and kids manage to squeeze in so many extra curricular activities throughout the week. Some kids have so many activities I wonder if it's really necessary, if it's what they themselve want or what their parents believe they need.

With Caitlin, it's only Mandarin so far that we think she needs while music and art are her own requests. With just these few activities (compared to lots more other kids have), I already find it difficult to juggle helping her with schoolwork, music practice, chauffering her around and attending to household matters, writing, plus caring for our 'son' Rusty.

While chatting with her schoolmate's mum yesterday as we waited for our kids at drum lesson, this mum told me an inspiring story of her nephew. He was an easy-going, happy-go-lucky kid during his schooldays but turned out well later. He was determined to further his studies in the US despite his parents inability to afford and their insistence that he did engineering. He requested his parents to only pay for his airfare there and an aunt over there to support him for the first six months. He worked and studied and paid his own way through university, studying engineering at first to please his parents. He later switched to chemistry and is now pursuing a Masters in pharmacy.

My takeaway from this story: Never ever force your child to do something he is not interested in. Allow the child space to explore and once he discovers his passion, support him as much as you can. Passion, determination and hard work can reap rewards. Kids whose parents can afford to send them overseas to study ought to appreciate their parents' sacrifices. Those who fool around, take things for granted ought to be kicked in the butt.

If we have raised our kids right, they will not disappoint us. "Raising them right" -- that's the challenge for parents. It's a rugged and long journey I believe, and I have only just begun!

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