Monday, 4 January 2010

The student, the stand and plastic cups

Many look forward to the New Year as it brings along new hope and new beginnings. For others it could mean new environment and new people in their lives. For Isaac this year will surely bring many new and exciting changes for him.

For starter he will be officially going to Nursery 1 in exactly one week’s time. Till now I am still very nervous on this behalf. I am preparing myself for his teary eyes and maybe even wails. I remembered asking a reader how did she cope sending both her daughters to school last year and she said the best thing to do is for us to simply drop them off and go for our own cuppa and be back in time to pick him up later. This is the same advice given by the Principal. She claims it is better for the child in the long run and will help him/her settle in much faster. So this is exactly what we will do. We made up our mind during the ‘meet-the-parents’ session and there is no turning back now.

People have been asking me if I have prepared Isaac for school but besides telling him I am not sure what else is there to do. I’m rather certain he does not even grasp the concept of school yet. The closest thing to school for him was the weekly enrichment class that he attended. All I can do now is perhaps to let him get used to his school bag. We were told by his form teacher to help him identify his school bag for all the kids are carrying the bags. To achieve this we have decided to add a couple of the Mickey Mouse (his favourite cartoon character for now) pin and tag on his bag.

Below are some pictures of him in his school uniform.

Yes the pants look a little to big but they are already the smallest!

Now even the shirt looks big!

Looks better sitting down, I think.

Finally a close up on his cheekyness

I really like his smile on this picture. Very natural.

I heard that it is usually harder for the fathers to let go when it comes to things like this. Is this true? The Mrs seems pretty relaxed about the whole thing so far. I believe Sunday will be a sleepless night for me.

Meanwhile the twins are making good progress of their own. They have just turned 11 months yesterday and Luke is defying all the saying about girls being faster. Up till now he is usually about a couple of weeks ahead of Hayley in terms of development.

He started to sit up first before Hayley can sit on her own a week of two later. Luke is also the first to crawl and is still crawling faster and steadier than Hayley. These days Luke is showing signs that he is ready to make his own stand, literally. He is able to stand unassisted for about 5 seconds or so. He usually helps himself up with our bed and then let go before falling on his bum. Hayley while standing assisted doesn’t look too keen on making her own stand yet.

Looking at them now we are gearing up for the chaos that they will bring once they are able to walk and run. As it is we are having a hard time caring for them alone when they decide to crawl in the opposite direction while Isaac is happily running around and climbing up and down. I do not believe anything in the world can truly prepare for what we are about to face.

I told the Mrs a couple of weeks ago that we may have to forgo eating out for the next 2 to 3 years if Isaac’s current behaviour is anything to go by. While it is easier to sit him down in the highchair when we eat, his patience will not last long.

There are usually a few things that we can do to distract him. Perhaps this might come in handy for you too.
We start off by letting him have his own cutleries and place some food on his plate and let him have his way with it. Half the times he will be succeed in feeding himself while other times we will see him spilling the food on the floor or on himself.

Once he has had enough of the food he will want to get off or will target our ice water or whatever cold drinks we have on the table. These days we have to resort to telling the waitresses not to bring us our ice water until we tell them to. Isaac has developed the habit of pouring water from one cup to another. We have resorted to bringing small plastic cups (those that the restaurants give out for ice water) out so that he can last that much longer in the highchair while we gobble down our food. The end result for his is usually Isaac wetting himself with the water in the cups.


The Woos said...


for eating out with a restless kid, this is what we bring along for Trisha:
1) a small toy like cars, figurine, etc
2) fav books,
3) lots of stickers and paper for her to stick on.
4) pen/markers/colour pencils and paper for her to doodle.

Nowadays she likes to feed herself and will ask for her own plates/bowls, cutlery set too, it can get a bit noisy if she decides those are her drum set. =p

You can try keeping a menu on the table and pretend play with Issac that he's ordering food for you all? Let him look through the menu and that may keep him occupied for some time.

hope these tips help! =)


olivia said...

Hi Dylan,
We were in Sg and now back in the US. I think my twins' age are between Isaac's and your twins'. We also find it difficult to eat out with the kids. The twins (esp the cheeky one) can't sit down for long. Usually I let them feed themselves (whether it's restaurant food or my own little biscuits). That will keep them still for the length of time which takes us to finish our meal.
As for taking long trips ... (your previous post), that's a real challenge. We had air stewardesses "advising" us to give the crying babies (esp the younger twin) some cough syrup to help him get some sleep (and thereby some peace for the rest of the passengers). We did that on the return trip. After this "lesson," we won't be travelling by plane for several years. I think when they can sit at a restaurant and finish a meal without much interruption, that will be the time to fly with them. :)

Trina said...

I've since learnt that I cant quite dish out advice on my son's behaviour cos he was not quite the typical toddler. He had no problem sitting through an adults' meal (not 10 course type of course) on his highchair, so long as he has distraction from time to time. (But before you start to envy, I have to say he's on payback time now that he's 4 year old. :p) We usually give him a cloth book to play with (no banging noise or danger of breaking stuff), then followed by finger snacks when he's bored with it. And avoid places known for slow service! You'd want to save "peace time" for eating not waiting. :)

personally, i'd rather sacrifice a bit and engage him with what's happening at the table, cos i dowan him to grow up with a PSP at the dining table.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Peipei,

Happy New Year!! Long time no hear from you.

Not so sure if bringing anything out with us will help cause Isaac will most probably end up throwing it away within minutes. It'll be terrible if it lands in our food.

Isaac likes to play with the food too for he is still no so keen to eat. And I know about the drum set.

See you around ya?


Nicole said...


I'm really looking forward to hear the progress on Isaac's first few days in school! :)

For cleo, I'm thankful that she can sit through meals. She just need to eat and eat and eat to keep herself entertained! haha....

Happy New Year to you and your family ya! :)

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Olivia,

Nice to know that kids brought up in other countries display the same behaviour. Hahahaha

With Isaac he will make a mess of everything which we are okay with. It's just that he won't last long cause he will want other stuffs.

Currently the only thing that can keep him seated for a while is the transferring of water from cup to cup.

I can't imagine the stewardess actually told you to feed your kids cough syrup. I will be rather mad actually. I'm beginning to accept that some adults will not like crying babies but all those who have been through will surely understand.

I don't think I will be bringing the kids for long trips until they are about 4 or 5. Meantime we are still considering short trips.

So I guess you won't be back in SG for a while now.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Trina,

I guess the grass is always greener on the other side. What some of us parents wouldn’t give to have our kids sit quietly throughout a meal. I totally understand the peace time on the eating and not waiting. Sometimes we will bring them around first and only when the food is served we will put them in the highchair.

I share your point about not having the kids glued to the PSP and not engage with others at the table. I know we will try very hard to prevent this when Isaac is older.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Nicole,

Unlike you I am not so looking forward to next Monday. If you speak to the Mrs you will hear her say I am very stressed up by his going to school. I don’t deny this for I am always worrying if we miss out on anything. I guess I should dedicate a post on this next week to share with all of you.

I know Cleo can sit through. The Mrs will be so happy if Isaac can be more like Cleo and eat more. She always likes the kids to be greedy at the dining table.

A wonderful New Year to you and your family too!!

Lobang Mummy said...

I saw Fat this morning with his school bag and shouting GU GU while running to pass me the juice. Hehe...

I think I will be like you when C goes to school next year. Am a bit sad and nervous thinking about it already and it is one year away!

bebe said...

hihi Amanda started school yesterday ... n it was chaotic! She was crying most of the time hahaha!! Today is almost as bad as yesterday cos she cried buckets in the class too ... but she was smiling when she alighted from the schoolbus (home) ... n that was the greatest relief ever!

Goodluck to u!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Sis,

He looks cute in his school bag right? This is my way of helping him to recognize his bag. Hopefully it’ll work.

Speaking of nervous I can’t stop thinking if we got him everything and also worry about if he will cry everyday and refuses to put on his uniform and go to school each morning.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Bebe,

So Amanda is also attending N1? Thanks for sharing her experience. I am more nervous now.

So you opted to sit in during her class? We won’t be so his crying will start the minute we leave him with his classmates and teachers and we walk away. I hope he will not put up a fuss and not wear his uniform for school for the next few days.

Yup good luck to us all!

Why Not said...

Hey! You know what, Jamie will be in the same school as Isaac! Are you in the morning or afternoon N1? Ah.. hope to see you there next week!

bebe said...


Amanda is attending playgroup only although she's only 1 month younger than Issac ... cos she's a Feb 2008 baby. Today she was improves ... her cries stopped aft we dropped her ... phew.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Jayne,

Yes Isaac will be in N1. He is in the afternoon session and if you know they have split the class further into 2 halves for the 1st month. Isaac will be in the earlier half.

What about Jamie? N1 too right? Which class?

It will be nice to meet up but I believe it will be tough amidst all the chaos and madness and countless parents and grandparents.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Bebe,

I’m sure she will enjoy herself very soon. Unfortunately Isaac did not have the chance to join any such playschool due to him being a year end baby. The best we could do was let him join up a weekly enrichment but that was not a drop-off type.

Two days and she has stopped? Well done!

mummy yio said...

Hi there,

Wow, so fast Issac is going to sch already. Just to share somethings you can do to help him get ready for sch... For 1, you can get some books about attending sch so that he has some ideas on what to expect in the sch and how to deal with the seperation. Another tip will be to bring him to the nearby schs then let him watch abit from the windows so he can see how 'fun' it is to go to sch, the toys, books, etc...

With regards to eating out, usually we will bring stickers, colouring books and washable crayons, etc... just bring a variety of things to entertain him bearing in mind that each item probably can only entertain him for 5mins? When all else fails, usually hb and i will take turns to eat...

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Amy,

Yup time flies. Before we know it the twins will be going to enrichment classes too. Sometimes I wish I can stop time to enjoy the current moment with them.

Thanks for your tips on easing him into the idea of attending school but I think it is too late for it now. He is going on Monday so we do not have much time remaining. I can only cross my fingers and hope for the best at this stage.

I will probably try and carry out some of you readers’ suggestions and bring some colouring books and other stuffs that can hopefully keep him occupied for the course of the dinner.

We usually take turns to eat also especially when we are unable to find 3 highchairs in that restaurant.

missmoon said...

Relax!! Hehe. You still have two more to worry and fuss over!! You're one of the most hands-on dads around, you know. I think my mother was more kan cheong than I was, on Ethan's first day.

Hope he's enjoying himself in N1!!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Cynthia,

Thanks for your comment. I can relax now since Isaac has already gone for 2 days of classes. I believe I can relax till when it is the twins’ turn.

Actually I believe there are many hands-on dads it is just that not many of them keeps a blog so they are very much anonymous. Ask around and I’m sure your friends can vouch they know someone like me.