Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Favourite

From the moment we brought the twins home we were asked time and again if we have a favourite amongst the 3 kids. Who do we prefer more? Frankly speaking I did question if I will ever have a favourite since it is only human to like something or someone more than others.

There were some concerns from Isaac’s Godma and Grandma that he may be neglected now that he has 2 younger siblings and I am still not sure if we managed to dismiss their unfounded concern after so many months.

My mum’s love and favouritism shown towards Isaac is still unmatched. Everyone can tell that Isaac is clearly her favourite grandchild. We have to monitor though in case things get out of hand. An example happened the other day when Isaac snatched Hayley’s toy causing her to cry and my mum immediately gave another toy to Hayley to try and pacify her. When I saw this I corrected her and returned the original toy to Hayley and told Isaac off. I explained to my mum that Hayley should not have to settle for another toy just because Isaac wanted the first one.

Don’t get me wrong though for Isaac is not the bully at home. He loves his siblings and is ever ready to kiss, hug and sayang them. It is just that when it comes to sharing toys he is not quite there yet. The twins do not fare any better as well and this is an area that we are monitoring and working on. Isaac is still a toddler after all so sometimes he doesn’t understand the full extend of the things that he should not do.

I made him a promise when we know he will be a ‘big’ brother at a young age that he will not miss out on anything from being a toddler. I have always reframed from imposing the responsibilities of an elder brother on him. He is still a big baby to me and he knows that. When I ask him where is daddy’s big baby, he will point to his own head and say “nai”. I want him to grow up at his own pace without having to worry about being a big brother to the twins. Perhaps in another couple of years then he will take on the role gradually.

When the twins were younger they were not showing much of their personalities and characters so there wasn’t much to compare between the 3 children. Some of you readers may not agree to us comparing but I like to think that it is a very natural thing to do. We compare things like the stages of motor skills development to how fast their teeth grow, to their speech development and of course their character and temper. We even compare how much milk they take and at what pace too. The way they sleep and at what time they sleep and how long their nap last.

Now that the twins are a little older the comparison is getting more interesting because their personalities are beginning to show. Take Hayley for example. She has always been the quiet and demure one while Luke is always very demanding and Isaac is well ……… Isaac. Then we begin to wonder if there is any truth to the theory that having more than one hair whorl means a person is “naughtier”. You see, 妹妹 is the only one in the family with 2 hair whorls. But the theory may have some truth after all for these days 妹妹 is certainly no push over. When her brothers take her toys she will scream at them and will try and get them back. Very often her scream is way louder and we can see from her face just how angry they made her. I can already see this girl standing toe to toe against any boy bully in her life.

I have also heard stories that being the middle child in the family is not good. They are often neglected and they grow up aloof and weird in some cases. I personally do not have this experience because people around me are either the eldest or youngest. I don’t believe I have too many friends who are the middle child. So any input from you guys will be helpful.

Note: By Input I do not mean scare so please do not scare us for in case you forgot we have a middle child in Luke! Thank you!

With Luke nicknamed “Blur” didn’t really help the matter too. In his defense he is actually much better now. He smiles a lot more and has many expressions as well but just not in front of the camera. I have posted the below clip to support my case and to help him get rid of that nickname.

video

Now back to age old question of whether or not we have a favourite all I can say is that an experiment I conducted not too long ago probably summed it all up for us.

Back in September the Mrs and I went to Hong Kong for a short getaway without the kids and I remembered wondering out loud to the Mrs if we could find out who we miss more during the trip. I guess I thought if we know who we miss more then that will probably mean we favour that child more. Frankly I am a little surprised but very pleased with the outcome.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Chinese New Year

I have never quite enjoyed Chinese New Year and I believe it is due to the fact that I hate to make small talks. When I was younger the topic will always revolve around schools and studies and when I started working it will be about the job of course. Thankfully I don't think I have very much experience on the "So when are you getting married" bit but I believe it was because I got married at a rather young age. Then of course we won't be spared on the "So when are you having babies" question.

My dad's side of the family is small so each year we only need to go to one place and spend about 2 hours there. If we meet all the relatives then fine if not better luck next year. This arrangement suits me just nice for I will always be free from the afternoon of the 1st day onwards and it will usually be movies and mahjong from then on! Woohoo!

Then along came the Mrs. Her family and extended families are huge and they will all gather at her mum's place on the 2nd day. Being the boyfriend I will of course go over and hang around but I will be "let off" after a couple of hours to meet my mahjong kakis. This arrangement lasted until we got married of course. Once I am family the duration of my stay was automatically lengthened (I believe it was amongst the fine prints on the wedding certificate along with the "I cannot sleep before her" clause). Although there were some years when my dad needed me to fill in for their mahjong session hence I was able to make an early departure.

Now that I am a parent the Chinese New Year (CNY) has brought a different set of joy but I still feel the same set of pain. No, actually come to think of it, it is worse!

Let us begin with the pre CNY days! One has to admire the Mrs's genuine joy and excitement for the CNY. She will always bug me to go with her to Chinatown to shop for the New Year decorations and goodies. I must add that being pregnant, be it with Isaac or the twins never dampen her spirit. She will still want to go. This year was even better for she decided that the 3 kids should not miss out on such nice festive mood so Ani and I were ordered to gear up and bring all the kids along. Needless to say it wasn't easy but honestly it wasn't that bad either. However I dare not imagine how are we going to cope with all 3 of them next year for the twins will definitely be able to run around and I am positive the Mrs will still want to continue her little tradition of going to enjoy the festive mood.

Seeing the kids dressed up in their chi-na clothing is probably the highlight for me. For this I have to thank the Mrs for her last minute scrambling through the online as well as actual retail shops for the cutest little clothing for all 3 of them. Searching for one is already hard as some you will no doubt testify to but to scrounge around for three is something else altogether. We should probably start earlier next year.

One of the differences is unlike previous years we have to wait for the relatives to come so they can take a look at the kids. For those who could not make it we will have to go to their place to visit. I guess I should be happy that these people are taking such an interest in my kids and maybe I will in years to come but by then I’m rather sure their interest would have diminished.

The most tiring and hardest part was the running around after my kids at the relatives' place to make sure they don't damage anything or injure themselves. Isaac was climbing up and down the sofas, opening cupboard doors and even rearranging some of the furniture to his own liking. Luke for now at least was restricted to crawling around but that did not stop him from getting up and reaching for the drinks and goodies that were laid out on the coffee table.

Then there was Hayley who didn't fancy strangers holding her especially in our presence. Unfortunately for her being the only girl in the family and also the only grand daughter available all the other relatives wanted to hold her for a while. Besides watching over the boys I had to constantly look out for her to make sure she was not too traumatised by all the passing around. I'm certain it wasn't very pleasant at all for her and thank goodness the boys are generally alright with strangers carrying them.

From the many status updates and comments I saw on Facebook during that period I am sure I was not the only one who found it tough. In fact there were a number of people who were pleased that the CNY was over and stressing on how tired they were. I cannot imagine how an ex-neighbour of mine managed to bring her kids for visitings during the entire 15 days.

Having 3 kids also has this funny little effect on us. We will try and avoid giving red packets to strangers with children in the same room for we actually felt bad that should we give them one they will have to return us with three. As a result we will just shake on it and wished each other well. I could have sworn I saw a certain sense of relief on their face (kidding). I'm sorry friends, there is no running away for you guys so if you want to breakeven then you know there is really only one thing to do.

Here are some of the pictures that I have selected for this post. I will upload the rest of the pictures on my Facebook at a later date when I can find the time.
 
Isaac still with a little of blue black just under his eye.
 
 
For once Luke was not paying attention to the camera. Otherwise he will not have expression again.
 
 
Hayley with her usual big and round eyes.
 
 
Our pride and joy!
 
 
The traditional potrait taken during CNY at Godma's place!