This past year has been a heck of a ride, indeed. It was hard, not in a sense that boys need as much physical care but just overall being in New Zealand and not knowing what we were doing for a while there. Anyway, at least I am very happy to say that we have found Tauranga the place we can call home.
The trip back to the US was fun but extremely tiring. And I really have to think deep and hard about what the root causes of our problems, it can be a bit confusing sometimes or second guessing yourselves if you are doing the right thing, or just wonder and get frustrated with why the kids turn out to be complete crazy, screaming, wild animals, at times.
With Lin and Li’s diet, we continue to make great progress, they are even healthier than before, I do not remember them having a fever in the past six months, or having any sort of problem eating, digesting, occasionally they have minor colds but they didn’t seem to bother them or break their routine at all. Of course when we were on the road (a lot!), it’s much harder to get the proper ingredients and have a decent place with decent tools to cook.
However with their behaviours, it has been quite challenging, and we noticed a huge difference once we put them to Montessori preschool in early December (so scary 2013 will be history in a day), they fit in very well, and we love the environment they are in, the teachers there are so experienced and wonderful at communicating with them, they love their time and cannot wait to go, they are so focused on their games, and it’s hard to pull them out of the classroom. They immediately started washing dishes at home, going to the toilet on their own, holding their lunch boxes on their own…this brings me to the realization that we could have done a better job at home if we had more knowledge and guidance. Of course, as first time parents, we cannot be too harsh on ourselves but I really wish we did some things differently, such as not holding them as soon as they cried, and standing the ground and be more firm to establish who’s in charge, etc. But it’s not too late, because Lin and Li are still at the early stage to develop their personalities and there’s so much we can do to encourage them to grow good practical life skills and behaviours with positive coaching.
They are such sweet boys in heart, I dropped them off this morning and they are perfectly happy seeing me leave, they usually take a plate, set the fruits on it, then sit down and eat. Then they go to the window to wave goodbye at me while I drive away. Today, Li said, “Bye Mama, I love you!”, it really melt my heart. They now can go to sleep on their own, so that’s a bit of extra freedom we get. I enjoy very much reading to them before bed, usually between 30 and 50 minutes, and enjoy watching them acting silly, say they see a frog on the book, they would say, “watch me Mama!”, then get down like a frog and jump around the bed. We went shopping last night at Pak ‘N Save, Li opened up my shopping list, and seriously read out, “香蕉，面包， 酸奶，ice cream!”. Well I wrote the list in English, although bananas, bread and yoghurt were on the list, there’s no way I would ever put ice cream on it – he was going through the list of things he wanted in his head 🙂
This morning Li was eating his breakfast and then we saw him chew his bread into his name!!! I guess it’s time to teach them alphabet and writing, since toddlers usually go into a writing explosion before reading. They often look at things and tell me what they are, elephant, mouse, car, robot, etc. which is pretty amazing sometimes. As adults, we definitely do not have the same level of attention to details as children. It is such a fascinating age, with so much to explore and learn, I love this sensitive period, their age now is so critical, fast growing and need so much nurture and encouragement, great fun!
Lin is just as creative as his brother, he absolutely loves robot, he loves drawing them and loves putting his name next to them. He also seems to tell me what troubles his brother is causing, whether it is screaming, spilling, running around, then he will say, “弟弟(younger brother) is not nice.” So cute…
Now I have Monday to Friday mornings all to myself, it’s,honestly, really wonderful. I always wanted to home school them and I am not completely ruling it out but if there’s a right school for them, and the teachers there can do a better job in some areas better than I do, why not? I really need the time to run errands, since our diet requires so much more work in food preparation, but more importantly to have time studying, self educating and a little break for myself.