My 2 year old won’t be learning her ABCs and 123s yet, and I’m perfectly okay with it

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Today is the first day of playgroup at Steiner for Little Warrior. She’s been waiting forever for this day. Having seen Big Warrior go in to class day in and day out, she’s often asked me when it would be her turn to be a big girl and go to school. Well, today is the day. 😊

 

While other kids are learning their ABCs and 123s, Little Warrior is learning about the world, through interacting with Mother Nature and listening to story time. And that’s perfectly okay. She’s busy learning the necessary human survival skills, that she might not necessarily use per se, but those traits are what will set her apart from the rest of her robotic peers. She gets to plant gardens and pick flowers, and find out how to work with Mother Nature and appreciate her beauty and resources. She gets to walk barefooted, climb trees, and occasionally get a glimpse of wildlife in the school’s backyard as we are fortunate enough to be surrounded by bushland. Like today, we had a beautiful owl visit us at the playgroup garden. It’s not everyday that one gets to see a wild owl upclose and personal. What an amazing experience for us!

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She doesn’t know her multiplication times table, nor can she write her own name yet, but that’s perfectly okay. She’s busy playing and learning more relevant things like how society works by interacting freely with her peers. They engage in a world of free play where they dictate how the playing goes, where it happens, and who gets to be involved in it. There’s no social pressure on how she’s suppose to be, what she’s suppose to say, or who’s she suppose to maintain good relationships with. She learns how to socialise and be part of a community without unnecessary social influences. She does chores, and learn how to work as a team with her playmates. She gets to learn how to make decisions pertaining to her life from an early age, instead of being helicoptered and told what to do all the time. She gets to learn that every action comes with a reaction, so the next time she knows what to expect when she does something.

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She doesn’t know her written ABCs yet, and she can’t recognise 123s, even though she can communicate as fluently as a 2 year old should. And that’s okay too. She learns how to express herself and be confident with her voice. She sings and says blessings. She learns about empathy and sees the goodness in the world. She will learn to appreciate mothers, fathers, and educators alike, because she will see with her own eyes how everyone respects each other at playgroup despite their age, financial background, and race differences.

 

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Sure, academic education is important. However, I think education about the self and play is equally important. If you don’t know how to be comfortable with your own skin, and be confident with your ability to make decisions, then you won’t go far. So many of our younger generations aren’t equipped enough to go against the tide and think outside the box, and just be different. Our current society is raising a future generation of robots, teens and young adults who follow the herd and do not question what is being taught. Do we really want that for our children? I don’t. I really don’t.

 

I’m prepared to face the insanity of having to reason with my 2 year old on why we don’t run around naked when outside the house, or teach my 5 year old all the proper names of her body so that she’s aware that nobody is allowed to touch her sacred body parts without her consent. I teach them to say no to hugs or kisses when they’re not up for it, even if it’s us or the grandparents asking. I teach them that it’s okay to say they don’t like certain food, as long as they’ve tried at least once. And I tell them it’s okay to reason with us if they feel the need to voice out their opinions.

 

There are so many things worthy of learning that aren’t academic. Little Warrior, like her sister Big Warrior, will not be officially educated in the academic sense until she turns 7 according to the Steiner system. I’m totally okay with it, proud even, because I know that like her sister, she will thrive and blossom into a wonderful little human being when the time comes.

 

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Post Partum Me

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This womb has carried 3 miracles, yet it doesn’t get easier each time.

10 days post-partum, baby’s out, belly’s gone, but there’s a feeling of emptiness that lingers. Like something’s missing within you. You begin to miss that occasional kicks and punches to your bladder. And the gentle stretches that protrudes out like waves across your belly. Unconsciously, you still place your hands on your now-flatten belly, only to realise that there’s no longer a bulging watermelon there. And that the watermelon is now a beautiful baby girl lying next to you on the bed. ❤️❤️❤️

 

A lifetime reminder to myself about motherhood

If ever i had to leave myself anything valuable to get me through motherhood, it would be a lifetime reminder letter to myself. And it goes like this…

Dear Me,

As much as you try to be Superwoman and be there for everyone, it’s okay to be… just a mom. A mom who went through hours of painful labour and unexpected birth injuries. It’s hard to put up a strong front when you’re mentally and physically exhausted from it all.

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You may feel like you’re neglecting your other children. You’re not. Because despite how much time you try to spend with your children to prevent them from feeling inadequate compared to the newborn, there’s only so much you can give before you run out of energy. There’s only so much time you can spare before you have no more time for yourself. There’s only so much love you can offer before you are left with an empty cup. So take care and love yourself first, only then you will have the strength to take care and love those around you.

As much as you try to be Wonderwoman and keep your house sparkly clean and everything organised, it’s okay to be… just a mom. A mom who is going through sleepless nights to care for a newborn baby. It’s hard enough not to fall asleep standing during the day, and it’s definitely hard to move around without waddling like a penguin because of your sore bum and tummy.

You might feel as if you’re not pulling your weight at home. You’re not. Because no matter how you try to keep the house as neatly as possible, it’s mission impossible with a child and a toddler who LOVE to make a mess. There’re only so many times you can pack until you go crazy. There’s only so much energy you have to nag and move around, until you burst open your dams (and not to mention, stitches) trying to keep everything in order. Then you end up being a mess yourself, and needing more time to heal from the added injuries. So let it go, and go easy on yourself, only then you will be able to enjoy the new addition in the family and keep the household in harmony.

As much as you try to be Catwoman and get back into that awesome body shape, it’s okay to be… just a mom. A mom who’s had her tummy stretched, her back strained, and her insides jumbled up to accommodate a little growing miracle. It will be hard to go back to your pre-pregnancy weight and body with all the stretching and straining.

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So instead of feeling down and ashamed that you haven’t bounced back in to shape like Heidi Klum through unrealistic (and need I mention, unhealthy) diets and postpartum exercise, you should embrace it, stretch marks, flabbiness and all. Your “battle scars” are what makes you a mother, a provider of life. For goodness sake, you had to carry a little being inside of you for nine whole months. But hell, it was worth it. The moment you get to hold that tiny little baby in your arms, you know it was all worth it.

Remind yourself, that it’s okay to feel weak, it’s okay to feel lazy. It’s okay to feel like you just want to get away from it all, shut the door and just lie in bed and sleep 24/7. It’s okay to feel that for the moment (and perhaps many more), that your newborn baby is your world, that you wish you could just focus on nothing but her. It’s okay sometimes to just say, “f*** it”, because you’re only human.

Surround yourself with with positive people and supportive family and friends. There’s no better way to get through motherhood than to have people who love and care for you, such as your mom and husband. They will be your biggest support  group.

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Appreciate your mom more, she’s not getting any younger yet she still offers to help take care and cook for you for one whole month. She busies herself the whole day just so that you can lie in and rest more,  and you’ll notice that she tires more easily than previously. Yet, she’s still here for you and doing the best she can so that you have it easier. There’s no love that is more selfless than a mother’s love (thank you and I love you mom).

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Love your husband more, because without him you wouldn’t be getting through motherhood as blessed as you always had it. He cries when you’re in pain, he breathes for you when you’re in labour, he smiles for you when you’re having your baby blues, he compliments you when you’re feeling “unpretty”, he bends down on one knee to help you get dressed, and he keeps you sane when you’re overwhelmed with, well, everything. There’s no love more comforting than a husband’s love (I love you, and I’d still choose you in a heartbeat for all my next lifetimes to come)

Treasure your children more. They have been nothing but amazing lovely little beings. They’ve been self entertaining for the past whole week to allow you resting time since you brought back “Nemo” into the family. They’ve been more than understanding when Nemo’s cries could be heard throughout the night, they slept through it all LOL. Even though you will have a slight challenge when it comes to Little Warrior no longer being the “youngest in the family”, this too shall pass. She just needs some time to adjust, and she will get through it like she has now. There’s no love more genuine and pure than a child’s love. (You my children are my greatest pride and joy, and you will always be my greatest achievement. I will always love you all to the moon and back)

 

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Lastly, love yourself more. You have more than shown your worth, by being… just a mom. Listen to your heart when it tells you to love yourself first. Enjoy time to yourself and “Nemo” when your mom tells you to just focus on recovery, baby and nothing else. Be grateful when your children tells you they love you and they adore their little sister. Let them help you get up, and fuss over your “sore bum and tummy” because it’s okay to be loved. Most importantly, believe it when your husband tells you that you are worth it, because despite your scars and “wear and tear”, YOU ARE WORTH IT.

Lots of love,

2017 Me

Finding Nemo 2017

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No professional maternity photos for this pregnancy, this will have to suffice LOL

New Year is finally here, and guess what? 39 weeks today, and Nemo is still comfortably swimming in the fish tank. O Nemo, what art thou? Mommy and daddy, and both your sisters are eagerly waiting for you to come meet us.

Still apprehensive about coming out? Well, I just want to reassure you that you’ll be in good hands when you do arrive into the family. You see, I already have your 2 sisters as guinea pigs. Your sisters, well mainly your eldest sister Big Warrior, had to endure many ups and downs with me. What with the sleep training, flash cards, stressful toilet trainings, etc. I will forever carry the guilt of experimenting first time parenting with her, but I’ve learnt to move on and hope that she will forgive me one day. Through her, I made numerous parenting mistakes, I fell into a parental black hole and got lost, I stood back up, went against the tide, found myself again, and have since emerged stronger and more confident with my parenting choice and style.

Your second sister, Little Warrior, had it better. Although I still have a lot to learn as a mother (we learn something new everyday), I can see that she’s having a much better childhood than Big Warrior. With more parenting experiences and giving less f***s about what other people say, there’s less stress in the household, more laughters, and more enjoyable family moments around.

So you see, Nemo, you will probably have it the easiest compared to both your sisters. I promise you that you will never have to go through harsh Cry-It-Out sleep training (in fact, you will be bed-sharing with me until you’re ready to move into your own bedroom). I promise you will never have to learn how to hold your wees and poos at the ridiculous age of 1 or 2 (you will get there when you’re ready I assure you, and mommy and daddy will be with you every step of the way). You will not be forced into sitting in a classroom at freaking 6 months old to watch some silly lady flash 20 flash cards within 20 seconds. I will endeavour to make sure you will not have a mommy who is so depressed and stressed out during the first weeks of your life, just because everybody is invading her personal space and giving her unwarranted parenting advice on what she should and should not do (remind me again to thank your daddy for keeping me sane). I promise I will not let anyone harm you physically, mentally nor emotionally.

You will be deeply loved by your family. You will have as little interventions as possible to your birth and childhood, so that you will grow up as how it’s always meant to be. You will grow up with 2 big sisters who already adore you before they’ve even met you. You will spend your life in a household full of laughter and joy (with some tears and fights in between). You will take your time growing up, and bed share with your parents and siblings till you’re old enough to move into your own room. You will live your life as it’s meant to be, with us your family.

We hope to see you soon, our little Nemo. It shan’t be too long now till you arrive to complete our little family of 5, it is already 2017. Don’t take too long finding your way out of the fish tank. We love you.

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My darlings, it’s the little things that count…

My dearest daughters,

It’s Christmas Eve and we haven’t got any plans because mommy wasn’t in the mood to prepare anything as we weren’t sure when the stork planned to drop Nemo off to us. But it is the season to be thankful, and even though I’m thankful everyday for your existence, I still feel there’s no better time to let you know that I really really really appreciate you and that I’m truly blessed that you’re in my life.

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So… on this festive day where other children are running around playing and getting into the Christmas mood, we spent the morning cleaning the house, and washing the guest room bedsheets so that when your grandparents come next week, they won’t be stepping into a pig sty and that they’ll have a clean bed to sleep on. 😅

 

At a tender age of 5 and 2, I’m so proud and touched that you both have such good heads on your shoulders, and amazingly big hearts. You were so happy to help out with the cleaning, by taking out the sheets, sweeping the floor, throwing the dirty laundry into the wash, packing away your toys, etc, which made my whole morning of chores so much easier and enjoyable. You never once complained. Even though I silently think that it’s because you’re actually too young to understand what all the Christmas hype is about. LOL. But what touched me the most, was how receptive you were, helping me up whenever I had to kneel down to get stuff done. You knew it was difficult for me to stand back up whenever I’m seated on the floor (with Nemo growing big in my tummy). You would always try to lift me up with your tiny little bodies, fearing I would fall over because I seem to be out of balance most of the time. You would also both take turns sitting on each other’s lap because you didn’t want to hurt Nemo by sitting on mine.

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My little darlings, I don’t need multiple stars in your reward charts (thankfully this isn’t a practise at your school), or excellent Math grades on a piece of paper. Those aren’t important to me. What is important to me, and very honestly more important for you, is that you both have good hearts and strong emotional foundations to grow as a person. Have a kind heart, be empathetic, help others according to your capability, respect those who deserves it, and love those around you. Focus on these so-called little things, it’s how you are as a person that will bring you far in life, my children.

 

With your hearts full of gold, you will definitely go far and beyond. I can only pray that in your journey to adulthood, you’ll have more confidence to be kind, empathetic and being firm in what you believe is right (even if it means going against the tide). I pray that you’ll be happy always and not let anyone push you around into doing things that you’re unhappy or uncomfortable with (please learn how to say no, but that’s another story for another day). I pray that you will have the freedom to be able to chase your dreams, regardless of what society says. I pray that you will grow up to cherish your strong and amazing sister relationship, and don’t let anything come in between you, not even us, your parents.

 

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As I watch you both grow and blossom into beautiful strong young ladies, I couldn’t be prouder to call you my children. I just really wanted you to know that. And remember, it’s the little things that count.

 

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p/s Merry Christmas my little darlings! You’ve been such angels, I’m sure Santa has some surprises for you tonight. 😉

 

Eviction Notice

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Dear “Nemo”,

I hope you’ve enjoyed your 9 months stay at your current rental premise. This is to remind you that your lease will be expiring on the 8/1/2017 and you shall be evicted after that.

You officially still have a few more weeks to go, but I just wanted to let you know that I have another place set up, waiting for you when this lease is up. Seeing that you’ve been a really good tenant, I will gladly waive all charges for any damages you’ve caused to the current premise – water leakage, wear and tear from your late night partying, extra energy consumption, storage, etc.

Just remember to pack and take all your belongings with you as you will not be able to return to the current premise after you leave.

If possible, kindly give me one day’s notice so that I can prepare your new home for you in advance. If it makes it easier for you, I (and a few helpers) will be more than willing to help you move closer to the end of lease date.

Thank you for choosing to stay at “Mom’s 24/7 Air BnB”. I hope you have had good memories during your stay here. Take care and enjoy your next journey!

 

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Crossing the Rainbow Bridge

They say every school is the same. But I’m here to tell you they’re not. Waldorf stresses on the importance of childhood that it is impossible for outsiders to understand, unless you’re part of the Waldorf family.

Today, we got to experience a ceremony that celebrates Little Miss 5’s birth. The story that was told today, The Rainbow Bridge story, was absolutely beautiful. It is a blessing to be able to sit through the story of self worth, love, joy, and the pure sacredness of a child’s birth.

Once upon a time there was a Little Angel who was up in the heavens and she was very happy there. She looked at the beautiful colours and listened to the lovely music, and that was where she belonged. But one day the clouds parted in heaven and she saw the beautiful green earth below with all the people happily playing and working and she suddenly longed to go there and see what it was like. She saw all the rainbow colours of the earth, She saw butterflies visiting flowers and birds flying in the air. They seemed to be beckoning her. She saw fish swimming in the sea and all the different plants that covered the earth. She saw children climbing trees running and jumping in the meadows and walking through sand and leaves. It was all so beautiful!

So she said to her Big Angel, ‘Please, may I go down to earth now?” But her Big Angel looked at her and said, “No, it is too soon. You must wait a little while yet”. So the child went and was happy and soon forgot about the earth. Then one day again she saw a glimpse of the earth through the clouds again. She saw mother and fathers doing their work. She saw bakers and engineers and writers and farmers. She saw mothers and fathers loving their
children. Then she saw a beautiful mother with love and longing in her heart for a child and she asked her angel now, “May I go to her?”

The Big Angel said, “Soon, but you must prepare to go through the House of the Sun, the Stars, and the Moon, and over the Rainbow Bridge before you can go over to Earth.”

So with determination, the little Angel went to the House of the Sun, where she was given the gift of courage, which was placed under her heart. Next she went to the House of the Stars, where she was given the gift of Wisdom, which were placed under the soles of her feet. Lastly, she went to the House of the Moon, where she was given the gift of twinkle in her eyes, so that she might always see the humour in life.

Nearing the Rainbow Bridge, the Big Angel said to the Little Angel, “The gifts you have received from the Sun, the Stars and the Moon will help you with the work you have chosen to do on the Earth. Now you are ready.”

So the Little Angel travelled over the Rainbow Bridge that stretched forth from heaven to earth, and straight into the strong loving arms of her earth Mommy and Daddy.

She opened her eyes, and mesmerised everyone around her. It was then she received her first gift on earth, the gift of her name – Leann, which ironically means Angel, or one of sheer perfection.

There are many versions to this story. But this is the closest that I could remember from today.

How many of us have had such meaningful birthday celebrations at school? I know I didn’t. I know my husband didn’t. But I’m glad our children will be able to experience one of the best childhood there is on earth through their school, and that is to be surrounded by pure love and people who truly appreciate them as they are.

 

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Starting the day with a smile

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Or maybe not. LOL

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How gorgeous is this cake?

Definitely a birthday to remember…