Book: 十四只老鼠大搬家

We stumbled upon this book quite by chance. I make it a point that the kids must borrow at least one Chinese book each time we visit the library. So the girl was looking around and I was helping and I saw this book and showed it to the girl, cause she loves reading “Seven Little Mice” series, and I thought this drawing looks similar with that (I later found out they were from the same illustrator). The boy also quipped in to share that he has read another book from this 十四只老鼠 series in school and enjoys it. So we borrowed two from the series back home.

And since that day, the two books were read almost everyday before bed time. The kids simply love the illustration which is funny at times.

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The wordings will also have questions that make you examine the illustration and find out who is doing something funny. The kids love looking for the answer.

I believe “十四只老鼠大搬家” is the first in the series. It talks about how the family of 14 (Grandpa, Grandma, Dad, Mom and 10 siblings) were out scouting for a new house. They walked in the forest, slept in the open, met the weasel and finally found a big tree that meet their requirements.

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There will also be funny illustration like this where someone was hit by the bamboo. Or who is the naughty ones that are not working but fooling around. I think it reminded the kids of themselves so they love looking out for such ‘funny’ drawings.

So off they go to build their house. They even manage to connect water from a waterfall all the way back to the outside of their house. It certainly show the kids that team work is very important. Everyone has a part to play in the family.

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We used this page to discuss about Science. I asked how the kids think how the water can flowed all the way home. I think it is also a good extension into a home project to make our own structure using straws to experiment it out.

Apart from learning about working together as a team, we learned quite a handful of Chinese vocab from the book. For example, the boy asked me “What is 黄鼠狼?” (haha, Mama knowledge of animals and Chinese is limited). I had to check with Mr Google to find the answer.

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Together we also found out what is 橡子, 松果 and 山药.

If you are looking for a good 绘本 to read to your pre-schooler, consider this book. It has interesting story and beautiful illustration.

Title: 十四只老鼠大搬家
Author:
Iwamura, Kazuo
Call No.: Chinese IWA
Available At: Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Central, Cheng San, Choa Chu Kang, Clementi, Geylang East, Jurong West, Marine Parade, Queenstown, Serangoon, Tampines, Toa Payoh, Woodlands and Yishun Libraries

 

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Parenting: My very ‘modern’ mother

In a few days time, it will be my Mom’s birthday. I have blogged a lot about my kids but this is the first time I am dedicating a blog post for my dearest Mummy.

I came from a humble family. My Dad is a taxi driver and my Mom started working as a hospital attendant when I was in K2 (they are still a taxi driver and a hospital attendant now). When we were young, my Dad works hard. There was a period of time, he was a container truck driver in the morning and a taxi driver by night, just to bring bread home. My Mom was not working then, so she stayed home and took care of us. But after a while, my Dad’s health suffered so my Mum decides to come out to work to help out the family.

Despite her work, which starts from 8am and ends at 5:30pm, my Mum still takes up all the housework by herself and even cook our lunch and dinner. It was only when we were much older did she get us to help sweep and mop the floor. We were very well taken care of. I didn’t have to iron any of my uniform in my entire life. Neither do I need to wash my own school shoes. Dad also doesn’t need to do much house work. My Mum works it out alone. She sleeps a mere 3 hours a day. She is that traditional probably learning that from her Mum.

Am I going to follow their footsteps, in becoming a Mother like her? Of course, she is my role model. However, not in that sense of doing all the housework. I think I’m very fortunate that I’m born in an era where we are a little more well to do. We can afford a domestic helper to help out on these. So apart from the housework, there are some things that I have learned from my Mum.

Breastfeeding
Before I became a mother, my Mum has been sharing with me about the benefits of breastfeeding. I have always assumed that is a common knowledge. Little did I know that breastfeeding is actually not common in her era. I was very impressed that my mum is actually so “knowledgable” in this area.

During my own breastfeeding journey, my Mum was one of those that kept me going. She was never discouraging and spur me on when I struggled in the initial phases. She reminded me breastfeeding is so much easier these days and we have electronic dual pumps while in the past, she has to use her own hand to “squeeze” the milk out.

Reading
You know how we are advocating to read to our kids when they are young so that they will have a love for reading. 30 over years ago, my Mum has been doing that with me. Before my Mum went out to work, we will have some time alone when my siblings are in school. I remember very clearly, she will read me nap time stories. My Mum is Chinese educated, and frugal but that didn’t stop her from buying some English books to read to me. I remember and cherish those moments I recalled having with her. After she started working, those magical moments no longer happens. But she still take a conscious effort to bring us to library whenever she can. I contributed my love for reading to all these little things she has done for me.

I’m doing the same with my kids now. I try to read to them whenever possible. There was a time where I slack, and allow screen time to take over. But now I’m trying to keep the momentum and read to them as much as possible, especially before bedtime (sometimes even getting ‘scolded’ by Chubby or my MIL for keeping the children up).

School Work
I was lamenting to my Mum how I’m kind of worried about my eldest going to P1 next year and whether he can adapt to structured school. I told her how my colleagues were sharing with me that their kids have spelling or 听写 every week or at least some will bring home worksheets every weekend as homework. But my boy school has none, though I’m not complaining.

You know what my very “modern” mum told me? She asked if my friend’s kids are from ‘PAP’ school. I told her, yes. She told me ‘PAP’ schools are like that. My siblings both have homework when they were in kindergarten. While me, who studied in a church during my Kindergarten has none. And that didn’t make me “lose out” (in fact my academic results were the best among my siblings). So she asked me not to worry.

Seriously, I’m impress with my Mum. And I do recall, she doesn’t pressurize us in our studies. If we do well she is happy for us. If we doesn’t, she will ask if we tried out best. If we do, she doesn’t scold us. She just ask us to try even harder next time.

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My mum and the littlest sometime last year. Mum is not one who likes taking photo, and for her privacy sake, I chose a photo that is not so ‘clear’. But this reminds me also to take more photo of her with me and my kids.

My Mum is amazing isn’t she? I was very surprise that she has some modern parenting back in the old days, when she is such a traditional person. I am inspired to be a good mother like her and hope that my kids will love me as much as I love her. LOL.

Happy Birthday, Mum! I LOVE you! Wishing you happiness and health!

Thoughts: It’s okay to be a kaypoh (sometimes)

A few days ago I read about this Triple Murder in Malaysia, it caught my attention because kids were murdered and the mother is the prime suspect. How sad that is. Then a few days later, more details were revealed and a sadder truth was told.

It appears that the father (who was also found dead at the scene) was violent and had killed the baby 3 months ago when he slammed a chair at the baby who was doing what every baby was doing, crying. And the mother seems to be lost in her own world unsure of what is happening around her. They found out the truth from the two elder sons who were also abused and traumatised.

Everytime I read about child abuse and (in broader terms) family violence, my heartaches. What has these little children done to deserve this kind of treatment. And in the past, I couldn’t comprehen why the victim or the other parent if it is young kids never stand up for themselves. What has make them give up their paternal instincts? Is it because of the love for the other party? Because of financial dependence? Or thinking this is just a one-off incident? Or that they will change?

Now that I’m older, I still couldn’t understand but I am more accepting that there must be some kind of compelling reasons for someone to suffer in silence. I just hope that whatever it is, they will seek help before its too late.

As for the rest of us, I hope we can all look out for those who seems to be suffering. If you hear constant quarelling or slamming of furnitures, we should help watch out for the family. You might be called a “kaypoh” and yest its very demeaning, but if it help save a life I think it is worth it. So be more vigilant and stretch out a real helping hand for those in need. Here is an article that explains how we can help those in need. And for the numbers to call, you can refer to the this website.

If my writing is not powerful enough to convince you to act, how about a real life case to show you the impact. It’s really okay to be a “kaypoh” sometimes.

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Img source from Google.

 

Outdoor: Forest Adventure

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post.

We first came across tree top adventure when we visited Melbourne in 2014. We have since been looking for something similar for ourselves and the boy in Singapore since we came back. And we finally found it at Forest Adventure.

So what exactly is a tree top adventure. It is a high element obstacle course that takes place among the trees. You are expected to overcome the obstacles and make your way down, which usually ends with zipping down a line.

It’s good for adults as I treat it like fun exercising. You will require a certain amount of strength to complete the course. I was aching the next day after I completed the adult Grand Course at the forest adventure. For children, it helps them overcome their fear of heights and also teaching them to persevere on. The sense of accomplishment when they finish is surely rewarding.

Here are some examples of the obstacle courses for the kids.   

   
Do not worry, if your kids follow instructions, they are pretty safe. Your kid will be belted to the line and it definitely can take their weight. Cause it’s the same line they will use to zip down when they finish their course.

You can find out more about their opening hours on their website. Pre-booking is required.