parenting


My eldest son, Arthur, again showed his true worth by bagging the Akela award in scouting. An incipient leader who excels in his academics, I guess he naturally cinched it.

Akela is the highest honors, coveted by many, in cub scouting where one’s wisdom, authority and leadership is tested.

This is not the first time – and surely wouldn’t be the last – that this “urchin” made me feel real proud of being a father.

Since I didn’t blog about Pinas independence day, I was thinking that it would be distastefully unpatriotic of me doing so for my patron country of 11 years. But then again, we ourselves cannot acquiesce whether it’s June 12 or July 4, which gives me a rather lame excuse to do so.

Singapore’s 42nd national day was last Thursday. Not that I’m dilly-dallying with the greetings. It’s just that I was just pretty occupied on that day binge drinking with a Singaporean friend. The guy is perfectly a snug fit to Pinoy culture. Our drinking culture, that is: drinking to really get drunk!

Yesterday I was in servile with the company whom I expect to toss me out like a worn out rag in less than a year.

Before I really get off-tangent…

We flew here one year, or so, after our marriage and practically raised the family in this “little red dot, one degree north of the equator”. The years  would be a dead give-away that we somehow come to like place. It’s a place we feel we can a give good headstart for our kids so uprooting back to pinas, or to any country for that matter, anytime soon is not on the radar screen.

I guess this is second home to us despite my not-so-many animosities to certain facets of life. Like you have to have a TV and radio (for cars) license, where the suicide per capita is one of the highest, where locals normally don’t brush their teeth after lunch making meetings in the afternoon a dreaded affair, where the length of the skirts is kept to the minimum leaving little to the imagination, where visible cleavage is redefined as the crack not of the bosom but of the posterior.

On the second thought, I’m taking back the last two.

Parents beware. It seems that young children, rubber clogs and escalator is not a good combination.

Yesterday, here in Singapore, a one-year old boy’s foot was stuck in an escalator. Writhing and wailing, he caught the attention of a passer-by who hit the e-stop in the nick of time. The boy was rushed to the hospital, was treated for minor injuries and discharged on the same day.

Some were not as lucky.

Like this 8-year old boy who needed ten stitches to close the gash so bad that the bones were showing. Or this 2-year old girl whose big toe was ripped off by a similar accident last year.

…1 in 5 primary school kids get bullied here in Singapore.

I’m quite persuaded that you will arrive roughly at that figure in any part of the world. Of course those cases where the receiving party gets really tormented, preventing them from leading a normal life and tarnished for life by the experience is very much lower — like the case of Ben Cox who was compensated by the Australian court for being bullied 12 years ago. But still, we have to agree that is still a source of concern.

In retrospect, I don’t remember being bullied. Sprouting from a ghetto-like place in Manila, I wasn’t easily get intimidated by slur or threat of violence then. Boys were expected to slug it out for any imaginable misunderstanding. It’s pretty normal as long no one gets really badly hurt and most of time one gets a congratulatory back-slap. Sometimes from their very own patriarch. It’s no big deal going home with a “blackeye” or bruises here and there.

Times has changed.

Like most of the evils of these real world, bullying is here to stay and there’s no way we can keep the world sterile for our kids. You may not agree with me but I think a healthy dose is necessary, and even unavoidable at that. It’s like how immunization works. You introduce a manageable amount of disease to help the person to better overcome it later on in life.

The important thing is to be vigilant and make sure it doesn’t get out of hand. Resources on how to deal with bullies are abound in the web. As parent, one is duty-bound to know how to deal with this menace.

I promised Abby to fetch her after school with the bike but since it was drizzling, we just traipsed home. Like any child of her age –and to my irritation, initially — she kept stumping on puddles along the way. But I let her be. I ended up joining her childish prank, and gleefully at that. I hope moments like this would etched more in her memory and less of my shortcomings.

It seems to be raining everyday which is a welcome relief. Not only that it makes the surroundings cooler, but it could help dash the dengue outbreak that’s becoming a source of concern here specially at the eastern part.

I’m somewhat under the weather so I decided to just stay at home and sulked. Still, what’s looming keeps me worried. Oh well, I’m sure it just a natural stage.

lovely filipinas

Yesterday was racial harmony day and as part of the celebration, students were encouraged to don their traditional attire. Abby, a kikay naturel, was all elated just to do that. My two boys found an excuse and begged me to beef up their stipend for that day to try out traditional delicacies which is also very much a part of the celebration. Singapore is a melting pot and it’s relatively miniscule size gives it more reason to bthe boy from atlantise vigilant.

That night, we, minus Arthur who’s too busy “surfing” at home, just frolic in the pool while waiting for Alex to finish his swimming lesson.

ireply

I ripped the ireply badge from Wifely Steps and posted it on my sidebar to assure you that come hell or high water, i’ll be replying to your comment…I don’t really get a lot, anyway. :p

My second son who is in primary 3 played truant the other day. He skipped his pottery class (one of his co-curricular activities) to visit the place of his classmate. What was so appalling was that his classmate’s place is nowhere nearby that they had to take a cab to get there! How we came to know? He should had been home by 6pm and since the school was just a stone throw from our flat (apartment), that by seven, we were a bit worried that I sent my eldest son to school to look for him. Of course he didn’t find him there. We were at our wit’s end and close to being ballistic when he came home as meekly as he can possibly be in an hour or so.

Alex is naturally adept academically that despite his so called “mischiefs”, he is at the crème de la crème class and managed to float in and out of the top 10. Not bad indeed, but obviously he has to exert effort to realize his full potentials. Even his teacher, during those meet-the-parent sessions, would say so. He is just so playful that he tends to neglect some of his school work, risk being reprimanded and even skipped meals just to get his fix.

This is just a passing stage, I know. A challenge not just for him but more for me. I should be more sensible, creative and mostly patient in dealing with him and not to feel out of control which feeds anger and disappointment. I’m working on it.

He reminds me of my childhood. And by then standards, he’s pretty tame. Sabi nga ni misis, “kanino pa ba magmamana?!”

It takes one to tame one.

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