Every night between 10.30 and 10.50, I perform a task. It involves tiptoeing into my six
No, no, no Mr Joggin Dad, you’re doing it all wrong, wrong, wrong!
year-old son’s room, carefully carrying my sleeping first-born in an upright position to the bathroom, with his head resting on my shoulder. Once there, I pull down his pyjama pants and sit him on the toilet so that he can do his night-time relief – something he rarely fails to do even though he is usually still in dreamland. I then carry Prince #1 back to his room, tuck him into bed snuggly, and repeat the whole exercise with Prince #2, my precious four year-old second son.
“You know, you shouldn’t do that! You should allow your children to learn to visit the toilet at night by themselves“. Continue reading
Ever since our two boys L and C arrived on the scene, I have rarely managed to talk to my wife like we used to B.C. (Before Children). Back in those days, our conversations were spontaneous and fun. Most importantly, they went back and forth in a coherent sequential string.
Enter the Children!
Everybody, talk at once
Now that they are 6 and 4, going on to 16 and 14, my wife and I can’t for the life of us converse in a normal human way when these little ones are around.
To begin with, there is no eye contact. This is because our attention is constantly diverted by the boys’ needs, be it gluing together their cardbard ninja swords or breaking up their no-holds-barred ninja fights. Even during those brief moments when our eyes do meet, I know hers are preoccupied trying to see through mine, so that she can keep a watch on the mischief the kids are up to behind my back. Continue reading
Hero now, but for how long?
Despite the endless mischief they get up to, and the lack of any that my wife and I are able to get into because of them, I find my two boys just so much fun to be with right now.
They have been sleeping through most nights for the past couple of years – something we never thought would happen during their early days, when the elder one used to wake up 3-4 times every night due to eczema, while the younger one used to cry 3-4 hours every night before he fell asleep. Now aged 6 and 4, respectively, L and C not only sleep well but also cherish the pre-bedtime ritual of reading, talking and interrogating their ignorant father about all the mysteries of the world (“Who first found God?“, “Why do you run?“). And because they enjoy it so much, so do I, especially as it is often the only time of the day I get a chance to “talk” to them, as oppose to yell at them or plead with them - my two standard modes of communicating with these two cheeky rascals. Continue reading
“THOMAS! Stop splashing others in the face or we’re going straight home!” thundered a forty-something man at his son whose age was probably about a tenth of his father’s.
- We all feel like that sometimes!
Instead of taking heed of the threat, however, the kid immediately proceeded to intensify his splashing on all the other children around him in the swimming pool. Not only that, but he started snatching their floating paraphernalia (foam noodles, kicking boards) and chucking them all over the place.
“RIGHT, THOMAS, YOU COME OUT HERE RIGHT NOW, AND ALSO SAY SORRY TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS!” screamed his father from poolside.
I’m not sure whether any of the other children were his friends but none of them appeared thrilled that this Thomas boy blatantly ignored his father and refused to get out of the pool. Certainly, my younger son, C, was no friend of Thomas, having had his little goggles repeatedly fogged up by unwanted splashing in his direction. Continue reading
Running, parenting – all for love
I have a marathon next month in Canberra, the capital city of Australia with a population of about one-tenth of Sydney – perfect for holding a 42.2km race without the need to disturb any traffic or anyone.
In preparation for this event (my second attempt at the distance), I decided to go for a long 24km run this afternoon. Not nearly enough but neither is the availability of time, what with my weekend bathing duties with the kids and the witching hour that is dinner.
At the risk of sounding self-congratulatory, it is amazing how far I have come though. If someone had told me in 2006 when I picked up running again, that I would reach a stage where 24km of non-stop pounding of the pavement and the heart will become as nonchalant a task as cleaning the car, I would have laughed at his face. I still remember the enormous struggle I had just to run 4km in those early days, and suffering the next morning as if I had done 40.