Sunday, December 4, 2016

When there’s FOUR in the Family

Everyone likes to say I am productive, my friends, family and even colleagues. As much as I would like them to be talking about my work, they were really teasing me about the number of children I have. Well, I love kids, and although my wife didn't really liked the idea of having them initially, she definitely fell in love with them as they came along. So we are really happy with our situation now.

We celebrated many milestones with our firstborn and second. I could still remember singing nursery rhymes along with the little kiddos when they first learnt the songs and I was really amazed. I still recall the first time we brought Steffi to the swimming pool and taught her to swim. She was really great and would be able to hold her breath underwater. A natural water baby, at around 6 months old at best. Leroy wasn't too bad either but I just cannot remember much about the other two, except that both dare not go underwater till now. We didn't manage to spend as much time in the pools after having them.

I would have imagined new parents tracking each and every little milestones of their firstborn, like what I may have done with Steffi too initially, before Leroy came along that is. But when my babies started popping out at intervals of only around 2 years, it started getting harder as our focus and attention would be on many other more important stuff, like getting the younger ones properly fed and their nutrition taken care of!

To be absolutely honest, I hadn't been tracking their milestones as I may have wanted. I myself was surprised on many occasions when they did things I didn't know they had already learnt, Such as Steffi doing simple science experiments she learnt on YouTube, or Leroy singing to really pop songs, Stacci drawing beautiful doodles, and Louie understanding and speaking Bahasa Indonesia. On one hand I felt guilty for not paying as much attention to them individually as I would have loved to, but on the other hand I do feel happy and relieved that they were doing really okay!

I always believe in giving the kids a real childhood, instead of one filled with classes upon classes of enrichments and what nots. However it is sad that I was actually being "told off" by my kiddos' kindergarten teachers once, and asked to revise and go through the alphabets with the kiddos back at home. At the back of my mind I was thinking, wasn't that the reason I sent the kiddos to childcare in the first place? My weekends would usually be filled with fun activities for the kiddos, something I tell myself to cut down on so that I can get some rest but always failed. It is really not easy being parents these days.

The happy fun-loving me would be telling myself that at the end of the day, wealth and grades doesn't matter, only the time spent together makes everything worthwhile and life worth living. But then the conservative and sensitive me, would also be debating if what I am doing is right? How would others view me? And if I am an irresponsible father for being the way I am now, not seriously thinking about their education? The fun-loving me is winning for the time being, but the peer pressures from the other "mainstream" parents are really strong too! I really wonder how much longer I can stay this way.

I have to admit that the way I behave right not, is not totally what I WANTED, but also as a result of the financial situation I am in right now. Many would say that you can always find time (to tutor and teach the kiddos) but I say yeah right, try doing it with 4 kiddos in the house! And no, I also cannot afford sending all the kiddos to enrichment classes or private tuitions, or relocate to some prestigious schools just for a chance for them to get into one!

The recent articles on the PSLE results is scary, I would be overjoyed to see my kiddos getting passing grades for all the subjects! My kiddos may not be academically-inclined, but I sure hope that they are inclined to good health and happiness! Every family’s situation is different. Milestones, are merely milestones after all, the kiddos are what matters ultimately!

Note: This blog post is in collaboration with Friso. Kids learn from experiences whether big or small, good or bad. That’s why Friso provides the right nutrition for your child to be strong inside to take on challenges. For more information on Friso, follow them on their Website, Facebook or Instagram.

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