Thursday, 26 February 2009

The terrible TWO – temper tantrum


I really need help in this.

What affects Emmet’s tantrums:
1. Not having his way
2. Not having his way
3. Not having his way

He screams.
He throws himself on the floor.
He tries to hit me if I come near.
But he’ll get up and call “Mammo!!!”
But when I try to pick him up he’ll throw himself back on the floor.


“Emmet, you misbehaved and I am going to have to put you at the naughty corner for you to calm down for two minutes okay…”

Translation… “Emmet! Naughty corner! Senyap dulu baru Mommy datang!”

And after he stopped screaming I count until two minutes before I go and give him a lecture of what he did wrong and how he should behave in that kind of situation. But I’m not sure he understands me because he was looking at the tele and when I asked him to look at me and point my two fingers to me eyes, he would just immitate me and point his two fingers to his eyes and that was pretty funny.

But I lecture him anyway. Then hugs and kisses and he’ll just forget about my lecture.

This didn’t work every time. Yes he is afraid of the naughty corner. Most of the time I threatened him with the naughty corner he will quickly cooperate.

His main problem is when he wants something that Mika is holding or playing with. He is just so dengki like that with Mika. Can’t see Mika having a good time. But I know I’m on the right track because Emmet is indeed learning.

1. At first he just rampas toys from Mika, thinking all toys are his.

2. Then after the introduction of naughty corner, he will still rampas but after threatened he will give it back to Mika.

3. Then he learned that he can actually give other toys in exchange for the toys that Mika is playing. But he will still just rampas. (I am teaching him that it is not nice to rampas but he is still not getting it. Sabar…he will eventually learn)

4. Now he will find other toys to give to Mika first before asking/taking toys from Mika’s hands. Sometimes if Mika wants the toy that Emmet is offering, he will give the toy he is holding to Emmet. Not bad kan…

However, there are times when he is just on top of his lungs and there’s a pergnant lady in the house that I assume is surely pening one with the screaming and he is just getting too heavy for me to pick up with all his flying arms and legs.

Maybe next time I should try putting him in the bedroom.


I find out some tips that I think I might try out. There are a lot of articles that are quite confusing. When to use time outs and when not to use it. Spank or no spank. Use that tone or use no tone. I just find methods that I’d like to believe in.

Respect your child’s independence in choosing what they want to play with and what they want to eat as long as it isn’t endagering himself and others. Support your child in his favourite things to do, favourite toys, favourite game, favourite snacks, favourite place. Don’t take these things away from them. How would you feel if your favourite things are taken away from you, right?

It takes time for a toddler to learn about empathy. So don’t frustrate yourself or scold him when your child is poking other kids. Kindly guide your child away from the situation and always explain that it is unacceptable to behave that way. Distract him immediately with other activities.

The following are from here.

Tantrums are normal for two year olds. It is normal for tantrums to bug parents too, but you can minimize that. Here are some things that might help.

First, respect the situation. That means that it helps if you understand that tantrums are normal. Two year olds are not very good at organizing their feelings and expressing themselves well. They get overwhelmed. Tantrums are most likely when children are out of their usual routine (skipped nap, visitors, etc) hungry or tired.

Tantrums are usually self long as adults don't interfere. Tantrums are prolonged when, in the perception of the child, they are effective in getting either special service, attention or power. It helps if parents realize that tantrums are just one way of expressing feelings, and to allow their children to have their feelings without feeling the need to punish or rescue.

A respectful way of treating a child with a tantrum is to gently let them know that you love them, and when they are done with the noise you'll be glad to give them a hug and some love....and then move a few paces away. (A hug at the end of a tantrum is not a reward, it is a way to re- establish a connection and belonging that they couldn't find in the first place) Do this wherever you are. (Yes, kids can pick some pretty embarrassing places to have tantrums. I remember a couple in the milk section of the grocery store, and another in front of Nordstroms at the mall during Christmas shopping. Other parents have been there too...they know you are not a meanie parent...and they have empathy. Besides, most of them have never seen you before and never will again.)

Second: Respect yourself. In the environment of a tantrum this is pretty challenging. Do what you need to do to remain calm, undisturbed and really understand that the tantrum is not about you. It is your daughter's stuff (though she will do everything she can to make you feel bad about it). When she starts to calm down it works well to ask if she is ready for the hug yet or if she wants to cry a little more first. Stay firm and stay kind at the same time. The message of love will come through loud and strong.


Respect the situation (look for understanding and respect those involved):

All kids make noise. Some more than others. Kids are very creative with their behaviors and can find behaviors that push your buttons....and then keep using them. It isn't that they want to bother or hurt you, it is that they have a continual need to belong and when they can keep you busy with them they feel that connection.

Respect yourself. If you don't like the loud noise (screaming), kindly and firmly let Jordyn know that and then have the tongue in your shoe match the tongue in your mouth. "I am going to go to another room until the volume in here is back to an inside noise level" (and then leave the room). Occasionally when my kids were younger I would need to take a time out in the bathroom just to restore myself. I kept comic books in the bathroom and locked the door.

Sometimes the child would sit outside and cry for awhile (which made it take longer for me to feel better). When I felt better (in 5 minutes or so) I would open the door and invite them in for a hug saying "Whew! I feel better now that I took a little time out, would you like a hug?" I have quite a few memories of sitting on the bathroom floor with a soggy, warm child in my lap as we got back on track together. Walking away from screaming is hard and is not an instant cure. It does work over time.

And what to do if your child hits other children? I like this approach.

Stay with your child in such situations, and get between them and any other children if there's any sign of them hitting. Model the kind of behaviour with other children that you want your child to pick up on.

Be really verbal "little girl down the slide and then it'll be your turn. There she goes 1, 2, 3 weee and now it's your go!". "That boy is playing with that ball. Shall we find a ball for you?"

Make sure you always have a soft toy or a book or something in your bag - acts as collatoral in potential toy conflicts. I know some groups of mamas whose children regularly go home with each other's soft toys, because that was the thing each child was happy holding as they parted. Charity shop toys are good for this sort of thing - I'd always be prepared to just give a 60p toy away to some other person's child rather than having a fight start.

Just in case you weren't anyway... you need to be right there with your child, helping them to learn about interacting with the world in a way that will make people love them. It's not a question of telling off, it's just that they've learned to walk and they've learned to talk a bit, and now they are in the process of learning to interact with strange children - they need your loving guidance in getting that right.

Every action must be done with LOVE.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Why a housewife is a full-time job

7.00 am
Emmet will automatically wake up asking for Mika and roti. I will act like I’m still asleep, ignoring his calls.

7.15 am
Give in to his cries and go prepare his oat porridge. While cooking in the micro, switch on tele. When it’s cooked, let it to cool. I go and prepare my breakfast and by the time I finnished, we eat together.

7.45 am
Let Emmet play while I clean the dishes and the kitchen. Vacuum if required.

8.00 am
Since I take care of Mika as well this is breakfast time for Mika. So will prepare his breakfast now.

8.30 am
Free time to play with them or do the laundry or lipat kain or take the chicken/beef/fish out from the freezer to defrost for cooking lunch.

10.00 am
Bathe Mika and put him to nap. Clean up.

10.45 am
Bathe Emmet. Clean up room.

11.30 am
Free to play with Emmet.

12.00 pm
Prepare lunch. Mika will wake up from his nap around this time.

12.30 pm
Lunch with Emmet and Mika

2.30 pm
Milk time for Mika

4.00 pm
Change Mika and put him to nap

5.15 pm
Snack time for Mika and Emmet.

5.45 pm
Change Emmet.

6.00 pm
Prepare dinner

7.30 pm
Dinner with Emmet and Mika. By then Mika’s parents will get home from work.

8.00 pm
Clean up dishes and kitchen.

9.30 pm
Change Emmet and get ready for bed.

10.30 pm
Free at last. But only to be cleaning up after the mess from the kids.

Tu pun I didn’t mention shower, prayer time, those are equally challenging for me as well.

I find it really hard to do anything else lets say if I want to indulge into some hobby or interest. These things should be done without interuption at least for 2 hours straight otherwise the feeling or the passion will get lost in the chaos.

I have to be ready to referee these two kids when they are playing together. Sure gaduh one then I have to go and rescue. Not to mention the accidents that’ll happen when they run around the house. So the only thing that I can do is watch the cartoons with them and internet surfing.

I always take sometimes a day to read a news article on the Utusan Malaysia Online. I read a few sentences and suddenlly “Huwwaaaa!” goes Mika or “Mammo!” goes Emmet.

I try my best at giving them attention yet most of the time letting them be independent. So I have to always be in the lookout even though I let them play and explore their creativity and imagination alone. One of my eyes must always be watching them for moments that I could butt in and give them a praise for what they did good and warn them for what they did wrong. Respond to them for every conversations they try to make even though I don’t understand them. And think of a game to play when they are bored or on the verge of crying.

Sometimes they are testing me with their annoying cries and tantrums. They can be really loud. Truly challenging but I am trying my best at keeping myself composed and select carefully behavior that needed to be ignored, punnished and hugged.

By the end of the day I’m just drained…

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Bedtime stories

You know…I find it is always different when you want to do something from what you read. There is never a clear cut instruction when it comes to raising a child. Like I have been reading up some suggestions and advice on how to put your child to bed happy. For once I would love to read a book where it guarantees that the instructions in it will succeed. At the end of the day, you are better off relying on your own instinct and creativity.

I just want to cerita about Emmet’s bedtime story laaa… So panjang pulak my introduction. Hehe…

I just started to read bedtime stories to Emmet since a couple of weeks ago. Well, one story book baru. And I must also bring some toys into his cot for later use. So after changing his nappy and put on his jammies (he is now into power control and decision making so he tiba-tiba love his PJ…another entry for this) then I put him into his cot and invited him to read a story about Bob the Builder with me. “Jom-jom kita baca buku Bob the Builder!” Have to act excited coz once I put him into his cot he will get anxious coz he is afraid to sleep alone.

Everything must be done smoothly without delay. Change nappy-PJ-into cot-open book-get him to sit down in cot-start reading. I read away, with facial expression and all. Of course he will not concentrate on the story but at least he is sometimes interested in my moving fingers along the sentences and tried to immitate me. He will also be interested in some of the characters in the pictures…sometimes. Then back to his scrathing la, yawning, soft toys, aeroplane, poking my eyes, etc…

After the end of the story I would go “ Ok finnished! Nite-nite puppy, nite-nite book!” It really helps if I tuck in all his toys yang ada dalam cot tu masuk dalam selimut, coz he will land his head on the pillow together with his toys. I guess he doesn’t like sleeping alone. Then I would pat him to sleep, usually would take around 10 minutes or less. I would eliminate patting eventually when he is more adapt to this routine.

But he is still waking up in the middle of the night crying out for me. Last night I tak layan but Rizal got up and assured him back to sleep. He cried but we never pick him up this time so eventually he went back to sleep. I still have to determine the factors. Could he be scared because it’s dark, he is still isn’t used to the cot being place away from us, he is cold. Nothing in the book to tell me what to do…Very the pemalas me.

Monday, 16 February 2009

5 things you don't know about me

1. I am very garang at times.

2. I hate driving.

3. I can’t imagine life without a handphone, even though I don’t use it that much.

4. I don’t have many close friends.

5. I love eating horlicks!

5.1 I find it not that hard to be tagged. Just don’t write that many lines la. Hehe…

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

It's snowing!

It snowed again last Sunday morning and this time there was a more generous amount of snow falling in Balbriggan. Emmet was recovering from his asthma but was so eager to go out in the snow he practically pull up his pants on his own and find his snowcap excitedly. He even let me put on gloves for him. He loves making snowballs and threw them away. He was so busy scooping almost all the snow at the backyard.

However, he gave me a very hard time when it is time to go back home after 15 minutes of snow time. Look how excited he was running in the snow in this video.

After we got back home the snow started to melt already. It didn't snow eversince. I'm glad we went out that day . God knows when's the next time Emmet will play in snow again.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Another cold

Emmet is down with a cold again. I keep reminding myself it is just a cold….it is just a cold…

But no…I still can’t sleep at night. I might keep a straight face for the people but being a mother, it is still just so heartbreaking seeing your child sick in his bed, trying to breathe through his congested tiny nose.

And thinking when should I change his nappy because he fell asleep before I could change him. And when he wakes up, should I give him a cough medicine and paracetamol? And I need to give him his inhaler puffs as well. I can just imagine what the battle would be like.

And more heartbreaking when he coughs up in the middle of his sleep and call out “Mammo!” dengan suara serak-serak basah dia tu.

Even now, I am sitting beside his bed upstairs, brought my laptop with me so that when he cries in his sleep I am here to pat him back to sleep.

While I was patting him earlier, I looked out the window and saw flashing lights from an aeroplane and thinking Emmet would’ve loved to see the aeroplane. He would scream excitedly with his loud voice “Tiyyyaaaa!!” his nickname for aeroplane.

It’s been quite a while since he last saw an aeroplane in the sky because it’s been snowing and raining for the last few days. Usually when the sky is clear we could easily see the aeroplanes at he front and back of the house that would definitely cheer him up.

I really hope you would get well real soon, Emmet. Coz I can’t wait to tell you about the aeroplane that I saw when you were asleep…

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Sleep training and discontinuing breastfeeding

So much has been happening I haven’t got time to catch a breath. Apart from my husband getting retrenched just before new year and having to move into our friend’s house which is so far away from the city center, Emmet is starting to become more independent now more than ever.

Thought our training on his sleeping habit got a bit jumbled up in the event of us moving and what not, we started placing his cot a feet away from our bed this time. He was okay during the tucking in. But lately, eversince he can call out his ‘Mammo’ he would call me out with his hands spread open asking me to hug him and wanted to sleep with me. But other times he was okay in his cot but I had to tuck in his aeroplane, his fish, his turtle and whatever lah beside him as well. Then I would lie down on my own bed and say ‘Nite nite’ to him and pretend to sleep. Sometimes I fell asleep betul-betul. But other times he would fell asleep within minutes. I am trying to get him to sleep earlier now like 9.30pm.

The other big step for Emmet is discontinuing breastfeeding. I am a bit sad about this since I am not yet confident that I can supplement him with enough nutrition to substitute the breastmilk that he’s been getting all this while. I am sadder knowing how much I am going to miss breastfeeding him and cuddling with him. I am saddest when I found out that I am gaining weight faster than ever in the first week after stopping breastfeeding.


But I know it’s about time I stopped breastfeeding him anyway. He is now 2 years and 7 months and it has been 2 weeks since his last breasfeed session. What I did to stop the cycle? Gosh! Really tiring…

I can’t sit down on the sofa otherwise he would come and sit on my lap and engage into a breastfeeding position. Then I would have to divert his attention to the tele or the imaginary aeroplane flying outside the window or bribe him with more biscuits. So I have to stand up or sit at the dining area in the kitchen. He sometime scream in the first week of no breastfeed but after a while he can be easily distracted by other interesting stuff.

The funny thing is, in week two of no breastfeed, I heard him ‘Blablabla shshu blablabla’. OMG! Now that I’ve stopped breastfeeding baru mau reti sebut susu! So I told him ‘Susu dah habis!’ He took it pretty well but quickly accompanied by other distraction a.k.a biskut oat.

I really missed cuddling with him. I really missed feeding him with my breasts. I really missed the let-down feeling. My boy is growing up so soon. He fights with Mika but when Mika fell down and cry, Emmet would go and help mika up and say ‘Aaaa kayyy!’ meaning “Are you okay?”