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Preschool days

Did not want to go in the morning (most days), did not want to leave in the afternoon (sometimes). Positives: she started to call some teachers by name, and some friends by name. She talked quite a bit in English, continuing make progress on language.

Kindermusik, sit on teachers’ lap. A nice overlap for her as this class is only class she goes this whole semester (with the transition from toddler to preschool).

Change job
The tuition goes up again. I need to make more money to support my family. I plan to start new job on April 1 (yes April fool’s day, but hopefully new job works out for me and my family).

A bit emotional lately as a net friend passed away recently, reminds me of an old friend’s husband passed away years ago at similar age. We all need to balance our life and work at this age.

Things moving so fast

Serenity started preschool a week ago, on Friday. When she started toddler program, since I need to go to work early in the morning, I have not been able to drop her off or pick her up much for first semester. Since I joined my current employer, I got more flexibility, and I got to see her more inside and outside classroom. I obviously miss the infant toddler community too, as I spent quite some time there (drop off, pick up, other gatherings). On her last day, we got the bags, put her stuff from her cubby, and said good bye to her teachers.

Pre-school
I have been to her preschool a few times (tour, a parent teacher gathering), I just realized it’s much bigger in terms of space, and population. So less intimacy (or cozy) feelings. But we like the teachers and it’s the same system (Hope Montessori). Minor things like fast cars on the parking lot (5 miles speed limit) bothers me a bit, but not terribly. I guess as parents we just need to be watchful of our kids in parking lot. Because each teacher is responsible for more kids (of course kids are older), it will take a while for parents to get familiar with teachers.

This moving from toddler program to pre-school thing reminds me a bit like our daughter was born, the doctor delivered the baby, in no time they cleaned up the baby, and put the baby in a scale (and light) to weigh her. Sometimes I wish things could move a bit slower. But this is the case of our modern society.

Who is doing the dishes at school: lessons learned from teachers :-)

I (actually we both my wife and myself) learned quite a bit from our daughters’ teachers. A few months ago Serenity does not like to leave when we picked her up in the late afternoon. I recall one evening we were the last car to leave the parking lot :-(

One evening, she said she wants to get a drink (water). Thought it’s a benign request, I took her back to classroom. She used 3 cups, obviously did not finish them all. I did not thought too much that day (evening) as eventually she leaves with me. Another evening, she’s doing the same in the classroom, and would not leave. Luckily the teacher was there, and talked to her about “just use one cup”, at that time I realized who is doing the dishes, not my mom, not me, not my wife, it’s our teachers :-)

We should teach our child to be respectful of others. Another example is in the restaurant, initially I did not what to say when my daughter makes large noise, after a while I came up with this answer: we are here as guests, we should be respectful of other guests (not making noises). This is better than “don’t do that”. From negative to positive.

Simplify, simplify, simplify

Our daughter has been a bit fussy lately in school (daycare/toddler program). In talking to the teacher, we agreed “too late to go to bed” is probably one reason. So we started to adjust our schedule, trying to put her to bed at around 8:30 to 9 PM. In the past, it could be 10 or 10:30 PM, due to my wife’s evening work load and my laziness. A lot of times I was just doing net surfing while our daughter was watching Netflix, or play her own toys (books).

I gave it more thought after reading our teacher’s article on the TV thing (see Hope Academy toddler home page, titled “How TV watching harms young children”). One comment kinda resonate with me is why the baby diaper needs to have some sort of cartoon figure on it. We are increasingly living in a commercial, multi-tasking, run-run-run type of society, sometimes without our own noticing. This of course has effect on young kids, and on us. From my personal perspective, I had an iPhone 4 from 2 years ago, and I have been addicted to facebook, twitter, and other apps since. I decided to unload a few apps (CNBC, LinkedIn and facebook) after re-reading the TV watching article. Let’s see how it goes.

Mine trip to Charleston/WV

Two impressions:
1) It’s not easy to get the coal, both underground (long wall), and surface (excavator, loader, truck). The geological condition (thinner seam) is making the job more difficult. One scene remains in my mind is miners eating lunch in the tunnel, while I was eating lunch in the office.

2) Commercial air travel is changed. No more spare capacity, and if affected by weather, the delay and cancellation will make travel less pleasant. We (travelers) are commodity anyway.

Growing up

This evening I was talking to my daughter: mommy and daddy will get older, will you help/support (in Chinese, it’s Yang, same words as raise kids in English) mommy and daddy. Because that word “yang” has same sound as “yang” for “itchy”, she started tickle me. But on a more serious note, she did say she will “wei” (feed) us :-)

Baby grows fast

Serenity is more than 3 weeks old. I still remember the exhausting, exciting and unsure feeling when we got back from hospital: we got to take care of her alone. Without professional help from the nice people St. John’s Mercy’s childbirth center.

The initial few days are a bit chaotic, both for myself and my wife. Then things settle down a bit, as baby eats well, and sleeps well: except she mixed up day with night. In other words, she sleeps well in afternoon and evening, but she wakes up very often (every hour or so) and needs her mom’s feed and attention.

In last few days, we tried to train her sleep better in the night (this is also advice from our Pediatrician). So far so good. Now the longest stretch is about 4 hours in the night. She continues to gain weight, and have more activities on her hand. Besides holding the feeding bottle, she tries to hold me or my wife when we hold her sometime. More interaction between us.

Daddy’s responsibility

We took the “new parents” class at St. John’s before delivery. That’s quite informative, the topics ranges from preparation for labor, to feed the baby, to home safety, there is even a short presentation by a pediatrician: on the basics of baby healthcare matters. I also remember the instructor asked us (the future dads) two tasks: put the cribs together; install the infant car seats.

Life would be too easier if that’s the only tasks for dads. From emotional support when the pregnant wife have cramps and/or difficulty to sleep due to growing belly size, house chores, to big picture issues like child development and education. I am not saying this to make myself and other new dads to worry, I think the important thing is we have a game plan. It’s hard to predict which college our kid will go, which major will she pick, but we can think about the college funds, put away some while building our nest eggs, etc.

Grandpa fix

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