Whose turn is it to wash the dishes?

dirty dishesThe dinner table is where everything happens in my family. The kids and I go our own ways during the day. As soon as the children go out the front door with their own variations of “bye, mom!”, we are off to our own individual worlds, separate from each other’s – high school, college and work. It is only during dinner that we become a single unit again – a family.

Lately though, our family of four (big sister, only brother, little sister and I), have been trimmed and now, often numbers three only. Big sister gets home too late to join us for dinner. Little sister and brother had to adjust to this considerably huge change in our daily routine,

Though this has been going on for several weeks already, little sister would still ask where big sister is and aren’t we going to wait for her. I think it’s more to do with the fact that the clean up chores are suddenly just divided into two instead of three, the way it has always been. I’d hear them talking and arguing about whose turn is it now and isn’t it big sister’s tonight.

Most of the time I leave them to their arguments, often lasting till the time big sister gets home and would join in the melee. Not that I am encouraging their petty quarrels but because I am secretly enjoying evenings such as these, when I still have a brood under my roost. Soon, my nest would be empty when all of them are off to college and living their own lives, separate from mine.

But why borrow trouble? Soon won’t be here for another two years and I’d do better to enjoy all the chicks and their antics while I still can.

My daughter, the College Girl!

Kye (although she now goes by Kass outside the home), my eldest daughter had just started college, after almost half a year of agonizing (and endless arguments) over what course she will take. She finally decided on BS Food Tech at PUP. No quarrels from my end on that choice. I know of a lot of food techs from PUP who have made good careers in the food industry. Of course, I would have preferred her to study in my dear alma mater (UPD), but alas, it is not to be.

She seems to be enjoying college life despite the commute via the overcrowded PNR (which she really really hates, btw), the fastest and most economical way of getting from Taguig to Sta. Mesa everyday. She came back from her course orientation excited and encouraged and is now looking forward to Freshman Night with all the enthusiasm that a 16 year old has.

I remember when she was just barely four and about to start school. I enrolled her in a private school over the protestations of my sister (a school teacher) and my father (a school principal), encouraged by the above average score she got in the entrance exam. She wore her uniform (a scottish inspired plaid skirt, a beret, black knee socks and the smallest boots we could find) with such pride. She smiled at me in that endearing impish way she had and told me, “I am big girl now, Mommy!”

Fast forward to 12 years later. The cute girl is turning into a beautiful woman. I just hope that she will go through life a little more cautiously than I did and enjoy each stage of womanhood as she deserves to.

Carpe diem, Kassandra!

My (not so little anymore) girl is college bound

My daughter, Kassandra Pearl, is graduating from high school on Sunday (update: graduated March 17). We have not yet reached an agreement on where she will go for her college education. She is hell bent on dentistry while I am trying to sway her into a 4-year BS course (Food Tech, Psych or Bio) or a nursing degree. I would have wanted her to take engineering (ECE or IE) but she says that as she hates Math and Math hates her in return, why bother?  It doesn’t help that there are a lot to choose from and my daughter is so easily influenced by her peers and what she believes is lucrative. (update: she has chosen Food Tech)

I have told her that there are basically just  two reasons in choosing a college major: to prepare for a specific job or to immerse yourself in a subject that interests and excites you. But then, after deciding, these two should be merged and embraced with passion and vigor.

I remember when she was little and would often tag along when I go to work. The fact that I am a Food Tech and have been working a long time in food manufacturing must have influenced her decision a lot. Little do we know that the things we parents do serve as examples and models for our children to emulate.

My little girl may change her mind over the course of four years and opt to become a dentist after all. But knowing that she, at one time, wanted to be just like me, fills my heart to bursting.

Get your preschool kid ready for school

Finally, your child is ready to start preschool. You have both been waiting for this day to come. You have actually been thinking long and hard about the preparations you need to do to get her ready for preschool. She knows some of the alphabet already and can count to 10 but not always in the correct order. What else can you teach her?

Letters and numbers are things they will learn in school. What you should be focusing on are the social skills that your child will need to adapt to the new environment that she will be in, without you beside her to intercede. Read on and find out what some of these things are.

Can she dress herself?

The teacher probably doesn’t want to spend all her time putting on coats and zipping pants all day. Teach your child how to put on her own coat and zip her pants. Self care is one of the most important skills that your child should have when she starts to go to preschool.

Choose your children’s shoes well. A preschooler may not yet be able to tie shoelaces by himself but you can teach her how to put on shoes on the right feet. Buy shoes that can be easily taken off and put on again. Practice this skill at least one week before school starts.

Toilet training

Knowing how to take care of her bathroom needs tops this list. A child is usually ready to be toilet trained before she starts preschool but there are others who are late starters. Check with the school about their requirements. Does the preschool require that children be toilet trained already or will they at least allow a few months of pull-on diapers?

How to share

Make sure your child knows that she will have to share toys, books and other things inside their classroom with the other children. Encourage her to ask rather than just grab and let her play with other kids in your neighborhood to foster group play.

Sitting still

Sitting still is a skill not many preschoolers may have mastered because of their short attention span. Practice at home with your child. Set aside a time each day for both of you to sit together and read or play. You can also set a specific time to eat snacks and teach her that she cannot eat every time she wants to.

Responsible for her things

Make a list of the things your child needs for school such as children’s shoes, backpack and lunchboxes. Shop for school supplies together and get your child involved in choosing her things. Then, teach her how to organize her bag and pencil case. Teach her the importance of keeping her things organized so she won’t lose her things.

Preschool readiness is very important. You and your child have to prepare for the big day and prevent the first day of school from becoming distressful to you both.