Category Archives: The Mommy Psyche

Echo Mode

child’s play manila has moved to its permanent home!

Me: Are you a baby or big girl?

Daughter: Big girl!

Me: Are you big girl or baby?

Daughter: Baby!

She’s right. When she doesn’t get what she wants, she can cry like a baby but turns the tears on and off like a big girl, a future Dakota Fanning.

My toddler has been in echo mode for the past 2 weeks. You know, repeating the last word I say to make it appear like we’re having a conversation– nothing too different from attending a boring cocktail party for work.

Click here for more echo conversations.


The World as She Knows It

child’s play manila has moved to its permanent home!

Continuing the series on child x-ray vision and getting to know your toddler from the inside.

When your toddler seems to be breaking things left and right remember this: Toddlers are rookies in life. They don’t know any better.

Do you remember moving into your first home? Everything seemed perfect when you found it, inspected it and renovated it. And then you lived in it. Totally different story.

Click here to find out how similar you and your toddler are afterall.

Child X-Ray Vision

child’s play manila has moved to its permanent home! Come visit:

Uh-oh. Just discovered a new dimension to child vision.

She sees: Art on canvass

I see: Click here to see my view

Who’s The Boss?

What kids lack in words they compensate with actions aka performances.

Last year, a friend told me about her five-year old who vehemently objected to the idea of her mother going on a trip with her dad, for a wedding no less. On the morning that she was to depart, her five-year old contracted a fever. Her mother says she summoned it. I couldn’t believe it.

Then it happened to me.

It was time for a break. I nursed her back to health all week and it was time for some R & R. Nothing crazy, just a meal and maybe some karaoke with friends visiting from Singapore.  You know the anticipation and excitement that you feel when you’re about to board a plane to a new country for an awesome adventure or getting out of the office early enough on a Friday to beat the rush hour? THAT’S how I felt about going out last night.  I can’t believe that’s what it has come to.

Anyway, she summoned a fever.

Apparently, I did not apply for this vacation leave soon enough. Like any guilt-laden mother (i.e., rookie first-time mom), I stayed in. I’m not going into the drama of how she convinced me to skip my date with the husband. I’ll save that for another post –maybe something like Top 5 Signs of a Summoned Fever or How to Overcome Mother’s Guilt or something. I’m just seriously wondering if she’d be dancing and bouncing around right now had I taken my leave…

This is beginning to smell fishy. All I know is that Daddy didn’t fall for it and I think she knew it. Is this a case of takes one to know one?

Remember me when this happens to you…

Top 5 Ways a Guilty Mom Cares for her Sick Child

Sick child = Guilty mother

Whenever my daughter gets sick, I feel nothing but guilt – the guilt of exposing her to a sickly environment, the guilt of trying to get some work done while taking care of her, the guilt of wishing she’d sleep so I can get some rest too! So here are the Top 5 ways this guilty mother cared for her sick child today:

1. Let her watch a video in order to sneak in a 30-minute workout. If I didn’t do this, I would have passed out at 3pm. The double duty of caring for a sick child is not just limited to medicine, it extends to more diaper changes, more play time, more tantrums and more hugs. So my little breather this morning got me through the day.

2. Make juice cubes. She loves juice and she loves ice. So we froze her favorite juice in an ice tray. I think I was more excited than she was. I gingerly popped the juice cube in my mouth. She tried to nibble on it like a piece of chocolate. It was too cold so she ate it from a tray and enjoyed the melted juice more than the ice. Go figure!

3. Give her the toy you stashed from last year’s Christmas shopping. Since she couldn’t go outside, I thought a new toy would compensate. A basket full of wooden fruits and vegetables certainly helped her forget her stuffy nose. She was so eager for another toy that she followed me to the bathroom– the whole day.

4. Let her eat junk food. I pulled out all the chips reserved for the weekend and the chocolates from the loot bags. If it makes her happy why not? (It makes mommy happy too!) For some reason she does not get as hyper with junk when she’s sick…must be due to the extra germ fighting action in her little body. I even entertained thoughts of getting KFC for dinner and realized that it wouldn’t be a treat for her as much as it would for me. Sinigang dinner was the way to go. She ate everything plus seconds.

5. Hug it out. In the midst of all the saliva, snot and sweat I absorbed from the past 36 hours, a miracle happened. She’s better. Was it because she embraced me through all her slumbers? Did she absorb the remaining good germs in me? Did she just pity me and decide to let the medicine kick in? As long she’s ok, my work is done.

It’s time for some KFC.

How do you nurse your child back to health?


Like all worthwhile things in life, crafts are not about the results but the process. We made a pair of binoculars today out of purely recycled items: toilet paper rolls, scrap art paper, and ribbon. I thought she’d enjoy making something. We didn’t get that far. She enjoyed handling the tools— the glue, the markers, the popsicle stick and the hole puncher. How simple children are. Here’s mommy busy with the goal in mind and there’s my daughter delighting in the stickiness of the glue, enjoying the mere act of replacing marker caps and marveling at the engineering genius of the hole puncher. It’s hard to imagine living in such a basic world. Looks like my toddler made a pair of binoculars for me!

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Source: No Time for Flash Cards

She did enjoy the binoculars at the end. Her eyes are shut most times. Honestly I think she’s merely indulging me, feeling my excitement in making them. My little politician…

What would you like to see through the eyes of a child?

Passport to Childhood

It took a while to dig out the kid in me. Becoming a young professional,a wife and then a mother all entailed increasing amounts of maturity. There’s the deadlines to meet, the helpers to manage, the budget to balance, the adjustments to address. Not once did I need to channel my inner child to resolve these situations. As adults we’re kind of forced to mute all our childhood voices so as not to be called well, childish. When I was pregnant, I doubted my mother’s instinct would ever kick in and resolved that I wasn’t the “playing-type.” Flash forward to 21 months of motherhood and here I am advocating child’s play. The irony!

Peek a boo over the table

It’s been a constant exercise in de-adulting myself to finally reach that kid lurking inside me. And you know what? I think she’s always been there. I just REALLY forgot. (how many times did you use that excuse when you were a kid?)

But now that I think about the past couple of months, I have been unconsciously imprinting my childhood on my daughter and it has been rejuvenating. What else could it be? I remember my school days desk, my sticker book, my playdates, my imaginary friend, and most importantly the feeling that time was endless. I remember the turon, the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the eggs and ketchup with rice. I remember feeling like the world (my house) was huge.

Mo-om, I know the ABCs

I remember having only one modus operandi – explore – and that time was endless. There’s no such thing as schedule, time management and agenda in a kid’s world. This morning my daughter was not interested in learning a new activity (agenda: learn the alphabet). In my attempts to improvise (read: impose my agenda), the irritation was equivalent to my husband changing the channel from Oprah to the Masters. The lesson: just let her be. So I stood back, witnessed, and assisted. She directed me to retrieve her writing materials from the shelf. She then grabbed the giant pen and walked over to her alphabet poster and pointed to every other letter while singing her ABCs. (Translation: Mo-om, I don’t need anymore alphabet activities. I know it already!)

In this instant of non-agenda, my daughter taught me (for a change) that it’s not about the activities we do, it’s the time. Sharing time with her is the best activity of all. I say share because I don’t always have to be active in her play- we’re both doing our own thing but I see her and she sees me. We basically tune in to each other for commercial breaks. Just in case she needs a pick me up, I do go and find an activity or rehash an old one that could enrich our time together. But sometimes I don’t need any props at all: playing peek a boo over and under a table is enough to throw her into a fit of giggles, a funny face- a funny sound, or mommy-being-a-silly-kid seems to be her favorite kind of play.

Peek a boo under the table

It took me a while to realize that my kid is my passport to being a kid all over again. This has got to be the best parenting perk of all. I am allowed to plug int o the kid I once was and still am. The funny thing is I started writing this blog to remember to play with my daughter and to remember her at this age. Now I write to remember me this way. It’s something that I don’t want to forget again.