Down to some REAL business

Child’s Play Manila has moved to its permanent home! Come visit!

…More tricks for those tired days!

What do you do with business cards that have nothing to do with your job?  I’m talking about the cards for restaurants, galleries, exhibits, and stores. Why do you pick one up and where do you keep them? I keep these kind of business cards if they’re pretty and for the ” just in case” scenarios (i.e. just in case I win the lottery and remember that I have the card of those things I didn’t need but suddenly do need now).  Well just in case never happens *ahem*  hasn’t happened yet. But in the mean time,  my daughter is putting those cards to good use.

Click here to see what you can do with business cards once you turn on your child vision!


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…

Child Vision…Activate!

So you’re tired from work, from your day, from your life. You come home to your bouncing toddler and she wants to play while you just want to cuddle. She’s sick of her toys and you don’t feel like doing crafts, don’t feel like inventing a story– don’t really feel like thinking period. But she’s pleading for attention and you want to deliver.

What do you do?

Child Vision… ACTIVATE! Look at your house with the eyes of your child and you’ll find easy ways to make your time with her the most memorable part of your day.

Now let’s a take a look around the house shall we?

1. You see:  a bag of your stuff

Hand bag

It's not just a bag...

She sees:  forbidden treasure

Bag of your stuff

It's a treasure chest!

Anything of yours is extremely interesting to your child. And if your stuff is off limits then take a second and remember the high of scoring alcohol using a fake ID. THAT’S how she feels when she accesses your forbidden stuff.  So why not give her a free pass? My daughter is a make-up fan so she immediately seeks the kikay kit in my handbag (and her grandmothers). Other ideas: let her explore your gym bag, your laptop bag (sans laptop). When my daughter is tired of my handbag, she tries to sneak into her dad’s gym bag and likes to handle..hmmm… his kikay kit.

2. You see: toy containers

Go kart equipment

These are multi-functional...

She sees: go-karts


If she fits into anything, all you have to do is push. You will never see or hear such PURE  JOY in your home. And for that you will summon up the energy to push and push..and push again.

3. You see: bath basin / bath tub

Not just a bath basin

This is not just a bath basin...

She sees: swimming pool

pool toys

Swimming is like taking a bath or taking a bath is like swimming:)

She loves the pool why not re-create it when she takes a bath? It took me 22 months to figure this out. My daughter is so much easier to bathe now that we added her favorite pail and a random funnel to the mix. She just loves pouring away and has even more fun with no bathing suit in the way. Now she whines when the bath is ending rather than the beginning.

4. You see: parenting magazine

not just for parents

Smart Parenting is not just for parents...

She sees: kiddie catalog

Smart Parenting is for kids too

Smart Parenting is for kids too!

Fortunately, magazines are laid out so nicely that they’re attractive to children as well. Case in point: the August 2010 issue of Smart Parenting. Let her leaf through the magazines and you can talk about what you see. In our case, she pointed out everything she recognized and even associated them with her friends. All I had to do was seriously pay attention and interpret her toddler accented English. (“I” sounds like “E”, can’t say “O” unless it’s “No” that kind of thing)

5. You see:  curtain

The curtain has feet

Curtains aren't just for blocking out the light

She sees: peek a boo

My curtain came with a kid!

They're for tiring out your kids!.. and laughing and surprising and watching the news.

This is especially useful when you’re aching to lie down and take a breather.  I also find that pretending I can’t see her  works as well. Plus, it’s the easiest way to catch the news on TV. When she uses the curtain for the peek a boo action, I super exaggerate my surprised reaction so she’s goaded to peek a boo more and is doubly surprised, doubly giddy and doubly tired.

Ok you got me. Activating child vision is tiring –more for you than your child. That’s what happens when you allow yourself to see your home as a playground. Endless possibilities! So you’re more tired and try to come up with ways to get your child to go to bed earlier. Hey if you played hard, you definitely bonded harder. If you ask me falling asleep with your child is one of the great last acts to your  day.

What have you discovered with your child vision?


My daughter has acquired the new habit of returning things to its rightful owner. She sees her dad’s glasses in the hall way bookcase, she knocks on the door of his bathroom to return them. She finds my bag, messes around with my stuff and returns individual items to me with a proud smile  (ingenious tactic on her part).  Of course, if I’m really looking for my hair  brush, she just says “No more” (i.e. “I don’t know. I don’t remember, I don’t want to) and I find it DEEP inside her closet. Ok, so she’s selective about what she returns. She’s ONE.

So she chanced upon a piece of mail with the London Business School (LBS)  logo last night. She grabbed it and handed it to her dad. He then instructed her to find everything else in the house with the same logo. She’s ONE, right? Well she ran down to our room, turned on the lights, opened the closet and rummaged through my husband’s hat collection. She delivered 2 caps (yes, he has two caps that look exactly the same).  And she wasn’t done. She proceeded to the kitchen and reached for the LBS sports bottle (yes, he IS a huge fan of his alma mater),


London Business School FOREVER

London Business School FOR-EVER!

 London Business School, are you reading this? I say give all your alums free stuff so their kids have LBS engraved in their  little minds. Future applicant, future recruiter,  and  brand loyalist right here!

Does your child have an affinity for a brand? Challenge him to find everything related to it and prepare to get your socks knocked off.

Have an awesome weekend!

Elmo for Breakfast

Thanks to our Tita E from the London satellite office, we had a guest for breakfast this morning.

Literally. She had him for breakfast…

Edible Elmo

We had a surpise guest this morning..

Watermelon, cucumber, olives, papaya

This is what Elmo looks like before he puts on his make up. (watermelon, cucumber, olives, papaya)

Putting him together

Almost done...

Wating patiently for his meal

And Elmo's here for breakfast! Live!

Breakfast guest

"I wonder what his eyes taste like..."

No more Elmo

"I ate Elmo!"

Eating an olive

And my new favorite food is olives.

Source: Little Food Junction

The Ally

It’s one of the best tricks up my sleeve: a covert operation between a certain plastic human and me.

About six months ago, my daughter treated Dolly like an infant and even breastfed her at night. Well Dolly seems to have grown up and joined my daughter in the trenches of toddlerhood. Like Forrest and Bubba, they have each other’s backs.  And as soon as an act of rebellion surfaces, Dolly – my ally– plays in my favor and I emerge victorious. Here are the battles I’ve won so far:

  1. Administering the nasal aspirator. I guess it helps when someone else is in pain with you.
  2. Wearing a bib. She thinks it’s really cool that they’re “the same!”
  3. Eating. She eats whatever Dolly “eats” and likes to feed her.
  4. Brushing her teeth. Dolly has no teeth but they get brushed as much as my toddler.
  5. Cleaning up. Dolly is the first one to start packing away while she “assists.”
The ally

Dolly at work: wearing the bib AND eating. Excellent.

Dolly and Mommy.

An unlikely alliance.

**Note to Dolly: I expect a suitable replacement upon resignation.

What tricks do you have up your sleeve?

The Happy Place

You know when you hear a song that magically transports you to your happy place? Whenever I hear Coldplay’s Yellow, it’s my wedding day all over again. If Bonnie Bailey’s Ever After plays, I’m transported to my twenties. If it’s any song by Pearl Jam, I’m head banging on auto pilot. Well, my daughter is two months shy of her second birthday and she has managed to secure her first happy place song.

Let me set the scene:

Toddler in her crib profuse with tears, vehemently refusing the nasal aspirator.

Cue in  Baa-Baa Black Sheep and commence toddler head bob,  arm flailing and tushy wiggles.

Toddler summons the delivery of farm books and flips to sheep page for sing-along.

Anthem  repeated over and over… and over again.

Nasal aspirator administered.

Happy place song

Missed the bopping. Here's the sing- along with the sheep folk

What songs take you and your child to the happy place?