15 July 2015

#DIY mini Lego crayons

When Riley's older cousin Ethan migrated to Dubai last year, one of the hand-me-downs he received was a big tub full of crayons. They came in different sizes, brand and colors. It proved useful because Riley liked sifting through the crayons and sorting them into color groups.

Lego image courtesy of the husband
When he started playing with Lego toys (his papa played with them too), he lost interest and the crayons were put aside. Luckily, I found and bought a Lego silicon mold which I intended to use for chocolate but ended up using it to make Lego crayons instead.

Making the Lego crayon is really simple. You just need the Lego silicon mold, used or new crayons and a microwave. Most of the tutorials I found online uses an oven. I opted to use a microwave since I want to make my crayons in minutes not hours.

First, peel the paper from the crayons. I have my assistant here sorting the crayons into color groups while I do all the peeling.

Break the crayons into small pieces so they can melt fast and easy.

I placed the crayons in a baking cup (used for cupcakes) instead of placing the crayons directly on the silicon mold. When I tried it out the first time, I placed the crayon bits directly on the mold. It took longer to melt in the microwave plus the wax and color separated which produced a white portion on the upper layer of the crayon.

After cooking the crayons in the microwave for about 10-15 minutes (depending on the amount of crayons in the cup), I transferred the liquid in the Lego silicon mold. You have to be careful as the liquid is very hot. Though if you take your time and transferred the liquid too slow, they might harden a bit.

To quicken the setting process, I placed the Lego mold inside the freezer for about 5-10 minutes. This made it easier to pop them out from the mold.

And there you have your Lego crayons!

Riley's reaction upon seeing these creations was priceless. He even told me, "Wow, you made this because you love me Mama." *heart melting*

He now has about two dozen of these mini Lego crayons and as much as I would love to say that he uses them to color... well, he decided to use them as toy figures.

29 June 2015

To spank or not to spank that is the question

As much as I try to be present for my son during the weekends, I prefer to have at least a couple of hours for 'me' time. A cup of coffee, strolling in the mall, or an hour of mani-pedi... I feel it's not too much to ask after working for five days.

Riley is usually clingy whenever I am at home. I understand that since we only get to be around each other mostly during the night on weekdays. So on weekends, I take care of him even if our nanny is around. I can say that I am used to the chaos that comes when taking care of an active toddler.

Well, I am so wrong. I let my emotions rule my thinking that day.
It was a busy weekend filled with appointments, parties, and household chores (excuses, I know).
It was the first time I spanked Riley's hand.

I had just prepared his bath with the right temperature so he would not protest that it was too cold or too hot. He brought a dirty soccer ball to the tub and despite telling him not to do it, he placed it in the clean water. After two days of being tired (plus the summer heat is not helping at all), my temper rose and without thinking it over, I spanked his hand once and told him to listen to me.

He was surprised. He became quiet while I prepare his bath again.
I shrugged off my guilt as I was thinking that maybe he learned his lesson.

Later that evening, when we were having our nightly routine of him playing a monster truck game on my phone, I gave him a couple of warnings that it was time to sleep. After giving him a few more minutes, I took away the mobile device even when he was protesting. Then he slapped my hand.

My two year old son slapped my hand.

I was understandably shocked and felt guilty immediately. I know he did this because he imitated what I did to him earlier that night. I asked him why he slapped my hand and he said because I was not listening to him. Worse nightmare confirmed.

I told him that I was sorry for slapping his hand earlier and I promised not to do it again.
He told me the same thing. But I still feel guilty. I just hope that this will not be the start of him hitting other people when he does not get his way.

I found a useful article (from positiveparenting.com) that really helped me see things in perspective and hopefully remember the next time I am in the same situation as last weekend.

To summarize, here are 9 things can do instead of spanking your child:

  • Get calm (I should have done this! So obvious but hard to do!)
  • Take time for yourself
  • Be kind but firm
  • Give choices
  • Use logical consequences
  • Do make-ups
  • Withdraw from conflict (and this too!)
  • Use kind but firm action
  • Inform children ahead of time

From this day forward, I will strive to not spank my child. Ever. Forever ever.

24 June 2015

A progressive learning approach for my toddler's first school year

They said learning starts at home. But what if your home does not provide enough engaging stimulation for your child to learn?

Send them to a learning center.

I did not want to be the parent who pushes their offspring to do a task when the child is clearly not ready. In Riley's case, he had a previous exposure to school playgroups. Last year, he regularly went to 'school' every Saturday and was exposed to the teacher-student setting. When the summer class ended, his mind was still set on going back to the school. Maybe it stuck since the school was inside the mall.

Since we have decided to send him to school despite him being less than three years old, we are faced with another crucial decision. Which school do we send him to? Choosing the right preschool for him was a challenge. We wanted the school to be near our house, affordable tuition fees, have a low teacher-student ratio, and with a good learning environment.

There were a lot of good Montessori schools near our village but the tuition was astronomical for Nursery level and travel time was around 30 minutes. I was disheartened because I wanted Riley to experience learning that way. I have read about Maria Montessori and her philosophy of giving the child independence to learn what he/she wants (within limits). "The Montessori method of teaching aims for the fullest possible development of the whole child, ultimately preparing him for life's many rich experiences." (source)

I have heard of stories where the toddler was forced (strapped down by the arms of a grown-up) to sit down on their chair for an hour everyday until they obeyed on their own. This is not acceptable for me. These type of experience will traumatize the child. Hearing about it traumatized me!

Luckily, we found a progressive school inside our village (5 minutes away from our house). I have not heard about progressive learning prior to discovering this school. Upon reading about their approach to learning, I am full on-board the progressive train. I found this local website that gives you detailed information on progressive learning. In a nutshell, they encourage "learning by doing" and claims that children learn best when they pursue their own interest. They let the children play while injecting knowledge in an experiential way. For example, they are doing arts & crafts where the kids are making a face using different shapes. Here they introduce the basic shapes (circles, triangles, squares) while having fun making a goofy looking face.

“The actual interests of the child must be discovered if the significance and worth of his life is to be taken into account and full development achieved. Each subject must fulfill present needs of growing children . . . The business of education is not, for the presumable usefulness of his future, to rob the child of the intrinsic joy of childhood involved in living each single day,” ~ John Dewey

After being briefed by the teacher, I have learned that they do not give assignments, they give student assessments (or progress reports) instead of the typical grading system, and the thing I like the most is that they adjust what they teach your child depending on his/her skill set. Riley has a well-developed language and motor skills but his social skills need more work. Although he can converse with you, recite the ABCs and count 1 to 20, he needs coaxing to share and mingle with new people.

It has been a week since school started so it is still too early to say if it was a good decision to send him to school this early. He is only in school two hours a day, Monday to Friday.

And yes, we are currently dealing with separation anxiety. More on that in the coming weeks.

13 May 2015

This is the way we brush our teeth – Six toothpastes in one review

With a spunky toddler like mine, brushing teeth is another battle we have to face three times a day.

I became very diligent with having his teeth brushed properly when his first tooth stain happened last December. Holiday season means a longer commute home so I normally got home around 10pm. Since I leave for work at 6:30am, I hardly got to see Riley last December. I trusted his caretaker to at least brush his teeth once a day. After two weeks of  this set-up, I noticed that the middle of his front teeth has started darkening! When I asked his caretaker how often his teeth got brushed, she said that she can only brush Riley's teeth when I am around. That means only during the weekend! I was so pissed!

I tried to rectify the situation by brushing his teeth in the morning before I left for work. My husband will supervise his teeth brushing during noon. And I will diligently brush his teeth again at night. Sounds like a good (military) plan, am I right? Now, if only Riley will cooperate.

Brushing away those cavities with the Pigeon toothbrush

He will only let us brush his teeth if he is occupied with a mobile phone. He will either play with the camera or play with the dozens of games I have downloaded for him. If we do not have that, we had to hold him tight and brush his teeth while he is screaming bloody murder!

After visiting a Pediatric Dentist (located in SM Southmall), we were told that using a fluoridated toothpaste is better (in small amounts though!).

Below are some of the toothpaste that Riley has used in his oral care journey. To be fair to him, I actually try them out before giving it to him so that I can relate if it is as yucky as he said.

This is the most used toothpaste as you can tell. Price: Php100+

First one is the Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection with Sugar Acid Neutralizer (that was a mouthful). I like this one because the minty taste was not overwhelming, does not get too foamy, and the sugar acid neutralizer supposedly helps in fighting cavities. It contains 1450 ppm (part per million) fluoride. Technically, this is not a recommended toothpaste for children younger than two years old because of the high fluoride content. Since they cannot properly spit out the toothpaste, it stays in their mouth longer and this leads to enamel fluorosis (small white spots or discolouration of the enamel). I give him a very tiny amount (a swipe on the toothpaste, smaller than the standard pea size) every time I brush his teeth. At first he said it was yucky as it does have a slightly bitter taste but after a while he got used to it. The teeth does not feel that squeaky clean after brushing though.

Elmo sold us on this one! Price: Php54

We bought this Hapee Kiddie toothpaste because Riley likes Elmo! It does not say on the packaging but after searching the web, it says it contains 1500 ppm fluoride. Taste is suppose to be strawberry but it tastes weird. Riley confirms it when he tried it and he almost vomited. It was very foamy even when I used a tiny amount. Despite the taste, it does leave your teeth squeaky clean so I still might continue using this once in a while. 

Riley's first fluoride toothpaste. Price: Php70+

This Aquafresh Milk Teeth toothpaste for 0-2 years is the one that the dentist recommended for Riley. We have consumed two tubes of this before trying out other toothpaste brands. I liked it because there was almost no taste but it was not that foamy. I somehow like foamy toothpastes. I noticed that his teeth are still stained with milk after brushing with this so I decided to try other brands to see the difference.

Bought this because of Spiderman. Price: Php41

This Colgate Spiderman toothpaste is the one I pack in Riley's diaper bag. It's small handy size means that it will not add more weight to an otherwise heavy bag. I find it similar to the Hapee Kiddie Toothpaste. It has normal foam and slight minty taste (which means it was yucky for Riley). We only use it when we are out of the house.

A fluoride-free alternative. Price: Php100+

We use this SansFluo Xylitol Swab when I don't feel like having a brushing battle with Riley. Just place some drops on clean wipes and rub on the teeth. Quick and hopefully pain-free (if he doesn't bite your finger). I don't really feel that his teeth are cleaned with this solution. As an added teeth protection, I try to brush his teeth with the normal toothpaste then follow-up with this solution. I'm thinking it will create a barrier so that the cavities will not stick so much to his teeth. We use this together with the Spiderman toothpaste. I've also tried their toothgum wipes. I find that more convenient to use since you just take it out of the packaging and wipe the teeth with it. It was more expensive though at ten wipes per Php149.

Price: Php97

Tiny Buds Tiny Fangs Tooth Gel Stage 2. I used this when he was still less than a year old. Never used it again since we started using fluoride toothpaste. I like this better than the SansFluo toothpaste because the teeth feels cleaner. You can use it with the silicon finger toothbrush or wipes. What I don't like is that it tastes slightly sweet.

In conclusion, we still use the Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection with Sugar Acid Neutralizer because I am happy with the fluoride content and Riley is used to its taste. Our back-up toothpaste is the Hapee Kiddie Toothpaste since I love the squeaky clean feeling.

What toothpaste brand do you use?

08 May 2015

How I enjoy eating in a restaurant with my toddler

When Riley was still a few months old, I thought that eating out with a baby was hard because of all the things you have to worry about when in public (germs, heat, poop explosion). What I did not expect was that it was going to be much harder to dine out with a toddler.

Ordering food at 8cuts... Looks can be deceiving 

Being a picky eater, Riley is one hard-to-please customer. He cannot stay put in his seat, wants to touch and play with everything he can get his hands on, and when he finally touches the food, he will say yuck.

At first, we picked out the restaurants where we know he can eat the items on the menu. After gaining so much weight from all the fastfood restaurants and being so stressed out from forcing him to eat, I told myself that enough is enough.

Jollibee is his happy place
Guess where? Jollibee!

Now, instead of letting him dictate where we eat, we get to choose which restaurant we will try next. It's a hit or miss. He doesn't always eat the food. We order the stuff that we think he might like or recently he will be the one looking at the menu and base his order from the pictures. Sometimes I also make a plan. If I know he will not like the food in that new Thai place, I will feed him at home before we leave so that when we are at the restaurant, I will not be forcing him to try to eat the food there. He can just taste it if he wants to and if he does not want to eat it, I will not stress myself about it and just let it go.

It works for us since we can enjoy a simple meal outside our home with the whole family. And Riley gets to try a variety of food from different places without any pressure from us. Sure he eats his rice with french fries and drinks his milkshake with a spoon. We're embracing his uniqueness (with food!) instead of fighting it.

yummy ice cream with cookie at Bono

02 May 2015

Experimenting with YouTube toy videos

Riley watches these toy review videos almost all the time now. He still watches a little bit of Disney cartoons on the side. But every time he sees the television, he will demand to watch YouTube and see the wonderful toys the kids are playing with. And it always ends with him asking to go to the mall and buy the recent toy that he has seen!

So, as an experiment, we decided to create a toy video featuring him!

It was hard to shoot as we had to make him stay seated in the same spot for more than a minute. If you have an active toddler like mine, a few seconds on the same spot is like torture! My video editing skills need a bit more work but that can easily be fixed with a little more practice.

29 April 2015

Tuesdate at Little Tycoon Playhouse

Instead of buying Riley new toys, I wanted him to have new experiences in his young age. We are not exactly a rich family where we can afford to give him everything a child his age may want. But I will certainly try to expose him to the real world in  a way that his toddler mind can handle and understand. 

Immediately ran to the cars as soon as he stepped inside

With playhouses / playgrounds, he is able to experience interacting with kids and learning how to deal with different scenarios. Sharing is still hard for him but a gentle reminder of "Share your blessing!" is enough to make him want to share the toy or play space. He is also starting to converse with other people. 

Just yesterday in the playground, a kid accidentally stepped on his fingers. He immediately told me what happened and after he felt better, he started telling other kids that he hurt his fingers. It's funny because the other children are puzzled why Riley was telling them that information.

I've discovered this relatively new playhouse located at the 2nd floor of Westgate Center, Filinvest. The banners that I saw posted on the lamp posts in the area notified me that they just opened. If not for those, I don't think I would have known about them as that area is too far from the mall and not really noticeable. 

Wide play area

Variety of shops for the kids to choose from
Doorways are a tad small for adults but I can't complain as they are meant for the little ones

We dropped by on a weekday afternoon and since it's existence is almost unknown, Riley was the only one playing there! One hour play time fee is at P200 and you have to pay an additional P50 for the adult companion. Unlimited play time is at P400 which is not too bad. I hope in the future they will have an option for an additional 30 minutes play since if you exceeded the grace period of 5 minutes they will charge you automatically for another hour.

At the stage area, where he wanted to take home the balloons

Inside the cafe

Inside the Japanese restaurant

Riley served me a salad since I was on a diet!

At the salon checking out the hair cutting tools

Depositing the coins in the bank. He said he can finally buy Cra-Z-sand!

Inside the toy palace. It's scary to think how he will be able to reach the other toys without an adult present.
It was a well spent afternoon at the Little Tycoon Playhouse. Riley did not want to leave when his hour was up! I heard they also accept birthday party reservations as one customer was confirming her set-up while we were there.

We would definitely be back soon and hopefully more kids will flock this place so he can have playmates.

07 April 2015

Surviving a road trip with a toddler

Dazed and tired but still okay at the Bangui Wind Farm, Ilocos Norte

This year was our first Holy Week road trip as a family. Prior to our trip, I have done some research on how to prepare for the long journey with a toddler. Based on my experience, no matter how many useful information/guides you read, nothing comes close to actually experiencing it firsthand and learning from that.

Our adventure took us up north to Ilocos Sur, home to the Heritage Village of the Philippines--Vigan City. I have not been to this province and despite knowing that we will be having a 8-10 hour drive (which stretched to 20 hours because of the Visita Iglesia stopovers), I eagerly prepared for our getaway.

Here is my list to survive a road trip with a toddler:
  • A variety of snacks - I packed different kinds of biscuit and cookies that I know Riley likes. Much better if they are packed in small quantities so you can give it little by little. You don't want them to be so full till they puke on you while on the road.
  • Drink packs - Riley still drinks water and milk and since he seldom drinks the pre-packed ones, I let him have it on the trip.
  • Toy cars and coloring materials - He was given a 10 piece set of Matchbox cars as a present so we gave it to him during the trip. It was a great time-waster when he is not sleeping or eating. The coloring materials was not really used as much as the cars but it is better to have a back-up activity for him.
  • A small bag with necessities - Riley is not toilet-trained yet so we had a bag that only contains diapers, soap, wipes, powder and a change of clothes. This was a life-saver since you do not want to be rummaging your luggage every time the little one needs to go to the potty. 
  • A pillow - We brought along his small pillow so he can snuggle with a familiar thing and have a good rest.
  • Songs, videos and games - I loaded my phone with his favorite songs, videos, and games so he can have other things to keep busy with. And bring along a fully charged powerbank in case your battery needs more juice.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste - Call me a neat freak but I did not want Riley to have milk stains on his teeth.
  • Plastic bags - For vomits, dirty diapers and the amount of wrappers from all the snacks!
Sleeping like a log

And the most important thing to have in surviving a road trip with your little one is to have patience. Lots and lots of it. If you had a toddler that would not stop talking, singing or wiggling for hours, you would definitely feel like exploding and I almost lost it a few times. My secret? Chocolates and gummi bears. Lots of it! It helped keep me sane and relaxed enough to handle my energetic toddler.

Luckily, we survived with no tantrums and although my poor back is still sore from our travel, I would not hesitate to bring Riley for another road trip in the future.

23 March 2015

A (not so) busy weekend

If the title of the post confused you, well you are not the only one as I am also confused how I can be busy and not so busy at the same time!

Weekends are usually the time to catch-up on some household chores, spend some quality time with family, and find the time to unwind from the previous week's work-related stress. A two-day weekend is always not enough! Actually, even a three-day weekend is not enough. I'm not sure if I just do not manage my time properly or there are just so many things to be done in so little time. Especially when you have a kid in the house, there is definitely not enough time for all the things you want to get done.

In the mornings, I try to squeeze in a quick 30 minute workout. I normally will not be able to do it because Riley demands that I watch the new EvanTubeHD videos with him. Or it can be Peppa Pig. Or Blaze and the Monster Machines. So I will wait until he is sleeping for his morning nap for me to do my workout. But most of the time, he will wake up if I am not sleeping beside him. There goes my morning plan!

Afternoons are usually spent outside, either at the mall or at Lolo's house.

Last weekend, we had lunch at Brother's Burger in Westgate.

He refuses to sit on the highchair. He insists that he is a big boy now and proceeds to show me his 'big' hands and feet. I told him to sit down properly and he reasoned that he is still smaller than me so he has to sit like that.

Quick side trip to My Father's Bookstore located above Neil's Kitchen

Sometimes we squeeze in a grocery trip for Riley's necessities. The actual household grocery is done without him.

He looks behaved in this shot. He normally jumps or walks around inside the trolley.

We also stopped by Alabang Town Center for some gelato at Amici, went to church in our village, and had a quick play at the park.

By the time we reach home it is already past 6 pm.
I have not done any exercises, visited the parlor, or had a quiet time for myself.

And before I know it, Monday is here! And it's like I did not accomplish anything concrete.

But even though I have a busy (sometimes hectic) weekend, I would not trade it for anything.
I consider it a blessing (and I am thankful) to be able to spend my weekend like this. It's not about myself anymore since Riley was born. Though I am still adjusting to thinking about his needs first instead of my own, I feel that I am slowly getting accustomed it.

Now if only I could squeeze in that workout then everything is perfect!

10 March 2015

Summer School Trial at Cambridge International School

I was looking for summer school activities that Riley can participate in and I came across Cambridge International School's summer courses. They had a free trial last weekend and I wanted to check if it was a right fit for Riley.

They had different programs depending on your child's interest. Rowlings for the future writers, Bourdains for the future chefs, Picassos for the artists, and I.M. Peis for the budding architects. I was crossing my fingers that Riley will choose the architect program as he loves playing with his Legos. But he had a mind of his own and preferred the Bourdains class. Like a little rebel, he promptly took off his chef's hat and did his own thing without waiting for the teacher. He even stood up and went beside the teacher to take the ingredients from her! 

I feel that the lessons are more suitable to children older than Riley. There was this long introduction about the types of food and for a 2 1/2 year old kid to listen to that is just too much. I would probably enroll Riley here when he is around 4 years old or older. I love how happy and positive the teachers are despite the constant interruption from the kids. It really humbles me how difficult a teacher's job really is.

Pros: Exposes your child to other interests and they might discover or learn new skills from the courses.

Cons: Students per class will be of different ages (from 2-6 years old based on the kids participating that day) so if your child is the youngest, he/she might not be given the attention he/she needs to fully understand the lessons.

After making his own pizza in the school, he asked me if we can go to the grocery to buy ingredients and make our own pizza at home. He said he wants his papa to taste his cooking. Watch out world! Junior MasterChef Riley is coming to a kitchen near you! 

17 February 2015

Finding Riley

We watched the classic Finding Nemo the other night (I'm declaring it a classic as it is still so relatable even after 12 years!). It was Riley's first time to watch it and as with any boy his age, he cannot sit still. The sharks scared him a little especially when they kept baring their teeth. One thing he remembered from the movie was that Nemo got separated from his father.

We were at the mall and he kept trying to run away from me. I did not want to grip his arm too tightly as it might dislocate or something when he tries to pull out of my grasp. After the thousandth time of him running away, I scooped him up in my arms and told him if he remembers Nemo. He said yes and I asked him why Nemo got lost in the first place. He just shrugged his shoulders. So I told him because he did not listen to his father when his father asked him to hold his hand. It took a few seconds for him to understand it and when he did, he quickly asked me to hold both his hands. When I told him one hand will do, he scolded me for not holding both his hands! Oh boy...

Funny part is after that he asked me if I was happy now. Cheeky fella, I know. He keeps asking that whenever he does what we tell him. I don't think he knows what sarcasm is yet so I don't get angry.

One time I told him that I was still sad. He hugged me and kissed me on the lips and then asked me again if I was happy now. Of course, I told him yes! :)

16 February 2015

The magic word

Part of growing up means that you formulate your own thoughts and make your own decisions. We have been constantly trying to impart good manners to Riley by teaching him to say 'please' and 'thank you'. Sometime he remembers and when he does not, we remind him and he will happily oblige.

One night, as we were getting ready to sleep, he asked for his lampin (cloth used for swaddling or as a diaper but he uses it like a blanket). He always cuddles with his lampin during nap times.

Riley: Mama, get my lampin.
Me: You have to say it nicely. What's the magic word?
Riley: Uhmm... Mickey Mouse clubhouse!
Me: It's 'please'
Riley: Please Mickey Mouse clubhouse!

I will chalk this up as a win as he did say 'please' in the end.

06 February 2015

Dialogues with a toddler

As my son learns new words and phrases, I am finding it more challenging to have a conversation with Riley. Here's the starting point to document our little chats.

Me (trying to brush his teeth): Open your mouth wider please.
Riley: Later... (turns his back)
Me: Since you don't want me to brush you're teeth, I'll go downstairs and call Aya to brush your teeth.
Riley: Mama, no. Don't say that. It's not nice.
Me: ...umm...okay...

I don't even know what the appropriate reaction for that is!

And he started getting curious about the taste of the coffee I drink every morning.

Riley: Can I try that Mama?
Me: Sorry, it's for grown-ups only.
Riley: But Riley is a grown-up little boy Mama!
Me: ...umm...no.

After a long day at work, I normally head to the shower before going to bed. But Riley was sleepy and wanted me to sleep with him already.

Riley: Let's go to sleep now Mama.
Me: I'll shower first okay? You sleep with Papa and I'll join you after I take a bath.
Riley: (starts to cry) But I want to sleep with Mama!
Me: I need to shower first because I'm stinky.
Riley: (runs to hug me and still crying) Mama, you're not stinky! You smell good!
Me: ...umm...okay...

I saw him rubbing the top of his head and asked him what he was doing.

Riley: I'm fixing my hair.
Me: You're messing it up.
Riley: No, I'm fixing it because I'm handsome!

I was sick and was sleeping on the sofa so Riley would not catch my cold. He kept insisting I sleep with him and he kept crying if I leave him on the bed. I gave up and just lay down on the bed with him.

Riley: Where's my blanket?
Me: You left it on the sofa. I'll wait for you here while you go get it.
Riley: I'll just get my blanket. Don't cry okay Mama? I'll just be over there.

Oh Riley! You funny little boy!

21 January 2015

Is this the start of the Terrible Twos?

Since turning two last December, Riley has been rather emotional about every little thing. For instance, in the photo above, we were waiting for our turn to ride the train in Sky Ranch Tagaytay. Every time the train comes back and we were not on it, he would pout and pitifully say, "I want to ride the train." We have been patient with him by explaining that we have to wait for our turn. And 90% of the time, he will listen and wait while amusing himself. I find it very funny that he will either dance on the spot or talk the people around him.

He has also started the "gimme" stage. He wants everything that attracts his attention. Even the ones he has no use for! We passed by a small dvd store on the way home and he was attracted to the colorful covers of the displayed dvds. He suddenly shouted, "I want that! Many!" When I asked him what will he do with a lot of dvds, he just said. "I don't know." Before he can start a tantrum, I diverted his attention to other things in our path like the birds or cars passing by. 

The worst case of Terrible Twos that we had was when we were in SnR and he saw this huge fluffy stuffed toy. In the first place, he was never a fan of stuffed toys. And this particular stuffed toy was a colorful fluffy cute monster. He would not let it go and kept hugging it. Whenever we tried to put it back he would howl and jump up and down. Panic mode on! My husband and I waited for him to finish his tantrum (and me to calm down!) and when he was semi-quiet, we explained to him that we will purchase and take home that toy BUT we have to give away every single one of his toys at home because he simply had too many toys. I enumerated out loud all his favorite toys and told him that I will give all those toys to every kid I see. He was silent for a moment (thinking it over, maybe) and told us to put back the toy so we can go home. Alleluiah! 

I noticed though that we had to be consistent on telling him this as he constantly tries to throw another "gimme" tantrum whenever there is this attractive toy in the mall. We always tell him the same thing in a firm but gentle tone. And I simply cannot leave him at home every time I want to go shopping. I find it best to expose him and call him out on the not-so-nice behavior before it gets out of hand.

If this is the start of the Terrible Twos, I need to start being more patient as I would hate myself if I loose my temper and spank him.