Friday, April 13, 2012

Catching Up

I can think of hundreds of excuses for not being able to maintain this blog. Yet, like most in life, we only need one reason to get over the stupendous amount of things that seem to work against us. Thankfully, from out of the blue, I was reminded again this week that the primary reason I started writing online is to reach out to Zaki especially when the time comes that shared memory of when we were together won't be as vivid as they are now.

As incomplete a picture of how it was, anything is better than nothing. I know it's been more than a year and a lot of things has happened -- a couple more hospital confinements, the big decision with mum spending more time with you choosing homeschool, addiction to online, iOS and Android games, trips we've spent together flying out of Manila, our numerous debates about cleaning up your toys, what clothes to wear, the 'contra' mentality and that growing interest in learning more about the Bible and the saints.

I'm not sure if it sounds alarming but you're very much becoming like your father, only ten times more weirder.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Of Boxing Kids at Home and On the Ring

Couple of articles today, one in the NYTimes and the other from Wired, both having potential impact on raising Zaki.

Redshirting Kindergarteners

This is not the solution.
The school system's the failure. Every child is curious and excited to learn. It's not a matter of letting kid being left at home as both parents now everywhere else needs to work.

What we need are schools focused on feeding off that learning drive and not just on society's focus on churning out readers by the dozen. While it is true that early readers or math wizs can be prized for their early development according to the norms, what kids need most at this stage is more social play and not academics. I'd rather have a kid enjoying learning than one who has memorized alphabet and numbers because of some drill sergeant of a teacher under pressure from a flawed school requirement.

I don't have a lot of data on how well things turn out for those but I can outright say that I believe that all early readers may do well all their school life, proof can be on the report cards, but the motivation is highly suspect nor learning for them has been highly enjoyable and a wonderful adventure, to say the least. Tis that or it may just be my bias on those who were not able to finish required academic requirements but still found success in life in pursuit of their passions regardless of educational attainment.

Stress-hormone Cortisol and boxing fate
Although Zaki will always have problems with cortisol and testosterone levels all her life because of CAH, I wouldn't count her out if she goes into boxing. Big if, of course ...

PS: Just came from the hospital 6 hours ago where Zaki was given IV and the usual hydrocortisone shot to replace fluids she lost vomiting all morning. We're home now but kept IV line open with HepLock. Did sponge bath half an hour ago and gave analgesic to bring down fever. Tough life but mum and dad are up for the task.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Out of this World

Seems we're not the only ones fascinated and perplexed by the kid. Last week, we met her teacher along with the school principal at school. Conversation pieces I remembered:
In my years of teaching, this is first time I felt frustrated. Despite all my efforts, it seems I couldn't break through to her. A certain speaker at a conference I attended spoke of a small percentage of children who were different from the norm. I get the feeling that I've finally met one. The consensus among all school teachers is that she is probably one of the nicest kids in school. (Uhmmm) Despite her difficulties, she always has a ready smile and is genuinely happy. She always does things double-time, always in a hurry. Her world revolves around super-heroes and always assesses the lessons according to its relevance to the comic characters her mind is often preoccupied with.
Asked for comment, I thanked them for their patience and asked them to not lose trust in their abilities as educators. We're constantly re-assessing our options and trying to instead see where her interests and strengths lie and go from there. Above all, just seeing her healthier, with very few medical incidents compared to the last school year, is already a great victory in itself. Can't really say we're on to something but there goes Zaki for you.
Only to find out Friday night that she has fever and after three plus days, is still in process of recovery. Better but still not sleeping as soundly as she normally does. Strange. Call her condition 'guarded' - as if all her days isn't termed as such.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Boredom Means Cruelty for Kids

First of all, I'm not going to argue for absolutes because I'm quite sure many consider ourselves quite normal even without the so-called progressive parenting that we rarely enjoyed as children. Point I want to make is that we should not rest until we can give the best for our kids - not in terms of material wealth but of course, little things that we could tweak to make better caring, creative and fearless human beings.

Zaki looks forward to spending weekends at my parent's house. She looks forward to seeing her uncles and even takes snacks from her own loot to bring as gifts. But most of all, she gets to see and play with her younger cousin, Gabby - precocious, naughty kid if ever there was one. Still, Zaki loves being with him and is patient enough not to beat the crap out of the little guy when he is being too hard-headed.

And the past weekend is no exception. In fact, more than ever, it further highlighted the fact that kids need to be social and playing with others seems to be the most valuable expression of this. We know Zaki can be such a glutton at home often raiding the fridge for food or downing an average of a liter of milk on a daily basis. But this weekend, she hasn't even finished a 250ml bottle and barely slept through the night, waking up before dawn already scouting if someones awake to begin the day. Obviously, my mom was up and the two headed off to buy pandesal before sunrise. You should see her face light up despite the lack of sleep. If that's not passion, I wonder what is.

But then all good things come to an end. Making the usual goodbye gestures, I get the sense that Zaki was thankful for the opportunity and was living in the moment, not worried about the boredom about to face her once again being alone at home with yaya.

Try as we can, I don't think wifey and I staying at home can really make up for it. Having another kid is entirely out of the question, too. It's a dilemma we will have to wrestle with given our limited resources. Hope Zaki accepts our apologies.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happiness is ...

Zaki's new obsession is Charlie Brown and she's willing to have her head shaved. Maybe someday. For now, all she can do is wear yellow shirts and try to sing-along ...

Monday, January 04, 2010

Time to Give, no, Bestow!

Zaki: Bakit ka paulit-ulit, daddy? (Why do you keep on repeating yourself, daddy?)

Besides belaboring the point, I simply can't help it. It just comes out of my mouth in the hope that actions would likely follow. Can only wish that I be given more chances and opportunities to do so.

To not be encumbered as to how to spend it well.

To be, as much as possible, present.

Nothing else but time, baby.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Although Not Built for Celebrations

Zaki and I both had big days within the last 72 hours, big as in there's more than 5 people within arms reach, had to dress up and we're right in the thick/think of the action. With clockwork precision, we're both down with flu right after. Happens every year. I'd say, there are a lot of things we can improve on to make it a bigger celebration next year as long as family, friends and dearest ones keep coming. And wifey agrees to handle the bulk of the preparations, again :) Till then, we can go back to the unexciting, keep-to-ourselves, childish-conversations'-days we are very much accustomed to. Amen.