Tag Archives: Parenting

I’m listening to my daughter’s iPod!

It has come…  that line has been crossed.

When our kids were younger (eg. toddlers), they really only listened to music that we put on.  They might have liked some of the music I liked.  They might have not.  But their music universe was mostly contained/restrained by what Wifey and I listened to and the TV/movies we watched together.

However, this year, I think our little Miss 10 has started her music revolution.

A few things:

Writing out lyrics

I remember going through a stage where I started writing out lyrics to pop music in a notebook.  I don’t know why I did it.  Maybe to learn some lyrics of pop songs.  But in my daggy youth, I must have thought that it was a step to making me cooler.  Or something. 

The funny thing is that when I found out Wifey went through the same stage too!  But she had files and files of lyrics that she had written out by hand when she was a kid.

And just a few weeks ago, Miss 10 started in earnest writing and printing out lyrics to songs – both from her own singing lessons, but also pop songs.  Wifey and I just looked at each other and smiled…

New Music

That universe of music controlled by us?  Gone…  Miss 10 has bought pop music THAT I HAVEN’T EVEN HEARD OF by an artist I HAVEN’T EVEN HEARD OF in iTunes!!!  Am I just getting older and daggier?  Maybe 🙂   But the scary thing is that through her friends at school or media, she is getting exposed and getting excited to new music. 

Reminds me of the days when I would actually listen to the Top 10 countdown on the radio 🙂

Playlists – the Mix Tape of the 2000’s

Anyone made a mixtape?  I thought it was hilarious that the Avenue Q musical had a scene where someone made a mix tape for someone else.  This was how it always was!!  I made mix tapes for myself, but funnier, I made mix tapes for my Wifey when we were going out..  and she made me mix tapes too! 

Anyway, digressing, I picked up Miss 10’s iPod today and noticed that she had made her first playlist… this generation’s mix tape. 

And the funny thing – I’ve been listening to the playlist all today!  It’s a good combination of pop songs (and even includes that pop song I hadn’t heard of previously).
Ahh… growing up.

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Parental embarrassment

One of the joys of being a parent is walking your child into school.  Especially when they’re super young, like in Kindy or Year 1.  It’s such a proud moment – your child all dressed up in the school uniform, holding your hand.  You saying goodbye to them.

Unfortunately those days just don’t last.

Little Miss 10 does NOT want me to hold her hand on the times I walk her to school. 

I still remember the first time it happened last year.  We parked the car on the roadside.  I held her little hand to walk her in.  But when we got the school grounds in sight of other kids, she shook my hand off and took a step away from me.  Well, it’s daggy now right? 

Now she even complains that I walk her down.  She moans, “Daaaadd.. why can’t you just drop us in the drive through?”

I wonder if the number of metres that I’m allowed to be seen near her at school will increase as her age increases.  In High School, she’ll probably want me to drop her off around the block or in an adjoining suburb.

Luckily Miss 8 hasn’t quite reached that stage of parental embarrassment yet.  I have a few more months to treasure 🙂

Not a teenager yet.. not yet…

So my girls are 8 and 10.  Not old.  But not young either.

Chatting to a friend today, she said that her son turns 14 today.  14.  Only 4 years away for me.  But she was commenting that some of her son’s friends are already drinking and smoking at parties.  Some apparently attend AA.

Is this going to happen to my kids?  How can I prevent it?  Will they mix with the “right” people? 

How will I know what they are doing at parties?  For now, the girls don’t attend any “parties” that are not Birthday parties.  There are playovers and occasional sleepovers, but that’s usually with 1 or 2 other friends only.  But all is safe and harmless.

But I know there will be a day when the kids are invited to a party…  a party for no reason but to party.. and maybe drink.. and be silly.   I just hope that when that day comes, they will be responsible.

It’s almost like releasing an “animal” that has been grown up captive back into the wild.  You hope that they can fend for themselves, that you’ve taught them as much as they need to know, or at least, the principles and values to make the right decisions.

And I don’t want to be overly protective either…

Arghh…  parenting…

For now, I’ll just try to cherish each day as it comes.

Switching from Violin to Saxophone

Miss 8 on sax

Back in March, I blogged about how Miss 8 was losing interest in the violin (https://jasechong.wordpress.com/2009/03/29/giving-up-the-violin/).  She just didn’t want to practise, making practice sessions a real struggle and very non-productive.

We then tried her on the piano with Wifey teaching her.  This was quite good.  But 2 things have happened lately which have changed the game again – Simpsons and a concert outing!

Miss 8 has suddenly taken a keen interest in watching the Simpsons.  I don’t know what has spurred her interest – kids at school?  the bright colours?   We only let her watch a couple of times a week, but Lisa Simpson’s saxophone has definitely inspired her.  And then a month or so ago, Wifey brought Miss 8 to a school concert where there was a really entertaining saxophone quartet. 

We started hearing, “Mum, when can I get a saxophone?”, “Dad, can I learn the saxophone?”.  Not once, but nearly daily!

So we lined up a teacher and a week ago we hired a sax.  It was so weird – Wifey and I are pretty musical, but our expertise is all in keyboard and string instruments.  I have no idea how wind or brass instruments work, how they fit together, how to put your mouth on the mouthpiece, how to “install” a reed, etc! 

At the hire shop, we opened up the case.

I looked at it.

It was shiny and golden with a dazzling number of buttons, ok 🙂  It was also bigger than I thought, and heavier than I expected.

It was so refreshing to see Miss 8’s enthusiasm for it.  She got it out straight away at home, tried to put it together and had a go!  And then spent the rest of the evening just walking around the house with it strapped around her neck, producing lound honking sounds from it.   She experimented with the keys and finally figured out the first few notes of the Simpson’s opening theme tune!

Wifey and I looked at each other – the difference in attitude and enthusiasm towards the violin and the saxophone is like night and day.  She couldn’t wait for her first lesson, and then apparently yesterday, the first thing she did when she got home was to get the sax out to practise.  I’ve learnt that it may take a few goes to find the “right” instrument for your child – there’s no “best” one for all – it really depends on your child’s personality.

I just hope her enthusiasm lasts!

Holidaying at home

Finding our room

With Wifey away on her school tour, I took 2 weeks off to holiday at home with the kids.

One thing that we did that the kids really enjoyed was staying overnight at a hotel in the city.   Hardly any driving, minimal packing, but the kids still got the same excitement of checking in, finding our room and a different environment.

It was great fun!  We checked in on a Friday, went downstairs and walked straight out into the city to go late night shopping.  Came back, the kids had a bath, we had room service dinner in bed whilst watching TV, then next morning we had buffet breakfast and popped back into the city for more walking around and shopping again!

It made me wonder why we haven’t done this before!  Weekend escapes are fun 🙂

Miss 10’s Signature

When did you create your first signature/autograph?  I remember when I was younger, I mucked around for a few days writing my name in various ways, until I found something that I liked and flowed for me.

Well, just last week, our little Miss 10 started doing that.

She grabbed a couple of blank pieces of paper from the printer, and started scribbling – filling them with different variations of her name.

She then came to me and showed me her signature.

I smiled.  It looks cute!  The embellished starting letter and the rounded strokes seem to reflect her artistic and vibrant personality.  The underline across the bottom reflects her self confidence, and I think mirrors how she is more of a leader than a follower.

Or am I reading too much into it?

Miss 10 finally got to try out her new signature on her first acceptance letter to a High School.  She signed the bottom, and grinned.  She was proud of her new signature..  and I was proud of her 🙂

Single parent again…

Wifey is off on an 18 day music tour with her school tomorrow.   Which leaves me alone with the kids for 18 days, across the school holidays.

The good part is that I’m taking 2 weeks off work!

The part I’m most worried about is food!   I don’t really cook very much.  I do help with some cooking at home, but usually as a sous-chef – not whole meals by myself  (unless frozen food, 2 minute noodles, microwave cooking or BBQ’ing counts!)

All inspired by MasterChef, I’m determined to spend some time experimenting in the kitchen with the kids.  What could possibly go wrong?  🙂

Reminder to self – stock up on emergency frozen fish fingers, pies and chips!