Archive forChinglish

Sorry, Teacher

Mui came home on Friday with a note on her weekly progress report and a test scored 64% attached. Her teacher stated that Mui was not on task and asked that she check her work before turning it in. When I reviewed the test, there were some understandable errors, sowing, instead of sewing. But the glaring mistakes were due to carelessness, “He will fixed the car.” and not completing 2 problems at all. I was pissed. I asked her what she was doing during the test such that she could not finish her test AND check for errors? No answer.

This morning I gave her an assignment. She must write a note to apologize to her teacher. When asked if she understood why, she said “Because I did badly on the test?” Um. No. I explained to her that her teacher takes great pains and spends a lot of time preparing lessons so she and her classmates can learn. If she made the effort to learn and truly did not understand, that is ok. We can work on that. But NOT making an effort to learn or making a half-assed effort is unacceptable. Being careless on her tests and assignments (likely because she was projecting managing another kid’s test taking) is unacceptable. It shows disrespect to the teacher and takes her and her efforts for granted.

Taking things and people for granted is a huge sore spot for me. My children will never want for anything. And because of that, they can easily slip into being ungrateful and entitled. “It’s Mom’s job to cook for me.” “It’s my teacher’s job to teach me.” No thought is given to what their job is or what efforts they must make to maintain the social compact. Children, and a lot of adults for that matter, view their role in this world as takers, not receivers. You cannot take with grace. You cannot take and appreciate. You can only receive, because all things that matter are given. Like love, attention, family, friendship, trust, respect. And when things are given, you receive and you say thank you. And you make every effort to not squander what you are given.

So after homework today, before going to bed, Mui will write a note to her teacher. And hopefully, this will help her appreciate that she has a great teacher. And will help her remember to put in the effort to learn from her.

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I Did Something Right By Her

We moved to Fremont from Salt Lake City in July. Mui was torn between staying with her friends and moving closer to her cousins. I promised her she would make friends at her new school and in her new neighborhood.

Enter the Fremont Unified School District.

We chose the neighborhood for it’s great elementary school, Ardenwood. Well, so does everyone else. But there are not enough seats for every eligible kid, so many, of which Mui was one, are “overloaded” to neighboring schools. And they do this the 3rd week of school.

So poor Mui left behind her friends in Utah, starts making new ones at Ardenwood the first 2 weeks of school, and has to start all over again at a new-new school, Warwick, where everyone else already knows each other.

Today, when I walked Mui to her new class, at her new-new school, she would not let go of me. My brave, outgoing girl did not want to start a new school, did not want to restart her life all over again. I was shattered. I failed her. The teacher introduced herself and asked Mui to stand next to these 2 girls. And Mui runs to me, not to cling to me or even hug me, but to tell me she knew one of the girls from the YMCA day camp. She runs back to the girls and starts laughing with them. Mui had made friends within 30 seconds of starting a new school and doesn’t even notice my tearful goodbye.

I had enrolled her in the neighborhood YMCA day camp for the 5 weeks before school started. I was hoping she would meet kids from her school, but it didn’t seem like she did. After school today, she confirmed she knew the girl, but they were not friends. (Apparently, they were not friends at the day camp either.) However, she made a new friend that she would like to invite to her birthday party. Along with a girl she knows from Ardenwood who still takes the same schoolbus as her. And the daughter of the lady who takes care of Didi. And her cousins. And any kids of Mom’s friends Mom would like to invite. And that she would work on the rest of the list as she starts getting to know people.

I enrolled her in the YMCA Day camp that gave her the one familiar face she needed to start over again. So I did something right by her.

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Love My New Camera

Day at the Aquarium

Shot this with my new Pentax K-r (Thanks to @lskrocki for the tip!) with no flash at ISO 6400, f4, and 1/60.
I am AMAZED at the quality of pics. In fact this is not even the best representation as I had to reduce quality of the post pic due to file size.

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Dear Santa

One of the challenges of working from home is the morning routine. Get up, get dressed, get kids fed, get them out the door, and then…work. All this must be done by 8am each morning.

This morning, we were running late, really late. I had just set the kids in front of their breakfast when I had to start my 8am meeting. SO was still upstairs taking a shower. And since I was the host, I couldn’t “attend” on mute.

But Mui came to my rescue. She finished her breakfast, helped Didi with his, cleaned him off, got him down from his chair, gave him a cookie, brought him to the playroom, and distracted him while I conducted my meeting. He only wandered into my office once. But Mui immediately called him to the playroom again. Didi was having so much fun with his sister, that he refused to leave for school.

Mui has been such a huge help to me and such a great big sister this year. I hope you bring her what she asked for.

Thanks and Merry Christmas,


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R.I.P. Elizabeth, beloved pet and bearded dragon.

Ok. Now what do I tell Mui? On Sunday, I noticed Elizabeth was not doing too well. She was scrunched around the log with legs splayed. I thought for sure she was dead. But when I picked her up, she opened her mouth as if to say goodbye because she was dead within the hour. Mui doesn’t know. She saw me pick up the lizard. She saw her open her mouth. I told Mui Elizabeth was sick and that I would bring her to the vet the next day. I also suggested that we find Elizabeth a new home. One where she could be cared for the way she needed. (Bearded dragons are super fussy and have very specific needs to thrive.) Mui cried. But she agreed that it was best for Elizabeth.

The next morning, I got rid of Elizabeth and her tank. When Mui got home from school, she immediately asked where Elizabeth was. I told her at the vet and that the vet would find her a new home. She asked what happened to all of Elizabeth’s crap. (Her words not mine. Speaking of which, I really need to watch my language around the kids. But I digress.) I told her I left the stuff with the vet for Elizabeth’s new family.

I lied to my child. Because it will be easier for her. And because it will be easier for me. She knows our cat will die. He is old (14). And I am not looking forward to finding him when that day comes. But Elizabeth was less than 2 and she died from lack of proper care. How do you explain that to a child? Especially one who has already experienced the death of her best friend?

I consulted with other moms and even her pediatrician. (I happened to be there for Didi’s 18month exam). They all agreed it was the best way. She’s six. And even though she seems mature for her age and I don’t sugar coat reality for her (do well in school and go to college or you better perfect “Do you want fries with that?”). This reality is too grim. It’s like telling your child the truth, that the dog died because he accidentally hung himself (true story from two of the moms I know). It’s better to say they ran away and may have been hit by a car which is why he didn’t come home.

So Elizabeth is in a new home. With a loving family. One that will care for her the way she needs.

And we will miss her.

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Didi’s 18 Month Exam – Autism Screening

Didi went in for his 18month exam. And there was something new. Something not included in Mui’s 18month exam, years ago. The nurse gave me an Autism assessment questionnaire. If he showed symptoms, they would have done a more extensive exam. He doesn’t show any symptoms. He is not very verbal, but he is vocal. I chalk it up to his confusion over which language to use. Mom’s? Everyone else’s? Or his own? Although, he seems to imitate sound pretty well. Especially if the sound is the name for a food he likes.

Here is the M-Chat assessment and scoring guide our Dr used. If your pediatrician doesn’t already do some form of assessment, this might help, especially if you suspect symptoms.

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Handy Little Man-ny

One of Didi’s favorite toys is this Handy Manny radio that he can “repair”. His love of tools kinda scares me given his genes.

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Mui Loves Daddy, Too.

Mui prefers me over SO. I think they have a personality conflict as both want to be in charge. So they fight. All. The. Time.

You can tell when I’m angry with Mui. She greets SO at the door with love and hugs and kisses.

Last week, SO came home to a cheerful Mui.

MUI: Hi, Dad. I missed you today. How was your day?

SO: Hi, Mui. I missed you, too. (SO glances at me expecting to see thunderclouds.)

Mui: Oh. And Mommy is not mad at me.

Maybe they have finally turned a corner.

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Mui Was Meant to Live On A Farm

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Children Must Be Supervised At All Times

A few mornings ago, Didi woke up at the crack before dawn. He would not go back to sleep so I took him out of the crib and set him on the floor. I then lay down on the floor and promptly fell back asleep.

I would wake briefly when Didi would climb on me or whack me on the head with a toy. But I would fall asleep again. Then it was quiet for a long time.

I sleepily heard him handle my glasses. I had hidden them under the crib, but he found them. I get up and grab the glasses to find them coated with something goopy. Turns out Didi had gotten into a tub of Aquaphor left on the floor. How he figured out how to unscrew the top? I have no idea.

I looked around and found a coated binky, mini basketball and mini football. “Aiya! Didi, what are you doing?” I quickly check his clothes and body for Aquaphor. Clean. Apparently, he had wiped the excess on the carpet. I run my hand thru my hair, resisting the urge to tear it out. What the hell? There is a glob of Aquaphor in my hair.

In case you are wondering. Hair sticking up is sexy ONLY if you are Cameron Diaz. Witness.

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