Friday, 25 March 2011

"Look, I'm so strong!" Rawrrr

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Donned in her safety helmet, knee pads (she calls them "knee knee pad") & elbow pads, she strikes a pose while shouting for my attention "Mummy! Look at me.. Look at me, I'm so STRONG.. "

Yes, we bought our clumsy tot the pack for her scooter riding because well, she is learning and we reckon she may have a few tumbles here & there. The moment she put the gears on, she strike out this pose. I thought it was hilarious - just look at how serious she is, trying to look "strong" & tough. Oh boy, I wouldn't mess with her if I see that face in the playground.

On the other hand, she really is our brave girl. Two weeks ago, she ran a fever for 4 nights and I was pretty worried so brought her to see the GP 2nd time and she advised me to bring her for a blood test - which I did in the same afternoon. We took a cab to the hospital and they had to give her an anaesthetic cream to apply, then wait for 55mins before going back to them to do the blood test. After the test, the kind nurse (a kind middle-aged man who took her blood, he looks like santa claus) gave her a plaster and then with a pen, he started to draw a funny face on it. That made SW laughed! (Oh, I love how she laughs) She was brave throughout the ordeal although she did complain to the nurse that she was afraid of needles, to which the man said "Oh no.. no needles, only butterflies!" And he took out this needle drawing equipment which looked like a butterfly with 2 yellow wings. Bless him. He is great with my child (and i'm sure many kids). It was a stress-free & pleasant blood test at the Newham Hospital.

(She is fine now, the fever went on for 5 nights in total)

Here she is at home.

Spring has sprung!

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It seems Spring this year came early. We have been enjoying sunshine with mild temperature for about 2 weeks now. Here is Shean Wenn's version of a Spring!
Shean Wenn's drawing of what seems like a Spring day, Sun is out and all the insects are out too : the butterflies, spiders and even a tortoise (in red, next to the red butterfly on the bottom left).

I've also been waiting for Spring for a long time, because I was planning to photograph all the British Wildflower (they start to flower in Jan, infact). Snowdrops were seen in early Feb and daffodils started to blossom late Feb. Right now, I see some daffodils have wilted. But luckily my trusty camera & I managed to captured some beautiful daffodils in the park last weekend.
It was a Saturday, and she was really tired out so slept in the car while on our way to the park. We decided to just chill in the cafe while she get some good rest. Saturdays are particularly busy for her as she starts her morning with half an hour of ballet (9am) before rushing off for a 2-hour Cantonese class (they break for 20mins at 11am).
(Comfortably sleeping in daddy's embrace)
We quietly sipped tea and watched the world around us go by.. then when SW woke up, she went for a scooter ride around the park.

Who can resist a taking a photo of a field of daffodils??! SW plucked 3 daffodils before I stopped her, cautioning her not to pluck so many incase we get caught. Yes, I read an online newspaper about a young family who were given a warning for doing just that. Their little boy (or was it girl) was plucking daffodils in the park when spotted by a council member who promptly called the police, she was given a stern warning saying that her parents may go to jail for it. Obviously the toddler is very upset from the incident.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Humoresque by A Dvorak & concentration

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Shean Wenn & I (Nov. 2010)

So my aunt forwarded a link to me the other day, asking me to watch a boy of 3 conducting the 4th movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony (I have no idea what I just said :P). Which is available here:

Wow.. such a magnificent & passionate child. I thought he just had a very fond appreciation of music. I went through his (parent's) youtube account and discovered that this child, Jonathan also plays the violin. Not just to any simple song, but a complicated song such as Humoresque by Antonin Dvorak (again, it doesn't ring a bell to this tone-deaf & musically-challenged me). I was so blown away by it I asked Shean Wenn to watch it with me.(Copy the link onto your browser)

(There is another video of Jonathan playing the violin to Allegro at 3YO - look how happy and delighted he is with playing it! He looks natural with the violin)

She was quickly mesmerised by Jonathan - and upon further coaxing, she told me she prefers to learn the piano than the violin. At this point, I was a little disappointed (yes, I have a thing for the violin for quite some time) - but still, Piano is still a good skill if she can hone her musical talent and master this.

It made me think : How do parents of such prodigies train their kids? Did they realise their child has an innate musical talent/ear for the music, or did they plan it meticulously (ie since in the womb or at a very young age) so that they are exposed to the fine music*?

Talent aside, after watching Jonathan and a few other child prodigies : I noticed the biggest hurdle they need to cross - not getting distracted. And for a child that age, concentration certainly is not something they do very well. It must take a lot of perseverence & concentration to be able to sit down and learn a musical instrument - to listen, appreciate, and regurgitate it by practising it at hours on end. Looking at Jonathan performing the violin to Humoresque at 4YO infront of a big crowd just blew me away - not only he needed concentration to perform, he has the confidence to perform in front of a big crowd.

With Shean Wenn, I have observed that she can be good at focussing on a task - in fact, when she was barely 10 months old, she was so determined to figure out how to "clasp" her carseat that she would be on it everyday, for minutes on end just trying to find a way to clasp it. After few months of trying, she finally succeeded.

But at 3years old, her concentration seems to have dwindled. I know they go through phases but I was just telling the hub that I am frustrated to the point of tearing my hair out at her lack of concentration at simple tasks : something like sitting down on the dining table and finishing her food from start to end. She is bound to find an excuse to bolt down and walk around. It is very important to me that she can focus on this basic task - because to me, when you can master concentrating on small "matters", you will be able to tackle bigger tasks. And in life, you REALLY need to have a tight rein on finishing what you set out to do. Tell me, am I just being a paranoid-android/worry-wart or I'm just fussing about minute stuff? I know right? The things we parents worry about.

*fine music is classical music to me. The very posh type. Not the Beyonce, Jackie Cheung type of music.

Friday, 4 March 2011

New ride

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Shean Wenn has a scooter and a bike, but they are both at the grandparent's place in Melbourne. We bought it for her last year during our trip back and thinking that we will definitely return to Melbourne, we should just get those stuff for her and left them there. Well, a year later and we're still here, and SW is still not utilising them. Recently, I noticed a new brand of scooter around (Actually they are not so new and have been around for a few years, but I only just happen to hear & see it now) - the Micro Scooter, a product by a Swiss Company. It is actually an ingenious design :

1. Made of sturdy materials, and yet
2. Lightweight
3. 3-Wheel lean & steer mechanism (it can steer to the left or right when you lean in that direction)
4. Removable steering bar (for easy storage in the car when you bring it out for family outings)
5. The deck is made of fibreglass
6. It's got a braking system (at the back) - way cool.
7. It is cool!

I managed to persuade the hubs to get her a new scooter with a few reasons :
1. Riding is an important skill to master, esp at this age. (Scooter or bike, take a pick) And it helps her agility & balance too.
2. This scooter is DIFFERENT from the Fisher Price one we bought because it has all the good points stated above.

We made our way to John Lewis over the weekend and after test-driving it, the hub bought it for SW. It isn't easy to make him part with his money so I bet it was a sound investment. :)

At almost 4 years old, this is only the 2nd time she got onto a scooter. She is still not very adept at riding it but I am sure she will be a pro at it in no time! I have been trying to bring her out for practice whenever we have time. The weather has just gone chilly again (feels like 0-2C with wind-chill factor) but I brought her out on Wed in the afternoon after our lunch. It was a sunny day but again the sun has fooled me. Without wearing gloves, I felt cold in under 20mins. Brrr! Shean Wenn also complaint of cold after about 30mins and urged me to go home and give her a cup of Milo.
(Always have time to smell the flowers)
The daffodils are out again - first signs of spring but yet temperature has dipped to wintry cold. Hope next week will be a better week.
PS : In case you are wondering, the cover on her head is a ski mask. It is wonderfully useful for her mornings & afternoon playtime in her kindergarten. (They play outside for almost 2 hours in the mornings and another 1 hr or so in the pm, so I think it is very useful protection from cold for her)

Self-portrait : 3Y8MO

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She still likes drawing portraits, whether of herself or of us, or of her friends. Today she came up to me and said "Mommy, can I do some drawings?" I said "Sure", anything to get her to do something on her own. She showed me the happy smiley face she drew of herself and asked me to help her sketch a dress - I drew a triangle dress (shown in photo below) and she was very happy. She then added her own details.

The video below shows some of her extra work (She added a bag) and gave an explanation of her work. I am attempting to capture more of her in videos because it suddenly dawned upon me that I haven't done so for a long time and I know I will miss her at this age. And true to what everyone has been telling me since she was born : They DO grow up so fast! I remember hoping she would turn one soon when she was born.. and now, with a few blinks of my eyes, she is almost 4. (She will tell you "I will be 4 in June. My birthday is in June").


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