Posts filed under ‘Raising the 3Rs’

Me and my boys


July 6, 2011 at 12:31 am 3 comments

I just realized . . .

“Mommy, I have a headache. Can you call the school?” That was my 13-year old son on Monday morning. “Ay naku, Ryland,” I said, “there’s only 4 days of school left. You go take a shower now and I’ll give you Tylenol.” So he went to school, without the Tylenol. He was fine. He didn’t really have a headache.

This school year, he had quite a few absences. I kinda had a feeling that sometimes he just didn’t want to go to school and he’d tell me that he wasn’t feeling well. I had been lenient with him and his brothers because I know that it has not been an easy year for them. And I also feel guilty for putting them through these hard times because of the separation with their dad. Although I know I shouldn’t feel guilty because they know the reason why I did it, and they know that it’s all for the best. One other reason I feel guilty is not being at home as much as I want to because I have these two jobs. But I try to be there as much as I can. And I know they understand that I’m doing this for them.

That night at the dinner table, I told Ryland, “You know what, I just realized that you were probably not really sick those days that you would tell me that you were.” Then my 17-year old blurted out, “I already knew that. I was laughing in my bed when I heard him this morning.” Yeah right. Because this one had quite a few absences too. Ah these boys. They got me fooled. “Oh you guys. This can’t go on. Things are gonna change next year!”

July 3, 2011 at 10:53 pm 1 comment

To see or not two zee

eye chart

My 11-year old son and I went to see the optometrist together a few weeks ago. He was due for his annual exam and I haven’t had an exam in like four to five years. I have been accompanying my kids to these exams since my oldest one was eight, and he’s 19 now. So that has been a long time now. And I already know the drill. The doctor will ask them to read the letters on the eye chart. And then he or she will ask them to look through this instrument that has different sets of lenses to determine the prescription strength.

On this particular visit with my 11-year old son, I let him go first. When he was finished, Dr. Opto asked me to get on the chair. She asked me to read the letters on the wall. At first the letters were big and I had no trouble reading them. As she changed the slides, the letters got smaller and it took me longer to read them. Then she made me look through the different sets of lenses and when I told her which ones gave me the best vision, she wrote down my prescription.

As we were walking out of the room to follow Dr. Opto to the lobby, my son whispered to me, “Mommy, she said letter, not number.”

“I know. Why? What did I say?” I asked him.

“You said two. It was the letter Z.”

“Yeah, I realized that after I read it. Well, it looked like a two to me when I was reading it.”

“Oh, mommy,” he said shaking his head.


September 5, 2009 at 5:54 pm 2 comments

Between you and me

Paula Abdul said to American Idol contestant MacIntyre, “Scott, you pleased Simon and I.”

I said to the TV, “Wrong.”

Even Simon Cowell disagreed. But not for the same reason that I had. Scott didn’t please him. 🙂

I told my kids, “It should be Simon and me, not Simon and I. You use I if it’s the subject of your sentence.” Or if it completes a being verb. But I didn’t explain that part to them since it’s a little bit more complicated and they don’t want me talking too much when we’re watching TV. 🙂

I’m glad that my kids believe me when I point out mistakes in grammar like this. Because after all, English is just my second language. And they sometimes correct me with my pronunciation and when I say he instead of she, or him instead of her. In my defense, he has the same translation in Pilipino as she. Same with him and her. 🙂

We watch a lot of TV and it bugs me when I hear I being used instead of me.

Just like a few weeks ago, we were watching Survivor and JT told Joe (or was it Steven), “Between you and I, we have this alliance.” It should be between you and me, I told my boys.

Also, on Survivor last night, Debbie said, “This is the most emotional moment between my husband and I.” Come on, people. It’s always between you and me. (Or between you and him/her/them.) Me is the object of the preposition between so you use the objective form of the pronoun I.

Same case as with what Paula said, you pleased Simon and I. If we remove Simon in the sentence, you wouldn’t say, you pleased I. You would say, you pleased me. Me is the object of the verb pleased.

I’m worried that when kids always hear people saying “between you and I,” they’re going to think that it’s right. But it’s not.

May 8, 2009 at 10:10 pm 11 comments

On Anoop Desai and Jamal Malik

“He looks like that guy from American Idol,” my 11-year old son told me as we start to watch Slumdog Millionaire.

“Oh, you mean, Anoop,” I said.


I have a soft spot for Anoop Desai and my kids have heard me say a few times, “I don’t think he’s going to win, but I like Anoop.” I like him when he sings the slower songs, like when he sang You’re Always on My Mind, True Colors, and Everything I Do. Because he can sing naman, di ba? And probably one other reason why I have such a soft spot for him is that he looks like my kind of people. Brown skin and black hair. Just like my kids. If Anoop could be famous for being on American Idol, my kids could also have a good chance at being famous for being a jazz musician, or a basketball player, or an artist, or maybe an actor, or whatever it is they decide to do in the future. 🙂 Besides, Anoop seems to be such a nice, polite kid.

Well, anyway, back to Slumdog Millionaire . . .

I thought I’d convince the kids to watch the movie with me. Make it a movie night like last time. “It’s about this kid who was a contestant on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” I told them. We used to watch that game show.

My 19-year old wanted to watch the movie, but he has final exams next week and he needs to study and practice.

The 14-year old wasn’t interested or he probably just got annoyed with me for saying the word slumdog wrong. I said it like slamdog. 🙂 Of course I’m just kidding, he just wasn’t interested.

And after guilt-tripping my 11-year old son, “don’t you want to spend time with your mommy?,” I finally convinced him to watch it with me. Only to send him away after about 10 or 15 minutes into the movie. I’ve already asked him a couple of times to cover his eyes with the blanket when I told him, “I don’t think this is a good movie for you to watch. I’ll tell you whether he wins the million dollars or not. Sorry, Ryland.” I know, it was my bad. I thought, they’d show the main character play and win the game at the start of the movie or something, but the story was told in flashbacks of flashbacks. I know, it’s kind of complicated.


Well, it started with 18-year old Jamal Malik being tortured because they suspected him of cheating. He was from the slums of Mumbai, a slumdog, and here he was, one question away from winning 20 million rupees, which is equivalent to about US $400,000.00. But he didn’t cheat. (Ooops, sorry, if you consider that a spoiler.) He just happened to know all the answers, and that’s the reason for the flashbacks. His life story explains why he knew the answers.

The story of where he came from is really a sad one but it is filled with hope in the end. And on Jamal’s persistence to find his childhood love, Latika, again and again, I find it so inspiring and romantic at the same time. 🙂 Well, I’d spare you with anymore details. You might want to go rent the movie or buy your own copy because I highly recommend it.

Here are related movie reviews from a couple of my favourite bloggers:

Jayred’s Why you should watch Slumdog Millionaire

Wil’s Slumdog Millionaire

April 19, 2009 at 4:09 pm 7 comments

My mommy guilt trips


I didn’t really like Megan Joy that much. Okay, I did like her when she sang Put Your Records On and Black Horse and the Cherry Tree. But after that she kinda went downhill. It’s Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert who have been my favourites since the auditions. And for the last three weeks, I’ve been swooning over Kris Allen. 🙂 But I was touched when Megan said goodbye last night on American Idol. When she said “Baby, Momma’s coming home,” and she started to cry. I got choked up, too. I knew that it has been hard for her to be away from her little boy. I didn’t like her ‘I don’t care attitude’ last night, but maybe there was a part of her, before the results were revealed, that wanted to go home anyway.

Well, you see, I have been having these mommy guilt trips lately. I have been working extra hours, staying late at work and sometimes working on the weekends, too. I am exhausted by the end of the week. Last Saturday, I thought I’d lie down for a bit when we came home from shopping. But I guess I was too tired and I didn’t budge when my 11-year-old son woke me up for supper. It was already around 9:00 pm when I got up to eat.

My son told me, “You slept long, mommy.”

“Yeah, I was so tired,” I told him. “Next time shake me harder when you wake me so I can have supper with you all.”

And also, the other night, I was telling my son that there are a lot of people away at work this week, most of them mothers.

“Why?” he asked.

“Because it’s spring break,” I said. “Maybe they have planned something with the family, or they probably just want to spend time with the kids.”

“Then why didn’t you take a vacation?” he asked.

“Well, I take all my vacation days in the summer when all of you are at home,” I said. “And then we could plan to go somewhere like when we went to Alberta that one summer.”

“Oh,” he said.

“Do you want me to take the week off on spring breaks?” I asked him.

“Nah,” he said.

Even with that answer, this conversation still made me feel kind of guilty.

I wonder if there would ever be an end to these mommy guilt trips.

April 2, 2009 at 8:43 pm 2 comments

Watching romantic scenes with the boys


On Thursday nights, I tape Ugly Betty and on Friday nights, I watch it with my family. In this last week’s episode, Matt brought Betty home from their date and they were outside her house saying their goodbyes when suddenly the door opens and Betty’s dad Ignacio pops out. I saw my 14-year old son smiling and I told my 11-year old son, who was sitting next to me, “He did that on purpose.” “Why?” he asked. “Well, Matt was going to kiss Betty goodnight and I guess her dad saw that from the window and he didn’t want that to happen. So he went outside so Matt wouldn’t kiss her.” He looked confused but my 14-year old son was still smiling. “Remember that when the time comes that you have a girlfriend,” I continued. “Maybe you should check first if her dad is around before you decide to kiss her.” 😉 Now my husband started teasing him, too. And I was like, oh boy, what am I teaching my kids now?

There was a time when I’d make them look away or cover their eyes when there are kissing scenes on TV. But that was when they were little boys and they are not anymore. They’re growing up and they’re getting curious. And isn’t it better that they learn about the birds and the bees here at home rather than from the streets? And since almost all of the shows that we watch will tackle relationship issues or mention sex at least once in an episode, I find it a good idea to give a comment or two. “She’s crying because he hurt her feelings,” I would say. Or “She’s not talking to him because she’s still mad at him.” Or “It takes time for us girls to forget when boys hurt our feelings.” They don’t like it that much when I do that. “Mommy, will you please just not talk,” they’d say. “We’re watching.” 🙂

Let’s go back a couple of weeks ago. We watched an advertisement of the release of the Twilight DVD. They know I’m a Twilight fan and they asked me if I was going to buy it. “Yes, of course,” I said. “I’ll watch it then,” said my 14-year old. “I just want to see what it’s all about.” Two nights ago, I was excited when I announced, “So, I’m buying Twilight tomorrow.” “What time are you going to watch it?” asked my 14-year old. “After supper,” I said. “I want to watch it, too,” said my 11-year old son. 🙂

So we made it into a big movie night event. We made popcorn and we brought a big chocolate bar and a stick of Mentos that we all shared down in our basement where the flat screen is. And I watched Twilight again with my boys this time. I promised them that I’d keep my mouth shut and I kept my promise. They laughed at the funny parts and I heard “geez” at some parts. I missed the applause and the giggles from the girls when I watched it in the theatre. As I’ve mentioned in my Twilight movie review, the girls applauded and giggled every time Edward got his close-ups and when he and Bella would stare at each other or kiss. 😉 But I love the moments when I exchanged smiles with my 11-year old son last night while we watched those “giggly scenes.” 🙂

And their feedback on the movie? “Ah, it’s okay.”

March 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm 6 comments

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