The Accidental Park Party Crasher

we’ve only been used to the America school system now for three months. there are still some things that we are trying to get used to. this week I got an email and a flyer from the school saying that they were having a dual language school picnic at the dinausar park in the upper west side of manhattan. we later got another email saying to bring food and snacks in contribution. the picnic was in celebration of cinco de mayo that had happened over the weekend.

 

the weather was lovely and we had had a rough night thanks to colic in the baby so I thought the fresh air and the chance to see my older two kids again that afternoon would be nice. I horridly got up, got dressed, got the baby dressed, made a quick simple cheese sandwich and left the apartment for the park.

on getting there, there were lots of kids playing around, climblng the cute dinosaur statues in the middle of the park, some where on the swings, some running around the sprinklers where water sprays out from. some kids were sitting down eating, some queuing up (which I found out was a lingo some Americans were not familiar with, I asked another mom “is this the queue?” and she looked at me probably pondering what I was asking her, im getting used to that look by now, that look that says I hear you but I don’t understand what you mean’. so I went on to repeat myself, maybe it was the accent.  no, still not getting it. the next thing to do is to rearrange the verb or look for another verb to replace the one you used. so I asked for the third time, “is this the line” “oh yes!” she exclaimed smiling, the joy of finally understanding was too cute to miss. I smiled too and made little remark about the English English and the American English. we both laughed about it as I went. on to join the now long food ‘line’ (not queue).

I looked around hoping that my kids would see us and come give us a cuddle while they run back to play, as they typically would do. but no one came. then I looked around for any of their classmates that I have come to now recognise . still no one. then finally I looked around for their class teachers, no? ok now this is not funny were are they? I told the lady behind me to please hold my spot while I go and look for my kids. I was worried this time. I sent them to school, walked them inside so what is going on? I had little comfort from not seeing their classmates and teachers. maybe their class wanted to use the loo ( almost all. the parks in manhattan has toilet – big big points to the Americans there!) but no one was lining up around the toilet area.

I went on to ask a lady wearing the school badge. at least now I know this was definitely my kids school. I asked about other kids and she then went on to explain that this was for the dual language program. But I choose this school for its dual language programs. one of the schools that teaches in Spanish and English. my daughter comes home everyday speaking Spanish to me, so what do they mean by “this is for the dual language programs” I thought the whole school was a dual language program. she went on to explain. I will try to explain because it still somehow confuses me too. so public schools in American or should I say in New York city (thats were I’m experiencing), have the general typical classes and then sometimes have specials programs running in the same school. this programs are not after school clubs or breakfast clubs. its like having a school inside a school. a school for special kids with a form of learning difficulty, a school for gifted and talented kids and in this case a school for dual langue. I say school to understand it better but its the same school, same principal. different teachers, different curriculum maybe and different classes. but all in the same compound. this was new to me. the only time I experienced something like this was at university. post graduate and distance learning students for example all shared campus with us but were somehow different.

anyway just to be sure that my kids were definitely not here I called the school and was told they were in class. I was relieved. I’ve gone past feeling disappointed stage now because this and many more will happen. moving into a new city is bound to set you confused over things but the joy is that its all part of learning the new way of life there. its all part of the adventures and memories you will have with you. I still remember going for my first job interview in London.

I went back to tell the kind lady holding my spot on the line that I won’t be needing it as I got my wires crossed. she said not to worry that I should stay and have lunch and join them in the celebration. I love food and I love music so I wasn’t going to say no to free fun!

that was how I found myself celebrating cinco de mayo in the park with students, teachers and parents who were not in my kids class. I was glad to be there because there was so much fun!

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Mummy Whats the Weather like Today?

Today my daughter asked me what the weather was going to be like, just as they were getting ready for school. it seems like a simple enough question, I’m pretty sure she had asked the same question yesterday especially now that we seemed to have skipped spring and jumped straight to summer in May.

it was such a beautiful spring day!

As she asked and I muscled the strength and concentration to check the weather app on my phone, I told her it would be hot and sunny so she needed to put on her warm weather clothes, water bottle  and apply sunscreen. Just then it dawned on me that She depends on me for almost everything, all three kids depends on me, my husband depend on me to keep the family running, help him with his doctors or dentist quarterly check up, my parents, grand-parents, cousins, friends, they all depend on me. Maybe it was the lack of sleep seeing that I’ve only had 3 hours of sleep, I panicked for a little bit. The realisation that I was the human Siri was honestly quite overwhelming. In the words of Peter Parker spider man, “with great power comes great responsibility” my case appeared to be somewhat the other way round, “with great responsibility comes the need of great power, or perhaps coffee, or sleep or a hug or three nannies” – Irene. I know I’m no Beyonce so the idea of three nannies was out of the windows.

What if I fail them, now I’m not too worried about the adults in this equation, it is rather the young ones, the most vulnerable ones that I worry about. Its not their fault. They literarily depend on me for their survival. I am the sole source of food and nutrient for my nursing baby. Now that my husband has traveled back to work, I am the older kid’s main source of physical parental support. I may not be their sole source of nutrient as I can easily take them to McDonalds for cheese burger and fries, but the guilt and worry keeps me up at night. I find myself questioning myself, asking, if I’m giving them the right nutrients. I mean forget the fact that they got food in their tummy at least, they are showered, taken to school every single day, taken away from arms way, no, society makes it looks like parents who take their kids to fast food are not so good.

I don’t need no society to be on my case, I am already on my case. I ask myself what if I don’t know the answers to their question? After all, not all the answers can be found in an app, and i’m pretty sure google does not know everything. And Siri, well that guy does get tired sometimes and he begins to get cranky, trust me I have seem him get “emotional” when my son spent over thirty minute asking him weird questions over and over agin.

Again, what if I don’t have the answers they want? God know I love them too much to want to fail them, to not be able to give them the answer they need. I may not be able to answer all their questions, one thing I will always want them to know is that I am here for them. I will listen to their questions no matter how tired I am or how ridiculous it sound. I will search heaven and earth for answers no matter how many few hours of sleep I have had. You see, because they depend on me, it has now become a duty. I owed it to them the minuet I choose  to bring them into this world and be their mother.

The truth is, they are not the only one who depend on me, I also depend on them. they gave my life a new meaning, showed me strength I never knew I had, I mean I can multi-task like a pro! I never knew I could survive on only two hours of sleep and still be able to function the next morning. I depend on my husband for emotional support he may probably think its more financial as he calls himself my ATM machine but I beg to differ. Also being my best friend, there are things I can only tell him and not get worried about being judged. I depend on my girlfriends for moral support and so on. I believe thats what relationships are all about, us depending on each other. Helping each other out. An unspoken code.

So in reply to her question, it is a beautiful weather outside today and later on in the day, me and the littlest one went out for picnic under the most beautiful tree we saw while the older kids were at school.

Five Fun Baby Things For The Modern mom

Babies aren’t cheap! This is ironic seeing as they actually don’t need much. However, having a new baby is a remarkable milestone for most people. It is a special moment for both parents and baby. This is why we go beyond board sometimes to buy the best baby things for our babies and lets be honest, they are not just for baby use but for adult decor. They are the decor that will always appear in your baby’s childhood photos and memories.

Below is a (non-sponsored) list of baby things to invest in this year. I say investment because this products last longer, they can be used with multiple kids or passed down from one generation to the next and they have good resale value.

1. The silver cross Balmoral Pram – no doubt the balmoral comes on top of our list. This hand crafted luxurious pram made in England have been called the Rolls Royce of prams and they are not wrong. It is an old English classic and just like fine wine, it only gets better with age. The high suspension allows the baby to ride in high majestic, away from fumes and dust. The flat laying well structured upper box allows them to keep their spine flat which is very important in their formation age. The big wheels allows easy gliding across snow and different terrains.

The balmoral is big bold and beautiful. critics say it is quite big to fit into modern day environment. Understandable but I think luxury like that should not be compromised. Moreover must places nowadays are accessible to wheelchair and if you can fit a wheelchair into an environment, you should be able to use your balmoral pram. Personally I don’t use my balmoral pram as my everyday pram. I see it like having a classic car, if you had a Rolls Royce, you won’t want to be driving it every time you are going to the shop to buy a pint of milk! I use mine for walking around my neighbourhood, as a day bed, play den and more importantly hopefully as a family heirloom. Be prepared however as this pram draws a lot of attention- in a good way but sometimes you just want to push your pram in peace like every one else without the looks. On a plus side, it is a good conversation piece!

The Silver Cross Balmoral

2. Mima moon or Bloom highchair – This is simply a matter of preference, as they are both equally beautiful well designed highchairs. These highchairs grow with your newborn baby up to they are 12 years old. From being used as a baby lounger to being used as a video games chair. These premium highchairs come in different colours and moveable accessories. Best of all, you get the option to customise your highchair into your taste and show your creativity. It would have been my ultimate favourite if they could move from side to side combining a highchair with lounger and a swing!

3. Doona Car seat – If you have just given birth you will not be allowed to leave the hospital when you are discharged without a car seat. It is against the law in most states and unsafe to put a child in a car without a car seat. We also need a stroller to make things easier for everyday use, you can’t move around town without one.

This is where the genius idea of the Doona car seat comes in. They have combined a car seat and a stroller together. This was one of my first purchases. It is especially useful for those of us living in the city and taking taxis to get around. It is easier to carry when climbing subway stairs and going up some of the New York walk up buildings. It is not light to carry but for a small lady like myself, I manage it ok. This car seat stroller is the real deal. its suitable from birth to about a year depending on the size of the baby. It is simple practical and easy to use.

4. Nuna Leaf Curve – As a new mom, we all need a few moment once in a while and babies want to be rocked, the Nuna leaf curve provide side to side movement that naturally calms the baby as she is being rocked to sleep. I love the simplicity, comfortable seat and in comparison to some other rockers in the market, the Nuna leaf seat is deep enough and takes less space, it can be carried from room to room. It works with electricity with the Wind (sold separately) attached to it. I love that you don’t have to waste batteries but would have been nice if both products were combined.

5.Cybex Ergonomical Baby Carrier Baby wearing is not only beneficial to your little one, it also helps the mom. Having your baby close to you releases endorphin known as happy hormones. This helps milk flow and can contribute to the prevention of post pattern depression. Carrying your baby close also encourages parent and child bonding. Using a baby carriers that includes the Cybex Ergonomical baby carrier is practical as it frees up your hands to do other thing. This particular carrier like other good ones in the market are durable, well designed, easy to use and secures the baby well. You can wear it forward, backwards and sideways. It has an age adjustable band that allows you to carry your baby from newborn to 18months depending on the weight of your child.