Commonalities in Teaching and Learning Across the Human Lifespan

Are you an experienced trainer/teacher?  Do you teach specifically 1 group (e.g. teenagers) or have come full circle in teaching audiences across the human life span? Having experience developing people across the human lifespan is my personal objective.

I’ve come almost full circle.  I’ve taught young children (casual setting), children (academic setting), youth (academic setting), young adults (volunteer setting), adults (corporate setting).  The only thing that remains is young adults in an academic setting (e.g. as a lecturer in an institute of higher learning).  There is one group that I will forgo for now and that is the senior citizen group (roughly above 60 years old).

What have I learned so far?

I’ve learned that there are commonalities in teaching and learning across the lifespan.  There are some things that always hold true regardless of which age group you are teaching and for what purpose (e.g. academic, corporate/formal or casual).  Once you have experience teaching 1 group, there are teaching methods easily transferred to other groups.

I shall coin these commonalities the Triple R.

Respect

A genuine respect for a person, regardless how young or inexperienced, is very important in ensuring that they remain confident and motivated in their learning endeavours.

For example, if teaching a primary school kid about the meaning of “needs” and “wants” and the child’s definitions are a different from yours (as an adult), do not put down his ideas.  Instead, see things from his point of view.  Hear him out.  Understand that his collection of life experiences are very very different from yours – even your own childhood.

Talk to him at his level.  Not talk down to him.  After you have given him all ears, share with him your point of view –  he is a lot more likely to listen to you now.  Then leave it as that for he will eventually understand as he grows up and faces the world.  For such a topic, there is no need to force him to agree with you.

Even for a deterministic topic such a math, listening (includes finding out via other means) to the student’s point of view can help a teacher spot errors in logic and correct them starting from the student’s point of view.

So many times, I see educators (or parents / ppl in authority) putting down the views of younger and less experienced students, employees, family members.  It breeds disconnection and demotivation at least in this relationship.  And like it or not, it breeds disinterest in the subject.

When you listen to them, they listen to you!

Rapport

Tested and proven many times over… once your audience likes you, you can get away with anything you say or do and learning goes auto-pilot.

As a student, I remember the same subject taught by 2 different teachers… English Literature.  I used to score A1 when I was under Ms A.  Her classes were light, fun… and literature being literature, discussions about a paragraph were open to debate.  Then came Ms B who made us do lots of question and answer activities in a workbook.  And to her, there was only 1 model answer for every question.  There was no discussion.  It totally killed my interest and skewed my still-immature understanding of what literature was.  I didn’t bother to prepare for my exams and was expecting an F9.  Yes, I failed… but was surprised to get D7 because I totally didn’t do what Ms B taught… I just openly debated whatever I could.  I could not debate much because I was not familiar with the literature I was suppose to know by heart before the exams.

As a math teacher (and a rather boring one – even in my own opinion), I had students come up to me and say… “cher, I hate math. but because of you, i will make sure I do well.”  She and he (yes, at least 2 said the same to  me at different times) ended up scoring As almost all the time.  I have no idea what I did.  But they simply liked me and that did the trick.

As an observer of another math teacher, i noticed all he did was have fun in class – I once caught him carrying a broom and dustpan, walking around the classroom teaching math verbally.  Appeared unconventional since the common method is to write a lot of stuff on the board.  I listened and he was hardly teaching math!  He was telling stories!  The students liked him so much and did ok.

Once they like you, learning is auto-pilot!

Rewards

Ever been in a primary school class where the teacher gives sweets or cute stationary to students?

Ever sat in a lecture theatre where the lecturer offers free movie tickets, free pub tickets, free concert tickets and the students suddenly come awake?

Ever sat in an international conference full of professionals where the speaker gives out free books like “From Good to Great”?

All 3 scenarios have something in common… rewards are given out for participation.  Only the form of the reward is different… suited to the profile of the audience.

Rewards come in all shapes and sizes for people of all shapes and sizes.

If you have always specialised in a certain type of audience and are suddenly asked to manage another audience very different from what you are used to, I hope my sharing will allay any worries you might have.  In my experience, there is not much difference teaching the different groups.  You just need to contextualise and pitch it right.  Pedagogies remain largely similar.

What Does a Learning Designer Do? #learningdesign #instructionaldesign #ISD

Ever seen the terms “Education Specialist”, “Instructional Designer”, “Learning Designer” or the likes?  Ever wonder what they do?

In tiny Singapore, these roles are rather unknown… even to professionals who have the skills to do the job!

Who can become Learning Designers

In my years as a Learning Designer, I have come across 3 types of designers:

  1. One who is a Subject Matter Expert (SME).  This Learning Designer is typically so expert in a specialised field (e.g. wealth management), and has a knack and passion for passing that knowledge to others, that designing courses of his area of expertise comes so naturally.  Such Learning Designers only design courses whereby they are also the Subject Matter Expert.
  2. Another type of Learning Designer is the one who has knowledge of learning sciences, psychology, sociology, education, human development and learning technologies.  Such Learning Designers know what methods are best for learning what types of subjects and for what type of learners.  They are typically trained educators who are Subject Matter Experts in a certain subject as well.  However, their passion for the learning sciences outweigh their passion for a particular subject.  Unlike the 1st type of Learning Designer, the 2nd type of Learning Designers choose to be subject matter-neutral and enjoy designing courses for all types of subjects.
  3. One of the common types of Learning Designers are those who started as multimedia developers creating learning objects (e.g. documentary video) for organisations or schools.  They picked up Learning Design ideas in the process.

No matter how their careers started, when they become Learning Designers, they typically become professionals who are engaged by organisations or schools to design courses to meet certain needs.  Tools used could include learning technologies like Learning Management Systems like Blackboard or authoring tools like Captivate.  For highly customised courses, it could include a larger suite of software like the Adobe Creative Suite or even a larger range of professionals like multimedia designers, programmers, photographers and videographers.  Of course, it could also be as basic as producing a Trainer’s Guide and the Students’ Course Book.  Basic here does not mean that the learning design is basic – it just means that the form of the output is simple (e.g. course books).

Skills, Attitudes and Knowledge Required

Besides knowing about and knowing how to apply learning sciences, Learning Designers need to be good at stakeholder  management, organised, systematic, meticulous.  Having Project Management skills is almost a must.  Working knowledge of various software, technologies and latest trends (e.g. social medial and mobile apps) are also essential to design engaging courses for the learners of today.

A Learning Designer is a type of solution consultant, a practitioner and an information worker.

She cannot be one who simply collects head knowledge but must also be able to face and solve new and unique problems every time.  While theories are important, it is most important that she designs solutions that work.

There must be resourcefulness and resilience to enjoy this job – the same resilience required of any project manager.  Stakeholders can be uncooperative or even downright nasty at times especially when they are unwilling parties involved in the project.  If you are not able to hold your cool (or hold your ground), your projects may not go well.  You must also be resourceful in making things work via alternative means.

What a Learning Designer Does

A Learning Designer works with SME(s), multimedia designers, videographers, photographers, programmers, learning technologists (and possibly others), and is like the nucleus of an atom.  She makes sure that everyone and everything works together.

Many times, SMEs are not instructors and do not have knowledge of the best practices in designing and delivering courses.  The Learning Designer guides them through the process of designing a course.  The Learning Designer starts from the analysis phase where they gather the purpose of the course, review the content, propose pedagogies (e.g. games, TBL, PBL).  She then storyboards the entire course before moving into developing the various elements with other professionals and the SME (e.g. animations, texts, activities, questions, videos).  She conducts editorial checks, quality checks, learning design checks along the way and also at the end to ensure nothing was missed.

Depending on the job contracted, Learning Designers can begin even earlier (e.g. doing Gap Analysis and curriculum design) and deliver even more (e.g. actually conducting, evaluating and refining the course).

Challenges the Learning Designer Faces

The challenges faced by Learning Designers are similar to what any Project Manager of other types of projects faces.  She faces time constraints, manpower constraints, budget constraints, uncooperative SMEs/stakeholders and is yet expected to deliver high quality product covering a wide range of deliverables.

While the Learning Designer does not need to keep abreast of the latest technologies like the IT professionals, she still has to keep up-to-date to a certain extent.  SHe needs to be aware of the latest technologies and their affordances in teaching, training and learning.  There is so much out there and each keeps evolving too.

Pedagogies are also evolving but not as fast as technologies.  So there is some breathing space in this aspect. :)

Help your Employees take care of their Families And their Careers will Soar #family #familyfirst

Do you have staff who are not performing at work or are unsatisfied with their career progression?

The common remedies managers employ are usually sending staff for training, providing more development opportunities (e.g. more work), giving pep talks about time management and such.  Sometimes, what these employees really need is some spare time and energy to take care of things at home so that when they are at work, they can focus or have the energy to focus.  e.g. Allowing them to step in late so that they can have a little more time to settle their sick child down before coming to work, allowing them to have a slightly longer lunch so that they could fetch an elderly parent home from an outpatient surgery, allowing them to leave early to pick a child from child care and continue working at home at night.

Flexi-time and flexi-place is not yet commonplace in Singapore.  I’ve had the privilege to have experienced the traditional 9-5 job and one that allowed me to work anytime, anywhere.  There are pros and cons to each type.

The traditional working hours meant that my time was predictable and I could easily plan child/parent care arrangements.  However life, especially for the young and elderly, is ever-changing and unpredictable.  In order to care for them whilst sticking to my working hours, both myself and my child/parents/spouse ended up having less sleep when what we all need is more rest.  This generated a vicious cycle of sicknesses that take very long to recover and a higher frequency of them occurring.  At the office, I ended up taking lots of leave and am still very tired and needless to say, demoralised because my “vacation leave” was really no vacation (e.g. caring for family members).  And because illnesses are prolonged, I also have to do work while on leave so that work does not pile up.  I end up never really having any rest.

I found that the job that allowed me flexi-time and flexi-place, quite expectedly created a healthier family.  I could choose when I could have more rest (when I needed it) so as to recover from illnesses quicker.  I bounced back quicker and work does not pile up just as bad.  I am not demoralised because of diminishing leaves (as I do not have to take leave for just 2 hours or so).  In addition, because of the flexibility, I feel obliged to catch up with work at night, over weekends and public holidays, whenever I can.  And when I’m on leave, I’m REALLY on leave, vacationing and taking a solid break.  I find myself a much happier person, much more energetic, healthier and even much more creative/innovative, with or without taking any leave!  The down side is that life’s schedule is a little irregular.  But its benefits far outweigh any irregularities.

I personally vote for the flexi-time, flexi-place arrangement.  I did an informal poll with colleagues and friends and found the majority voting for the same – both singles and those with families.  Those who could work flexibility all said that they were a lot more creative and productive and enjoyed working.  Those who had traditional hours tend to feel more transactional… i.e. they turn up for work so that they can get a salary.

While not all jobs suit the flexi-time and flexi-place arrangement, businesses that can allow for this arrangement should consider it to boost staff morale and productivity.

Help your employees manage their personal lives well and their careers will soar.

Innovations in Teaching Seminar 2014 #ntuiits2014 #iits2014

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Attended the IITS at NTU.  Keynote speaker Grainne Conole gave us a great refresher on Learning Design.  The sharings by workshop participants also provided many ideas and different perspectives to things.  Candid sharings by other faculty like Tim White, Carl Reidman, Nathalie Goodkin, Gan Chee Lip, Sylvie Castagne provided great insights into what works and what doesn’t.

Her Latest 3-syllable Words at the Age of 20 Months

Antelope

Last night, while I was drinking a TCM drink called “lengyang”, my little cupcake asked me what was that and she skilfully and accurately repeated the word after me.

Grandma said she might not understand “lengyang”.  So we told her the English name instead: Antelope Horn Drink.  She went “An Te Lope!”  Pause.  “Horn!”  Pause.  “Drink!”   So cute!

As I am writing this… I just realised… she would not understand what Antelope Horn Drink is either!!!! Haha!!!

Strawberry

She has been able to refer to strawberries for a few months now.  But it was never a complete nor well spoken word.  She used to say “aw…. bewwy”.  Now she can say “strawberry” albeit the “str” sound still seems a slightly inaccurate.

Hey Diddle Diddle

These aren’t a 3-syllable word but I wanna pen it down still cos she says it so adorably!!!  And she loves to repeat and repeat (when she wants to).

Whenever she wants me to read this rhyme to her, she will hold my face, look into my eyes and go “hey diddle diddle”.  Then she will scoot to get the book of nursery rhymes while chanting “diddle diddle. diddle diddle. diddle diddle… ”  Sigh…. so cute.

Elephant

Ok… to be precise….. she can’t really say this word yet.  But she will say “eh phant” when she sees an elephant.  Still thrilling to me nonetheless.

 

Now, let’s talk a little bit about her mastery of the Teochew language.  Unfortunately, this dept is moving rather slowly cos Ah Mah and Ah Gong still use baby language with her.

  • bor (could say this with open swinging palms since she could sit up)
  • wu (have)
  • pak pak (beat beat)
  • pai pai (naughty)
  • bang sai (pass motion)
  • guai guai (good girl)
  • jiak (eat)
  • dak (stick on an anti mosquito patch)
  • gak (throw away)
  • mai (don’t want – used abundantly like the English word “no”)

She still uses a lot of English with them.  I think Ah Mah and Ah Gong are learning more English from her than she is learning Teochew from them.

How about Mandarin?  Well… this one still got a loooOOOOooong way to go cos I’m super lousy with this language too.  Her most accurate now is “hao chi ma?” (is this nice to eat?)

Of Pink Dots and White Shirts (in Singapore)

NOTE: I was not triggered to write this because of the Pink Dot itself or the Wear White movement itself (which by themselves are peaceful things).  I was compelled by the online angry remarks I saw that resulted from those 2 movements.

When the Singapore Govt announced the building of big time casinos in Singapore, and when activists stood up to voice their views, I chimed in.  Casinos were clearly harmful to heartlanders and I did not see my stand as being politically incorrect nor socially insensitive.  I saw the government’s decision as an economically driven one and knew that it was unlikely to be dropped.  But it was still ok to stand up for what I believed in to strengthen a voice that hopefully would be heeded.  It did not look likely to turn into a civil war.

Now comes the ping-pong game between the LGBT community, those who support their choice of the unconventional partner and those who don’t… and I stay silent.  Well… not quite since I’m writing this blog.  But “silent” as in I do not go around involving myself in obviously anger-driven self-righteous debates.

Now… why do I stay “silent”?  Think about it… where is all this angered debates leading to?  More unity or more division?  More resentment or more mutual respect and understanding?  More inner peace or turbulence?  They probably lead to greater fears which lead to actions that cause greater anger, unhappiness and maybe even hatred.  And of course… probably more fractures in this already-small and fragile society.

Some* LGBTs want to be heard because they fear that they may not be truly accepted or be truly free – and they are fighting for that freedom.  Well… with all these heated debates, I think they are causing others to have more fear of them.  (*I say some cos I’m sure some are not interested in any of these ping pong stuff and just wanna live life.)

Those who want the LGBTs to quieten down do so because they fear that their children will get influenced.  Well… with all these heated debates, I think the children are getting more influenced by and exposed to the LGBT community in a negative way.

For the LGBT who feels discriminated and don’t feel free… hey… I think you have it pretty good in Singapore already (can walk on the streets without getting assaulted, can get jobs, can buy house, can have straight friends like me ;p ).  The feeling of freedom is up to you – within you – and how you interact with people.  No need to play ping-pong and get all angry and upset.  And don’t play it up so much till you end up doing the exact thing you originally wanted to take down – i.e. discrimination against people with different views and taking away their freedom!

Everybody faces discrimination some how…. discriminated cos of gender, race, religion, age, even physical stature, intellect, wealthy/poor, pretty/handsome.  We all face discrimination in some form or other.  What I’m trying to say is… LGBTs are not a specially targeted group… cos everybody is targeted somehow.  So I don’t like it when some LGBTs exhibit the victim mentality when they are so much better off than the poor and suffering, the human-trafficked-for-sex-trade and more.

I’ve read remarks from both sides.  I get what the pro white shirts want.  I also get what the pro pink dots are saying.  But I think the problem is that they are not listening to each other correctly and getting all heated up instead!!!  Those having heated debates are seeing through tainted (red) eyes!  I see it as LGBTs just want to be less discriminated.  Those who stand by conservative values just want to protect their children.  That’s it!!! All sounds harmless enough.  Instead of forcing one way through, shouldn’t we be trying to figure out how to have both desires met?  Maybe society has to go through all these to-ing and fro-ing before reaching equilibrium.  Maybe.

At the end of the day, I still want to live in a harmonious Singapore with Singaporeans who love one another regardless of race, language or religion … and may I add… sexual orientation.

 

 

P.S.1: To Christians who might view my choice to stay “silent” as “not making a stand for God”: “How about your children?” you might ask.  Well, my children will be taught the values and beliefs I have, including being resilient to their changing surroundings.  Do your best.  Live the way God wants you to live.  Suffer trials and tribulations if you must (including being discriminated because you are someone with “outdated” values).  Always be ready to help others understand your point of view, if they are willing and ready.  Have a quiet & listening spirit and leave the rest to God.  Be peace makers; choose your battles wisely.  Live and let live.

 

P.S.2: To those curious as to what my stand is after saying so much: As a Christian, I stand by God’s Word that marriage is between a man and a woman.  The definition of a man, to me, is one born with male genitals.  The definition of a woman, is one born with female genitals.  And for those who were born with both genitals or other abnormalities, life (e.g. parents or doctors) could have already made that choice for them while they were still infants (or they could choose when they grow up).  It doesn’t matter whether a man is sissy or a girl is tomboy.  The man is still a man and the girl is still a girl.  There are men who don’t mind marrying manly women and there are women who don’t mind marrying effeminate men.  And there are the “typical” fine men and women who choose not to marry or never met the right person of the opposite sex – they fill their lives with family and good friends and activities like tennis, swimming, soccer… or pigging out!!!  Without the responsibilities of family, some devote it to helping the needy.

That’s my definition of the world of genders, marriage, and single-hood.

 

P.S.3: I’m not against movements like the Wear White and Pink Dot movements.  If not for feminist movements, women today would probably still be a lot more oppressed in many places around the world.  If not for Martin Luther King, slavery could have lasted much longer.  But, as a Christian who believes that godly life principles are the best, I believe in having limits to certain things.  True freedom is when there are still some boundaries in place.  Having no boundaries is slavery and dangerous.

There are movements that arise because of fear, pain, oppression or perceptions of inequality.  We should hear them and see how things could be worked out.  If 2 seemingly opposing movements arise (as in our current case of pink and white), we have to be careful… cos both groups are in pain.

Then there are those that arise to overthrow existing power out of greed, fame and power… which… well… is another thought for another day.

Parenting Without Workshops

Been recommended to parenting programmes or groups a few times.  These recommendations did not appeal to me and here’s why…

I was a teacher for young children and youths, and later became a trainer for adults.  Now, I am a Learning Designer in an institute of higher education.  These roles have many common areas.  One of the common areas is to begin your lesson design with the end in mind.  We start designing the lesson/course by first asking ourselves what we want the learners to take away from the course (i.e., we develop what is sometimes called the “Learning Objectives” or “Learning Outcomes”).  From there, we plan the types of learning activities or teaching methods to use, then we sequence them and add the necessary transition instructions into them so that learners can flow along and have the opportunity to assimilate new ideas into their current schema.

As a teacher myself, I prefer to deliver a lesson based on my personal beliefs and personality.  When the lesson goes live, I adapt the lesson on my feet according to the class’ “personality”.  Hence, when I became a Learning Designer working with university faculty to design their lessons, I take into consideration each faculty’s personality and beliefs as well and do not bulldoze my way through even if some techniques are proven as best practices for anyone with any personality.

It ain’t too different for parenting.

I’m no perfect parent cos I’m not a perfect and flawless human being in the first place.  But considering the hectic lifestyle we have in Singapore, I have to choose if it is worth my time attending and reading parenting programmes.

I chose not to attend (but I do read a little) because many a times, the methods may or may not work on my child.  In the end, it is about what I believe about child development (taking into consideration but despite what research says), and it is also about what I want my children to grow up to be and the kind of relationships they have with us parents (akin to “Learning Outcomes”).  From there, I decide what methods I will use to guide her.  And as I go along, I learn about her personality and adapt accordingly.

There are 3 main things as to how I want my child to grow up. (1) Strong and healthy, (2) safe and sound and (3) beautiful on the inside and on the outside.

The first would lead me to guide her to eat a variety of foods and minimise her intake of junk foods; I would also try to make sure she gets to go outdoors once every day to get active and get some sun and fresh air – it’s also good for her eyes/other senses.

For the second, we teach her to avoid unsafe behaviour (e.g. climbing onto tables and jumping off from there).  Of course, if she were to go into tougher sports in future (e.g. unarmed combat), she may do so but have to bear in mind safety measures.  We also teach her to be buckled up in the car.  As she grows older, we would probably provide her with tips for travelling overseas and such.  In fact, soon, when she is able to understand more, we will teach her “good touch” and “bad touch” and to not trust strangers too easily.

For the 3rd… I rely a lot on prayer because more than 50% of her waking hours are with others and not with us.  Teaching your child to be beautiful takes opportunities… which means I must be around when the opportunity arises so that I could talk about an event with her.  For e.g. when someone you are playing with falls, what do you do?  You  help check if he/she is ok and help if necessary.  The less I spend time with her, the fewer such opportunities I have.  Being a full time working professional, such time isn’t much.  Even if I had the time, I sometimes didn’t have the energy or may not be in the right frame of mind to do it.  Hence, the reliance on God.

There are people who think quality time is what matters, not quantity time.  But for my husband and I, we both agree that without quantity time, there cannot be quality time.  Quantity has to come first.

Without quantity time, there cannot be quality time.

There is one very important aspect in our parent-child relationship I hope to have all the days of our lives together on this earth… that we have open communication no matter what our difference in views are and no matter which stage of life we are in or where we are located… that we know and understand each other well… and always feel at home with one another.

There is no plan to “teach” this because living it out teaches best… we live it out between husband and wife… and of course want to raise our children such that they will still come to us to talk about their most intimate things (e.g. a crush, a career decision or some trouble they got themselves into) even after they are all grown up.

With the “Learning Outcomes” as my guiding light and God and His Word as our pillar… my husband and I work out plans along the way… food plans, discipline plans, communication plans… very customised.  Hence, I don’t see a need for the programmes… at least not for now.

Her First Intelligible Words At The Age of 13 Months

It delights a mother when she can understand her child and I’m sure a child feels happy when understood.

Words that my child uses to communicate (besides signing)… Penning these down for memory’s sake…

- *sob* ma mee *sob sob* (mummy – cried out only when in distress)
– da dee (daddy – randomly mentioned when not in distress)
– ma ma (maternal grandma or photograph)
– ma! (paternal grandma)
– nana (banana)
– perl (apple)
– toys (toys)
– bear bear (teddy bear / care bear / any bear)
– tigger (pooh bear’s friend)
– neg neg (magnet)
– zerd (lizard)
– zing (raisins)
– mam mam (eat)
– pen dor *point at lock button* (open the child gate and let me out)
– oohhh… (I’m venturing out / on an exploration)
– pit tter pit tter pit tter pit tter (rain)
– woah woah (dog)
– woah woah (cat)
– wooong (car)
– wwooooo (vacuum cleaner)
– lao beh (3rd grand uncle)
– zie zie (jie jie [mandirin] / older sis)
– mbak (mbak [indonesian] / older sis)
– bor bor (ball / balloon)
– bor! *rotating open palms* (no more / gone / disappeared)
– op (drop)
– bay (bathe)

Quite a long list I must say. Didn’t expect it when I started listing the first word!

*a proud and happy mum*

Motherhood. IT’s CRAZY!

I originally wanted the title to say “Parenthood” but decided that it is the mother that is the crazier one and hence, changed it to “Motherhood”.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my little pumpkin so much and never felt that I walked down the wrong path.  But it is nonetheless madness.

Also don’t get me wrong about my hubby.  He chips in to look after the baby and house (and me) a lot and is still the best husband in the whole world…. but… ah well.

Why am I blogging today?  Cos I had 1.5 days of vacation leave earlier and this is my 3rd day on leave.  I have had the chance to avoid the hectic workday schedule to sufficiently rest not only my body but my mind as well.  And obviously, my kid and husband are elsewhere, not needing my attention long enough for me to blog 2 posts in a row.

Why do I say that motherhood is crazy?  Cos it simply is!  People say that keeping my full time job will keep me sane.  I don’t know… i feel insane anyway!!!  There is TOTALLY no “me time”.  Totally.  At work… it’s about work.  At home, it’s about baby.  Free time?  Only when I take vacation leave and still leave my baby at parents’.  But in actual fact, most of my vacation leave is used for baby Dr visits or to catch up with housework.

What else drives me crazy? My husband’s definition of DANGER for baby is different from mine (or probably not part of his vocab at all).  He says “if everything in the whole world is dangerous” (his paraphrase of my words), our baby need not do anything in life.  He says it so coolly and matter-if-factly and with this… this… stage-presence gesture of his one arm and baby in the other arm… it drives me madder.

Please help me be my judge if my words to my dear husband are true/false:

  1. Don’t throw her up in the air in our home – she is growing taller (and getting closer to the low ceiling AND ceiling fan).
  2. Never rub your stubbly unshaven chin on her tender baby skin.  It hurts even on my old thickened skin.
  3. Never give your kids small items to play.
  4. CATCH HER if you can when she is about to fall!
  5. Don’t give her tissue paper to eat!!
  6. Never give your kids plastic bags or the likes to play with!!!  And yes, that includes pocket-sized tissue paper packets!!!!
  7. Don’t let her watch violent movies!!!!!
  8. Don’t bring her shopping for violent games!!!!!!!

uuurrrggghhh!!!!

Motherhood.  It’s crazy!!!!