Category Archives: Motherhood

mrspcuyugan

One Less Roommate

About a month ago, Little MrC decided that it was time for him to start sleeping in his own room. It’s funny how it happened, suddenly and completely out of the blue. 

When we first moved here, I was sort of forcing the idea on him, telling him that if he didn’t use his room I’d turn it into my office. He resisted. He wanted to stay in our room. I understood. We all lived in the same room for 9 whole years. Why did moving houses have to change that, right?

mrspcuyugan
In our old room at the old house. He always slept so soundly, right next to MrC and me.

 

At the time, I was thinking along the lines of finally having more space and some privacy. But I didn’t argue with what the kiddo wanted. Instead, I agreed to have his mattress set up on the floor next to my side of the bed. Every once in a while I’d ask if he was ready to move into his room, and he’d always say no.

Then one day, I found the boys cleaning up that room across the hall. A few days later, the mattress was off my floor, and on the bed frame where it really belonged. And just like that, I was left with one less roommate.

mrspcuyugan
Oops! Someone forgot to make his bed this morning. And yes, his sheets are mismatched. That red pillowcase is from an old Aladdin set, and the blanket is Pocahontas, all from my childhood.

 

Since he decided to start sleeping on his own, Little MrC has spent less and less time in our room. He only comes there now to watch TV. He has his own airconditioner, so when days are too warm he asks my permission to use it.

He has a desk, which he uses when he wants to write or draw. His dad’s laptop is parked on that desk so he has something to use for research, and (occasionally) for games. He hangs out in his own space to read and play, and to do little boy things, whatever they may be. I’m not sure that I really want to know.

mrspcuyugan
The desk where I learned to write. It’s just as messy now with it’s new owner as it was back then.

 

Little MrC loves his room. On the way home from school yesterday, he said he couldn’t wait to spend time in his favorite place on Earth. I told him that I was so happy to hear that. I never had a room of my own, so I’m super glad that this is something that his dad and I have been able to give him. 

So much has changed for us since we moved houses. As the months go by, it’s becoming more glaringly obvious that my little boy is now a big boy. I’ve officially entered into the realm of tween parenting, and I’m completely terrified and a little bit sad. I don’t know what to expect. I’m afraid to make a mistake. And I miss having a baby around.

At the same time, it’s such a relief that I now have someone I can count on to open the gate for me when we drive home, so I no longer need to get out of the car and do it myself. I can count on him to lock the front door when we leave, and he can open it for me when we get back to the house. He pushes my grocery cart and checks items off of my list.

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Favorite books all in a row, guarded by his daddy’s old barrel man.

 

He does most things by himself now, including homework. His independence means more free time for me, and that MrC and I can now watch movies in our room at night. It also means that I live in fear that this kiddo will grow up too soon, and will someday stop needing me. Or at least think that he no longer needs me. Of course, I know that he’ll come running back eventually (right, mom and dad?) but still…

Ah motherhood, what a huge emotional rollercoaster you are! I never thought it would be this crazy. But it really is worth it, cliche as it may be.

mrspcuyugan
Once upon a time, when we were both a little bit younger. Man, time really does fly by so quickly.

 

So now, what do I do with all the extra space I now have in my room? Maybe a nice couch? A reading nook? What do you guys think? 

And can someone please guide me through this tween parenting thing? Everything here is so new! And so emo! I need all the help I can get. And maybe an extra glass of wine. 

mrspcuyugan

On Frogs and Other Fears

Fact: I am a worrywart and a scaredy-cat.

A lot of things freak me out. I’m easily startled by strange noises and sudden movements. I jump like a cat when someone sneaks up on me. I worry all the time about a lot of things, and I’m a worst-case scenario thinker.

You’d never think this about me because I’m generally a cheerful person, but it’s true. I spend 50% of my day lost inside my own head. If it sounds like I’m kinda crazy, that’s okay. I think the best people are all a little bit nutty anyway.

mrspcuyugan
No, this doesn’t look like a worrywart’s face.

 

My greatest physical fear is most definitely frogs, and I’ve said this several times before (like here, here and here.) I’m also scared of the idea of ghosts and I never want to see, feel, hear or smell one, ever. Same goes for demons, and stuff or people possessed by them.

Just as I typed that, my mom’s phone rang and I literally jumped. See what I mean? I really am a scaredy cat. It doesn’t help that her alert is The Count’s laugh with matching thunder in the background. 

More than these seemingly silly fears, I also worry about bigger, more serious, meaning of life things. I worry about MrC during his daily commute to and from the office.

I think about Little MrC while he’s in school, whether or not he had enough time to finish his lunch, and if his immune system is strong enough to battle the germs and viruses that live on campus.

mrspcuyugan
I can’t help but worry about this little big boy whenever we aren’t together.

 

I think about myself and my own health, wonder if I am getting enough sleep, and scold myself over my lack of daily exercise. I worry about oncoming and overtaking cars while driving. I am scared that my gas oven might explode when I light it.

I guess it really is a mom’s nature to worry, and my own personal nature to have these fears.

Oh, I could go on and on with these things but I know that I shouldn’t. Worrying, fretting and fearing wastes a lot of time. At the same time, I know that every once in a while it’s important to think about them and acknowledge these fears.

I believe that, as long as they don’t paralyze you, fears will keep you on your toes, careful and cautious with every step. Then again, I could just be fooling myself. A result of watching too much Divergent. 

Photo from Pinterest
Photo from Pinterest.

 

I only hope that I don’t pass my own fears on to my son. There was a point where it looked like I would. I’d see him panic at the sight of lizards. I’d hear him run across the hall to our room at night because he didn’t want to be alone in the dark.

Then he did something that made me feel like he’ll be okay, and that I’m not such a bad role model after all.

The other night, it was rainy when we drove home after dinner. We all got out of the car and I went straight for the front door, which was locked.

I tried digging through my bag for my keys but MrC stopped me and walked quickly to the door to unlock it himself, which was unusual. The entire time, the kiddo quietly stood behind me, which was unusual. Of course I’m only realizing these strange things now!

The husbandry finally unlocked the door and I took a step towards it. Then of course a little frog just had to cross my path! It was really small, only about the size of my big toe, and dark. I thought it was a bug. Then I realized it was hopping and the freak out ensued.

mrspcuyugan
It used to be my job to protect this little one from creepy crawlies, and now he’s the one who’s saving me. (Photo by my dad.)

 

When we were safely inside, the kiddo told me that he had seen the frog right away but chose not to say anything because he didn’t want me to get scared.

The following day, he checked around the car before I got out to make sure that Froggy Friend wasn’t back to get me. He unlocked the house for me, closed the gate, and brought his own stuff inside.

I went straight in because I could hear a chorus of frogs croaking all around us. Oh the joys of being surrounded by empty lots in the rain. 

All of a sudden my son is braver than I am. All of a sudden I see more of that big boy and less of the baby that used to live in his skin. I know that he has his own set of fears, too, but I see that he is learning to face them.

I suppose I should take a cue from my little one and learn to be braver in the face of all my fears, too. I guess it would do me good to lighten up and step outside of my head more often.

It’s times like these that make me think that I learn more from my son than he does from me. More than anything it makes me feel happy and proud to know that I’ve somehow done something right with that little guy.

Still, I dread the day when he will come home and say, “Mom, I need to bring a frog to school for Biology class.” Oh, kamote.

What are your worries and fears, and how do you handle them?

Homework Schwomework

As I am writing this, my little boy is answering math drills. He is now in the process of learning division with 2-digit divisors, and to be honest it’s driving ME crazy. I’ve never been friends with that nasty subject called math.

While I have it easier now because I’m armed with my handy dandy pink calculator who does the adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing for me, I still have to walk the kiddo through each excruciating step until we get to the correct answer. 

The thing with being this guys official tutor is it really feels like I’m having to go back to school. I read what he has to read. I solve the problems he has to solve. When he needs pictures from magazines or the internet, I look for them, too. It’s stressful, ha! 

 

 

Malapit na kami mag away dahil sa division. #MommyMode #HomeworkTime #3rdGrade

A photo posted by MrsC | Patricia Cuyugan (@mrspcuyugan) on

 

Despite all of my complaints, though, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I may not be the best in math (or in Filipino, for that matter), but I want to be the one to teach this kid when he’s at home. I just really try to make it fun for us both. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

After these annoying math drills we are moving on the penmanship. This is one of his dreaded tasks, but one of my favorites. The good thing about having to practice writing is that we end up with letters to send his aunt and grandparents in the US. I like that my son is learning to write and send letters on paper and not via email. Anyway, that whole topic is for an entirely new blog post all together.

So, I think my 5-minute mini break is now over because the kid sitting next to me is starting to whistle, sigh loudly, and talk to his pencil and paper. Manang naman lang sa nanay. Back to work, tutor mom!

Do you guys help your kids with homework or school work? What is the tutoring experience like for you?

On Acceptance and Rejection

One of my fears as a mom is that my son might find himself rejected or disliked by other kids. It isn’t because I feel that my child is unlikable. It’s more because he is an only child, and for a long time he has been more comfortable interacting with adults than with other kids. I’m lucky with this kid, though. He’s friendly, outgoing and adaptable. Over the time he’s spent in school he has managed to make a lot of friends. We both have, actually, as I have also started enjoying my time chatting with the ladies these kids call mommy. 

Who wouldn't want to hang out with this cool guy?
Who wouldn’t want to hang out with this cool guy?

 

Worrying about your child being rejected is normal for any parent, I think. It was something that I was preparing myself for, in case we had to deal with it. What I wasn’t expecting was the possibility of my child being on the other side of the situation. I didn’t realize that it was possible for other kids to feel rejected by my son. Not intentionally, of course. Kids will choose to hang out with the ones they feel are fun to be around, and not with the intention of leaving others out. But well, in forming these little groups, someone may inevitably be left out.

Lola was one of his best friends growing up
Lola was one of his best friends growing up

 

And again, I feel I am lucky with this one. He didn’t realize at first that he was unknowingly alienating another kid. Once we talked to him about it, though, and explained that the other child felt sad about not being included in their play group, he immediately decided to adjust. In fact, in his list of things to do for the week, he even added an extra space for that kid’s name on his playdate invite list. I am lucky with this one because he is friendly, outgoing and adaptable. He is understanding and compassionate, too. And so are the kids that he chooses to have around him in his circle of friends. I’m happy that he chose wisely, and I’m happy that they also have chosen to be his friend.

Have you had any issues on acceptance and rejection with your children? I’d love to read your stories.