sense of wonder

Dolphin watching

Dolphin watching

this is my current favourite photo of my boys. The wide smile on Donald’s face and Ollie pointing excitedly at his close encounter with the dolphins. I took a video too, and it is also my current favourite video. Haha. It was a good day today.

With Donald clearing leave from last year, and us scoring free tickets to the S.E.A Aquarium thanks to my cousin, we decided that we would take Ollie to the aquarium for his third time. Seeing how he enjoyed his last trip to the zoo, I reckoned he should be better able to appreciate the aquarium this time round.

And boy he did.

“Woooaaaaah, so many fish! So many people!” *laugh* Yes, Ollie does such exclamations. It is quite funny sometimes, a little on the dramatic side, but at least he is using it in the right context. =P He was running here and there, and EVERYWHERE. Peering into the screen, watching some of the divers clean the tanks, feed the fish and even decorate a Christmas tree in the tropical fish tank. Right.

He was pretty enticed by the dolphin tank. We hung around for a bit, Ollie exclaiming loudly each time a dolphin came up close.

“Ohh!! Going up! Dolphin swimming swimming. Upside down! Ohh!!” 

You know what? I love watching that look of excitement, wonder and surprise on his face. The look on his face as Donald’s iPhone unlocks after he keys in the password as Donald recites it to him, despite him having done it before. The look on his face as a stream of bubbles come out of the bubble gun. The look on his face as the dolphins swim past him.

The funny thing after hanging out for so long at the dolphin tank was that…every other fish became a dolphin too. Yikes. No, Ollie, that is a threadfin, not dolphin. Alamak. I reckon he had a field day. It has been a long time since he had been out for an entire day, with the opportunity to run around and be carried by his daddy for most of the day. Being 6.5 months pregnant only means Ollie stays home a lot with me during the week because I cannot handle  an active toddler outside. And I constantly feel bad for not letting Ollie have the opportunity to do what he is supposed to be doing at his age, run and be active. So I am also constantly bugging Donald to take Ollie out or go out when Donald is around so that Ollie can use up his week’s quota of energy, hahah.

I am thankful he is contented to stay home with me. We go through his books in Mandarin (he is getting the hang of using the phrase 不可以 ALOT), he plays with his cars and now new train set *roll eyes* and we watch some cartoons and sing songs with silly actions. He is a pretty decent kid, despite days where I want to strangle him.

Christmas is around the corner, and it is Ollie’s first Christmas where he is starting to be aware of what on earth is going on: presents. We have been receiving some presents early, and Ollie sure knows how to rip off the wrapper. He is starting to be aware that it means books or toys, of which he is happy to receive either. He just received his third Christmas gift from his paternal grandma, which is a train set that Donald and I chose. I was telling a couple of people that Christmas is a whole new ballgame when your kids are involved. I mean, I stopped receiving gifts when I got to high school. Not that I am complaining. As I grew older, Christmas was a time for gathering with family and just chilling and eating a lot of food. Now that I have a child, Ollie is on the receiving end of it. Comparing the type of toys I had when I was a kid, and the kind of toys Ollie is receiving..it kinda scares/overwhelms me a little. Sure, I am thankful that Ollie is so loved by family members and they spoil him with toys. But seriously, I think the amount of toys he is amassing is quite…scary. I don’t even remember having THAT many toys!

Where do we draw the line at how much toys he has, what kind of toys he has, and the monetary value of the type of toys he receives?? I mean..when I was a kid, some toys were probably from the neighbourhood store and costs nothing more than 10 bucks? Some of Ollie’s toys cost over 50 bucks. I can be a bit of a snob with toys..I don’t want him chewing on cheap plastic toys so I get those where paint doesn’t peel off the plastic or rubber foam can’t be chewed out. I guess the more educated we are about the toys, the more expensive our choices may be? Then there is the intellectual, developmental stimulation that the toy will bring to the child..etc. The variable goes on and one can get so sucked into the whole marketing spiel (“develop fine motor skills! imaginative play! creativity!”) 

Then I start thinking..what happened to just a good run in the park (barring unforeseen circumstances)? Ollie loves grass. He would walk into a mall, see green carpeting that looks like grasss and go “mummy, green grass! Ollie walk green grass!” . He loves swimming, and now that Raina is back, she can bring Ollie swimming every fortnight at my grandma’s place.

Well, I am not saying toys are bad. Toys will give me some time to myself whilst he is entertained by it. Toys do help Ollie develop in some way. I guess I am worried that Ollie has had it so good he doesn’t know how to handle it when the bad hits, or that he may take things for granted. And I am also worried that in trying to make him not take things for granted, I am end up being too restrictive. Ooohhhh balance. Where’s the balance. Like now I am slowly trying to make Ollie understand that saying “please” doesn’t mean that he will get his request granted, and that mummy can still say no to that request regardless of how polite you are.

Argh..parenting is such tricky business!

Side note: okay Ollie doesn’t have that much toys. It probably seems like a lot to me cos we have toys that are also suitable for 5yos like Lego and storing all of those older toys in his wardrobe is making me freak out a little. I would think that he has enough toys for his age. Enough for me to rotate them three times and for him to not ask for more.

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