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Today I Failed At Parenting

Some days I feel like I’m on top of everything. I have a very supportive and loving partner, my son is kindhearted and smart, and I have a great job. My family’s healthy and we are not in need.

And then there are days when I just feel like a total failure. There are days when I have to resort to feeding my son junk like canned food or hotdogs. Days when I have to let him use the phone or the tablet because I’m chasing deadlines at work. And days when I have to bribe him with the promise of gummy candies because I’ll be out the whole night attending a real estate event.

(Let’s not talk about the days I go over budget, both in money and calories…)

Whoever told me that parenting gets easier when the child gets older is wrong. It’s not exactly more difficult — I’ll still take problematic school days over sleepless nights — but I think it gets more challenging.

I thought I was ready for those challenges. Apparently I’m not. Because there are days, just like today, when I totally mess up.

All along, I thought the school’s quiz bee was today. Yuri is in the afternoon class, but the quiz bee will be held in the morning, so we have to be in school early. I had to make adjustments to my work schedule. Since I’ll be in school watching for a period of time, I volunteered to start my work early. I was already up at 3:30 am and was on my laptop by 4 am.

Of course Yuri had to wake up early, too. Since he usually goes to school after lunch, I allow him to sleep until 7:30 or even 8 am. But today he had to be up by 5:30 am. It was probably the Mondayest of Mondays; it was a frantic morning in our household as we were in a hurry to eat, get dressed, prepare, etc. And I was also doing some last minute updates for work.

On top of it all, we got stuck in traffic. I was really worried because we were already late and the cars aren’t moving. By the time we arrived at school, the students were already inside the classroom.

The prefects of discipline for elementary and middle school were at the school entrance. Both of them were my teachers when I was still a student so they were a bit friendly with me and Yuri even went up to mano. It’s a good thing kindergarten students don’t get tardy slips! At least that’s one good thing.

We hurried to go to the classroom… only to notice that none of Yuri’s classmates were there, only the kindergarten students from the morning class. Yuri dutifully went inside despite noticing this while his teacher went outside to talk to me.

The quiz bee got rescheduled, ma’am. Sa Wednesday pa. No class for the afternoon class today.

I already knew that there was no afternoon class. But I honestly thought quiz bee was today because that’s the first schedule I was told. And why else would we choose to go to school on a Monday morning, right? Yuri’s teacher was very gracious and apologized for the incident. I can’t blame her. There was a mix-up. Last Friday, which happened to be the kids’ Scout Play Day, they announced that the quiz bee will be on Monday. The teacher who announced it must have corrected herself but I didn’t pay attention anymore. Also, it was very noisy, with a gym full of young Kab scouts.

Yuri’s teacher must have told me about the rescheduling, too, but either I didn’t hear it or I misinterpreted it.

She offered to let Yuri stay in the classroom together with the morning class since we were already there. When I asked Yuri what he wanted to do, though, he just wanted to go home. He was visibly upset but he didn’t complain or whine. This kid gets self-conscious very easily so I hope you can imagine that this was quite a big deal for him…

I was upset and frustrated, too, because who wouldn’t? I already made big adjustments and planned my day around this event and it turns out I was dead wrong. However, I couldn’t really blame anyone because it was partly my fault.

We went home immediately because we were still sleepy and I still needed to work. I got over my frustration pretty soon but I was still feeling guilty over dragging Yuri off to school so early in the morning when he should’ve been sleeping and resting, just like his other classmates. I felt guilty because he relied on me, his mother, and I failed him. He was very obedient and uncomplaining even though he felt embarrassed. I’m glad none of the kids made fun of him because he’s friends with a lot of the students from the morning class. So I know he got over it immediately as kids often do, but I still feel like I completely failed at parenting.

Some of you must be rolling your eyes at me now. I know this is not a big issue. I know this is not the most difficult problem in the world. Still, I can’t help but think I let my child down today.

Do you still get a feeling of inadequacy? How do you deal with it?

Mixed Mess Parenting Personal

Last Day at Eye Level + Nighttime Toilet Training

This post has been sitting in my… wait for it… drafts for way too long!

It’s been terribly hot this summer — where’s my summer breeze to make me feel fine? — but just last night, we had a strong thunderstorm. It was the same as the thunderstorm we had a couple of Saturdays ago where our electricity even got cut off for 5 hours.  And for the first time ever, our home office flooded (a little bit). Thank God it occurred to me to check the office just when the leaking started. (God has been giving me small reminders lately that went on to reveal bigger things. Thank you, Lord!)

I actually meant to post this almost a full month ago. For time reference, Yuri’s last day at Eye Level was on April 8th, and he got fully nighttime toilet-trained on April 13th.

Last Day at Eye Level

There’s nothing about Eye Level that both Yuri and I don’t love. Honest. I already made a proclamation of love here so I won’t go into details anymore. I just want to say that Yuri entered the enrichment centre literally illiterate (does that make sense? haha). Seriously. He just turned four then and before that, I didn’t think it was important to pressure him into learning how to read and write. After all, he wouldn’t be three forever.

(I have nothing against parents whose children were taught to read and write earlier. Different families, different priorities.)

By the time he turned four, though, I knew our time was up: he needed to learn how to read and write. When I enrolled Yuri to Eye Level’s English program May of 2016, he didn’t even know how to hold a pencil. After assessing him, we started at a pre-literacy level, where we even struggled with writing lines! I loved teaching Yuri, but for some reason, teaching him how to draw straight lines, crooked lines, and curves brought me at my wit’s end.

But after persevering, both in the centre and at home, suddenly Yuri was zooming through writing letters. We had to learn the correct strokes (I was lax at first but later learned to abide by the rules — penmanship does matter). At first, he got B’s and C’s on his booklets, but later on, they became all A’s. After several months, he was already on to reading and forming simple words.

From not knowing how to hold a pencil, he’s already writing and reading and spelling words.I know this is in no way an extraordinary feat, but for us, who started the year illiterate, this was amazing progress. And I credit much of it to Eye Level. The one-on-one hands-on sessions as well as the engaging activities and exercises helped a lot. 

Last day at Eye Level today 😭#sepanx

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However, Job and I, even though we are 101% satisfied with Eye Level, decided to pull Yuri out after 10 months of being with the learning centre. This is plainly because Yuri is about to enter formal schooling for the very first time in his life. We felt like we all needed a break from any sort of pressure and just focus on resting and transitioning to school life this summer. We didn’t even enrol him to any summer class this year. I also want Yuri to be able to focus on schooling alone when it starts. By the time he adjusts to our new routines, we may come back to Eye Level. This time, we will be going for Math instead of English. Who knows?

Nighttime Toilet Training Saga

My mother has been nagging me about this for so long. You see, even though Yuri got successfully potty-trained before he turned 2, he has still been wearing pull-ups at night. I don’t know; I just felt like he wasn’t ready yet. Each morning, he wakes up with a full pull-up and he does pee a lot at night. In the early days, I tried having him wear his cloth diapers at night. But barely an hour into sleep, he wakes up because it’s already full of pee. So I just shrugged nighttime toilet training off and waited until he was ready.

I knew he was ready a couple of weeks before he turned five. He still wakes up with a wet pull-up but that’s because he pees upon waking up. It’s also the perfect timing because it’s summer and he pees a lot less during the summer. But then, we travelled and I felt like it wasn’t the best time to toilet train. We were sleeping in a hotel room on a hotel bed, after all! I just didn’t want to risk it.

Heels over head 😂

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When we got back from our vacation, I waited for the next long weekend to come. It happened to be the weekend of the Holy Week. Our first night of no-pull ups happened on the night of Maundy Thursday. I just followed the basic pieces of advice: not giving too much liquid at night and peeing before bedtime. That’s it.

And it was a success! I didn’t get to sleep much that night, though. I was so paranoid he would wet the bed so I kept waking up to check. Nonetheless, he woke up with the bed fully dry and the first thing he did was pee. Teehee. It really does make a difference to wait until the child is ready.


My takeaway from this mothering experience? There’s no competition when it comes to nighttime toilet training. After all, it’s a bodily function that is not easily controllable. We might have used up more pull ups than kids who got toilet trained earlier, but it’s okay. There’s no use pressuring a child who just couldn’t keep his bed dry because he can’t help it. Because I decided to wait until I was sure Yuri was ready, he didn’t have to feel pressured or frustrated. Because we waited, nighttime toilet training for us was super easy, stress-free, and tear-free!

Actually, come to think of it, this can be applied to teaching literacy, too! In other words, raising a child shouldn’t be a competition.

Parenting Yurisms

An Embarrassing Thing Happened To Me The Other Day

Hey everyone! Blogging just a short and sweet entry today because Miss Joyful Mess is down with the flu. Yes that’s me. I don’t know why, but this year, I’ve been getting sick more often? Does it have to do with weaning from breastfeeding? Or else I’m totally blaming the haze.

The I-have-a-cold-and-I-have-red-nose selfie hahaha. (I didn’t realise how yellow I was until this picture.) 

Okay I digress. Something really embarrassing happened to me last Sunday at the mall.

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Lifestyle Yurisms

Yurisms: I Dropped the Alligator

Yuri is a handful.

There, I said it.

I was so happy when we got out of the so-called Terrible Two’s stage unscathed. He was always a well-behaved child who was normally active and only seldom threw tantrums.

I was wrong. The real challenge is when your child turns three. 

Don’t get me wrong; Yuri still has a mostly happy disposition and could very well behave when needed. However, at this age, he’s also beginning to have a stronger personality and know the fine art of manipulating adults. He still isn’t into throwing tantrums – I guess that goes with the fact that I either ignore him or laugh at him when he attempts to – but can pretend-cry to see if he can get what he wants.

But despite these, I love many things about this age. One of these things is the funny things kids say. Yuri has his own share of funny anecdotes! Here are the funny stuff he recently did:

Alligator Drop

One day, I heard a soft crash – clearly, something fell (or was dropped) in the bedroom nearby. As expected, Yuri came running to me and said,

Nahulog ko alligator mo.

Me: Anong alligator?

Yuri: Yung alligator na gamit mo.

I was confused and kept asking him what that alligator was until he showed me what he meant:

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