Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Sooner or later, it was bound to happen. Today, Rama got a taste of schoolyard bullying.

It was during a field trip to a small farm. It was almost the end of the trip. As volunteer parent, I was helping pour juice for everyone, so I didn't notice what was going on. Rama just came up to me crying. I heard the whole story when we were on the bus back to school.

Basically, one of the girls elbowed her, trying to get her to spill her juice. No spill, so D, another classmate, a boy, taunted, "Do it again, do it again!" So the girl does it again, and Rama's drink spills.

On the fly, I had to comfort her and quickly think of the healthiest, most politically correct way to teach her how to best cope. (Made a mental note, too, to look up bullying on the net.) I made sure my response was sane and sober, as opposed to my initial from-the-gut impulse which was to scream for blood - asan na yang $&*%* batang yan? My little speech went something like this:

Me: Not all kids are good kids all the time. Sometimes, they think they can be happy by making other kids sad. So they can be mean to other kids... They're probably really sad kids, with problems. Kaya sila ganun... Look at D, he's always dragged by his mom kicking and screaming out of the playground, so he can't be very happy. Sad, ano? So Rama, you're better than them. You are a happy kid, and you know how to be happy without making other kids sad. Just play with other kids who are like that, ok? Dami naman diyan good kids.

But the important thing is, don't let them see you cry. You have to be strong. You can cry when you're with mommy na. But don't let them see you. Or else, alam nila na kaya ka nila. And they'll do it again... When they're mean to you, just walk away. Or tell them, I won't let you hurt me. Dun sila natutuwa, kapag nakikita nila na napaiyak nila ang ibang kids. So don't make them happy that way.

Rama, through tears: Siguro naiinggit sila kasi naka-crown ako!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bawal Mamatay

Like most kids, Rama loves the playground. Especially this playground with a castle. So we spend hours on end there. So it's a bit diffcult to get her out of there.

Me: Rama, we gotta go.
Rama: Why?
Me: Gutom na gutom na ako. Pag hindi ako kumain, mamamatay ako. People need to eat.
Rama: OK.

Weeks later, I had already forgotten about this exchange, I coax her out of the playground. It was really time to get some food.

Me: Rama, let's go. I'm hungry.
Rama: Nooooo... Ay, OK. Let's go. Ayokong mamatay ka.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Language Lessons

Car ride with new friends. To keep themselves entertained, kids were playing word games in the back of the car.

Rachel: What did you say, Rama? Tiim?
Rama: No. Tiil. That means, feet.
Rachel: So what's dirty?
Rama; Higko.
Rachel: Clean?
Rama: Tinlo.

And so on.

Rama: What's the english of pako?
Rachel: Nail.
Rama: No, that's kuko.
Rachel's mom: English is funny. They have the same word to mean different things. Those are called synonyms.
Rama: Rhymes with cinnamon.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Royalty To Spare

Rama fancies herself a princess. Or a queen, on some days. She is pictured here with pals Nica, Danielle and Bea. It is a normal weekend. Nothing really special. But Rama needs no excuse to don her royal garb. Any day is a good day to be royalty.

Yesterday, we went to the park. As usual, she was wearing her crown. On the way out the door, she handed me another crown. Put it in your bag, she said.

She would make friends in the park. And soon, she would run up to me and ask for the extra crown. "Can I have the other crown? It's for Savannah (or RIcarda or Ashlyn), she doesn't have one."

Turns out, the extra crown was for sharing! None of the kids took the crown for keeps. Though I don't think Rama would've minded if they did. Queendom is for sharing!

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Last night, I was giving Rama a preview of things to come today.

Me: So! Tomorrow, we first make pancakes, then go to the puppet show. Tapos, punta na tayo sa park. Hey, they all start with the letter P! Pancakes, puppets, park! It's P-Day!

Rama, wide-eyed: Yes! And I'll be with Poch!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

So, About This GOD Idea

The Creation has been one of our favorite stories. We go back to it every now and then. Today, while crossing the street, Rama had something on her mind. Something a bit existential, actually.

Rama: Bakit kay God, walang gumawa?

I first heard this question in a college class. Modern philosophy, I think - if god made everything, who made god? Except she already sorted out that, ok, nobody made god (which I don't remember explicitly pointing out). He just IS. Why lang daw kaya.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Birthday Kwento 3

One of Rama's gifts this birthday was a fairy ensemble - wand, headband, armbands, dress, and slippers. The slippers were fabric - really meant for indoors only. They were more like slipper-socks.

So she put on the whole thing and played played played. Soon it was time for the guests (yes, people came and sang to her. So she had the normal birthday ritual - may mga tao) to leave. Rama and I walk them to their cars. I noticed she was still wearing the slippers.

Me: Rama, yang slippers, for inside lang, ok?

Rama: Eh bakit si Tinkerbell? Pwede siyang lumabas naka-ganito.

Me: Kasi most of the time lumilipad siya, hindi siya naglalakad.

Rama: Pilay ba siya?

Friday, May 4, 2007

BIrthday Kwento 2

Birthday went like this. Rama went swimming in the morning. Then she had a nice lunch at a neighborhood cafe - pancakes with real maple syrup! Then came school. After school (where she stalked new crush Zach in the playground), we bumped into new friends who, on a whim, took us to Chuckie Cheese. Think Timezone but brighter and they serve food (pizza and drink-all-you-can from the fountain). So it's a real party place which gets packed on weekends. There were mascots too, except these were mechanized so "the band" was playing and dancing all afternoon. Unlike Jollibee who can only make a 15 minute appearance because the poor crew person inside the mascot could actually collapse from heat and exhaustion. Today, we practically had the place to ourselves.

So the kids did what kids do - go on the kiddie rides, shoot some basketballs, etc. At the end of the afternoon, you collect all your tickets and choose your prize. Rama chose these funky glasses, along with other stuff like beads, a ring, crayons. Everyone loved these glasses.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Birthday Kwento 1

So the plan is to keep it low-key. BIrthday morning. Balloons EVERYWHERE. Around her bed. Then as she lies in bed, still stretching, a little birthday cake with lit candles is brought in. Her Papi and I sing her happy birthday.

Rama: Asan na ang mga tao?

Just Another One Of Those Hirits

Frantic morning. Adult missing wallet. "I think I left it here. No, I think upstairs. Or maybe jacket pocket? Yadda yadda." Adult eventually finds wallet.

Rama: Naglalakad ba ang wallet mo?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

BIrthday! Birthday!

Rama turns 5 on Thursday, May 3.

Last year's celebration was a big shebang. Check out the invite.

This year, it will be very low-key. I thought maybe just cupcakes for all 5 of her classmates. So I asked her teacher and guess what she said: Sure, you can have a little celebration. But nothing edible. ?!? Some kids might be allergic to something or other, so to be safe, no feeding of the schoolkids. Instead, we'll just bring party favors.

I asked her what she wanted. Rama's birthday wish: Sana mag-kasya na si Honey sa seatbelt ng airplane. Para makapunta na siya dito sa Canada.

Honey is Rama's lola, whom she sorely misses. When we moved to Canada, Rama asked why Honey won't be joining us. We just said that Honey was too chubby, she couldn't fit in the airplane seat.