Monday, December 29, 2008

She's So Pun-ny!

Rama is getting better at reading. She enjoys reading signs, t-shirts, etc. One random t-shirt she spotted had "Bohol" on it. She was struggling with the pronunciation - "Bow-hol?" I helped her out.

Me: Bohol!
Rama: Oh. Boo-hol. Like if you go into a hallway, and it's scary, it's Boo Hall!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


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Holidays 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Noche Buena

It was Rama's first time to wait up for 12 MN to roll around and open presents at the strike of 12.

The following morning, I asked her about it.

Me: So you slept really late.
Rama: No! I stayed up late. And then slept when it was morning! I was like an aswang.


In the middle of my meal, Rama was about to crash on the couch. I was concerned about her jetlag, and went over to her, fussing with blankets, pillows, etc.

Me: Are you ok? Comfortable?
Rama: Yes. I'll just sleep here.
Me: Can I go back to the table to eat?
Rama: I didn't ask you to come here...
Me: Oh. But I just wanted to make sure you were ok.
Rama: Oh. Tenkyu, tenkyu, ang babait ninyo, tenkyu.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sampayan, Etc.

Rama and I landed in Manila a couple of nights ago. We are jetlagging bad - it's 9am on a Saturday morning and we have been up since 3am. We went to Mini Stop shortly after waking, to get some stuff for an early (very early) breakfast. What we did - this dead-of-night walk in the neighborhood in chinelas and pambahay - was unheard of in Toronto. And this was not lost on Rama. While we were out:

Rama: Whoa. If this were Canada, we'd be frozen!

Another observation on the drive from the airport. She sees clothes drying on the lines. She's struck by an interesting detail.

Rama: I see many underwear.

As I write this, she is watching Crying Ladies and playing with her paypay picked up from Salcedo Market.

How is our trip going so far? Rama summed it up nicely during our walk last night: It's good at Philippines.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Reminder To Live In The Moment

As our trip to Manila draws near, Rama has been wavering between happiness (seeing loved ones back home) and sadness (leaving her Papi behind, if only for a few days before he follows to Manila.) "I'll miss Papi" is a constant, pained refrain.

Last night, this missing Papi turned into a full-on, lengthy crying jag. I tried many tacks.

"You really have to rest. Enough na. Try counting sheep." Lame.

"Think happy thoughts..." Easier said than done.

The rational argument: "Kaya tayo magka-iba ng plane, ganito. Pag nag-crash ang plane, and I die and you live, Papi can still take care of you. A lot of parents do that, they don't travel on the same plane"

"I wish the plane won't crash. But I'm still sad."

Then I tried something that my mom used on us a lot when we were kids. Some kind of amateur pranic healing. Whenever you're hurting, she would speak in a soothing voice, while her hand just hovers around the painful part, and she would make this elaborate gesture of gathering and "throwing away" the pain. I tried it on Rama, like I was drawing the pain away from her chest and hurling it away.

Rama, wailing: But the sadness is in my brain!!!

And more and more, she was getting frustrated at herself about not being able to stop the crying.

Then I dished out some zen.

Me: Rama, you should really pay attention to what's in front of you. Right here, right now. So many things to be happy about - warm bed, new friend (a new Pooh stuffed doll, an early christmas present), your mom who loves you very much. Try not to focus on those sad thoughts, because right this moment, where you are, there's so much to feel glad about.

Rama seemed to take that in. She stopped crying! EIther she just got really tired by then, or felt guilty for forgetting that I was there, or the message sank in. I would think it's the latter, because after that lecturette, when we were spooning and she was on her side facing the window, she quoted me back:

Rama: The window is in front of me. Haha.

She was calm and light by then and able to sleep.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Chew Rule

Rama: I don't want to eat anymore. I'm tired of chewing. I'm tired of counting, chewing 19 times!

Heard of the rule that you have to chew your food 32 times? Because you have 32 teeth. We counted Rama's and she had 19 teeth. So I told her the rule: chew your food 19 times. And tonight, she thinks it's tiresome.

UPDATE! Saturday, she finally lost the other wiggling front tooth. As expected, I heard this: "Yay! Now I just have to chew 18 times!"

Santa For Real?

Rama: Mommy, do you believe in Santa?
Me: Yes! Why?
Rama: Most of my friends don't believe. They say he's just a story. Kanina, they did this (making a huddling gesture) and said Santa wasn't real.


Me: Do YOU believe in Santa?
Rama: Yes.
Me: Ok. We should make a list na for Santa.
Rama: I tried. I couldn't spell trampoline.


In the water, Rama, like most kids, loves to play; shark attack is a favorite. She sometimes gets so excited, even anxious! When adults try to remind her that it's all pretend, Rama reasons, "But my imagination is too powerful!"

Monday, December 8, 2008


Rama enjoys physical challenges. Like climbing and jumping from high places. Normally, I let her. But today, with the slippery snow, I stopped her.

Me: Rama, please don't climb. And I can't let you jump.

Rama argues and questions.

Me: It's not safe. And it's part of my job, as a good mom, to stop you from doing unsafe things.
Rama: Oh, ok. I don't want you to go to jail.

Rama and Santa 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Foot In Mouth

Meet Terry Fox. He became famous for the Marathon of Hope, a cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research, which Fox ran with one prosthetic leg. He is considered one of Canada's greatest heroes of the 20th century.

Yesterday, Rama and I went to the annual office kids' Christmas party. We were joined at our table by my colleagues. One of the desserts was a Gingerbread Man Cookie.

Rama breaks off the leg.

Rama: Look! This is Terry Fox!

Stunned silence at the table. Followed by gales of laughter. And nervous mumbles about political correctness.

It wasn't over.

Rama, breaking off the arm: Oh, I took his arm, too.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Worry Dolls

Rama: Mommy, I'm bringing some of my little dolls to school, ok?
Me: Why?
Rama: To give to some of my classmates.
Me: Why?
Rama: 'Cause they're worry dolls.
Me: What's that?
Rama: Worry dolls are little dolls. When you're worried about something, you tell the dolls, put them under your pillow. While you sleep, they worry for you.
Me: Do you need a worry doll?
Rama: No. I don't worry about anything. That's why I can give some away.
Me: Your classmates? They worry?
Rama: Yes.
Me: What about?
Rama: I don't know, they didn't tell me.

I'm guessing she saw this. which airs a lot these days.


Rama is starting to write. She wanted to write "slow down" but ended up with "slow dan." She explained to me that she actually meant "slow down" and to remind herself, she drew an arrow pointing downward under the phrase.

Me, ever the adoring mom: Who told you to be so smart? Why are you so smart?
Rama: You! 'Cause you act smart, and I'm your daughter, so you made me smart!

Thrilled (and probably over-caffeinated), I let out an exaggerated shriek of delight. Think crazed fan. Aaaaaaa!

Rama: That's not smart.