Category Archives: month 9

Month 9 Week 4: It’s back!

TMI post alert.  I finally got my monthly period after almost 19 months (since Feb 2011) of “freedom.”  Guess this means we can REALLY gun for #2 now — hmm, wonder if I should whip out my trusty old spreadsheet tracker?  I know it seems like overkill, but it works esp. when you’ve got two people with unpredictable schedules, travel … and now increasingly active soon-to-be toddler!  Speaking of babies, B got the flu for the first time and then passed it on to me.  One week cooped up indoors, compounded by the haze outside. Fun times….

Month 9 Week 2: No right brain left behind?

A fellow mom friend invited me to a trial Glenn Doman class last weekend. Curious, I took B along for a 1:15 hour fun, fast and furious “right brain” lesson at Gymnademics. Affiliated with Doman’s Institutes For the Achievement of Human Potential, the bambino class (5 mos – 1 year) mainly covered bilingual language (English with a little Mandarin, conversational and thematic words), psycho-physical (visual tracking, lifting, twirling, balancing, pull-ups, backflips, group interaction) and music and movement activities.  Flash cards were a key tool as they believe the right brain functions at a high speed, registering input as images and processing them all at once, so the faster the stimulation, the more the brain is activated.

This was a new experience for us and I was somewhat skeptical that the babies remembered, let alone understood what they saw at the pace the cards were flashed – surprisingly though, most did pay attention. I was also informed that the class basically introduces a set of prepared activities which parents are then equipped to replicate daily at home. Overall, B managed to stay focused, even enjoying some of the stimuli.  More importantly, it got me thinking about the merits of engaging a child’s “full brain” esp. in the early years, plus ideas to incorporate at home, e.g. building up his vocab with real, beautiful pictures and big clear words, using slides or my iPad to make homemade flashcards.

There seem to be three main right brain schools:  Glenn Doman, Shichida and Heguru.  In Asia, success – be it academic or work – has typically been associated with left brain abilities such as analytical and critical thinking, and right brain abilities such as conceptual and creative thinking have largely been the domain of a niche group (artists, designers, consultants, etc.).  No surprise that these rational, competitive based skills are dominant in local formal education from 6 years on.

However, even kiasu Singapore acknowledges that this system could be outdated in the future, possibly marginalising or failing to develop the potential of our children today.  The bigger the change, the bigger the resistance — and it’ll take years for the local education system to truly evolve away from a focus on academics and grades. Meanwhile as parents, we could also reflect a more wholistic brain approach at home with our kids under 6 years (or enrol them in preschools that support this).  I’m not yet sure about joining further Gymnademics classes as I need to better understand Glenn Doman’s approach and results. It would be good though to supplement the open ended Reggio inspired play that B’s been exposed to at the Blue House, esp. after he turns 1 in a few months.
For updates, reviews and more, like me at Finally Mama on Facebook.

Month 9 Week 1: Going going going

B is 9 months old!  At 39 weeks, he’s officially “outside” mommy longer than he was inside (he arrived early).  We just had a regular check up where B got his final pneumoccocal jab, which leaves one more jab for the year i.e. MMRV sometime in November, after his 1st birthday. Reminder to self: feed him eggs (yolk, then white) beforehand to test for allergies

What’s new:

1) Weighs 9.7 kg, 73.5 cm long, 47 cm head circumference, tracking at 90+ percentile among his peers. Still our big headed tall boy 🙂
2) Crawls faster, pulls up to stand, cruises and climbs.  Unfortunately, all this newfound mobility doesn’t quite make him sleep more soundly but rather he’s up practicing day AND night!  We’ve caught him standing up in his bed and calling for us many times =0 Meanwhile, we continue to find new areas to babyproof as he’s on the go
3) Celebrated our first national day as a fully Singaporean family.  B got his first passport and mugshot, and I officially renounced my Malaysian citizenship for Singapore
4) Eating finger foods and mashed (not finely pureed) meals

In addition to tagging along with mommy for errands and weekly home playdates, we’ve also started going to Blue House parent-and-baby discovery programs. Their Reggio Emilia inspired early childhood approach and infant and toddler atelier is quite remarkable, quite a contrast to the dime-a-dozen care centers / indoor playgrounds in Singapore.  We may also check out baby signing, Kindermusik or right brain classes like Gymnademics – Glenn Doman, Shichida, Heguru, et al.

Lastly, we kinda had to register B for the June 2013 toddler group intake at a nearby childcare center as he’d already been waitlisted since I left work full-time (unintended!) and this was the latest we could defer till.  The other preschools on my shortlist had a 2-3 year waitlist, so for now, if you can’t beat em ….

For updates, reviews and more, like me at Finally Mama on Facebook.