“Play tayo kay Jesus”

We probably should have done this earlier, but recently, we’ve begun the practice of praying short prayers aloud with the twins—during mealtimes and bedtimes, mostly, but it can also be in other times too, like when I prayed for their cough and cold to go away as I gave them an oil massage.

I’m not sure about the extent of their grasp of the concept, but Ulap for one is loving it. She is always the one reaching out for our hands and reminding us, “Play tayo kay Jesus. Play.” See, she means “Let’s pray to Jesus,” but because she can’t pronounce the “r” properly yet, she ends up saying “play.”

I didn’t think much of it at first, but suddenly, I realized: it’s such a beautiful thing when you think about it. For them, praying to Jesus is much like playing with Him. Like when a parent and a child play together, praying to God pretty much achieves the same things. It is reveling in His presence. It is a communion of spirits. It is a method of learning and communicating. It is a sure-fire way of getting to know Him. It is a gift of time.

Lord, may we always remember to seek You in prayer, and may You grant us the grace to raise prayerful children, children (and eventually adults) who are just happy to come to You and spend time with You, always.

I’m Claiming It: No Terrible Twos, only Terrific Twos

Time will likely come when they’d want costly toys or elaborate play sets or one particularly rare collectible, but for now, for a few minutes at a time anyway, they’re content leafing through old phone books and magazines. And I am amazed at the simplicity of their happiness, at their capacity to find joy – at the ray of sunshine streaking across the floor, at a piece of foam found lying around, at being thrown up in the air by Papa. With the right distraction, even the worst tantrums can vanish in the space of a moment, replaced by a smile and a suddenly lit up face. We’re only a couple of months in, but so far, really, the so-called terrible twos aren’t really terrible at all.

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“Oh, the things they tell you!” – Superstitions and unusual beliefs

I was on the phone with my mother-in-law yesterday and I told her that I would be bringing the twins to the pedia later to have their cold and cough checked. She immediately said to keep her posted and to not let the twins drink cold water. My antennae twitched a little bit at that last one, as it sometimes does when I encounter traditional beliefs that can possibly be myths.

So later on I asked our pedia if it’s true that the kids shouldn’t drink cold water while they’re sick. No, she very definitely said. In fact, in cases like sore throat, cold water can even be helpful and soothing. And it makes sense, right, because what causes the common cold is the common cold virus, and not cold weather or cold drinks or whatever.

O, ano pa?” my pedia asked me after she finished explaining, clasping her hands in front of her and all but saying, “okay let’s demolish these myths one by one once and for all.” And that’s one of the many things I like about her—her willingness to answer our questions lengthily no matter how seemingly insignificant they may be (and if it’s health-related nothing is insignificant anyway).

Of course, I didn’t monopolize all of her time by thinking up one question after another, and not a lot of things were coming to mind at the moment anyway. I just asked if it’s true that we shouldn’t give the twins baths when they have a fever. And her answer is yes, and no. While the fever is raging, a bath can be really uncomfortable to the skin. But sometimes there are short spells when the fever would abate, then a bath won’t be at all amiss.

When the twins were born, and even while I was pregnant, a lot of these superstitions or traditional practices came out of the woodwork. People tell you all sorts of stuff. They mean well, of course, and I’m grateful they care enough to give advice. One has to be discerning, though, and my usual reaction to such advice is usually polite acknowledgment, while mentally saying to myself, “I wonder if there’s a scientific rationale for that?” I did a lot of Googling, and the usual answer is no, there isn’t.

some possible reactions to superstitions: a) polite dedma, b) ha ha that's funny, and c) the heck did you just say?

some possible reactions to superstitions: A) polite dedma, B) ha ha that’s funny, and C) the heck did you just say?

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moments

Sometimes your eyes startle me; they’re huge, even when framed by your long bangs; looking at me, assessing, telling me, look at me Mommy.dahon's bangs

I love how the two of you are thrilled at the simplest things: the arrival of your water bottles at the table during dinner, at the joy of running across one end of the living room to the other, the stray cat on his regular visit to the neighbor’s garbage bin. These things are greeted by shrieks, and much waving of arms. You teach me joy, through these simple things. How can I frown, when you’re so happy?church smiles

When you cry, demanding my presence, I sometimes feel that I am the child, being scolded. You both call out “Mommy” very clearly now, and that word that I waited so long to hear from you is now being thrown at me with alarming frequency. I imagine the subtext that comes with each “Mommy”. Come get me, Mommy. I’m sleepy, Mommy. She took my toy Mommy, do something! And when I do come, whatever it was that you were scolding me about slowly melts away, and I am forgiven. I am always forgiven, as long as I come. And I am amazed. And I hope you will continue to forgive this Mommy of yours who can be such a mess sometimes, literally and figuratively.

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And I remember what I wrote soon after you were born:

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