5 Things I Did For My First Born I Didn’t Do With My Youngest

There’s a huge gap between seven and seventeen. The ten year gap between my youngest child and my eldest showed a markedly different parenting style although both are raised in the same household, with the same set of parents, observing the same rules, practicing the same values, and a plethora of other Do’s and Don’ts.

They say when a child is brought forth into the world, a mother is born. It follows then that for each child, a mother is reborn, reinvented. Answering the call in each child’s specific need. A mother is a versatile creature, or tries to be.

Here are the ways parenting the seven and seventeen differed:

1. When the seventeen year old was born, I already memorized all the parenting guidebooks I can get my hands on. I watched every breath he took, recorded every milestone, remembered his first utterances, and was generally obsessed that I was parenting him right. I was also very selfish, I wanted to do everything and excluded the nanny.

When the seven year old was born, my expectations were shot. She defied parenting books in many ways, and became a poster child of textbook reference behavior in other ways. All I can remember now was that she didn’t walk after she learned to stand up. She ran. And I was only too happy to hand her to welcoming arms so I can grab some Zz’s. Her pictures? They’re all digital files.

2. With the first born, I demanded a lot of maturity from him at an early age. I realize that now. His days were structured so much so that it was natural he did his homework by himself daily even at the age of six. A practice he carried on until highschool. I demanded excellence, though these demands were sugar coated and hidden well. I pushed books at him and realized I wanted him to be like me, which is a terrible thing to do.

The seven year old fixes her own schedule. Oh she follows my schedule, albeit grudgingly with much frowning and grimacing but she tends to march to her own drum. And I let her. Yes, some days I’m so exhausted, she gets away with it. Or the seventeen year old will reprimand her. She is at once a responsible child and the spoiled brat. No I don’t spoil her. Her siblings do.

3. I went to each and every PTA meeting for my first born and lobbied for changes in the school administration. Extended lunch breaks etc. I have the adviser’s phone number, the guard’s number, the number to the principals office etc. And yes I rang them regularly.

Now you can’t find me if there’s a meeting. My child demands I attend one because “So and so’s mommy goes, why not you?” I’m just happy her adviser calls me regularly.

4. I went ahead and finished university because I can. Young pregnancies are somehow considered a death sentence to higher education and I had a lot of detractors, sadly, some were family. I had to make my son proud. I went back to school after giving birth and finished my degree. I had my yaya blues, and those trying times, he attended the 1 hour 30 minutes lecture in whatever subject I had at that time.

The youngest might see me earning my masters or doctorate or nothing. What she may see me do is tick off stuff in my bucket list. The road ahead is full of possibilities  but the yoke of proving myself was lifted even before the youngest was born.

5. I fought dragons with the eldest, because everyone knew best how to raise my child and I was having none of it. It was a period of establishing who’s who. The youngest enjoyed a more mature mom, comfortable in her own skin and knows where to draw the lines. I guess the eldest enjoys that too, today.

Each and every child is unique and lumping them together using a single parenting technique might not work. A mom needs to trust her instincts, love unconditionally, discipline rationally, and laugh freely. For what is a child other than your heart and soul on wandering feet with a mind of her own?

In every birthday of a child, little attention is given to the mother who in truth, continues to grow into motherhood in tandem with her child. Snaps to all Moms out there.

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Healthy Spinach Frittata Perfect For Lazy Sundays

Spinach Frittata for breakfast? Fancy (and difficult to make), right? A staple Italian dish, this egg based favorite appears at first glance, complicated and laborious to make. A fancy dish for a lazy day? No way! But hear me out, because if you’re like me, I hate  sweating over the stove first thing in the morning and seek recipes that would leave me more time doing the things I love (like heading back to bed and read after a nice breakfast!)

Frittata
Spinach Frittata with Ham and Mozarella

Frittata’s are similar to quiches or omelettes with some exceptions. It’s open-faced, unlike a quiche, and the ingredients are beaten into the egg mixture instead of being layered on the pan, or folded as the egg mixture sets. What I love about frittatas (omelettes and quiches) is that I can play around with the recipe. There are no hard and fast rules here. You can put whatever  ingredients inside your fridge like ham, bacon, veggies, and cheese into your frittata and it will come out yummy and healthy.

Moms, this is a stealthy way for getting your kids to eat more veggies! I swear the cheesy goodness of this dish will leave your kids wanting more! ‘Nuff said, let’s get cracking!

Spinach Frittata with Bell Pepper, Mozarella, and Ham

Ingredients:

5 medium-sized eggs
500 grams chopped spinach, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup bell pepper thinly sliced
1 big red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded mozarella cheese
3 slizes sweet ham or about 3 oz. thinly sliced
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. In a bowl, beat eggs, combine all ingredients and beat some more until everything is incorporated into the egg mixture
2. Add salt and pepper to taste
3. Heat skillet
4. Pour olive oil enough to coat bottom and sides of skillet
5. Turn down heat to low
6. Pour the frittata mixture into the skillet and cover
7. Cook on low heat for 12 minutes or until middle is set.
8. Remove from heat.

Serve by cutting into wedges. Enjoy!

Alternatively, you can also saute the onions, tomatoes and bell pepper beforehand for faster cooking time. In this recipe, I did not add the 1/3 cup of milk it called for since the full-fat mozarella made up for it.
You can also use bacon instead of ham, or go right ahead and experiment! This dish hits that sweet spot when you want something savoury, hot and healthy at the same time. What I love most is it’s super duper easy!

Try it today and let me know in a comment below how your frittata turned out.

Favorite Super Bowl Ads But Only One Stood Out

After the storm of Super bowl ads bombarding everyone’s screen, I have to say only one ad made an impact on me.
Budweiser’s Puppy Love commercial left me a bit teary-eyed with its cuddly star, a caramel-colored labrador retriever and his chosen friend, a clydesdale horse.

It’s both tender and sweet, a combination that would give anyone the fuzzies. It’s also a testament that friendships trancend species. It’s deceptively simple but why did it touch a cord (or in some instances, hit a nerve) in thousands of people? Watch the video below:

Here are some of my thoughts (in bullet points, of course! But I’ll do better next time, OK?)

  • You don’t choose who chooses to befriend you.
  • Friendship is an awesome gift you can’t say, “Take it back, I don’t want it.” It doesn’t work that way.
  • Each individual is a surprise waiting to happen, open yourself up to possibilities.
  • Whoever said you have to be a friend first to have friends is right.
  • You don’t know what you have until it’s gone is close enough but
  • Opening your eyes to appreciate what you have is better.
  • True friendship (and love) is worth fighting for. Any day, any time.
  • Never give up on a friend. (I tell myself this sometimes)
  • A positive friendship welcomes more individuals into its circle, it’s not exclusive.

And, big dogs, big poop. I know. I had a labrador retriever before. It was not mine per se, but its care was thrusted at me. Now I have come to a difficult moment writing this.

When it comes to pets, make sure your level of commitment is similar to that of adopting a child. It is a huge commitment that should last forever. It’s a commitment to love, care, nurture, and make your pet the happiest in the world. Taking on a pet because it’s stylish, it makes you look good, it’s cute, or other some such reasons do not hold water for me. And I dislike people who do that. They say you’ll know a man’s character by the way he treats his pet.

What was your favorite ad and why?

Comment below!