Why The Pram Does Not Work For Me

There has been a huge uproar about prams recently. A journalist complained in ST about children not in the prams, children who are too big for the pram and prams that carry only bags.

I did not read the article earlier when friends started complaining about it on Facebook. However, when I read a rebuttal to the overuse of prams, I decided to read the original article. There was name-calling, which was very unprofessional. Different people have different opinions.

el in pram

I am just amazed how parents manage to get their children to remain in the stroller. Ever since they could walk, my children refuse to sit in the pram. They insist on walking, and within a short period of time, they only want to be carried. I end up having to push the stroller and carry them.

They refused to be in baby carriers, and baby carriers hurt my shoulders and back anyway.

gar baby carrier 1

What does this mean? We seldom go out. We stay at home most of the time. Our backs hurt if they insist on being carried. Carrying a child and pushing a pram cannot be done easily.

I am not exactly sure why they hate the pram. Maybe there are invisible bugs. I had used to push Gar to the library in the stroller when he was younger, but he would always come back with bites. Up till now, I have not figured out whether the bugs came from the stroller or the short trip.

I dislike using the pram actually. There is never a straight path from the carpark to the place I want to go. I will strap my child into the pram from the car, push the pram to the stairs, unbuckle him, carry him using one arm, close the pram and carry the pram in another arm.

Then, I need to open it again and strap the unwilling child again. Then I realise the lift is full. Or it does not stop on the levels I want to go. It has become a white elephant.

It is hard to navigate the pram. I had unapologetic people who ram the prams into my ankles, which made me jump in pain, and I had also accidently rammed the pram into others, apologising profusely only to be greeted with dagger stares.

That is why the pram does not work for me or my children, but that does not mean people can complain about others using the pram.

Water and African Children Conversation

El was brushing his teeth when I filled up his cup with water. Immediately, he poured the water away, saying it was too little and wanted to fill up the cup himself. He rinsed one time, and wanted to pour the water away again. I told him off for wasting water. I told him how precious water is and we should save water.

cup and toothbrushHe did not seem to get the message. I said that he should be thankful we have clean water. I told him how we get water in our tap. We need the rain that goes to the reservoir, and the water gets filtered before coming to our taps through water pipes.

He still tried to pour the water away, so I told him that millions of African children did not have clean drinking water. Some of them have to walk a few kilometres to get water, and sometimes the water is muddy and they fall sick drinking them. Sometimes they might get diarrhoea, and sometimes they might get other diseases.

“Why do they have to drink muddy water?” he asked.

“There are no taps and clean drinking water,” I said.

It was time for another serious talk, just like the riots in Little India. We went in circles for a while, and I brought in weak governments, corrupt leaders, natural disasters and the works. They are poor because there are no jobs. There are no jobs because they are too poor to have factories, shops and offices. Why? Why? Why?

We then moved to the topic of starving children with bloated bellies. He put his green Ikea plastic cup down, wiped away the foam and ran off to get the iPad from the living room. He put it on my bed and typed in ‘african starving children’ into the search function, and clicked on images.

Taken aback by the pictures, he asked why they looked so scrawny. Their ribcages were showing, and they had sunken eyes. I explained the poor running of the countries, dictators who stole money from the country and continued living in the countries, and how the people were suffering.

He spotted a picture where a picture of a starving African child was superimposed over the African continent, and pointed out the connection. He was pretty used to identifying countries in this manner, as some of the iPad apps would combine the flags and the shape of the countries together.

Since he knew the African countries very well, he asked me which countries were poor. I tried to rattle off a few countries that I barely knew, and then remembered Ethiopia. Next, I searched for poorest countries, and out popped a list of 20 poorest countries in the world, with most of them in Africa, especially in the sub-Saharan areas. Zimbabwe, Liberia, Eritrea and Madagascar were some of the listed countries.

african child carrying water Photo by MarcLouwes

I wondered what he was thinking. He was probably making some lists in his head.  I hoped he had understood how lucky he was, and that he would not waste water. After that, he started drawing up a list again, of some African nations.

When I went to bathroom, I spotted a cup that was almost full. Guess it will take some time before the message sinks in.

Meta-cognition: Little India Riots

Taken from Today Twitter

Overturned burning police cars

I just read an article about meta-cognition in young children. Meta-cognition means to think about thinking, or have an awareness of one’s thinking. When we come across new materials, we will file away that information, but we will only remember it better if we make connections with existing knowledge. Highlight the similarities to what young children already know, and then state the differences. The next time they come across something similar, they can apply their knowledge. Even if it is something that is a new concept, if they can see the link to their pre-existing knowledge, they will be able to understand better.

Recently, there was a huge uproar over the riots in Little India, that was sparked off after a bus ran over a drunk foreign worker and killed him instantly. Fuelled by alcohol, the people who were congregating there started pelting the bus with stones, hurling concrete slabs at the police cars, smashing the windows, then attacking the paramedics and the police officers. Images of overturned burning police cars were extremely shocking, and explosions were heard.

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