My Mommyology

April 3, 2014
by mymommyology
2 Comments

The Fine Line Between Disciplining and Bullying Our Children

I never liked bullies.  Who does, really?  I had a few of them in my life growing up and they were no fun.  They made the growing up years so much harder than it should’ve been (although as we say now we live and learn and build character through these experiences, but anyway.  It’s besides the point).

Now that I’m a parent, I worry about my kids getting bullied too.  Sam experienced it as a baby, and while I know that the devil child was not in full consciousness of what she was doing, I still felt my blood boil.  I am that parent who’d defend their child at any cost.

How ironic was it for me to realize (fairly recently) that the act of bullying can actually start in the home.  With parents like ourselves.

The fact is, it’s very hard to discipline children.  You have to be consistent.  You have to be firm.  You have to be fair (amongst other things).  And from what I’ve experienced, it’s always a hit and miss.  Sometimes they’ll listen and they’ll get it; and often times they won’t, or they won’t want to.  I know first hand how that can drive any parent crazy.  The testing, the pushing of limits… it can get under your skin.  As the parent, I feel responsible for the behavior of my kids.  Disciplining them weighs heavy on my shoulders.  There’s no giving up, no backing out.  We HAVE to produce results.  And more than that, I want peace, harmony and just some semblance of order.  It’s an indication that I’m doing something right, after all.

But to get there can be a problem.  And honestly when disciplining, it’s so much easier to raise our voices, call out mistakes, or threaten kids to listen and obey.

The body language says it all.

The body language says it all.

“Eat your vegetables or else you can’t go to the park,” says the parent in an attempt to get their child to eat something healthy.

“Stop running or else you can’t go swimming,” says the mother who has put her little boy in his swimsuit and is waiting by the pool for the teacher to arrive.

“Share your toys or else I won’t let you play with them anymore.”

When you read them again though, don’t they sound like a big bad bully to you?

At the onset, we really don’t see this as bullying our children.  It’s just a typical parent who’s trying to get their children to do the right thing.  We are after all, just disciplining them the way we know how.  These are things parents say with good intentions.  Vegetables are good for the body.  Running by the slippery pool area is in fact dangerous.  Sharing is caring (and a valuable life skill to learn).  In fact, there’s really nothing wrong with the intention and the motivation.  It’s just in the execution of it when things get tricky.

Coach Pia has made me realize that the way we say it really matters.  The words we use, the tone we use, and the manner in which we carry it out… it all makes a difference.  Refraining from using “no” a lot or setting them as limitations (that need to be tested and pushed).  A calm voice.  Reasoning and explaining instead of dictating.   Removing “I told you so,” from our list of statements.  Making good on deals made instead of empty threats.  It’s a world of difference.

The statements:

Vegetables are good for you, and I want you to be strong and healthy for when we play in the park, so let’s eat a little bit before we go”;

“I know you’re excited to swim, and you may not mean to but I worry you might slip and hurt yourself.  So please sit down and let’s think of something else to do while waiting for teacher”; and

“It would mean a lot to me if you shared your toys with your sister.  We can think of a game you could do together.”

Are worlds apart from their original counterparts.  The intention is the same; but the effect on the child could be totally different.  After all, who likes being dictated to and screamed at?  And isn’t it a typical parental complaint that after constantly berating them with loud harsh words, they learn to tune you out?  It doesn’t set a good example as to how they should relate to others.  In fact, it also teaches them to be bullies.

Again, the body language.  Worlds apart ey?

Again, the body language. Worlds apart ey?

The HOW we say it also matters.  Eye contact, down at their level versus shouting it over their heads, for instance.  Holding them close and talking instead of shouting.  Finding the right teaching moment which is non-threatening is very helpful too.

There’s no reason why we shouldn’t discipline our kids in a loving way.  You can still be firm, consistent and fair, without the coercion into submission (read:  without the bullying).  It helps to remember that the rule is bigger than us.  We don’t just want the kids to listen to us because we’re their parents.  We want them to understand the WHY behind it all.

I cannot begin to tell you how many disciplining mistakes I’ve made to date.  When I realized this, it hurt me to think that I was in fact a bully to my kids, and that is a regret I will have forever.  If only for that, I promise to change and try harder.  There’s no way I can say I’ve got it all down pat, but at the very least I hope the girls see I’m trying my darn-dest best.  When I slip (and I do slip, believe me), I apologize and process the incident with them after.  At the very least, I’m aware that I don’t want to do it anymore, and that’s the first step in making the change.

Admittedly it isn’t the method that will get the fastest, most immediate results.  And admittedly… it’s HARD!  Being consistently patient, catching yourself before you explode; no one wants to be a broken record on repeat (as if that weren’t redundant enough).  But it is all part and parcel of the parenting process.  And anyway, it is the method that sticks with them better in the long run.

We become better parents because we want to give our kids the best, and hopefully influence them to be better people someday too.  And when I think of it this way, I persevere and continue to try, if only because I love my kids to the moon and back.

April 2, 2014
by mymommyology
0 comments

Mom-Wear

If there is one clear benefit about being back home here in Manila, it’s that I’ve been serendipitously surrounded by a lot of stylish and chic, fashionable Mommy friends (#SoMoms, you know who you are!). :)  Before I started listening to their fashion advice (and admittedly sometimes when I’m not always with them), I can’t say I’d win an award for the best dresser in town.

Growing up I was always taught to dress for comfort and efficiency.  Forget the style.  Translate:  Jeans, shorts and a regular shirt, no accessories.  And really I don’t own that many shoes (I promise it’s true).  I don’t even know how to put make-up on myself (Thank GOD the The Painter’s Wife is my friend!).  

I actually think my sense of dress style got worse when I stopped working and became a full-time mom.  With the lack of time (and sleep), I just wasn’t in the mood to dress up.  Sweats or exercise clothes were my staples.  No wonder they call it “casual clothing” in the states (and I learned this on Project Runway!) – because it’s really something you’d just throw on and go out in, everywhere.

Anyway.  Fast forward to Manila, where there are really more facets to life.  Remember those Life Bubbles?  They’re all simultaneously inflating here.  And no one really walks around in their “casual clothing” unless they’re really headed to the gym to work out.  So with the help of my friends and a few of their recommendations, I’ve had the chance to upgrade my wardrobe.  Here are a few of the brands I’ve learned from them:

1.  Fashion Forum - Thanks to my friend Tin of Manila Fashion Observer, I discovered that SM department store carries modern, designer clothes.  The pricing is fairly affordable for the quality and the names that you get.  They are in several women’s sections of SM malls around the metro, the biggest selections are in SM Aura, SM Megamall and SM Makati.  Here I bought several dresses that I wear to many occasions.  The most versatile one is a printed purple shift dress from Laura Ashley.  On my own I’d never buy it, but it’s served me well on several occasions, including our family photoshoot with Sheila Catilo!

I honestly would've never chosen this dress on my own.  But it looks pretty cool!

I honestly would’ve never chosen this dress on my own. But I do love it now!

2.  Karimadon – Also an introduction made by Tin (that is WHY she is Manila’s Fashion Observer yes?), was to Karen Wu.  She invited the #SoMoms to their branch one afternoon and gave us all the privilege of trying on outfits from their new collection.  I even got to take home a black jumpsuit, and I won a cleopatra-like accessory piece in their raffle!  I’d have to say, while I grew up seeing Karimadon in every mall I went to growing up (they’re currently present in 16 malls if I’m not mistaken), I always thought they were all about formal wear for older people.  Now I know that they do have a wide variety of dresses that girls can wear to their prom, Beauty Queens can wear to a pageant, or regular “older” (I suppose I do belong in that bracket now) moms like me can wear to regular social gatherings.  Everything is locally produced and designed — such Filipino talent ey!

Left is Kris of OcMominManila with Tin, in the same jumper (looks better on her though!) Right: the Cleopatra-like accessory that I won!

Left is Kris of OcMominManila with Tin, in the same jumper (looks better on her though!)
Right: the Cleopatra-like accessory that I won!

3.  Elin – Now THIS.  This!  Elin has become quite the favorite of mine in the last year.  I’ve bought several easy dresses and shirts from them and I wear them practically every week.  Jen of Attached at the Hip is right;  it’s even become my everyday uniform.  It’s a brand started by three partners in an effort to provide pregnant moms, nursing moms and new moms comfortable, easy-to-wear clothes.  They are all also locally made.  I love their fabric choices, and the colors and plain tones are right up my ally.  In fact my friends from the #SoMoms were asked to model some of their clothes.  Of course when I saw the pictures, I wanted it all!

Look at my gorgeous friends!

Look at my gorgeous friends!  Photo Credit:  Elin.Ph

4.  Piesa  – Accessories are a learning curve for me, and they are made fun by the unique pieces and choices one gets from Piesa.  Phoebe makes all these pieces by hand.  I’m told no two pieces are alike.  They’re easy to wear and quite fun too.  They go with any regular piece of clothing, and these I have a lot of!  At least with Piesa I know I won’t look so plain all the time.  A little “fancy” here and there should spruce it up enough ey? ;)

The "Cai" is a piece I want next.  Photo Credit: Piesa by Phoebe

The “Cai” (named after Cai of Apples and Dumplings)  is a piece I want next. Photo Credit: Piesa by Phoebe

5.  Yellow Bird Shoes – My dear friend Patty of Non-Stop Babble launched her very own line of shoes about 8 or so months ago.  Who wouldn’t love them!  The colors are bright and cheerful, they’re an accent piece on their own.  The pairs I’ve bought have also taken me from day-to-night – as glittery and sparkly as they are.  And they’re affordable enough that I’ve also given them as gifts to cousins and friends.

Patty's new summer colors.  Order yours today!

Patty’s new summer colors. Order yours today!

Patty plays with prints too which is quite fun (considering all my shoes are plain so that they can go with anything.  But as I learned on TV, shoes can be fun accessory pieces too!).   I’m excited to get my new pair and try them out.

The Lindy from Yellow Bird Shoes.  You like? :)

The Lindy from Yellow Bird Shoes. You like? :)

Now here’s a tip, when ordering from Patty, always check the Yellow Bird Shoes updates if the shoe size is true to your size, or if you’ll need to go a size up.  Patty’s pretty good at indicating which shoes these are, and following this as served me well thus far.

So there you have it folks.  Looking at it all: my what a big influence these #SoMoms have been on my fashion life and everyday style.  I’m ever a willing student.  Why not -  I’ve learned so much already and it has done my closet a whole lot of good. :)

***

The click on the links of each brand to visit their Facebook pages.

March 26, 2014
by mymommyology
2 Comments

Travel To Bohol: Bringing Learning to Life

Last August during Buwan ng Wika (It’s the month schools dedicate the curriculum to learning about the Philippine language and culture)  Sam’s Kindergarten level focused on the Visayas region.  I distinctly remember it because the parents were asked to volunteer and help teach the kids about typical foods, dances, animals, and tourist destinations found in and around the provinces there.  Sam, an avid learner, took everything to heart.  Of course since then she’s asked to visit Visayas countless times.  Technically she has been there already several times — to one of the country’s most popular tourist islands, Boracay.  And yet, a visit to the same place (while it is a wonderful place to be in every year), can get boring for an adventure-seeking peacock like Sam, and she still insisted on seeing more of the region.

Thankfully the opportunity came about when a client of YBS, Amorita Resort, asked us to visit for a weekend.  Kris and I decided to take the whole team, as well as our families and make it our annual outing.  Needless to say, Sam was over the moon.  We weren’t only going with her favorite travel buddies M and N (I suppose we do travel a lot together!), I’m going to see, and be and go to what I learned in schoolWheeee!” was her exact exclamation.  Everything came out in quite the jumbled squeal.

This was us on the bus!

This was us on the bus!

The trip was made so worthwhile from the get-go because Amorita took the liberty of hiring for us one of THE best tour guides in town.  She really lived and breathed everything about Bohol, it’s past, present and future.  She knew every single detail and explained everything to us very very well.  And she engaged the children and gave them age-appropriate trivia.  Even I was still learning something from her too.

I hadn’t been back to Bohol in quite a while so it was a refreshing visit to see how much had changed with the province. It was sad nonetheless to see the toll earthquake had when it hit last October.   A lot of the ancient churches had collapsed, and as our tour guide Kathy said, it was pretty much because they were 300 years old.

300yr old ruins

300-yr old ruins

Our first stop was the Loboc River Cruise, where you have a buffet meal and entertainment on a boat while riding down the Loboc River.  It takes over an hour to get up and down the river back to your starting point, and there is even now a stop midpoint where the natives dress and sing and dance in the local dialect.  Sam could appreciate it because they did a dance called the Tinikling, where people jump in and out to music while trying to avoid getting their feet stuck between two bamboo poles.  “We did that in school mom!”  she told me.

The Loboc River Cruise entertainment.

The Loboc River Cruise entertainment.

Then of course a trip to Bohol wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Tarsiers and the Chocolate Hills.  The Tarsiers are now placed in a sanctuary of sorts and people are prohibited from holding them.  Apparently, these animals are solitary as much as they are nocturnal (big words Sam learned on this trip), and hence, nosy tourists that hold them stress them out.  I didn’t know that this sometimes causes them to bang their heads until they give themselves an internal brain bleed and die.  Yeeesh!

Hello there little primate.

Hello there little primate.

The kids were all surprisingly quiet as we visited the primates who were trying to sleep.  That’s another new thing I learned — Tarsiers aren’t monkeys!  Jamie was fascinated by them too and surprisingly absorbed a lot of what our tour guide Kathy was saying about them.

There’s not much to be said about the Chocolate Hills, as it is still a wonder all on its own.  Kathy gave the kids the exact count and my post-epidural brain forgot what it was.  She also told them how the Chocolate Hills came to be and why they weren’t so “chocolatey” anymore after the earthquake.  To know more, you should go take a trip yourselves!

The standard tourist shot.

The standard tourist shot.

On the way home we visited the site of the Blood Compact monument, another quick anecdote I had to relay to Sam.  I suppose this part she didn’t learn about yet at this age.

The next morning we got up at 5AM and went out on a boat to watch the Dolphins jump and feed and play, another activity Amorita arranged for the group.  We saw several pods and both children and adults alike were fascinated and excited.  Generally a tour group could have also gone snorkeling or scuba-diving in Pangalusian island and then had lunch there afterwards, but we had the kids so we needed to cut the activities up so they could rest.  Besides, we also wanted to enjoy the beautiful resort of Amorita and their wonderful service.

Photo courtesy of Jess Abillar

Photo courtesy of Jess Abillar

Ria once told me in a meeting that Amorita is known for its “infinite experiences” because they will really cater to each guests’ unique needs and wants.  And I’ve heard the same from friends who’ve stayed there before.  “They really spoil you“, I was told.

There’s a personal message from the person who turns down your room at night.  The kids get their own treats and messages too!

Happy Surprise for Sam when we got back to the room!

Happy Surprise for Sam when we got back to the room!

In fact when we met the resort manager Hermie, Sam went up to thank her for the cookies, but also mentioned that “my baby sister doesn’t like chocolate too much.  She prefers strawberry.”  Hermie’s reply was that she’d have the chef bake an extra batch of Strawberry cookies specifically for Jamie — and lo and behold when we arrived at our room that night, there they were!

Strawberry cookies for my strawberry girl!

Strawberry cookies for my strawberry girl!

Amorita is famous for their seaside villas which has a jacuzzi and view that overlook the beach.  It really speaks of a private getaway, and if you chose, you really wouldn’t have to leave the premises.  It’s perfect for people, couples and families who want their own space and pace.  The last time I went to Bohol, I didn’t stay in Amorita and now that I have, let me tell you it’s worlds apart from what the others have to offer.

The entrance to your private villa.

The entrance to your private villa.

Amorita is currently in progress with its second phase of villas and function areas that are set to open this May.  From what we saw, it’s going to be quite breathtaking.  They’re even putting a two floor dining area and bar which promises to have sumptuous dishes, and a huge, huge infinity pool!  The space for each villa is roomy enough and well-thought through.  Every little detail is worked out.  I suppose that’s the difference when the owners are hands on with the project from start to finish.  Their vision really shines through.

Although Amorita was not in Sam’s curriculum last August, they definitely played a key role in helping bring what she learned in school to life.  From the food to the best tour guides and most optimal schedule we had during our visit, Amorita made sure we left the island with a lot more than what we came with.  They enhanced and magnified everything Sam learned in school, and taught Jamie a whole lot of culture too.  They’ve taken everything to memory and to heart, and are both definitely looking forward to going back for more.

Sam enjoying her "field trip"

Sam enjoying her “field trip”

March 24, 2014
by mymommyology
0 comments

My Mommyology Likes: Mr. Peabody and Sherman

Sam reviewed the movie as "awesome". :)

Sam reviewed the movie as “awesome”. :)

This was our family movie for the weekend and it was quite the good pick if I do say so myself (of course, I picked it, heehee)!

To be honest I’d never heard of Mr. Peabody and Sherman until the Dreamworks trailer for this movie.  Apparently the characters are taken from an old 1960′s animated television series called Mr. Peabody’s Improbably History.  It’s really all about a genius dog who adopts a human boy as his son.

The premise of the film will already reel you in, and then it’s a ball of laughs and learning after that.  The girls were hooked.  They watched intently and laughed at some of the jokes.  It was nice because the scriptwriting was very witty and very real, and even the flashbacks were well placed.  My husband isn’t a fan of flashbacks, but he didn’t mind these ones.  There was no moment in the film when Jamie felt she had to bury her head into my chest and hide with fear, which was nice for a change.  And it tugged at your heart at just the right amount, without really sending you into a ball of emotions after.  But Sam and I — we did get teary-eyed. :)

I liked it because it’s one of those movies where you learn a little bit of history in a very comical and easy way.  Mr. Peabody, in an effort to teach his Sherman about the world, created a time machine as a gift to his son.  They travel back in time and learn through firsthand experience, except on the day that Sherman starts school.

Mr. Peabody and Sherman looks like it could have its own new revised series (each one a different travel back in time episode, type of thing), because there really is much for kids to learn about the past.

I won’t say much more for fear of spoiling the film for some, except for the fact that I do highly recommend a trip to the cinemas for it.  Assuming it’s your child’s first time inside a movie house, this might be a good film to start with.  Mr. Peabody and Sherman is a movie I’d want a copy of for our DVD home theater collection, I’m currently waiting for it on Amazon. ;)

And incidentally, the newly launched short-film Almost Home, starring Steve Martin, is also quite adorable.

Cute new short film.

Click on the picture to view the film!

March 21, 2014
by mymommyology
0 comments

Parenting a Peacock

When you take the MindPrint biometric scans, the first page you come across is your innate Personality Profile Type.  Already this page tells you so much about yourself;  strengths, perceived limitations, verbal and physical cues, and how you communicate.  It breaks it down in terms of emotions, work and friends too.  It’s a lot. :)

MindPrint calls this the L-I-F-E personality profile, which stands for Leader, Idealist, Flamboyant and Efficient.  It’s similar to the Bird Profiles’ Eagle-Owl-Peacock-Dove.  It’s also the same as the DISC profiling.  (I don’t mean to throw terms out there, but do check the links to know more).  My sources tell me that as a person we acquire all four types, and we learn to adjust and use them based on experience or circumstance.  There is one however which we are born with, hence it is innate.  It’s our default way of doing and being.

When Kaiz of MindPrint explained these all to me, I could see parts of myself between the Eagle and the Dove (that sounds like a song).  As it turned out, I’m innately a Dove — the exact same profile as Jamie.  While friendly, we like to avoid confrontation and avoid change.  I know that I can handle confrontation (and sometimes even initiate it when necessary), but it’s not always easy for me.  Sometimes I choose the people that I do it to (or with).  And that’s how I understand the above when they say you’ll eventually have a little of all.  Sometimes I call on my “inner eagle” or “inner owl” and I’ve learned how because of past experiences.

During my discussion with Kaiz, I browsed through the other personality types.  I distinctly remember saying, “Oh my, parenting a peacock must be hard work.  How would anyone do it.”

Then a week later we got the kids’ results.  And voila, my own Sam is a peacock.  Why karma, hello to you too.

Sam's personality profile page.  What's your child's personality type?

Sam’s personality profile page. What’s your child’s personality type?

My husband was with me when we got the results and said he couldn’t quite pinpoint my reaction when Kaiz revealed this.  Was I happy?  Was I excited?  I myself don’t know.  Given that I had made that statement a week before, I must have freaked out.  When I read the page again, suddenly it made so much sense… but then at the back of my head, WHAT in the world was I going to do?!  And have I been doing anything right these last five years?  I had to find the answers to my own question:  HOW on earth do I parent a peacock?!

If you read through the first set of descriptions on strengths and weaknesses, they describe Sam spot on.  She’s highly enthusiastic, quite the excitement seeker.  She does have a lot to say.  A LOT.  And she loves being the center of attention.  Now it makes sense as to why she loves and plans all her big birthday parties and invites practically everyone she meets.  She totally enjoys the spotlight.  Totally.  She has no stage fright whatsoever, as evidenced by her ballet recital and school performances (where she thrived on solo roles).  There was a lot of drama, a lot of unnecessary worrying that we had to talk through over and over again, but it was just that — drama.  She did everything flawlessly in the end and loved every bit of it.

It’s true too that Sam gets so excited oftentimes she forgets to consider the consequences.  Like running into the street, for instance.  Many times I’ve had to catch her by the hair and pull her back (God forgive me) because she’s about to step off into the pavement without checking to see if a car is speeding her way.  In swimming pool areas she’d readily jump into the water without any kind of floatation device on.  Thank goodness she now knows how to swim.  She is a risk-taker.  It’s no wonder I always find my heart somewhere in my throat.

She will literally -- jump full force -- into anything.

She will literally — jump full force — into anything.

As a Dove, this risky business, this constant motion and search for the next big thing… it’s all new.  It makes me uneasy.  I like my comfort zones and I don’t like change.  As you can see, two years into our big life move and I’m still in my adjustment phase!  So it’s a conscious effort for me to be the opposite.  If it’s something new she’d like to try, like Capoiera, I encourage it. I mentioned in my previous post she already inquired about Tap Dance lessons too, something that was not within my realm of consciousness.  We signed her up for it anyway.

Sam at the Capoiera trial class.  You can imagine my heart in my throat when she tried some of these moves.

Sam at the Capoiera trial class. You can imagine my heart in my throat when she tried some of these moves.

It’s the “perceived limitations” that are challenging.  I say perceived because it’s not necessarily a limitation to the person, but to those around them.  The fact about a peacock being talkative, reactive and impulsive may not be a limitation to them, but a challenge to non-peacock parents like myself.  In the nicest way possible, without hurting her self-esteem, we (try to) teach her how to temper herself.  I repeatedly remind her to wait for her turn, and to think before acting.  Slowly she learns, but it also takes a lot of patience on my part.  I sound like a broken record on constant repeat.

It’s a hard lesson not to be the center of attention, especially in our small family.  Jamie’s birthday last Tuesday was difficult for her and she admitted this to me.  I was impressed that she recognized it and praised her for her honesty.  At the very least she’s taking the right steps towards a better self.  And just like a true Ate, she still showered her sister with love and affection; in fact she was so excited for Jamie that she woke us all up an hour earlier than the alarm (another challenge when I want to sleep in).

Sam definitely has big dreams.  At her kindergarten graduation, she declared her dream career as an astronaut.  Her teachers were telling me how amused they were with her because it was quite unique for a child to choose that career.  It was also one they didn’t take up in class.  My husband and I — we believe it.  We believe she will make her way and try to be one.  (No pressure, really.)

It makes me proud and nervous that she wants to go into space.

It makes me proud and nervous that she wants to go into space.

Parenting a peacock like Sam takes work — just like it does with any kid with any other personality profile.  I still answer all these WHY questions.  I let my imagination fly alongside hers, and we create such colorful scenarios together.  Sam’s world of pretend is something else, let me tell you.  They’re wonderful characters for a future storybook.

I’ve realized that Sam likes to be involved in the process because it makes her feel important. Being an Ate and setting an example truly suits her and she will do it proudly.  I also give her roles at home and praise her when appropriate.  It motivates her and sticks with her more than if I were to reprimand.  Instead, I work towards finding a teaching moment.  I’m learning to identify my own fears for her and separate them so there is hopefully still room for self-discovery.

Kaiz says peacocks are rare to come by, and what’s more with Sam’s innate intelligences he was generous enough to call her a gifted child.  It’s a lot to take in (although I’d rather know than not know).  It’s definitely a privilege, but also nerve-wrecking, because of all the wrong I could possibly do (enter self-doubt lessons from Coach Pia!).  As if parenting isn’t overwhelming feat in itself.

I love Sam to heaven and earth and a million times back (and forth).  Call me biased, but I do think she is smart beyond her years… and she knows it too.  And while I know that adds to the challenge of parenting a peacock, it’s also what makes the job easier.

And so I will finally say I’m glad to be raising a peacock.  Everyday is an adventure.  And after all, she can only make me a better parent.

A true magical being in her own right. :)

A true magical being indeed. :)

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