Con theo

Lúc trước đám nhỏ cãi nhau khiến người lớn mất lòng. Tôi đề nghị cho chúng nó tạm tách ra một thời gian nhưng bà xã không đồng ý. Hai vợ chồng cãi nhau vì vợ vu khống tôi chia rẽ tụi nó. Thế là cho chúng nọ tiếp tục gặp.

Giờ đây tôi không chỉ trông con mình mà luôn cả thằng cháu. Đi học bơi tôi đón rồi tắm luôn cho tụi nó. Đi học võ cũng tôi đưa đón. Đi học tiếng Việt cũng tôi đón đưa. Thậm chí ngày cuối tuần cũng giao phó luôn cho tôi.

Thế là bây giờ thêm một thằng con theo. Thôi kệ dù sao cũng là cháu biết làm sao bây giờ.

Things My Xuân Said

As we got into our car. The conversation began:

Dad: Would you like chocolate or chips?
Xuân: I want chocolate.
Dad: Good choice, Xuân. Here you go.
Xuân: Thanks daddy. Chips later.
Dad: What? [Hell no!]

As we were driving, Xuân complained:

Xuân: Daddy, the sun’s in my eyes.
Dad: You can use your hands to cover your eyes.
Xuân: No, go away. You stupid sun.
Dad: What? [Dude, you are two years old].

Sibling Fight : Intervene or Ignore

KJ Dell’Antonia:

Everything gets so much easier when we accept that our job as parents isn’t to eliminate conflict but to mitigate its effects. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get that wrong, too. Parents often view our role in managing disputes as an either-or proposition: intervene or ignore.

Either “good parents know that children need to be taught how to resolve conflict” (intervene) or “good parents know that conflict is about parental attention, and so they let children figure it out for themselves” (ignore). In theory, all you have to do is decide which kind of “good parent” you are.

In practice there’s a continuum. Parents intervene by teaching children strategies for working things out, and then ignore by stepping back to allow them to apply what they’ve learned.

I am struggling with the constant fights between Đạo and Đán. Intervening them drives me nuts because I constantly have to involve. Ignoring them is hard. The fight would escalate.

Why Americans Are Having Fewer Babies

According to a new survey conducted by Morning Consult for The New York Times, 64 percent said child care is too expensive. We spent over two hundred thousand dollars in the past 8 years on childcare and will spend more in the next couple of years. They are worthwhile though.

Thật thà

Đêm qua mười một giờ mới đi ngủ và sáng nay sáu giờ rưỡi phải dậy nên Đán cằn nhằn không chịu ăn súp tàu hủ mẹ nấu. Hai mẹ con cự nhau và mẹ cấm không cho ăn sáng luôn. Lo nó bị đói nên tôi mở phone ra order gói thức (wake-up wrap của Dunkin Donuts). Trước khi ra khỏi nhà vợ cảnh cáo không được mua gì cho nó ăn nhưng đã mua rồi.

Lúc đưa hai thằng đi camp, tôi hỏi Đán, “Con giữ bí mật được không”? Nó hỏi, “Bí mật gì”? Tôi nói rằng tôi mua cái gói thức cho nó và chỉ ghé qua lấy thôi nhưng nó không chịu. Nó không muốn lừa dối mẹ. Tôi nói với nó ba đã mua rồi con không ăn thì con đem theo chừng nào thấy đói thì ăn. Nó bỏ vào cập và không ăn.

Mãn khoá mẫu giáo vừa rồi, Đán được cô giáo công nhận là học trò thật thà trong lớp. Giờ tôi đã chứng kiến tận mắt tính tình thật thà của nó. Vậy là tốt lắm rồi. Hy vọng rằng lúc nào nó cũng sẽ như thế.

Families Belong Together

As I was reading P. D. Eastman’s Are You My Mother? to my two-year-old son for the hundredth time, I kept thinking about those kids who are separated from their mothers. I could barely get through this part:

“Oh, you are not my mother,” said the baby bird. “You are a Snort. I have to get out of here!”

But the baby bird could not get away. The Snort went up.

It went way, way up. And up, up, up went the baby bird.

But now, where was the Snort going?

“Oh, oh, oh! What is this Snort going to do to me? Get me out of here!”

Just replace Snort with ICE and this is what happening in America. The world will never forget how the forty-fifth president and Republicans are mistreating children. They are taking away the kids’ parents.

The More The Merrier

When I told my former colleague that we are expecting our forth kid, she joked, “You know, there’s a thing called birth control.” I had to reminded her what Ol’ Dirty Bastard said: “Oh baby, I like it raw. Yeah baby, I like it raw.”

All kidding aside, of course I know about birth control, but I can afford to raise another kid. I am not broke and I am not relying on the government to take care of my kids. So it’s good. These days I watch four kids on most weekends anyway so I will be fine. A baby girl might be unexpected, but I know exactly what to do with another boy.

Hot Boy Đán

Đán flexed his arms and said, “Đán cay quá.” I didn’t quite understand what he meant until I translated back into English, “Đán is too hot.” I keep telling him. He’ll be a great comedian.

This morning he asked his mom for a dollar. She told him that he has to work hard to earn it. His response was, “Daddy cleaned the house all the time, but you gave him nothing.” I just have to give him a hug and kiss for recognizing it.

Đán can be so charming yet he can also be extremely annoying. He finds your weaknesses and keeps attacking them. He makes Đạo mad all the time. He makes Xuân cries. He makes me and my wife furious. When I ask him nicely not to do something, he does it more. Is it wrong to love your child and to be annoyed by his behavior at the same time? It’s a damn dilemma.


Man, I was cajoled by my own two-year-old son. Here’s how he did it:

Xuân: Daddy, I want candy.
Daddy: You just had a donut.
Xuân: But I want candy daddy.
Daddy: OK, but you can only hold it.
Xuân: OK daddy, I’ll hold it.
Daddy: OK here, just hold it.
Xuân: Daddy, can I open it?
Daddy: No, you just hold it.
Xuân: But I want to open it.
Daddy: OK, only open, but hold it OK.
Xuân: OK, but daddy it is too hard. Can you open?
Daddy: OK, here you go.
Xuân: Daddy, can I eat it?
Daddy: No, you just hold it.
Xuân: Daddy, can I eat it? (voice raising).
Daddy: No, just hold it.
Xuân: Daddy, can I eat it? (screaming).

He was so adorable and polite at first until near the end. I also need to clarify my previous post on Xuân. Đạo told me that Xuân didn’t say “stupid, dad.” He said, “Stop it, dad.” I guess he is not as bad as I thought.

Show Affection

Before going to sleep last night, I kissed Đạo and told him that I love him. He responded, “I love you, daddy, and mommy.” I said, “Yes, I love mommy too.” Then he said, “But she doesn’t love you.” I was a bit surprised so I asked him why he said that. “She doesn’t show and she’s always yelling at you.” He answered.

I asked him, “I often yelled at you too, but you still love me. Why?” He replied, “When I do something wrong, you yelled at me so I wouldn’t do it again next time.” I am so glad he understood.

He obviously noticed that my wife does not show her affection. As parents, we need to show our kids we love each other. We need to hug more, kiss more, and holding hands more. We need to argue less and keep our voice down. We need to show our kids how much we love each other.