Friday, April 29, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tony tries declarative sentences; then tries to hide.

  • Last night, Tony said "I am not going to bed."  In Chinese, of course.
  • This morning, Tony said "I am not going to school."  Again, in Chinese.
  • This morning, Tony then tried to hide on the balcony so he didn't have to go to school.

Tony trys to hum the song he wants to hear.

Tony can be quite particular about his music.  He knows what he likes and becomes angry if he doesn't hear the song he wants.  I would say his reaction to music, he doesn't like, is comparable to the audiences who rioted when they first heard the atonal music of Arnold Schoenburg.  Tony flops and cries in agony.

Last night, I gave my mobile phone so he could listen to some music.  I loaded up the phone with MP3's of songs by U2 and the Jam (a British punk band).  Tony happens to like these bands because he has watched their videos over and over and again on DVD.  When I put the MP3 player on, he got upset at the songs he was hearing.  And not only did he get upset, he tried to hum the tune of the song he wanted to listen to.  I had a hard time figuring out this was what Tony was trying to do, till Jenny told me.

Finally, Tony was listening to his song -- Going Underground by The Jam -- and was trying to sing along.

He fell asleep clutching the MP3 player.

Studio Tony #10

You can see more studio photos of Tony here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wuxi Tony ascends the stairs to the Ling Shan Big Buddha

Tony to go to Mei Yuan Park in Wuxi.

Tony is going to Wuxi's Mei Yuan Park today, on a school field trip.
Mei Yuan is famous in the Wuxi area for its peach blossoms.
Andis is praying that Tony doesn't hurt himself like he did on the last school field trip to the Wuxi Zoo.

Tony in the studio 6

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tony at Ling Shan

Tony in the studio 2

A confluence of Tonys.

Tony and his parents went to a wedding on Sunday evening. 
It was a Tony and a Helen who got married.  This Tony works at Caterpillar -- as a student, at my school, he meet Helen.
We meet another Tony who was a certain Amy's girlfriend.  Amy worked at HyLite before.  She lives in the Yanqiao area near Casa K.  So Tony and his parents got a ride home from Amy and Tony.
How many Tonys in this story?  Three.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tony looks at himself in the mirror

Tony to go to Wuxi's Big Buddha on Sunday.

  • Tony and his mother will go to Big Buddha theme park at Ling Shan.  Jenny will thank the powers that be for having such a healthy and good looking son.
  • Tony woke up at 200 a.m., and started crying for about twenty minutes.  He needed water.  He eventually fell back to sleep.  Jenny supposes he had a nightmare.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tony on a Friday in mid April 2011.

  • Unlike yesterday, Tony woke up happy.  Fifteen minutes before he would had to have gotten up, he was sitting up in bed.  He even bent down to plant an affectionate kiss on his mom's cheek.  His screams were screams of joy -- not protest.
  • Tony laid out his own toy train track configuration last night.  Unlike his father's which are closed and looped, Tony likes to make his tracks long and winding.

Tony "Four Eyes" Kaulins

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tony's Grandma, Tony's Father, and Tony.

It's Tony's Canadian grandmother's birthday today!

Wuxi Tony says Happy Birthday Grandma!

Tony wishes his Canadian grandmother a happy birthday!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tony and his mother.

Tony tries on his mother's glasses

Wuxi Tony runs near the Grand Canal

Wednesday Tony

  • Tony fell asleep, last night, listening to some songs on my mobile phone's MP3 player.  He even tried singing along to songs by The Jam (not Pearl Jam), slurring the words as he did so.
  • This morning, Tony was not at all happy.  He was saying, in Chinese, that he didn't want to get up and wanted to keep on sleeping.  He was still crying when I put him on the Van that was to take him to kindergarten.  He had even taken his school bag, and thrown it on the ground for some reason.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tony hurts his finger

Tony hurt his finger at school yesterday -- so said Jenny after receiving a call from his teacher.
When he arrived home yesterday afternoon, the finger was bandaged. 
It didn't slow Tony down one bit.

A little boy crosses a bridge in Wuxi, China

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tony had a good weekend

All in all, Tony had a good weekend.  His father bought him toy trestles for his train set.  His mother bought him a toy truck.  He got to play at two playgrounds.  He had his father carry him everywhere on Sunday afternoon.  He had his father make a trip to get him some chocolate.
All in all, Tony had a good weekend.

Tony on a Sunday afternoon walk with his father.

Tony inspects the trestles his father bought for his train set.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tony takes his now toy truck to bed with him

Tony does this every time he gets a new toy.

Tony in his PJs getting his hair dried.

His mother holds the dryer.

Tony and his new toy turck

Notice that he also got a haircut. The toy was a reward for good behavior at the barber's.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tony and his father to spend a day together.

Andis will get a rare Sunday off, and he looks forward to spending time with his son Tony.  If the weather is fine, Andis hopes to take Tony for another excursion in the area around Casa K.  If the weather is bad, Andis and Tony will probably play with their TOMY train set.  Andis has bought some new pieces for the train set which will allow the track to be raised above the ground -- pillars or supports, these pieces could be called.

Wuxi Tony Update #108

Tony in late May 2008. He is about nine months old.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Happy Little Bugger

Last night, about three in the morning, Tony awoke, and was tossing and turning and whining.  He had his father get up to get him some milk and also help him pee (the procedure is that Tony stands up in bed, and one of his parents gets a cup for him to pee into).  Both his father and mother tried to assuage him, but he wouldn't tell them the sort of his distress. 

It was an agonizing hour for all three members of the K family till Tony finally fell back to sleep.

In the morning, Tony's mother and father woke up tired and felt dazed.  Tony's father in fact overslept.  Dad thought that Tony, being so irritable in the night, was going to be a hard one to wake up.  It turned out Tony wasn't -- he woke up quite easily and seemed very cheery as his mother got him ready to go to school. 

Tony makes himself at home.

Tony's progress into a little man amazes his father.

Recently, Tony and his father arrived home -- Mom was away shopping.  Dad dressed Tony for the indoors and washed him as well.  Tony then went into the living room, turned on the television and DVD player to watch his favorite cartoon.

Later in the evening, Dad watched Tony turn on the lights in the living room.  Tony went to the light switch by the apartment entrance.  The first switch turned on the dining room light -- not what Tony wanted.  He turned off that light and then turned on the light that lit the living room.  He did it the way his father would have done it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tony goes to school.

Tony went to school this morning.  Dad took him to the school van which was parked in the apartment complex instead of on the street.

Tony expressed concern about his yellow school bus toy which he had taken to school the day before.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Wuxi Tony and Andis Update: April 2, 2011

Tony on April 2, 2011

Tiger mothering chez Casa Kaulins?

In his March 2011 diary, John Derbyshire responds to a request from a reader for details about the parenting going on at his home.  The requesting reader was curious after reading Derb's thoughts on Amy Chua, the Tiger Mom.
.....the number of people who are sure they have got parenting right is damn small; and that small number of people are all so damn smug about their achievement, the rest of us hate them anyway.

So I'm not speaking with any confidence here. That said, the pattern in the Derb household is a sort of lower-key version of the Chuas: Mom does the tiger business, nagging and harassing the kids to do homework, music practice, chores, etc., while Dad flaps around vaguely in the background murmuring: "Perhaps we should let them go out and play now, honey …"

Mrs D has the Chua tendency, but in nothing like so concentrated a form as Amy Chua herself. There are no tooth-marks on our piano. The music lessons — daughter violin and dance, son piano and school band — were all her doing. It's she who pounces on the school reports and demands to know why this semester's grade in Social Science is three points lower than last. (How does she remember?)

Dad is more laissez-faire, sees himself in fact as somewhat like the God of the Deists, who kick-starts the Universe then lets it run with just an occasional nudge in the right direction. If what I see on the school reports agrees tolerably well with my own estimation of my kids' abilities — which is, in both cases, modestly above average — I'm content. Music lessons? Sure: but when my son reached the age at which bitter rebellion set in, I argued his case with the Mrs while secretly admiring his spirit.

You can in fact lead a horse to water and make him drink, but only up to a certain age. After that, reason, diplomacy, forbearance, and some fatalism are far more appropriate than Chua-style bullying, certainly for American kids. My own Tom Sawyer and Calamity Jane are now aged 15 and 18, and I have no illusions about my ability to do much moulding from here on out, other than perhaps by example and persuasion.

I am in any case, by conviction, quite a strong genetic determinist. I know myself; I know my brother; I knew my father; and when I look at my son, I know what I'm looking at. Not that I'm necessarily a hundred percent happy about it; but I believe I have done my best, and at this point can do very little more.

I find this interesting because I have a Chinese wife, and I have to admit that reading this passage, Derb says, better than ever I could, what goes on at Casa K with our 43 month year-old Tony.  I can only modestly echo the similarities.  JKIC (Mrs. K) has exhibited Chua Tendencies.  She harasses Tony to behave.  She is reading the reports the teachers send her  about  Tony.  She gets in knots about Tony's progress against other students.  I am a bystander saying "Don't be hard on the boy!"  I share Derb's generic determinism but I prefer to say I am a genetic fatalist.   So much with Tony is out of my hands.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Wuxi Tony Update #63

Tony in late March 2008.