Sunday, June 17, 2012


My very cryptic brother one day, by way of a one liner, told me that my kids needed to be out in the sun more and that would help reduce the possibility of them being myopic. As is, the genetic predisposition is already there, being my offspring and me being almost legally blind. 

According to an ANU study, the reason why so many of us Singaporeans are shortsighted is that we don't spend enough time outdoors.

I spent so much of my childhood out in the open that I was 10 shades of tanned and people started being unsure about my ethnicity. So technically, I should have eyesight that allows me to fly planes as opposed to being so blind I had to go for corrective eye surgery. 

Anyway, hopefully we can spare the kids the agony of myopia by taking the iPad away from them, hiding the remote control to the television and tossing them out of the house. So this post is dedicated to them being outdoors and doing non-school like things. 

1. Riding a bicycle. 
The twins have had Striders for the last year (Thanks to the Little Bike Shop!) and have figured out on them how to actually balance on a bike. We figured that they were ready to graduate to the two-wheelers but hadn't actually had the time to pull out the training wheels. When we finally did, both Jordan and Evan were off within a span of half an hour. There was none of the hold on to the bike and run stuff that is usually associated with teaching a child to ride a bike. They were so proud of themselves as we were of them. Of course, now Jordan wants a helmet and Evan wants a light on his bike. But the best part of it is that they are now have a passport to freedom. When they will be allowed to use it, that is a whole different matter. They did however, spend a large part of the time they spent at my mother's house, riding in the park. Every time we rang them, they were in the park on the bike. 

2. Swimming
The twins used to cough a lot. They still do. But it's gotten better in the last year. And like all those national swimmers, when asked why they started swimming and they all attributed to doctor's orders to deal with childhood asthma, we attribute the stronger lungs to the swimming. They have a 45 minute lesson once a week but they revel in being able to go earlier and just muck about in the water. They beg for time in the pool after the lesson too which we don't usually allow because it is late by then and the water is cold. 

After the last swimming lesson, Evan claimed that his stomach hurt. When asked why, he said because he jumped off the diving board and the water was very hard. He also very onomatopoeically described it as a 'splat'. Hasn't got the  'head in dive' down yet.  

It is also the only time they spend with Muffin when they never ever fight. Swimming brings out the best in them. Even for Muffin who is happy to entertain himself while his siblings are at lessons; he jumps, cackles, laughs and just needs an eye kept on him instead of having to be entertained.

3. Tennis

Evan is our resident intellect. He loves encyclopedias, he loves atlases and he loves information. He also loves trying to figure out how things work. All those are great things and it makes him who he is. But it is important to us that he enjoys being outdoors and working up a good sweat. So we tried him out with soccer and that was a total cop out. He hated the coaches yelling instructions, he hated the big boys shoving him around and he hated competing. When his school offered tennis, we asked him if he wanted to try it out. He agreed and hasn't looked back since. It's funny watching him. When the coach calls out instructions, we can literally see the gears in his brains working to figure out which way he is supposed to run. He can't quite lob the ball over the net yet. But the most important thing is that he has loads of fun doing it. He loves picking up all the stray tennis balls. He squeals when the coach rains balls over them and commands us to slather him with sunblock before he starts.

While we are away, the older two are off to tennis cum swim camp. It's 3 hours every morning from 9 to 12. I think, just for that week, they are getting as much sun as the Aussie children do. The same ones who apparently, don't get myopia as easily. 

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