Getting Little Albs to Buy Grapes

Time flies. My little ones are 7yo and 3yo already. The little one is bold and sociable. Over the past week, he spoke more to my Airbnb guest than me. He would greet them with a resounding, "Hello!" and started giggling. Then he would tell them random stuff, such as introducing them his breakfast box and inform his listeners that his dad prepared that for him and other things that came to his little mind. The guests, especially the lady, seemed to have taken a liking for him and was heard to chat with him. Fortunately in this aspect, he isn't a chip of the old block. It would be dire if both kids take on my unsociable traits. You can teach and coach kids plenty of things. However un-sociability is one of the hardest thing to coach out of a child. For that reason, I tried changing myself to set a better example for them.

My little girl is shyer in contrast. However, she isn't shy by nature. I notice she is just a little slower to warm up to people. After that happens, she is very friendly. She can articulate herself a lot better than I could when I was her age. That is why I find it a shame if she might not be able to present her thoughts and ideas to her actual potential because the discomfort of talking to strangers becomes the barrier. So I tried helping her to be comfortable in expressing herself because I know how miserable one can feel in certain times or situation in life when one has things to say but has neither the courage nor the skills to deliver the message in the desired manner. I let her practice that by taking videos of her doing what she enjoys - cooking (specifically, learning to, at this stage). Some of the videos at available in my youtube channel Daddylympics [link] Go watch and subscribe to the channel if you are interested. I took the videos and edit them myself. I do not have any experience prior to doing the first few videos but it has been an interesting learning experience for me. Of course, I hope to improve the quality of the videos in time to come.

Over the years, there were times I felt I didn't do enough to document my kid's childhood. It would be a pity if they have nothing to look back on in future when they grow up. With this channel, they will be able to understand their childhood, as well as their parents, a little better as these little trail provides them the pieces for them to put together and interpret in their own ways.

For the past few weekends, I would persuade little Albany to buy grapes at a roadside stall outside a vineyard after her swimming lesson. We live amongst vineyards so doing the harvest seasons, there will be scores of these opening for business to sell their grapes directly to public and boy, you bet we are happy to buy. They are good, really good. You have to try them to understand.

Anyway in the beginning, I demonstrated to her how to buy grapes. Before I do that, I squatted down and put my arms over the shoulders and told her to observe what I would be doing and told her the reasons for doing so. After I bought the grapes, I pulled her to one side and gave her a debrief. I encouraged her to ask me questions so I could answer any on the spot so that she would benefit visually from my explanation as well.

The following week, I asked if she wanted to buy grapes. She hesitated but eventually said she was willing to give it a go if I were to go with her. So I did but I stayed behind her. She was nervous and soft but managed to buy her grapes after a struggle. Another round of debrief.

Another week passed. This time, I told her she was ready to do it solo. I gave her $10 and told her we would stay in the car and she would go to the stall with money, taste the grapes, choose the species she like and buy as much as what $10 could buy her. Upon the successful completion of her quest, she would be rewarded with $0.50 from the leftover change.

Eventually she came back with a tray of grapes. Needless to say, we were pleased and proud of her for trying. I asked her to help herself to the delicious grapes she chose. That afternoon, she dropped another shiny $0.50 coin in her piggy bank.


  1. Was an avid reader of your blog till you stop posting 2 yrs back. Stumbled upon your blog again today while I was googling for information prior our move over. Very happy and excited to see you are posting again!

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