Archive for January, 2010

The flags

January 29, 2010

At dinner two nights ago:

Hubba: Does the school raise flags during assembly in the morning?
Rae: Yes, two flags. One Singapore flag and one SMPS flag.
Hubba: Does it look like the two flags are having a race?
Rae: No.  The school flag is slower.
Hubba: Do you know why the Singapore flag has to be faster?
Rae: Hm….its not faster, just that the pole for the school flag is a bit spoilt.
Hubba: (…………………………………….)*

This morning in the car on our way to her school:

Rae: I know why the Singapore flag is raised faster then the SMPS flag.
Me: Why?
Rae: Because the pole for the Singapore flag is shorter!
Me: (…………………………………..)*

*Crickets chirpping in the background

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The young that needs to be educated

January 26, 2010

On the little walk from our car to the school, a little girl from Rae’s class hopped out of the giant BMW and yelled happily with hand waving in the air”Rae!”. But the very atas Rae shot a glance her way and walked on! I was slightly embarrassed and kept nudging Rae to be friendly, but like a mule, she refused to budge and the little girl walked past us looking glum. Later that night, I decided that Rae’s unfriendly manners in the morning was not acceptable, I mean if she carries on this way, she will not have friends!

Me: Hey, what you did to C was not very nice this morning.

Rae: I don’t like her.

Me (slightly shocked): Why? She was so happy to see you, and you ignored her. How would you feel if your friends ignored you?

Rae: I won’t like it, but mama, C is very rude.

Me: really? And she’s the one that said hello to you!!!

Rae: She loves to yell and the other day, she hurt a friend in class, not only did she not apologise, she said “hur, I like to hurt people.”

Me: (speechless) well, it doesn’t matter what she’s like, we have to be ourselves, so you must smile and say hello to people who greets you whether you like them, or if they are nice.

Rae: alright.

 In the car yesterday on our way home, Rae pointed to her cheek where it was slight scratched and red.

Me:What happened?

Rae: A girl from p1 Charity was swinging her ding-dong wallet and it hit me here.

Me: Oh dear, are you ok?

Rae:Yes. A big jie jie saw it and told the girl what happened. And you know what she said to the jie jie?

Me: What?

Rae: She said “I don’t care.”

Me: (trying to choose the right words to say) next time that happens and they don’t apologise, kick them in their shin and then go tell the teacher.

Rae: No lah! Cannot do that. It will hurt them.

Me: Well, they deserve it and they hurt you.

Rae: If I do that, they will cry and that will make me cry.

Me: Why would you cry?

Rae: Because they are sad and it makes me sad to see them cry.

Me: sigh………..

Rae:Never mind, mama. It was only a bit painful when it hit me. I didn’t even remember until I saw you. It’s ok , its ok.

Makes me wonder what kind of family background these brats are raised in, to actually have no remorse for their wrong actions but delight in the process. Seriously, if such behaviours are not corrected in time, can you imagine the society our kids and their children will be living in???

A new beginging

January 14, 2010

We bid farewell to 2009 and said a less than enthusiastic hello to 2010, I’m not sure if it was because 2009 had just gone by right under our nose or was it because we are cautiously aware of the many new changes that lies ahead in the new year. Either reasons I think we’ve settled ok in the last 14 days. We are still alive!

Rae started a whole new adventure in life ~ entering primary school and although she gives politically correct answer to questions such as “are you ready for school?’ or “are you excited about primary one?” , as parents, Hubba and I knew that she was worried, unsettled and stressed about the new environment. Hubba and I had to reshuffle our lives a bit to accomodate the change as well, simple logistics such as waking up 1.5hours earlier every morning, Hubba sending Rae to school and then me to work, me working shorter hours, making the day’s dinner the night before, getting to bed earlier so on and so forth. We’ve managed quite well I would say, although it was quite a fair bit of getting used to in the first week. Now, everything seems to be so routine. 

I had taken leave for the first three days of school to help Rae settle in school. She cried a bit (ah who am I kidding?), but to her credit, the crying got lesser and lesser as the days progressed. She didn’t even shed a tear since yesterday! For someone like her, I think it’s a great milestone. She has even made many friends in class and really seem to like the school now.

I am very pleased with the school that we’ve chosen and I think all this adjustments (logistically) is worthwhile. On the second day of school, I walked Rae in to her classroom and she started to sob when I was leaving, a P3/P4 girl walked by (possibly on her way to the hall), saw the scene and stopped without anyone asking and said with a smile “come, don’t cry. Its fun to be in school! The teachers and your friends will be with you and your mum will come later.” and took Rae by her hand. I was very moved (and quite honestly, nearly cried).  As I thanked her, she replied with smile again “you are welcome and don’t worry, she will be fine.” ohhhhhh…….

I’ve had the chance to observed (while being the Squat leader outside the school gate) the way the teachers interacted with parents and girls, the way the other school girls took initiative to help out the little ones and even the school workers(gardener, guards, cleaners)are so polite and smiles much. I think they are very happy being there and there is a spirit of joyousness and love, how else can one be kind to another who is in need if she isn’t fulfilled emotionally herself? It’s almost like how a stressful work environment, produces grumpy workers and how a less stressful and caring boss can lead to productive employees.  They are the same logic.

Although the school being further from home and we have to wake up much earlier to meet the school hours, I think its efforts that are truly worthwhile. The environment of the school is so great for a child like Rae who needs constant encouragement and affirmations.  The stress-free school system is also something that really meets my idea of a primary school. I’ve done some reasearch and most of the feedback about this school has been really positive and girls from here all seems very well-rounded and happy people. And that, is what I want for Rae. One can be really academically high but unhappy and lacks human relation skills, I don’t think such a child would make it very far in life. This school is not in the top 10 but neither is it in the bottom 80, with a national passing rates of 90% and seems to do relatively well in all subjects and CCAs.  The school also provides a locker for each girl to keep books/art stuff that they don’t need at home so it does not have to lugged back and forth.  They’ve also given great thoughts into the planning of timetable, just so that the girls will not need to lug all the big and heavy books all on the same day. Its something minor but the efforts and thoughts are significant enough to show that the school cares, that is reason enough to drag me out of bed when the stars are still shining and the sun is far away (ok, I exaggerated).

I am happy, Rae is happy and Hubba seems happy too and that’s all that matters. It’s a good start to a great year and I am looking forward to the events that are going to unfold in the days, weeks and months ahead!

Happy new year everyone!

First Sleep-over

January 3, 2010

Rae went on her first sleep over at Antoine’s yesterday and all three kids were so excited. Antoine even made two drawings and stuck them at the door to welcome Rae.

Hubba and I took the chance to go get our water purifier, did groceries etc….then received a call from a sobbing Rae “I want you!” when asked if she would like us to come get her, she said no. Poor Jenny had to stay up with Rae watching Disney cartoons till close to twelve, when sleep finally creep up on little Rae. She’s still with them now, Jenny and O brought the kids to East Coast for cycling and lunch, and we will be picking her up shortly.

Hubba and I went to explore the newly opened hawker this morning and had breakfast, before we came back home to do our weekly house chores. Some quite needed undisturbed time to complete the cleaning and packing….so thankful for Jenny and O for their patience and not giving up on Rae (coaxing her to stay on). Think we can do this again and perhaps have Antoine over the next time….

So we all survived Rae’s first sleep over….anymore to come?