Friday, November 19, 2010

Stretching class time @ Familier

As I’d mentioned in a previous post, Miss Duona is the IT girl now for Rosabelle, no matter how many times she repeats the same Chinglish, irritating song of ‘Apple red, apple sweet, apple apple good to eat, apple apple I love you, apple sweet I love to eat’ (to the tune of ‘This Old Man’). Rosabelle will get down and dance to her, though she will strangely turn herself off after some time, perhaps to prevent a burn-out, heh.

That’s Rosabelle doing her turn of a song and dance, singing ‘Happy Birthday to Duona Jie Jie’ enthusiastically… I told Wayne that it’d border on child abuse for him to throw it away when we go to Guilin, seeing how much Rosabelle likes/loves/adores Duona (she requests for Duona to be everywhere – watching her eat, watching her pee, watching her get changed…). Guess I really need to find a good replacement before we phase this lousy doll out…
And yesterday was Kindermusik day again at Familier – there were 7 kids in all with two having try-outs, thank goodness we did not have a full attendance of the regulars (poor Yi An was sick), and we met another Singaporean pair – Priscilla and sweet Rei, who’s younger than Rosabelle by three months. They stay pretty close to us at Blue Castle Apartments, so I can imagine loads of playgroups and hook-ups coming up since the girls are pretty close in age!

However, I made a very bad mistake of giving Rosabelle a madeleine before class, wanting her to at least have something to go with the yoghurt she was taking in the car (since you aren’t supposed to take yoghurt on an empty stomach, or at least that’s what I hear…). Bad, bad, bad move. She refused to let go of it when class started (well, understandably so, right?), and was basically holding onto it with one hand whilst trying to participate in the class. At least she tried to participate instead of running away, heh… well, if you count running away from a younger girl who kept wanting to chomp on her madeleine. We had loads of fun this week with a lot of new songs and movements, and me being me, will be sure to revise and repeat a lot with Rosabelle. I was very relieved when she finally finished the madeleine in time for the last song, the Goodbye song, where she gamely sat down and sang along. Note to self: Don’t commit such a silly mistake of giving her a treat right before class in future.

After that, I really wasn’t planning to stay on for lunch since last week’s meal was oh-so-pathetic and disappointing. I wanted to actually bring her out to The Place to walk around and have lunch there. However, our girl was intent on staying on at Familier, saying she wanted to have lunch there, and she picked having potato soup (out of the alternatives of mushroom and pumpkin soups).

As I ordered lunch, she started on some crafts, led by this very friendly art teacher there whom Rosabelle calls Jie Jie – they did an ice-cream cone with a simple ping pong ball rolled over with glue, then popped onto rolled-up paper and decorated with sprinkled confetti. That’s her with the teacher and the ice cream cone, which she nicely said she wanted to give to Nai Nai.
Sounds simple, but the few steps and nifty handiwork involved wasn’t as easy for a two-year-old – at least she finished it, a much older ang mor boy came along, snatched paper plates from Rosabelle, and did not even complete his cone; cheh! His mother wasn’t much friendlier either – Rosabelle liked his younger brother, who was perhaps about 8 months old (?), still in the crawling stage, and went up to hug him and wanted to pat him. However, maybe the boy was being used to the trauma of having an older brat for a brother, and was very defensive and unhappy about somebody hugging him a little too tightly, and the silly mother actually flicked Rosabelle’s hand away, saying that he does not like it. Sheesh, chao ang mor! Does she really think she is a caste above us? I made sure we kept our distance after, and made sure to reassure my girl that there was nothing wrong in her being friendly – it’s just that some babies (or rather, their idiotic mums) do not like her over-coddling. BI-AT-CH.

Whilst waiting for lunch, I bumped into another mum that I had coincidentally met at another trial art & craft class at Peapod Baby back in September. Sandy actually co-teaches one of the classes offered at Familier, Beijing2Fun, that has stories/crafts/singing etc for kids on Wednesdays, but she said her son liked the Peapod Baby craft classes, so she signed up for 6 sessions, in spite of it being over-priced, and not being much structured/constructive (in her own words, and coming from the point of another child teacher, she feels that they can spend a whole lesson on something very simple, and then pay a high rate for it). I then overheard another staff asking Sandy if she was interested in an assignment at the Ritz Carlton in December, to tell children’s stories for Christmas, as they were looking for a bilingual lady (Sandy’s Taiwanese and speaks both languages very well, of course, as she had studied/worked in the States as well).

That got me thinking… this is the kind of life I’d like – to be my own ‘boss’ and indulge in work relating to kids, so that I can also apply it to my own kids. Since I already spend so much time reading up on and applying related skills to Rosabelle, I might as well expand my sharing and get paid for it! Sandy’s son attends all her classes, of course, and she is also expecting another one next year, phew! PR is still my passion, but I know the longer I put off the job search/re-entry, the more I’m going to feel jaded and want to start looking for something else – hell, I even briefly considered volunteering my services to anything kid-related just to build up a credible portfolio of things related to kids! These people have experience/training/educational backgrounds that contribute to their work with children, and me? I can only say I love children and have a child of my own. Does it count that whenever I tell stories/sing to Rosabelle, other children will gather around me as well? Or that when children see me, at least they don’t cry? Or I’m not afraid to appear/be silly with kids? Haha! Well, that’s subject for another matter, and until I get sorted out myself, these will just be all ramblings from my mind…

Lunch came soon enough, and our girl saw her tuna finger sandwiches and quickly wanted to start on her meal. However, guess she did not like the taste/texture of the mashed-up tuna, and just took small bites of the plain bread before pushing the plate away. So I gave her some of my spaghetti carbonara with mushrooms, and luckily ordered a steamed egg for her (she finished the whole bowl of egg). The spaghetti was way too creamy/milky, with a very strong cream/milk smell, so bad that I had to hold my breath when eating it! This will REALLY be the last time I am eating at Familier, so I made it up to myself by ordering a waffles with ice cream as Rosabelle ate up the pomelo I brought for her. The waffles came this time with chocolate syrup – yummy – and Rosabelle ate one mouthful before running around to play by herself, leaving me in waffle/ice cream heaven (save for when she came running to me to say she needed to pee, and I brought her to the toilet where she actually pooed, so I came back to melted ice-cream mixed with choc syrup, and if I try hard to NOT think about how it resembled what was in the loo earlier, it still all tasted very nice…). When she asked for more waffles and ice cream later, I had to tell her apologetically that I’d finished it all as she was taking too long with her first mouthful, haha!

We stayed on till way past 3pm, yes, way past her nap time, as she just refused to leave. Even Yuliya came back to start her 3pm lesson for babies, and was shocked to see that we were still there! Rosabelle actually wanted to go into the section and close the door on me (as we close the door when starting class), saying she wanted to attend Yuliya’s class- yikes! Rosabelle was totally fine with letting me go home without her when the assistant asked if she would like to stay on to play with her - I had to convince her that we were not going to stay, and that we had books waiting for us to read at home as well (as she loves the books section), before she agreed to go downstairs and put on her shoes/clothes.

After I had put on her shoes, she walked up the steps and told me, ‘妈妈,你去自己吧!' (not a typo – she mixes up the order of phrases at times, and I will let her know by repeating the correct sequence in my reply – ‘你要妈妈自己回家?'). When I asked where she wanted to head to, she replied, ‘上楼找Aunty Yuliya’ – faint…

By the time we got into a taxi and headed home to nurse, it was already 4:30pm and I believe I could have at most counted to 20 before she started falling asleep – heh! She did not wake up till 8pm, and this was with me going into the room and turning on the corridor lights to wake her up. I had to pay for my lax attitude when she fell asleep way past 1 am last night – the next time she says she’s not tired and still wants to play, I will play my ‘I’m your mother and I know better’ card – though not saying that to her, of course - and scoop her up to head home!

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