Lol our little samseng.
What I thought would be a chillax day turned out to be quite busy and adventurous after all.
Starting with the good news.
Our little boss took the initiative to clean the house this morning. 😂
Ok actually she just thought it was fun to push this broom around.
Then we got informed that there is one vacancy at another preschool!
The catch, though, is that she needs to start from June THIS YEAR in the toddler class so that she can be guaranteed a spot in Nursery next year wtf.
Otherwise she'd just continue to be on wait list for next year and be the 41st kid in line.
The hubs' company provides staff subsidy for employees to send their kids to this particular school.
So the fees work out to be around $525 after all his staff subsidy and the government subsidy.. vs. $1500 for the other preschool I have paid a deposit for, after the government subsidy.
Without his staff subsidy, the fees are around $1000, vs. $1500.
In both cases, the difference is HUGE.
The main difference is in the enrichment classes which the $1500 preschool comes with but the $525/$1000 one does not.
Anyway since I'm on leave today I went down to have a look and I was quite wowed by how spacious it is, with an indoor playground in the middle separating the classrooms for toddlers and the older kids.
Classrooms are all squarish / rectangular-ish, and overall much bigger than the more expensive preschool, which had very odd shaped rooms.
The toddlers were all sitting on their chairs eating lunch on their own, with the teachers watching them / helping the ones who need help.
They are all about the same age as Clarissa! And while she is generally a good eater I cannot imagine her sitting still and eating. We always buckle her in the high chair. 😂
I asked if I could bring Clarissa down again later in the afternoon (I went at 1145am), after she wakes up from her nap (which was an epic 4 hours lol).
The officer said yes! So I arranged to go down again after 3pm.
I went for a quick massage and then went home to pick the little boss up. It was drizzling slightly so I thought it'd be better to take her in the stroller.
My sister was home early so I asked her to join us just in case I couldn't manage.
Omg the rain turned so heavy it actually POURED.
I managed to cover Clarissa's legs with a cloth so she stayed relatively dry and my sister was getting her butt all wet because she was trying to shield Clarissa (or her legs) from the rain as well.
So both of us were drenched and screaming our way across the road because it was so wet and the stroller was so difficult to manoeuvre!
We had to make a pit stop to buy towels and an extra umbrella wtf.
Anyway Clarissa seemed to like the place and was interested to watch what the other kids were doing.
But she held on to my hand and asked me to carry her at times, typical behaviour in a new environment.
Despite the adventure getting there, the visit went well.
We need to give them a response by Friday so here I am sorting out my thoughts as I wait for the hubs to come home from work.
(By the way when I told him about the heavy rain, all he asked was, "Did baby get wet?" 😒
On hind sight I should have answered him, "Yes your baby got drenched. I'm your baby, right? 😂😂😂)
Therein lies the dilemma.
Should we send her to school in June? I'm not even prepared for it. 😯
I am prepared to lose the deposit if I give up the slot in the expensive preschool. I'm risk averse so even if I were to choose again I'd still have placed the deposit to guarantee a place next year.
I think it just boils down to whether we really see a need to start her in preschool so soon.
Our helper's contract ends next May and about 2 months back we'd asked her to extend her contract with us.
We didn't talk about the detailed terms but we said we'd give her a pay raise and also pay for her tickets home to take a vacation for two weeks.
She seemed ok then, and even asked if she could sign the contract in May but only take the vacation in October, to settle her lease back home.
So I took it as a yes.
I really want to keep her because she's good with Clarissa and she's reliable.
Even if we send Clarissa to school, I'd still want to keep her because it's always good to have extra help especially if we want to try for No. 2 (plan not started yet).
She tries her best to take care of Clarissa but my main concern is that the little one is bored and cooped up at home, with the same story books and the same toys.
But it seems like our helper is fickle minded.
I've accidentally saw some scraps of paper on which she wrote out numbers 1 to 365, crossing out each day to the end of her contract.
She also mentioned to my sister and mom about wanting to work in Hong Kong instead. And this was when we were away in Seoul, so definitely after she casually agreed to extend her contract with us.
And while she was feeding Clarissa this afternoon, my sister overheard her telling Clarissa something along the lines of "Yaya returning home next year".
I genuinely like her as a person and as our helper and I am willing to pay more and ensure she's happy working for us.
But I cannot fathom her behaviour. In fact I am slightly irked by it.
I don't like all the hinting and passive aggressive indirect comments made to everyone else but us.
I don't think we have not given her enough indication that 1) We like her, 2) We are thankful for her and 3) We want her to stay with us.. of course not overtly to the point she becomes the boss; we still maintain the boundaries.
I am generally a patient person but I find it bothersome to deal with people like this.
If you need to consider, say it.
If you think it's a no, say it.
If you have concerns, say it.
I'm sure she knows that my sister talks to me and I talk to her?
So what's the deal with saying different things to different people, and even to Clarissa who obviously would not understand what's going on?
Was she expecting Clarissa who currently speaks Korean to suddenly speak English and say, "Yaya don't go"?
Sigh. I will deal with this later.
In spite of this I still wish she'd stay with us.
But the point is, I guess the other "pro" of sending Clarissa to preschool is so that we don't become over reliant on anyone.
At the end of the day, having options and dilemma over options is a happy problem because it's better than having no choice.
I still recall the stress we went through when we realised that my mom was backing out of the grandchild caring business and it took us a while to evaluate options and get things going.
Hopefully we can avoid a similar situation like this.
Life without a helper would be tough; we were so exhausted at one point in Korea I couldn't talk and the hubs was grouchy.
More on that when (and if) I write more about our trip.
Tiredness puts a strain on our relationship. It's not that we are not tired on a day to day basis but the tiredness when you have to come home to wash bottles and dishes while taking care of a toddler, with no relief, is a new level of exhaustion.
Today we only take over the taking care of Clarissa when we get home.
I risk sounding like a spoilt child but it's true. I respect all full time working parents without a helper and all stay at home moms.
That said, it doesn't mean we can't do it. Because we have done it before and survived, even though it was just for a month after I returned to work.
I think it just requires a lot of adjustment and a lot of patience.
One of my favourite moments in Seoul was hearing the hubs get Clarissa dressed while I took a shower.
She's afraid of the shower head so I have to squat down, fill up cups with water while I get myself all wet trying to bathe her.
Because I'm always drenched so the hubs would be the one wrapping her up in a towel and getting her dressed.
It's very back breaking business for both of us – my back says no thanks to the prolonged squatting and his back says no thanks to the prolonged bending but it was quite a lovely feeling, the two of us a tag team and just the three of us a family.
Clarissa would keep talking some Korean gibberish and the hubs would say some random stuff back.
And then she'd ask him, Mama?
He'd answer her patiently, Mama is in the shower, even when she's asked the same question for the 8th time.
That was why I thought the trip was equal parts fulfilling and exhausting.
Totally worth it.