Yesterday was one of the very, very rare days she came home from school upset.
There were tears in her eyes as I picked her up from the school bus, and she wasn’t bursting to tell me about her day in school.
I probed, gently.
She sniffed and held back her tears while she told me about how she couldn’t squeeze the artwork into her bag and she was so sad.
I finally managed to piece the story together when we got home.
It was time to go home and she tried to put the artwork (which is a take-home kit with art paper and stuff to make a collage) into her bag without crumpling it but her bag was too full + the school bus was there.
She tried to ask one of the assistant teachers for help but the teacher either said it was ok to hold it in her hand or didn’t hear her.
In the end the school bus auntie squeezed it into her bag for her.
And so she was very upset.
I’m not sure whether she was upset because 1) she couldn’t do it herself or 2) (she thinks) the assistant teacher ignored her or 3) the school bus auntie crumpled her artwork.
I’m guessing it might be all of the above.
She was still brooding over it after she took off her shoes and despite her little sister making funny faces at her.
So I asked her, “What can I do to make you feel better?”
I have learned that there is no point trying to ask her not to cry or not to be upset. I should acknowledge her feelings no matter how trivial the matter seems to be.
She looked at me, her eyes still sad, and said, “I want a hug, Mummy.”
So we hugged for a good few minutes, not saying a word.
To be honest, I was expecting her to ask for a cookie or something when I asked her the question. 😂
The hug helped, and soon she was back to normal.
She started sharing about her speech and drama class. They were role-playing “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” but she said she did not join in the activity.
Naturally I asked why.
“Because we have to walk through the forest without Daddy and Mummy. So scary! So I don’t want to do it,” she explained.
“But there is no witch or wolf in the story, right?” I asked her, amused.
“But the bear will come and talk to me! I don’t want to talk to the bear,” she said.
But it’s just role playing my dear, I wanted to say to her.
But I didn’t.
I asked her to let her drama teacher know why she’s not joining in the next time she doesn’t feel like joining the activity. And that perhaps she could try to join in next week, when she feels like there is no danger. 😂
Once again I’m reminded that she’s just about to turn four, and not to assume she’s all grown up just because she can say things like, “Mummy, instead of putting Allie in the playpen, can you put her in the walker so I can race with her?” Or “That’s a good idea!”
Clarissa gave herself and Allie a coaster each and said it’s the steering wheel. 😆
What a busy evening. 😆
Although, sometimes, it’s just like this.
Jiejie plays and Meimei watches quietly.
While snacking. 😂
On the other end of the spectrum, I’m also dealing with the more physical side of parenting:
Time to lock that third drawer too. 😂
I’m seeing these three weeks of sick leave in a different light. It’s not a hurdle, not a trick played on me, but a blessing in disguise.
While the cramps are uncomfortable, I feel happy to be able to spend time with this cheeky little one learning her quirks and teaching her frivolous stuff.
Now, she is able to do “hello”, “byebye”, “gongxi gongxi” and also clap her hands!
It’s not a fluke!
She also knows how to shake her head from side to side to say no. 😂
I’m still trying to teach her how to do a flying kiss and “saranghaeyo” with her hands on her head forming a heart shape lol.
So far she would make a kissing sound while putting her hand on my lips when I cue “flying kiss”. And scratch her head when I say “saranghaeyo”. 😂😂
I tried to look back at when Clarissa managed to clap her hands successfully and thanks to Dayre, I got it – at 48 weeks.
I used to update Clarissa’s milestones by the week, until week 60, even if it were just a very short caption with a photo.
But I have no idea which week we are in now for Allie, until I did a manual calculation and got the answer.
40 weeks and 3 days, as of yesterday.
Coincidentally the same number of weeks and days I had Clarissa in my tummy and I’d written a note when she turned 40w+3d young outside my tummy.
I’d missed the same for Allie, at 39w+4d.
So love doubles but attention is indeed divided.
That’s why I’m glad I get to spend a very large part of these 3 weeks with her.
On a normal work day, even if I got home by 630pm, I’d only get to spend an hour with her after finishing my dinner. And that hour is always split between her and Clarissa, whether it’s trying to read to both of them and getting distracted because she’s grabbing the book or crawling away on her own, or watching them play and breaking up snatch fights.
And then she goes for her milk and bedtime at 8, while I take Clarissa for her shower and bedtime stories and chitchats.
I know our helper cares for Allie.. But I also know that there are blocks of time when Allie is left to play on her own while her Yaya does the chores, even those which aren’t that urgent.
I feel very thankful and glad she’s a happy baby who loves hugs and kisses.
(Quite unlike Clarissa as a baby! Clarissa didn’t enjoy hugging or kissing as a baby lol.)
Another recent thing I’ve done with Allie is to put a toy in front of her and say, “This is XX. XX is coming to.. kiss you!”
She’d get so excited and squeeze her eyes and nose together, giggling in anticipation for the big kiss.
It makes me happy watching her.
In the same but different way, it makes me happy holding her sister’s hand to sleep after a good chitchat.
Kids grow up, too fast.