Two evenings ago, I brought Clarissa to the hubs’ office for his company’s Christmas party.
She was very excited (and holding on to what she said was her phone 😂) while waiting for our Grab.
Photo with grumpy Santa.
He looked so disinterested (perhaps because it was nearly time for him to knock off) while Clarissa was only interested in the box behind her.
It was filled with bags of famous amos cookies. 😆
She saw Santa handing them out to the kids after taking photos but somehow he did not remember to give it to her and she had to look longingly into the box before he remembered.
She got herself a flower balloon (or balloon flower) too!
Then came the highlight of the evening.
All the kids were squeezing in front excitedly while she sat at the back, munching onto her cream puff and quietly observing the commotion.
It was her first time seeing a Pinata, and it took her a while to figure out what it was all about.
The build-up was very, very long.
First, they got a boy to burst a balloon with 5 candies in it.
Then, they brought out the first pinata and got the kids to queue up to hit it, one by one.
Mid way through the queue, the kids who already had a go at it were back in front, pouncing ahead whenever one or two candies fell off the pinata.
It was so difficult to control the crowd.
A girl who looked like she was around 7 years old blatantly slided in front of us and stood there queuing.
I told her we were queuing but I didn’t see her before this, but she told me she was standing in front of us all along. 🤨🤔
Anyway Clarissa got her turn, but like most of the kids, she didn’t have enough strength to hit the pinata so she didn’t manage to get any sweets.
After her turn they gave her a plastic bag for collecting the candies.
By then the crowd was crazier than before.
They asked the kids to stand behind the line to wait for their turns but the bigger kids kept pouncing ahead.
Clarissa held onto her little plastic bag, standing on the sidelines, watching anxiously.
Finally, they broke open the pinata and candies came pouring out.
Immediately all the kids went crazy and ran for the candies, some of them pouncing onto the kids in front.. like a rugby game. I literally saw kids stacking up on top of one another in front of my eyes.
Clarissa stood behind the stacks of kids.. and started brawling her eyes out.
I was standing beside her all these time and I was pretty sure no one hit or pushed her, so I carried her away from the pandemonium (or delirium 😂) to check on her.
“Did anyone hurt you?” I asked her.
She continued crying.
“Ok, shall we go? Let’s look for Daddy ok?” I suggested to her.
She was still sobbing, but shook her head.
“Let’s go?” I said again.
She tried her best to stop sobbing, before blurting out, in a very small voice:
“But I haven’t collected the candies yet!”
So I brought her back to the scene again, and watched her enter the imaginery ring, rapidly moving forward to pick up the loose candies that were missed or dropped by the other kids.
A very nice Jiejie picked up a bunch of candies from the front, and turned back to offer her a few of the candies.
It was a nice little moment.
And here’s a blurry picture of her, happy with her loot of perhaps six candies, with some remnants of tears in her eyes.
I asked her later on, why she cried so badly.
She said everyone was so loud and she was scared.
Then why did you go back? I asked her.
“Because I still want the sweets,” She said gently.
To be honest, even I got scared by the aggressiveness of some of the kids.
Those who dashed ahead, pushing others away or even down to the floor, and grabbing the candies by the bunch and leaving nothing for the others behind them.
I was quite flabbergasted.
And then I looked at Clarissa, crying because she was overwhelmed and then going back again to pick up sweets that were dropped at the sidelines.. I wasn’t sure if I should feel happy or worried.
Happy she is sweet and gentle even when faced with temptations, but worried because not everyone is nice.
And that’s the reality of life.
That’s me, at the workplace, watching from the sidelines as others fight to be ahead.
That’s me, wondering what the fight is for and why there couldn’t be a proper queue.
In a way I’m glad she decided to go back to the chaos and still got what she wanted, without pushing or hurting others, albeit with way less candies in her bag.