Making up for lost time

My previous entry was.. exactly two weeks ago.

Phew I thought it was longer than that. It certainly felt so!

I felt no urge to write because I did not have the mindspace to string all my thoughts together for a coherent post.

Things have been so busy at work and at home. And the virus situation is making it worse. I’m worried about us and the girls catching something. I’m worried about the helper catching something on her days-off. I’m worried about catching something during my upcoming business trips. I shudder when I think about going on business trips twice a month, every month for the next three months.

So I’ve been mostly sharing bursts of thoughts and photos on IG stories. Mix of angry thoughts at hoarders and happy ones of the two girls.

I’ve finally (more or less) recovered my voice and throat, with a bit of coughing at night.

I’ve signed Clarissa up for not one, but two, enrichment classes. After not giving in to peer/societal pressure for the past two years, it comes as a surprise, even to myself, how quickly I’ve acted on this.

The hubs says I’m a tiger mum, but I beg to differ. I don’t need her to be an “A” student. Rather, I’d like to, within my means, give her the help she needs so that she enjoys the process and journey of learning in school, instead of feeling stressed and fearful of it.

She’s not able to read words intuitively.. yet. And she gets pressured and worried about making mistakes when the hubs or I quiz her about words in her books. She’s told me how she does not want to be a teacher in future, because “teachers need to know how to read but I don’t know how”.

She’s very attentive in class and her ability to focus is very good for a 5-year-old-turning-6. I think her school’s curriculum is good for developing her language skills, vocabulary and problem-solving ability. So perhaps what she needs is more guidance on her phonics and her reading.

She loves reading, and I know it is frustrating for her when she can’t sound/piece the words in her books as quickly as she wishes to.

Hence, I signed her up for an English class and yesterday she went for the trial class after her swimming lesson.

The plan was to get Allie to nap while we took Clarissa out for the class (helper was at home yesterday). And then we would chill at Starbucks or somewhere while waiting for her class to be over.

But of course, Allie did not nap. 😂

Not sure if it was because she took a 10-minute cat nap in the car or because Clarissa told her, “Jiejie not sleeping today because I have a class. You sleep well ok?” 😂😂

So we ended up taking both girls out after resting at home for 30 minutes.

Having some fun on the slide after her swimming class
Eating YANYAN while waiting for Jiejie to finish her swimming class
The fries monster eating fries while waiting for Jiejie to finish her English class
Shopping with me (for pads) at Watsons while still waiting for Jiejie to finish her English class.

She made a fellow shopper laugh when she picked up a pack of pads, hugged it oh-so fondly and said to me, “Mummy, I want this!”

Imitating Mr. Giraffe while waiting for Jiejie to come out from the classroom

We also went shopping for a pair of sandals for Allie and zoomed into Toyrus to kill 15 minutes.

The hubs went to get dinner while we waited for Clarissa. We spoke to the teacher after the class was dismissed. And then we went home for dinner.

Clarissa the trooper is so brave. She walked into the classroom on her own (parents are not allowed into the premises at all), went to the toilet with another teacher, and most importantly she enjoyed the class and told me how “we need to bring my own pencil case and a bag next week ok Mummy”.

She has some homework to do and she’s so excited about it, though she’s worried about not knowing how to do it?

I don’t know what to say, except that I am so lucky.

I got to spend a lot of time with Allie and I love how cheeky she is. She kept harping on wanting to go to “class” like Jiejie, but when we asked her to choose between class and fries, she cheekily said fries.

She was going nuts by 7pm so I whisked her off to shower and then spent 1:1 time with her, just reading.

And then Clarissa came in and wanted me to help her with her shower, which I managed to, after saying good night to Allie.

Managed to read three books to Clarissa and also chat about her day before calling it a night.

Early bedtime for Clarissa too, since she did not nap at all and went for two classes.

As I turned off the lights and sat in bed, I thought about our day, and how we spent more time with Allie while Clarissa was at her classes and how I took so many photos of Allie but none for Clarissa. And then I opened the gallery in my phone and saw this:

A selfie Clarissa took with my phone, while I was in the kitchen making honey for her

My heart felt so warm and so full.

Mum’s guilt is real.

So often it’s “damned if I do and damned if I don’t”.

Too many enrichment lessons, I’m a bad mum. Not enough enrichment lessons, I’m a bad mum too. 😭😂

I struggle to find the balance between letting her be and pushing her to be better. I want her to have the right attitude to learning. Learning and knowing how to read equips her to do that.

I feel lucky because Clarissa is a good kid. She focuses well and she is willing to try. And she’s so sweet about it.

I wouldn’t insist if she hates the class.

Next week, she would be going for a trial Chinese class. For the same reason, because language is the foundation to learning and to critical thinking.

She’s good at memorizing Chinese characters but not as good with the strokes and the writing. And I don’t want this to be a deterrence to her learning and loving the language. (And I love the Chinese language so much!)

“When you have more words to describe the world, you increase your ability to think complex thoughts.” — Yeonmi Park, In Order to Live

I completely agree with the quote, and I guess that’s why I hope the girls have strong foundations in both languages.

Let’s see how that goes!

In other news, my friend, who has missed out on Korean dramas for the past 10 years, is officially hooked and she’s asking me for rec. 😂

I’ve been watching “Crash landing onto you” since January and am enjoying it a lot. I no longer have for the stamina or time to binge-watch, but I still enjoy K dramas a lot, after a long hiatus.

I saw a post on “Most Popular K dramas in the last 2 decades”, split into 2 parts. I realized I’ve caught all the dramas in the first list (the earlier decade) and none in the second list. 😂

So last night I introduced my friend to Lee Minho and Lee Jin-wook.

And shared with her the drama serials they’ve acted in.

I realised I’ve caught all of Lee Minho’s dramas between 2009 to 2016, and only one of them was after I had Clarissa.

I’m not complaining, because definitely, kids > the Lees. 🤣🤣

I’m amused because my friend said she’s “making up for lost time” and consuming Korean dramas with a vengeance now.

She spent the past 10 years raising her kids (her oldest child is 10 this year), and as a result, she does not know who Lee Minho is, which dramas Hyun Bin has acted in before or that “Love from another star” was a major, major hit. 😂😂

Of course she’s not going to binge watch to the point of neglecting her kids, but she’s slowly and surely getting some me-time back.

We all need that little bit of me-time, don’t we?

And for sure, I hope the hubs and I get to catch the new season of survivor together. 😄😄