Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I'm back

Hello! I'm back here again. We actually got a new computer monitor last week, a slightly larger one, which somehow gives me the odd feeling like everything on the screen has become smaller!

I've recovered from the stress of the two parties I had to coordinate - the one at school for Children's Day and two days after that, Caitlin's birthday. I actually returned home rather hoarse from shouting at the top of my lungs at Caitlin's class to listen to instructions of the games we wanted them to play. Once the games got started, they lasted for about 10 minutes at best! These kids just didn't have the attention span and preferred to simply rough about, jump about, scream and shout, especially the boys who were the majority in Caitlin's class. Some of the games were literally abandoned with the kids (especially those at the back) just turning away to do their own thing, so we simply gave up on them after three games. It was only when we were about to dismiss them and hand out the goodie bags (the attention grabber) that they listened.

As for Caitlin's birthday party, it turned out well. About 21 (out of 26) kids from her class turned up! And we also had about 10 cousins, friends and some siblings of classmates. The activity organiser (luckily not me!) had her hands full getting them to dance to music and play games. There were games that included parents as well. The parents were very sporting, joining in the fun with loads of enthusiasm. Caitln's Pokemon-design birthday cake was a hit among some of the kids (especially the boys) and they came lining up repeatedly while I was cutting it to get their second, third, fourth helpings. Despite getting numerous food/drink breaks with ample food served, they must have been very hungry still after all the dancing, jumping and running.

Caitlin had a gala time opening all her presents that evening. But that was after she recovered from a rather long bout of sulking because some parent ate her favourite part of the cake with Pikachu's (a Pokemon character) picture on it. Partly my mistake. She had told me earlier she wanted it. I should have set it aside in a separate container since she didn't want to eat it then. After I served everyone, I had covered the cake box and set it aside in a corner, not expecting anyone to open it and help themselves to extra servings. But as Murphy's Law would have it, some parent (I was told) took the liberty to do so and unfortunately, it was that part that he or she cut off.....

Rusty turned one last Sunday. We didn't manage to celebrate it for him as we were simply busy catching up with stuff before the weekend ended. Poor thing...

About the weather -- it's been raining daily since mid last week. It usually starts in the late afternoon with drizzles and heavy downpours. On some days, it rains heavily in the middle of the night or early morning, making the next day a wet, gloomy day. Bad for laundry.

Caitlin brought home her report card for the recent year-end exams. Overall, she did better than we thought. When we got her exam papers for each subject, we felt she could have done better. But since she didn't put much effort into preparing for the exam, we accepted the results. On the whole, she scored above average marks. Glad that she got A's and a few B's, and no C's or D's or F's! Anyway, she's only in Year One. She's got a long way more to go where formal education is concerned so we should not be too 'kan cheong'. Her drum exam is coming up in 2.5 weeks' time. Expect her to be cool about it too.

I'd like to view her 'coolness' about exams positively. It's good in some ways that one should not be fazed by the tension of exams. They are simply a way of assessing if one has understood what he or she has learned. What good is it if you score straight A's simply because you are good at memorisingng facts and figures without fully understanding the subject? And different people learn at different paces, have different interests, talents, abilities. So we should not compare our children with others. So what if the neighbours kid scores 10 A's? So what if your friend's child can play the violin, piano, cello and dance ballet, jazz and hip hop? Am I going to copy what others are doing simply because I want to keep up, be one-up? It's scary when I see many parents filling up their kids' daily schedule with activity after activity, class after class in the name of trying to maximise their potential..... Sadly, this happens a lot in cities like Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

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