Tag Archive: Going to school

Rat race

Recently, it dawned upon me that perhaps, I should be starting to think of little man “future”, specifically the Primary School we hope for him to be in. If I decided to do parent volunteer (PV), grassroots volunteer or join a clan association, I should be embarking on this route soon so that I can be in time for little man’s registration.

I spoke to a few colleagues to enquire about some schools that I am interested in. One colleague has children in a particularly famous all-boys school around my neighbourhood. She told me about how the level of Mathematics goes way beyond the national level, and how stress her son is. The Primary 5 child actually requested to go for more Mathematics tuition, fearing that he will not be able to catch up with his peers from China. She also told me how most of her children’s weekends are spent studying and revising school work.

Somehow, the whole idea of putting little man through this, puts me off.

I was from “branded” schools, all the way from Primary to University. I remember feeling really upset about the whole studying situation that I was in, a rat who couldn’t refuse to run the race. I felt that life is so much more than studying, yet because I have been in such a system for so long, I have no idea how to get out of it, or rather how can I survive if I ever get out of it.

Looking back, I think I have benefited much from being in a more competitive and all-rounded school environment. That is why I wanted little man to go into a “better” school. Yes, every school is a good school. But there is a limit to how good a school can become given its existing students. The kind of peers little man get to know in his schooling years are very important. Peers can shape young little minds and development more than parents would like them to.

However, as much as I believe in the merits of a “good” school, I do not want little man to turn into the rat which I very much hated when I was younger. We must be very careful in finding the balance for him. Like I’ve said before, I do not need little man to be the best, he just needs to do his best.

I was telling a friend earlier about this. It is my responsibility to try to get little man into a school that can benefit him most, allowing him to grow not just academically but also mentally and emotionally. As long as he completes his tertiary education and gets a recognised degree, I am satisfied. I do not need him to be a doctor or a lawyer, or whichever earns more money. If in the future, he decides to take the journey less travelled, I will still support his decision. My bottom line is, he must be able to support himself financially, not having to worry about daily expenses.

I think, instead of turning little man into a rat, we will all be better off enjoying this learning journey with him.

Will get better

It has been a pretty bad week.

I did mention about it in my last post. But little did I know, right after publishing that post while little man was sleeping, he woke up suddenly, cried badly for Mama, and wouldn’t go back to sleep unless I stay with him.

Little man has been sleeping on his own since he was born. We have a baby monitor to keep us aware of his needs, hence very rarely do we sleep with him through the night. However, he was very adamant about having me with him. He woke up almost every half an hour to check if I was still with him. He would ask me to sleep with him on his bed, and then when he feels that he has not much space for himself, he would ask me to sleep on the mattress on the floor again. This went on for a couple of times that night. The both of us ended up with very little sleep.

The next morning, little man put up a “fight” to put on his uniform. At one point only with his diapers on, he ran away with his uniform and attempted to throw them away. I don’t know how we manage to get him to brush his teeth, drink his “milk-disguised milo”, put on his uniform and eventually leave the house. The “Majulah Singapura” MV and his teddy bear accompanying him to school must have played a big part in this major accomplishment.

That following night, history repeated itself, but just much earlier. As usual, Hubby was tending to little man while I took a bath. While in the bathroom, I suddenly hear a familiar cry. Then it came nearer and nearer to me, waiting just outside the bathroom door. I had to come out in a towel and pacify him before dressing myself. The rest of the night was like the last, just a little better because I was too tired to hear him waking up to look for me. I think in my dreams I did ask him to go back to sleep a couple of times.

By Friday, I was becoming a very easily-irritated zombie.

Like the past few days, little man was extremely cranky and highly emotional. He would cry at nothing and want nothing. Sometimes I think he just want to vent his frustrations. He became very volatile. Anything that goes against what he want, he would want to “hit” that thing/person. My sister, his favourite person other than his parents, overheard him being angry at his giraffe toy while he was going to bed. The conversation went something like this.

“Giraffe,这是我的抱枕,你不可以拿!” (Giraffe, this is my bolster! You cannot take it!)

Then he grabbed his bolster and turned the other way angrily.

“你坏蛋!打架!” (You are a bad boy! Fight!)

Then he threw the giraffe over his bed-guard onto the floor.

打架 is a term he sometimes used when he is angry and he wants to warn the person who is making him angry to back off. He rarely hit anyone physically, only show the action of hitting in the air. I think he learnt that from his favourite documentary “A walk with the dinosaur”. He would always tell me this term when the dinosaurs chase after one another. I will always try to explain to him that it is not right to fight, and most of the time he understands. But now it seems that he cannot quite control his emotions.

All these while, I have been trying to tell myself to be more understanding towards him. Somehow my baby has plenty of pent-up frustrations because he doesn’t understand why Mama wants to send him away every day. He is only two-year old. Such complicated emotions are beyond his ability to control. But that Friday evening, I lost it when he swept away the cup of papaya juice I made for him, creating a mess of himself and the dining table.

I grabbed, put him in the shower area and scolded him very harshly. When emotions almost washed away my rationality, I almost took the shower spray to spray at him. That moment, I suddenly saw my baby shivering and crying in fear and frustration. I have never seen him like that before. I stepped back, went out of the toilet and took a while to calm myself down. When I felt better, I went in and gave him a tight long hug until he stopped crying.

That night, when Hubby came back, I told him what happened. I felt so emotional to relive what happen. I must have been really tired due to the lack of sleep, yet that is not enough reason for me to treat little man like that. Hubby and I both agree that this is only a phase for little man, and we have to show him more patience and love while walking through this with him.

Little man has been a good boy. This message was once again shown to me strong and clear when sister was running through some of little man’s past videos through his two years. He has always been a good boy, although he can be stubborn and playful at times. But he will always listen to us when we try to explain to him about rights and wrongs. He will learn and he is able to repeat what we say to himself or others who try to do the wrongs.

This is only a phase, we should not judge him because of this. He is learning how to understand his emotions and expressing them without throwing a tantrum. It is not easy, even for adults. We must be more forgiving.

I am trying hard. And I hope instead of being drawn into his turmoil of emotions and become emotional together with him, I can be his pillar of support and love, just like what Hubby has been for us.

My little koala

Separation anxiety

Hubby and I went to little man’s preschool this morning for a Parents Orientation. I was pretty emotional after that.

Although I knew at the back of my mind that little man will be going to school next year, reality did not set in until now. My little baby is really going to school, and Mama will be going back to work.

I have not been sleeping well these days, constantly plagued by bad dreams of going back to work or little man going to school. The thing is, I actually look forward to going back to work, having a stable income again and spending without too much reservations. It’s just that the thought of not having little man around me 24/7 makes me miss him so much.

Having little man away from me, is not new at all. He was put in infant-care when he was 6-months old. I took it rather well then. Little man cried abit at first, but eventually settled down after a week or two. Somehow it felt tougher this time round. He is no longer a baby, having his own thoughts and words. We have grown so much closer over the past 9 months spending almost every minute together.

I really hope everything will go well for him in this new preschool.

No matter what happens, my little baby, Mama will always be here for you.

Spending every minute together.

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