Wednesday, September 17, 2008 ;
12:06 PM
Saturday 30 Aug
11am - 2pm

Back to School Party

Those who turned up:
1. us
2. Pete, a Korean, and his mom
3. Sof, and her Chinese mom(Beijinger). Her dad is a Swede, so she doesn't look Chinese.
4. Gab, and his Columbian mom. His American dad teaches at the school.

And then there was Matt, his 2 ayis and his mom.

So Dh at first made a face at me, which meant, "why am I the only dad here?".

Anyway, I don't know what most BTS parties are about cos I haven't been to any, although I've heard of them in the States. And definitely seen many party supplies catering to BTS parties.

The kids were supposed to bring a backpack each. Matt's mom asked me to bring ds2 as well, cos she had plenty of goody bags.

They were handed school supplies and Matt's mom said to pretend she's the teacher. Then she drilled them with facts about school, and the 1st day of school. She told them about toilet routines, about what to do at lunch, whether parents are allowed at school, what class they are in, what the teachers names are, and so on.

When it was quiz time, ds1 was asked what school he is attending. Oh no. We had never told him. haha. How's he supposed to know. We just told him, hey, you're a big guy now, you're going to school. And I never once mentioned the name of the school. Neither did Dh. We didn't tell him his teacher's name nor his class name either.

So anyway, he failed the quiz. But we're not bothered.
He was not bothered too, cos when he got a Q wrong, the "teacher" will coach him till he got it right, and he still got the prize.

By the end of this first "game", the kids had many stickers and prizes already. Then they had to write their names on the board. J had mostly been just collecting stickers so far, without answering much. When he saw the rest queuing to write their names on the chalkboard, he too wanted some fun. So he went.

I had done writing with him before. He knows the whole alphabet. And I have also written his name many times, but have not really sat down and made him write his name properly before.
But he went up and wrote his name on the board, together with the rest.

The other moms were very surprised, especially Gab's mom. Her jaw dropped, and said, huh?

We can tell that most Westerners don't bother if their kids can write early on or not. Actually, I don't care either, as long as they can do so by Pri 1. But it just so happens that ds2 likes letters and numbers.

So in the group, all could write their names except for Gab. Anyway, I didn't think it was important. And even felt a little embarrassed over the attention J got.

After this, we had lunch of pizza and spaghetti. (pic below)

We had more games, and the kids got prizes for every single thing they did, be it a ball toss, or a good guess.

This pic below shows a ball toss game.

A throw the bean bag game? I forgot some of the games! See Dh snacking on the grapes and dates behind? haha. I recognised her fruit platter. It's from Ikea. :-)

Then, in a bid to make Dh more useful (Matt's mom's idea, not mine), she asked Dh to host the next game. Man, she handed Dh a boring game. Fortunately he had teacher-training before, so he did make it quite fun. He divided the kids into 2 groups. It was a flashcard "game".

I'm not even sure it's a game, probably just another drill for the kids. I had tried flashcards long ago (i printed them myself and Angeling gave me some Chinese ones too). That was when ds1 was 2 or 3? Ds1 never liked it. So I didn't ever use them again. Ds2 had never even seen flashcards.

But anyway, each card had an English word and Matt's mom said to just get the kids to read the words, and if they get it right, they get a prize.

ds1 has no problem with that, the words happen to be easy ones for him. I asked for ds2 not to play cos he's younger and I didn't want him to lose his self-esteem as he can't read yet.
But Matt's mom insisted he not be left out, so he can get more "prizes".

So ok. When his turn came, his word turned out to be "on". He took a look and said "no".
haha. They decided to give it to him. So he got a prize after all!

Can't remember the exact sequence, but the freeze when music stops game (the video in prev post) was one of the most fun for the kids. Both ds danced liked crazy. or rather, jumped around and shouted.

At one point, the kids adjourned upstairs for a Diego DVD, so we parents all sat around the dining table downstairs, talked, and had coffee.

Matt's mom said she sent her ayi to train in Starbucks for 2 weeks, which is why she can serve Starbucks coffee. It came complete with the coffee cups. Authentic experience.

Dh later suggested to me that I can work for her, since her ayis get such nice training stints. I also hope she sends me to train in a high class Japanese restaurant. haha.

During the chat, we found out that Matt's mom, N, is an ABC, born in LA, but her parents and in laws are Taiwanese in origin. Matt spent his early yrs in Taiwan with his in laws while his mom worked here and his dad in Shanghai. That also explains why Matt is fluent in both Chinese and English. And his Chinese is actually more the Taiwanese accent than the Beijing one.

He'll also say things like "好棒!” (great!), which Taiwanese use frequently, but not the Chinese here.

So Matt's American. His dad is still based in Shanghai now, dealing in kid's apparel. We got some free shoes from N the other day. N's is a family business. She deals with beauty and health products. She is the CEO for Tianjin's operations. They have branches in USA, Taiwan and Indonesia too. I also received some face masks from her another day too. Nice. Haven't had time to use them yet.

She also sent me various other gifts on different days too. Her ayi will send them over. Like I got 2 boxes of cookie mix and then a Lock&Lock tumbler of Taiwanese mee hoon soup. Delicious.

She also sent her driver to pick us up from school, more on than in another post.

Sof's mom, Z, is a very funny person. She speaks in a dramatic way and can make all of us laugh a lot. She always dresses very well. Later she told us her hubby's business is in ladies' branded fashion. She helps her hubby out in the business. No wonder she always dresses very nicely.

Apparently Sof, Pete and Matt all knew each other for sometime already. They all attended another more expensive International school here before. They just switched to this one this year. Sof is also fluent in both Mandarin and English, since her mom is a Beijing native. Pete speaks both English and Korean. Both moms speak English too, but not as good as their kids! :-)

Gab had already been at Nursery and PreK for 2 yrs at this school, so he's not new. His mom, T, was even the Parent-Faculty-Org's president last year. Wow. She said for Gab's 1st yr at Nursery, she just arrived in Tianjin and had nothing to do. She was forever in school with him, so the teachers asked her to do fundraising and organise other activities, so she wouldn't be stuck in the classroom everyday. That's how she ended up being president the next yr, when he was in Pre-K.

All of them are only kids though. It's pretty common here. Even the expats who come here for a while tend to only have one. Like what T (the Columbian) says, she doesn't want to have a baby here. She really beautiful, by the way. Like all those Columbian and Venezuelan ladies, who always win the Ms Universe titles. Their features are so pretty.

I was glad that ds1 had the chance to get to know these friends better before school even started. That was precisely what N wanted for Matt too. To have more friends and be comfortable in the new school.

The kids went home will a very full backpack. They spent the rest of the day playing with their new toys, all from the party.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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-{dear-hubby}- dh
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