Tuesday, November 11, 2008 ;
4:48 PM
29 Sept to 11 Oct
Back to Spore

We tried renewing our short-term visa with the immigration in Tianjin on the 25th, but they said we can't do that unless we have relatives here, so we booked the next available flight back to Spore, since our visa was expiring soon.

This is the airlines we took. Xiamen airlines is the only airlines that flies from Changi to Tianjin airport. It stops briefly at Xiamen. Can we petition SIA to start a flight soon? I want to fly direct, it will save me a lot more time! Also, since we fly so much now, I want to chalk up more points on my KrisFlyer card, and I can't do that with Xiamen. I tried applying for Xiamen's frequent flyer program but they required too much info in Chinese, which I don't have. My hubby's company info as well.
It is an afternoon flight and we saw the sunset halfway through the flight, on the plane. Not sure if this is maybe somewhere above Thailand's skies?

We reached Spore at 10.30pm.

In Spore, we put up with my in laws, and we have our bedroom there, which is pictured below.
If I needed to discipline my kids, I had to bring them into our room. If I did it in the living room or anywhere else, the grandparents will want to dote on them and let them escape from my clutches.

So in this instance, I brought them to the room and made them do their thinking, standing apart from each other. One on the bed, one in the corner. If they stood together, they will keep touching each other or talk.

Usually I like to keep them out of sight of each other, but in this bedroom, it is tough. So they started laughing uncontrollably at seeing each other. They will once in a while have such unexplained laughing fits.

Despite turning their backs to each other, one facing the wall, they still laughed. So I covered a blanket over each child.

Dh entered later on, and the moment he saw them, it was his turn to have a laughing fit, and both boys started all over again.

After their reflection, I usually talk to them about their misbehaviour and ask them how they can improve in future. But this time, I was distracted by everyone's laughing, till I forgot what they did to warrant this in the first place. Argh.

One of the first things we did was to visit our "godson", Lucas. Mary and Zhiyang had kept us informed via sms throughout his birth process, so it made us really excited to see him.

In Tianjin, I was already very excited when Mary texted me that she was going to the hospital. Actually when she was pregnant and frequently updated me, I already felt we were very much part of Lucas' growth process.

After they reached the hospital, Mary texted me a couple of updates? Then Zhiyang took over, and I knew Mary must be getting a lot of action by then.

We kept praying for them as Lucas was birthed too.
Zhiyang texted me at 12 noon I think, saying all he was doing was just waiting for full dilation, and then at 1+pm Lucas was born already.

We were ecstatic with joy over here in Tianjin.
That's me with Lucas, just 2 weeks old?

In Spore, we didn't do a lot of meeting up with friends this time, because we were back too quickly to inform anyone, and also we had to do all the visa business when we were back, so we didn't have time to do much.

However, we couldn't bring the kids back to a tropical place without letting them go wild in water, so off to IMM's water park it is.

Kids, whether boy or girl, are active in nature. We have to let them run around and get physical for a period of time each day. Once they get that need to run around out of their system, then they'll be more settled the rest of the day.

At least, that's what I believe. However, I do have friends who comment to me that if they had kids, they wouldn't let their kids run around wildly that way.

That did set me thinking and reflecting for a while, wondering if I was letting my kids go wild? Or are my kids different from others, are they so much more active, and "spirited" as a lot of parents call active kids now?

Dh likes to say because they are boys, so they are more restless and active. But when my sis and I were young, we were climbing and running all over the place too. I have seen many little girls running around playgrounds, cycling or climbing away with all their might too.

So I think perhaps the key is, when is the right time to run around. If say, the whole day, they had been cooped up in a stroller or a seat on the plane and the moment they get released from it, you want them to sit in a high chair at a fine dining restaurant and have a nice quiet 2-hour long meal with you and your friends. Then I think that's not possible, at least for my boys.

Neither should I expect them to love window-shopping and bring them on a shopping spree down the whole of Orchard Road, popping in and out all the boutiques, making the kids stand ramrod straight at each boutique, and asking them not to touch anything on display.

So I think it is reasonable for me to let them go wild at a playground or open space, if I think it is going to help in them being settled during a meal after that, where I was going to catch up with old friends.

After the water park workout, they adjourned to the dry playground next to the water area.
As usual, both of them will try out every single structure in the normal way first, then they will try and be funny with the various structures.

Below shows ds1 who climbed up to the top of the hanging poles for people to hang and twirl below. He sat there and pretended he was some cowboy or something, I don't know, because I didn't ask him. I happened to be thinking if they were too active, so I decided to take a few pics of them in action, and see if they really are??

I remember myself playing with monkey bars when I was young. And when I was done swinging back and forth, I got bored and climbed to the top of the monkey bars, and crawled the whole length instead. Then I got bored and decided to stand up and walk across the top of the monkey bars. I don't remember my mom screaming at me for that.

At the Changi Airport, when we were leaving Spore for Tianjin. The Family Fun area, where parents can surf internet for free and the kids play at the playground.

And later on, at Xiamen Airport, where after a 3-4 hour flight, strapped in the seats, the kids were playing in an open area near the boarding gate.

This may be more controversial right? Some would think kids shouldn't be playing, and making noise in enclosed places. However, for me, I had this in mind. We set off from Spore at 8am. The kids were in their plane seats for 3-4 hours. They had been very good despite Xiamen airlines having no individual LCD screen or electronic games for the kids like SIA. And the food they served were not to the kids' liking. The kids seldom made noise on flights now.

But as a parent, I know what may happen if I still shush them up and keep them still now. They'd be very restless and cranky on the next flight. In a further enclosed place like the small airplane Xiamen has, I don't think the other passengers will like to hear whining, if they are to be strapped in for another 3-4 hours.

(By the way, the flights from Tianjin to Spore and back are always fraught with bad weather, so the captain is forever telling us to remain in our seats with seat belts fastened. Even when ds2 was urgently needing to go to the toilet, the air stewardess requested me to sit down.)

So at the Xiamen airport, I chose a corner with less people, and allowed them to play with each other for awhile. Yes, they made noise, they moved around, and trampled on each other, like the pic below. But they were happy and the passengers in the boarding area did not bat an eyelid. And later on, in the next leg, they both napped for about 2hours, which I am sure the other passengers were very happy with.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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