Monday, March 9, 2009 ;
9:49 PM
On Sat, after meeting up with the teachers, we spent the rest of the time at home, doing some activities, having simple late lunch, making them nap, then getting them ready for art class.

Dh was due back home to join us for art class then dinner. But he called to say he'd be late, still in Beijing, and will meet us there at the art center.

So I set off with kids to the center. We were a little early, so I brought them to watch the Wushu kids, TaeKwonDo and other sports classes, hoping they might be interested. They were not. We passed by pictures of Olympic Medallists like Guo Jingjing, Xiong Ni and Deng Yaping, seems like they were products of Cathay Future too.

The center offers table tennis, tennis and other lessons too, but ds1 said he is only interested in badminton. Too bad, not offered this sem.

Then we passed by the exhibition area and there were a lot of boxes being recycled into animals. The kids had some fun playing there.

Then it was time for ds1's art class. I had already explained to ds2 that he won't have a class today either, his would start next week, so he should be mentally prepared. That fellow! He still insisted on finding a seat in ds1's classroom, and insisted on having some paper and crayons as well. I had to drag him out once again.

It didn't help that ds1 was so excited for his class to begin, and was taking out his materials and eagerly found a seat.

ds1 sat beside a girl in the first row, and usually all the table tops have a lot of eraser bits and pencil lead/ shavings from the previous class. The girl had already wiped her table top clean with tissue paper, and she saw him about to sit down beside her and offered him a new piece for him to clean his table too! How sweet.

When I went out and was peeking through the glass with ds2, I saw the girl talking to him and chatting with a smile on her face. ds1 actually replied and they both conversed for a while! I was very glad, because that meant his conversational Chinese must be quite ok to be able to talk to her and have her understand him.

Then I brought ds2 around the center once again. This time, we didn't explore every floor because I knew what levels would interest ds2 already. The music dept and dance dept.

At the music dept, we were able to observe many individual lessons this time. And found their facilities amazing. They had full Chinese orchestral groups too, and had all the instruments in this large practice room. Even a huge bianzhong, yunluo... They also have many 葫芦丝 (gourd) classes. I was intrigued. Pity ds1 is not interested.

And the same dept had all the Western music groups too. Like marimba classes etc. There was a drumming class in progress and they were all beating wildly to a very bassy and catchy music. Ds2 stood and stared for quite a while.

But what attracted him the most was still dance!

Again, after watching them for at least 30min, he kept telling me he wanted to join dance. The ballet class we observed had no boys at all. The Latin dance class had only 5 boys, but maybe 15 girls? The Chinese dance class also had no boys. What do I do?

I know he is interested because the music played in all classes was very catchy, very lively. The costumes were all colourful, bright and beautiful. The movements of the dancers were indeed mesmerising. I also sat and watched while ds2 stood right at the doorway and stared at them!

The only choice seemed to be Latin dance, if he were to have male company, but I didn't like the costumes. The little boys were wearing what adults would wear... Very sexy, with a plunging V down to the belly button? Bare chest, you get the picture?

I still feel my boy is young, he should just wear cutesy boyish clothes, not those... And the boys were wearing dance shoes -leather black shoes with heels.

Maybe for his age level, the starting dance class would be just about stretching exercises? If he persists, maybe I'll sign him up, and see if he really wants to get through all the boring basics first. Worry about the other stuff later?

Or, the other alternative is to sign him up for the Kodaly/ Orff music class for kids (something like music and movement) at the music dept, and tell him it's actually something like dancing. You move to music, right? Only there aren't costumes for that class.

Dh is very keen on this latter option. He is not open to seeing his son dancing in a ballet or Chinese dance performance. He said he is very traditional and conservative in this aspect. hee hee.

As it got closer to dismissal time, we went back to ds1's class to take another peek. Now ds1 was laughing and talking to his teacher, the girl on his left and the boy on his right!

Then Dh called and said he would be very late, sorry, not meeting us there and not having dinner too. I was very disappointed to say the least, because I was starving, and had been prepared for a dinner out, so I didn't cook/ no food at home.

Yet without Dh, I didn't feel like dining out at a restaurant, so I brought both kids home in a cab, and cooked some pasta for them. Sigh, business/ work never keeps fixed hours.

Anyway, this is ds1's 2nd piece of art. It was after this piece that I realised I signed him up for cartoon drawing. haha. Cos I know this funny character. The exasperating little boy in the Japanese cartoon, very very funny. 蜡笔小新?(Crayon Shin-Chan?)

I thought I had signed ds1 up for general kids' art lessons.

I'm a very "blur" mom. But since he is happy, it's good!

And after this 2nd lesson, I understood how the teacher teaches now. He will demonstrate how to draw the main/ central character. In this case, the boy. I saw him draw the boy on the board. However, for the rest of the space on the piece of paper, the kids are to exercise their creativity and imagination to fill it up with relevant objects. I'm glad for this aspect, and not having the kids imitate every single thing the teacher draws.

So at least, when I glance at the other kids' drawings, I note that each child's is unique. Ds1 has his beautiful light blue birds. And he doesn't know this cartoon character, so he told me he drew the "S" on his shirt to represent "Spiderman"! I told him only Superman has an "S" on the costume, but he refused to believe me.

Notice the background is of a lighter/ brighter colour now?

His teacher told me, "他今天的表现进步了!我自己也回家温习我的英语了!" Wow, his teacher is so nice. Just for ds1, he reviewed his English to communicate better with ds1.

No wonder ds1 likes him so much. ds1 later also told me that the teacher has a nickname for him. He called him "小瘦子" (little skinny one)! I thought that wasn't a nice label, but ds1 said it's funny, everyone laughed and so he likes it. He likes to have everyone laugh when his name is called. ok. And he said another plump boy in class is called "大胖子".

I asked if that boy felt sad? He said no, the boy laughed too. They all loved their nicknames. Well then, it must be ok. The teacher must have built up some kind of rapport already.

Then curiosity got the better of me, and I asked him:
"When mommy looked in on you, I saw the girl beside you point to your picture and talk to you. What did she say?"

ds1: She said so many things, which part?

Me: towards the end?

ds1: Oh, I think she told me I made a mistake, so I erased that part and drew again. Or maybe it was when she told me I drew something very nicely?

Me: Orrrh, she's such a nice girl?

ds1: Yes, she is my good friend already!

Me: what about the other boy on your right side?

ds1: He asked me my Chinese name, and then English name and now we are also friends!

How nice... I told Dh later and we were both joking to each other that maybe ds1 is very handsome that's why girls are attracted to him, and all treat him extra nice.

Dh then asked, if ds1 is handsome, what does that mean? He must have got good genes from somewhere!

Ugh, I know what he was driving at, because everyone says ds1 takes after him, and ds2 is more like me. Next time I will grab my opportunity to brag. Give it to him this time.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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