Monday, March 23, 2009 ;
I had baked some cookies for N before and she loved them so much, she asked me to show her ayi how to make it, so she can have a constant supply.
She said she told the French mom about it and she wanted to learn too. I didn't know she also invited Z and then all the kids could have a play date too.
We were also invited over for lunch.
She told me only on Friday night, and we had already told the church friends about the cake cutting after worship on Sun. So after cutting cake, we went over to N's hse for lunch. Her ayi cooked for all of us.
Then we began the baking "class". They teased me by calling me chef and boss... She didn't have a couple of ingredients and a weighing scale and egg beater, so I went home to get mine. Then I met H who was on the way to my place to pass me some banana cake she made! It was yummy by the way.
It being a different oven, I wouldn't know the exact temp and hence duration to bake. So we tried a small amount first. N said she liked it soft and chewy, not so crispy, so we kept tweaking the temp and duration until the last batch, when she finally said, that's the one!
So I had her ayi copy everything down in Chinese. Z and the French mom wrote their recipe in Chinese too and they were rolling the little balls in the end, they learn very quickly. Basically, they have all the apparatus at home, so they can go home and replicate it. Only the Cream of Tartar, they might have some difficulty getting hold of. But I have more than enough to last me a year so no problem, can spare them some.
I bought mine in USA for making playdough for the kids initially. Then later I bought another one to ship over in the boxes, just in case they don't have it here in China, and fortunately I did, cos we haven't found any here. N bought hers in USA too.
Then it was just R&R after that. N fed us with so many goodies. She bought Goldfish snacks from USA for the kids, and ring lollies, and ice cream...
Z didn't want her daughter to eat so much candy and took over half of the lolly. I find her so cute and funny eating the lolly from her finger too, so I snapped a pic. She posed extra well for the pic.
The host serving the very good ice cream to everyone.
We moms asked for it too, how can our kids enjoy it only? I also had a big cup, yummy.
The 2 girls. Just so happened they wore clothes of the same colour scheme! So nice to hear the girl on the left speak her fluent French to her mom, Chinese and English to her friends. And Sof on the right, she speaks Swedish to her dad, Chinese to her mom and English to her friends.
And mind you, all their 3 languages are really fluent and good. The Chinese is the Beijing accent, English (can't place it, probably American) superb and the mother tongue definitely good, although I cannot understand, I can tell.
My sons have a lot to learn indeed.... Their Chinese is not even there yet... Dh and my 3rd lang learnt in Sec school have not been put to much use. We should've spoken to the kids in our respective 3rd lang and let the kids learn English and Chinese in school huh? :-) Then they'd end up with 4 spoken languages. (Afterthought: may be all broken though...)
The boys.. great friends again... ds2 had no ice cream cos he has a cough.
Ok, now about the saga.
N went to USA for a business trip for 2 weeks. Her mil came over from Taiwan to care for M while she was in USA.
Her mil came on Tues, she left on Wed. So from Wed, she went to school to pick M up every day. She loves her grandson a lot, of course, and dotes on him.
Her grandson misses her, and laps up the attention. On Wed, he told his grandma ds1 hit him in school. On Thurs, when she picked him up, he again told her ds1 hit him. On Friday, once grandma saw him in school, she asked "Did T hit you today?"
He said "Yes, little bit. Very gently. So I'm very happy."
Grandma flared (I don't know why) but she asked where T was, marched up his school bus where he and other kids were still waiting for the bus to start, and confronted him.
She asked him (in Taiwanese Chinese) why he hit M, why he hit him for 3 days in a row, and in what way did M offend him, why did he have to hit him.
Now, ds1 is not that great in Chinese in the 1st place. Furthermore, here is a stranger who suddenly confronted him. He stared at her blankly, perhaps in shock. (How I know? The bus ayi and driver told me).
She was very angry, she asked him again, this time holding his cheek with her fingers. I thought it was a pinch, but ds1 told me it was not painful, so ok, I let that pass.
Other witnesses were on the bus, students of higher grade, all of whom know ds1 well. Ds1 often talks to them, including one student councillor who is in Grade 4 and whose mom sits on the school board. Why I mention this is because the school knows her well and ask her to verify the incident.
Finally, ds1 said he did hit M and she told him never to do it again, and got off the bus.
When the bus reached our estate's stop, I wondered why he looked so glum and why the bus ayi pulled me aside. After all the kids alighted, she whispered to me what happened, and to comfort ds1 at home because both she and the bus driver felt that ds1 couldn't have been that bad to warrant such a confrontation/ scolding. They told me he was very good on the bus.
So I talked to ds1. Guess what, he was totally ok on the bus and quiet on the way home. The moment we reached home and I closed the door, he started. Bawling, crying, weeping.... It had been some time since he cried like that.
He didn't dwell on the matter though. All he said was, "now I have no friends in school", "I don't want to go to school anymore"...
My guess is that he was embarrassed and humiliated, and felt that he couldn't face it in school again. He was too young to express that, perhaps.
Anyway, he calmed down pretty soon after I consoled him, and he played with his brother happily. I then asked him some Qs on what happened and he was able to calmly answer me. He said he didn't hit M on Wed, Thur or Fri, but he did on Mon when they had music class. M was playing with him and covered his eyes. He didn't like it and hit M.
So I told him he cannot hit others even if he was irritated and discussed with him what he should do in future. He insisted he did not hit M after that. He also said he admitted to hitting M to his grandma only because she kept asking him and she wouldn't stop so he just said what she wanted to hear! That silly boy!
So I had to check it out with the teachers since M said one thing and ds1 another.
I emailed both kindy teachers, stated the facts I know only, and asked if they saw him and M playing in school and did they fight.
Both replied at once, saying they did not see ds1 near M those 3 days and most certainly did not see ds1 hit M.
After the email, I got a call! Grandma called me! She was still very upset. She went on and on about why should my son hit M and I calmly said my son did not hit M. She was angrier. She said that implied M was a liar and she knows M very well, that he would never lie.
I didn't have to chance to explain that I didn't think M was a liar, just that sometimes kids say things that happened on Mon, but they said it was today. That is common.... All kids do that.
She was almost hysterical and saying you know how gentle M is, how can M ever hit anyone. If M did not hit ds1, how can ds1 hit him....
So in the end, I had to say, yes, I will talk to my son about not hitting M.
Only after that she put down the phone.
I was frankly very irritated. But I reminded myself that had N been in Tianjin, this would not happen, and this was coming from a grandma who saw her grandson only a few times a year, and that was her eldest son's only son... Zhang zi di sun... Her eldest grandson. And Taiwanese older women are always the matriachs, isn't it? At least when I watch Taiwanese serials, it always shows a very powerful mom in law.
Then the teachers said they would like to talk to me further about this and they wanted to investigate the whole matter.
I didn't know they went straight to the head of school. But they did. They said it concerned safety of all the kids on buses and no adult had the right to confront another child in that manner. And if they touched another child in that manner, it could be construed as assault too.
Ok... I didn't want the matter to be too serious either... So I said, please investigate first. So they did, and then the head asked to speak to me the next week and said ds1 didn't do anything wrong, and she will talk to grandma.
She did, and grandma felt bad about it, and didn't go to pick M up at school the last 2 days after the head talked to her. The head also told all the bus drivers and ayis that strangers are NOT allowed up the buses. The bus ayi told me that. Said they all got the notice.
Wow, the head of school does things pretty quickly.
So the matter is blown over. I didn't want to blog about it earlier, nor tell anyone except Dh who was out of town at the time when the thing happened, and H. Cos I might be wrong and I might become very emotional.
Fortunately everything is settled now.
Dh came home from the trip and asked if grandma called to apologise. I said no. He said, "How can?". I said, "Forget it lah. She already feels bad (according to M's ayi)."
Dh seems to be even more protective of his sons than me sometimes. He was not happy about it at all.
I remind ds1 all the time now, to play very gently with M. Be very careful not to touch him in a rough manner, which he might mistake as being a "hit".
The teachers also told me kids play rough all the time, especially boys. And I mean, my kids come home to tell me others hit them too, daily, in fact. Normally parents don't care if there is no injury. But grandparents are in a league of their own.
I know my mom and mil react in a super sensitive way too, if their grandkids are bullied. But I think they're not so daring as to go up the bus to confront another kid... I think... haha.
Dh says we better not tell ds1's grandmas (his mom and my mom), in case they fly over to Tianjin to have it out with M's grandma! That is so funny to imagine.
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow