Tuesday, January 5, 2010 ;
9:54 PM
I put this in a separate post because it is a story by itself and it occurred after a break.
As in, I went to ds2's school then came back for recess time at ds1's school.

His recess time is awfully early at 9.30am. Apparently so for many other pri schools.

But wow, look at the scene in the canteen when I reached. Already full of P1 kids, their parents and their P4 buddies. I didn't spot ds1 anywhere and started to wonder if I was too late. He's small in size and would be so difficult to differentiate from the crowd.

After scanning the queues, I scanned the tables. See the PAPArazzi? Lots of papas taking photos too. Didn't see ds1.

After a long while, like 10min, I spotted him! And his wonderful buddy. I noticed his buddy was very protective and caring. He had his arms around ds1 almost all the time!

I was determined to be observing from afar, so I used zoom on my digicam and made sure ds1 did not see me. I wanted to see what he would do with his money and what he would buy.

From their body language, it seemed his buddy was asking him what he would like to eat, and he was scanning all the stalls.

See? His buddy still had his arm around ds1! So caring...
And I spotted this parent who cleverly had his son wear a colourful pullover so he can spot him in a huge crowd! It wasn't cold at all, so this must be his objective.

Finally ds1 must have decided on the chinese noodle stall. Unfortunately, look at the queue! And it was already 9.45am at that time. 10am signals the end of recess time.

Suddenly, they switched queue to the malay stall. Must be they were thinking of the same thing -shorter queue, more time to eat or play.

ds1 handled his money well, remembered to get his change and managed to order food for himself. Well done, only that, oops, when I saw what he took, I wondered - is he able to stomach that? We don't usually eat spicy things at home. This rice was fried with chilli. You can see chilli flakes all over the rice. Hmmm...
And notice his buddy's protective hands around him still? :-)

They found a seat and ds1 started eating. I could see him struggling to swallow each mouthful but he bravely soldiered on. I noticed he didn't bring his water bottle down for recess even though I reminded him to, in the morning!

Ah, as expected. He must've asked his buddy where to get a drink. He cannot stand it any further! So his buddy brought him to the drinks stall and I saw him get a Marigold packet juice. Fortunately he had enough money!

Dh had wanted to give him only 50cents pocket money in the morning. I said there's inflation now, how to buy anything with 50cents? Cos Dh insisted he has 20cents for pocket money in the past,so 50 cents is good enough now. Fortunately he couldn't find any spare change and had only a $2 dollar note. He gave ds1 that.

Guess what, I saw that the rice cost 80 cents and the drink 60 cents. You can see him getting his drink, and the school principal happened to walk right into the field of view as I snapped the photo. Yup, that's her.

In the end, I couldn't stand it and approached ds1 and his buddy. I told him to order something else the next day. I introduced myself to his buddy and thanked him for taking such good care of ds1, and asked if he could teach ds1 how to order other type of non-spicy food the next day, since I won't be coming to school anymore. His buddy was very shy and nodded his head, but said he will take good care of ds1.

After ds1 threw half of the rice away and drank all the water in MY waterbottle and his juice, his buddy brought him to the toilet.

Then the bell rang and he went back to class. He told me that in the morning, he got off his school bus and was lost in trying to find his classroom. He managed to find the General Office however, and a staff member got him to his class. Phew.

After that, I left the school and headed to Jurong Point for my own lunch. The canteen was too crowded, otherwise I might try the food and see if it's good.

2 more pics to show the cute P1s... See how the girls bought uniforms and skirts that reach to their ankles and socks??? Maybe the parents want the uniform to last 6 years. :-)

Another with some boys and their shorts that went below the knee. I couldn't do that for ds1 even if I wanted because his waist is too small. If I went any size bigger to get a longer length, his shorts would always drop and never stay on his waist. The formal shorts do not have elastic, only buttons and a hook.

And yes, by the way, the Straits Times reported the 2 case studies as having spent a lot on school uniforms. We paid much less as well. His shorts cost $5, the short $5.50. We bought 3 sets of full school uniforms in the end, and 2 sets of PE tees and shorts. Our total was easily half of some other schools'. Maybe they had designers to design their uniforms and different uniform suppliers.

The school buses were very late in sending the kids back though. I had a forty minute wait with ds1 and similar for ds2 so my feet were aching at the end of yesterday. The drivers and aunties said it was just the 1st week that would be chaotic.

Indeed, today was slightly better.

Both boys said their school day was fun and they had lots to relate to me. ds2 in particular, never was away from me for so long in a day, but he seemed really excited about everything he did in school.

He said he did cry when his friends all went for shower time, and it was only when his teachers told him he did not need to shower that he calmed down. His friends were on the full day programme and so had a bath in their schedule but ds1 returns at 3pm and doesn't shower. So funny.

He told me about art and craft, about music and dancing, sang me the songs he learnt, and told me about his Chinese teacher (he seems to really like her). He talked about the 5 senses and how his Ms M taught them to close their eyes to use their sense of touch etc... He sounded so much more grown up!

Then today, he was telling me all about the Chinese bihua (strokes) and he could remember all of them. I was so amazed cos I had taught him before in Tianjin and he didn't remember it so well! Either learning with friends helped, or I just am not well-trained in teaching Chinese. :-)

And Ms M taught them about all the planets. He could remember all the planets, and told me the sun and the moon are not planets, and how Pluto was "kicked out" several years ago cos it was too small, so now there are only 8 planets etc etc. Wah, he seems to be very attentive in class!

And I brought them for their dental appointments this afternoon at Jurong Point and both of them were so good! No fuss, full cooperation with the dentist. Either they've grown up, or the dentist is really great. She is very good with them, and after they were done (ds2 polishing teeth, and ds1 having an X-ray, and filling of 1 tooth), she blew up 2 latex gloves with her dental equipment, and her assistant used a marker to decorate it and they called it a silly balloon with fingers, and gave one each to each boy. They were so thrilled!

They've been playing with that "balloon" ever since and it's so fun to make the finger part become a gun, a mohawk, a Roman soldier and so on.

Ahhh, life is getting better! I look forward to a less hectic day tomorrow when I can get some marketing done.

Today my sis came over to my place with her 2 kids while my kids were in school, so it was still hectic.

Hopefully I get enough time to settle everything before no. 3 comes along! Time is running short! :-)

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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