Jun 14

Children’s Day (六一国际儿童节 liù yī guó jì ér tóng jié)

I love ice creamChina celebrates this special day on June 1.

Actually a big marketing opportunity since many Chinese parents will dote on their kids on this big day.

Any and every brand of “brain food” will be promoted and marketed to death.

Pamphlets of bright, chubby and smiling children doing super intelligent activities i.e. a baby reading a book, a toddler playing chess and all sorts of such nonsense -_-

You will see many competitions, games, entertainment in deafening volumes all lined up for children at the malls and mega malls.

Babies in crawling competitions, toddlers and preschoolers in various obstacle races – err, isn’t this supposed to be “Children’s Day”? Why are the children “working” on their special day???

Thankfully, my son’s school dedicates Children’s Day (celebrated on a weekday) to the children because:

a) he did not need to bring his heavy backpack to school

b) there will be no lessons for the day – YAY!!!

c) he would be getting an ice-cream treat :D

Poor kid. Chinese school has been a big adventure for him (and me) but he’s doing well this far. He has surprised many of his teachers although they wish he’d improve his penmanship…

Although I agreed with his teachers that he needs to write better, I wouldn’t hold my breath. He’s already a slow writer – if he tries to perfect his penmanship, I wonder if he’ll ever finish any homework!

Anyhoo, after school, I met a beaming kid who had received a notebook as a reward for good behaviour (or something).

He also got a goodie pack, which contained candy, chocolates and some small toys, which he will generously share with his little sister.

I had to ask him about his ice-cream treat as he’d been looking forward to it this whole week.

He told me that it was just a teeny-weeny cup LOL

He was slightly disappointed especially as the vanilla part turned out better than the chocolate part.

Anyway, he had a lot of fun because the school hired a clown and a magician for the kids.

I am really glad to hear that he enjoyed himself on “Children’s Day”.

Apr 14

Exams are kǎo shì (考试)

In the next few weeks, our son will be taking his mid-term examinations, which will include Composition, Reading Comprehension, Science, Math and Moral Studies in Chinese.

He enjoys Science and Math but struggles with Chinese composition.

As we do not have a private Chinese tutor, you can imagine how stressful it is for us to review his lessons especially as I am a full-time working mom AND we have a chatty preschooler who demands my attention with,

“Look, Mummy!!! I am drawing you and a house.”

“Look, Mummy, this is a ball machine! These are all the balls zug-zug-zug going round and round and round. Now, they are marbles!!!”

This weekend, in between:

  • washing, hanging, folding and putting away the laundry,
  • cooking a simple dinner,
  • juggling the 2 extra-curricular activities,
  • going to the wet market for school snacks,
  • shopping for new school uniforms (he has outgrown his “sparkling white” shirts),
  • finishing his Chinese homework and
  • cutting them fruits for a balanced diet – yup, they’ve been a bit low on fruits this week!

he managed to complete 2 sets of Chinese composition worksheets, which involve filling in the blanks, matching exercises, lots and lots of rearranging words to form complete sentences and basic composition (picture-based).

He balked at basic composition and some of the more challenging fill-in-the-blanks, whining that he could NOT do them.

First, he was distracted by The Christmas Toy Factory (Geronimo Stilton, No. 27) and Thea Stilton and the Secret of the Old Castle: A Geronimo Stilton Adventure.

Second, his happy-go-lucky preschool sister was chatting and singing as she happily coloured and sketched out some fun stuff.

Of course, Tiger Mom would stand no such nonsense since his composition skills in English are perfectly fine.

Armed with a Chinese dictionary and of course, a plastic clothes hanger (rapped on the dining chair) to ensure no wriggling, we managed to work out some new Chinese words and phrases.

With a bit of encouragement and some weary “Good!” and “Go on…”, he figured out some sentences and he could even complete a short passage with the required phrases.

Now, the rascal is enjoying some cartoons with his little sister while I have to fix dinner and get ready for school and work tomorrow!

A few whisker-licking-good weeks ahead ;-)

Mar 14

My Father is a Rock Star

I love it when my kids hit me with a statement like this.

After being dazed by a group of smart kids, I didn’t know what to expect of this grungy, grouchy group of big, beefy guys.

First of all, I thank God that they were all scrubbed clean and other for the odd stink of old socks, all of them were awake.

When one offered the standard “I hate my life” statement, I was thinking, “Oh great, it’s one of those classes…” but phew, it is not!

In fact, they have become one of my favourite groups because they are alert, creative, energetic and raring to go :-)

All of them dress like rock stars but I didn’t expect one of them to actually introduce a rock star dad.

I sat up straight and asked, “Wow, is your father Jon Bon Jovi? Mick Jagger? Bruce Springsteen???”

And the young punk replied, “Oh no, he’s much, much, much better than any of them.”

I had to laugh!

I was so proud of him when he said that. And if I ever met his father, I am going to tell him that too.

You rock my world, kids :-)

Mar 14

Growing Up (我长大了)

Starting solids.
First Steps.
First Words.
Potty Training.

Sniff, sniff, how Time flies…

Baby to toddler to big kid.

Now, he almost reaches my shoulder.

Soon, he’ll be taller than his Mom.

Kids grow up too fast.

Every moment is a precious moment.


Mar 14

Kindergarten is 幼儿园 (yòu’éryuán)

We started the little one in kindergarten this year.

On the first day of school, she happily dressed up in her “school uniform”, carried her bag pack and waved good bye to her big brother when we dropped him off first.

I held her hand as we walked in together to check out her classroom. She was OK until she had to enter the classroom and sit down with the rest of the other kids. She started whining for Mummy…

Then, a little boy sat down next to her and another girl and another boy joined her table.

The kindy teacher was quite busy with school fees, uniforms and enquiries and didn’t give the kids anything to do. Hmm…

With nothing to do, the little one turned to stare at her mother and father, whining…

Thankfully, it was time to go to the toilet! She continued whining but I said that I’ll be here waiting for her. All OK.

After a while, they lined up again to go out for recess. We thought that was fun LOL

The drama queen happily joined her friends at her table and ate the bun I’d packed for her. She was quite happy to see that she has recess, packed food and everything her big bro has at his school :)

When it was time to line up to go back to their classrooms, she decided to run and cling to my legs!

When she saw the teachers coming, our monkey RAN away!

Of course, I ran after her and you can imagine the drama the other parents were treated to that morning. Everyone was most surprised because a lot of other kids were crying and screaming but not our little one. What happened???

After a bit, I decided not to catch her. She stopped.

Then she saw her father and ran towards him!

Her father knew that he would not be able to let her go once she clung to him so the 80 kg man ran to hide. Of course, the 4 year old spotted him immediately. -_-

With as much dignity as I could muster, I took big strides towards the “little angel” and picked her up. Together, we went back to the classroom and I yelled to the love of my life, “DON’T COME OUT!!!” God knows where he’s hiding. I hope the security guard doesn’t find him hahaha.

Another teacher helped me to calm her down and bring her back to the classroom where they started colouring a fun picture of kids flying kites.

Oops! I forgot to pack her colour pencils and she told me loudly, “MUMMY, YOU FORGOT TO PACK MY COLOUR PENCILS!!! We must bring my colour pencils tomorrow, OK?”

I smiled and said OK. All’s good – she’s thinking of going back tomorrow.

We are quite happy with the kindergarten as she has an interesting variety of friends, especially the little boy next to her, who helped to calm her down each time she howled and wailed after I left.

On the second day, she told me that she loved her “new” school. After about 3 weeks, she asked to be dropped off like all the other kids. I could stand outside and wave to her :)

She’s been having fun with art and craft, singing, outdoor sports and some reading and writing. She loves doing her “homework” and she has been reading her books at the top of her voice almost every night.

Last month, she happily showed me a huge party pack (lots of cute stationery) she’d got from one of her friend’s birthday. I think she slept with the party pack, clutching a few erasers hahaha.

Last night, she showed me a drawing one of her friends gave to her.

I am really glad that she loves her kindergarten – I must get my sony camera batteries ready for some beautiful memories ahead!

Feb 14

“Truth” (Tsubasa no Yukue) by Rin – Opening Theme Song to Crossfight B-Daman

rin-truth-theme-song-crossfight-b-damanDuring the long school break, the kids must have watched nearly 30 episodes of the Japanese anime, Crossfight B-Daman.

I was quite fed up with them but hey, it’s  one of the longest school holidays they will ever have because Mummy started a full-time job after that :(

Although I’m still unclear about the plot or the characters behind this popular Japanese cartoon, I know the opening theme song very well.

It’s a very catchy tune and the cutest thing is that BOTH kids try to sing this Japanese song!

When I see them watching the cartoon together, I can’t help but smile as they tried to sound out the Japanese words :)

I think they can now hum to the familiar tune and if you ask them what’s their favourite Japanese song, they’d definitely say it’s the Crossfight B-Daman song.

I think another song ends the cartoon series, one which features a softer tune, which I prefer.

Here I am checking out various B-Daman for Christmas – I’m still wondering how it all started especially as I’m hearing my kids describe characters with strange “Engrish” names i.e. my son likes Sonic Dravise while my daughter likes the Garuburn??? Help!

Did you know that these are MARBLE SHOOTERS??? I’m just amazed at how long these tiny toys can keep my kids in deep discussion while I cook lunch or dinner :D

P/S If anyone has the Japanese lyrics (in pin yin), please, please contact me. Thanks!