Day 185 : watching their backs

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the tings @ #HPAdventureTrails

Post first week of school. I watched the kids head off to school on the first day with glee. It was the start of my daily 3-hours pseudo me-time! Well, as much as I can get with the soon-to-be minted 8 month old Alex.

Yet, whilst they were in school, I missed the time we had during the school holidays. The flexibility, and us being together. It didn’t help that I saw how they had grown, walking after them, watching their backs.

How the kids had grown a little taller.
Sarah’s hair had grown a little longer.
Quentin’s writing had gotten a little neater.
Oliver talked about his relationship with his friends, how there were teams (cliques).

They stilled wanted their good night kisses from me, they still held my hands when I asked. But slowly, they were growing.

Today, I spoke with Quentin’s teacher to ask if things had improved from the last term. And things weren’t looking good. If anything, they had progressed worse. I had spoken to her at the PTM in May, and mentioned that I would spend more time and tried to see how we could improve things. After hearing today, I felt I failed.

The failure was not at not being able to improve things. But I felt I failed to understand my child.

The teacher agrees that..Quentin is a very straight kid. Straight as have to take what he says at face value. There is nothing underlying at all. And no forward planning. This kid lives for the moment, at the present and nowhere else. He doesn’t remember much what he did the day before, nor will he plan what he wants to do tomorrow. And he says what comes to mind.

Isn’t that such a wonderful thing? To live in the now and not have any worries at all? But society would dictate it to be otherwise. That you need to plan for your future, and be ready.

Today, with Oliver staying back late in school, Quentin and I could spend more time together. He could talk to me in his own time, without the worry of being interrupted. I asked him about school, and in his usual fashion, he would say ‘I forgot’. But today, I encouraged him to remember with some retrospective memory. And he spoke about the letters he learnt at school. I gave him some activities to do whilst I was about to put the girls to nap, then decided that he would join us in the air-conditioned room as well. The girls can take their time to nap, they will nap eventually, and since we weren’t in a rush to pick Ollie up, we had time. And it was time owed to him.

He glowed under the praises I heaped on him as I corrected his writing. And he willingly attempted again without much prompting, in hope that he would get more stars for his corrected writing.

It was a really pleasant afternoon, no yelling, just a lot of affirmation, and he would listen as I tried to explain to him about why he shouldn’t cut his magazine up even though we could still read it, how he should use the bidet without wetting the whole roll of toilet paper, and what are the steps he could do to minimize mess so he doesn’t have to do any or much clean up.

And we agreed that we would try to improve bit by bit each day.

What happened then? I wondered. He went from being the #foreverbaby at one point, to being the middle child when we had Sarah. And he adored Sarah, became the big brother. Then even more so when Alex came along. He would goof around to make his sisters laugh. He took that role with pride. But he got sidelined even more somewhere along the way.

It is a very thin line at comparing him with his siblings, feeling like I owe a lot to him and then getting frustrated cos he doesn’t think like the rest of us. hahah. So different.

Gaah. This allocating time for all the kids is shitting me. We get lots of together time. But the kids don’t get one on one time with me much. If any, Alex pretty much LL has to do whatever we all want to do cos she can’t say much, neither does she have a say either. Yet I know how they bloom and flourish under one-on-one time with either Donald or I. Then again, they are a different level of fun when they are playing with each other. Damn mad cute.

Every day, I end up going to bed wondering how I could have handled the kids and the day better. And I tell myself, I’ll try to be better tomorrow. Telling myself to be more patient and not yell at the kids, tell myself to spend more quality time with the kids, to do more activities and less chores, and to take them outdoors more. And there’s the lack of sleep and with that, comes frustration.

And sometimes I want to give up and walk away. I throw like 5 minute tantrums and rant to the husband about how I want to order food in instead of cooking and decide that I will be going out after dinner. Then common sense kicks in after I cool down and I do a quick dinner, money is saved and Donald comes home and takes over the reins so I can recollect myself again.

Urgh. This is going to be the same argument with myself for the next 15-20 years. Wondering if I can do more with the kids. Hopefully they outgrow of this phase faster haha so I can ‘retire’ okay. But till then, I will just want more of them before they grow up too fast!

Category: Daily
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