2017 Father and Son camp

It was the first time that Z joined this camp. Mr H was not keen last year because he thought they had to stay over at Pulau Ubin.  Based on the pictures, it looked both hot and fun. They had so many activities that I thought the program seemed well-planned.

At the end of the 2D1N camp, he was very sad that it ended and wanted to cry. That was my very sensitive and emotional boy. No matter how old he grew, he was always tender-hearted. 

There were Father-Son telematches, cooking in mess tins, long walks, science experiments, blindfold walks, nerf gun wars and even a group Soccer match. The only downside were the daddies finding it hard to sleep and the food was not up to their expectations. 

Mid year results 

Z did well for his Chinese and English. It was not to the extent of getting full marks but the scores were reasonably well. Besides, the mistakes were acceptable.

Hence, I did not understand why he felt he did poorly.

However, he turned in less than stellar results for his math. If not for the extremely poor level of work and carelessness, he could have gotten full marks instead of a lower than preferred score.

We spoke to him about it, addressed his root problem of poor attitude and left it as that. There was no scolding or punishment. I hoped this set the stage that we did not value results above him.

At first, I had felt upset on his behalf, that he could have done better and not invite funny questions by his peers on his abilities and smartness. In an odd way, I also thought he deserved it for being so assuming and thinking he was a math whiz. He tended to rush through math like it was timed trial and in his haste, created a lot of mistakes. 

Some poor results could help him in humility and relook at how he should work harder. 

Preoccupation with results 

On the day Z received the results of his English and Chinese mid-year tests, he reported his Chinese grade happily but told us he forgot his English grade. It was the same as last year when he claimed not to remember his English results.

While I was firm, I was not unreasonable. I had always explained that I was more concerned about consistent work at this stage. Furthermore, I was feeling really proud of him that he had been serious about his swim training. He never stopped his swim training throughout the test period, nor did we see a need to spend the time cramming. Exercise was always good for the mind and body.

We had not done anything out of norm because he had always been tasked to do assessment work regularly. In fact, there was always play time, TV time and lots of swimming time. 

Despite all these, we did not seem to have allayed his concerns and for him to recognize that we would always be there for him. 

Once again, I reiterated to him that we did not reward him when he scored full marks, so it also meant that we would not punish him for less than stellar results. Hope we would fare better as trusted cheerleaders next round. 

Build a plane

One thing Mr H and I really not enjoyed was handicraft homework from school. Preschool to be exact. When they set a task, it would be the parents rather than the kids who had to plan, prepare and execute.

I was not good with arts and craft, and never will or want to do. I was more familiar with coming up with the idea and getting someone to execute.

Anyway, we had forgotten about it until we picked X up from school on a Monday evening. I saw some art display at the side and went… “OMG, WE HAVE HW!”

Luckily, the due date was on Wednesday.

X was miffed and kept reminding us to do. He was not very happy with his tardy parents.

The assignment was to make something from recycled materials. My first suggestion was to make a robot. I could envision a tissue box for body and other smaller boxes or toilet rolls as limbs.

“No, I want to make a plane.”

Huh? Plane?

When we got home, we pooled the ready materials together and wondered what kid of plane we could build with the random boxes. I did not even have an empty tissue box and considered ripping out all tissues, or to build it with brand, new tissue boxes.

X chased us to get started on Monday. We held him off. We told him that we had one more night.

The next night came, and viola, we had egg trays!! We happened to replenish our egg supply from the Depot Road’s egg wholesaler.

With that, Mr H and X worked on it. Actually, I believed X only supervised. He came up with the idea, directed what he wanted and insisted on colouring the object so that it would look nice.

Mr H managed to convince him by covering the objected with yellow paper.

Masterpiece, with little Picasso adding the final touches

Astounding finish to P1


P1 ended on a high note, a wonderful finish with an inaugural school performance. Z was in the school dance and they danced to a hip Korean number. I thought my son and his friends looked very cool indeed. They had a pretty cool and trendy dance instructor.

We had to pay $20 per ticket for the concert which featured the school performance CCAs and guest talents.

Leading up to the dance performance, Z had many days of intensive dance rehearsals. Since the last day of mini tests, they had dance practices every school day. They had definitely put in a lot of effort.

Looking back, P1 had been a fun and learning journey. I hoped every school year would be fun and memorable. 

I liked what the school had done for the boys. I hoped it would be like this or better in the years to come.

One down, five more years to go.

Z’s preschool alumni gathering 

Exactly 1 year ago, this was penned

He had managed to keep in touch with some of his friends because they would bump into each other at the preschool when they picked their younger siblings up. Sometimes, they got to reminisce and play in the school playground.

As for his best friend, we tried to meet up a bit more. In the beginning of the year, the two boys would leave each other wistful and sad whatsapp voicemails, and even talked on the phone.

Recently, we managed to clock 5 out of 12 kids to meet for ice skating. They had not seen each other for some time and some were pretty nervous about it. I guessed it didn’t help that we picked ice skating, an indoor activity in view of the recent wet weather. 

Within minutes, the kids warmed up and played happily together.

It was precious and heartwarming to see them missing each other so much. After all, these were kids who literally grew up with each other, from tiny tots to boys and girls today. 

Huddling for a discussion 

End of school 

It literally started the day of the last mini test which fell on 27 October. 

Z got away with unlimited iPad, snacks and late night. 

When Mr H asked how he felt, he said, “Happy!”

To be honest, it wasn’t like we denied him of play time during the revision period. He had his healthy dose of swimming and reduced dose of Slugterra. He even got to watch TV programs if he had completed the planned work for the day. 

He still had 2 end of year performances to work on. Otherwise, he was pretty much a free boy.