Thursday, March 27, 2014

Making music with mommy

"Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education." - Plato

B and I have always enjoyed making music together. Once he could sit up, we attended music and movement meetups and eventually, Kindermusik Village and Our Time classes till he started nursery this year. If like us, (1) your tot already gets some music exposure in preschool, (2) you think he has potential and interest to go further, but (3) you're uncertain about the differences, cost and logistics of "extra" music classes, why not try some fun yet structured music making at home instead?

Given my thoughts on enrichment, I'm currently not sending B for additional music class until he's ready for specific instrument, dance or vocal lessons. We recently completed a 10-day free trial of BrillKids' Little Musician and plan to adapt it for the year as long as I've got a flexi WAHM schedule. B LOVED it. He asks for "Music class at home? Solfège? Clap along?" and sings random chords throughout the day. Check out the video to see (or rather, hear) what I mean!
video

Wait a minute. Solfège? Music training? Sounds so hardcore! Also, isn't music best learnt in a group? Well, B gets plenty of social music with his school and playmates. What I'm doing here is more structured music that'll lead into formal lessons in the future. This was easy to try given my music background but after the trial and seeing all the resources available, I'm sure anyone can do it too. No need any "formal" experience or pitch perfection. The key is the right attitude, interest and time :)

Let me explain a bit more....

Why "music training" and why now?
- Music is a whole brain activity, using 90% of the brain, more than any other activity
- Music lessons in childhood do enlarge the brain, with studies showing better grades due to improved concentration, confidence and learning
- Music trains the higher cognitive functions, spatial-temporal reasoning, puzzle-solving, aesthetic literacy, overall perceptual, imaginative, visual and mathematical abilities
- Singing and pitch discrimination are increasingly accepted as tools to learn to read
- Rhythm and tempo control helps kids perform routine activities with more ease and efficiency
- Instrumental practice enhances coordination, concentration, memory, improves eyesight and hearing

What can you do at home? LOTS if you're willing to be involved and do it regularly. Short periods frequently in a relaxed environment work best at the early ages. What I liked about Little Musician is each session lasts only 5 mins every day - with options for more. Build on what your kid knows or enjoys, use activities that develop a good ear like listening, singing and imitation, and have fun performing, composing and improvising together.

Singing and Listening begins while the wee one is in your belly. Once he starts to make vocal sounds, he'll soon imitate you (and others) in singing, so sing often and enthusiastically, together or alone - no need for fancy instruments or to wait until their motor skills improve or you join a class. While background music has its time and place, active listening involves interaction. Engage your kid on what they hear and respond when the songs, tempo or dynamics change. Draw, dance, show pictures or videos of instruments and performers, attend live concerts as often as you can. Concert prices in Singapore are quite pricy but there ARE many free or community events that work just as well. Don't just stick to nursery rhymes and lullabies, introduce classical, jazz, rock, pop, rock, folk, world music too. The younger the child, the wider their taste although they also love repetition :)

Rhythm and Pitch is B's first indication (to me) that he liked music. As a baby, he loved rhythm - bouncing on my lap or knee, swaying, spinning, dancing, clapping, and was fascinated by my guitar, electronic keys, buttons and drum pads at home. We are now working more on pitch, i.e. the ability to distinguish how high or low a note is and whether something is out of tune or not. This is where solfège comes in, i.e. do-re-mi, the easiest and most common system of learning pitch and scales. It links listening, singing and playing (aural skills) as we learn to hear sounds in our head before singing. Do-re-mi is easy to vocalise with open vowel endings ideal for singing as opposed to ABC letters for key names. Somewhat inspired by the Eguchi Method, we listen to and match notes with letters and solfège names using hand signals and a colour coded keyboard (or other pitch instruments such as xylophone, handbells, chime, resonator bars if you have them).

Instruments (toy, home-made or real) expose them to different types of sounds: everyday ones, pitched and unpitched. Start with percussion such as drums, shakers and castanets and expose them to "real" instruments like violins, guitars, pianos, other strings, woodwinds and brass, if possible. You don't have to buy - DIY with household items, borrow or exchange with friends, "play" whenever you can on real instruments. Else, brands with good quality, child-sized instruments are Melissa & Doug, Music4Tots, Music Factory products though IMO, these are all more reasonably priced overseas :)
 
Composing and Improvisation comes naturally to kids. Has your lil one ever changed the lyrics or tune slightly with a cheeky grin? B does that all the time (even in Chinese)! We should encourage this. Talk about it when they're doing it, what sounds, dynamics and words are used, introduce vocabulary as you accompany a favourite story or match different moods and situations. Be silly together and your kid will see music as something they can use to express themselves and play with on their own. How many times have I asked B "What shall we sing?" and he goes "Wheels On The Bus" with a funky new variation each time!

Of course, Little Musician isn't the only home resource out there. I've listed a few that are FREE online, some for music appreciation and other (paid) programs as well:
- Plank Road Publishing Music Concept Videos - fun, animated, FREE videos
- Trebellina, an animated treble clef that teaches babies, toddlers, and preschoolers how to read music, pitch, and instrument names and sounds
- Beethoven's Wig - classical music with lyrics and bits of knowledge added
- Golden Records child's introduction series digitised vinyl records available for free
- Classics For Kids for resources on classical music and composers
- Tuneables music education cartoons for preschoolers
- Moosicology songs, stories and colourful pictures for 0-7 years

Have a music program for under 3s? I'm always open to trial and discuss :)

Source: Little Musician, Moosicology, Wikipedia and other sites from Google!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: What's playing at Watten

Watten Estate lies between home and B's school, so we've driven past countless times but hadn't explored till recently. If you venture beyond Bougainvillea Park which is a tad overgrown, the larger shady Watten Estate Park (off Hillcrest Road, near Greenwood Avenue cafes) is lovely BUT there's no toilet or wash area for the wee ones :(

A mom friend also told me about Shelford Road Playground, a hidden gem nearby (junction of Shelford and Watten State Road) that's perfect for tots:



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Monday, March 24, 2014

Enrichment: Can't live without it, can't live with it

I cringe whenever my friends with primary (and yes, even preschool) age kids talk about their packed evening and weekend enrichment schedules. I cringe because I can identify, and I see how easy it is for us - well-meaning parents - to get caught up in a race that's become more about academic excellence rather than academic help for those who truly need it.

Our own enrichment woes are about Chinese. Although I've tried to keep B's time free for play and bonding, this is one area where we need help in. I harbour no illusions that B will be a top scorer in advanced Chinese, but I do want him to be confident academically when he enters local primary, and not let poor Chinese be his Achilles heel in school, and later on in life. Currently, I haven't found the right program since B graduated from the parent accompanied playgroups at Chengzhu as the timing and method are not suited for my kinesthetic and auditory learning boy. We've tried 1-to-1 tutors at home but B's too young and lacks the focus to engage 100% with them - and besides, playing and interacting in Chinese with him is something I can do myself. I'm not ready to leave him alone in a brand new (fully Chinese!) environment as he just started half day nursery. So in the interim, we signed up for weekly mom-and-tots flexi sessions at Bibinogs till B turns 2.5 years, hopefully enabling us to enjoy our last few months in class together. Going forward, I'm still searching for a more structured yet interactive class that mixes outside and at home learning. Maybe we'll trial Berries or Hua near us in a few months when he's ready for another drop off. I'm also in the midst of sourcing more Chinese toddler books and DVDs, but the caveat is this banana-mama needs hanyupinyin to make any sense of the characters :( At the moment, the only time he willingly speaks Chinese is when he sings - a start, I guess :)

video

All that said, before you go tiger mom enrichment-crazy on your kid, watch this video - a reminder that too much of a good thing can be more harm than help. Let's not kill their interest before it has a chance to bloom!



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Sunday, March 23, 2014

World peace begins at home

What does it mean to live a peaceful life? IMHO, the key is to work towards peaceful relationships in your home - with your spouse, kid(s) and if you have any, your domestic helper. But how to do this when we're struggling with being at peace in our own lives? As parents, we're often busy, stressed, sleep-deprived, sick whenever the kids get sick, and lacking any personal time or space. Here are some thoughts:

With your spouse: Sometimes, a little time out gives much needed perspective when emotions are frayed. There are days when I still struggle with giving up a traditional corporate career and the (seemingly lack of) ROI on all my years of education - resulting in a rather bitter attitude towards my constantly away hardworking hubby. I've been trying to reflect and approach situations with a more peaceful and rested heart. Also, as parents, we should TRY not to let our issues (anger, disappointment, concern, etc.) with each other surface too frequently in front of the kids. The very young ones can pick up on the emotion but may not understand the context or even think it is about them, i.e. something they did wrong. For me - someone who often wears her heart on her sleeve - this is hard. Just as we teach our kids to use their "indoor voice", I too need to remember that being peaceful means to talk and not shout, to smile and not frown.

With kids: Give our kids the foundation to develop and learn to be a child of God - peaceful, cheerful and contented. As B adjusts to nursery drop off and soon, taking his mid-day nap there as well, we're trying to re-establish a routine that provides comfort yet fosters independent growth. Kids thrive in a secure environment with familiar surroundings, playmates and caregivers, regular healthy meals, designated quiet times with spaces to play/read on their own, unique yet diverse experiences AND perhaps most importantly, adequate sleep - ideally by 9p. I've ALWAYS been asked about B's early bedtime, as in "why can't he come out, stay later, wake up later instead" To me, sleep is sacred. When kids sleep well, we all sleep well, so why change what ain't broke?

With the helper: Let's face it. We are lucky, spoilt even, in Asia to have foreign domestic workers who assist us in chores and if you need, babysitters and nannies at a reasonable rate, be it part time or live in. Yet too often I find employers who do not treat their helper in a way that leads to a peaceful living and working relationship, while they maintain high expectations on their deliverables and attitude. B asked me once: "mama, daddy, ama, kong kong is family. What about aunty (our helper's name)?" I told him "We live together in this house, we should treat her like family too." I wonder if he understood that, but he does now include her in his prayer requests at night and asks where she is when we go out on our own or on her days off.

The more centered we are on Christ and not self, the more we'll be at peace with others and ourselves.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

When dinosaurs ruled the earth

February ended with a roar, a dinosaur roar! Unlike space, transportation and animals which were easy hits back when we were doing monthly themes, I wasn't sure how B would take to dinos - I mean, the names are hard to pronounce and animals are all dead and scary looking (except for Barney, but he's not quite ... real). By the end though, B was impersonating the T-Rex walk, wrapping his tongue around "triceratops," "apatosaurus," "stegosaurus," and knew how to spell "D-I-N-O-S-A-U-R." A success!

Lucky for us, there were TWO great dinosaur showcases in Singapore this past month, both different yet good. We first visited Titans of the Past - Dinosaurs and Ice Age Mammals at the Science Center. To be honest, we'd trekked out west before for the Megabugs Return exhibit but weren't too impressed. I felt the center overall could do with some upgrading. However, this time around, we were pleasantly surprised by the toddler friendly activities and animations that managed to keep two 2+ year boys entertained throughout! It's a shame the exhibit is over so soon (25 October 2013 - 23 February 2014) and not that well publicized - when we went on a Thursday afternoon, there were less than 10 visitors there. Besides pressing all the buttons to animate the dinos roaring and eating, B also enjoyed the mini paleontologists dig (aka sandpit) where they could brush for fossils.

We also went to Dinosaurs: Dawn To Extinction at the ArtScience Museum (25 January - 25 May 2014), getting there just before 5p in time for the free English tour. IMO, the exhibits here were of better quality and clearer presentation, with bone fossils AND life size models, info boards and occasional activity stations. The caveat was we had to pay admission for B whereas he got in free (under 3 years) at the Science Center. That said, even distracted mommy retained a few bits of knowledge in between making sure my lil live dino didn't break anything!

B attempted to fit all the puzzles, but most were set too high for toddlers - and he's quite tall at 95cm+ (for 27 months). He also enjoyed the model of the walking T-Rex and the footprint section, where you could make your own track, identify and compare various footprint tracks.

Go here to see the other kid-friendly events and activities coming in March (booking required) if you have older kids, 6 years and up. Some of the hands-on/take home crafts that we did included a 3D mock up of an apatosaurus and making wayang kulit dino-age birds and lizards (shadow puppets).


To reinforce the theme at home, we did more art and craft and of course, library books!
Cutting out letters, dino shapes and rolling eggs from playdough makes a happy B
video

Making a dino foam penholder and paint-stamping dinos using styrofoam:

















Tracing and colouring pre-writing worksheets from here. His fine motor skills aren't great, but he's slowly improving, i.e. changing colours for different objects, following straight and curvy lines, etc.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart

I'm trying to be more intentional about faith with B this year as he's developing his own childlike understanding from observing people and situations. At our nightly prayers before bed, he started making his own requests (e.g. "pray for dada working, tired," "Jesus loves ama and kong kong"). So I decided to reinforce the lessons around fruits of the spirit from Sunbeam, our church's kids programme, with simple activities and practical applications at home.

Here's what we learnt and applied:
  1. Joyful parenting doesn't come naturally. It's not a product of the flesh but the spirit at work, bearing fruit in us. We need to cultivate thankfulness, remember that our child's identity is in Christ, and look ahead with hope and faith for the fruit God promises to bring through our efforts.
  2. A joyful heart is about attitude, a contagious attitude from having a positive outlook in life. We talked about being joyful and strong even when we're afraid and upset. I encouraged him to use words, laugh or sing instead of crying and screaming... and it's been working! In fact, he's been a trooper during his separation at school and this recent bout of coughing; and he's also cheered my ailing mom who was hospitalised earlier this month with his singing, dancing and funny antics.
  3. To be joyful is to be thankful. I'm glad that B's gotten into a habit of saying "thank you" or "谢谢" (if you're lucky). At one point, he'd even say "thank you" when giving you things ;) At nights, when we pray together, we also first thank God for each other and the day's events - no matter how challenging the day has been, e.g. we've been sick, tired, angry. I'm still working on teaching him to say family grace before meals to reinforce gratefulness and obedience to God, although this one's tougher as our family is of mixed beliefs and/or rarely eating together.
Since I'm on a quest to improve both our Chinese lately, I'll end with these Chinese characters: When you're happy (开心 kai xin), your heart is open but when you're sad (伤心 shang xin), your heart is wounded. I'm glad that our son is learning how to turn to God and rejoice in the midst of his terrible two years; and that he is also opening the hearts of those around him.

Nehemiah 8:10 “The joy of the Lord makes me strong!”

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Friday, February 14, 2014

How deep and how wide is your love?

Besides his own name, another word B likes to spontaneously spell is "L-O-V-E ... Love!" So I figured Valentines Day was a good reason to look at LOVE as we apply fruits of the spirit at home. Here's B's "Thumbody loves you" V-day craft to kick off the theme :)

1) Say and show it often. We always wish each other "晚安,我爱你,明天见" ("Good night, I love you, see you tomorrow") every night. When dad is away for long, we record him a video that usually ends with a flying kiss! Although I wasn't raised like this with my typical Asian parents, I don't hesitate kissing, hugging and praising B and find that he soaks it up like a sponge. Rather than being spoiled (as some of the older generation may caution), I find that he becomes more assured and affectionate in return, which has helped during his frequent separation anxiety phases. In the book "The Five Love Languages of Children" the authors encourage parents to keep your child's emotional tank full, use all five languages (physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service), and pay attention to their behaviour as it often tells you which one speaks the loudest to them. Usually these preferences emerge around 3-4 years on.

2) Love obeys and forgives. We shouldn't continue doing wrong things and we shouldn't stay angry with others. Whenever B acts up, I make it a point to look him in the eye and state "Stop. That hurt mama/your friend, made us feel angry/sad". I'll then ask him "Was that wrong or right?" When he sees that this is serious and acknowledges "B is wrong. I am sorry," I'll say "It's OK. But don't do it again!" Of course, sometimes he gets rather cheeky and says "B is wrong, right?" What you say or do must match what's in your heart. The Chinese character for forgiveness - 恕 (shu) incorporates a heart below a woman and a mouth. When we forgive others with words from our heart, we learn to put others before ourselves, practicing love and "human-heartedness."

3) Love is selfless. Kids learn by imitation so take every opportunity to demonstrate selflessness. Evidently, tots do a lot of proto-sharing - i.e. they may be willing to show what they hold to others but won't quite let go (sound familiar?). It's a big step, so reinforce and reward the act. When B's friends come by, it's also quite common to see ALL the boys want the exact same double decker bus (or train) that one of them develops a liking for. When potential tantrums/fights come up, try to offer duplicates or alternatives, and if that doesn't work, keep the item-in-question and engage them in a fun group project. It's key to NOT punish your tot at this age for not sharing. Let him know your feelings but don't make a big deal out of it. They'll get there and may surprise you one day! Case in point: I've been feeling quite down and worn out as everyone was sick or away again, on top of our ongoing failure to conceive #2 despite trying everything we can think of. There's also been days when I've lost my temper and somehow, B knows the best way to diffuse it - by kissing, hugging me and saying "Mama, be happy... So happy" Toddlers may be the most self-centered beings at times, yet their empathy and ability to love others amazes me. They DO listen, share and care!

4) Love and forgive others just as God loves and has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32, 1 Colossians 13). Some of our favourite songs to reinforce:
- "Jesus Loves Me": Our first bible song together, B used to fall asleep to this
- "Whisper": A lovely song that teaches kids to say "I love you" to parents and to Jesus in a soft voice :) I couldn't find a video but the lyrics are included below
- "Deep and Wide": God's love is like the ocean, never-ending, always forgiving
- Barney's "I Love You" original and this adapted version: I forgive you, you forgive me. We forgive each other, can't you see? With a great big hug, and a kiss from me to you, won't you join us, and forgive too?


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Crafty Chinese New Year

新年快乐!



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Sunday, January 26, 2014

An apple a day keeps the doctor away... but what if you get sick?

The whole family was plagued by so many health issues last year, that I'm gradually changing our lifestyle and diet as we enter into a healthier and happier 2014. While I'm not 100% for naturopathy, I am keen on minimising our reliance on pharmaceuticals and unnecessarily invasive treatments. Hopefully all these changes can also improve the chances of our #2 babymaking efforts!

Here's what we're trying that seems to work so far. Thanks to Google and friends for the tips.

 1) Sore throats and runny nose: Doesn't it feel like if it's not you, a friend or family member will catch this at least once a week? The unnatural cold front in Singapore, and fluctuating temperatures doesn't help!
- Avoid dairy, bananas, cold food. Subsitute for calcium with tofu, soy beans, almonds, oranges, greens
- Nasal douche or spray with sea salt (antibacterial, isotonic)
- Diffuse or drop chamomile, eucalyptus (for older kids), camphor / tiger balm (adults) on pillow or clothes
- Apply pain relieving rescue cream twice daily from nostrils to top of nose and cheeks
- Soak flax seed overnight, boil and reduce to make a warm compress/ paste and apply to head, cheek, nose ideally for 30 mins each day

 2) Cough: If persists more than a week though, go see a doctor as there could be a respiratory infection. Don't wait like I did!
- Serve up pork rib (or vegetable roots) soup, red dates with daikon (white radish) or watercress
- Drink warm manuka honey, lemon and chamomile tea
- Diffuse or drop lavender (cramped cough), eucalpytus (congestion), thyme (suppressant), myrrh (anti-inflammatory). If no oils at hand, use Vicks BabyRub
 - Try warm curd or lemon packing too

 3) (Mild) fever, diarrhea, vomiting from an upset tummy / stomach bug: B had all of this around Christmas. We didn't see a doctor as his temperature never exceeded 38C, and I wanted to allow his immune system the chance to produce antibodies to cure the body. He recovered within a few days with:
- Drink, drink, drink! Peppermint, fennel or chamomile tea, ginger with lemon and honey water
- Ensure sufficient zinc and fiber: Fruits (bananas, apples, pomegranates, grapes, cranberries, cherries, blueberries), carrot, ginger and sweet potato porridge, wholewheat bread/flour, veggies (carrots). Cut down on dairy, white bread, sugar, chocolates, juice
- Barley tea and/or ginger to settle the tummy. The taste can be hard to swallow for kids so add to their favourite foods (i.e. porridge, fish soup ... and of course, baked goodies, like gingerbread men :)
- Wear cotton clothes, go on diapers (sets back potty training, but oh so necessary!)

4) Rash and bites: We go outdoors alot and get our fair share of mozzie and sandfly bites, no matter how much lotion and repellent we use! Our family also has a history of adult eczema although B so far shows no signs .... yet
- Aloe vera or papaya based gels, peppermint or oatmeal bath (fill a cloth bag with leaves/uncooked oats)
- Calendula, coconut oil, olive oil, tea tree oil and oatmeal based lotions. Oatmeal worked wonders for me since I first discovered Aveeno while working in New York. It's anti-inflammatory, seals in moisture, relieves irration
- If rash also includes oral sores, it could be HFMD, scarlet fever, chicken pox
- If rash is chronic, likely to be eczema. Check this out!

5) Healthy, organic living wherever possible. I was quite particular about this while pregnant and through B's first year, but slacked off last year:
- Organic grocery shopping at Fairprice Finest or if I can't find something and need it quick, I'll stop by Brown Rice Paradise or Four Seasons Market
- Organic online shopping from iherb, The Fishwives, The Organic Grocer, Fassler
- Organic (casual) dining at Real Food, Balanced Living as these are nearby. Get more recs  here or join the Organic Living Meet Up

6) Massage: Ironically, I had more massages when working full-time and traveling lots:
- This year, I'm aiming for at least twice a year (for me)
- Casual, 15 mins twice daily (for B) on the back, belly button, head, hands and feet meridians
- Don't know what oil to use?  Read this!  If inspired, make your own blend of jojoba, thyme, bergamot, cypress, tea tree and angelica oils :)

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: If you take away the walls

One thing I love about Singapore is the abundance of greenery amidst its modern, urban cityscape. Here are some more parks near us that we just discovered:
Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West: Right opposite the AMK public library, it boasts a large sand playground, 120-step staircase to a viewing plaza, landscaped pond, jogging track and footpaths through the nearby forest.  We usually scoot around Bishan-AMK park but this was less crowded and more convenient if you're planning a library, shopping and meal outing  


One-North Park: Hilly, breezy with a touch of playful "science" due to its proximity to Biopolis. Beware the red ants though!



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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Releasing your child to (pre)school

B has been attending half day preschool at Odyssey for a week now. I drop him off by 845a and pick him up after lunch around 1245p, in time for his mid-day nap back home. He did us all proud, adapting better and faster than expected. There were less tears, increasing confidence and engagement in class, and even "thank yous" and "byes" to his teachers, friends and favourite things in school (i.e. gardens, school bus) by end of the week.
 
 In fact, he coped better than I did after 2+ years of being together (almost) 24/7. In their first week newsletter update, his teachers were clearly pleased with his progress - and probably relieved too!

Once we decided on "where", I spoke to a few friends, read Elizabeth Pantley's The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution and Stormie Omartian's The Power of a Praying Parent to prepare for "how" and "what if". Here's stuff I didn't know or fully appreciate until B started:

1) Visit with your child as often as possible before class starts, taking photos to recall. I made memories by adding little pages for his journal which worked better than any "going to preschool" kid book because they were real, some with pictures of him in them! When day 1 came along, B was familiar with the names and images of his school, class and teachers. Ideally, we'd have loved to accompany him to playgroups at school or with his classmates beforehand, but we didn't have this option.

2) If possible, ask to be the only new child in the class, say for a 2 week period, and avoid starting after a long holiday as many "experienced" kids still get separation anxiety on the first day back. This ensures sufficient attention and no peer crying effect which stresses out everyone around. A fellow mom friend shared how 5 kids in her child's class (different school) cried for almost 3 hours until they vomited. Teachers were quite overwhelmed and parents clearly distressed!

3) Crying at drop off is normal. Crying at pick up is also normal. BUT it doesn't mean your child has been crying all day! The tears usually stop once teachers are given a chance to take over, distract and calm down your child. By mid-week, B cried for less than a minute at drop off and pick up and after that, he was all smiles, no tears. The key here is to TRUST, reflect a positive mood and (the toughest part) LEAVE. I hung B's water bottle around his neck which also ensured he was hydrated, and always had a towel ready, i.e. his comfort object since he was an infant. I had my doubts too at the beginning as I wandered around waiting for the call or tears which never came thankfully, all the while trying to spy in while not letting them see me. Eventually, I told myself to let go. Let others get to know and take care of him. Grant them your trust and allow them to keep earning yours and his. Also, enjoy the well-deserved morning off, mama!

4) It can feel like your child's regressing. B was koala bear clingy over the weekend (we started on a Thursday) and had disrupted naps because he'd catnap in the car on the way back and not nap enough once home, or would wake up crying for me and wouldn't go back to sleep without me holding him. Over the weekend, I reflected and determined to not be hasty - all of this eventually resolved or would resolve. And B would also continue to grow in character, knowledge and imagination. I just need to remember to project love for him, encourage interest in school and model respect for his teachers. Believe he will thrive!

5) Release your child into God's hands. To quote Omartian: "We can't be everywhere. We can't see everything. We can't know everything. But God can. Acknowledge our Father is in control of our children's lives and ours, and we will have greater peace." Amen!

Of course, I miss B everytime he's in school and am trying to maximise our remaining time together with bonding and NOT mere enrichment - begone you tiger mom urges! Meanwhile, I'm enjoying this extra time for devotionals, pilates, The Whiz Times, books, brekkie/brunch catch-ups until my schedule changes again :)

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