Posts Tagged “childcare”

, originally uploaded by izadd.

I’ve joined the proud ranks of maids and grandparents fetching kids from school. :p

made some adjustments to the boy’s transportation issue – no more ridiculous 1-hour bus ride at 5.50am. I timed exactly 5 minutes to drive him directly to school, and 5 minutes back. do you know it’s $100 for 2 ways, and $95 for 1 way? what maths is this? seriously, school buses!


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(this morning…)

the girl: “later can you read for me a NON-FICTION book?”

me: “wow, NON-FICTION? where did you learn that from?”

girl: “from my teacher. you know what is NON-FICTION? it means it’s about REAL PEOPLE.”

me: “ohhh. what book did you read in school?”

girl: “i read this book, ‘Big and Little’, WRITTEN BY mary walker.” [i'm not sure she got the name right, i couldn't find it on google. but srsly, WRITTEN BY, hahahaha.]

me: “so, it’s about real people? so, if i write a book about you and abang, and call it ‘Auni and Aniq’, WRITTEN BY Hana, will it be called NON-FICTION? maybe i will write, ‘Auni likes Justin Bieber…’” [she doesn't, i was just messing with her.]

girl: *thinks* “nooo, that’s YES-FICTION.”

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what am i, a Facebook page?!
what am i, A FACEBOOK PAGE?!

auni & aniq
that’s it missy, NO MORE CAKE for you until you say you LOVE your mummy. >:(


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off to school and work we go.


(no Post cereal today but scrambled eggs. and a hideous hairband i’ve been trying to hide from the girl with little success. oh well.)


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spotlight for the past few days had been about her brother. today it’s her.
she’s really happy to go to school.

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the kids’ centre had an xmas party, and i thought since it would be aniq’s final party there…

last chance to feed his friends in school with junk ha ha.
(for some reason i couldn’t find xmas stickers anywhere, so i slapped on some last-minute printed-out ones, though i don’t know why i obsessed over it in the first place, kids’ll just rip open the bag and only care for the contents. i had to resist the urge to add tinsel and glitter and tags. srsly.)


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the much-anticipated K2 graduation concert happened some time last week. it was a modest affair – parents didn’t have to pay for attending; it was held in the K2 classroom itself, which they converted into a mini-stage, with props, backdrop, banners all done by the dedicated and resourceful teachers at the centre…



they performed a play adapted from Kevin Henkes’ picture book (yeah!), ‘Chrysanthemum’. it was supposed to be a surprise for parents, but aniq of course, had to spill the beans, especially when he kept blurting out his lines at random times. i’m forever amazed at pre-schoolers who can recite lines to perfection and perform to an audience, because i myself have a case of stage-fright, i kid you not!

Jo whose name fits the nametag


after a chinese version of The Emperor’s New Clothes, which had a malay boy as the emperor (yes, impressively reciting lines in mandarin!), the whole class went into a rendition of MJ’s ‘we are the world’. no, i did not sing along to it.

and then this part, which was indeed a surprise – each kid’s name was announced and they went up to their parents in the audience to hand them a vcd with an ‘i love you’ message… well, that sorta teared me up, a bit. :p

each kid went up to their parent to give them a surprise VCD

it also came with their graduation certs and photos, so beautifully packaged, SUCH a HUGE leap from our time, some almost-30 years ago.



the people he’ll miss next year…

Teacher SitiDSC_0512Wu Lao Shi

and some work they did after their visit to a primary school earlier. the teachers discussed with the kids on what to expect in primary school, practical things like what to do in case they lose things or fall sick, etc. it sure makes it a lot easier for us parents, who are at this stage even more nervous for them than they themselves are.

getting ready for P1

clay figures of P1 students hehe

dear firstborn, here’s to an exciting and memorable journey ahead…. (TO PSLE! HA HA HA HA HAA)

the graduate


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it’s sunday afternoon and i just had a second call from aniq’s friends from school, wanting to speak to him. first (at seven in the morning while I was still asleep!) was a boy; the recent one, a girl. (ie: batrisyah. ahem!) both times he was unavailable.

mummy’s new role: telephone operator. O_o

he’s already committed both parents’ mobile numbers to memory for some time (in case he gets lost, he can ask to borrow a stranger’s handphone, he says – although i bet if it were an iphone, he’d end up playing ‘angry birds’ than call either one of us).

and since his class’ graduation last week, he’s taken down a bunch of his friends’ numbers from school, including his teacher’s and laoshi’s. some of the numbers even have no names. very smart.

so what do six-year-olds talk about over the phone?

looks like mummy will have to start honing her phone-eavesdropping skill early….



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… b*tch.

well, ok, it’s not bad, really. just… so INCONVENIENT.

the girl was discovered with ulcers in the mouth by the teacher, and the doctor confirmed it, but it’s VERY mild, no fever or loss of appetite or decreased energy AT ALL, only the occasional “oww, painnn” when at the peak of it, two angry red spots sprouted on each side of her tongue and she’d just eaten something slightly spicy/salty. (but then again, it could have just been a dramatic act for the sake of being dramatic.) a few tiny red spots appeared on the sole of her feet a day or two later, but that’s about it. she refuses the Bonjela (i don’t blame her, can’t they make Bonjela taste like strawberry or grape or something?) and there’s no medication to make it go away any faster.

the boy, on account of being a sibling, and therefore highly susceptible to infection, was also not allowed to go to school. tried to prevent them from sharing food, exchanging kisses, wrestling and other sibling acts of endearment that involve physical contact, but of course, this is impossible.

it’s Day 6, and the doctor has extended the girl’s MC for another 4 days, till end of the week before issuing a letter to say she can go back to school, which means the boy, who has a graduation concert next week to prepare for (!) btw, will have to stay imprisoned at home too. with new tiny red spots on his hands.

“my friend in school also got H-F-Family, you know,” the girl will tell you.

ok, enjoy your H-F-Family holiday…



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his second book creation – slightly higher in content and closer to his real ‘voice’.

(i must disclaim that this is purely a work of fiction because his daddy hardly ever speeds OR has ever been slapped with a speeding ticket by a traffic police.)

bus number 4017 goes to..?

his teacher explained that he originally entitled it ‘Fast and Furious’, but seeing how his daddy supposedly got summoned – though one could argue that this would likely cause a reaction of fury from the daddy, or the traffic police, OR even the driver of the bus number 4017 who got overtaken – and there could well be copyright issues due to the movie of the same name, he was asked for another title. to which he replied, “ok lah! then ‘Fast and Fined’!” (i may have plagiarised.)

the cut-out vehicles and jolly traffic policeman were coloured on both sides, and glued between plastic (transparency?) sheets, so that you can flip them over the left and right pages to create a layered effect, which i thought was kinda cool. heh.


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author: aniq izhan
illustrator: aniq izhan

this isn’t so much of a storybook, as in, it doesn’t exactly have, well… a story.

each laminated page is replicated with the eponymous ‘ghost’ missing parts of his face, and cut-out holes to show the parts which suddenly appear with the accompanying text as the book progresses…

1. 2.
3. 4. 5.

(ps: please ignore/forgive the grammar mistake on the third page. i guess his ‘editor’ missed it out. :p)


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as part of the theme on ‘compassion’, the kids’ pre-school held a ‘charity drive’ where parents traded packs of powdered beverages and cereals for their kids’ pieces of work, and the items would then be donated to an old folks’ home, which the boy will be visiting tomorrow.

anyway, the boy’s teacher had been telling me about his storybook creations, and he’d given us a ‘summary’ of them earlier himself, so we were pret-ty curious.

and boy, was i impressed – with ALL the K2 kids’ storybooks!

they were SO CUTE. i was practically squealing in delight at every one of them, scrawly writings and all.

look, there was even a pop-up book! with a happy ending! (“after some time, they got a baby. they lived happily ever after.” – obviously, written by a girl, and i gotta say, i really liked the ones written by the girls.)

like this one, by qaisara. the storyline and language were simple (a girl deals with her baby sister who always wants her things, by repeatedly denying them from her – until the final page when the baby wanted a hug and she accedes), but tugged at my heartstring the few seconds it took me to read it. (i am a wuss I KNOW IT.)

(postnote: his teacher told me that the baby is actually an imaginary one because the author is the youngest in the family, and i thought that just adds another dimension to the story – a girl’s longing for a baby sister. awww?)

ouh check out the ‘super tornado’ book – more pop-ups! and if you know me, you’d know i’m crazy for pop-ups. (never mind that this is hardly sophisticated paper-engineering – but still! love it.)

the boy’s two books weren’t pop-ups, though. (darn!) both use a similar technique as the ant book above, with cut-outs and lamination. (more on that in the next blog post.)

i really have to hand it to their teachers for what i imagine must’ve been a tremendous task, of planning and helping every kid to generate ideas and come up with drafts for stories and illustrations, to the actual creative execution of each book (with its bindings and pasting and laminating, etc). i like that the kids experience and explore such outlets of creativity in pre-school, at the same time weaving in elements of literacy and a dash of fun.

and the sense of pride you see in their faces when they hold up their own creations or show them to their parents, is.. well yeah, priceless.

oh, the little ones were not left out – the girl’s playgroup class made some musical instruments out of recycled materials. very cute… but i like the storybooks better. (i think she liked them better too. :))


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P1100778, originally uploaded by izadd.

had the mid-year parent-teacher-conference with aniq’s teachers last saturday. nothing much we don’t already know, really. basically that he CAN’T KEEP STILL (his hands and mouth are always moving!), very expressive, not shy, and gets along with everyone… and no, he still doesn’t read, like 75% of his class (i asked!) but recognises most alphabets (though still gets some of them mixed up). and i suppose there IS improvement in those slightly legible chicken scrawls… lol. i know i’m not supposed to worry TOO much, and shouldn’t be comparing, and he IS a december baby, so tendency to have to catch up with his cohort… but he likes schooling and learning enough to not complain or whine about it at this point, and loves getting us to read to him, so i guess that’s good enough for now. (but dammit, off to phonics class you go to, little boy…)


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as i’ve mentioned more than enough times, i’ve never been much of a sports person, but since the beginning of 2010 (see post on New Year’s resolution) and the realisation that my body is in slow but certain deterioration (my bones creak every time i bend down these days, what’s that about?!), i’ve taken to gearing my activities to the less sedentary. well, as much as i can, anyway. (i STILL can’t cycle.)

and i sorta had an epiphany – maaaaybe the reason why i never warmed up to this whole active lifestyle was because my parents didn’t really bring me out to do sporty activities as a kid, or supported my school sports’ events? i don’t know, just a theory. (so what DID we do then? i think i was indoors a lot. my childhood’s a little hazy – and apparently, lazy.)

anyway, the kids’ school had a sports league thingy, in line with their theme and i suppose, the upcoming youth olympic games, and i thought, what the heck, it’s one saturday morning that’s already thought-out for us. (we’re always racking our brains thinking up of things to make them tired on weekends, so they’d turn in early at the end of the day – not that it ever works.)

Gunny sack raceHurdles 3-legged race

Ping pong scoop DSC_0036 Shuttle run

hey do you remember your school sports days?? the only thing i remember is the ICE COLD MILO they used to give out in small plastic cups! it tasted SO delicious back then, for some reason. of course, the rest of my memory is of hiding in corners of the bleachers with other anti-sports friends. heh.

speaking of friends, each school had displays of what they did to tie in with the theme, and guess who aniq introduced us to…



… the mysterious girfriend he’s always talking about. she IS real.

i liked that they highlighted little anecdotes and photos as evidence of what they did or talked about in class, coz i think most times, we parents have little idea what they do in there, five days a week. my daily question of “what did you do in school today?” has them invariably answering in the standard “i eat” / “i play toys” / “i donno”, or if i’m lucky, random ramblings of who pushed who, or who was naughty.

DSC_0187 Clay medal

and importantly, we also got to see who they hang out with, five days a week.

DSC_0226 DSC_0204
DSC_0271 DSC_0273


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the thing with siblings, they can get pretty competitive, and i think even more so if their age gap is close. one of our tricks to make them do something is to turn it into a competition. most times it works.

another thing we like to do is go “who wants to [fill in activity]?” eg. “who wants to eat ice-cream?” (“ME!”) or “who wants to go swimming?” (“ME!”) etc. the daddy thinks sometimes they don’t even hear what he’s suggesting, they simply go “ME!” coz they don’t want to lose out. so he tried an experiment by garbling his words. “who wants to grgmmbfyabbayabbabla?” “ME!!”

for the purpose of this photo exercise, i’d asked “who wants to eat popcorn later?”. guess the answer.

"who wants to go to school, put up your hand!"

i don’t know how they can be so chipper in the morning. they came back late from a party last night (bad parenting, as usual), yet here they are, all ready to take on the world the next morning… while we adults are cursing away the monday blues.



and i better remember my popcorn promise later in the evening.


now, who’s going to have a great week ahead? ;)


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am looking at auni’s documentation of her first two weeks at the centre.

it reads something like this. (yes i’m typing it out. don’t call me crazy. i’m a mommy.)

day 1: went in the class independently… sat down for a while and walked to the dramatic corner… played with manipulatives… ate the chicken only.

day 2: went in the class. didn’t cry… sang some familiar songs… enjoyed the walk around the neighbourhood… played puzzles… ate rice but did not finish.

day 3: did not cry… had storytelling… played at blocks corner… had dory fish + rice + vege… able to relate to the story at storytime (Adam’s Daycare).

day 4: cried (!!)… settled down… played at fine motor corner… had chicken mushroom + rice… sat down well at storytime.

day 5: cried… had chinese lesson… went to the library corner… had 2nd helping at lunch… able to sing along with the book, ‘Wheels on the Bus’.

day 6: cried… settled and joined in the music & movement… explored with the discovery corner… chose a book for the class.

day 7: cried for a while… did painting on easel board… had fun exploring with water… had baked chicken + rice.

day 8: cried for a while but settled down… dramatization for the book ‘Wheels on the Bus’… played at the playground… able to answer questions when asked.

day 9: had music & movement… played at discovery corner… activity at the void deck… played at the chinese corner… had 2nd helping at lunch… sat well at storytime.

day 10: sang songs… played with dough… enjoyed herself at the swing… played at dramatic corner… had steamed egg… chose a book for the class.

we must have made her miss four days out of that two weeks, coz that’s all i have. (wait, actually, 5 + 5 weekdays do technically count as two weeks of school, right?)

and don’t worry, coz she’s been there a month now and has since been reported as going straight into her class with nary a tear. i wasn’t too worried about the crying thing anyway coz, well, she IS barely two years old, what can one expect? they’re dramatic like that! they have good days and they have bad days. heck, i’m 32 and even i want to burst into tears when i reach work everyday. (ok lah, exaggerating…)

also, for the most parts, she’s pretty easy-going by nature, and like most children, adaptable to changes.


when i leave for work in the mornings, she puckers up her lips and gives me a cheerful “bye bye!”, and that, well, makes me NOT cry when i reach work everyday. :D


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