Monday, June 4, 2007

Seoul, Talkative Nicholas, School

We had such a lovely holiday in Seoul, first time without the kids. and wow.. as much as we both love the kids, it is such a break. We did miss the babies so much though and talked about them so much. The night we left for airport, we kissed and cuddled Marcus who was going to bed and when he saw us carrying our luggage out of the house, he suddenly realised what was going on, despite our explaining long before, and sadly he looked at us and said 'marcus not going'.. aww.. we felt guilty straightaway about leaving them behind. Anyway, great to be back and to be able to cuddle and kiss them. Nothing beats having our own babies.

Chic-chic has become super talkative just after a week. So fun to listen and watch him "talk" so much about and to anything and everything. I am going to miss this stage so much in future though there are always new developments to look forward to. He is so inquisitive all the time and idolizes Marcus so much and fascinated with everything that Marcus does/says. His personality is slowly emerging now and I can see how he is quite a go-getter too, just like Marcus. :) While he is a sweet little baby who smiles a lot, he is definitely not a shy and easygoing boy who makes no demands. In fact i can see the way he socialises that he already has his own ideas of what he wants/dislikes and is not easy to change his mind. Marcus was like this too and we are always pleased about it. However I do make it a point to encourage their inquisitive minds and not to say "no" unless it is a matter of grave danger or when absolutely necessary and i am sure that it has positively affected Marcus' development when he was younger. I must still make more efforts to take the boys out 1 to 1 more often. I realise how much Marcus adores me whenever he is out with me alone, it is always when papa is around that I get demoted. Else, I'm still #2 in his heart. But with N, I'm his first love, so for now, it is enough consolation and I try not to be affected by it. Enjoy the babies while I can.

It is evident that Marcus has come to enjoy school very much. He is always smiley when we pick him up from school and whenever I peeped at him, he always seems to be having fun. Got to know a mother whose daughter attends same class as Marcus and she told me that Marcus' school is one of the 3 Montessori pre schools she found in Singapore which is true to the method and she knows because she was formerly a Montessori-trained teacher who taught in 2 schools in Singapore for 4 yrs. While selecting schools for her gal, she actually went to most of the Montessori schools, so she did her research. Though I didn't need any cofirmation from someone else and it is unlikely that my opinions would change much even if she or someone else were to tell me otherwise, it is nevertheless very good to hear such excellent reviews about my choice. Anyway, fees just went up for his next term and I am still quite horrified by how expensive his preschool education (plus SM) is per month. I think it works out to about $800/mth. Hmm..

I took Marcus to SM yesterday and it was truly amazing to see how good his memory is when it comes to matters of his interests. At the flash memory segment whereby modes of transport pictures were used, he got 8 out of 10 cards right in the correct sequence and I could only remember 3 myself!! gosh! And he was so fast at the segment (don't know the name) in which he was given a picture of a swan and required to arrange the soft shapes to form that picture. He was the first to complete it without any help from me. We got back the assessment from SM which detailed his development in the Physical, Perception, Social and Linguistics skills as comparison to the 'what it should be' standard for kids born in the same month as M. His physical dev was within expectations for those born in Sept 04, and above expectations for the last 3 categories. However I doubt the accuracy of this assessment since it is based on the answers given by parents to a set of approx 200 questions. While I tried to answer as honestly as I could, there were also many questions in the "physical dev" segment which I had to leave blank since i had not "tested" him before, so I wasn't sure if he could do them or not.

Chatted with friends recently about enrichment classes and very interesting to hear what others' views are. While some send their lil ones to too many 'schools', others I know view such activities as "unnatural" and prefer their kids grow up without stress and naturally. Which makes me wonder why is 'our' way of growing up any more natural than other ways and how ignorant many young educated parents still are as they view 'child's play' as waste of time and enrichment classes as stressful. I certainly don't agree to sending babies to classes since I know I can do a much better job than many enrichment classes, unless it is something quite extraordinary. But i also don't subscribe to the views of 'growing up naturally' means not playing with toys, though it need not be fancy toys with flashing lights and music and run on batteries.

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