The month-long school holiday has come and gone.
Like the past school holidays, I did not sign the boys up for any holiday programme. There was minimal structured learning of any sort too, not that we had much time for it either.
The highlight of their holiday was the family vacation we took to Langkawi (more about that coming up) and spending the remaining weeks with their grannies who hailed from London and stayed with us for five weeks.
The foursome bonded daily, through meals, playtime and even at bedtime.
Marcus has grown incredibly close to Grandma who acquired the reputation (from me) of being his personal short-order cook. Though normally this is not a good thing, I let her indulge him since it was only for a few weeks.
Every morning, she would greet him with a 'What would you like to have for breakfast, my darling?'. Then she busied herself in the kitchen for the rest of the day to prepare for him lovely small meals, several times a day. Who wouldn't enjoy a pamper like that? :>
They played Blokus a few times daily and read a lot together, including his comic books. She was his biggest fan when he played piano and would exclaim and praise heaps when he drew her something.
He would run to her out of the blue to shower her with kisses and cuddles. They snuggled up close on the couch to watch movies (boy, they sure watched a record number this month!). On days when she went out, he would count the hours before her return.
I just know that for the rest of his life, my little Marcus will remember Grandma's gentle ways with him as part of his childhood memory. How precious is that!
Peanut performing a 'stunt' to show Grandma what he learnt during swimming lesson.
A maze that Marcus made to test Grandpa.
Chipsy, on the other hand, has claimed Grandpa to be his BEST FRIEND! He would head straight to the grannies' bed in the morning and placed himself right between the two sleepy heads. Sometimes drifting back to sleep in their arms.
The duo would fly the model helicopter, shape some creatures with playdoh or create with Lego. Every now and then, they would take a break from play to watch some TV while grandpa dozed off. Or they would chill by taking turns to tickle each other till Chipsy collapsed into a helpless, giggly heap.
Marcus learnt a great deal of how to draw objects in 3-D and shading/shadowing etc from Grandpa.
For me, it was a great respite. I simply let the grannies take over the daily care of my boys during most of that period. It was refreshing to have the extra help around.
The weeks of bonding finally came to an end last Friday. The boys were sad to say goodbye, especially Marcus who cried buckets at the airport and again the moment he returned to an 'empty' home.
Such is reality, unfortunately. When loved ones live 10,000 km away from us, we can only look forward to infrequent visits and be contented with the limited time that we can spend together.
But because of this, they (kids and grannies alike) cherish the time together more. Considering that they spent 35 full days a year, it is not too bad and probably is already more physical time than some grannies would spend with grandkids who live in the same city.