7:20pm. My mobile rings. It’s A2, asking where I was. … What transpired was so endearingly typical of A2 and so amusing I just had to WhatsApp S about it.
It’s impossible to have an affair when you have four kids that can check up on you anytime, anywhere!
Then again, it’s a privilege to have close relationship with one’s teens, pre-teen and learner-teen.
Earlier on, after school & stayback
4pm+. The kids’ friends I and H visited for a short impromptu playdate. Cos I offered to take them with me when I took A4 to English tuition at LitPlus, and walk them home (nearby) from there. This would give YY a bit of peace and quiet at home, without anymore send-&-pick duties.
The plan for after the playdate was to just send I and H home, and head home right away. So the boys’ pleas to continue their playdate at I and H’s flat were overridden by YY (I and H’s mom) and me. YY’s rationale that there was school the next day stopped all arguments.
So A2 decided to turn back home, instead of walking with us to the busstop. A3 came with us, and then decided to join me on the entire journey. I did phone A2 to let him know the change of plans, but he still preferred to stay home.
~7:18pm. (I remember it was around 7:15-7:18pm only cos we were looking for the 3rd-night super moon, and A3 figured it was too early to spot the moon) It was after all these drop-offs, after the bus ride home, as A3 and I were walking the last stretch home that A2 phoned.
My herd is already between seven and almost-15 years old. Yet, I continue to not have toilet privacy. Within the five to 10 minutes that I was holed up, I’ve been paid not one but two visits. And by the two oldest too!
A1 wanted to know if the hair salon was opened today for her to cut her hair. “Yes. But, this being a Saturday, it may be crowded.”
A2 wanted to know when he could have his escape room-style outing with best friends JQ, J and JW (and maybe another new friend from school) for his belated birthday celebration. “I dunno. Maybe next Saturday? You go arrange and confirm with your friends when they can make it.”
In that short time, two “major” tasks were achieved. The throne’s the best place to make decisions from.
When you give instructions, better be sure to cover all perspectives!
Back in the days when Singapore MRT stations’ train platforms did not have glass walls for safety, the automated announcement would ask people to “Please stand behind the yellow line” whenever a train is about to pull into the station? Today, with the glass walls erected, they’ve done away with the announcement, but the yellow lines remain.
The Story Trigger
9:03am. Buona Vista MRT Station. Waiting for train, taking A2 and A3 to a one-off Scuba Diving for Kids workshop.
My Mr Smarty Pants A3 tells me with a straight face, “Stand behind the yellow line.”
Blur mommy didn’t catch the drift. So, A3 repeated it several times, facing me with a serious look.
For those who still don’t catch the drift … Which side of the yellow line is behind?
Every normal Asian mom would have been horrified by me. But I am no normal Asian mom. As my doctor calls me, I’m an oddball.
First real run in the rain
It’s raining. It’s pouring, in fact! At certain points, the downpour rained down with a vengeance. And A2 was with his soccer group, playing in a tournament.
This must be his first really play in the rain. And he looked like he was having fun.
Most Asian moms would have worried about their kids falling ill from playing in the rain. I was tempted to join A2. Except that the cold weather from the concurrent rain had made me feel like peeing! I cannot risk getting any colder!
7:09pm. At a busstop near Queenstown Swimming Complex after A4’s swimming lesson and a subsequent play in the shallow pool(s). Impatient with the wait for a bus we could take. Verbalised my contemplation whether to take a bus or walk to Sheng Siong two busstops away to get ice-cream. Walking would be over a tiring distance, but would take only 8 minutes. Bus would give us aircon comfort, but it would take 11 minutes to arrive and then still need to make its way to our stop. I couldn’t decide which to take.
After a while, A4 said, “But if we walk slower? Then walk will be longer.”
Busy, busy mind
To have said that, she would have had to process these concepts: 8 minutes versus 11; we could possibly end up walking slower; walking slow would extend 8 minutes to more, possibly exceeding 11 minutes; and if that were so, we would be better off doing the longer wait for the bus.
Moment of pride
Her mind registered and worked out numbers, and facts of life, very fast. And for her age too!
Wee hours. I had showered and was unable to sleep then. So I continued working.
Around 1am+ (I think) rustling sounds were heard coming from the floor, off the edge of the bed on S’s side. It was A4, shifting about while asleep. Something was said then, but I couldn’t make out what it was. (I think this episode was after I showered for the night. Can’t recall for sure)
She quietened soon after. I thought I had peace for the night now.
But then, after some time, the next voice from behind me. A3. He was sleeping in our bed, on my side, which was right behind me as I worked at my laptop. He was so loud I thought he had woken up.