Archive for November, 2016

I’m In Love (with the Library)

November 19, 2016

When I was considering the differences between the cities I have lived in, the library features strongly in my quality of life there. I really love how user-friendly and relevant the library is here. I can put multiple holds on books and media I want at no cost, being in the city means that range of books available is much wider, they help move books from various branches to the location you want, the hold are placed on a shelf where you can pick it up easily so you won’t even have to approach a librarian to get them! And most of all, the book limit is 50 per person!! Which is perfect when you need to borrow 20-30 books a week for your voracious readers.

So when I thought of returning to S’pore, it seriously depresses me that I would be limited to 8 books per person and holds would cost one nd a half dollars per book. It makes going to the library a bit of a gamble since I may not find the book I want there and sometimes series are incomplete, or I’d have to go to different branches to get what I want. It makes exploring different types of books so much more haphazard and so much less attractive.

Defiance

November 18, 2016

Most days, C is like the lovely angelic child that makes me feel really loved and lucky. But in other times, he makes me worry like crazy especially with the emergence of his defiant behavior. Sometimes, when I corrected him about something, it sets off his defiant oppositional mood and he will deliberately reject whatever requests I make, no matter how sensible or how minor.

The other day, we were practicing his karate moves and I wanted to help correct his squatting posture. He was standing too close to me and I was worried that he’ll let out a flying punch right at my face so I asked if he could take a step back. First he said “No, I’m not punching anyway”. In hindsight, I could have just made it a non-issue if I gave in a moved myself but I wasn’t happy that he would say no to such a small request. After some back and forth, he decided that he would turn around instead. Again, maybe I should have just let him be since he was indeed respecting my need to be safe but I wasn’t happy with his defiance that has surfaced again and again. Maybe he just needed some semblance of control, maybe he feels like that saves him face.¬† Maybe he just needs his parents to cede some power to him too. At least we managed to talk it out in the end, and I got to point out that he was saying no to my request not because it didn’t make sense but because he wasn’t happy with me for some other thing prior.

This morning, we had a minor disagreement when I asked him to let me use the sink but he ignored me and continued to preparing his toothbrush. I managed to calmly explain to him why it’s not OK to keep quiet and why he should explain in words that I can have a turn after he quickly washes his toothbrush etc. So we did a do-over and he seemed happy.

Maybe we need to do some practice in effective communication. I find that he can’t seem to say the right words to tell people what they need to know and that really doesn’t serve him well. Like he goes on this rambling, beat about the bush way that makes you have to guess at his meaning. We have a lot to work on. Somehow the worrying never stops, it just grows along with the child.

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Edit: I got a call from school today because they thought he was absent. I got a big shock since he went on the school bus. Then I found out he was late to class (and thus marked absent) because he was tardy to go in. I jumped the gun and thought he was defiant and didn’t want to go in, which made me kinda worried the rest of the morning. Well, he’s back and according to him, he just couldn’t find his backpack and took too long and so missed attendance. Eh heh, just my over-imaginative brain at work again *sheepish*

Learning on Many Fronts

November 3, 2016

This morning, one of the bus stop parents asked what I usually do during the day. I replied, “Oh just the usual cleaning and cooking. And I volunteer at school” I guess what I didn’t think to include was that I am also learning. Learning about how to teach from observing the teachers in school, learning about car maintenance (not the actual maintaining, just basic knowledge as a new driver who knows just about nothing), learning about buying and maintaining a new home (since we are thinking of settling here for a while) and wherever my interests bring me.

So far, I haven’t found something that I would sacrifice time and the serenity that comes with a relaxed schedule. I’ve come to really enjoy volunteering at little C’s classroom. I’ve made connections with many of the kids, and I find that I am surprisingly adept at helping two of the special needs kids in his class. I really applaud the Special Ed teachers and his class teacher because it is so hard to give all the kids the attention they need and it takes a lot of patience to connect with them in a meaningful way AND also get the curriculum covered etc. The two special kids J and B seem to have warmed up to me. J will talk to me and was reading quietly to me today. B would ask me to read to him when he sees me. When I work with them, I feel happy that I’ve made their time in school productive and interesting and I feel appreciated by their teachers too since they are able to work with the other kids as well.

I almost thought I would want to work with kids in some manner as a possible career but unfortunately, these jobs don’t pay very well give the amount of commitment needed and what I’d need to do for a career change. In fact, I’m still coming to terms with this me who enjoys being with children and have patience for them. When I was a teen, I was told by friends that I wasn’t very good at teaching. I was impatient and frustrated because¬† I wasn’t able to give good explanations that others understand. My own brain works in a different manner and sees things in perspectives that are strange to others. I still can’t work because of visa issues anyway, so for now, I’ll continue to give my time and explore this newfound side of myself.