Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What Kids Say...

Last night Alexander was looking for something to read (he's become a voracious reader and considering I nearly compromised my liver trying to teach him how to read in second grade this is no insignificant detail. In fact, he gets away with a lot because he's reading all the time...I'm that happy, still.) Anyway, he picked up my copy of "Catcher in the Rye." I had a moment of thinking: "Wait a minute, that's not really appropriate for a just recently turned 9 yr old. But that feeling was replaced with an intense curiousity to what he would say and what he would think about it. After a few pages he put it down saying he liked it but he wasn't going to read it right now. And then, after further consideration, he came up with: "Was this book like the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' of your times." On the mark, I'd say.
Eliot last night couldn't fall asleep. I started reading her "Cinderella" and she burst out in tears: "What if you die, then I'll get a stepmother. Or if you fight with Daddy and he changes his mind about loving you and then I get another stepmother. Or if you die, but then you come back and I already have a stepmother." First, I reasoned that I wasn't dying, that I would always be her mother, and I even added as a reassurance: "your Daddy would never marry somebody evil. She would be nice." But this provoked an even more frantic reaction: "but he doesn't know anybody, he doesn't have any girl friends, it might be somebody who seems nice and then is evil."
Hard to fight that sort of logic. So, I did what any rational and sensible mother would do. Put away "Cinderella" and pulled out "If You Give A Mouse a Cookie" (Thanks Arlene!)
(Photo taken on Alexander's 9th birthday. He's wearing the cap Eliot just gave him as a present.)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Twelve Sure Signs You are An Expat Mom Living in Singapore

1) You decide that your morning walk to drop the kids off at school is close enough to taking an ashtanga yoga course.
2) If you hear the term: "trailing spouse" one more time...
3) You measure distance in taxi-minute terms.
4) You'd like your children to learn mandarin...you just don't want to be a part of it.
5) The only time you can wear your favorite jeans and sweater is at the movies (where it feels like winter in Alaska).
6) Your handbag includes mosquito repellent, sunscreen, umbrella, and your kid's bathing suit.
7) You miss your car, your best friend, your relatives. In that order.
8) You know the difference between a gekko and a lizard.
9) You become an expert at dealing with jetlag.
10) At $10 a box, you qualify cheerios as a luxury item.
11) You don't fight with your kids so much...but that could be because you can't hear them over the construction work.
12) You disregard the humidity index of 100% and think a picnic at the Botanical Gardens is a good idea.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ten Sure Signs You Are An Expat Kid Living in Singapore

1) Your parents don't ground you. They threaten to turn off the air-conditioning.
2) When you meet a friend for the first time you ask them: "So how big is your pool?"
3) You complain that there is something about the kindergarten class you don't like but can't quite put your finger on. (It's the Mandarin.)
4) Anything below a ten hour flight on a plane leaves you disappointed. "That's all?"
5) Roti prata and seasoned seaweed are your favorite snacks.
6) You think the corner on the sidewalk outside your condo is for hailing taxis.
7) You dream about wearing gloves and sweaters or even a long sleeved shirt.
8) When they find a cobra at school, you reassure your mother: "It was just a little one."
9) When you don't see your Dad at home you wonder if he's in China or Japan?
10) You've probably travelled business class at least once. Your parents realize this was a huge mistake. You unfailingly ask them before any trip from this moment on: "Are we travelling business class?"

(Featured in Expat Living magazine, October 2010)

Very Cheeky

Grade 4 and Kindergarten 3 had an assembly together yesterday and when I went to pick up the kids Alexander reported that he had seen Eliot kissing (trying to kiss) a boy. He was not very pleased. When I asked Eliot if the boy had been happy she replied: "Of course, no. Boys don't like girls." But why did you kiss him then?
"I liked his hair."
So it DOES start this early. Great.
I recently read that Angelina Jolie's mom was called from her kindergarten because she was kissing all the boys when she was little.
So there is a moral to this story.
Girls who kiss boys in kindergarten end up with Brad Pitt? No, wait, give me a minute.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of School

Kids are back in school, I met the teachers who all seem great. I was worried that AJ had forgotten all of his Mandarin after spending the summer in Italy. But apparently I didn't have to worry because his Chinese teacher kept reassuring me that he remembered everything (with a thumbs up sign and everything). I'm not totally convinced, though, as it seemed to me he was answering her questions in Italian: "si, va bene, grazie." Hmmmm.