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School’s in!!

It’s January 2nd and the year has well and truly begun. The kids are all back from their first day at school and I’m hiding out here munching on my mom’s leftover fruitcake to recover from the day.

//A digression coming your way – I’m somewhat of a fruitcake connoisseur, and this is an excellent fruitcake that my mom makes every christmas. Some fruitcakes, you have to munch through a whole bunch of cake to get to the rum-soaked fruit, but this one has awesome fruit to cake ratio where every bite is a wonderful surprise.//

Truett started Primary 1 today.

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I’m usually unfazed by this sort of thing but I have to admit, I was all nervy about his first day at Primary School. I labeled all his belongings, ironed his uniform, then packed and repacked his bag several times, only for the husband to take everything out from his bag upon discovering that he doesn’t need to bring textbooks to school this morning.

I think all this anxiety could be due to my own experience with Primary 1 many years ago. I don’t remember much else about Primary 1 except for these 3 very vivid memories.

1. I was a bawler on the first day of school. And second and third and fourth and fifth day. While other kids were saying their hellos and making friends, I hid at a corner and cried my eyes out because I’m averse to change and in Primary 1, everything changed. New school, new friends, new teachers, new classes, it was terribly overwhelming for a 7-year-old.

2. One time, a kid forgot him homework and the teacher went absolutely bonkers on him. She yelled and hurled his jotter book across the length of the classroom and right out the door. I don’t think I’ve ever been as terrified in my entire life as I was in that moment. My thoughts weren’t advanced as a 7-year-old but I remember thinking thoughts along the lines of “holy macaroons, it’s about to get real. No more of that “come, teacher give you a hug” preschool nonsense. You forget your homework and you’re barbequed satay bee hoon.”

3. Closely related to the second memory is that time where I indeed forgot to bring my homework. I ran to the payphone during recess and with trembling fingers, I dialled home and begged my mom to bring it down for me, because if she didn’t, I was sure that I’d be EXECUTE! before that day was over.

Fast forward 26 years and my son is starting his illustrious career as a Primary 1-er. First day of school and he’s already way more responsible than I was. He was up at 6 this morning and ready by 6.15am. He then spent the next 20 minutes reading his Math textbook??!! before making his way to school with the husband.

When I picked him up from school, he ran to give Kirsten a hug and said, “Primary 1 is quite fun and the chicken rice is nicer than any other chicken rice in the world. Next year when you are big like me, we can both go together.”

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1 day down, about 200 more to go!!

Update: Upon inspection, I found this ball of kiam chye in his bag. I think it’s supposed to be his time-table but a crucial piece got chewed off?? and now I have no idea what PHE, AC, PAL and CME are supposed to mean. So begins the first of many chats with his form teacher. :(




Preschool – Nailed it.

tru graduation

4 years ago, Truett went to preschool for the first time. He stood at the door with a look that can only be described as absolute terror, with tears streaming down his sad baby face as I kissed him goodbye. That first day of school didn’t go very well at all.

Right up to that point, I was there for him every minute of every day. We were a team and we did everything together. I was there for his first step, his first words, the first time he fell and scraped his knee. Our world was all about playgrounds, mid-morning grocery runs, snuggles in bed, books at nap time, walks in the park, and I was there for all of it.

It took us both some time to adjust to a life with preschool in the picture. I was sad too because I felt like I was sending him off on a grand adventure that I couldn’t be a part of.

Everyday, I would tell him I missed him and ask about his day. How fun was school today? Missed mommy? Did you make new friends? What was your favourite moment of the day? He’d reply with a “ok, yes, yes, nothing.” Sometimes, he’d say, “I had fun.”

At first, the teachers told us he was painfully shy and a bit of a loner. His best friend was the only other quiet boy in class and their idea of being best friends was playing with toys alone within the vicinity of each other. They would sit near each other and hang out alone.

Over the past 4 years, he’s become this sweet, self-assured little man. When I picked him up from school last week, his friends yelled “BYE TRUETT!!” and he yelled bye right back with ease and confidence, giving one of them a bro hug before running off with his backpack. After school these days, he’d tell me about funny conversations he had with his friends, the crazy stuff they did and all the fun he had, and I’d listen with so much pride because I was listening to a boy who just 4 years ago, would hide in corners and close his eyes so others couldn’t see him.

In a few months, he’ll be graduating from preschool and heading off for new adventures in Primary 1. I couldn’t be happier for him.

I told him he’s grown to be a really fine young man and he said “I’m a young gentleman, mom!”

Yes. Yes, you are.