Little E has been attending Wee Care’s Bright Starts I and II since 29 June 2015, only on Mondays and Tuesdays per week. Each day is a 3-hr drop-off programme. Today was the third week, which means it was also her 5th day in school. Unfortunately, we have decided to withdraw her from attending school, because of a variety of reasons.
- Once a confident and happy toddler, we have witnessed a change in her personality towards being timid and insecure in even daily activities.
- Little E has began to have terrible nightmares after I started dropping her off for school.
- For the parent-accompanied classes that she attends on a regular basis, Little E has also began to cry and appeared scared when we arrived at the centres.
- She is currently undergoing the process of weaning, that adds to her insecurity and separation anxiety.
J has been very concerned with Little E’s change in her temperaments as well as the recurring nightmares where she would cry and scream out words associated with the fear of going to school.
We understand very well what brought about the above changes in Little E have absolutely nothing to do with Wee Care. It is merely a phase in the life of a toddler who is still too young and not ready to go to school with a group of children who are all older and bigger than her. Moreover, the weaning process has further rendered her fearful that mommy may not be there to comfort her when she needed my presence. We realised we were wrong in thinking that Elizabeth was ready for a drop-off programme. We would like to wait till she could clearly vocalise her needs and worries, and articulate to us what she does in school, the things she learnt, and if she enjoyed school, etc. before we send her to school again.
We felt it was a pity to let her leave such an excellent kindergarten. But we certainly hope to return when we find her more ready in the near future, with fully developed speech and increased independence.
So today, I brought Little E to school as usual for a Tuesday, but we were there to bid farewell to her teachers, to let her experience an appropriate closure to school-going for the time being. We truly appreciate the extra care and measures taken by Wee Care to accommodate Little E and helping her feel at ease during her time in school. We can’t thank Wee Care enough for the love and sincerity showered upon us since our first experience with the centre.
As I drove Little E to school, she has already begun showing signs of sadness. Instead of being the chatty baby she has always been, she was silent, and I could see tears welled up in her eyes. She even recited sorrowfully, “Tuesday, Mommy pick me up…” along the way. When my car turned into the school’s car park, she couldn’t hold in her fear and tears any longer…
She clung on to me when we made our way up to the kindergarten, but as soon as she realised we were only there to say goodbye to all her teachers, I could feel her began to relax her tight grip on me. Nonetheless, still no smiles from her beautiful face… at least not until we left the building and drove off.
Instead of having to miss our usual mothers’ group fellowship, which has been switched to Tuesdays because of Little E’s music classes on Thursdays, we do not have to find another day to accommodate us again.
Today’s fellowship was held at Pearl’s restaurant, Kombi Rocks. While waiting for Cheryl, I had fun with Little E on a grassy patch opposite the diner. We were merely enjoying each other’s company, and seeing my baby return to her usual joyful self literally melted my heart. Her smiles further affirmed the correct decision we have made.
Upon arriving at Kombi Rocks, I was charmed by the vintage diner as well as the impressive multi-coloured fleet of Volkswagen Kombi parked right outside. The iconic vehicle, which was introduced in Germany in 1950, has succumbed to environmental legislation, meaning it will no longer be produced in Brazil or anywhere else in the world. How precious are these rides and what dedication Pearl and her husband have in preserving and maintaining these extinct vehicles! Kudos to them!
The interior did not fail to wow us either. We were greeted by the intimidating Green Hulk at the entrance of Kombi Rocks. Little E probably found Mr Green Hulk too daunting, she would not get near him even though Isaac and Asher appeared not the least concerned with his presence.
The restaurant was filled with classy vintage decorations that shout “look at me!”. I was lost in all the old charm, and found myself being transported to the 50’s… I know instinctively, J would love this place.
We decided to order our food according to Pearl’s recommendations. We were not the only ones who were enthusiastic about lunch today, our little ones were clearly excited too!
We ordered the signature Thai beef noodles soup – I had mine with bee hoon, while Cheryl had hers with charcoal ramen. Everything about the bowl of wholesome goodness was lip-smackingly delicious. And the chilli condiment? Power was the only word I could think of! And the handmade prawn roll is a must-order! They are too good to be described…
As we were digging in, both into our food as well as in our book discussion, I couldn’t help but be so thankful for today’s fellowship. This morning was kind of a mixed feeling for me. As I heeded J’s suggestion to withdraw Little E from school, I was reluctant initially especially when the teachers and principal reassured us that children crying at drop-off is normal, and that they will soon be fine and begin to love attending school. However, I couldn’t agree more with J that it is certainly not normal to let children cry like this. Will our Lord Jesus Christ deem it as normal? Certainly not. Our intention has always been to encompass Little E in an environment filled with love and security. Not that Wee Care is deficient in doing so, but there are just too many signs that tell us Little E will eventually be ready when she is a little older. After all, there is really no hurry to send her to school at all!
To witness my 22+ mo daughter’s delight in being with mommy, I really enjoy having her around me, being my 24/7 sidekick. Those hours when she was in school for the past 5 days when she attended Wee Care, time ticked by so slowly, half of the time I was just worrying and thinking about her.
Each phase is a season in life. And how short this season will be! To enjoy nurturing my child from the time the sun rises to the time it sets. I have began to understand that contentment lies not in rushing toward the next phase or in longing for what has passed, but in enjoying every moment of the phase that God has very generously put us in. Soaking up the delights of having children who are just this age, and trying my hardest to commit the beauty of this day to memory.
So, in the morning, I will lie beside Little E, waiting for her to awaken by herself, then greet her with genuine excitement in my voice and the warmest smile on my face. Regardless if we be at the library, at home, in the pool, doing anything and everything, or just doing nothing, each day is a big day in itself, because this day will never pass our way again…
So today, I give thanks for bidding farewell to school for Little E, and allowing her to experience a happy closure for the time being; and being able to meet Cheryl and Pearl for fellowship over great food, in an exceptional nostalgic atmosphere that is beaming with retro vibes. But most importantly, our spiritual hunger was fulfilled through our book discussion.
I can’t thank God enough for this mothers group. God has indeed provided me with such fine friends who put Him as their utmost priority. Their zest never fail to encourage and spur me on in my spiritual walk with The Lord. None of us are perfect, and will never be perfect, but we can be certain that one day, Christ Jesus who is able to keep us from stumbling, will make us spotless and blemish-free, and cause us to stand in His holy presence, with exceeding joy. Oh! How we look forward to that day… May The Lord give us grace and mercy to see that day. Amen.