First of all, we did as the Romans and enrolled them in summer activities. After rolling my eyes at parents who schedule their kids, I scheduled mine. In my defense, V who is usually the chief eye-roller in this regard, was all, you need to find them stuff to do. And I agreed. Lazy days are great and all, but when a kid is used to school, to suddenly have open days on end can get a bit much. When we were young, I recall we used to hang out with other kids our age but in HK, that has to be scheduled and since most kids have 1000 things going on, they’re not going to just be available. Also, this was a scorcher of a summer so not many outdoor excursions could be planned though we did do little minibreaks as a family.
Anyhoo, our estate is awesome for this because the estate clubhouse itself offers a range of classes in the summer that are reasonably priced. So popular are they that there is a lucky draw to see if you’ll get a place. And with our luck, Mimi ended up getting a place in all three we applied for (I had expected we’d probably get placed in one or if lucky two) while Nene didn’t get a place in any. It worked out in the end, with the help of some strategising on the part of clubhouse staff, and Nene was able to get into two of the classes Mimi was in. I wanted them together because it’s more convenient plus they won’t have any anxiety if they’re in the same class. The advantages of having kids one on top of the other, you know.
One of the classes was swimming, which I was sure Mimi would struggle with if Nene wasn’t there. And sure enough, on the first day, she started whining that she didn’t want to go. However, Nene started walking and I pretended I hadn’t heard her and she went along. Unfortunately, that class wasn’t a success. The teachers kept changing and none of them were very good, plus six kids is a lot for beginners. I think I might have made more progress with them myself.
We also did playdates with their friends from school. They enjoyed the one’s with Nene’s friends, but alas, the one with the little boy who wanted to be Mimi’s friend didn’t go well. Whenever I asked Mimi if she wanted a playdate with him she’d say no, or she’d say yes, then change her mind on the day after it had been arranged. It was better when we were in his playroom as it was new and exciting, but in ours, Mimi seemed to want to hang with anyone but little D. The last one was completely embarrassing – D feel down and cried, then Mimi started crying for something and D went up to her and she apparently hit him. I didn’t see it, but D came up to us and told us. Then, I had to give Mimi a talking to, she had a meltdown and I had to leave for an appointment with my supervisor, and thus had to rush D and his mum out of there (though I had told them in advance that I needed to leave). I never heard from her the rest of the summer and the memory still makes me cringe.
Mimi seemed to be labouring under the illusion that she would be in the same class as Nene and his friends. Because we kept saying she’d be going to K1, which Nene was in, only she never twigged that they would be going on to K2. She only realised this on the day I went in for the parents orientation and came back and told them about their teachers. Alas, the teacher is no longer the one who taught Nene so she’s an unfamiliar face for Mimi. There was another meltdown about that.
In the meantime, I’m in the throes of applying for a primary place for Nene. Part of our strategy in having him repeat K1 when we moved him to the current school was that he could just stay there till K3 at which point we’d most likely be moving out of HK. But now we realised that the K3 class at the current school is uncertain, plus just on the off-chance we don’t move, we’d better have a school place for him. Also, as a result of us keeping him back a year, I now realise it’s going to be a problem for him to get into half the schools in Hong Kong. It’s such a seller’s market here that the schools don’t even need to adjust an inch. So given that I don’t want to pay a big fat debenture and his age restrictions, I have a very narrow shortlist. Trying to breathe, while making multiple copies of documents.
Tomorrow they start school again. Nene will be fine but I expect drama from Meemer. I’ve resolved not to go in, as my presence only worsens things. Fingers crossed.