Mimi had to do a thanksgiving project where she decorates a cardboard leaf provided by the school and says what she’s grateful for. When I asked her what she wanted to put on the leaf, she went: “Mummy” and hugged me. I checked with her again whether what she wanted to put on the leaf was “mummy” and she said yes. This girl. I don’t know how I am going to live up to her expectations. Or rather, my expectations of what her expectations should be, because according to her, I have met her expectations.

Rather ironically, or predictably, I ended up getting impatient and yelling at her while we were doing the leaf, because she refused to focus and ended up ruining the nice picture of us she had drawn, and then I ended up having to basically finish the decoration while she allowed herself to be distracted by her brother’s foolish game. On second thought, maybe her expectations are both higher (i.e. completing her project) and lower (okay if I yell) than I think and  I do meet them after all. Hmph.

***


I volunteered to be the class rep for Nene’s class in school, basically because noone else was volunteering and I’m a sucker like that. I immediately regretted it because right after signing up having been told we’d have only minimal responsibilities (i.e. mainly coordinating for the PTA), the PTA rep sends us a whatsapp with a list of ‘guidelines’ that we ‘must’ and ‘should’ do (I’m hoping that the writer was not a native English speaker and did not realise how obnoxious pushy they came across as). I wrote back and said no way I could do all that and pointed out that this was not what we had been told before we signed up. It was suggested that I could get someone else on board to help me which I knew was not going to happen seeing as the reason I signed up was because noone else did. Anyway, another parent told me to ignore the ‘guideline’ because noone does that much. So I carried on.

So far it’s not been too bad,except I got into an thing with another class rep on the whatsapp group and she was incredibly rude. While she continues to be her obnoxious self on the group, I have withdrawn and find myself muttering everytime I see a post from her.

Then the weekend gone by was a so-called picnic planned in the park, where we were encouraged to organise games/activities for our class. Now, I’m all for participating, but not organizing. Especially when you have such an unresponsive group to work with. I’m not one of those cheerleader types who sees the value in coaxing people to do what they don’t want to do. But I also felt obliged to be present and ‘do something’, but I didn’t want to invest a lot of energy seeing as noone was committing to even showing up.

Tbh, I was quite stressed out even though I refused to act on it or even voice it (much). It helped that a couple of days before the event, the start time was pushed back, which meant I could tell myself it was only a couple of hours not the whole afternoon.

In the end, it turned out to a rather nice day out. A few people showed up, I prepared a parcel to be passed for ‘pass-the-parcel’ and the kids ran around with each other. At one point, V told me to sit down and relax but I pointed out that a) I feel like I need to ‘do something’ being class rep (more on that later) b) but also that the point of the occasion was not just for the kids to interact but for the parents too. And both did work out.

This is one of those instances where I am conscious of how having kids has pushed my boundaries. I am forced to step out my comfort zone (for their benefit) and although I do it with a fair amount of grumbling and latent stress, it often works out well for me as well.

***

Oh and I remembered the third thing I wanted to post here. In order to keep the kids stationary so that they didn’t get too tired for the picnic, we plonked them in front of the TV and watched Finding Dory (#sorrynotsorry). And I really liked it. I found Finding Nemo too emotional (I famously shouted ‘Nemo!” on my honeymoon when Nemo was captured during that film. Thankfully we were watching the film in our own private theatre, but V has never let me live it down. Hmph). The last time we tried to watch Finding Dory, Mimi made us shut it down because she was scared but this time I realized she was not “scared” , she was “sad” and I had to explain the difference to her and then she was better.

But also, I later realized she was a little scared… of the octoupus. Which makes no sense, because the octopus was the best part of the film! Octopi are awesome (PSA: octopi is not a word, but totally should be. Octopuses does not do justice to the greatness of that creature). I dearly want to get an octopus tattooed on my shoulder or hip, but I feel unworthy because I am neither as cerebral or as efficient, and V suggested I get a sloth or a slug instead. Hmph. I’m thinking I’ll compromise on a snail instead because that best describes me plus was the one creature I could draw decently and amuse Nene with when he was a kid.

I leave you with a photo of my soul animal.

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