My immediate concern for Yiu Yiu during the first week is to ensure she can find her way around the large school compound. She was a little lost on the first day, but was alright by the second day J
She followed the transporter to school while I made my way to the school separately. On the first day, I mistakenly assumed that the children would be dropped off at the gate where they would be picked up in the evening but when there was still no sign of the van when school was about to start, I called the transporter only to be told that the children had arrived much earlier and they were dropped off near the main gate as it was nearer to the hall where they were to gather daily before class (to minimise disruption to the classes in the morning session).
I made my way to the hall and found her sitting calmly in her row but when she saw me, she immediately said:
Yiu Yiu: Mummy, I cry ah just now.
Yiu Yiu: I don’t know how to go to the hall. I asked Yihao (her cousin who was in the same van) to show me but he also never care about me. He just ran away!
After making their way to the class, the students were given colouring papers to keep them occupied while the teacher settled some formalities with the parents. There are many students from her kindy in the same school but none in the same class as her. Parents meanwhile, were busy clicking away on their cameras, or exchanging phone numbers with fellow parents.
Left: Making funny faces. Top right: The boy behind her didn't bring his colour pencils so she loaned him hers after she finished colouring.
The canteen operator made arrangements to escort children who are in the food catering program to the catering area before recess time, so Yiu Yiu had plenty of time to eat.
Clockwise from top left: Food laid out on the table, Yiu Yiu washing her fork and spoon, tucking in
Before and after - fishball kuay teow soup on the first day and yee mien with fried wanton on the second day. Portions are quite huge, and many students couldn't finish them, including Yiu Yiu obviously :-)
She bumped into Yihao on the way back to her class and they had some fun time together, and the earlier incident was all forgiven and forgotten J
They were escorted to the catering area even earlier on the second day, and by the time she finished eating, it still wasn’t recess time, so she made her way back to her class. She got to take another break during recess, and was very happy to see her BFF from kindy in the canteen.
I dropped by the school during recess on the third day, as the children would be making their own way to the catering area, so I just wanted to make sure that she did that, and not go around to kepoh and look for her kindy friends, since she would have only 20 minutes to eat. She had become fast friends with one of the girls in her class, and I was happy to see them holding hands and skipping to the catering area J
For the whole of the first week, the transporter went to the class during dismissal and taught them the way to get to the gate where they would be picked up. It will be easy for Yiu Yiu as her class is quite near to the gate.
She’ll be on her own from next week and I’m sure she’ll be alright finding her ways around the school, taking instructions in Mandarin and making new friends. The only niggling doubt is whether she’ll eat the catered food during recess. But I think I’ve drummed it into her frequent enough (cannot waste food because there are people in the world who are starving, cannot waste money because we have to work so hard to earn them, etc) because on the third day, she overheard a mum telling her son that it’s OK if he didn’t like the noodles served, and that he could go to the canteen to buy something else, and she whispered:
Yiu Yiu: That mummy told the boy ah, if he doesn't like the noodle, he can go and buy something else from the canteen to eat.
Mummy: If you don’t like the food, you still have to eat right? At least you are not hungry.
Yiu Yiu: I eat not because of my tummy ah, I eat because I don’t want to waste your money since you have paid already.