Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Updates on Rachel

On Tuesday last week, which was Vesak Day, we were all at the bookshop. I was carrying babydoll when she kissed me and said, "I love you." It was completely spontaneous and came as a lovely surprise. I certainly can't say that she fully understood what she said but for sure, she associates it with happiness, with feeling good, with affection, and with me. And that is more than good enough.

When Richard was away in KL earlier this week, I had to bring babydoll with me when I dropped Ryan off at preschool. I always walk Ryan right into his classroom so babydoll came along with us all the way. It wasn't the first time she's been to his preschool; in fact, she's been there many times, including in his classroom. 

On this Monday, Ryan and I had discussed and agreed that he would share two poems with his classmates so I let the teacher know of his intentions and she said sure, and why don't I stay for their morning meeting? The class morning meeting is their morning circle time - the class gathers in a circle on a big mat and have little discussions and on Mondays, they usually share what they did over the weekend. 

So, babydoll and I stayed for a while and, before their morning meeting began, Ryan held her hand and proudly introduced her to all his classmates ("This is my sister, Rachel") and showed her a few things around the classroom. It was very adorable. 

The interesting thing was how babydoll behaved. She was confident, curious and completely at ease. The preschool has been asking me if I want to enrol her and I've been saying no but looking at her in the classroom, it seemed to me and to the teachers that babydoll would have no issue.

When the morning meeting began, babydoll settled down with the rest of the children, sitting in the circle just like them, without any prompting from me. She lasted the entire meeting (about half an hour) listening to each and every student (and the teachers) giving an account of their weekend. She was a little restless towards the end, but she did not fuss or disrupt the meeting. Truly amazing. 

By the way, Ryan did a wonderful job with his poems and his teacher sighed, "Oh, a five year old reciting poetry... how lovely!" When I told Richard later that day, Richard said that we should teach Ryan some love poems so that he can charm his girlfriends... heh.

Anyway, the next day, babydoll was all set to join in the fun in class and when I stopped at the classroom door and asked Ryan to go in without us. I could see the expectation in her face turn to surprise. To make up for any disappointment, I let her wander about the preschool grounds where there are many little stations for exploring and playing. She had a blast investigating everything - dabbling with the paints at the easels, recording observations on the clipboards on the tables, etc. When some of the classes came out for outdoor playtime, she happily went to join the older children, inserting herself between them at the water play area, playing side by side and cooperatively with them, filling up little cups with water. I let her go on for as long as she liked.

Following my observations, there are a couple of things that I want to ponder now. First is babydoll's preschool. We haven't been discussing this, for various reasons, and we need to spend some time thinking about this. We may come to the same decisions we made for Ryan, we may not. We'll see. Second is, to assess whether we are providing the right environment for her at home in terms of engaging her and fueling her curiosity. I think we are doing all right now but I also think that we need to step things up a bit soon. So, some planning to do there.

Okay, so that's where we are with babydoll. Now, on to the photos!

Here she was, leaving the house one morning. This is her usual look - fully laden. I found it particularly interesting that she was carrying her backpack on one shoulder. We didn't teach her that. She just got it. 

She is still into handbags and she doesn't discriminate - any sort of bag will do, even a plastic bag.

Babydoll loves to do pretend play. Here she set out the mat and positioned herself and Bear Bear for a good chat.

Sometimes, they even go places where they have to dress up. Heh heh.

Okay, that's all for now!


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