School holiday crazy has reached new heights. With 6 kids spanning the ages of 3 to 17, the past 2 weeks went by at breakneck speed as I juggled their schedules while preparing for the opening of my enrichment centre in July.
For the first week, I left the house at 7.30am every morning to send #2 to school and crashed into bed past midnight. Several times, I had to drop a kid and pick another up without having time to go in and check what’s happening with the rest. This is definitely more exhausting than the school week.
Besides that, they are inundated with homework to prepare for the upcoming exams. I’ve engaged a tutor to come over to our place and they arrange their slots with her themselves. #2 also has study sessions with her classmates and I support her by being the chauffeur if the location is inconvenient.
I have to send #5 for some holiday programs to keep him from watching too much TV at home and from annoying Kate no end.
It was much easier logistically when they were younger and I could bundle all 5 along for the same events. Now, with each child having 1 or 2 activities per day, I’m running around like a mad woman.
This was how Tuesday went for me:
7.30 am: Left the house to send #2 to school. Reached home, quickly made breakfast for #1 and dropped her off for a full day of school. She’s having a busy week with one assignment due every 2 days.
9.30 am: Made it on time for a work meeting.
12pm: Rushed home to pick #5 and took Kate along.
12.30: Picked #4 from school and took #5 for class. Kate whined to follow gor gor and kept saying that she was a big girl and wanted to go for ‘class’. Unfortunately she was not allowed in.
|Did the shades herself
As we walked off in search of lunch for a starving #4, with a grumpy Kate shuffling along, we chanced upon an art school. I popped in to ask if they had ad hoc lessons for her age and lo and behold, they did! #4 and I couldn’t be more delighted as we said our goodbyes.
Having bought ourselves an hour of special mummy-daughter time, we ducked into the nearest cafe. After a charming lunch, we turned around to pick Kate from class and #4 was so amused that the young teacher was able to handle her for a whole hour and even managed to teach her to colour in gradient tones. Kate was so proud to show us her artwork.
3pm: #4 had arranged to go over to her cousin’s house for a cookie baking session and I dropped her off before sending Kate home for her afternoon nap. It was time to head back and pick #5 from his class.
5pm: #3 called and said she was done with volunteering at the Home. They are required to complete 15 CIP hours this round. Mummy taxi despatched again. Luckily, the hubs called right at that moment and he went over and picked them up.
6pm: Their grandpa walked through the door and we all had dinner at home together.
8pm: Everyone was in a holiday mood and the teens suggested we go for waffles. Came back, settled Kate to bed and did some work before calling it a night.
|Diggersite @ ECP
Before I left to spend the day catching up with my old friend and her boys, I had to ensure Kate was well occupied when she awoke. I looked around to see who was home and tasked #3 to take Kate out for tea after her nap. They went to the neighbourhood cafe for a slice of cake and tete a tete.
We took the boys to try their hand at being construction workers and it was harder than it looked! Finally they managed to manoeuvre the diggers properly and could plonk the sand in the bucket and pick up the wooden logs. Only grouse of the parents was the pricey $5 per 5 minute tokens.
With the older girls, the activities we bond over have changed from kiddy fun to things like watching musicals and going for fancy meals. I was so excited that Les Miserables is back after a 20-year break and I knew the girls would love it as much as I did. To prepare them, I asked them to read the book, which was the same copy I read when I was a teenager. As expected, only #2 finished the book and she had to explain the storyline to the others.
Needless to say, they enjoyed the musical thoroughly and it was well worth the money. I taught them to play the scores when they were younger and finally they had the chance to hear the songs sung live.
Saturday was a back-to-back day for me. Was woken up by Kate at 7am and we cycled to the playground after breakfast. Went back to shower and had a meeting in church at 9.30am. Excused myself from the last bit and rushed home to pick Kate up as we were invited for an influencer lunch with Mr Seah Kian Peng, CEO of NTUC.
The hubs was left with the other kids and they took the opportunity to go for their favourite sashimi lunch without Kate around.
Lunch done, we made a quick exit and went off to meet some old schoolmates for a lunch-extended-to-tea session.
Kate was exhausted and had a nap in the car. After her forty winks, she was all ready to go swimming with her little cousin and #5. The rest of the family waited for us to get back to have dinner.
We rested on Sunday, and I had a nice long nap with Kate. All refreshed and recharged for the week.
|My very own wheels
Come Monday, we were off again with a full week. Met up with a childhood friend and the nicest thing is to see our kids playing together like we did when we were little. We decided not to try the newly opened places to avoid the crowds.
Instead, we went to Kaboodle at East Coast Park as Kate and #5 enjoyed themselves the last time and we had the whole place to ourselves the entire few hours.
As we parted with the other kids, #5 asked if they could go to Lilliput, the mini golf centre which their grandparents used to take them to. Unfortunately, it was closed on Mondays.
#5 asked for my phone to google other mini golf places. I was quite certain that there wasn’t any other in Singapore and handled my phone to him.
He found out that Amazonia had a 9-hole mini golf, which glows in the dark! And they just had to go there! The 2 of them were jumping up and down with excitement and after much pleading, I relented. It was the holidays after all. Besides, I was busy the next day and the both of them were going to spend the day at home.
|Amazonia at Great World
I love going out on weekdays. The indoor playground was relatively quiet and being a weekday, entry was for unlimited hours.
While they made new friends and played happily, I ordered lunch and did my work. Another handy skill I’ve picked up. Being able to pull out my work and delve right into it anytime, anywhere.
We had to leave at 4.30 to pick their cousin up for swimming lessons and Kate fell asleep in the car.
|New found friend
When we reached home, she insisted on following us to the pool. While their cousin had lessons, #5 swam by himself and Kate made a new friend. Good for her, as I continued with my work while keeping an eye on her.
|Sam @ 8Q
On Wednesday, we met up with an old friend and took the kids to Sam (Singapore Art Museum) @ 8Q. It is housed in a separate building from SAM and is situated on Queen Street.
Added bonus is the free entry for Singaporeans. We spent about 1.5 hours there, although the kids didn’t quite get the environmental message. At least we tried to expose them to different forms of creativity.
The school holidays are also the time when we get the extras done. #2 was getting her braces fixed but the x-ray showed that she had an embedded tooth which needed to be removed first.
We went to Orange Orthodontics at Lucky Plaza medical centre and had it done by Dr Seah, an Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon as it was a delicate surgery due to the location of the tooth. The good thing was that she did not need to do it under general anaesthetic, but could get away with IV sedation. All went well and she is staying home to recuperate.
That was a whole morning gone, and I squeezed every minute out of the 1 hour when she was sedated to zip out and get my partner to sign some documents for submission. I literally ran back to the clinic as I wanted to be there when she awoke.
As though my Thursday was not harrowing enough, while I was home and tending to #2, Kate burnt 2 fingers on the iron while looking for our helper. Thankfully I had worked in the burns department in the hospital and knew what to do.
The hardest thing was to convince my helper not to put all sorts of remedies on her, and to insist that the hubs not run her fingers under cold water but tap water. She was crying hysterically because of the pain and I gave her paracetamol and applied fresh aloe vera to the burn. When she woke up from her nap she was feeling much better.
Even though the older ones are independent, they still need mummy to accompany them for certain things like auditions and private vocal lessons. I’m happy that the strings are slowly released and they are not overly independent at this stage.
That’s how our June break has been going so far.
2 weeks down, looking forward to a more relaxing 2 weeks!