This new year brings many changes.
New syllabus, new system, new colleagues, new Principal, new students, new lifestyle and schedule for me.
New school, teachers, friends, CCA, programmes for ds1.
New teachers for ds2.
New school premises, new friends for dd.
Biggest change would be our family interaction and time together.
dd reacted in the biggest way towards the changes in the first week. She cried and wailed in the mornings when she awoke and found me gone. Helper says she will go to every room to look for me then run back to the bed and cry and cry and refuse to eat breakfast nor drink anything. She wouldn't change into her school uniform and my helper would have to call my mom and my mom would come over and both would try more ways to get her to calm down and try.
My mil would arrive (she is the only one with transport vehicle now, with me using the car to bring ds1 to school and then myself to work) and bring the miserably teary girl to nursery. She'd be tired, puffy-eyed, hungry and thirsty. The first day my mom whatsapped me to inform me about her crying and I wondered about her the entire day, feeling a lot of heartache and pain, thinking, what have I done, to return to work?!?
The next day, my mom didn't text me and I thought all was fine, but my helper informed me the same thing happened when I got back home. I think my mom understood I might not be able to concentrate at work and thus stopped informing me. oops.
Thankfully dd's Principal was nice enough to text me a photo of her each day at school, and I even zoomed in very close up on her face, just to make sure she's really happily engaged and not crying continuously in school.
Thus I realised that she's just adjusting to the differences in her life. For the past 2.5 years of her life, the first person she saw each morning when she awoke would be me. I was the one who gave her breakfast, dressed her and brought her to school. However, at school, (playgroup last year) it was the same teacher and similar activities, so she's fine with those and did not cry. Poor girl, not her fault of course, that there are these upheavals in her life.
The boys do have a grumble here and there about things that have changed. No more lunch boxes packed by mom. ds2 no longer has daddy fetching him to school nor mommy bringing him home. He has to walk with helper to school and back with my mom. Even if it's raining and pouring. But he will get used to it. The boys are older, they are tough.
ds1 has had to sit through 2 of my meetings. Because his school is much nearer to my school than home, and during these first weeks, they have no CCAs nor afternoon activities yet, he is dismissed at 1pm every day. I do not have the luxury of ending work at 1pm daily of course, so I will zip over to pick him up then bring him to my school where he will have his lunch (often all alone) and then he will read a book or do HW while he waits for my meetings to be done.
So far he is alright. He looked really bored during one of them that ended at 5.30pm, and I passed him my iPhone towards the end and of course he brightened up. Thankful for my phone which has served handy always, as a last resort, to occupy any of them - from big adult to young toddler - when I need them to wait for me for a long period of time.
Some of my colleagues have been really nice too. Even the EAS give him sweets and the IT guys turn on the big screen PC for him to play with. I know he is in good hands even when he roams around the school. He told me he went to watch the band practice one day.
But I find myself having very very little time to really do anything with ds2 and dd. ds1 I get to talk to him during the long car rides to school and back. But poor ds2 and dd. When I get back, dd will usually clamour loudly for my attention and ds2 graciously waits. Sometimes something/ one else (like the helper or my mom would need to talk to me) and then Dh returns home from work, and I realise it's only at bedtime when I tuck ds2 in that I finally get to talk to him alone. sigh... my poor darling.
I know, in a couple of weeks, we would all get used to this routine. Already in this past week, dd has stopped crying badly in the morning. I hope I remind myself consciously to talk to ds2 as well, because I am afraid we all get used to not talking much and then it would be rather sad, wouldn't it?
May I also achieve a balance very soon! :)