Thursday 17 October 2013


J Summary (4Y7M12D) - Took Own Initiative to Practise the Piano

We just got back from New York. My last business trip, before I went part-time (while, technically it was my first business trip while on part-time work, since my part-time work started 1 October 2013, and this business trip took place 8 October 2013, but it will certainly be my last business trip, otherwise it does not make sense that I am going part-time!) My Significant Other and J came along for an extended vacation.

The jet lag from New York and the lack of sleep has taken its toll and J felt sick today and stayed away from kindergarten. It was my first real day off work after going part-time. It felt so good that I could stay at home with him, without feeling bad about having to take a sick leave, since I am not working today.

At first, I was a little disappointed that J was sick on our first real day together after I went part-time, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It gave me a chance to nurse him without feeling guilty that I am taking time off work, and that took the pressure off, and I could be totally relaxed, since it was my time.

We had such a relaxed and wonderful bonding time together, if anything. We spoke Mandarin the whole day, something which I had felt could be better, but since I was working full-time, my time was limited with him (well relatively-speaking as compared to many other working moms, I think I have made a lot of effort with all the time I have left).

We had a slow and relaxed breakfast without rushing - oatmeal porridge. While waiting for me to prepare breakfast, J was very cooperative to do some homework. He did a page of Chinese handwriting practise and coloring. Not all days are like that :-) and I better enjoy while it last. I got the chance to stock up the food cubes - carrot puree (which I add to his oatmeal). He initiated to play Montessori after breakfast. But while waiting for me to finish washing the dishes after breakfast, he played with Lego, and after that, wanted me to play with Lego with him. I wasn't working, so we built a Lego hospital together. I showed him patiently (relatively more patient compared to when I was working full-time, there I found myself unavoidingly looking at the efficiency of time, and caught myself counting the minutes) how to build it according to the instruction booklet. He and I then improvised it. There were times, when he asked me to help him. He has this tendency to ask for help, without first trying out on his own. Having time on my side, I told him that I would give him some time to try on his own without my help, and then I would help him after he has made the attempt. I agreed with J to set the timer for 10 minutes for him to try out on his own. He did, and he built the green plant from the McQueen Lego himself just half the time before the time went off. I commended him for doing his way and said that it was totally good. I also showed him how to fixt the one shown on picture, so that he was able to see the steps, and he replicated it thereafter. It was good that he was willing to try it out on his own.

We went on to Pretend Play - Playing Supermarket and Montessori activity - Geometric Solids, both of which he had chosen.

I made chicken noodle soup for lunch. After lunch, I was tired that I allowed myself a nap, since I have not fully recovered from our New York trip. It was the first time in years I had managed to allow myself a nap. J only napped for 10 minutes and went downstairs to play. I thought I should direct him what to play, but since we have more time now that I am on part-time, I didn't resolve through. Besies I was in need of a nap.

While I was sleeping, I heard him practising the piano, all on his own initiative. I was pleasantly surprised. I was glad that I didn't follow through my resolve to direct his play, before I napped. It was a lot sweeter, when I had the chance to see that he has chosen to play the piano all out of his own iniative. That means that he wanted it himself.

I was not there to correct him. He practised "Perrot Siger til Månen" and "Oles Nye Autobil." He played again until he got the pieces correct. The self-motivation was his own. I realized that my presence in the past may have discouraged him to play the piano, as I had the tendency to correct him when he pressed the wrong note. It was a good lesson to learn.

J asked from downstairs what I thought of his playing, and I commended him from upstairs that he played very well.

J requested for tea-time and we have tea-time together at 4pm.


Being with J the whole day did not quite allowed me to cook a real dinner, and he was too hungry, so we had the lunch leftover noodle soup. I didn't get to touch on doing any laundry. Haven't quite have a routine yet, now that I am working part-time.

This evening, I told J that I was very proud of him that he practised the piano all on his own without any of my prompting today. I was also very proud that he corrected his own errors. He said that it was easier for him to correct his own errors, just as Kati the piano teacher said. I should try to achieve this balance.

J is a child and is not 100% obedience all the time, but there are good days and bad days, and today has been a wonderful day.

Because I am now on part-time, I was able to allow Daddy to work a little later today to catch up on his work, since we have been away to New York. It definitely allowed some buffer to our day. Still the day went by so fast, that we were late for J's bed time, as we went out to buy groceries at 6pm and came back at 7pm, where his ideal Bed-time cum Schooltime starts at 6.30pm.

It has been a full day (I still did not get to do everything I would have liked to), and a very simple normal non-glamour day, with J, but very enjoyable, because it was unrushed. I was more patient and allowed more time to slip away, without feeling the pinch for time, which was so when I was working full-time. It was nice to be able to enjoy a simple day at home. With all the challenges of working part-time, I am thankful I made the choice and am very grateful to have the choice approved by my employer. I still have a lot to learn (learning to have time for myself without feeling guilty, learning to be less achievement and result oriented), and this year of part-time of learning has just only begun.

People asked what I am going to do with the time I have now. Really I don't have much ambition, except to enjoy the presence of J, to have time for myself (it should be easy, but it is not), and I guess these are my unambitious goals. It should be easy to reach at the end of the year of going part-time.

I also find that ironically, I am having less time for my blog, even as I have gone part-time. J's activities are increasing (piano, Chinese class, swimming and football) and those time released from me going part-time will be going to these activities. I am learning to be more selective of my posts - less pictures and organized text - not a recipe for blog success. Ironically, now that I have gone part-time, I should have more time for my blog, but my blog is more and more for me to remember our lives, and less and less aimed at readership, as I find that I have less time for it.

The first real day of going part-time, and I could see that I have no regrets doing so. I am jotting this down so that years down the road, when J leaves the nest and I started to regret going part-time all these years (as I am seeing many empty nests mom tend to do - regretting that they stayed home), this would help me to remember what a difference it had made to our simple everyday life.

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