Sunday, September 7, 2008

You can't bring spiders to school

Before we know it, the one week school holidays is over! Lesley-Anne lamented today in dramatic fashion, "It's heart-breaking." Andre, less eloquently, "Yah lor, not fair."

So tomorrow is the start of the last term of the year. After that, Lesley-Anne would have finished her primary 5 and Andre primary 2. How time flies! Especially for Andre, I don't know whether he has matured an iota in the past year. For him, school is about friends and fun. The rest of the time in the classroom passes in a blur. Everyday when he comes home from school, I'll ask, "How was school?" His reply: "Ok." "What did you do?" Long pause. "Dunno." At most, I get an irrelevant fact: "Kelvin was not feeling well, he vomited in class." His mind automatically sieves out events or information that are unimportant to him. I still recall after his school orientation before his entry into p1, I asked him what he had learnt. He thought about it for a while and said: "I cannot bring pets to school like spiders." That was all he could remember of the entire 4-hour orientation programme.

I guess I should have seen it coming. Even in pre-school, Andre had a natural aversion to anything he deemed as "work". And we're not talking rocket science, we talking about something as simple as colouring. He would carefully lay out the picture he has to colour on his desk, take 10 minutes to do all the peripheral activities like turning on the light and looking for his coloured pencils. Then he would take another 10 minutes to arrange his coloured pencils and choose a colour (apparently a very complicated thought process). Finally when he's ready to start, he would proceed to conscientiously colour a portion of the picture... for about 5 minutes before he would heave a huge sigh and declare that he's "so tired".

Even today, whenever he has to do his homework, you can expect that after 10 minutes, he'll inexplicably need to use the bathroom. Throughout the entire process, he'll need to drink water, sharpen his pencil, find his eraser, cut his nails, and use the bathroom again. It's clockwork. Often during his Chinese tuition lesson, I can hear him trying to negotiate with the tutor, "So much! I cannot do it. How about if I do half." Every time I need to fill in a particulars form for Andre which states "Allergies", I'm tempted to write "homework".

But God is always fair. While Andre may be not wow his teachers with his academic prowess, he sure more than makes up for it in charm. Unlike his sister, he's very affectionate, always generous with the hugs and kisses and "I love you Mummy." (Yes, I am aware he may be manipulating me, sucker that I am, I always fall for it!) Aunties regularly give him sweets and tell me how cute he is. Unfortunately, he knows it too well and has no qualms about using it to his advantage, especially his grandmother whom he has wrapped around his little finger. Once, when his piano teacher, whom he calls Uncle Peter, brought him sweets, he called him "Handsome Uncle Peter".

When we were in Tokyo this year for a holiday, all the elderly aunties would turn around to look and smile at him in his Indiana Jones hat and his raccoon backpack. As they spoke Japanese among themselves, Andre said "I think they're saying I'm cute." It was probably true but still! That boy has no shame.

Well, they do say you have to work with what God gives you, so I've no doubt Andre will charm his way through life.


Alcovelet said...

Hi Monica, couldn't stop laughing, this allergy to homework! He looks like such a charmer too!

monlim said...

Thanks! Sometimes, I don't know know whether to laugh or cry at his antics :P

Lilian said...

Monica, I will always remember the story you told about how quiet Andre was one day and how that meant he was up to no good. True enough, you went to look for him and he was in one corner pouring water into the wastepaper basket. He was probably in kindy then.

Sean is very much like that too. Can't sit still for long unlike Brian at the same age. Also up to lots of nonsense though he has mellowed lots now. And very much the charmer, saying the best things to melt my heart. Brian says I cut Sean too much slack! What can I say, I'm a sucker for sweet talk.

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