So it’s the one week long March holidays and I haven’t planned much to do with Phoebie.
At almost 33 weeks pregnant, and having quite a bit going on in the family lately, I decided to take things slow this week and make ad-hoc plans as the days come.
This pregnancy has certainly been different from when I had Phoebie. I feel a lot less agile (some friends say it’s because I’m also a few years older now) and I’ve had to deal with quite a bit in the past few months. The saving grace, though, is that Phoebie has been very sweet and excited at the notion of having a baby brother soon. I pray that her thoughtfulness remains, or better yet, increases when the baby finally arrives.
Anyway, I decided to bring Phoebie to stay at my mum’s place for the week since it’s the school holidays. This is partly to keep my mum company and help her adjust now that my dad is gone, and also for Ben to have a good rest because he has a busy week at work.
Phoebie lived here for slightly more than a year before we moved back to our own place, so she is very comfortable here. She still has her toddler bed here and has no problem sleeping.
I try my best to create opportunities for Phoebie to bond with her Popo, aka my mum. My mum had always been the less confident one between my parents when it came to looking after Phoebie. She worried that Phoebie wouldn’t take instructions from her or that Phoebie wouldn’t understand her if she spoke in mandarin. Now that Phoebie’s mandarin has improved by leaps and bounds, that is one less thing to worry about.
I feel the need to build my mum’s confidence in looking after Phoebie, also because my mum will most likely be the one to care for her when I go into labour. So Phoebie, please be nice and learn to listen to Popo.
We didn’t do much on Monday, except to run some errands relating to my dad. Phoebie spent some time with my mum in her room, talking and tickling each other. I guess that helped Phoebie feel more comfortable about being alone with my mum too.
I had to attend a funeral yesterday, so for (I think) the first time, Phoebie was left alone with my mum for a few hours. I called home to check once and my mum said Phoebie was taking a nap. Guess that helped ease her in on caring for her granddaughter.
Today, I decided that we could make a short shopping trip to Ikea, since my mum needed some cushions.
My mum was concerned about letting Phoebie walk all over the market hall area, so I explained to her that Phoebie was simply curious and wanted to explore. As long as we gave clear instructions and kept her in sight, Phoebie would be fine. Soon, my mum caught up with my instructions to Phoebie about following the arrows on the floor.
My mum also saw how curious Phoebie was about these small activity stations all over Ikea and used them as conversation opportunities. I thought that was excellent because Phoebie got to learn about matching pictures, and my mum got to learn more about communicating with Phoebie.
While we had lunch at the cafe, Phoebie kept whining about going to the play area. I told her that we would have to finish lunch before she could go. She tried to eat a little faster but would whine from time to time about going off to play.
I saw that my mum was almost done with her food, so I thought it’d be a great chance again for Phoebie to learn to take instructions from my mum. I told Phoebie that Popo was almost done and that Popo would bring her to get her hands washed before she could go to the play area. I also told her that I would check with Popo if she had listened to instructions.
And it worked! When I caught up with my mum at the play area, I asked her how the little bathroom trip was and my mum said Phoebie held hands with her and listened to her instructions. I thought it was great because it would do two things. One was to build my mum’s confidence in giving instructions to Phoebie, and two was for Phoebie to know that she has to listen to her Popo, just like how she has to listen to her parents.
My mum had her reservations about letting Phoebie play where there were some bigger kids who seemed to be playing rough. I told my mum not to worry and that Phoebie had to learn too. When some of the older kids got too rough, Phoebie looked at me and said she didn’t like it. I took the chance to tell Phoebie that playing rough wasn’t nice and she shouldn’t do it. Later, I explained to my mum that whatever other kids did that didn’t look pleasant, I could use the chance to teach Phoebie what not to do.
I noticed that my mum also caught on with how Ben and I would give Phoebie a time limit whenever we needed her to end an activity. It will come in handy when my mum has to be alone with Phoebie again.
I guess not having too many plans is good sometimes. Ad-hoc activities can be fun. And I love that Phoebie and my mum have more time to get to know each other through short outings and short sessions at home.
We’ll see what else the rest of the break week brings. 🙂