22 April 2016, by Camilla Harrison
This week Siena has been home as there are a few cases of HFMD at school. We’ve so far spent our days baking cookies (aka eating flour) swimming (aka pretending to be mermaids) and doing a few trips to the library (aka trying to kill a rainy morning). It’s been really cool as its shown me how much Siena has matured since starting school. All day long she sings (in Mandarin!), counts, read stories and pretend plays. To be honest our normal routine feels like an absolute blur right now with a 6 month and 3 year old (get up, walk Siena to school, take care of Soma. Siena comes home, nap, play, dinner, bath, bed…repeat!) so to stop and realise how much progress she is making is amazing.
Side note: she actually goes to school in my husband’s building and knows that Papa works upstairs. I keep telling my husband we are so lucky to have this set up. How cute is it he can pop down at lunch to wave to her through the window!?
Now that she is home this week, I’ve really realised the value in our one-to-one moments together – one of which is our daily walk to school. Even though we haven’t been doing it for only a week, I actually really miss it. It is a time for us to chat and connect uninterrupted. It is definitely something I will continue with as she gets older.
There is a famous phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” and this week I’ve really felt it! Even though I have a wonderful helper and a supportive husband, there are days when I feel like I’m just holding it together (perhaps having a teething baby and potty training preschooler has something to do with it!). As an expat with family members 23 hours away by plane, I don’t get to rely on grandparents or extended family for help. So I’m grateful for the help I have at home – especially this week when things are not our usual routine.
Speaking of! Now that Siena is home for a bit, I really see the value of a routine for both Siena’s and my well-being. With a predictable routine, she knows what’s coming in the day and life isn’t such a struggle. I truly believe that children find security in routines, which is why they work so well.
Finally having Siena home this week has also been an opportunity to see her and Soma interact more. It’s beyond adorable to see Siena trying to make Soma smile or to see Soma watch her big sister intently with what can only be described as awe and adoration. I can’t wait to see this relationship take shape and grow. A sister! Such an amazing thing!
So yes, while a part of me is looking forward to Siena getting back to her usual school routine in the next coming weeks, I’m trying to use this week to notice and appreciate how far my little girl has come 😉
PS – Here’s a pic of us making “egg earrings” – oh the things you do to keep a 3 year old entertained!