It feels like yesterday that I first met these bunch of mothers hailing from Taiwan, of which one of them is my neighbour who stays just the next block from us. We often bumped into each other in the evening when out walking our kids (yes, it really isn’t much different from doggies needing their daily walk :p). Our kids are both “rabbits” and we are “sheeps” and sahms so naturally there isn’t a shortage of conversation topics. Before long we exchanged numbers and started hanging out together.
Looking after a young child in a foreign land with not much family support, Phoebe got to know other Taiwanese mothers in similar circumstance. Most of them married Singaporean men so going back to Taiwan is not quite an option for them. They get together often with their little ones, exchanging notes on anything and everything.
They’d lament local practices they do not understand about their adopted home country. They’d make comparisons between Taiwan and Singapore and acknowledge little things they’ve come to appreciate about the latter. Most times they gather to quell one another’s loneliness and homesickness, sharing good food and stories whenever they meet.
They are also very resourceful when it comes to looking for activities to engage the kids. To date, we’ve been to various museums, parks, indoor play gyms, outdoor playgrounds, home play dates, you name it. Last December, we even had a “graduation” ceremony to celebrate the coming of a new era when our children finally reached preschool going age and the mommies regained some semblance of life with the new found morning freedom after sending them off to school. We still meet regularly for a fortnightly organized playgroup as well as some other ad hoc activities now, as well as the occasional and luxurious kids free coffee morning.
Meeting my neighbour and her kid has certainly been a lifesaver in more ways than one. In the earlier days before school, it was a lot of companionship and easy fun. DZ is all too familiar with the group by now, and well aware that they seem to speak a different tongue from him. Hanging out with them is like an ongoing Chinese language immersion programme, not only for DZ but for myself too. Having gone to mostly Chinese schools but growing up in multi-racial and cosmopolitan Singapore, over the years I found that my grasp of the language has been on a steady downhill path. Being in the company of Chinese speaking circle has rekindle my appreciation of the language and also made me more motivated to find ways to raise DZ’s interest and proficiency level.
A sahm’s journey is rewarding and fulfilling but it can also be a lonely and alienating experience and I am grateful to have meet this group of wonderful ladies to in the process of it. Our backgrounds and personal interests may be very diverse and without our common denominators, I wonder if we would hit it off in the first place but as it is, we are one another best cheerleaders for now and for that I am glad.
Last Wednesday impromptu play date at a playground at Bukit Batok East. The entourage: 6 mommies and 7 kiddos, with 1 mommy and 2 boys missing from that day’s action…
These peeps know one another before they turned 2 and generally play well together. All born in 2011, the oldest being a February baby and youngest being my August baby.
Playground hopping. Can you spot the tiny figure amidst the tall structures?
And the little daredevil went down this- the highest slide I’ve come across thus far in a HDB playground- glee in face as emerged from the tunnel slide. *mama sweats* They all had a great time climbing the stairs and running all over the place that it was a hilarious sight to behold when most of them developed wobbly legs towards the end.
Post workout snack time. The corns I popped and drizzled with some maple syrup for him to share with his little friends was a hit that day. Together with green bean soup, sliced pears and other nice little treats that the other mommies prepared, it is little wonder why DZ enjoys hanging out with this group so much. :)
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