stand-in “mom”

Unexpected late night shift rattled my friend and her husband because their schedule got messed up. Both of them were required to work late and there’s no one to look after their two kids (8-year old girl and 4-year old boy).

I happened to be there during that “panic moment” so I volunteered to go straight to their house after my work and become a stand-in “mom” for that evening.

I was a bit late because I had to run a quick errand. As soon as I arrived, the 4-year old boy greeted me with a cute smile and told me that I was late. I can’t help but to give him a mischievous grin and offered an apology.

I guess that broke the ice because the kids and I, immediately “clicked” and were chatting like long lost pals. There’s an overflowing of stories, jokes, magic tricks, and ballet “moves”. Thus, laughter filled the room most of the time.

Supper time was a bit of a challenge because obviously, they were not hungry. They have been taking snacks in between the chatter. I had to rack my brain for some convincing techniques in order to encourage them to eat without sounding like I was nagging. Surprisingly, the little boy ate more even if he got sidetracked a couple of times.

After an hour or so, I gave them a heads up that it would be bed time after 30 minutes. And of course, I had to think of another method in order to talk them into going to sleep. Later on, I persuaded the little girl to finally snooze.

The little boy was another matter. He was scared to sleep in his room so I accompanied him. While I was playing with my phone, I noticed that he was tossing and turning so I did the trick that usually works for babies… I gave him a continuous gentle pat and he fell asleep after 5 minutes. Ha!

On the other hand, I discovered that:

  • Gadgets worked well with kids.
  • Attention span is really super short.
  • They need to do different things every few minutes.

I must say, the kids were super hyper but not brats. Thank goodness! It’s amazing how matured and independent they are for their age. I’m pretty sure they will go a long way and rock the world with a big bang when they grow up.

Becoming a “mom” for few hours is an absolutely learning and exigent experience for me. It’s some sort of a preparatory training for me to become a “mom” in a few years time (fingers crossed).  I wonder how will I fare as a mother and how will my soon to be kids turn up? Hmmmm…. That remains to be seen.

All in all, I salute all the parents (especially the single parents) out there who are painstakingly raising their children to become independent and well-mannered individuals. Also, kudos to the unsung heroes, the nannies and babysitters. I truly admire your patience and dedication.  You have my high respect.

Hats off to all of you! 😀

james

James is my 6-year old adorable and quickwitted nephew who taught me how to play beyblade, Wii, and Xbox. He also wanted to teach me how to play Bakugan but I kept giving excuses. :p

james & pinky

In any case, below are some of his cute funny moments:

Credit Card
James: Mom, can I borrow your credit card?
Mom: Why James? What do you need it for?
James: I want to buy toys for free.
Mom: What do you mean for free?
James: Because if you use a credit card, you don’t spend money. You just swipe the card! You should use it more often Mom.

Can you believe it? He already had that concept at such a young age. omg!
Note: It was later on explained to him that the credit card is paid through the bank.

Phone
James: Hey Tita, why are you always using your phone?
Tita (TheCuriousMe): Because you’re always using my laptop James. I’m using my phone to surf the internet, chat, browse facebook, listen to music, watch videos, and write articles for my site.
James: Is it a phone laptop?
Me (TheCuriousMe): Yes James.

James stopped talking and was in deep thought for a moment. Then he suddenly grab his Nintendo DS and dash off to the bathroom. Maybe to internalize how “phone laptop” works. I’m sure he will figure it out when he’s few years older.

School
Me: James, will you be in Grade 5 next school year?
James: No, I will be in Grade 2.
(Note: He’s currently in Grade 1.)

Me: How come? Can’t you choose? What if you want to be in Grade 6?
James: That can’t be. I need to pass through grade by grade.
(Note: His expression is really serious and he sounds like we are discussing a very crucial topic)

I just smiled. Another lesson from James eh? To sum it up, we can never climb Mount Everest in just one day. We can never move a mountain with one push. There’s no shortcut. It should be taken one step at a time. Aja!

Moreover, one thing that he can’t live without is Pinky! It’s a pink stuff toy that was bought before he was born. His Mom thought she will give birth to a baby girl but it turned out that it’s a boy! Sans James and Pinky are like twins, simply inseparable!

That’s my nephew, James. Isn’t he adorable?

beyblade tournament

Finally, it’s the day of the tournament. My nephew (James) woke up so early and I can hear him running around the house while chattering endlessly. He kept reminding us that the tournament is at noon and we should not be late. James’ parents were a bit anxious because he is a pampered kid and he is not yet comfortable in graciously accepting defeat.

The moment has come… together with his Grandma, Dad, and his Mom, we all went to give him moral support. James’ parents kept emphasizing that he can’t always win and losing is part of the game. As we gather in his school’s gymnasium, the venue of the tournament, the participants’ were all bubbly and the energy level is extremely high. I felt like I’m watching a game in the Olympics.

beyblade tournament

 The game started. James needs to win three rounds in order to qualify for the finals. From the looks of it, we’re more nervous than him. After a few minutes, the first round is over. We all heaved a sigh of relief when he won the first round. Another competitor was selected and he’s ready for the second round. We were all crossing our fingers for him.

During second round, James’ beyblade kept on bouncing out from the stadium (that also  happened when we were having beyblade battle and he said it’s not counted). After the second round ended, my nephew went to our area silently crying. He lost. Reason? His beyblade kept bouncing out from the stadium. (Whoa! I should have won in our beyblade battle then. :p )

Sigh. My heart bleeds for my nephew. It’s my first time to see him cry. Geez. His Mom was hugging him and whispering to him that he did well on the first round and what matters most is joining the tournament. My nephew was nursing a broken heart when we left him at the tournament venue. Later, when we went to fetch him after his class, he loudly blurted out “I’m over myself now” while giggling! O_O  Whew! He recovered fast than most of us could! :p

Life bites sometimes to keep us grounded. Aja!

o.f.w. journey (part 2 of 2)

And the story continues…
(lost? check out first o.f.w. journey (part 1 of 2) to be on track.:) )

Before I went to Singapore, I was advised by James Lee to first apply for an Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate (EPEC) so that I will be allowed to stay there for one  year. However, my EPEC application was rejected. 😦

Nevertheless, that did not deter me from flying to Singapore. :p The one month visit pass that was given to me (plus another month extension which is of course subject for approval) needs to be maximized. Stretching my limited budget which can only last for 1.5 months or maximum of two months was also a big challenge.

At that time, I was aiming to clinch a job during my first week of stay but sadly, it did not happen. One acquaintance even mentioned that I will not be able to find work there at all! Deep in my heart I felt like I hit the rock bottom but I just ignored her.

When I did not receive any calls for interview after five days, I was upset. I kept thinking that maybe there’s something wrong with my qualifications or skill set. I was already thinking of my plan B, plan C, plan D, and plan E at that time.

Out of frustration, I opened up this “tiny” problem with my friend, TheSoulfulVixen,  when I was chatting with her via yahoo messenger (YM). And she suggested that I need to totally revise my resume. Ha!  On the 6th day, I did a complete revamp of my resume. Whoa! I never thought that editing a resume was so intricate and chews a lot of time!

And guess what? On the 10th day, while I was out gallivanting, I received a call. It was a phone interview and then she asked me to go for a personal interview the next day. I was so excited and absolutely nervous!

The funny thing was, I did not take down the address properly. Good thing, I was able to come across the address via yellowpages.com. Thanks to Tim Berners-Lee for inventing the World Wide Web.   Joan (James Lee’s sister) and Jessie (Joan;s’ boyfriend) accompanied me to check out the location of the company so that I won’t get lost. I felt really special because they were so nice to me even though they don’t really know me that well.

After a restful sleep and before going to the interview location, I prayed intently. And in order to calm my nerves, I watched “Achmed the Dead Terrorist” in youtube and listened to jazz music.

The gruelling interview lasted for more than one hour and I was grilled to the maximum level. One dilemma that I faced was on how to assimilate the words that the interviewer was saying. Maybe I just got used to the American “twang” from my previous job. -_-

Nonetheless, I felt that I was able to answer the questions in a confident manner while the butterflies in my stomach were doing somersaults. The interviewer advised that I will be informed via email if I will be shortlisted for the third interview the next day.

Lunch time during the next day, I was feeling jittery. I haven’t received any email. It later dawned on me that I was not chosen. I was awfully disappointed but life must go on so I started sending again my resume online.

While doing a non-stop job search, I received a call at 3 p.m. from the interviewer. She’s asking why I was not there for the third interview. I told her that I did not receive any email. We talked for a moment and we agreed to re-schedule the third inteview that same day at 5 p.m…

To cut the story short (which is now very long O_O), I got the job offer on that day (12th day of my stay in Singapore). Ooopzie! I can’t work yet though. The next step? The company needs to apply for my work pass at the Ministry of Manpower (Note: Even if I found the job, I need to get the work pass in order for me to legally work and stay there.).

The application can be done manually (30 days processing) or online (7 days processing). The company opt to do it manually since it’s their first time to employ a foreigner. The processing  took nearly 30 days! All the same, I was grateful because my work pass was approved.

As I look back, being down and weeping like crazy almost everyday does not give you the license to give up and do the easy way out.That was absolutely a big no no for me. The following kept me going:

  • prayers (including the prayers from my family and friends – thank you so much! 😀 )
  • watching Jeff Dunham’s “Achmed the Dead Terrorist” in YouTube (it never fails to tickle my funny bones. )
  • watching Coffee Prince in crunchyroll
  • watching Eat Bulaga (yes, we do have PinoyTV channel :D)
  • chatting with my friends and relatives via Yahoo Messenger
  • receiving text messages from my friends and relatives

Rough roads are part of life… We just need to learn how to bounce back instead of drowning in self pity and blaming others for whatever happened in our lives.

Take every single day as a blessing and a journey to a new beginning… Aja!

TIPS:
Sites where to find a job in Singapore: