In those past months, Oskar has truly blown my mind. And he did so frequently. He is now nearly 3 years old and you can start to see the little boy he is turning into. And I like what I see. Oskar is such a clever little guy and there is this fire in his beautiful eyes. Trouble, sure, but what a great kid!
He is damn agile, loves to climb and keeps real busy. And then again he is this sweet, lovable boy. He of course speaks a lot now and his proficiency in all his three languages is quite amazing. English is still his first language, then French, then German.
The difference is mostly that he is able to form better or more complete sentences in English and French than in German. This of course comes from the exposure he has to English in his school every day and to French in the playgroup he goes to on Saturdays at the Alliance Française. Nothing like that exists for German toddlers in Singapore, particularly not on the weekends. Quite a bummer. But this does not mean Oskar’s German is bad – it’s only that he has a smaller vocabulary compared to English or French and that he struggles more to form sentences. He nevertheless he and I speak to each other only in German and I just have to find ways to expose him to more words (which I is why I bought those German books worth a bag full of gold yesterday).
Let’s see how this goes when he starts the French International school in September.
But I’m jumping ahead.
I have not written much about Oskar going to his current school full time since January this year. And: that he is taking a shuttle bus every morning and comes back by shuttle bus in the afternoon. I don’t know what I did when I was 2 years old, but I certainly did not leave Mutti and Vati to ride a bus with some driver and some auntie to some kindergarten.
At the beginning of the year things were sometimes tricky with Oskar. They say that the age between 2 and 3 can be difficult and we certainly had our share of that in those months. In hindsight, I think I was overly strict at times and I have learned a lot about patience since then. Each time I thought a whining, disobeying, laughing-at-you kid could not push me over the edge anymore, I had to realize that I was wrong. This went for a while. It was stressful for all of us and it took a bit to adjust and to figure out what behavior works best.
I’d say that I am even more patient now than I have ever been before, but: I am still watching myself for those little, harmless things that might push me over the edge of getting really angry. It’s small things, normally, and I am more aware of this and have learned how to deflect and change course before things escalate which makes nobody happy.
And Oskar has realized that both Maman and Papa can play hardball if they have to.
Having said that, I really cannot say that Oskar is misbehaving. And we do not have a crisis situation all the time. Quite the contrary. Oskar still tries out how far he can push things, of course. But since the peak of the “terrible twos” around the turn of the year this does not happen much anymore.
He’s in fact such a fun, playful and happy kid. He is lovely with his little brother and then also particularly gentle (yet protective of his toys). Once in a while he gets a little jealous of Thomas, but that’s nothing carrying both kids in your arms at once cannot solve.
I love to play with Oskar so much that it tears my heart in two, because I am not home right now. Not being around your kids means missing out on a lot. Seeing Oskar throw a ball, play with a toy, speaking his mind, climbing with his amazing skills on all the furniture he should not climb on is just a joy.
Oskar is now nearly 1 meter tall and weighs around 15 kg. He has a very good sense of balance and it looks like he might enjoy joining some sports group, maybe playing football or something (not what I did when I was small, but maybe he is up for it?).
There are so many things I love when I play with Oskar. Horsing around, having him sit maybe on my shoulders. Chasing each other (he always hides under the dining table). Taking him to brushing his teeth in the evening where he is allowed to watch YouTube videos on the iPad and then (in most cases) turns off the iPad by himself when being told so (not a given from what I hear from other parents). Showering him (even if it’s a difficult night where he is in a grumpy don’t-wanna-take-that-bath mood). Taking him to bed at night, looking at books together and read to him and then turn off the light and sing songs for him.
That last one I am amazed by for many months already. I am not sure when that started, but when it’s my turn the evening routine is to brush teeth, shower, change, say good night to Thomas and Maman and then read a story. I will then turn off the light at 7:45 pm. He might complain when I do that, but of course he knows this is how things go down. Then I sit close to him and I sing quietly to him. It’s always the same two songs: one variation of “Funkel, funkel, kleiner Stern” I coined myself and also “Rutsch rüber”. We often hold hands when I do this and sometimes he sings along a little. If I am sneaky and I try to leave the room after the first song, but he goes:
Oskar: Nein, Papa! Die Affen…
“The monkeys” refers to an animated video he has seen on YouTube of the “Rutsch rüber” song where ten monkeys in the bed are pushed out one after the other until only one, the smallest, is left in the bed and he bids good night and then sleeps.
Once all the songs are sung, he is turning to his side to sleep. I am leaving the room and close the door – and normally this is it. Rarely, say, when he has a cough or when he is really sick, he might need me or Lamia to look after him again. But I’d say in more than 90% of the cases he is sleeping till 7 in the morning.
This is the normal routine for us and him, but I do know that things are not as natural with many other children at that age.
Lastly, I do enjoy that I have moved up the ladder in terms of who is his favorite. It used to be that Lamia was the undisputed number one, then there was Aggie… and well: I was there somewhere on that list as well. Just further down. Sometimes I’d move up, but it would not last that long. Recently, I hold a top spot and when I am traveling (like I do right now) and we see each other only on FaceTime, he actually cries because I am not there (again: this breaks my heart, but I am also touched that he misses me so much).
Always when I am traveling, I bring a present, of course. Recently it was often a little animal, but as you know, this time I’ll bring him a yellow crane truck that he has requested fiercely. I hope he’ll like it.
I miss him.