Happy almost-April, mamas. Easter is coming. How did that happen? After four years in Singapore (it’s actually my 4-year anniversary today, as I write this), I’m well aware that the lack of seasons seems to make the days, weeks and indeed years fly by, but this year that’s been particularly so.
In just two months, my baby daughter will turn 1. Compared to the nine months of pregnancy, which seemed to go on for years, life with Maggie has simply zoomed past in the blink of an eye. Every day brings new joys (and challenges!), but more than anything it’s been so wonderful seeing the world open up through her eyes. There is always something new to explore and discover (particularly as she’s recently started crawling, standing and tentatively walking – heaven help us all).
I honestly feel so lucky having Sassy Mama’s fantastic resources at my fingertips as Maggie enters her second year. Planning a 1st birthday party shindig? Sorted. (And look out for some more outstanding party planning ideas next week, mamas!)
Selecting a preschool? Between our Ultimate Preschool Guide and our new Guide to Montessori in Singapore, we’ve got early education covered. (With more in-depth preschool coverage, the rundown on tuition, and the conclusion of Crystal’s primary school series coming later this month.)
These days, the highlights of Maggie’s week (other than when the dog deigns to play with her) seem to be her baby classes – particularly swimming. Before I had her I always rolled my eyes at the idea of “Mommy & Me” classes, dreading the monotony of doing everything in simple, slow steps or singing “The Wheels on the Bus” ad nauseam.
Not only do I love these classes – once again marveling at Maggie’s sense of wonder and discovery, and delighting as I never thought possible when she claps her hands to a song, or swims on her own under water – but as I look toward formal schooling a few months down the road, I want to cherish this time that we have together, because I know that it is truly fleeting.
In our most recent That Mama interview, uber-wise mother of seven Holly West said her most essential advice was that everything – good or bad – is a phase. Right now, for instance, Maggie is in a hilarious phase where she loves to make farting noises and scrunch up her face to make goofy smiles. I adore her complete lack of self-awareness, knowing it’s only a matter of time before someone tells her it’s unattractive or un-ladylike (it won’t be me, I’ll be too busy cracking up).
I encourage you to “embrace the phase”, too, mama, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my first year of parenthood, it’s that as soon as you get comfortable and think you’ve got things figured out, it all changes!
Have you got plans yet for the upcoming long weekend? We’ll be heading to Hong Kong, although I’m still basking in the restorative glow of our recent stay at The Datai Langkawi (a super-easy trip if you’re scrambling to make last-minute arrangements!). If you can make it a bit further afield, you’ve got to check out the amazing Thailand and Maldives packages from Eat, Play, Surf that my colleague Kristin recently experienced. And if you need even more travel inspiration, you can always check out our handy 2015 long weekend planner!
One long weekend I’m particularly looking forward to is the National Day holiday in August. Tempting as a 4-day weekend is for travel, pretty much everyone I know is looking to stay around to partake in Singapore’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.
With last week’s passing of founding father Lee Kuan Yew, I think we’ve all gained a deeper appreciation for what a truly unique and amazing place Singapore is, and how unbelievably lucky we all are to live here. I recently came across this op-ed piece by an Indian mama who formerly lived in Singapore and is now based in the U.S. She touches on the things we can take for granted, like the modern, efficient public transport; clean drinking water; and world-class education for everyone, but what resonated with me most is what she says about safety and freedom.
Singapore is a place where children are safe playing and exploring outside on their own, where I feel safe walking my dog alone at midnight, where people feel safe celebrating their multicultural differences and enjoy tremendous religious tolerance. It’s a place that has welcomed residents from around the world with open arms, so long as we were willing to respect the rules and “buy in” to Lee Kuan Yew’s vision, as it were.
There’s no place in the world I’d rather be, and hope my daughter, my family, and I can honour Mr. Lee by taking full advantage of every opportunity Singapore so generously affords us.