Thursday 3 April 2014


I used to dread the school holidays. With three kids around the house all day, every day, it was such a relief when the eldest started going to school increasing amounts I would flinch whenever there was a prolonged period I’d have them all back at home.

Now, with the eldest two in full time primary, the youngest in morning pre-school and me happy in a three day –unpaid but therefore flexible- job, and on top of that the after school activities, swimming lessons and private mandarin tutoring, I sometimes hardly see them. The prospect of two weeks with the kids without us even leaving Singapore did not daunt me. At all.

It was not that I necessarily planned it that way, I did plan a weekend away at Bali for Easter. It was just that I had not realised that the Easter holidays ended a week before Easter. Or, that Easter Monday was not even a national holiday in Singapore. 

The kids were a bit confused at first. It’s a holiday! Where are we going? I could stop them just in time from packing their bags to explain we were not going anywhere. We were going to stay in Singapore for two weeks. At home.

After some initial grumbling they got the hang of it. With no school bus to run for, and daddy starting later every day as well, we would sleep in. We would breakfast together, lounge around the house, and see what we’d do. Now it’s Friday already and we haven’t even managed the Zoo yet. We were too busy doing nothing.

We played with the neighbour’s kids, hosted sleepovers, went to the playground by the Bay with friends, cycled our new bike, played some more, visited friends with a pool, and build uncountable towers of kapla. One day I rushed home early from a day at work I had not been able to avoid, to pick up the kids for a promised session at the beach I had cancelled a meeting for, only to find the house deserted. Less then an hour later the quiet was over, and I found myself hosting an impromptu art session for nine young kids in the garden. 

Today the gardener build us a vegetable pad, which we sowed with five kids and several packets of seeds, in a way we will never be able to identify what’s what when they sprout. I tidied up, and now the house is empty again, as the flock of kids has moved to another place, another house, so I can sit down for a minute and write this down. This story of the amazing vacation where we stayed at home and did nothing. We never did so much.

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