This week, B turned 2 while mommy took a step closer to 40 😉 We had a terrific two party at Happy Willow – which daddy flew back from overseas to attend before flying back out again to work! As we opened up the birthday gifts from friends and family, I reflected on the precious two years B and I have had together. Despite the ups-and-downs with tantrums, self-feeding, potty training, language and math, the best gift we shared was simply the ability and freedom to IMAGINE together.
To paraphrase Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited while imagination embraces the entire world.” So I controlled my tiger mom urges, withdrew him from the childcare we’d initially signed up for when I was going back to work last year, limited his exposure to commercial toys and enrichment programs (after a few eye-opening trials) – no matter how kid-friendly, educational and/or successful these claimed to be. Instead, we focused on simple early years ABCs i.e. Art, Books, Craft with as much music, drama, library and outdoor time as possible. B learnt to observe and appreciate our environment – nature, everyday things at home and about, picking up a wider vocabulary and interests along the way, including an obsession with transportation, animals and space; and a love for music and rhythm – though he can’t sing on pitch, he recites plenty of songs in a quirky monotone… and yeah, speaks Chinese like his banana-mama 😉
Sure, all of this involved additional time and effort and we never did as much as I’d like, but it was worth it! Moving forward, we intentionally chose a school that builds on this approach too when he starts N1 next year and plan to maximise the remaining time on learning through play. Let’s not “educate our kids out of their creative capacity” as was mentioned in this thought-provoking TED video on How Schools Kill Creativity:
And built a multi-purpose, open-ended play house which his friends helped to paint:
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