D-Day of Rockstar's long awaited school field trip to the Hong Kong Zoological And Botanical Gardens.
Buahaha. <supposed to pass for evil world domination laughter>
Aka Giant Fountain Conducive To Evil World Domination Thoughts. His arms were up in the air a moment ago, I just missed it.
Just so you can fill the world with fountains. (Why you want world domination, I mean). A fountain like this one in every lift lobby. Every school. Every apartment. And your border collies would be allowed to splash about in them and chew up sticks. People would smile more. They might even break out in song. La la la.
A mummy friend in the earlier session celebrated her boy's birthday slightly earlier on the trip and looking around I think it must've been brilliant with the outdoors and the fountains...
Y-eah. The Rockstar's more of a Run Rings Round People World Dominator.
We pass an old Caucasian couple with delighted smiles on their faces as they watch Rockstar's class troop along - I catch something about "adorable little hats". I know how they feel. We were so psyched with the ESF sunhat Rockstar'd been wearing it all morning before we even left the building.
See? That was us leaving this morning.
On the Rockstar: Standard Issue ESF Outdoor Gear (ie Sunhat! Love!) and umpteen mosquito repellent patches
On me: Old T-Bags dress I chopped off into a top, Vince cashmere hoodie, J Brand jeans, yellow snakeskin moccasins (forgot label), Tom Ford shades, Prada leather tote (impulse purchase at Prada Warehouse years ago when I suddenly decided to bring my huge dealing diary on biz trip - something came up and it was my equivalent of a security blanket - it's a giant desk diary that holds every single scrawl (ie thought) I make during the work day. Just glancing at some of the hurried scribblings would give me a blow by blow of the day's activities <blissful sigh>
Anyway - clipboards!
I'm surprised. I thought we were picnicking and vegging out but it turns out the kids get color printed folios with nice fat blunt sketching pencils attached to clipboards. Throughout the trip they would all be encouraged to draw what they see.
Rockstar draws a 6-legged monkey and a monster next to it. I want to make pollution and toxic waste jokes but then decide not to. Just in case it doesn't sound like I was joking.
Kings is too psyched about getting to join Rockstar's school trip for a bit - he had a business lunch but because of the timing of the trip and the Botanical Gardens' proximity to his office in Central, he could make part of this trip. It's hard to tell who is more thrilled. He's trying to get the camera on one of his two berries up so he can click away and take that with him back to the office.
A quick glance around shows up at least 2 more dads in full work garb out with their little girls for this trip. At snack time I catch a glimpse of the father-daughter team nearest me and suppress a smile - the packaging on the sandwich and drinks they're sharing brings back vivid memories. Pret a Manger. I used to work at IFC. Before that at Citibank Tower. Kings was at Pacific Place 3. All boast Prets. Mc Donald's is Outre. People would grab stuff at Pret before heading out for errands or warehouse shopping excursions on their lunchbreaks <blissful reminiscence>
There are like, umpteen cages of monkey-looking things (sorry conservationists, it was hot and Rockstar was running around so many of them are "monkey-looking things"), raccoons (see, I got that one!), lots of different birds with plumage that look like punk hairdos, giant Orang Utans and turtles.
We get sketch breaks...
And then onward, into orchid houses and round little bamboo groves...
School staff hand out magnifying glasses to the kids and suddenly everything is getting magnified - leaves, roots, pavement, little hands...
Things that make you go AAWWWWW....
A little while after this pic was taken, his (current) best friend in school would come hold his other hand...
Rockstar would later tell me this was his favorite part of the trip.
The tour ends at the playground, and after a bit we leave... We have a few minutes before our ride gets here, so we take the scenic route out, passing yet another dad in work garb hand in hand with a little boy in the same turquoise and navy as Rockstar, as they walk quietly together along the paths.
2 other schools scheduled field trips on this day - I spot grey and red uniforms being herded along one of the trails, and Rockstar and I pass through a little group of white and baby blue uniforms quietly and obediently sitting near the fountain. Their staff are friendly, the other kids seem a little older (maybe it's their standard uniform of all track pants even for the girls, maybe it's just Rockstar is tiny and there aren't any other more normal-sized turquoise and navy kids to compare with...)
But none of the other uniforms were toting clipboards or magnifying glasses...
Rockstar gets huffy in the playground, and I assume he's cranky from being over-tired - but he cools down after a bath (how could I forget, Kings is similarly impossible to talk to when he's feeling hot), and we have a looong talk about the day. Right after he makes sure I put all his leftover snack food from the trip out for him - toasted smoked salmon sandwiches and chocolate mint butter biscuits. He eats it all.
3 large smoked salmon finger sandwiches, 3 butter biscuits - then also a large bowl of stirfried noodles with chicken, carrots and broccoli, some cheesy scrambled eggs, 3 bowls of watermelon, and two organic corn chips with several of my cheese aperifrais.
(Yes, and he had a good bowl of the same fried noodles, then 2 finger sandwiches and a chocolate butter biscuit he tattled on me to another parent for giving him during the trip.)
So sometimes his pediatrician is like He's Little, Does He Eat Anything? and I'm erm is that enough? (But really, I did not see a single kid littler than mine today sigh and he was very much not a small baby.)
My snack. Aperifrais. Shiraz. View.
Then the Rockstar gets out his paints. And then the marble run. And after that he wants to watch the Number Jacks. And then jigsaws.
(No, no nap since he woke just before 9 in the morning.)
I'm exhausted, especially from all the talking to him because he got mad at another kid on the playground.
At the end of the day Rockstar sleeps maybe 20 minutes earlier than usual. Just before 10pm. Just falls asleep after bedtime prayer - maybe because I beg him to. Because he was still asking me about the day.
It... might be time to find him more activities.
Because Mummy would like the break.