if all else fails, maybe we can be a circus family

took raven to her gymnastics class today. jeff wanted to sleep in but decided to come at the last minute instead. i was glad, as that meant we could spend time together as a family. something we rarely get to do these days because of our schedule.

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the 45-minute class actually has a program that they follow but raven’s too young to obey the instructions yet. that kid gets easily distracted with other stuff that jeff and i end up doing the routines on her behalf, like most parents there do. the teachers are kind enough to understand. as OC as i can be, i try to give raven a free reign on the activities she wants to do instead, even if they’re not exactly gymnastics-related. like that time she ended up playing with wooden dinosaur puzzles she found on the floor. and today, scooping plastic eggs with a spoon into a cone. as long as she’s having fun, hey?

nevermind if half the time, it’s jeff who seems to be having the most fun amongst all the people in there — jumping on the trampoline or doing back flips into the styrofoam pool…

sometimes i wonder for whom we really enrolled in gymnastics for.

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but it’s all good. i worked out the cost and it’s pretty much the same as taking her to a play centre anyway. at least with gymnastics, she’d be able to develop good eye coordination and balance and what-have-you. who knows, because she’s a tiny kid, she could maybe use her height and her flexibility to her advantage in the future. like maybe they’d throw her to the top of a human pyramid or the three of us can be a circus family or something, with jeff as the clown and me as the manager. (well, somebody has to do the administrative work, right?!)

today, watching a grandfather and granddaughter team really got me teary-eyed. for real. i don’t normally go soft like that but he reminded me of my dad. and how much i would love for raven to be able to spend time with him like that. he must have been about 70 years old. what made it a hundred times more cuter was that he and the kid both seemed to be just taking their time, just following his pace. he held her hand through the jumps and watched her closely as she climbed a ladder. gentle and silent by her side. that moved me.

“okay, jeff, that’s it! we’re retiring in the philippines. i’ve made up my mind,” i said, after fighting back my tears.

“that’s what i’ve been telling you all this time!” he replied.

“no, we’re selling the house this weekend. we’re flying out next week.”

“yeah, right.”

but seriously, though… i so wanted to go up to the grandpa and tell him he reminded me of my dad but i was too shy to do so. i just smiled at him instead, hoping he could telepathically receive the message that i was trying to say. he smiled in return. maybe he did.

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for somebody who does her own thing and doesn’t follow the class at all, raven sure is the first to run towards the door to get her hands and feet stamped. it’s really funny. as if she’s suddenly this model student, and with marks to prove it too!

raven gymnastics

i always see these three ladies on the way out. they remind me of gayle, roma, and me. back in the days when chikicha was our trip. jeff asked their permission if i could take a photo of them because i’m not really the type to come up to people and say, “hey, can i take your picture?”

that would be jeff. the complete opposite of ‘shy.’ i don’t know if he even knows what that means.

had brunch at this cafe at the plaza after. jeff and raven’s favorite hangout post-gymnastics class. an expensive kiddie meal of scrambled eggs, bread, and hash brown. their weekly splurge. raven LOVES eggs, i kid you not. we have to sandwich the bread bits in between the egg otherwise she’d just spit it out. and did i say it’s expensive?

speaking of bread, had a little debate with jeff about racism…

spent some time sitting on one of the shopping centre’s kiddie rides as well. they’re freaking expensive! $3 for a 2-minute or so of headache-inducing ride. i should know. last time all three of us actually rode it and halfway through i had to get out as it was making me dizzy. also because it was embarrassing to have two adults sitting on them tiny cars going around in a circle with their kid.

dandenong plaza

capped the day outdoors at the park outside dandenong plaza. it was such a nice day today. the weather was perfect. a bit windy but nothing that jeff’s hair couldn’t handle.

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*raven at 1 year and 10 months old