It’s almost as if the light behind Day had been switched off when we left for Sydney and in a Eureka light-bulb moment of pure joy, started glowing the moment we touched down in the Changi Airport and he was swept up into his beloved Gong Gong’s arms.
For him, the last three days have been nothing short of ecstatic. Almost as if cheerful chatty Day hibernated for a year and just woke up.
As much as he hates the Chinese language, his place is clearly here amongst Singlish-speaking black-haired yellow-skinned fishball-eating people who love him, and nowhere else.
The stuttering has suddenly stopped completely. And I mean completely. He’s still brusque with strangers, but to his family, he talks nineteen to dozen.
He’s been scarfing down big bowlfuls of his favourite bee tai mak fishball soup and other hawker favourites, and I am quite certain he will start putting meat on his visible ribs – everybody says he got painfully thin during his Sydney jaunt.
He wanders the house, upstairs and downstairs, with a beatific expression on his face, exploring the nooks and crannies which were but ghostly memories for a year, plonking notes on the piano and playing with the old toys which he clearly remembers.
He has been completely disinterested in the laptop or watching DVDs because he has more important things to do.
He puts his arms around his Gong Gong and tells Por Por “I love you”.
Each day, his conviction to want to go back to Leeton Avenue in Coogee Beach wavers more and more.
My son is completely, utterly, fully, happy and at peace.
It makes me feel very sorry that I even carted him off to Sydney in the first place.
Dee, on the other hand, is down while her brother is up.
She is not sleeping well, not eating well and - in what I reckon is the truest measure of whether a child is stressed – not pooing well. She hasn’t pooed in days.
As Sydney was to Day, Singapore is to her. She only wants to be in my arms all day long because she’s so dazed.
Put in her shoes, I suppose anyone would feel the same.
The weather is too hot. Her hair is hanging in uncomfortable wet strings. The house is too big. She can’t go up and down the stairs. Her Gor Gor, who used to play with her all the time, is always off in some other part of the house doing his own thing. Too many strange people trying to kiss her. She no longer eats her brown rice porridge (I just feed her our meals but that probably isn’t a good idea at the moment). She hates bathing under the shower. Her papa is no longer always sitting at the same spot at the dining table where she can climb up and sit on his lap to watch him study. She no longer watches The Wiggles. Her parents no longer plop her in the pram to bring her out to play at Coogee Beach.
Tonight I took out my recorder and, like in Sydney where I would play it nighly for the kids, played her favourite tunes. She was thrilled.
Her life has been turned upside down. But unlike Day in Sydney, I am fairly certain my fat fairy will bounce back. She is made of sterner stuff than her sensitive brother.