Being Manipulated

April 28, 2006

Brought my boy along to do some errands and banking, after everything done still got time left before JS’s school dismiss, didn’t want to travel home and come out again so I brought my boy for some window shopping at Giant. Outside Giant, there are alot of these little booths, among them 2 booths on children books/childhood learning tools. One is linguaphone teach your kids english (something like that) another don’t know what name. I walked by the one don’t know what program and the salesman approached me.

Salesman: Hi maam, how old is your kid?
Me: 1 1/2
Salesman: Would you like to spare a few minutes, let me show you this
Me: No thanks, I already got a lot of books at home, I have my Grolier set as well
Salesman: No no, this is not the same, in fact Grolier is for kids that is already able to read. You don’t have to buy my product, just come and let me show you this. You know how to teach young children to read
Me: No thanks. Not interested
Salesman: (show me a small paragraph on a children story book) How old do you think a child can read and understand this paragraph.
Me: (Took a glance) maybe 5-6
Salesman: Have you heard about Glen Doman. (Show me the book written by GD, highlighted paragraph – it shows something like a child can read at age 1 or something like that. Not paying particular attention, cause I’m really not interested. Salesman also mentioned something about flashcard and also show me a newspaper clip of a 3 year old boy which is able to read and told me he’s not genius or something like that, just because he’s “trained” hence able to read at young age, don’t underestimate our child, all sort of “bullshit”)
Me: Politely said no again and thanks and not interested in GD’s method then quickly walked into one of the shop. But I can hear this salesman screaming from behind that ” Maam, you better read up more ” (He meant on GD’s method) his tone was like you better read up more, else you will be sorry. I HATE THAT TONE!!! I FELT LIKE BEING MANIPULATED!!

What’s wrong with this society now. It keeps me pondering, shall we really start our kids with reading,maths or what so ever that young?? What benefits will they get? I’m trying to weight out the pros – cons, if they don’t start early, will they be left out later, or if I started early, will they feel stress, and lost the meaning of a happy carefree childhood. How can I be so sure that they will feel stress if I started early? Maybe they will end up enjoying it? I just don’t understand. It’s so competative now. Is this trend only happens in Asia or is it worldwide?

The other night I lament to hubby about JS not able to concentrate and doesn’t seems to be able to grap the concept of spelling, words and counting. Hubby said, last time he never attended kindergarden also, he learned all that when he was in primary school. To think about it, quite true also. Though I have attended kindy myself, but I don’t remember learning to read at the age of 3 – 4, and I have managed to learn how to read and write and have also cultivate a love to read ( eventhough I didn’t start young, but still I can read and love to read). So which means starting late or early, eventually they will learn. But again, 20 over years ago and 10 years later will not be the same. 20 over years ago, 9 among 10 of the children are on the same par, they started to learn at the same pace when in primary one, everyone is the same. Now, 5 years or 10 later, 9 amont 10 of the kids attended kindy and at some extend already have a bagful of knowledge, they might already be able to count , to read and to write, they have got tuition classes to brush up whatever even before then enter primary 1. If we still following the 20 years ago trend, will my child be the odd one out when she’s in primary 1? How would a teacher teaches a class of students which are already in a different phase of learning and where would my child stand?


Income Tax Form

April 28, 2006

Yeah… I have finally completed filling up the Borang BE. (I’m a last minute person), look at the form already caused a lot of headache trying to figure out all the very official Malay words. But this year, it was easier to fill up because I basically got no income last year, nothing to declare, no calculation needed.

The first time I got to fill up the form, I did a lot of cursing while filling up, there was not a single english word on the form nor the instruction sheet and the format is so confusing. (That’s how bad my Malay is) Wonder how come they don’t have a much user friendly form. I dreaded all these official forms!

Alternative Babysitter

April 27, 2006

Like most of the modern family today, I have an alternative babysitter at home as well, this babysitter is also my kids appetiser. I have developed a love hate relationship with it. Tadaa… my alternative babysitter is the TV.

Yea yea, when talk about letting kids watch TV, there’s certainly alot of arguments and surely is a controversial issue. Almost every parents talk about, be it a must or not.

When JS was still very young, even newborn time, my mum kept insisting that I shouldn’t let her watch TV. According to her (she’s a pre-school teacher and attended alot of courses) that the fast changing screen on the TV will cause young kids to have less attention span when there are put on the desk to do paper work. She also claims that prolong watching of TV will also cause eye problems, even when we place the baby in front of the tv and the baby is not watching, my mum would claim that the frequency from the TV will cause harm to the young kids. Asked her when is the best time to introduce TV to kids, she said best is when they are pre-schooler and also must have limits. Though as much as I would love to take her advise, I find that I really can’t get rid of the idiot box from my kids.

When JS was at the sitter’s place, she was granted 1/2 hour a day on Sesame Street. Now that we have Astro Play house Disney, I have actually increased her TV time to 2 hours per day. One during lunch time, another at dinner time. Yea yea, again the expert say no eating in front of the TV. But this is the way I get to feed my kids fast. Of course during weekends they get to watch the TV longer, because SIL, MIL will on the TV for the kids, they claimed that it’s the best way to occupy the kids, shut their mouth. . TV has since became their appetiser.WH will follow and glued in front of the TV. He has also became quite an addict already. I can’t deny that sometimes when I’m real busy and can’t entertaint the kids by sitting beside them, TV is my best babysitter.

Why have I not listen to my mum’s advise? Because I can see my kids benefit from the TV. They pick up new words, they learn about things happening around, some basic knowledge, science.

At the same time, I cannot deny that my mum is totally wrong. Eventhough JS can recognize all the alphabets, capital and lower case, can recite or rather “chant” from 1 – 19 and she can talk and argue like a lawyer buruk and can use sophisticated words, but her attention span and concentration is very low when I try to teach her things. She cannot graps the concept of putting alphabets together to form words, spelling bee is very poor, she might be able to recognize words by it form and on a high repetition, but she just can’t concentrate. When teach her maths, she can’t focus on counting those drawings, unless is something physical then she can count, her mind sway halfway during counting. She doesn’t know the sequence of the number. When asked what comes after 6 or any other number, she became blur. Tried to teach her, but I can see her mind wandering far far away and lack of interest no matter how interesting I’ve made the subject. Even those alphabets games on the computer to made up words also she can’t focus. I got very “mang zhang” when teaching her. In side me, I wanted to yell at her “Why you so stupid, Why so bodoh, sent you to school read 屎片啊.” Of course just in side my self yelling that way, but she’s really testing my patient and I lost it very fast when she just can’t follow and grabs the concept.

Another example is my brother. Brother and my age gaps is four years. When I was in primary school, brother is still a pre-schooler and dad is the one looking after him in the afternoon when my mum and me were at school. Being a man, and also dad is busy giving tuition at home, he would just on the TV for my brother in the afternoon. When my brother enter school, he has difficulties on focusing as well. Teaching him, coaching him with his homework was a very tough job for my mum and a heart breaking task.

JS’s godbrother is another example. During pre-school, because his mum didn’t want to put too much pressure and stress on him hence has not really push him much academically. He watched alot of tv, play alot of gameboy, playstation. When he started standard 1, he also had problem to focus. Until now, he’s in standard 5 already, still his mum having a real headache coaching him. His result really 满江红 (all red), everday “eating” 藤线煲猪肉 (being caned by his mum) , he can sit in front of the book but the mind wander off, daydreaming and in a daze. Just like my brother, when ask him to study , he would find excuses, thirsty lah, hungry lah, sit 5 minutes then want to walk away to do something else. I can see myself following JS’s godmother footsteps. Being “mang zhang” and impatient when coaching my kids on doing homework. I remembered seeing JS’s godbrother’s arm with this huge patch of bruises, the mum said that she got so angry teaching him one day that she lost her temper and threw something as his son. (其实是打在手里,疼在心. 为人父母也真不容易.)

What shall I do now? Cut down TV or totally ban it. But how long can I last without one, I have actually gotten quite dependent to the TV now. Shall I just sit back and relax, let JS progress with her own pace, anyway shes’ just 3 year and 5 months old now (excuse for her not to be brilliant, 自我安慰), let her catch up when she’s much older maybe 6 or when she’s in primary school. But again, we are sending her to chinese school, which mean more pressure and 1 extra subject to teach (成语,造句,写作) on top of others subject, can she cope??

I Love My Kids

April 27, 2006

I Love My Kids, I Love My Kids. I love them to the extend that I might spoilt them. Eventhough sometimes I scolded my girl or even beat her when she misbehaved, but I love them both dearly. I am not ashame to admit that they are the most prettiest thingy. (Not to say they got big eyes, long lashes, golden hair) To me eventhough they are “sepet”, I still find them “handsem” and beautiful.

I remember when before I had WH and even when I was bearing him, I keep wondering if I ever will fall in love with him. Will I ever love him as much as how I love his sister. Before that I don’t like to have son, only dream of having daughter. I don’t know how to play with boy, and cannot dress them up like a doll. When I found out about the baby sex, I didn’t feel the excitment as I was bearing JS. I keep doubting and doubting and I even tell one of my friend that I don’t know if I would ever love this baby. I have no feeling for boys.

When WH was born, it’s a different story. I love him instantly. Even with his cheeky and mishevious look now , I still love him very much. All my doubts were cleared. He just charmed my heart with his cute little look. I’m so geram and 肉紧 that I wanted to hug him so tight, I want to bite and pinch him. It gave me the “thump thump thump” in the heart when looking at him. That’s how much I love my boy.

I remember last time when I was young, I used to ask my mum “妈,你爱我比较多,还是爱弟弟多?” (mum, do you love me more or love brother more?) mum will always answer “都一样” (both the same) upon hearing it, I will start questioning myself, is it really true there is equal love?? Then many a time I would accused my mum of being biased “妈,你很偏心.” Now that I’m a mother myself, I know equal love is possible, that my mum has not lied to me. Mum loves me and brother, but she show it to us in a different way, accustomed to our character and habit and personality. Same goes to my kids, I show them my love differently. Though I might easily get angry with my girl, but deep down in my heart, I love them very very much.

My Boy Is 18th Months Old!

April 26, 2006

WH turned 18th months old yesterday. Can’t believe my boy is already 1 1/2 years old and no longer a baby.

Weight: 9.3kg
Height: 78cm
Teeth: All front 8 teeth is out. Sprouting 2 lower front molars, 2 lower eye teeth, left upper front molar and left upper eye tooth.

Went to the paed for his 18th month jab. My kids love to go to the paed office, not to see the doctor but to play at the play area (they thought that is a very good playground). When WH turn is called, get him to walk to the doctor’s room by himself. Once he step food inside and saw the doctor face, he cried. Perhaps still haunted by the last experience where the paed “force” the nebulizer on him.

Afternoon WH keeps holding his nappy and pointing to his bum. Asked if he wants to pee or poo, but he kept shaking his head, then only I realize the place that he got jab was quite sore, a little blue black. Even caught him sitting on one side of the bum only. Very funny. He loves it when I rub it with warm water.

More on his development

Mobility: Able to run more stable now, no more humpty dumpty tumbling down like a mabuk. Will carry a chair and climb up to reach up high surface. Loves riding on the car. Playing rough is his hobby. Will drive his little car and bang it against the wall, will ride it very fast, pretend to have an accident and fall down, also like to do pick up on his little bike

Language: Still doesn’t talk much. Prefers sign language and body gesture. Haven’t notice any new words. Ask him to say “Thank you”, he will gives a deep Japanese style bow. Ask him to say “Good night”, he will waves his hand and say “nia nia”. Ask him who naughty naughty, hew would say “yia yia, yia yia” (don’t know who is that, maybe himself ) Most often hear “hhng…hhng …hhng” . Can see him trying real hard to move his lips to speak up when we requested him to, but he just couldn’t make it, and he would shake his head with embarrasment if he doesn’t get it right. At least he can understand all that we tell him.(Maybe boy are slower at this area, MIL said hubby didn’t start to talk until 2 years old and they initially thought he was mute.)

The other night in the car, I told him “Hanh, Hanh big boy already, cannot nen nen anymore. Look, Che che also never ask for nen nen”, he quickly unlatched and sit very still on my lap. Throughout the whole journey, he just sit very still with the very very kesian look.

When the adults are talking. WH will listen instensly. When we have neglected for a little longer, he would join the conversation with his tougue twisting babble as if he understand what we say and want to be part of the conversation too.

Feeding / Food : Still being fed blended porriadge. Tried the unblended on, and he refuse to eat. He’s just being plain lazy to chew, because if he wants too, he can chew prefectly well on all the hard coarse food we gave him to nibble on. Still being nurse on demand. Formula, he will take only depends on his mood.

Emotions : Getting cheekier and cheekier each day. Likes to disturb his sister for no particular reason. Very good in exerting his rights. Will cry out loud in protest to get his way sometimes and will show the longing kesian look. Very loving to his sister also. Whenever JS vomitted, he would drop everything he’s doing and go to his sister and rub her back. When asked him to sayang, he would hug me and pat my back.
Usually I will call WH didi, di, Hanh or Hanh Hanh.. now I have also added a new name for him, calling him AhBeeeeeee. Whenever I call him that , he will give me a funny laugh.

Others: WH is a little Mr. Vain. Now he will choose his own shirt to wear. If we attempt to change him, he would kick up a fuss.
Able to tell when he wants to pee or poo. But still doesn’t know how to take off his nappy by himself. So sometimes if we are not fast enough, he would do it in his nappy.
He’s still as botak as when he was when he’s a baby


April 26, 2006

When I picked JS from school this noon, she told me solemnly “Sashwin kiss me just now mummy” “See, now I got cough and alot of phelgm already” . I asked her why the boy kissed her, she can’t tell. Asked where the boy kiss her, she said on the cheek

Must talk to the teacher tomorrow. I have notice this boy of 5 years old very fond of JS. Ever since the first day of school, he would always come near JS, whenever JS cries, he would want to sooth and touch her.

Another occation. JS came back from school and told me “mummy, Sashwin got a black birdie” I was shocked that she said so. Ask her why she go peek at people. Told her is wrong to look at people and also it’s wrong to let people see her and touch her.

Out & About With Men

April 25, 2006

Another post about going out. All these inspired by trip last week.

Friday night, asked hubby “What time are we leaving tomorrow?” “9am” (Hell, so early, you think I’m a super women meh)

Hubby’s suppose to go for breakfast with FIL at 7am and MIL requested us to sent the maid over her place to help out clean the place for the mere 2 hours prior to the trip. ( We stayed at SIL’s place at Ara, PILs are at Subang), I can handle and get ready the kids by myself, no problem, provided been given ample of time. Though I can get up early to get ready, but the kids just isn’t ready. 1st they are not use to sleeping early, hence not been able to get up early the next morning. As much as I like to wake them up at 7.30am, it would be very difficult with grumpy cranky little faces. They usually wake up the earliest at 8am sometimes at 9am. Hubby always wants to rush and blame me for poor planning, poor time management. I need to pack the things, make the bed, clean the room (since it’s only our weekend home and not coming back till next week), prepare the food basket (make sure all the necessity for the kids are there, filled the water, clean all the bottles etc etc), when the kids wake up need to feed milk, feed breakfast (feeding WH itself will at least take 1/2 hours), after that need to bath and change both kids and myself. Hubby is expecting me to do this all by myself in within an hour the kids get up and be ready to go when he got home. (Getting a little furious of hubby not being understanding, of course end up SIL told MIL that the maid need to stay back to help, that’s how we made it on time. If not hubby will be home with a long sour face look)

I find that man (especially 大男人 – dai nam yan) don’t really give a damn to all these details. When they want to go, they think they are still the single, carefree guy that can leave the house any moment they want. ( For me going out with kids takes in a lot of consideration, what to bring, whether we will be back in time for meal , if not need to pack out etc etc). Sometimes I get really “mang zhang” with hubby. There are times that he would just wait for us in the car with the engine on, with sour face, as if we were holding up his time. (这些男人,以为还是王老五,两袖清风,骚骚屁股,说走就走)

It reminds me very much of my father too. When we were young, dad will also sit in the car and wait for us impatiently and he would always blame mum for being “lou hei” (漏气), blame us for waking up late, taking our own sweet time..blah blah blah. I guess men are all like that. Don’t want to help, but expecting fast and efficient result. *sigh*