Monday, November 20, 2006

Ambil report card

One thing we have to do as parents is to attend the Parents-Teachers-Day to collect our children's report card and listen to what the teacher has to say about our babies. You will either like it or you don't. I have mixed feelings. I really want to know how my son have progressed but am afraid to hear negative things, keep a straight face ( instead of crumbling to cry ) and find the right/appropriate response.
So there I was, with Dan, Umar and Titi in tow, to see Mrs Devi again. We bumped into Mrs Mala ( Umar's pre-1 teacher ) and she said she is hoping to see Umar's little sister in her class next year. Titi in response, hid behind Dan.
We waited for our turn. 1 girl went inside with her parents and Umar said, behind her retreating back, that that girl doesn't know anything. I asked what does he mean by that and he said she just doesn't know anything and she could not do anything. That is one thing I have to teach my son. Not to say anything bad about other people, especially in a judgmental tone. I wonder what other children has to say about my son. How can I protect him from these kind of things as he has entered into a bigger world, where people are different and hypercritical. We might be of the same race, but we built differently in our little own world called family. The gap is wider with people of different races. I really have to teach my son to accept people as who they are, to accept the things we find peculiar but normal to them, as what is more wonderful than the opposite of monotony ?
Anyway, Mrs Devi told me stuffs that I do not know about my son. She told me that Umar is the class clown and how he would eagerly raise his hand to answer questions, not caring if his answer is right or wrong. He will just bellow a laughter if he is wrong. He also is not shy of arguing if he thinks his answer is right.
His writings are big though, she said and Dan replied there is nothing anybody could do about that as that is how his momma's writings are.
My son is the class clown ? I know he is funny. I know he likes a good laugh and understand jokes. I love his roaring laughter when the telly tickled his funny bone. But a class clown ? Really baby ?
He once lead the class to sing 'Old Macdonald', a song he used to fondly call as Lagu Tok Mi because Tok Mi taught him that song. I do not know all this. Do I have to be his teacher to get another glimpse of my son ? In all truth, I am starting to envy all the people around him when I am not around. They get to be with this boy that means so much to me.
Then I will start to envy Titi's teachers and friends too. Ha ha.... what a life I am going to lead. It is just that, the 2 people that love them the most, get to spend such a small amount of time with them. But it is okay. But I have devised a plan. They have to hand me my grandchildren !! yelah, I won't be working at that time ( hopefully ) and now have time for my children's offspring !!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My Favourite Book

I am an avid reader. I could go to a bookstore ( decent or otherwise ) and snap like 5 books in 1 go. My darling hubby is more scared of accompanying me to a bookstore than to a shoe store. I would say that my priorities are books, because I could ho and hum over shoes, clothes and bags for days, but I could never with books.
I went through books like water when I was a public transport user. I read on the KTM train, then on the Monorail then repeat prodecure after 6 pm. Therefore, a book could only last 1 week. A very good book would take 3 days. Last time, I had a commuter book and an on-the-john book.
Now, I only have the on-the-john book. I could not read in bed nowadays as I am only allowed thin books with very large letterings. We are currenlty reading ' Naughty Amelia Jane ' in bed and I am re-reading an okay piece by..... I can't remember the name of the writer at this moment... Anyway....
I find that I read books differently now. I think I read them more carefully and books that I don't get last time, I will comprehend now. Books that I raved and raved about its beauty, I find rather bland now and books that I hated, turned out to be okay after all.
My favourite book has always been " To Kill A Mockingbird " by Harper Lee. I loved it when I first read it and now, I think it is the most brilliant thing ever. I understood the plot better and could fantasize and appreciate their situation more. I suppose I was vaguely aware of the troubles in the US during the slave era, but now since I am better informed of that period, that is why I fell in love all over again, but in a bigger capacity this time.
Eva Ibbotson is another wonderful writer. I read " The Song For Summer " and " Madensky Square " and got the message first time. Cleverly written but with a simple plot, I rue the day when I stopped myself from buying her " Dutchess Under The Stairs " for another book. I was in London and was at Waterstones, just off Oxford Street. I figured I could always buy her books in Malaysia. It turned out I can't. Kinokuniya only carries her children books. Those I read with relish and found that a certain warlock was loosely based on her " Which Witch ? " and " Platform 3 and 3/4 ".
But I find, one thing that doesn't change is my need to cool down from a book. I have resting time for certain books, when the plots are too unbearable for me to take. 1 good example was " Dawn ", by Virginia Andrews, the author that so favours incestuous relationship storylines. I had to put that one away for awhile, due to that very reason and didn't pick it up again....
I have grown out of Virginia Andrews, Sidney Sheldon and most Avon Romance books.... emmm... except for Julia Quinn. I am impatiently waiting for her next book on the Bridgeton family...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Slipped Disc ?

Since first Raya, I have been plagued with back pain. Come third Raya, it was rather bad. Then it went away. Then it came again. It was Wednesday. Coincidently, during our lunch trip on Thursday, Kak Maz wanted to see our doctor. So off we went after lunch. Kak Maz told me that since we were at the doctor's office, why don't I go in as well ? I was reluctant as I have no cash on my person. En Azman said he has some and Kak Maz said she has some left, so after Kak Maz went in, I pun masuk.
She asked me to rukuk, I can only manage about 30 degrees. It was about 10 degrees yesterday, I told Dr Zalina. She asked me to lie down and lift up my leg. Left leg no problem, right leg upright caused some pain.
Early symptoms of slipped disc, she told me. Really ? I don't remember ever falling, I protested. Did you lift anything heavy recently ? No, the heaviest thing I ever carry is my very small and very thin daughter ( the paying up scene was rather humiliating. As I mentioned before, I haven't any money at that time and the bill was RM 65. None of us went to the bank and En Azman and Kak Maz had to pool money between them to pay and only managed to raise RM 60 !! Nasib baik dah biasa dengan Dr Zalina tu..... Tapi ada banyak orang keliling.....)
I was dissatisfied and contacted Dan's uncle, Pakcik Basir, an orthopaedic surgeon in Kuching. Alhamdullilah, he is actualy flying down ( or up ) to KL that very night with Mak Nina ( she is a GP by the way. They are so clever, both of them, they skipped one year of medical school ).
Friday, met my boss at KLCC for a very early meeting. He saw me with my heavy lap top and took it from me. He luggged it around during our meeting. I was mortified as he is my CEO. I can't imagine working like this.
Saturday, Pakci Basir came and we discussed and he said well yes, 80% sure I have slipped disc. So he advised me that I have to manage this well. Banyakkan berehat sementara tengah sakit ni. Only 10% of slipped disc sufferer required surgery. He also showed me how to lift things, blah, blah, blah... " Ummm pakcik... " I said, " Boleh ke mandikan anak and kemas katil ? " Pakcik said no lah. Not for awhile at least.
Ha ha..... Smugly, I told Dan, " Sayang ku, I was advised by the good doctor, which happens to be your uncle, to refrain myself from making the bed and bathing the children," Dan said it's okay, we will adjust. So Saturday and Sunday, Babah bathed them alone. It has always been a team effort by us. This Monday morning, Umar was ready for school at 7 am. Kesiannya dia. Frankly, I missed washing his cute tooshie. And seriously, boys really don't know how to make the bed nicely.....

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Kebun Bunga

I have always loved Kebun Bunga a.k.a Botanical Garden in Penang. The monkeys were a real treat. Were because where I live now, monkeys are aplenty and bountiful and they have become quite a menace actually.

Anyway, since it is a must when we were little, I want to pass on the tradition to my children. So, off we went. It was a treat because we saw other animals apart from monkeys.


The usual monkeys. They are the brown ones okay.


Biawak. For the love of me, I can't think of biawak in English. Lizard ? Ye ke ?

Lepas tu,

Butterflies. I took their pictures because I am amazed by their size. They are huge. Bigger than the normal all white or all yellow I selalu nampak.

And finally

This very cute squirrel. Again, we were struck by the size and the colour. My colleague said maybe he is the result of an unhealthy liason between a squirrel and a monkey. I cannot le fitnah mak bapak squirrel ni kan.... But I love the colour. It is rater docile as we stared and stared and pointed at it for quite some time but he kept on nibbling on the tree bark, ignoring us.

I haven't been to Kebun Bunga for a long time. I couldn't even remember the last time I was there with my family. But Mail, he he ... he hated it when we go. The story is like this,

I was maybe 13 or 14. We went to Kebun Bunga as usual, this time with arwah Tok Cik in tow. Had a great time, blah , blah, blah and went back into the van to go to the jetty and naik ferry balik Bagan. You have to understand the sheer number of us and I take it as my responsibility to make sure that no one is left behind. Nobody ever told me to do this. I just appointed myself as the Offical Head Counter. I counted and counted and the numbers don't add up. We were missing one. But still I was quiet as I paling malas create panic. I started to call names in the order of age, when I couldn't see my chubby little brother. I remember shouting " Mana Mail ? " and I saw my parents head snapped back to look behind. Sure enough, Mail was not with us. My grandmother frantically looked around ( Mail is her favourite because he is named after my Tok Wan ) and Syafiq was already pushing us around, to make sure Mail is not beneath anybody I suppose. Confirm ! We have left Mail, our 7 of 8, our 5 - 6 year old family member behind.

Ayah made an illegal U-turn and we raced back to Kebun Bunga. Everybody was quiet. We could hear Tok's sobs but all of us had our eyes on the road. Syafiq jumped out of the van before it even stopped. We saw a crowd was already formed at the entrance and my dad were stuck at his seat, unable to move. All of us finally breathed again when we saw Syafiq carrying the very fat, chubby Mail while kissing him and hugging him at the same time.

Nobody remembered this hero ( aku le tuh ). Whenever I recounted the story to my family, they always asked " Hang ka ? " Cess......

I remember when he was enconsed again in my Mum's embrace, Mummy asked Ayah what would he have done if we were already on the ferry. Ayah said he would swim back to Penang. I pulak keep on imagining the van in the water.

That is why Mail paling menyampah pi situ. My dad would always attempt to leave him behind again.. ha ha....