My son did not win the colouring contest but it was all not in vain

Last weekend my son participated in a coloring contest organized by PhysioMalacca Day. The winners would be judged based on certain criterias beknowned to the judges. It was apparently a popular contest as more than 80 minions kids were present – all fighting for a spot to get on with their coloring and such.

We set up Ee and his cousins little table as a flat surface for his coloring near the kindie kids. I knew beforehand that he was not going to win. Yeah – a very realistic mom. I know what my kids abilities are but I was hoping that he would at least finish off the task.

To my dismay he didn’t. He got distracted. While my 4 year old niece was very focused on her coloring, Ee had his eyes and attention wandering everywhere. He watched the other kids playing sukaneka. Then he eyed the girl next to him , probably wondering why she got scolded by her mother too much for using the tiny green color pencil instead of the much bigger one. Even I was perplexed. Mewarna je kot. Bukannya nak design bangunan.


Halfway through the contest – which is like 8 minutes into his work he already had The Face. The Face he makes when he gets bored, merajuk or simply malas. The Face that makes any mother go ” awwh.. come on boy.. sikit lagi kot”. He began to slouch which aggravated his facial expressions. He had his chin stuck in his palm. At the end of the contest, he just refused to finish his work and even insisted on not handing it in. I had to put my foot down, took away his paper and have my niece sent it in on his behalf because he ain’t moving from the ground.

And boy I can’t wait to impart on his life lesson during the prize giving ceremony.

Of course he did not win. Ntah2 was disqualified for not completing the assignment. I could tell he was sad when he saw other kids walked up the stage to receive their colorful wrapped packages. And have photos taken with the VIP.

Ee later asked why he didn’t get a present. I asked him back why did he think he deserves a present. He said because he participated and color the picture. I told him he did not finished his work – and proceeded to further ask whether someone who didn’t complete his homework at school deserves a star by his teacher. He said NO.

I then told him that the same goes for this contest. Surely you don’t think you should get a prize when you didn’t even do it properly, right?

I think he kinda got the concept of “working for something to get rewarded accordingly”,  because he gave me a weak nod. With his almost tearing eyes. Grrr… those puppy eyes. We went home after the prize giving ceremony and Ee was so quiet in the car. I caved in to his misery and stopped at 7Eleven to get those bottled drinks and cookies he liked on promotion. Problem partially solved. I shall leave the lesson of losing despite working hard another time.


His first competition and 5 lessons

When I was younger and participated in various school competitions – to me they were just stuff you do to win a prize. Little did I know that all these activities serve certain purposes and was part of an education. These were learning processes beyond the classrooms 4 walls. Even colouring activites are of benefit as we can ascertain whether a child can colour in the lines, recognize colours and use them appropriately. for instance, not colouring a cow purple and those sort of things. When I had a child myself, I began to discover the beauty of extra curricular activities. 

Ee participated in a Nasyid competition recently. He was apparently chosen by Teacher Zara because he was one of the few who memorized the song well. All they needed to do was practice and boy little Ee learnt a few things while training.

He learnt to;

  1. Accept criticism – in the beginning, he was a bit shy although he have been in the company of Teacher Zara and his friends for nearly a year now. Hence he was singing initially in a whisper. Teacher Zara chided him gently on that but instead of taking it in, he did the normal toddler thing. He sulked, muted his voice and refused to participate. He said he wanted out. He merajuk long time. Until we made him see the importance of singing out loud. Of how he could help his team and Teacher Zara to win. He understood and went to see his teacher – apologized comically and was back in the group.
  2. Obey instructions – he was able to move according to cues. He listened to Teacher Zara on when was the appropriate time to speak, eat and even pee. He was learning to respect authority accordingly.
  3. Be part of a team – he was engaging with his friends as a team player. He acknowledged his team-mate as the group leader and himself as a team member.
  4. Interact with a wider group of people – that the world does not evolve around him per se. That there are other preschool kids just like him at a different place.
  5. To win, you must make an equally good effort – his team won 3rd place in the competition and the prize came with a mini trophy. He was so proud of it he posed a selfie with it quite frequently. He also had a bonus lesson; that life is unfair sometimes. He was surprised when his cousin who fell sick on that day could still get the trophy despite not singing the nasyid. Ha ha ha..

As a young mother, I am looking forward to more life lessons like these. Congratulations Ee, Mummy is very proud of you.

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