All Things Are Difficult Before They Are Easy

After 6 months of swimming classes, my son is finally able to swim from one end of the pool to another without using a float. His journey, and us as parents was not easy. His struggle was to keep practising. Our role was to make sure that he is consistent in going to his classes and persistent in moments when he does not want to swim.

I still believe in some of the traditional ways of raising your children. Which includes not giving in too much into his choices. Cause his choices can be bad for his future. I don’t spank or hit my kid but I raise and harden my voice, a lot. I don’t yell. I just give out verbal threats. Things like,

“if you don’t change into your swimming gear now, I will STILL bring you to your swimming class in those Pokemon pajamas ..”

and I would just stand there, stare him down whilst he cry his eyeballs out. It was hard not to give in but I had to make my stand. He caved in and packed his suit and like most kids, you just need to give them the early motivation, within minutes they already enjoy the class and wants to attend the next one.

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But to be honest, the same cycle of ‘I don’t want to go‘ will start all over again.

I did try to explore the reasons of why he refuses to go to class. Some of his reasons include;

  • he doesn’t have any friends that he know during those sessions. I told him to make new friends. I also understand that he would feel a bit different there as there are very few Malays but I wanted him to know, mix and talk to other non-Malay Malaysians for exposure.
  • he was worried that he couldn’t catch up. I told him he does not need to get everything right and perfect in one go – all I wanted for him is to try and give his best.
  • it’s cold in the water. I told him that he needs to eat more then, so he would bulk up and stand the temperature of the water better. I make him drink at least 2 glasses of milk everyday, 3 glasses on a weekend. He is gaining weight and getting taller. Not so much of body fat. haha

I enrolled him in the unlimited class options for RM700 over 6 months. Prior to that  huge monetary commitment, I signed him up to the trial class to see if it would suit him. That was 4 classes at RM120. I have not been able to send him there on a daily basis but we make do with the flexibility in terms of timing the sessions on weekends.

I told him that he can stop the classes once he masters the strokes and has advanced to the deeper end of the pool. But his learning journey will not stop there. Once this skill station is done, we are sending him to a language class. It will be up to him then which language he would like to learn.

 

I married a Mommy’s boy

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My son helped with the dishes today. I never really taught him how nor did I tell him that he should. Perhaps he saw his father doing it. Mr Husband is his Mommys boy. It was difficult to kind of digest that in the first few months of my marriage. He showered her with gifts. He never failed to hug his mom. He called her everyday when we were still working in Kuching.

Now he sees her everyday. Well.. partly because we send our son to his grandparents during daytime to help keep an eye on him. Mr Husband buys his mom a week supply of groceries every week without fail, cleans her house, paints the walls, fix the lights and helps out in whatever that needs doing. She would get to know the most important news (that matters) the first. And did I mentioned that when he does these things he would bring our son along?

Initially I felt left out. But now as we’re heading strong into our 7th year of marriage – I honestly can’t wait for him to do the weekly chores at his moms house. At least I have that few hours by myself to just do my own cleaning or cooking or just you know, journalling and playing with my stickers and washi tapes. Without his sometimes annoying grandiose mutterings in my ears. Or that curious peek from behind my shoulders. sibuk sgt tau. HAHAHAHAHA.

I would want a son like Mr Husband when I’m old. Lets start em gentleman grÔÔming  young shall we?

Counting my blessings – my little sunshine

This is just me counting my blessings. Documenting the little miracles and rezeki in my life.

I had a terrible shift last night. Macam biasalah...jonah its like once I step into the Casualty Unit for my shift – patients just decide to flock in and needs resuscitation. Despite a hectic night, I managed to have 58 accumulated minutes of rest in between cases. I was still on my feet when the next shift rolled in. I couldn’t think straight once it’s time to punch out.

I fetched my son from his grandmothers house after work. Once we reached home, I switched on the air conditioner in the living room. I told Ee that Mummy needs to rest and take a nap (had my pillow and blanket laid out on the floor) and that he is free to watch whatever cartoon he wants. I also reminded him to wake me up if he wants anything like switching on bathroom lights or anything.

Then I dozed off and when I woke up in between my stages of sleep – I saw my little angel engrossed peacefully in his little world. He was doing his kindergarten homework independently with his Ultraman Cosmos series on the telly. On a considerable volume – not too loud but just enough for him to hear the show. I was also amused that he had his yogurt drink beside him which he took out himself from the fridge. It was such a beautiful sight to see him there – minding his own work and managing himself accordingly.

When he saw me waking up – he narrated to me about him homework and the number of stars  he got for his work. He explained about the monsters and Ultraman forces. he offered me his drink to which I politely declined. Because I was practically still in mamai mode. For a minute I was that irresponsible, oh-my-god sorta mom because immediately after his ‘brief report’ I continued to doze off. Only to be awakened by a phone call from my husband asking the colour of our ‘tong gas’ because it has run out of gas.

But yes, my son is my blessing today. He could have been screaming his head off or making my nap impossible but he didn’t. Alhamdulilah…

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.

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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.

 

Being a parent is to be present

The thing about kids is that they only remember the moments when you are not there. Contrary to adults, QUALITY may not be the best way to go as they tend to value QUANTITY more. At least not until they’re 7 or something. So I have to thank technology for camouflaging the fact that I’m not physically there with my son.

For instance, Whatsapp with their voice recording feature. Sometimes when I am oncall, my boy would send me a voice message illustrating his very important day/night acitivites and achievements – like how he managed to not pee in his diapers overnight and woke up dry! Or the time when he was coached by Mr Husband to say that he loves his daddy more just because he bought a new toy. Ha ha.

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But yes, it got me thinking. Here I am being this young working mother trying to adhere  to all these modern, urban parenting advice dispensed by those with more experience. Less TV time, no phones, spend productive and efficient time with children etc. While these parenting theories or how-tos are useful  – I still think to make parenthood magical is up to you.

Use them as guides to make better decisions. To suit your lifestyle and such. But follow your maternal instinct at the same time. I once envisioned myself teaching Ee 3 different languages but ended up feeling okay that he knows how to say ‘thank you’, ‘please’ and ‘sorry’. I wanted him to read the encyclopedia by 8 years old but I suppose I’m content that he knows how to read his age at the moment. I know that I could teach him to be a better person if I was there. If I make a presence. So he could see me, mimic me, listen to me, hug me and laugh with me.

Didiklah anak seiring dengan zamannya

There’s a lot more to know and understand about parenthood and husband-wife relationship with a child in the picture. Being an MD does not make me know about everything there is to know about raising a kindie.