Friday, October 29, 2010

Each New Morning

Sunrise, Langkawi 2009.


A rejuvenating Subuh.

Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah. 

It is as though I am on a vacation in an island. Every thing is serenely beautiful that my being is beaming with positivity. 

Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah. 

"For each new morning with its light
 For rest and shelter of the night
 For health and food, for love and friends
 For every thing Thy goodness sends."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Domestic Manager's Work is Never Done

A lot to write. Too little time.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

S.l.o.w!

The Internet at home has been slow since yesterday. Too slow.

You know it is no longer slow when I update my Facebook status and Chech: Eccentric with photos :).

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Espresso, by Khalish



Sometimes, I have believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast
Lewis Carroll

Thursday, October 21, 2010

O, Spirit

I lust for feel-good factors.

A biography, in book form.
A workout, endorphin-loaded.
A pedicure, or foot lotion.
A good old traditional massage, perhaps.
A top, so light.
A stroll, somewhere pleasant.
A quiet lunch, or dinner, with a new book.

A day, alone, definitely.

And, I promise I would miss neither Kamal nor Khalish.

I will just enjoy my own presence.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Obsession, The Exploitation

One morning this week, Khalish woke up way earlier than the usual 8:00 a.m., yet, I was still half way through the house chores. However, I could not complete anything because the two-year-old was clinging to my pants while begging me, with tears, to join him and the play dough. I was flattered that he found my company enjoyable. Nonetheless, I was also adamant about completing the house chores with the domestic mood around. 

It was then that I exploited Khalish's obsession for lorries.

"Would you like to watch lorries on my computer?" I lured, with excitement.
"Yes!" so he was bought.

I actually put a slideshow of the lorries I drew for him. There were only three photos, but, each was displayed for 10 seconds and accompanied with Khalish's selection of songs, which happened to be among my favourite, too. Pomplamoose's Mister Sandman and Glee's Over the Rainbow, repeated for an umpteenth time.

In the end, he was happy, and, I was definitely over the rainbow. How glad I was about his obsession with lorries, and my obsession with visual documentation. Heh.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Feel Good, Always!

Solat Subuh.
Housekeeping. 
Nutritious breakfast. That only took five minutes to prepare.

So, more time for Kamal, Khalish, and myself. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Carefree

Saturday was a blur, surprise, surprise. I now realise that my rebel was caused by an unfulfilled need. A whole day of rest, to be precise. A whole day of rest with nothing to fret about, not even calories, to be more precise.

I did not announce the aforementioned need though. I did so only after the damage was done. Today is better, but, the damage is still there.

I do not feel like fixing anything yet. I just feel like resting, with nothing to fret about. There.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Six Lorries, One Bubble Bath, and One Happy Mommy

Six lorries and one bubble bath.

Yesterday, the fried rice, that I prepared with healthy ingredients and lots of love, was a hit. Khalish even requested for more during dinner. No more left though. At the same time, I felt like slowly sipping a cup of coffee after a hectic week. The nearby Pizza San Francisco sprang to my mind. So did its apple pie, for Khalish, his growth spurt, and his good manner of lately.

The moment we put on our shoes, a close chum called. She was around, and she was thinking of us and a pizza. No apple pie, as Khalish nodded enthusiastically at his new friend's offer to share the pizza. His first time. Seeing the enthusiasm, my close chum even sacrificed her need for the hot and spicy variety.

From there, the conversation moved to oven, relationship, John Lennon, aspiration, and last but not least, creativity. The final topic came as I diligently drew Khalish's latest obsession, namely lorries, according to his specifications, with a tissue paper on the table. The close chum commented on my promptness in manipulating the surrounding for a fun activity to make a toddler sit still. I admitted to her that creativity is my survival skill in parenthood.

I have always loved children. Nonetheless, I realised that I lacked the patience to manage the active ones. The reason I am given Khalish, I suppose. Little by little, particularly since becoming a stay at home mother, I learned to manage my reactions towards a defiant son.

I learned to negotiate at toddler's level while simultaneously bringing him to adult's level.
I learned to be less adamant about my argument, and listened to his instead.
I learned to delegate tasks, with faith.
I learned to go with the flow, or simply let go.
I even learned that a simple act of anger like biting my lip, could lead to more anger.

Most of all, I learned that my creativity has been with me for another reason. Aside from skipping formal dinner back at school in the name of completing a mural, it has offered me patience in my pursue of a better, and indeed, fun, way to discipline Khalish. It builds character.

When Khalish emphasised his need for a toy truck by shouting for the whole restaurant to respond, I knew he needed me to involve him while conversing with the close chum. My quick response could be a whack at the padded back, but the creativity within me presented an equally quick, but better solution: when your handbag was too full to accommodate a toy truck, draw one, or six.

Back at home, when Khalish refused to bathe despite the sweat from all those jumping and running, the creativity replaced the impatience once again. I made use of the Play-Doh for a pretend play. Of how fun and relaxing bubble bath* could be.

Khalish was inspired by the visual power. Me, I was, too. By how fun and relaxing being creative could be.

*Thank you, Tuty, for the idea when I was stuck with yet another Khalish's defiant episode.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I Feel



Tranquil

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Khalish Has a Little Lamb



Khalish has a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb
Khalish has a little lamb
Its fleece is white as snow

Yet, its eyes and nose are dotted in black
Dotted in black, dotted in black
Its eyes and nose are dotted in black
So, Khalish calls it Zorro



Photos of Khalish and Zorro, at the former's grandparents' backyard orchard.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

When More is More

To write here, I had to pull my hand away from Khalish's grip. He was awake at 7:00 a.m. despite a late bedtime, and I, like any moms, knew the possible tantrum for the lack of rest. Before I could make my way, from the tea and the laptop, to him, I found the boy walking towards me. "Mommy, nak mommy!"

*He held my hand until he reached dreamland again and I asked a favour from Kamal, in a whisper, to bring my laptop to the bedside. I read a blog with parenting topics punched with reality and humour, and, being a typical Eccentric Chech, had a sudden rush to write about my own experience as a novice parent.

With episodes after episodes of the so-called terrible two, I found him needing me sweet. As updated in my Facebook status today, I shall take any tantrum, if there is any, easily today. I shall do the laundry, clean the house, and cook for the two of us at leisurely pace, and play more with him. More doodling, more figures from the play doh and those blocks, more reading, more pretend plays, more singing, more exchanges of good banter, and, of course, more cuddling.

* My mother realised how Khalish has always preferred to hold a loved one's hand to go to sleep. He would also move his fingers around, sensing the skin texture probably as he could differentiate between my hand and the daddy's. It surprised me when my mother told Kamal and I how I behaved similarly when I was his age. Heh. Yet another trait bequeathed from me to him.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Facebook Status

Noraishah Mohamad Ali Kamil's son loved sushi although he spat a baby octopus out. Thank you, Rafidah Fique Ramli, for the lunch suggestion. Let's do dim sum next, with more mates.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Sneak Peek: Ramadhan and Syawal in Hong Kong

Today, a month ago, Kamal, Khalish, and I were in Hong Kong with my parents and a brother. Most memorable. Nevertheless, yours truly is too occupied with the moment's reality that travelling through Chech: Eccentric time machine has to take a back seat.

One fine day, I promise myself. 

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Now, for the Future

I am learning to be a better person with my son's help.
That includes sacrificing my me-time to accommodate to his needs.

Pretend play is one of them:

New low-cost airline launched in Bandar Baru Bangi. 
Low-cost it is, thanks to Khalish's cheap toys.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

This, I Write with Heavy Heart

I will always remember you as a person with most exemplary characters. Thank you, for the decision. It was a pleasure to be under your leadership.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Ole Ole

Kamal, Khalish, and I are back from Pahang.

On a Monday morning, when we are also back to the daily routine, it is energising to think of the new experiences:


  • Relationship, revived. It takes all sides to respect each other.
  • D'Ambang Resort, Chini. Basic facilities include WiFi. 
  • Chini-Triang journey. Full of little delights found at villages along the majestic Sungai Pahang.
  • Sambal simply. Cooked by my aunt, with reference to my grandmother's recipe.
  • A great grandmother with six and a half great grandchildren. The latter do not have the former's calmness. Heh.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Fascination


Fascinating Friday, today is. For a day that commenced with my raised voice over unfinished breakfast that the son himself requested, every single thing that followed went well. Instead of being frustrated with things that swerved from my way, I attempted to practise Jim Rohn's suggestion, "be fascinated!"

Key words: attempted & practise. Those close to me do realise how I could switch moods easily. No thanks to my sensitivity. Thankfully though, not often. In fact, it has been eons since my body trembled with anger, or frustration, until recently, when Khalish morphed into a Terrible Two. 

The phase is not exclusive to two-year-olds. Khalish's daily life, of late, simply happened to defy regular routines, with different people, and vast choices. All that might induce rebel in a toddler who has been used to certainty. The parents' mistake, really. Whenever we travelled, we were complacent about leaving Khalish in the grandparents' care with the maid's assistance, which meant, he never broke his routine pattern. We learned.

His tantrum started towards the end of our Hong Kong and Macau tripping. In Macau, he demanded to be out of the hotel, even at bedtime. Then, he found fun in escalators, and demanded to ascend and descend one, countless time. He also demanded to have chocolate all the time. Oh, a lot more demands. Kamal and I introduced to him another side of us called strictness, which were successful, but only after inconsolable tears. 

Back in Malaysia, the tripping continued, from house to house. Aidilfitri, yes. Khalish was so anxious about crowd that he clung on me, or the daddy, to be assured that he would not lose the only persons he trusted, we thought. Once that particular issue was resolved, another rose. The variety of sweet delicacies available at open houses. Kamal and I know how hyper active our son could be if he got his hands on sugary food. Often, he would notice the variety and consequently consumed minimal savoury  meal to save the best for desserts. Once again, strictness, and once again, inconsolable tears. Most of the time, crocodile tears. 

At home, he enjoyed the authority of the word "no", refusing to bathe, or brush the teeth, or eat the food he earlier requested, or be in the car seat, or play outdoor. In short, he refused all the things he used to love. Now, Kamal would be at work. I was left alone to battle the dark side of Khalish. No time for solution searching through the Internet or from fellow mothers. I merely followed my own inexperienced motherly instinct. Some were successful, but most were successful with tears and frustration, for both Khalish and I. 

Of course, there were happy moments. I am highlighting the whole predicament because it frustrated specifically me as Kamal is naturally the calmer other half. It never occurred to me that the usually jovial Khalish would be affected by the so-called terrible two phase. Yesterday, with improved motherly instinct, I eventually came to term that I could be fascinated instead of frustrated. Khalish must have sensed the better aura that he behaved well. That offered me space for more reading. 

To substantiate my improved, but still inexperienced motherly instincts, are the following tips by parents and experts in order to manage the situation I have been in:

  • Practise regularity with routines, even when you are travelling. Particularly with meal hour and bedtime. 
  • Set limits. Choices included in the process. Example: instead of "what would you love for breakfast?", say "would you love cereal or sandwich for breakfast?" The child would appreciate the power to decide, and the parents would appreciate the time efficiency.
  • Do pray more. Remember, ask, and you shall receive. Affirm, and believe, always. The belief in the affirmation would calm the parents when the child is still defiant about his demand. 
  • Provide two-way communication. Ask the child, even in his tears, what does he precisely want, and the parents may be surprised with the simplicity of the request. If the child is clueless, do offer activities that he or she loves.
  • Practise discipline, always. Firm voice and denial of privileges are ones of the various techniques. 
  • The key word is practise, practise, practice, and be fascinated in the process, not frustrated.
Khalish, daddy and I love it when you are contented.
Photos: Hong Kong, September 2010.