Sunday, August 22, 2010

We Are Family

The Little Taiwan
Yesterday all of us were invited to break fast in my sis-in-law's restaurant The Little Taiwan located in Solaris Dutamas.  It is quite a rare occasion for my family to do our iftar outside because we prefer to break fast at the comfort of our own home, less hassle, there is no need to rush to eat and pray and furthermore we love to walk to the surau to do our terawikh with our kiddos.  However, last night was exceptional because we have never been to my sis-in-law's restaurant as we missed the launching as the kids and I had school replacement on that Saturday and Nuraina had to go for a choir competition in Subang Parade. So this is our chance to check out the restaurant and eat for free, not forgetting everyone will be there.

During iftar things went a bit kelam kabut with the kids ordering this and that as the selection of foods are not something similar to us something new to the taste bud but we enjoyed them nonetheless, but what made last night special was that everyone was there sans my father, all my parents 12 grandchildren, sons, daughter, daughters-in-law, son-in-law and it was such a joyful moment.  We talked and talked almost everything under the sun from work to family to kids to politics, we were so comfortable with each other that nothing else mattered.  While the elders were busy dealing with adult matter the kids entertained themselves by  playing tag and 'nenek nenek si bongkok tiga' (the girls and the younger children), the boys had fun playing soccer using an empty can, the men chilled by smoking sisha and the ladies did what we do best, gossip.

Hilman as spectator
Boys posing after rounds of soccer
Kids playing human tug of war

I just love this kind of gathering because no one is working hard to make sure everyone is entertained because we know we are related, we are family, we belong, even the children. And the sight of them playing together, shouting, laughing, enough to make the adults hearts swelling with pride.

The men having sisha
My eldest bro Abang Munir

Thanks Abang Munir and Kak Linda for having us!!!!`

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Khairina and Puasa

Khairina first started fasting last year when she was 6 years old,  we didn't force her to but she was persistent to do it because she wanted to join the 'jingang' during iftar because if not she will not have the opportunity to sit at the dining table during iftar.  Anyway, last year she managed to get 18 days of puasa penuh, not bad, I would say for a first timer, however Nabil still holds the record of completing the 30 days of puasa at the age of 6 (I tell you that boy is made of steel), even during the fasting month he can still find the energy to play football in his agama school field.  Not only that, he has not missed his terawih yet (not sure where this scrawny boy gets his energy from).

Back to Khairina, her first day of puasa something funny happened, we woke her up for sahur because again she insisted she wanted to fast, she was half asleep as she could not open her eyes, I carried her downstairs, washed her face and told her to rinse her mouth (nasib baik anak Ibu ni kurus, bolehlah nak dukung2 lagi).  Put her down on the chair and told her to eat, she went 'I can't open my eyes', and I went 'Ok Ibu suap, Nina bukak mulut aje, tak yah bukak mata' and she went 'Ok Ibu, thank you Ibu'.  So I fed her and when she said she was full I carried her back to bed.  The next morning (actually it's the same morning), while getting ready for school, she asked me 'Eh Ibu, Nina ni puasa ke?'  and I replied 'puasa' and she went 'Tapi Nina tak bangun sahur pun', and came my reply 'Nina makan sahur, Ibu suap sebab Nina ngantuk sangat' and she went 'Oooooh....jadi Nina kena puasalah kan?' and I just nodded my head.

Off she went to school,  I came home at around 2.30 pm and she greeted me at the door by saying 'Ibu, Nina tak puasa, sebab Nina rasa Nina mimpi jelah Nina sahur tapi Nina tak sahur kan Ibu?  Ibu answered '  'Masya Allah Khairina, Nina sahurlah Ibu yang suap Nina makan' and came her answer 'Ya ke Ibu?' and Ibu answered 'Takpelah Nina, Nina dah makan pun, jadi Nina memang tak puasa ok' and she answered 'Tapi Nina nak'.  Haiyoo... 'Nina terlupa takpe, tapi Nina makan banyak ke tadi?' I just wanted to make sure maybe she ate some food by accident because she has forgotten that she was supposed to fast and she went 'Nina beli satu pinggan nasi lemak dengan air sarsi, Nina makan sampai habis'.  Oh my dear girl itu memang bukan terlupa, itu memang dah tak puasalah and came the whine 'Nina nak!' and she continued to fast refusing to eat and drink after that and she was adamant to join us during iftar because according to her she 'termakan'.  Suka hatilah ko nak oi....tak kuasa nak layan.  ahak ahak.  The subsequent days after the incident, she has been fasting for the rest of the days and so far, she is doing ok and am glad.

Unfortunately, the thing that I can't stand is when she asks the question of 'how many hours more to berbuka?' and after 5 mins she will be asking the same question again and again and again.  To solve the problem, we bought her a watch that she always wanted and my my whaddaya know she seldom bothers us with the question again.  Pretty good trick, I would say.

The thing about fasting month is, cooking has been a fulfilling affair because the are all eager to eat and nothing goes to waste and everything I cook is delicious to the kids (which is an achievement because I'm a lousy cook) and that shows when people are hungry, anything goes.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Say No to Exam

I vote for NO to exam!!!

Is this public exam necessary?  What is a big hu ha of getting straight A's for exam?  Will this exam prepare them for the future? If it does, I bet it's minimal.

Exam kills creativity, exam conforms to uniformity, exam kills passion,  exam is soooo last year!!!!!!!

Exam produces robot, do we want robot for our future generation?  What we should focus is developing a person's true potential.  Someone who does not do well in exam, does not mean she's hopeless, maybe her interest is not there, maybe she is capable to do other great things but we will never know as our education is very examination based.  So this type of person will lose out in our education system and hence jeopardizing her future.

Gone were the days when teachers were our first-hand information, we went 'oooh aaah' discovering new things from them,  learning was fun then because we indeed learn something new in school, we will lose out so much if we don't go to school but today you can get information anywhere and everywhere at the tips of your fingers, so why do we need to test them on what they learn in school when they have learned so much more outside which is possibly more relevant to what they want to pursue in future.

What we need to focus on is creativity, get the kids to produce, design or create some things new, some thing special, some thing extraordinary, do practical things rather than theory.  We need to produce more rounded teachers, teachers that can teach more than what it is now, teachers who are dancers, writers, cheerleaders, poets, actors, chef, web designers, conductors, technician rather than the 'chalk and talk' teacher.  I bet there will be more people interested to become teachers if we offer these things to them.  We get teachers who are passionate of their jobs because they are doing things they love.  Not people who choose teaching as their last resort.   There's a saying 'there is no such thing as lousy students, only lousy teachers'. Only with well rounded teachers, we are able to produce well-rounded students.

I believe if we embrace this paradigm shift, we have less problematic students, we will have happier teachers and happy teachers will create a happy environment to mould  happy students who just love to go to school.  As today's schools do not function as the only knowledge centre and as I mentioned earlier,  kids today can get any information they want as easy as 'A, B C' and  the teachers role is to guide them not to test them.

Some things need to be changed with our education system and I go for NO to exam!!!  How irony a teacher myself  does not believe in exam?  The truth is I've seen many of my students who are super talented but sadly they are not in their teachers good book just because they are different and they do not do well in exam.  In our education system, if you excel in other things rather than academic, you will not go far.  There is not much support in our education system for other things besides academic.  What is sadder is these co-curricular activities (the things that they love to do) often take the back seat once they are in Form 3 and Form 5 just because they want to stay focus on their major exam.  Not because they want too but their parents told them to do so.

I am blessed with potential students, it is sad that we gauge their achievement only by how well they do in their exam. 

Mind you I am not all against exam, students still need to be assessed so that they advance to the next level and assessment or evaluation creates a sense of responsibility and awareness but it should be done school based not the major exam that we have now!!! Public exam for Year 6, Form 3 and 5 is just too much!!!

P/S - To my third former students, if you are reading this, you still have to sit for your PMR exam and it means so much to me if you score all A's in this exam, so stop wasting your time going online and reading this post. Go and study because you people have less than 2 months before the exam (58 days to be exact)!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Don't Call Me a Wonder Mom

Truth be told, having many kids don't actually make a person a wonderful mom, and I am uncomfortable when we people judge me to be a super wonderful mom, just because I have 5 kids.

I ain't no wonder mom, I'll tell you why;

First I have a lot of help as I am staying with my parents.  My mom adores kids and she loves my children to bits, so she helps me a lot in the upbringing of my children.

I have a wonderful maid who has been with us for 5 years, she too loves children and a very good cook and those skills that she has have make my life a breeze as you all know I am lousy in the kitchen (totally hopeless!).

I often shout at my kids, I use cane to get my message across, child psychology? I truly suck at that.

Sometimes I feed them junks, I treat them to pizza, ice-cream, burgers, hotdogs anything that makes my life easier provided I don't have to be in the kitchen to prepare them.

I don't make them to do revision daily, my motto is 'if you are done with your homework, I am fine'.  Revision is only done 2 weeks before the exam.

They are allowed to watch tv everyday, at least an hour a day.

I have stock of chocolates and ice-cream in the fridge.

I love shopping and they often manage to fool me to get the things they want.  I just love the feeling buying things for my kids and watching the satisfied look on their face.

Despite all these flaws and shortcomings, I am still the BEST mom for my kids!!!! ahak ahak.

P/S- I have a lot of regret sometimes and I am definitely not proud of myself and I am working to be a better
         mom for my children.

So please don't call me a wonderful mom because I am far from that and  I truly don't deserve it.