Month: June 2014

Hiatus

Ramadhan is coming in a few minutes.

I am going on a social media fasting this time so I will be off Facebook, WordPress and Instagram at least for this whole month, Insha Allah.

Till then.

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HFMD, potentially.

Isa is sick, and it has been a long time since he has fallen sick the way he is now.

You know, the kind of illness that makes my heart feels unbearably heavy whenever I look at him.

I suspect that it is HFMD. The GP we met couldn’t confirm it with the absence of lesions on his hands and feet, but he is clearly suffering from numerous mouth ulcers.

He had mild fever since Friday, and it wasn’t until Saturday that the condition becomes worse. I can see he is not as energetic as he always is, and by Saturday evening he refuses milk and food and his saliva started to drip from his mouth.

It hurts me to see him this way.

He is clearly missing his night feeding, and he cried a lot. By Sunday both of us parents are already living zombies.

And now that he can speak, it pains me even more to hear him wailing ‘Sakit, sakit’ ( painful, painful) whenever he tries to suck his bottle.

I am trying to remind myself that this is a test for me. It is a viral infection, all I need to do is be patient with The irritable Isa, and wait for it to be over. Learn to completely leave it to God, and be reminded that there’s only so much I can do. Only so much.

There is a lesson for me in helplessness.

P.s and just a note, my little chatterbox still can’t stop talking despite the ulcers.
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Places He Remembers

A few months ago I realised that Isa has already recognised places and routes he frequented. He remembers the road towards my office cum his crèche (his crèche is in my office building), he remembers the usual route heading towards our home.

And of course, he recognizes his father’s office, after all KLCC Twin Tower is a famous landmark, a tall building he can actually observe from miles away.

While there are days that we spent hanging out at KLCC Twin Tower waiting for his father to finish his work, these days since we are commuting separately, myself and Isa just go straight back home.

But there have been a few times, where Isa urges me to take a right turn, the turn he knows will lead us to his father’s office, just like yesterday.

But this time around he added more emphasis: “Ofis ayah ada buku Isa” i.e. “Father’s office has Isa’s books.”

I truly know what he was referring to.

It was Kinokuniya at Suria KLCC,where we went to buy his story books last month.It is  my favourite bookstore  and now his favourite (hope so), apparently memorable place too! 

Yeay to books!

The Second “Parents-Teacher” Meeting

I wrote about the first meeting here.

It has been a while since my last meeting with Isa’s caregivers. The last one was when Isa was only 9 months old. There must have been a lot of things to report to us parents meanwhile, especially now that the child is showing more of his personality and individuality than ever.

So I truly welcomed the second “parents-teacher” meeting. We chose last Monday, thinking that my husband would be able to make it (it was conducted during lunch time), unfortunately he was not able to attend. I was eager to know what happens at Isa’s crèche. Though both parents and the caregivers communicate on daily basis through the communication book and occasional chit-chat, a one-to-one session will be able to provide better insights.

This time around Isa’s favourite caregiver brought together a file of his artworks – and a checklist of his development milestones.

Some comments and remarks from his ‘auntie’ – that is how we call them:

  1. Isa is a good child, not giving much trouble in terms of behaviour.
  2. He enjoys all the activities thoroughly, especially pasting. I haven’t tried this activity at home but once. He loves drawing and colouring and always asks for more ‘nak lagi nak lagi‘.
  3. He is a chatterbox – I already know this of course. He can hold conversations and can answer questions ask properly.
  4. He can understand instructions and able to co-operate in group activities – better than his peers. Alhamdulillah!
  5. He loves certain songs, and always attempts to imitate you singing or reciting Quranic verses or supplication. I asked the caregiver to write the titles of songs they do at school,  so I can check them up on Youtube and sing with him at home. One of those he likes is the children song ‘Erti Al-Fatihah‘ i.e. ‘The meaning of al Fatihah’ (a chapter in the Quran) – I didn’t know they are quite advance!
  6. He likes physical activities and loves his morning exercise.
  7. The caregiver thinks Isa is brilliant for his age and loves learning, and we both prayed he will keep it that way!
  8. Whenever asked whether he’d like a little sister or brother, his consistent answer will be NO. How funny, Isa. We will give you one no matter (God willing) 😛
  9. There is only one box unticked by the caregiver- ‘not sharing toys with others’. Which means Isa is able to  share toys with his friends, as his caregiver always observed. I take it as a good sign, that perhaps he has passed the phase where he’d like everything for himself only. Hopefully he has started the empathy phase.
  10. He just could not be patient with a few things – like waiting in line to shower, or to has his bottle replenished that he’ll grow restless. Somebody needs to be taught on patience, obviously!
  11. The caregiver informed me of some remarks from other parents about Isa – and they would love to know what we parents do with Isa that he becomes that talkative – to which I responded: really I think it is just nature over nurture, but we do facilitate wherever we could. It has become a routine for me to ask him what he did everyday while he  puts his shoes on whenever we are leaving at the end of the day, even at the earlier phase where the only answer I could get is basically nothing. Keep the conversation going. These days the answer I’d get is a lengthy description on who did what…
  12. The caregivers commented on how independent Isa is, as she puts it ‘pandai bawa diri‘ i.e. knows how to bring himself. Now that’s my boy Alhamdulillah!
  13. All the caregivers are amazed with Isa’s ability to remember names – be it the caregivers (all 15 of them) and his friends, including those from different groups i.e. older than him, he can easily call them by their names. To this I am truly speechless, because I am one who is really bad at memorising names, this is so from my genetics!

By now I may sound like a ‘kiasu’ mom to you, but I truly thank Allah for Isa’s (miraculous) development. There has not been a day that passes by without myself being filled with amazement about how much capacity God has created a human being  with, and how I do things in my life affect my son’s behaviour and development.

May  Allah make it easier for me to be a good parent and fulfill Isa’s rights. Amin.

Isa's savouring over his favourite chicken parts - bone!

Isa’s savouring over his favourite chicken parts – bone!

Life Lesson from Mom

When it comes to knowing the bitter truth of life that a person can never ‘have it all’, I need not to look further than my parents. It hasn’t register until lately that I have been taught that in life you must need to make risky investment to ensure your priority is met. In other words, sacrifice. To be specific, the balance between a happy family life and an excellent career.

I am not writing this in a negative, sad tone as I truly couldn’t understand the definition of ‘having it all’ when people describe it about someone.

My mom was a teacher. Her last designation was a headmistress i.e. a head teacher of a primary school, a post she held less than ten years before she retired. And all of us in the family knew she could have been a headmistress much earlier than that, or become someone of a higher position should she upgrade herself with a degree.

When I was in high school, I remember asking her – why don’t you go further your studies like many of my friends’ moms do? You could be teaching high school you know (Back then only those with a degree can teach in high schools, diploma holders are stuck in primary schools with less salary). My mom simply answered: I am giving way for you children to study and do that, it is not my time anymore.

That one answer is debatable – as to whether it was really for the interest of us her children. It could be that my mom just didn’t have the energy or drive to do personally.

But her answer to my next question was one that sticks in my mind for so long. I asked her, when she was recommended to become a headmistress much, much earlier, to which she refused politely – why did she decline the post? She said to me that if she were to become a headmistress, she would have no time to come and visit me twice a month (I was in a boarding school from 13-17 years old, 100 km away from my parents), as heads of the school are subject to 8 AM – 5 PM working hours, from Monday to Saturday instead of school hours as other teachers, with countless training courses she had to attend from time to time.

I remember being completely silent after that.

Truth is, I still wonder whether what we children are today worth all the opportunity she has lost in the past – but I know that God will never ignore the many good things that come out of her choice then.